Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 24, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 24, 1998

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IMPLEMENTING VATICAN II 000 Discerning a Life of Service to the Lord- Row Bishop McDonald plans the harvest When laborers are few By Msgr. David LeSieur and seminaries were full, produc- ing an apparently endless supply of workers for the Lord's harvest. The Church's world view was one of confidence in God's providence and of sureness in its own position. P" I The Second Vatican Council ;S-I was convened by Pope John XXIII if" in 1962 and closed by Pope Paul VI in 1965. By this time Bishop McDonald had been ordained 17 years and was serving in the Diocese of Savannah. With greater bY ishopAndrewJ. McDonald's and greater clarity, he began to life and priestly career have witness the familiarity of one age al- sponned two eras. Throughout the fade into the uncertainty of a new 0p tivae of his youth, entry into the one. Old sureties regarding the seminary, ordination and earlyliturgy and an entire new Catholic priesthood, Andrew McDonald way of thinking began to totter lived in an era often labeled as the with the introduction of English Olden Age of Catholicism in into a Mass that had been virtual- &Ilerica. ly unchanged since 1570. The immigration of Euro- Bishop McDonald was already Peons to the United States in the a mature priest by this time and t'trst part of this century strength- was perhaps as affected by these ened the Church's position and shifts as any Catholic at the time. r tlrnbers, and so burgeoned the But in the spirit of the council that growth of that age known in the had created the changes, he Catholic psyche as "goldenY This learned, he adapt- Period is characterized by a large ed and he taught rlUrnber of priests and religious, others to enter especially in the Northeast, but by into the way of the 1940s and 1950s this abun- thinking that chace had spread to the South. would transform There seemed to be no limit to forever how the the Church's ability to staff its Catholic Church lony parishes and schools; relates to the hdeed its convents, monasteries modem world. When he became the fifth bish- op of Little Rock in 1972, Bishop McDonald was mentally and spiri- tually prepared to continue what his predecessor, Albert Fletcher, had begun. (Bishop Fletcher had been an active participant in the council.) The new bishop now brought an energy to the Diocese of Little Rock and a conviction that the new way was good because as it built on the ancient foundations of our tradition, it would bring to fuller light the teaching and the life that Jesus Christ had brought to the world. Thus has Bishop McDonald shepherded the Diocese of Little Rock for more than 25 years with an openness to the Spirit of God active in the world. This is the vision of the Second Vatican Council and it has been the guiding principal of our bishop's leadership. Once upon a time there seemed no limit to the Church's ability to staff its many parishes and schools. October 24, 1998 ,],,