Theology: February 2011 Archives

Working in a great parish where it is difficult to get some of the simplest things done due to a labor shortage --that is, people giving their time for service-- and getting other ministerial things accomplished for the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, thinking about the ministry of the laity has given me pause to revisit some personal thinking. Baltimore's Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien wrote about lay ministry in the current edition of The Catholic Review where he acknowledges the great number of people who Christ and the Church in generous ways by living the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Archbishop puts his finger on a process, formation. Pay attention to what Pope Benedict has said about parish work.

Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien

One of the great joys I have experienced in my visits to parishes and schools in our Archdiocese over the past three-plus years has been the witness of so many dedicated lay Catholics who serve the Church in many and diverse ways. 

Much of the work of these lay ministers is visible to us. They share their gifts and talents as music ministers at Mass, making "a joyful noise to the Lord," and as lectors, ushers and Eucharistic ministers who, Sunday after Sunday, show great care for the liturgy. Catechists minister in our parishes, passing on the faith to Catholics of all ages - from converts to "cradle Catholics" - who are hungry for spiritual nourishment. And the youth ministers of our Archdiocese share their enthusiasm for being Catholic and the Gospel message of God's love with young people "on fire" for their faith.


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medieval astronomer.jpg
Cybertheology is not one of the sub-sections of systematic theology. At least not yet. But it is a promising idea that will likely have a positive influence in the lives of those who surf the web religiously and for those searching for God and who are not ready (willing?) to be personally involved in the Sunday celebration of the Mass or any other organized religious program that requires one to be physically present.

The originator of the Cybertheology project, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, one of the editors at La Civiltà Cattolica, started a blog to investigate the new, dynamic and complex influence of the Net and the challenages it poses to our relationships with others, language, thinking and the Divinity. I take Father Spadaro's interest and work in this subject on the impact of the digital world to be wholly consistent with what Pope Benedict talked about in his January 2011 letter on social communications where he said "new technologies must be placed at the service of the integral good of the individual  and of the whole of humanity. If used wisely, they can contribute to the satisfaction of the desire for meaning, truth and unity which remain the most profound aspirations of each human being." And, "This dynamic [the digital world] has contributed to a new appreciation of communication itself, which is seen first of all as dialogue, exchange, solidarity and creation of positive relations."
Terrence Tilley.jpgTerrence W. Tilley, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Theology at Fordham University, was formally installed as the first occupant of the Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Chair of Catholic Theology. The benefactors of the Dulles Chair are Vincent and Teresa Viola.

Typical in academic settings like this one the Chair delivers an address of his choosing. Tilley gave audience his opinion on Saint Ignatius of Loyola's famous Rule 13 in  Rules for Thinking with the Church as found in the Spiritual Exercises. His address: "Sentire cum Ecclesia: Thinking With and for the Church." Tilley's claim was based on his reading the of Rule 13 in light of Cardinal Dulles' 1974 and later republished in 2002 with a new introduction and an essay on Pope John Paul II's ecclesiology, Models of the Church. Models is Dulles' exposition of the 5 ways of knowing the Church.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Theology category from February 2011.

Theology: January 2011 is the previous archive.

Theology: April 2011 is the next archive.

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