Bp. Matano (D. Rochester) ends decades illicit practice of “lay preaching”

For your Brick by Brick file.

From the Democrat and Chronicle:

Catholic diocese upends custom on homilies

For the better part of 40 years in churches across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, clergy ceded the floor to laypeople for the delivery of the homily — the sermon that follows the reading of the Gospel at Mass.

The practice, which dated to the mid-1970s and was simultaneously derided by the faithful for running afoul of church law and praised for its inclusiveness, has come to an end.

In an extensive interview, Bishop Salvatore Matano said he has been confronting the issue on a case-by-case basis since his installation in January and is now drafting guidelines to clarify that homilies are reserved for ordained priests and deacons, as prescribed by canon law.

“It is not a policy shift as regards to the universal law of the church,” Matano said. “I am trying to help the faithful understand what is the universal law of the church and how important it is that in the celebration of Mass, we do what the church asks of us.”

The reversal is perhaps the starkest example yet of the contrasting stewardship of Matano with his predecessor, Bishop Matthew Clark, under whom the diocese earned a reputation as among the most liberal in the country.

Although laypeople were giving the homily before Clark’s time as bishop, it was during his tenure from 1979 to 2012 that such preaching blossomed into a regular occurrence in multiple churches.

Matano called the ubiquity of the practice “a bit perplexing” and attributed it to a misinterpretation of canon law.

“In the life of the church today, there are many interpretations that people might give to a particular ruling with no malintent present, but that do need clarification,” Matano said.

Many in the church have welcomed the shift as a long-awaited return to doctrine. Indeed, Matano said he began addressing the matter in response to complaints from parishioners.

But it also has been received with disappointment, particularly among women, who made up the majority of lay homilists and viewed the practice as a way to play a more active role in their faith.

[…]

Read the rest there.

This is excellent. Fr. Z Kudos to Bp. Matano.

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42 Responses to Bp. Matano (D. Rochester) ends decades illicit practice of “lay preaching”

  1. excalibur says:

    How the faithful have suffered in that diocese, as well as in another diocese in Outer Limits New York. How many were lead astray as well, only God knows.

    Deo Gratias!

    I hope the faithful stand strong behind Bp. Matano and give him many thanks, all their support, and many prayers of gratitude, and of course prayers for the Bishop’s good health until mandatory retirement age.

  2. celpar says:

    ‘received with disappointment, particularly among women’. Who can no longer play priest.
    I haven’t come across this practice in any formal sense in the UK, but my parish priest rarely preaches and often hands over the homily period to someone appealing for some charity or other. On one occasion we were addressed by a nun,ostensibly to explain why the sisters in the parish were leaving, which turned into something very like a homily.
    Good on bishop Montano for acting firmly and ignoring any ‘hurt’ the wimmin are feeling.

  3. But it also has been received with disappointment, particularly among women, who made up the majority of lay homilists and viewed the practice as a way to play a more active role in their faith.

    … because, you know, before there was lay preaching, these women had no way to play a more active role in their faith.

    They were simply kept at home and tied up in the cellar with sacking over their heads.

    Thankfully the Second Vatican Council came and released them by ordering women to stop covering their heads in church. Or in the cellar. Or anywhere.

  4. Tradster says:

    “In the life of the church today, there are many interpretations that people might give to a particular ruling with no malintent present, but that do need clarification,” Matano said.

    That statement goes directly to the heart of the problems with “the Spirit” of VII and the Council itself. The deliberate ambiguities in everything which permits liberals free rein to make their own rules.

  5. Athelstan says:

    …his predecessor, Bishop Matthew Clark, under whom the diocese earned a reputation as among the most liberal in the country.

    Another one for the Understatement Files.

    …among women, who made up the majority of lay homilists

    Of course they did.

    Thanks to Bishop Matano for beginning the Matthew Clark cleanup. He has his work cut out for him.

  6. gracie says:

    Thank God for shepherds such as Bishop Matano. Please, Lord, send us more of the same.

