And now some news from beyond the borders of our parish, from the greater church of which we are a part. Following upon last fall’s Synod on Young People, Pope Francis recently issued a lengthy letter (182 pages!), Christus Vivit (“Christ is Alive”), in which he communicates the joy of the Gospel to young people in terms of their own idiom and culture. It is addressed “to young people and to the entire people of God,” for it helps us all to consider how Christ is alive in the young members of his church. This is especially pertinent in our parish – of the 165 respondents to our recent parishioner survey, almost half (46%) were in the 20-39 age bracket. (More on the survey in upcoming newsletters.)
Much of the Pope’s advice to young people applies just as well to everyone. The young, he says, must not be mere passive recipients of ministry, but are called to be engaged and active in the church. We should value “the charisms that the Spirit bestows in accordance with the vocation and role of each of the church’s members, through a process of co-responsibility.... Motivated by this spirit, we can move towards a participatory and co-responsible church, one capable of appreciating its own rich variety, gratefully accepting the contributions of the lay faithful, including young people and women…. No one should be excluded or exclude themselves” (No. 206). That’s a wonderful vision for all of us, our entire parish.
Let me offer some resources so that you can draw nourishment and inspiration from this latest papal document – whatever your age. There are good brief overviews in Our Sunday Visitor
and America magazine
. The Patheos blog
provides a longer summary consisting entirely of key quotes from the letter. You can find the letter itself on the Vatican website
, with a helpful outline/index at the end.
Closer to home, the Archdiocese of Detroit recently unveiled a new web portal about all the renewal efforts flowing from our local Synod of 2016: UnleashTheGospel.org
(or follow @UTGDetroit), billed as “stories to inspire you, resources to guide you, community to encourage you.”
Soon I myself must go beyond our parish borders, to attend the annual gathering of Jesuits from our entire Midwest region, June 6-8, in Milwaukee. Beforehand I will help guide the annual retreat for Midwest Jesuits in formation (seminarians), outside Chicago May 28-June 6. Pray for us during the retreat, as I will remember all of you during my absence. Let us pray together as we prepare to celebrate Pentecost for a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us and the whole church, that we might be filled with the Life of the Risen Christ. Christus Vivit!