In a speech that he gave in Indiana on the eve of a Fortnight for Freedom, Archbishop Chaput gave his perspective on Roman Catholicism in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He claimed that, for the second time in history, Philadelphia is “mission territory.”
I could not agree with him more.
An article from “Rev. Know-It-All” (the alter ego of Fr. Richard Simon, Pastor of St. Lambert Parish in Skokie, IL.) encapsulates the frustration that I have felt more and more as a priest/Assistant Pastor/Newman Chaplain/Pastor/Parochial Administrator/school teacher/School Minister/Rector over the past 17 years. “It ain’t pretty” but is does “resonate” with me and, I am sure, many other priests in Philadelphia.
Nevertheless, I also see significant signs of hope. Many of the associations and organizations in my “favorites” section were founded and are run by competent, prayerful, creative, happy, hopeful lay people. Most of these organizations did not even exist 10 years ago.
Ok, so we’re mission territory. So we have a lot to do. So what. If we can continue to gather men and women like the ones found in the organizations found in my favorites section to the task, we’ll do better than fine. We’ll do exceptionally well.