I apologize for the length of this post, but I wanted to share my notes from UDMC this year. It was a great conference.
University of Dallas Ministry Conference
28-29 October, 2011
Session I: Developing Lay Ecclesial Ministry by Francis
Cardinal George (born in Chicago in 1937,
1st native Chicagoan to become bishop of Chicago)
George wishes to address 4 points
of the Church: we must start with relationships
Ministries into mission: take a look at the relationship between Church
and the world. In Vatican II, the Church is called the “Sacrament of the
Unity of the Human Race.”
Sacraments, Community, Ecclesiology
development of the Lay Ecclesial Minister is a “Sign of the Times.”
our culture, there is an idea that what you do equals who you are, this is
begins not with control, but in going to others on their terms.”
George wants to avoid the term cleric—a cleric is someone who is not
accountable to a superior and so as Catholics we shouldn’t use this term.
is primordial; we are in relationship before we understand the concept of “I.”
relationships are eternal.
is basic and important to Vatican II. It is used many times. We miss this in
English because they use several different words to translate it.
is used more than 200 times in Lumen Gentium.
have to rethink community if we are going to be Vatican II Catholics.
II wanted to understand the Church as relationships, not worried about the
state as an institution but the culture of the people.
does the Church address the world in order to change the world?—this is our
don’t want to be isolated, sectarian.
purpose of Vatican II was not to just change the Church, it was to change the
Church so that we could change the world. It was to enable us to clean up our
act so that we could convert the world.
not shaping the state, it’s shaping the culture that we must try to do. [I
would argue that in shaping the culture of a republic like the US, we would be
shaping the state.]
George discussed the protestant background of the US
protestant background still shapes us, which impedes us in our own faith lives.
Church’s voice is inside, it’s a mother’s voice—it teaches us, tells us how to
think, what to do.
gift is a commodity with a person attached, you accept the gift but also the
share the gifts of Christ.
purpose of ministry is to share the gifts.
ministries should be welcoming.
create a new world.
you can’t govern and can’t care for people, don’t become a priest.
with Christ as pastor and that explains everything else.
cannot be a priest without a people.
all have titles—that title involves the relationship. To think of only the
title without the relationship negates the title.
the world; Ecclesial—of the Church; Ministry—bringing people closer to Christ.
Ecclesial Ministry—Participation in pasturing without the sacrament of Holy
Lay Ecclesial Ministry, we are the Church relating to the Church. Disciple relating
to disciple, not head to body.
need a call from the head of the Church, calling you to be Christ not just to
the world, but to other disciples.
is a vocation within a vocation.
in Lay Ecclesial Ministry has four components:
Call from God. This is an urgency, a sense that God is calling me to serve
beyond what I’m already doing.
It is a call to be in relationship to other disciples to make them
acquisition—Academic. This should not be the most important part, but you
cannot be a good Lay Ecclesial Minister without it.
with that, personal formation is important. “Together in God’s Service” is
the formation program in Chicago. Personal formation is as important as
academic formation. Lay Ecclesial Ministers are also accountable to the
Bishop, just as a priest is.
Chicago, they do the formation and academic eductionation along with the
seminarians so that there are less divisions between the two groups.
of the Lay Ecclesial Ministers in Chicago are women.
of Lay Ecclesial Ministers: DREs and Pastoral Associates
Ecclesial Ministers are commissioned by the diocese. If the parish can’t
afford a Lay Ecclesial Minister or cuts the program, the diocese sees to
it that the Lay Ecclesial Minister is reassigned. Ministry for the sake of
Session II: Called to be Prophets and Poets by Dr. Robert
must look at our ministry through the lenses of prophet and poet.
the prophetic core, we lapse into stagnation. Without the poetic core, we lapse
into self righteousness and exhaustion.
as call to be prophet and poet.
skills that a Prophet and poet needs
good news that motivates us
are the audible voice and the visible sign of the invisible God’s love and
prophet reminds the establishment what it was established for, reminds us of
prophet takes the inaudible God and makes him audible.
the stories of the marginalized.
is telling the stories of poverty in the US?
are usually reluctant. We’re not born prophets, not born courageous—we become
prophets, we become courageous.
excuses do we make?
step movement in prophesy:
Assess the situation:
around, see the injustice, name what we see, avoid the conspiracy of silence.
last century was split by the holocausts, epidemics, wars.
prophet has to see it and name it.