  7. Hughie says:

    There is a fundamental problem here. The author of the article you re-print from the “Democrat and Chronicle” seems ignorant of the fact that both in substance and in law “preaching a sermon” and “delivering a homily” are not one and the same thing. David Andreatta, for it was he, opened his article by stating: “For the better part of 40 years in churches across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, clergy ceded the floor to laypeople for the delivery of the homily — the sermon that follows the reading of the Gospel at Mass.” Whilst under certain circumstances that might be true, under other circumstances it might not. It all depends on the theme and contents of the sermon. It might be a homily, but then again it might not.

    On December 11, 1998, my late friend, Fr Clarence Gallagher SJ (Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome, 1990-95, and who prior to that had been Dean of the Faculty of Law; died May 5, 2013) tackled this very topic of lay persons preaching at Mass in a Letter to the Editor of the Catholic Herald (UK). In the previous week they had run a story under the headline “Nun defies canon law to preach”. Fr Clarence pointed out: “The impression this gives to the reader, and presumably is meant to give, is that canon law categorically forbids religious sisters, and lay people generally, to preach in church. As every educated Catholic knows, this is not the case.”

    He then went on to explain: “On the contrary, canon 766 explicitly allows the laity to preach: ‘Lay persons can be admitted to preach in a church or oratory if it is necessary in certain circumstances or if it is useful in particular cases according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops and with due regard for canon 767 §1.’”

    He then emphasised that it is “the parish priest or the rector of the church who admits lay persons to preach in his church when he judges it necessary or pastorally useful. In such cases, moreover, the law requires no particular faculties on the part of the rector of the church.”

    However, he then made it clear that there is something restricted to the priest or deacon by canon 767. And that is the sermon if it be a “homily”. So what IS a “homily”? Fr Clarence explained: “The homily may be described as an exegetical commentary on the liturgical readings of the Mass. It has been defined quite clearly in an authoritative Instruction issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites: ‘By a homily derived from the sacred text is understood an explanation either of some aspect of the readings from the Holy Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or the Proper of the Mass of the Day, taking into account the mystery which is being celebrated and the particular needs of the hearers.’”

    The conclusion, then, is obvious. “(T)he legislator, when promulgating the Code, assumed that there will be in the Church, and perfectly legitimately, a variety of ‘forms of preaching’, of which the homily is only one, albeit the pre-eminent one.”

    I trust this clarifies matters.

    If I might add a postscript, Fr Clarence was both a friend and a distant relation. When he died last May, I was asked to write an obituary for The (Glasgow) Herald. I was surprised to learn that Fr Clarence had in fact been born in Detroit, Michigan, on Sunday, November 17, 1929. Three years later, the family returned to Scotland. (His older brother, John, was also born in Detroit.

  8. Juergensen says:

    Hard to believe that after all those years of JPII and B16, something like this could still be going on. Did no one complain to Rome? Or, was the complaint squelched in the Vatican bureaucracy? Makes me wonder how much control or even knowledge our Popes really have of these abominations in dioceses around the world.

  9. La Sandia says:

    Slowly but surely, things are turning around in the DoR. The diocese ordained two new priests this year (a pitifully small number, I know), and one of them chose to celebrate his first Mass of Thanksgiving in the Extraordinary Form. And I know of several seminarians that are interested in saying the Traditional Mass. At this point, it’s definitely not enough to make up for the number of retiring priests and the dearth of vocations over the past 40 years, but then Jesus did have some interesting things to say about those diminutive mustard seeds…

  10. Liz says:

    God bless His Excellency! We will be praying for him in our rosary today.

  11. Lepidus says:

    Great news!!! Just one strange thing. “he has been confronting the issue on a case-by-case basis since his installation in January and is now drafting guidelines to clarify that homilies are reserved for ordained priests and deacons…” How about a response in January like: “They’re doing what?! Tell them to knock that xxxx off right this second!”

  12. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “Can. 766 Lay persons can be permitted to preach in a church or oratory, if necessity requires it in certain circumstances or it seems advantageous in particular cases, according to the prescripts of the conference of bishops and without prejudice to ? can. 767, §1.

    Can. 767 §1. Among the forms of preaching, the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon, is preeminent; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian life are to be explained from the sacred text during the course of the liturgical year.

    §2. A homily must be given at all Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation which are celebrated with a congregation, and it cannot be omitted except for a grave cause.”
    From http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P2J.HTM.

