The University of Dayton will host a conference next month exploring the role of the laity in the Church. Empowered by Baptism: The Mission of the Laity Today will focus on how the laity “continues to energize the Catholic faith.”
“For the church to be strong today, we need lay people to step up and be involved,” said the Rev. James Fitz, S.M., vice president for mission and rector of the University. “The church can take its mission out into the world only if lay people feel that vocation and take that mission into neighborhoods, workplaces and all parts of society.”
Bishop Matthew Clark, Bishop of Rochester, N.Y., and author of Forward in Hope: Saying AMEN to Lay Ecclesial Ministry, will deliver a keynote address at 10 a.m. on “The Challenge of the Contemporary Lay Vocation.”
Clark, who has served as Rochester’s bishop for 32 years, has actively supported and promoted increasing the number of lay ministers as well as expanding the roles of lay people in the church.
One wonders whether Fr. Fitz and the conference organizers are aware that weekend Mass attendance in the Diocese of Rochester has dropped by more than 1/3 in just the last 10 years, despite modest growth in our overall population (story here). At first blush this would seem to be the polar opposite of the energized Catholic faith of which the UoD article speaks.
Could it be that Bishop Clark’s incessant focus on lay ministry has come at the expense of what should have been his primary concern, the spiritual well-being of his flock?
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BTW, Rich Leonardi wrote about Bishop Clark’s appearance at this conference here. The comments are worth perusing (and not just because a couple of them are mine).
Tags: Progressive Drivel