Romero was considered safe and middle of the road. They thought he wouldn’t be
a problem for the government. It took a friend’s death to make him see.
Merton—we should always read with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in
Characterized by speech: no, never, never again.
afraid to speak the truth to power.
ask the hard questions: “How do we…” “Why is it…”
are a pain in the neck.”
was annoying because of what he says.
is what prophets do—they see and speak out.
Prophesy is anchored in mission and flows from mission
are not judged by their success but by their staying true to the word.
Pathos: Prophesy is characterized by tears.
can seem overwhelming.
for the human condition
a moist heart—combination of compassion and tears (a Native American saying)
Leads to a new situation
prophet is transformed by hope
has two lovely daughters: anger and courage.” -Augustine
the anger on behalf of change
have to be believed or killed.
be truly involved in life is prophetic. To be a prophet without experiencing
the pain of rejection, failure, and being misunderstood is impossible.” –Robert
also shouldn’t care about that rejection. Keep going anyways.
McCarty was asked by a High School student, “Why did Jesus get whacked in the
first place?” – this is the essential question.
we don’t get this, we don’t get anything.
gets whacked because he redefined the kingdom: “The first shall be last…”—he
ticked off the first.
part of the first!
was radical compassion.
much do we love those who seem unlovable?
in your ministry do you feel like a prophet?
are the costs?
are the payoffs?
have been prophets who spoke to you, challenged you?
not enough to do for Jesus, we also have to be in Jesus.
bishop was once asked, “Which do you love more: working for the kingdom of God
or God?” Afterwards, he added another hour of prayer to his day.
prophet emphasizes the work on behalf of the kingdom, the poet emphasizes
relationship with God.
our commitment to Jesus is complete, then our lives will be lived in holy
communion with Him.
when there is genuine conversion will justice win.
just do something, sit there… this is the ministry of being.
Christian of the next century will be a mystic or nothing at all.” Karl Rahner
mystics and not our theologians will be the better chance of relating to our
to sit in the presence
Ministry of Being
do mission.” – Prophet
am mission.” -Poet
sitting and waiting with people who are hurting is part of the mission
be a poet, we must practice Sabbath.
must recapture Sabbath theology
live in Sabbath time means to be attuned to the holiness in time.
talk about time in terms of the second act, the third stanza… their language is
different than hours and minutes.
about being in time so we can stop and listen to what we are called to do in
present to the moment
we living fast or are we living deep?
challenging to be in the moment right now.
love is a part of the poet
culture encourages us to run form experience to experience. We become
experience junkies who collect experiences without dwelling on them.
must be a person of prayer in order to live deep.
will not encounter love by living fast.
can cause blindness (or death).
is closely allied to Sabbath.
put ourselves in time out.
practice Sabbath is to practice re-creation: creativity, artistic expression
repairs the world.
put a limit on Sabbath joy, but this should not be so.
the only thing that Jesus makes for dinner is reservations.
have this idea: “Don’t be too happy, it’s clearly got to be sinful.”
Catholics could have invented Lent (they were probably Irish Catholics), but
only Catholics could have invented Mardi Gras (the French).
wonder quotient: when did we last experience wonder and awe?
in my ministry do I most feel like a poet?
have been the costs?
have been the payoffs?
are poets for me?
and Poet: When we put these two together, we get holiness.
and Martha—we need to be both Mary and Marth to be holy.
Thursday—breaking bread and washing feet
are called to be a both/and kind of people.
of devotion and people of Catholic Social Teaching. People of Paul/Peter;
Gentile/Jew; Great Cathedrals/Great Soup Kitchens; Progressive/traditional.
Good Friday and the Crucifixion, Poet: Easter and the Resurrection.
Attention. It is heroic to pay attention. Name the false idols and false
you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.
is a false message.
relationships are only about use, it’s not a relationship.
to notice the false messages leads to corruption.
is a cost to being a true Christian: Romero, MLK Jr.
2009, 23 Catholic missionaries were murdered for their faith.
pay attention also to the good, to the presence of God.
moments of grace—those moments are clearly sacramental.
consequences of the moment
the Truth gently.
gently as opposed to speaking forcefully and egotistically
truth can the poor speak to us?
spirituality of the oppressed—the call to conversion
tell you this so that you might have life and have it abundantly.”