    I am no canon lawyer, but it seems that canons 766 and 767 are defining the difference between having lay persons preach within the physical structure of a church or oratory and making the distinction between this preaching activity on the part of lay persons and what a priest does DURING MASS in the same structure because the homiletic preaching that occurs during Mass is “part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon.” It also states that “a homily must be given at all Masses on Sundays…and cannot be omitted except for grave cause.”

    I am not of the impression by the canon law text nor of the personal opinion that letting Sister Suzypants “preach” within the structure of the Church building on Sunday DURING MASS by omitting the homily, which is a required liturgical act by the priest or deacon, would be considered a sufficiently grave cause for said omission. This is the distinction that needs be made.

    If Sister Suzypants’s feelings are really hurt by this, we can always await patiently Romanum coetibus. Given the average age of the Nuns on the Bus, I’m sure there are spots opening for her there too.

  13. JustaSinner says:

    Next week do we talk about the poor state of Homilys’ given by priests? S

  14. acardnal says:

    Hughie, your comment is interesting but it doesn’t pertain to the specific abuse that was occurring in the D. of Rochester.

    Can. 767 §1. Among the forms of preaching, the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon, is preeminent; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian life are to be explained from the sacred text during the course of the liturgical year.

    Canon 767.§2. A homily must be given at all Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation which are celebrated with a congregation, and it cannot be omitted except for a grave cause.

    Reportedly what was happening in the D. of Rochester at Masses on Sundays and holy days was that homilies were being given by those who were not priests or deacons. That is the abuse that Bp Matano is addressing.

  15. vox borealis says:

    …and is now drafting guidelines to clarify that homilies are reserved for ordained priests and deacons, as prescribed by canon law.

    This sentence both makes me laugh and shake my head. After 40 years we need bishops to draft “guidelines” to explain perfectly clear laws that already exist and are easily accessible. I know Bishop Matano is being diplomatic, and of course I am not blaming *him*, but such is the state of the Church.

  16. Del says:

    I need to back up five steps and take a deep breath…. an America bishop has been allowing lay persons to preach sermons as a widespread abuse pervading his whole diocese? In the 21st century?

    I thought the liturgical reform had purged such 1970’s quackiness, along with the sexual abuse scandal. Both were the result of weak bishops and willfully “looking the other way.”

    In my diocese, the only parish indulging in lay preachers was the university Newman Center…. which had a lot of other liturgical experiments. When a new bishop installed some solid priests in the parish, the liturgy was quickly restored to orthodoxy. Even better, there was a spiritual renewal among the Catholic student body, huge growth in participation, and now we enjoy a steady stream of vocations, FOCUS missionaries, and marriages from the Newman center graduates.

  17. LarryW2LJ says:

    vox,

    Unfortunately, this is a reality that extends itself to the Church.

    It would appear that here in the US, we have enough immigration laws already on the books, if they would only be enforced. We have enough anti-drug laws on the books, if they would only be enforced. We have enough gun control laws on the books, if they would only be enforced.

    The problem arises when those who are put in a position to enforce the laws that already exist don’t do their job. Admittedly, some don’t do it because they are too overwhelmed by other duties, but there are also those who don’t enforce the laws because they don’t want to.

  18. Elizabeth D says:

    Hughie, “Preaching by the lay faithful may not take place within the Celebration of the Eucharist at the moment reserved for the homily.” this is from an Instruction that came into effect in 2002. Preaching at that moment by non ordained persons is not allowed in any way, shape, or form. And it should be pointed out that even a cleric needs faculties to preach the homily. And actually, people without faculties, even though they may be ordained, cannot preach the homily during Mass–for instance you can’t invite a SSPX priest or Greek Orthodox priest or laicized priest to give a homily.

    There is much more about this issue in a chapter in a book I wrote on the Sinsinawa Dominicans, on sisters giving homilies at Mass. This continues, by the way, and can be viewed on video at this link (click “ON DEMAND” on the right), for instance as recently as Sunday 7/13 when the homilist, permitted by a diocesan priest named Father Steve LaCanne, pastor of St Leonard of Port Maurice parish in South Minneapolis. The homilist is Sister Maureen McDonnell, part of the staff of Wisdom’s Well Interfaith Spirituality Center, and formally disallowed as a speaker at Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Madison.

