Tuesday, June 24

Two books that focus on the issues we've been discussing are:

Ministry or Apostolate? by Russell Shaw

and

Full-Time Christians: The Real Challenge from Vatican II by William Droel.

Oh yes. And then there are the Gospels. And the Acts of the Apostles. And the New Testament Epistles.

You may have heard about the recent death of a wide receiver for the University of Pittsburgh's football team, who fell to his death from a catwalk up high in a Catholic church in the wee hours of the morning.

Well, the sad plot thickens as the pastor of the church is suspended by the diocese and investigated by the authorities

Gaines, a University of Pittsburgh football player who had been living at the church with a teammate after their apartment was destroyed in a fire, died June 18 after falling through the rafters and hitting his head on the back of a pew.Authorities said they do not know what led Gaines into the upper reaches of St. Anne Church in Homestead at 2:30 a.m.Earlier that night, he drank alcohol at a cookout at the church, authorities said. His blood-alcohol level was 0.166 percent, or twice the legal limit for driving.

County Assistant Police Superintendent Jim Morton refused to say who supplied the alcohol. He would not comment on the Rev. Henry R. Krawczyk's role but said Krawczyk was the only person of legal drinking age at the cookout.Krawczyk was placed on administrative leave by the Pittsburgh Diocese, effective Monday. A telephone message left for a Henry Krawczyk in Pittsburgh was not returned Monday.The Rev. Ron Lengwin, diocese spokesman, said there have been two allegations concerning Krawczyk and alcohol in the past.



Michael's rosary walk.

When I started writing about these laity issues, I had a simple, even innocuous point: People who are involved in church activities, whether ordained or lay, are generally people who are...well..interested in church activities. They enjoy planning and executing church events and programs. They are nourished by hanging around like-minded people. It would be strange if they didn't, just as it would be strange if a doctor hated the practice of medicine.

There can be unintended consequences of this, however, outcomes that while unintended, should be fully expected and guarded against. The unintended consequence is that the churchy mindset can take over and dominate the tone of the parish or diocese: namely, that the natural end, and highest expression of Christian life is to be "involved" in church activities. Because that's what most of the people planning and setting the tone experience in their own lives, forgetting, in the process, that most people don't have the time or interest to engage in church activities at that level. They are too busy trying to follow Jesus in the midst of their families, their offices and their college classes.

It's simply a caveat offered to all of us. Most Catholics are living their lives with a sincere desire to follow Christ the best they know (which depends, of course, on what they've been taught "to follow Christ" means) in the midst of everydayness. One of the vital missions of the Church is to meet this desire,build on it, expand it, and nourish it, enabling these folks - all of us - to live out their faith more powerfully in the world, not because we want an "active" parish, but simply because the world needs Christ. Desperately. In every corner, not just the parish hall.

Another weird Adamec-related eruption, this one about the priest who founded the Flight 93 chapel in PA

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