Dawn Morais describes meeting Fr Tony:
Perhaps this is what church is meant to be: people drawn together, not by the obligations of Sunday attendance but by the call of the Gospels to build a better world. That is what it felt like as we listened to Fr. Tony Flannery in the vibrant art and aspiration-filled space of Viva Bookstore in San Antonio , Texas, the evening of Wednesday Nov 12, 2014.
So we embarked on a family excursion, flying from Honolulu, HI to Austin, TX to first join our daughter in Texas and then make the trip to San Antonio together. We were well-primed, having read about Fr. Flannery, “one of the best-known and most-valued priests in Ireland, a man regarded with respect and affection by so many Catholics.” We had also heard from another family member who spoke enthusiastically about attending the talk by this populist priest in Washington D.C.
We were richly rewarded for our trek. We found ourselves in a room full of people who all seemed to want to help Pope Francis shake the cobwebs out of the rafters.
There is much wisdom which comes from our friends in Latin America. 'Rebel Girl' in Iglesia Descalza publishes and translates many interesting articles. We recommend a regular visit or signing up for e-mail notification when another article is posted.
by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
November 16, 2014
Despite its seeming innocence, the parable of the talents carries an explosive charge. Surprisingly, the "third servant" is condemned without having done anything wrong. His only error was "doing nothing" -- not risking his talent, not making it bear fruit, keeping it intact in a safe place.
Jesus' message is clear. No to conservatism, yes to creativity. No to a sterile life, yes to the active response to God. No to obsession about security, yes to risky efforts to change the world. No to faith buried under conformity, yes to committed work to make way for the Kingdom of God.
The great sin of Jesus' followers could always be not daring to follow him creatively. It's important to observe the language that's been used among Christians over the centuries to see where we've often focused our attention: preserving the deposit of faith, preserving the tradition, preserving good customs, preserving grace, preserving vocations,...
This temptation to conservatism is stronger during times of religious crisis. It's easy then to invoke the need to control orthodoxy, reinforce discipline and rules, ensure membership in the Church,...All might be explicable, but isn't it often a way of distorting the gospel and freezing the creativity of the Holy Spirit?
For religious leaders and those responsible for Christian communities, it might be more comfortable to monotonously "repeat" the inherited ways of the past, ignoring the questions, contradictions, and approaches of modern people, but what use is all that if we aren't able to shed light and hope on the problems and suffering that trouble the men and women of our time?
The attitudes we should nurture today in the Church are not "prudence", "fidelity to the past", "resignation",...Instead, they have other names: "creative searching", "boldness", "ability to risk", "listening to the Spirit" that makes all things new.
The worst may be that, just as happened to the third servant in the parable, we believe we are responding faithfully to God with our conservative actions when we're disappointing His expectations. The primary task of the Church today can not be preserving the past, but learning to communicate the Good News of Jesus in a society racked by unprecedented sociocultural change.
The Bishops of England and Wales met at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, for their autumn plenary meeting from 10-13 November 2014.
It was fitting that the host diocese - the Diocese of Leeds - welcomed a new Bishop shortly after the conclusion of the meeting on Thursday 13 November with the Episcopal Ordination of the Rt Rev Marcus Stock in St Anne's Cathedral.
More fitting still that Bishop Stock had just completed five years as General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
The bishops discussed many subjects and issued resolutions on:
- Family Synod 2014
- General Election 2015
- Day for Life - Change of date
- Year of Consecrated Life
- Religious Education - GCSEs
"Acceptance, temperance, patience, meekness, trustworthiness, goodness of heart: this is “the alphabet, the basic grammar, of every ministry” in the Church. But — Pope Francis recalled at the General Audience on Wednesday, 12 November in St Peter’s Square — there is “basic conduct” which must not be forgotten: the “awareness that everything is a gift, everything is grace, also helps a Pastor not to fall into the temptation of placing himself at the centre of attention and trusting only in himself”. Ministers of the Church must humbly “listen to the people”. And he relaunched his international appeal against the “absurd violence” being inflicted on Christians. The following is a translation of the Holy Father’s address, which he delivered in Italian."