PopeWatch: Extraordinary

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:



Addressing the crisis of dwindling lay vocations, Fr. Donald Spenser of St. Lawrence Catholic Church anointed the Catholic Church’s first ever extraordinary ministers of reconciliation on Saturday. The newly elevated parishioners were received into this ministry after a four-hour workshop on lay pastoral healing, and receiving a special necklace identifying them as extraordinary lay people.

“It’s great that everyone has a little job to do,” said Spenser. “I just don’t have time for confession anymore with my other duties in the parish, but now I can continue my youth outreach with the traditional Hip Hop Mass on Tuesday evenings.”

“The workshop was grueling, but I get so much out of it that I don’t mind making the sacrifice,” remarked local parishioner Carol Schwartz. “I really appreciate that Fr. Spenser understands our needs as parishioners and lets us partake in our vocation to share his sacramental duties. I believe that through this ministry, God will allow me to make a gift of myself to others. At the workshop the other fourteen extraordinary ministers and I learned about our role in administering God’s healing grace, our role as Christ’s representative on Earth, and our solemn duty to not talk about anything. It’s just like Fight Club.”

The recent innovation comes after the Archdiocese began requiring at least four hours of confession per week at each parish, many of which are struggling to keep up with the challenging requirement. Several parishes have cancelled youth masses, particularly popular among the retired members of the parish, to accommodate for more confession time.

At press time, St. Lawrence Catholic Church has reportedly been plagued with long confessional lines on the minister’s side, leading some to suggest that extraordinary ministers may be required to train more extraordinary ministers in the future.

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment but was told that Pope Francis was presiding over a Vatican conference on Hip Hop Masses.

And with that, PopeWatch will be on Thanksgiving hiatus until November 26.

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  1. When I was a kid, we went every Saturday or every other Saturday.

    Now, one priest, one hour each Saturday afternoon seems to cover it in our parish.

    Anecdotal: Our brand-new, fresh-out-of-seminary priest is heavily involved in hearing Confessions. Often, in his sermons he tells people to come and Confess.

    I am continually amazed at the limited numbers of people confessing on Saturday afternoons; while 99% of Mass attendees receive Holy Eucharist each Sunday and Holy Day.

    Years ago, I needed to go to Confession and was in line behind an elderly woman. I thought, “This should be quick.” A half hour later I was wondering, “What sin could a saintly old woman have that needs an hour to tell?”

    I need to go to Confession this afternoon.

  2. Fr. Heilman’s post from today is worth sharing. The laity and it’s need to get involved with this mess of Uncle Ted’s..(and his clones.);


    “If Catholics would rise up and be truly Catholic, the world would change overnight.” – Mother Angelica.

    “Watch this closely. This crisis needs the strongest lay voice possible.” -Bishop Strickland

    “The laity are the only ones who can keep the hierarchy accountable and get us out of the mess we bishops got ourselves into. My singular focus throughout the Baltimore meeting was to advocate and push for greater public involvement of the laity at all levels of the Church. Why can’t we have well qualified, nationally known and trusted lay experts named to the special task force announced by the president of the USCCB? We are too insular and closed in as a hierarchy, and so are some of our processes at the USCCB. The Second Vatican Council gave us not only the freedom but the obligation to utilize and engage the gifts and talents of the laity in the life and mission of the Church.” -Bishop McKnight

  3. Kind of makes you long for the old days when a bishop came from the clergy of the diocese, elected by the clergy and people of the dioceses, doesn’t it?

  4. Ernst Schreiber.

    While pondering the old ways that you brought up, I wonder if it could ever come back to those days?

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