Romero said that the poor are preaching in El Salvador and their truth shall
set us free.
we treat the powerless is the real test of the Christian.
named the evil, called for repentance.
call to conversion: turning away and turning towards.
word and witness
gentle as Mother Teresa was, her message was not gentle.
are called to speak the truth by what we say and what we do.
all about the size of your dream.
societal dream versus a dream worthy of reckless abandon
must have a dream that’s worthy of reckless abandon, that’s worth grabbing
onto, worthy of an adventure.
the power of the faith of a mustard seed.
been sold the wrong dream, the dream of a culture of death.
Jesus dream—Jesus reading from Isaiah. He announced the reign of God and signed
his death warrant.
reign of God is the Jesus dream, that’s the message.
speak about God is one thing, but to dare to speak for God requires great
arrogance and great humility.
is a challenging and transforming aspect of the Good News.
we afraid that the Gospel has lost its power?
must proclaim clearly with a prophetic and poetic voice that darkness doesn’t
we more joyful? Are we more loving? peaceful? forgiving? courageous?
you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap. If you want to be happy for a
day, go fishing. If you want to be happy for a month, get married. If you want
to be happy forever, serve God. [I’m not sure how I feel about marriage only
bringing a month of happiness… but he did laugh when he said it.]
Session III: Teaching on Tough Issues: Practical Tips for
Helping God’s People Embrace Challenging Truths by Ken Ogorek
- Never mistake resistance on your
part for error on the Church’s part.
we feel discomfort, we take this discomfort and then automatically think
the teaching needs to change.
have to ask God for help to understand the reasoning and to change
reveals some of his preferences to us—we are not groping blindly in the
instance, God’s preference for forgiving sin is in the sacrament of
confession. While this is the preferred way, it’s not the only way. We
can’t put God into a box.
of truth is important
loves us so much that He blesses the Church with his fullness of truth.
hierarchy of truths is taught poorly and then sounds like it says that
moral relativism is okay.
the hierarchy of truths is taught poorly, it leads to being a Cafeteria
it’s in the CCC, it’s all true.
truth of the trinity is necessary to teach baptism in the name of the
trinity. Hence, it’s core.
mistake a clever argument for the truth.
is no higher authority than an individual’s INFORMED conscience.
are moral absolutes.
act can be intrinsically evil where there can be no set of circumstances
where it isn’t evil.
so easy to believe something is okay if our end is good.
only do our goals have to be good, but our means do as well.
is a beautiful gift from a loving God. We have to look at the gift as it
is given to us, how it comes naturally.
the gift of sexuality has two sides just like a coin. One side is unitive,
the other is procreative. When you separate the two sides of a coin, it is
no longer a coin.
use of sexuality should respect both sides.
imagined this like a diamond with four points. The four points are free,
faithful, fruitful, and total.
to new life
holding back on any aspect of who you are.
Session IV: Leading With Soul by Dr. Lee Bolman (professor at UMKC)
Note: This lecture was not at all what I expected after
reading the description, however, it was an enjoyable session.
the book Leading with Soul for business
leaders who are trying to be leaders addressing the soul as well as the
business world. Leadership Spirituality
book is not addressed to a particular religious faith
leaders do not know how to talk about faith and morals.
can we talk about leadership spiritually but ecumenically?
of Great Leadership
clear sense of direction
in love. When you love your work, the people you’re with, and the place you’re
at, it’s easy to be passionate.
leaders who aren’t in danger of getting killed face real risks.
decide what to do.
only follow those they trust.
leaders are people of extraordinarily powerful, deep faith.
many people, that deep faith is a challenge.
on soul—“Soul signifies the spiritual principle in man.”
preferred definition: a bedrock sense of self—who you are, values, what I
really believe in
search for soul as a lifelong journey.
in this definition of soul, it can be characteristic of a couple.
idea of soul could also apply to an organization.
makes a huge difference in whether an organization succeeds.
as a core ideology.
should have a core ideology.
should focus on something deeper than the bottom line in business, something
deeper and more important than the profit.
companies, profits should be like oxygen—necessary, but not the purpose.
All day I think about it,
then at night I say it.
