AUSCP's 2014 Annual Assembly in St. Louis celebrated God's Revelation in Our Lives and Times! Follow events below from last to first.
On Wednesday Sr. Diane Bergant gave a lively and insightful presentation on how preaching best draws its message from the Scripture-based liturgical texts drawn. Later pastor and theologian Jim Bacik sketched vignettes of how four different preachers might approach the same texts. He accented the necessity of having a 'focal point,' namely the experiences and concerns of the people to whom one preaches. He urged the priests to avoid 'thematic' preaching detached from such focus on the hearers. Rather we need to 'co-relate' the message of the texts with the lives of our listeners, a la Pope Francis.
At the Banquet that evening Bacik received the Pope St. John XXIII Award as did also Emeritus Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco, who presided at the Mass preceding the Banquet together with Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis. Following the Banquet the evening closed with a festive sing-along Concert led by Michael Joncas, David Haas and Marty Haugen.
On Tuesday keynote speakers Don Senior and Michael Crosby addressed the Assembly on the Theology of the Word in Dei Verbum and the meaning of the Gospel we are called to preach in a world of competing Gospels.
Senior sketched a 5 point summary of a Theology of the Word affirmed in Vatican II's Dei Verbum, accented often since. He traced the unfolding of DV's understand of Revelation in the Scriptures and how it continues in our lives and times as a life-giving rhythm of "breathing in/ breathing out" or "reaching out/drawing in." It is the pattern we see in Jesus ... and in Pope Francis. He told the Assembly that we need to root ourselves deeply in this vision of God's revealing presence and work among us when we feel diminished and discouraged. God is alive! The Church is alive! We are alive!
Mike Crosby asserted that the whole Church is responsible for proclaiming the Gospel. Presbyters have the task of applying the Gospel to particular circumstances. Jesus' Gospel is one among many today. His Gospel, in the Synoptics, is one of the Kingdom -- the presence and power -- of the Triune God. Through this Kingdom God's reality becomes ours. Since that reality is Trinity, we are drawn into a different model of reality, of relationship, of economy, of way of life. Crosby then explored Paul's notion of the Kingdom as the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which grounds Jesus Gospel of the Kingdom of the Trinity in our human reality.
Monday included four pre-Assembly workshops dealing with ministry to Afro-Americans, Hispanics and with Labor-Priest issues and Consensus Decision Making. The opening session in the afternoon included video-conference exchanges with the Irish and Austrian Priests Associations followed by a Broken and Blessed" healing service led by Bob Cushing of Savannah. During subsequent business sessions, the various proposals brought before the Assembly were discussed, debated and adopted through a consensus process led one again, masterfully, by Doug Doussan of New Orleans. All proposals, listed in a link below, were adopted with scores far surpassing the required 1.5 minimum average. They ranged from +2.1 to +2.8 against a scale of -3 to +3.
Elections for three Board seats returned Frank Eckart and Bernie Survil and added Joe Ruggieri of Youngstown, all for three year terms. The Board elected Bob Bonnot of Youngstown as Board Chair when Dave Cooper declined to stand again, Kevin Clinton as Vice-Chair, replacing Jay Davidson who declined to run for a second term, and retained Frank Eckart as Treasurer and Jim Schexnayder as Secretary.
The Board looks forward to its work with the backing of all members in pursuit of our Mission, our goals, and our current projects. Thanks for your involvement. Recruit others to join the effort as we look forward to our 2015 Assembly, again in St. Louis at the Airport Marriott, which proved to be a splendid, welcoming and affordable facility!
“Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture...Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible." --Pope Francis, America, Sept. 19, 2013 (Click HERE to read the article)
The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests is a forum where priests across the U.S. can relate to one another and foster dialogue with clergy, bishops, religious, laity, and their organizations. We continue to celebrate and implement the visionary concepts of the Second Vatican Council; to be servant leaders in a servant Church; to minister with humility, mercy, and faithfulness; to revitalize the Body of Christ through contemplation and witness to the goodness among our fellow pilgrims; to be a voice of hope; and to preach and act prophetically.
AUSCP PUBLIC STATEMENTS
June 12, 2014
A letter from AUSCP was sent to Pope Francis and copied to several bishops as well as an LCWR leader expressing concern that release of a cardinal's opening remarks "served as a public 'rebuke' of the LCWR" and a "chastising" of their leadership. Click here to read more
September 12, 2013
AUSCP to Pope Francis: “Insist on open process in selecting bishops” Letters from AUSCP were sent to both Pope Francis and the U.S. Apostolic Nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò urging that the participation of priests and laity in bishop selections is crucial. Click here to read more
August 28, 2013
AUSCP endorses US Bishop’s Annual Labor Day Statement The U.S. catholic bishops never stand taller than when they stoop to raise up workers without work, who are underemployed, receive unjust wages, or who have their wages plundered by employers. Click here to read more
August 5, 2013
JOHN XXIII and JOHN PAUL II: Saints at the Same Time Pope Francis’ decision to canonize Pope John XXIII and John Paul II consecutively is a welcome step and a significant sign. Click here to read more