Saturday, April 19, 2008

Any Way Saturday
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isaiah visits poor neighborhood of shreveport LA
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City-building effort of the People of Praise
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Several years ago, the People of Praise [an ecumenical Christian covenant community] sought the Lord for direction. The issue was one of 'what to do' and 'where to do it' - the result is a 'miracle' on Yale Street and the surrounding neighborhood in the Allendale section of Shreveport Louisiana. It is in one of the poorest areas in the northern part of the state.

Each Spring and Summer since 2002, over a hundred high-school age, and college age, and older adults, flock to the heat of this overlooked area of the city and perform work for the residents - they fix, repair, paint, build new. Additionally, this is not just a 'good thing' to do on spring break or summer vacation, a number of families from People of Praise branches around the country have actually moved into the neighborhood permanently.

This past year, a couple of young men who were working and living there from the People of Praise wrote their own version of a passage from Isaiah. It became so popular that a local pastor used it as a jumping-off point for his Sunday service.
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[ 6:21 ] ... and I think it is worth every second



'CLICK' on the > above and marvel at the Lord's handiwork
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Read more about Allendale here.
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duh ... gee, i didn't know that
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Adult formation, or more specifically 'continuing formation, is a hot topic these days in most parishes. Some parishes are good at promoting and providing substantive formation opportunities. Some parishes are good at the providing, but fall short on the promoting. Some parishes do neither very well.

The results, good and bad, are usually plainly evident. Just jump around the blog-o-sphere awhile and you'll see glaring examples of both. Look around you in the pews on Sunday. Even there you will see a variety of participation in, or attendance at, the weekly liturgy - good and bad. And where bad prevails, the priests are sometimes as much in the dark as are the folks in the pews.

Our Bishops need to do a much better job in priestly formation and continuing formation. From there it may trickle, or flow, down to the people in the pews. For example, what about the holding of hands during the praying of the Lord's Prayer - do they do that in your church? Does it seem to be almost 'required'? Does the priest do it, too?

There are many other opportunities to see us at our ignorant worst, not just at mass. What about our understanding of most contraceptives acting as an abortifacient? Do people even know what the issue is?

We can go on and on and on. The reality is that we all need good opportunities to learn the facets of our church's teachings - the teachings of Christ.
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Would you care to share things you see in your parish that are good and/or bad. What do you see that suggests formation is lacking? What does your parish do that is good? Share your observations so we all benefit and perhaps help things get better where we reside and worship.
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5 comments:

Melody said...

I feel that our parish does a pretty good job in most respects. One thing that we have going for us is perpetual exposition/adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. An attitude of faith and reverence seems to flow from that to all that we do as a parish. Another positive thing is that the last several pastors have been serious about following the GIRM in the liturgy. I think it is important here to distinguish between things which are against the GIRM, and things which some of us just don't like. Sometimes a little Christian forbearance is called for!

uncle jim said...

i like to hear you have perpetual adoration available. we do not have perpetual adoration, but we do have all day adoration twice a month. the primary focus is suggested to be for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. this was just started 3 years ago. at that time we had one young man in seminary from our parish - and he was the first in several years. since adoration started, we now have 5 young men in seminary.

Adrienne said...

I hate to hold hands during the Our Father and have returned to my previous position of hands folded.

We just attended another church in Spokane where the priest announced before the Our Father for everyone to stand and join hands. That is liturgical abuse. And friends, liturgical abuse is abuse of the laity. I'm very tired of being abused.

uncle jim said...

for a hundred years or so, i have used the orans position in personal and other non-liturgical prayer. i admit it carries over to mass many times - but i, too, do not like to hold hands - and have received some looks of disgust and 'shock' when i, sometimes not too politely, pull my hand away - i need to find a friendlier way to do that.

Adrienne said...

How about a quick slap to the face?