Where did I come from,
and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere,
I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
about origin, purpose, meaning, destination…these are the basic spiritual
twin faiths of technology and consumerism are not making us happy.
got to be something more to life than shiny new technology.
Campbell—The Hero’s Journey
really only one story people care about and they care about it so much that
they keep retelling it.
Parts of the spiritual journey
home—escaping shackles of convention
Quest—entering the wilderness, plunging the depths, confronting demons
Home—Armed with gifts earned on the quest
from The Lion King: Simba following
Rafiki through the woods to see the reflection
Whitman—Passage to India
gifts that we as leaders can give to others:
o Authorship: helping other paint their own canvas. Art is important
because of the making f it and the pride in being able to make, produce, and
create. As parents or leaders, we sometimes do things for others that they
really should do themselves.
o Power: enabling others to feel they make a difference. We
make others feel they can make a difference.
o Love: Caring, compassion… we must choose the person or
the relationship over the meeting.
o Significance: Find meaning in contribution; is what we’re doing
important? What the heck is it all about?
from Ghandi… a leaders gives all four of
these in two minutes to a total stranger—redemption is possible.
know a way out of Hell…”
than judging, he asks why
In this world you have three companions:
One is faithful, the others are
The latter are friends and
the faithful one is excellence in
Your wealth won’t come with you out
of your palace;
your friend will come, but only as
far as the grave.
When the day of doom comes to meet
your friend will say, “I’ve come
this far, but no farther.
I will stand a while at your
Your deeds alone are faithful: make
them your refuge,
for they alone will accompany you
into the depths of the tomb.
Session V: What Does the Catholic Church teach about
Evolution? by Dr. John Norris (UD Theology
Note: I took a class with Dr. Norris on this topic, so my
notes are pretty bare. If you want more information, I’ll have to get you my
class notes. Sorry!
live in a two truth world: science and faith
Theory: Random mutations at the genetic level were passed on through offspring.
These random mutations help the individual with these traits to survive more
than others. Eventually the variation is distinct enough that there is no
interbreeding and there is a separate species.
problems for theology:
role does randomness mean in evolution?
does survival of the fittest describe human existence?
what sense is God no longer necessary to help understand the world? Is God just
the God of the gaps?
Materialism—Dawkins: God as a God of the gaps… in this theory
mutation denies any kind of divine causality or creation
is merely a God of the gaps and is no longer necessary when the gaps are
is a primary means of knowing.
for a Catholic Approach to the relationship between faith and science
does not contradict truth.
and Theology come from God.
teaching is inspired by God.
can sort of have a playroom together for scientists and theologians.
Filius—problems arise from theology making
claims that are faulty or beyond its competence… same thing from science. Both
have their own domains, methods, and limitations.
4 models of interactions between faith and science: Conflict, Independence,
Dialogue, and Integrations
and Change in Catholic theology
Idem—always the same… this is not true in Catholic history.
a continuity, but also authentic development
of proper authority of levels of teaching
Session VI— Catechist as Witness: Embracing Jesus, The
Way, The Truth, and The Life by Dr. Diana Dudoit Raiche, Ph.D.
14:6… Judas has just left the last supper and Jesus says that he must go where
they cannot go.
is Jesus? Who is Jesus for me? When did you become aware of Jesus as the Son of
is the relationship with Jesus that is critical for every catechist. It
invites, calls, propels us to become leaders.
do it because it is Good News and we’ve been called.
teaching is not my own, but it is from the one who sent me. Christ said this
and so do we.
calls for witnesses to the faith
states that at the heart of Catechesis is Jesus (CCC 426)
human beings, we mirror the actions of Judas, Peter’s denial, Thomas’ doubt,
John’s loyalty, Mary Magdalene’s awe.
of us carries within us a way of understanding Jesus was given to us.
Jesus we know and experience is the only one we can share with others.
have four lenses to look at Jesus:
we think, we believe. As we believe, we act.
4:11—Jesus says the mystery of the Kingdom has been granted to you.
