Updated June 28th, 2017

Family and Laity

Most recent Lisa Hunks July Youth Retreat Please click here for more information

In Lansing Mi. People Advance the Cause of Christians Unity Click here and scroll down to pages 32-35

Previous Lisa Hunke item (see below for Lisa) concerns middle schoolers and their faith: click here for the video

Brother Pat McGee, OMI and I were able to attend, on Jan. 5,  the fantastic exhibit "Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation," which ran at the Minneapolis, MN Institute of Art from Oct. 15, 2016 -Jan. 16, 2017.  Not only were Luther's insights dependent on the invention by layman Johannes Gutenberg of the printing press, but at the end of the exhibit were a display of small hourglasses.  The docent told us with a smile that the sermons by the first reformers could be very long.  So a layperson was authorized to watch the hourglass and when the promised time was over, to declare the sermon by the clergy ended

Lisa Hunke Recommendation (this lay youth minister's reflection for Advent applies to any season of the year). Thank you, Lisa, for forwarding it.



Spiritual Reading for Family-Laity.

There are two classics about the Family and Laity written by clergy, and one written by an English layman.  St. Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life is required reading by any lay person wanting to progress in the spiritual life.  Fr. Eugene Boylan (1904-64)'s This Tremendous Lover has been issued in several editions; the original hardcover has an excellent reading list.

Donald Nicholl (1923-97), an Englishman who was a close friend of Mother Teresa, taught in the US for many years, and wrote Holiness in 1981, second edition 1987. Fr. Richard McBrien praised it highly.


Trail-breaking Vatican Document regarding the Importance of the Laity

In 2014, Pope Francis approved the text of the International Theological Commission "Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church." In many ways it is revolutionary.  But rather than breaking totally new ground, it recovers the importance of the laity in proposing what we believe.  No longer are church leaders to consider the laity as simply praying, obeying and paying. In the early church, and in different historical periods, the consent and leadership of the laity was critical in passing on the teachings of Jesus. 

The text is 53 pages, with about 3 more of footnotes. If you find it hard reading at the beginning, I recommend going to #'s 44-74, or 85.  One might begin with the conclusion: #127.  Click here. animated-arrow-image-0040

Laity and Oblate Spirituality, click here

What about the Single Vocation: Click here


1: Our thanks to Lisa Hunke for forwarding Jeff Cavins' article "A Road Map for New Evangelization": click here. The Pastoral Letter from Bishop Paul Loverde, which they highly recommend and include, means a great deal to Oblates of Mary.  Bishop Loverde spent a great deal of time as a youngster at Holy Angels Parish, Buffalo, NY, conducted by the Oblates.  And he invited me to celebrate a First Mass in the chapel of the North American College, Rome, Italy, with and my parents and himself, on Dec. 26,1964.

2: Lisa Hunke also recommends New Evangelization Ministries, click here.

During the unprecedented time of world peace and relative prosperity following the end of World War II, 1945, it has become evident and urgent that Mission (Evangelization), Ecumenism and Dialogue need to be rethought with the Family and Laity as both the main subjects and objects.  Pope Francis is pushing this, culminating in his analysis of the two synods on the Family, when he writes:  "The family lives its spirituality precisely by being at one and the same time a domestic church and a vital cell for transforming the world" (Amoris Laetitia, #324; see also 200, 201).  

One of our young Polish Oblate missiologists stated this during the Oblate Charism Convocation of August, 2015, when he wrote about "a field of mission in accompanying families, which are training sites for becoming gift, schools of deeper humanity" (click here for 3 pp. document).

Besides Lisa Hunke's items on Catechists and Faith Formation teachers (click here for the first), we will also present the accomplishments of catechists in Third World countries.  

There have been some significant developments in our understanding of "sensus fidei"--how does the understanding of the faithful laity affect the entire Church? With Pope Francis pushing hard against clericalism, this is especially important. More on this in future updates
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