As shepherd of the Catholic of Diocese of Fort Worth, my travels take me to every corner of our Local Church, around the United States, and sometimes as far away as Rome, Italy. Through the “Shepherd of Fort Worth” blog, I wish to share with you important information about our diocese, the wonderful spirit of our Catholic faith, the people I encounter, and the blessings of daily life.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Formation for Discipleship
Stained glass window from inside
Christ the King Church in Dallas
It is a good thing for all of us at times to reread the Documents of the Second Vatican Council. All too often they are quoted, but in fact not understood or read. This is especially true in the light of the fact that these documents will soon be 50 years old, and there have been many cultural and societal changes since those days, some good and others not good at all. One document entitled "Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity," which comments on formation, states (Chapter VI) that "Formation for the Apostolate means a certain human and well-rounded formation adapted to the natural abilities and circumstances for each lay person. Well-informed about the modern world, the lay person should be an active member of his own society and adjusted to its culture.... Above all, however, the lay person should learn to advance the mission of Christ and the Church by basing his life on belief in the divine mystery of creation and redemption, and by being sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the People of God and who would impel all men to love God the Father as well as the world and mankind in Him. This formation should be deemed the basis and condition for every successful apostolate."
The above words were certainly well reflected upon in North Texas this past weekend. On Saturday, I celebrated Mass for the local membership of Opus Dei, at Christ the King Church in Dallas. I especially thank Msgr. Don Zimmerman for his welcome and hospitality. The beautiful Church of Christ the King was full of young and old, men and women, and many families on the feast day of Saint Josemaria Escriva. In many ways, St. Josemaria was ahead of his time, as his vision of the universal call to holiness and engagement in the world by the laity in their respective areas of endeavor form the background of this Conciliar Decree. The pictures you see here were taken before the Mass.
The beautiful altar at Christ the King Church in Dallas
On Sunday evening, I prayed Evening Prayer at Holy Family Church in Fort Worth with many men and women (about 65) who received their certificates for completion of their two year course in Ministry in the Blessed John Paul II Institute. This bilingual gathering celebrated the studies of many men and women already engaged in apostolic work in their own parishes. They were present from many parts of our far reaching Diocese. A special thanks to Fr. Carmen Mele, OP, for his leadership and guidance in this important work of formation of the laity through the Institute.
About the Blessed John Paul II Institute, School of Lay Ministry:
The curriculum offers various types of courses related specifically to ministry. In both the first and second year there are general courses such as “Introduction to Ministry” and “Ethics in Ministry.” Basic Competency (first) Year participants are required to take a “Principles” course of six hours in one of four areas (catechetical, liturgical, pastoral, and social). Commissioning (second) Year participants take a “Methods” course of approximately twelve hours in a specific ministry of the area in which they have taken a “Principles” course. For more information, click here!
Posted by Bishop
Kevin W. Vann, JCD., DD