Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., offers some insight ahead of his attendance at the U.S. Bishops’ meeting next week in Baltimore. An excerpt follows:
I will join my brother bishops of the United States (USCCB) at our annual meeting in Baltimore, beginning Monday, November 15, 2021. This will be our first “in-person” meeting since 2019 due to the pandemic. Although there is no vaccine-mandate to be observed, the bishops will be required to wear masks indoors during the meeting.
As I look over the proposed agenda, I see that there are many of the ordinary types of reports and consultations listed for our collective consideration. The “big ticket” item seems to be a review of and potential vote on the draft of a new document on the Holy Eucharist, composed by the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, entitled “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.”
Along with other agenda items, the draft was circulated to the U.S. Bishops on their “bishops only” website in late September. Some Bishops shared the draft text with diocesan staff and others recognized theological experts for review and comment. It also made its way into the hands of some journalists who published the text and their own commentary, noting that it was “leaked” to them. I was not aware that it was ever considered a “secret document,” but some folks do love drama! At any rate, the draft is publicly accessible for those interested in reading it.
To read Bishop O’Connell’s entire essay, click HERE.
As we offer our support for all those who have served this country in the Armed Forces this Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, 2021, we lift our voices in prayer:
Lord God, Almighty Father,
creator of mankind and author of peace,
as we are ever mindful of the cost paid for the liberty we possess, we ask you to bless the members of our Armed Forces, our veterans, with your love on this, their day. Give them also an awareness of our gratitude and support for they are a national treasure.
We pray also for those who currently serve our country in the military. Please give them courage, hope and strength, we pray.
May they ever experience your firm support, gentle love and compassionate healing.
Be their power and protector, leading them from darkness to light. To you, Loving Father, be all glory, honor and praise, through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.
–Adapted from a prayer on usccb.org
In commemoration of Veterans’ Day, the Chancery Offices will be closed Nov. 11. Normal business hours will resume at 9 a.m., Nov. 12.
Since the 16th Ordinary Synod of Bishops was called into being by Pope Francis earlier this year, local churches have been gearing up to take part in the diocesan phase, set to unfold in 2022. So, what is this Synod all about, and what will be expected of each of us?
The November issue of The Monitor Magazine includes the Pastoral Letter of Bishop O’Connell, in which he explains the role of Synods in the history of the Church and what are the goals of this new Synod. The Bishop conveys the message of the Holy Father, who invites us all to engage in conversations about our experience of Church. We are encouraged to listen to one another’s stories and to commit to this journey together.
This latest magazine issue also features the beautiful photos and moving stories surrounding October’s Bishop’s Anniversary Blessings. More than 300 married couples were honored by the Diocese in two separate events and had an opportunity to renew their vows. Because of the important Synod coverage in this month’s issue, we are providing open digital access. Click HERE for your free access.