Monday, March 03, 2008

LA Religious Education Congress 2008

CONGRESS 2008 THEME REFLECTION - "Lift Your Gaze ...See Anew!"

Cardinal Mahony 2008 Chat Online at RECongress

You can read these questions and answers...I'm not going to comment,but during this season of Lent, offer up my frustration and offer prayer. See below and the other posts to follow.

Laurie Allen: Why do some clerics in the church have a problem with the faithful practicing yoga? If the intention is to calm our minds and bodies - can we not see this as a way to better "ground" ourselves in God. Over the 25 years I have practiced it, I find my faith has only grown...

Cardinal Mahony: Yoga is a deep meditation process, and if we keep our focus on our living and merciful love, then yoga works for anyone. Meditation in any form always deepens our love with God.

Teri: Is there high hope for married priests? What is that status on having the option?

Cardinal Mahony: Teri: At this time, the Pope is not moving towards married priests for the Latin Catholic Church. Recall that the Eastern Catholic Church has had married priests for 2,000 years.

Andrew: Stores used to be closed on Sundays. Now for many Sunday has become part of the work week. And like many in this younger generation, my child don't see any special importance of Sunday and of going to church. How can I help "sell" church to my teen?

Cardinal Mahony: Andrew: You are so right--Sunday has been robbed of its importance and meaning, usually for commercial purposes. It really helps when your parish has a special group for teens--such as Life Teen. So many parishes have Youth Masses, and other events for Catholic youth. Encourage that path in your own parish.

Alexis: Is their anything against the Catholic church being more fun? I mean the priest talks and kids don't pay attention so couldn't we sing and dance, and make it more like gospel churches do, so kids will want to participate? I was just wondering if that was against our faith?

Cardinal Mahony: Alexis: Sounds good to me! Our parishes need to offer a variety of liturgies which appeal to different age groups and to different likes. Youth Masses with groups such as Life Teen are really helpful!

Sue: Why does the Catholic Church in the U.S. not walk with the Catholic Church in Rome? Are we not all one? What steps do you see as necessary for a more harmonious relationship to take place -- one that acknowledges the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and tries to follow closely with what id means to be a disciple of Christ. Is it materialism, a consumerist capitalistic society, a "I want what I want and I want it now" attitude? How can the individual Catholic align their footsteps with the master, so that one day we may come to that eternal banquet prepared for all?

Cardinal Mahony: Sue: I sure don't see the disconnect you reference. My experience is that the Catholic Church in the USA is very dynamic, but very faithful to the Holy Father and to the Universal Church. Having had the joy of visiting the Church in so many countries around the world, I am in awe at how vibrant the Church is here. Our involvement of lay people in the Church is a great grace, and our Popes have noted that often.

Hugh Menton: What do you consider the critical questions that a parish community should ask itself before proceeding with efforts to build a new church?

Cardinal Mahony: Hugh: Obviously, you need to "build the Catholic Community" before building the actual structure. A holy, vibrant Catholic Community will make a new Church come alive--but not the other way around.

Congress Attendee: Cardinal, Please give me your impression of the recent book in your name.

Cardinal Mahony: That book is wild fiction!! I have never read anything more bizarre in my life! Don't waste your money on it!!

And let us not overlook the "Sacred Space" where one could go to HIM in Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel or 'walk-n-pray' the labyrinth too:

'"Sacred Space," located on the third level of the convention center, will offer Eucharistic adoration in the chapel, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a labyrinth, meditative music and art. The next phase of the St. John Bible Project --- the first handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible commissioned since the development of the printing press --- will also be displayed at Sacred Space."

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