  19. JohnnyZoom says:

    Wow, just wow.

    Just to get a sense of the cesspool the poor bishop has inherited, the apostolic administrator previous to him who helped the transition from the previous bishop actually had to decree the end of the practice of general absolution (in lieu of face to face) during reconciliation services. This happened after only a couple of weeks into his temporary position.

    Interesting piece in the local paper. It is clear where the writer’s sympathies lie. The comments, while self selected, do suggest a couple of movements: orthodox faithful Catholics coming out of their caves, and the poor throngs of other misled Catholics reacting with naive derision, bitterness, and self-absorption.

    Pray for Bishop Matano. And pray for ALL of his sheep, the Evil One will flail around quite violently in the near term there, and no one will be immune.

  20. cpttom says:

    This is all good news. Living in the Diocese of Rochester, I can only thank the Bishop for ending this ridiculous practice.

    Like most of the “innovations” of the last 50 years, it was rooted in the spirit of disobedience and mediocrity. The “homilies” given by these lay preachers were usually of questionable orthodoxy if not anti-magisterium, lacked rationality, and poorly given.

    As our bishop said in a homily last weekend…”it is time for the Church to admit that in the last 70 years, mistakes have been made.” Perhaps this was foreshadowing this announcement and others to come. He is a good and holy Bishop, and he has much work to do! May St John Fisher (Patron saint of our Diocese) watch over him!

  21. wised says:

    In too many parishes, the abuse has been going on for so long that the younger members of the parish know no other way. When we joined our former parish, the congregation said the Doxology with the celebrant. Homilies were entertaining rather than meaningful and respectful behavior was missing. The 75 year old pastor had been there 25 years.We had been members for about 3 years. After a new pastor was appointed, I approached him concerning the inability to pray before and after mass due to the conversations in the pews. We began a reeducation of this parish. One older parishoner angrily declared that if people wanted to pray then they could pray at home.

    Most welcomed the silence. What damage had been done to those who had been educated for 25 years that heterodox practices were the norm. Is it any wonder that Catholics wander after these misguided practices inflicted on unknowing parishoners.

  22. Unwilling says:

    Homily must be provided (with grave exception)
    Homily reserved to ordained man (no exception)

    Other preaching normally by ordained (with prudential exception)
    Laymen of either sex may preach if licitly invited

    The nature of the other preaching must not compromise the primacy of the homily
    The normal time of other preaching is immediately after the homily
    If the other preaching would compromise that primacy, the time must be moved/omitted

  23. JBS says:

    Justasinner,

    If you’re looking for entertainment, which the homily is not meant to be, then I’m afraid you’ll continue to be disappointed.

  24. cpttom says:

    @wised

    We have almost lost a whole generation of Catholics in the Rochester Diocese due to the last 40 years. Let us who remain work to restore the orchard to full bloom. God Bless!

  25. Scott W. says:

    The DOR is also famous for installing female lay administrators. Lay administration is licit, but when you couple it with females holding forth from the pulpit in a manner that blurs the distinction between homily and addressing the faithful (is creating an illusion of authority), add in Fr. Longenecker’s testimony when he was told point-blank by English diocesan officials that they wanted priest shortages precisely so that they could install female administrators, and the sum is clearly a sleazy and calculating ploy to do an end run around male-only priesthood.

  26. LarryW2LJ says:

    “It really enriched me, and I have to say I’m struggling with it,” said Diane Porcelli of Gates, who did not preach but is active at St. Mary’s Church in downtown Rochester. “It’s challenging my faith and I’m struggling with the exclusion.”

    It’s comments like these that I do not understand. Exclusion? Really? Challenging your faith? Really?

    Most parishes have so many ministries that are undermanned and are literally begging for volunteers to help spread the Gospel in an active, everyday life kind of way. In our parish, there is so much that needs to be done by laypeople that I am struggling with becoming over-involved. As much as I want to serve to serve, my family (which God has blessed and entrusted me with) must still come first, and I always need to be on guard that I don’t overextend and begin to neglect them in any way.

    And you feel excluded because you can’t speak from the pulpit? Seems a little narcissistic to me. And maybe a bit of a power trip.

