Built of Living Stones 202-204: Compensation and Professional Standards

Pay for good work, and don’t be dismayed over it:

§ 202 § Excellent designs can be brought to beautiful completion only by competent and trustworthy professionals. These professionals have a right to compensation that matches the expectations of the outstanding competence and expertise demanded of them. A major and continuing educational effort is required among believers in order to restore respect for competence and expertise in all the arts and to cultivate a desire for their best use in public worship. The Church needs in its service professional people with the appropriate qualifications. The community must be willing to budget and expend resources for appropriate professionals so that the criteria for good liturgical art and sound building practices can be met.

§ 203 § The architects, liturgical consultants, artists, contractors, and all others engaged in the project should be held to a high professional standard of care and to the observance of the social teaching of the Church. Because they are, in part, responsible for the stewardship of the resources of the parish, all who are engaged in the project must be worthy of the trust of the community.

The West, and perhaps pragmatic Americans in particular, have devalued the arts. Parish leaders, especially the pastor, is on the spot for assisting this build-up of trust.

§ 204 § Volunteers and donors of contributed services and in-kind gifts are valuable assets in any parish building project. However, these individuals and their contributions must be held to the same standard of skill, quality, and appropriateness that is required of services and objects procured through conventional methods. As a parish utilizes contributed services, it will be important to work with diocesan personnel to ensure that all legal and insurance requirements are met.

If parishioners and donors are up to the standard, all the better. Ifnot, there are alternatives, and it might require careful diplomacy to communicate.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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