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The list of questions I wish the Bishop had asked is here. If you have any interest in understanding why these questions might be important for planning the future of our archdiocese, read this Introduction, please.
Are you a member of any lay organizations, third orders, Catholic special interest groups, or other Catholic associations?
- Family of the Apostles of the Interior Life
- Catholic Creatives Salon
- Catholic Writers Guild
- Contemporary Religious Artists Association
- Communion & Liberation, Lawrence
- Sursum Corda Polyphony Ensemble
- Northeast Kansas Chesterton Society
- Well-Read Moms Literature Study Group
- The JOY Foundation
(If I were the Bishop, I’d be quite interested in all the cross-connections between people through groups like these. Network dynamics are fascinating, and with today’s technology are fairly easy to map and gain perspective from.)
Do you have any concerns about the organizations of which you are a member?
Nope. These all seem great to me. I do know of others who have some real concerns about directions being taken by organizations they are affiliated with, and they aren’t sure how to handle that tension. This Q, posed by the Bishop, would give them a place to put those concerns, and permission to do so, without seeming whiny. No one wants to be a complainer, but everyone has a little subset of all the information the Bishop actually needs to make good decisions and plans.
Do you have any concerns about other organizations operating within the archdiocese?
Yes. I would like to feel more certain that no organization with ties to dissident ‘Catholic’ groups and individuals, or advocating against Catholic doctrines and positions is operating here. I would provide the name (privately, to the Bishop) of one group that has me worried because of some information I ran across on the internet that seems problematic. I imagine he is already working quietly to minimize the damage from this group and others. What I don’t know is how a layperson who is concerned may find out if a group has been checked out, is under any sort of suspicion (before he joins it, for instance), or is resisting the Bishop’s authority in any way.
What do you hope will stay the same in the next ten years in our archdiocese?
- The strong pro-life stance.
- The unity with other bishops in Kansas, and their efforts to teach clearly (a la the videos done in conjunction with the Bishops Conference).
- The welcome and support for great religious communities like AVI and the Little Sisters of the Lamb.
What do you hope will change in the next ten years in our archdiocese?
- Greater liturgical consistency across the archdiocese. (Perhaps even some all-archdiocese Liturgies planned for common observance everywhere on special feast days. I suggest the Confirmation Mass be planned at the archdiocesan level and the music practiced during the year so that the teens may experience one amazing high Mass together on that important day.)
- The Catholic Fine Arts Council in full operation, with a strong and active Guild membership.
- The Bishop in fluent communication with ‘his’ artists, writers, bloggers, podcasters, doctors, pro-life organizers, grant writers, political activists, etc… – making better use of networks of affiliation to teach, and to learn.
- Protocols in place for questions, ideas, problem-solving, evaluation and suggestions.
- Regular ‘town meetings’ among churches in each region.
- Interest by Church leadership in the dissertations being written by Catholic doctoral candidates.
- Improvement in the connections between Catholic schools and home educators.
- More leadership in ecumenical dialogue.
- Better use of the diocesan website for communication, networking, and event promotions.
- More opportunity grants available for continuing education for laypersons.
- Catholic sacred music and sacred art summer camp for high school students.
- Efforts to make our pastoral center an attractive venue for great conferences.
- Efforts to make mission trips possible for laypersons.
…it is difficult for poets to remain acceptable or contented party men; they ask too many questions.
Dorothy Sayers, in the Introduction to her translation of Dante’s Purgatorio