My archdiocese conducts a Pastoral Study Day twice a year for clergy and lay people. It’s a good opportunity to catch up with colleagues. Today, the new archbishop spoke at length in the afternoon session, expounding on his reflections on Vatican II.
Hence my absence from the blogosphere this morning–getting to Cedar Falls, Iowa in time to prepare music for morning prayer.
One memorable quote (I have it close):
Seminarians are like garlic or incense. In cooking or in liturgy you can never get enough.
He also affirmed his recent experience as a bishop in Wichita, and his “formation” in stewardship there. He affirmed what he calls the 4-H approach to liturgy: hospitality hymns, homily, and how-to. I took the last point to mean how-to live the Christian life in the world.
His talk was something of an inauguration address, I thought. He distanced himself from his “primarily-clergy” experiences in Rome and in the diocese of his ordination. He related a query from a priest friend back home about Wichita, female servers, and vocations. He affirmed there is no negative connection between priest vocations and a host of occasionally-cited factors: female servers, deacons, lay people, etc.. He said they have 59 seminarians in Wichita. He seemed confident about conciliar changes and the direction of the Church today. He came right out and said that he’s a different bishop today than he was when he began in Kansas four years ago. He hinted at the need to look at some aspects of what-we-do, but always moving forward and keeping Christ central.
I think we have a Pope Francis bishop. In the good sense of that term.