Welcome back to Wisdom Wednesday. Today, March 9, we seek wisdom regarding an essential aspect of church life: the priesthood. No surprise there, since this is the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, but we usually look outward, not inward. Today, our focus is on day-by-day parish priestly life and ministry, and the role of lay ecclesial ministers.
But, international news, first.
Pope Francis has deployed top Vatican officials to Ukraine to help migrants and to seek peace, according to Religion News Service. Meanwhile, according to National Catholic Reporter, local churches have not tolerated the moderate stance of the Vatican; the head of the Polish bishops’ conference has publicly condemned Russia’s invasion and urged the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to demand an end to the war and for Russian soldiers to stand down.
How can you make sense of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Elaine Monaghan has some wisdom on the topic. She is writing for a youth audience, but the clarity of her thinking is valuable for all ages. Her article is published by News Decoder.
Here’s another reputable source for daily news about the Russian invasion: The Associated Press.
Now, some of the thinking and reflecting on priesthood.
Today, and every Wednesday in Lent, you are invited to join FutureChurch’s Lenten synodal sessions, at noon or at 7 p.m. EST. This week the focus is on the future of the priesthood.
La Croix International reports that Catholics are demanding a reform of the clericalist priesthood. Read about a Catholic scholar who speaks openly and honestly about tensions between clergy and the laity.
La Croix International also takes up a topic sometimes left unspoken: Why Celibacy? The conclusion is that the next assembly of the Synod of Bishops must take up the issue of mandatory priestly celibacy.
A member of the AUSCP, Father Ray Cole, laments the seeming lack of preparation for the current reality, the rigors of ministry in multiple parishes. Ray has written to the personnel director in his diocese (Metuchen) about a particular loss, and has allowed us to share his letter.
The National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM) is deeply concerned about parish ministry. Today you have a unique opportunity to voice your suggestions on a draft of a new NALM position paper: The Church as a Field Hospital: Caring for our Own: The Catholic Church and Lay Ecclesial Ministers in the United States. Read it here from NALM.
And, of other matters:
If you missed it, yesterday (March 8) was International Women’s Day.
Good thing you have the whole month to catch up. NCR reminds all of us that International Women’s Day isn’t just about serving women — it’s about women serving.
Wisdom is not limited to the typical sources of news and commentary. Here’s an example from Mother Jones: Bannon, Milo, and Other Right-Wing Activists Are Hellbent on Transforming the Catholic Church
Here’s another invitation for today, from JustFaith: Join us on Wednesday, March 9th at 3:30 PM ET for meditation, conversation, and action at our first Social Activist Roundtable! Together we’ll celebrate the earth beneath our feet. We’ll then consider two action opportunities for just and sustainable food: a daily Lenten spiritual practice and an advocacy opportunity. Facilitated by Rev. Kristin Dollar, the Director of Programs at JustFaith Ministries. A United Methodist pastor from South Carolina, Kristin has a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and a bachelor’s degree in English from Furman University.