Saturday, May 17, 2008

25 years of Catholic lay preaching

Ginny Untiedt preaches for the last time at St. Joseph in New Hope May 4. In January, Archbishop Harry Flynn asked parishes with lay preachers to end the practice by his retirement, which was May 2.
Father Terry Rassmussen, pastor of St. Joseph in New Hope, finished reading, closed the Book of the Gospels, and stepped away from the ambo. From the congregation, Ginny Untiedt stepped forward.

Clad in a white robe, Untiedt bowed as Father Rassmussen laid his hands on her head and blessed her. She looked up, walked to the ambo and began preaching for the last time.

As many as 29 parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have used lay preachers at Mass during the past 25 years. In January, however, Archbishop Harry Flynn instructed pastors to discontinue the practice. He gave his retirement date - May 2 - as the time by which parishes should develop "a pastoral plan" to end lay preaching at Mass.

... Archbishop Flynn told The Catholic Spirit he was aware of a few parishes practicing lay preaching and that local leaders in the lay preaching movement were aware of his disapproval. He wrote the January letter only after becoming aware that the number of parishes with lay preachers was larger than he realized, he said. (emphasis added)
Source: Maria Wiering, "Directive from Archbishop Flynn ends lay preaching at Mass" (The Catholic Spirit, May 7, 2008).

What was that title, again, by Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J.? Oh, yes: A Flock of Shepherds: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (Sheed & Ward, 1992).

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