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    A View from the Pew
    Sunday
    Oct212012

    Endings and Beginnings

    Endings and Beginnings

    After a year of creating my first blog and writing weekly, today marks the end of A View from the Pew. From this time forward, I’ll blog on the new blog page Aggiornamento from The Roncalli Center at www.roncallicenter.org.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed a year of visiting with you in your parishes and schools, listening and addressing your inquiries about pastoral practices, connecting the dots to help people find work, musing with you about issues like collaborative ministry and work relationships. I’ve attempted in a small way to address your pastoral music concerns and liturgical questions. For those faithful readers who may not be directly involved in pastoral ministry but enjoy this blog, fear not. I’m still here, just on a different website.

     Throughout this year of blogging, I’ve shared pieces of my own journey. You became an intimate part of my story. You journeyed with me as I cared for a sick aunt and subsequently buried her and then cleaned out her home. You prayed for me when I placed my father in a long term nursing home after caring for him at home for six years. You supported me when I helped to assist our diocesan Office of Worship with the implementation of the new Roman Missal. You applauded my efforts to create The Roncalli Center, which celebrates and promotes the liturgical arts in the spirit of Vatican II. You encouraged me as I produced a fourth collection of original music (Tell Them About Me). You read me as I blogged and wrote for several national publications (Ministry and Liturgy Magazine, Celebration Magazine). You literally prayed me through a transitional time of life when I needed to reconstruct my life in body, mind and spirit. New life emerged. I think the Christian calls that resurrection.

    To that end, I begin this new work of The Roncalli Center with the full understanding that the Spirit of God (and a little nudge from Pope John XXIII) prompted me to dream it and creatively shape it for the last twenty years. The future of the center depends on a community that is willing to do its work and share its gifts to shape the course of this center in programs, events and retreats, living room dialogues and concerts. Still a grassroots endeavor, I will seek a not-for-profit status for the center and go after grant funding when we’re up and running. People who give money want to see success before they contribute. That’s up to us. What will emerge as we chisel and carve what now hides within this center’s chunk of stone? What transpires in faith, prayer and theological reflection will inform how we live, who we profess to be: Christian disciples who live the Gospel. The myriad gifts of the Spirit unfold in powerful ways when unleashed and released. I’m not making this up; the early Christian church got it right.

    “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes. (1 Corinthians 12: 4-11)

    How do we begin?  We start by returning to what begin 50 years ago at the Second Vatican Council, which emphasized that the church is the people of God, the same way the early Christian church began. We gather. We remember who we are and who we believe in. We tell the story (scripture) and discover how that Word is active and alive within our own narratives. We celebrate and then sent to be living Word in Christian mission for the world. It’s really that simple.

    The church is about collaboration and collegiality. The church is about a confident encounter with the ‘joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties,’ the deep hunger of people searching for the living Gospel of mercy, justice and generosity. The church is about a respectful encounter with other faith traditions, a church that is open to truths revealed by God who discloses truth within every human heart. The church is about worship marked by the “full, conscious and active participation” of people in liturgical celebrations. These are turbulent times, political times, messy times. Sounds like a perfect time to begin, don’t you think?

    So ends A View from the Pew. Thank you for your readership, your comments, prayers and concern and for your friendship. I continue to count on you; you mean the world. And we’re in this together.  

    I will continue to post on the Aggiornamento blog site at www.roncallicenter.com next Sunday, same as always. Feel free to send comments about programs that you’d like see, speakers, events, retreats, Dream big and aim high. Stay in touch. Pray always. Participate. The church needs you. Christ needs you.  

    The Roncalli Center

    Living Room Dialogues

    October 23, 2012 at 7:00-8:30 pm

    Place: The Morency Gannon’s

    157 Stevenson Street

    New Bedford, MA 02745

    Please submit any questions with your RSVP to

    roncallicenter@gmail.com at www.roncallicenter.org 

    or call

    508-982-3200