  27. Priam1184 says:

    I have never seen a lay person get up and preach an entire homily by themselves but I have seen numerous times where a priest will say a couple of words and then cede the floor to some layperson from the parish council or some group whose cause he wants to advocate. I have also seen the homily replaced by skits put on by lay people (fairly often our Lord was played by a woman or young girl) concerning whatever the Gospel was that day.

    And yeah of course the whole idea behind the Rochester thing was to get women up there preaching homilies so the whole liberal elite of the parish and diocese could fantasize about them being priests

  28. Vecchio di Londra says:

    As a next step, could we hope for more preaching (from the celebrant, naturally) on the liturgical texts of Holy Mass? Rather than yet another personal anecdote about a nephew who is invariably called ‘Jim’ and who, like Peter Pan, never seems to grow any older with the passing years.

  29. cpttom says:

    Judging by the current crop of Seminarians, who’ve I’ve heard two preach, it seems like that is being addressed at the seminary. Also, considering we now have an orthodox Bishop in Bishop Matano, I think priests who may be orthodox will now have more courage to speak such, as they will no longer be in danger of being banished to a hospital or some other out of the way post in the hinterlands of the diocese.

    Bishop Matano sets a good example through his homilies which are orthodox, relate to the Gospel, relate to life today and bind back to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. If priests follow his example we should see some better homilies, but it isn’t going to change overnight.

  30. Rachel K says:

    Unwilling: “Laymen of either sex may preach if licitly invited”
    Um, I’m not usually one for inclusive/exclusive language, but I really wouldn’t want to meet “Laymen of either sex” ! Or be preached to by them!
    Surely we are into an entirely different problem here?!

    On a serious note, “I am trying to help the faithful understand what is the universal law of the church and how important it is that in the celebration of Mass, we do what the church asks of us.”
    That just about sums it all up, doesn’t it? Simple really.
    Also, “In the life of the church today, there are many interpretations that people might give to a particular ruling with no malintent present, but that do need clarification,” Matano said.
    I would have thought the only requirement for understanding clearly what the Church says in her laws and rulings would be the capacity to read and understand simple English. Which part of “reserved to a priest or deacon” do they not understand?

    Philippa Martyr, I love your aside: “They were simply kept at home and tied up in the cellar with sacking over their heads.”
    That really made me laugh!

  31. gracie says:

    Meanwhile, most parishes struggle to find enough volunteers to teach their CCD classes. And Youth Ministry? – forget about it. There’s hardly anybody who is willing to take on teenagers.

  32. Uxixu says:

    Redemptionis Sacramentum should have put this abuse to rest ten years ago:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_redemptionis-sacramentum_en.html#_ftnref201

    [64.] The homily, which is given in the course of the celebration of Holy Mass and is a part of the Liturgy itself,[142] “should ordinarily be given by the Priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating Priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to a Deacon, but [b]never to a layperson.[143] [/b] In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a Priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate”.[144]

    [65.] It should be borne in mind that any previous norm that may have admitted non-ordained faithful to give the homily during the eucharistic celebration is to be considered abrogated by the norm of canon 767 §1.[145] This practice is reprobated, so that it cannot be permitted to attain the force of custom.

    [66.] The prohibition of the admission of laypersons to preach within the Mass applies also to seminarians, students of theological disciplines, and those who have assumed the function of those known as “pastoral assistants”; nor is there to be any exception for any other kind of layperson, or group, or community, or association.[146]

  33. av8er says:

    I went to RIT in the early 90’s and the campus parish was so felt banner filled, it was like getting hit in the face with a cream puff. As an already nominally Catholic man, it turned me right off. I did go to other parishes while in school there and it wasn’t much better. Thank God that things appear to be tacking to the correct side.

  34. keithp says:

    I’m sorry to say that at a former parish, nuns and the un-ordained fairly often gave the homily. When I asked the Pastor how this could be happening, he told me that these weren’t homilies, but “reflections” only. Of course, they occurred exactly where the homily occurred in the order of the Mass. I contacted the Bishop twice but never received a reply. This is not in Rochester, btw. This was occurring a couple years ago.

    Good on the Bishop. He teaching is much appreciated. Maybe I should send this link to my own Bishop?

