Spring in Minnesota is always an exciting time. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection and victory over death, green grass and daffodils poke through hardened ground. Signs of hope and revitalization surround us.
And just as all parts of our ecosystem play a key role in spring renewal, so too does each member of Christ’s body play a key role in parish revitalization. St. Paul writes to the Ephesians, “From Christ the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (EPH 4:16).
Pope Benedict XVI spoke of what this means for laypeople, highlighting that each of us really does have a part to play in the life of the Church: “Co-responsibility demands a change in mindset especially concerning the role of laypeople in the Church. They should not be regarded as ‘collaborators’ of the clergy, but, rather, as people who are really ‘co-responsible’ for the Church’s being and acting.”
Last February, I attended Leadership Roundtable’s 2020 Catholic Partnership Summit, where we had the opportunity to dive into this topic. The theme for the gathering of more than 260 Catholic leaders from 64 U.S. dioceses was “From Crisis to Co-Responsibility: Creating a New Culture of Leadership.” One of the key proposals that emerged was particularly actionable for the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF): Invest in the formation of lay and ordained leaders.
In this newsletter, you’ll read about a grant program CCF started last fiscal year to intentionally invest in lay leaders in a meaningful way, as well as an internship that one parish offered to provide crucial professional development for a future lay leader. And, we’re delighted to share the story of Lazarus Table, a benevolence fund that enables parishioners to be the face and hands of Jesus Christ to the community.
Each of us belongs to the body of Christ, and each of us has a part to play in building Christ’s kingdom on earth. Whether that means you serve on parish staff, volunteer for parish activities and ministries, or give generously to support these works, we’re grateful to have you as part of this body. Together we’re building a vibrant and sustainable Church.
Anne Cullen Miller, MBA