Raiche always begins her classes with a discussion of the Kingdom of God.
can’t not believe in heaven if you’re with a dying person who has deep faith.
key to grasping mystery comes through experiencing it in history. –Karl Rahner
day search for mystery—we look in all the wrong places.
we consider Jesus as myth, it’s when we take Jesus off the cross. We want a
tame Christ. (He’s not a tame lion. – C.S.L.)
we think of the myth of scripture, it must be grounded in a firm faith.
woman at the well attests to Jesus as the Messiah
as Lord… he receives this title on many, many occasions.
good Catechist shares their faith story. How did you come to understand who Jesus
is and who he is for you?
as Man, the son of Mary and Joseph:
theme of Christian anthropology… grace
is a work of evangelization. Jesus is the context of that evangelization.
must guard our truths very carefully… blood was shed in the streets to
establish our doctrine.
we accept Jesus, we can be catechized.
cannot give to someone what they are not willing to accept.
Session VII: Together on the Journey of Hope: Reflections
on the Responsibilities of Lay Catholics for treatment of Migrants and
Immigrants by Dr. John Norris
document, “Strangers No Longer” (published January 22, 2003) is the source of
much of this talk.
and Cardinal George recap
his definition of church as the sacrament of the unity of humanity.
have to get the Church’s act together so that it can make a difference in the
world for the better.
and immigration reform—is there an awareness of Catholic principles among
Catholic people? [From what I’ve seen, that would be a resounding no.]
can we best teach people about Catholic teachings on immigration?
Level of social justice teaching
think that because this teaching isn’t infallible or longstanding, it’s not
important for Catholic teaching
are principles that are part of Catholic dogma included in social teaching… for
example, human dignity.
Application—there is a lot of spectrum for how one applies principles of dogma.
who seek to migrate are suffering.
are tragically dying
rights are being abused
must be concerned about this
believe human being have rights that are inherent to their dignity… these
rights are being abused.
are being kept apart.
of Catholic faith are looked at as a means for arguing for reform. Examples:
VII and the Church in the modern world, Common good and natural law theory.
think we are just supposed to be individuals and not ask for systematic reform…
this is wrong
government is not working right and we have a responsibility to speak out. This
is part of our call to be prophets mentioned in session II.
is a Lay Responsibility to make these reforms happen—make a difference in the
Gentium emphasizes that all Christians are
Christ-like and so called to be prophet and king.
must see the injustice and stand up, do something about it.
this process, we have to accept that people of good faith can have different
visions and disagree.
23:9—You shall not oppress a resident alien.
must be grateful for things we did not earn—we did not earn being American.
welcomes the stranger
we’re going to be Christians and think all human beings have human dignity, we
must be welcoming
is the heart of the Church in the modern world and we must protect it.
on personal charity in the pastoral letter:
have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families.
Thomas Aquinas’ understanding of private property—it is considered moral to
steal bread if you have no other way of feeding yourself.
property is not an absolute right.
are government boundaries.
the goods of the earth belong to all people.
Nations have the right to control their borders, but not merely for the
purpose of acquiring additional wealth.
human dignity and human rights of undocumented migrants should be respected.
on the term “undocumented,” not “illegal.”
policies that respect human rights of undocumented migrants are necessary.
USCCB’s vision is balanced. They recognize protecting rights of US families and
workers, recognizing rights to protect borders, but also recognizing the rights
of the migrant.
sovereign state may impose reasonable limits on immigration
able to receive migrants should do so whenever possible.
are people called to prophesy and people called to diplomacy… not necessarily
must not overstate their case and must not be disrespectful.
have to be careful what we say as prophets—some of the stupid things said at
rallies and marches have hurt the cause more than helped.
for migrant and immigrant families
not hostility for migrant families along their journey
shelters that provide appropriate pastoral and social services.
with community to address the causes of undocumented migration—1st
world nations like the US enter into development of these countries, but we
only do so for our own benefit.
newcomers to integrate
attention for migrant and immigrant children—educational support for undocumented
resources to provide pastoral care for migrants who are detained or
local diocese to sponsor pertinent social services for migrants.
local parishioners to be home missionaries.
foreign nationals of good character
a path to citizenship
worker program to permit foreign born workers to enter the country legally and
include safeguards against displacement of US workers
we profit from the work of migrants?
Law—criminalizes anyone who has any contact with a migrant worker who does not
turn him/her in.
is not right. Christian religions must have the opportunity to provide charity
to Nazi Germany at the beginning…
should be welcoming and Christ-like, not losing our identity.
should be slow and communal.
lot of times what we’re doing is accommodating and separating. That’s not