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  36. JustaSinner says:

    JBS…that’s my point, I’m NOT looking for entertainment, but a solid homily, filled with inspiration and faith. Instead I get jokes about toilet paper, bad cooking, and other sundry inanities.

  37. Hennepin says:

    @Juergensen Did no one complain to Rome?
    Yes, Went through the proper channels. Went to pastor got the usual response, The Bishop says we can. So I wrote the Bishop, I got the letter he used to promote lay preaching. So I sent it to Card. Arinze. I do not know if this did anything,.

    Also a lay preacher came and the church was empty, She and the Pastor got the message.
    She quit for some reason and had no scheduled lay preacher.

  38. Nerinab says:

    As a DOR resident, let me share some context. I moved here in 2000 and the practice of lay preaching was already a long-established one in my local church. It occurred once every month and was typically given by a non-cloistered Sister of Mercy. Honestly, she preached a decent homily but I knew it was not allowed and began to ask questions about it. Usually the priest resorted to saying “well, it began in our church a long time ago and it is approved by the Bishop.” That seemed to be the end of the discussion. Still, it bothered me.

    The more involved I became at church, the more I met people who were likewise bothered by the abuse. As a group we addressed the concern with our priest and through the parish council. Each time we were told “the Bishop has given permission.” Ultimately we wrote the Bishop directly. We had over 30 signatories on the letter to which he responded with what is known as his pro-forma response letter. Citing things like Redemptionis Sacramentum were meaningless and we were assured that the practice was in accord with canon law.

    A few years passed when the diocese made an announcement “changing” the practice. In reality, it was strictly a change in wording – nothing else. In our bulletins, the Sister of Mercy was listed as “authorized lay preacher” (a title unique to Rochester) and in the pre-Mass announcements her preaching was described as “also participating in the ministry of preaching.” Because I was acquainted with other people throughout the diocese who had also addressed this issue on the local and Vatican level, I knew our efforts were in vain while Bishop Clark remained at the chancery. He was a strong, strong advocate of lay ministry in general, and female lay ministry in particular.

    Praise God for the arrival of Bishop Matano. There is so much that needs reform in our diocese and he seems to be dealing with issues in a deliberate and patient way. Someone above said, “why didn’t he just stop it immediately?” I think he has made his changes in as pastoral a way as possible given the challenges he faces. Rumor has it that guidelines are forthcoming regarding the reception and celebration of Sacraments many of which I think will be difficult for the faithful to accept – not because the guidelines are unreasonable, but because so many people are ignorant of the teachings of the faith and have been starved of authentic catechesis under Bishop Clark’s reign.

    If you need evidence of the level of ignorance, one only need read the comments on the Democrat and Chronicle article. So many people are in need of humility, obedience and charity (myself included).

  39. BLB Oregon says:

    Gracie said: “Meanwhile, most parishes struggle to find enough volunteers to teach their CCD classes. And Youth Ministry? – forget about it. There’s hardly anybody who is willing to take on teenagers.”

    Exactly. There are opportunities for the laity to preach the Gospel that are going begging because (let us be blunt) the opportunity to preach at Mass is coveted while at the same time opportunities proper to all the faithful are not seen as important enough.

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  41. Reconverted Idiot says:

    I recall being catechized within an orthodox parish, at age 11, by a woman who was a self-confessed – and evidently chaste – ‘lesbian’. Of course I didn’t know this at the time, but it was made known to me some years later. She was (is?) physical attracted to people of her own gender, but she had put this aside (with the help of who knows what grace) and through her own spiritual growth had become qualified to teach youngsters preparing for their first communion (my family were late to the game, hence my age at the time).
    I still think of her, her example, her willingness to put her own ‘drives’ to the side and seek God’s grace in so doing, and the result that real seeds were sown in the lives of young people such as I. This was lay ministry at its most authentic, licit, best. The idea that there is no ministry for women if they aren’t permitted to speak at homily time is a joke: a lie easily falsified by the experiences of many I could point to, myself included.

  42. robtbrown says:

    In 1980 the diocese of Rochester had about 400 diocesan priests. After 30 years of the pastoral genius of Matthew Clark there were fewer than 200

    With friends like Bishop Clark, Christ and His church do not need enemies