Category Archives: Church Leadership
Traveling with Saints
By Edward M. Dougherty, M.M.
Maryknoll Superior General reflects on how two popes to be canonized this spring have influenced his life.
Few people ever get the chance to travel with a saint. I did! In September 1988 I was in the contingent of international church people and journalists that accompanied Pope John Paul II on his fourth pastoral visit to Africa.
When Pope Francis recently announced that he would canonize Pope John Paul along with Pope John XXIII on April 27, I was elated and relived my up close and personal encounter with Pope John Paul.
I can still recall the plane ride to southern Africa when we members of the pope’s entourage were given the opportunity to ask him questions. The questions came rapid-fire in many languages — French, Italian, Polish, English — and he replied in the language of each speaker. I was really impressed.
When my turn came, as a missioner I naturally asked, “Do you have a word for missionaries in Africa?” I waited anxiously for the answer. I will always remember his deep, strong voice bestowing a blessing on the missionaries in Africa and saying how he and the entire Church are grateful for the missioners’ tremendous efforts to share the Gospel. Then he paused and added how encouraged he was to see the African church becoming missionary itself.
Having served in Africa as a Maryknoll priest, I felt proud. Here was the pope affirming not only missioners’ work of evangelization but also the faith of the people in receiving it and handing it on.
Throughout our visit — to Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique — I could tell this pope felt the love of the people and loved them in return. Reserved but warm, he seemed to enjoy the lively African singing and dancing that marked every liturgy he celebrated wherever we went.
In Mozambique, then embroiled in a violent civil war, the warring parties issued a ceasefire for the duration of the pope’s visit. That was miraculous. But he reminded the priests and religious in this country of their role in promoting a lasting peace. He asked them rhetorically, “How can one give witness and preach to the people the new commandment (of love) without promoting, through paths of peace and justice, their authentic progress?” Peace did not come immediately but the pope’s presence certainly planted seeds of hope for a future free from fear and conflict.
John Paul II was pope for over 25 years and, in my opinion, succeeded in presenting the global face of the Church and, by his numerous trips to countries throughout the world, strengthening the ties of Rome with the local churches he visited.
I never, of course, had the privilege of meeting Pope John XXIII personally. I was only in the fourth grade when he became pope in 1958. I thought he was a courageous man, inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring the Church into the modern world. His convening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962 had far-reaching effects on countless lives, including mine.
Like other Catholics who remember a time when the Mass was totally in Latin, I was happy to participate in the liturgy in my own language following Vatican II. As a diocesan seminarian in my native Philadelphia before transferring to Maryknoll in 1974, I experienced the influence of this future saint in “opening the windows” of the Church and urging priests and religious to leave the confines of their rectories and convents and take the Gospel into the streets. Because of this unprecedented papal exhortation, every Thursday we seminarians were required to leave our desks and go out to do field work in parishes to get hands-on preparation for our future work as priests.
A few years ago a former Maryknoll priest associate, Father Don Larmore, with whom I served in Tanzania, gave a retreat on the life and times of John XXIII. It prompted me to recall the powerful hope that John inspired as well as the welcoming and compassionate style that marked his papal leadership. Father Larmore reminded us of how as papal nuncio in Bulgaria, the future pontiff promoted interreligious dialogue and even as pope remained a simple pastor, concerned with ordinary people’s needs and the run of the mill things of life.
John XXIII died in 1963, mourned throughout the world and remembered as “good Pope John.” He was buried in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Following his beatification by Pope John Paul II, in 2001 John’s body was moved from its original place to the altar of Saint Jerome, where it could be seen by all the faithful. At that time I was serving as Procurator General for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Rome, and I can attest that the grave of Pope John XXIII is one of the most visited sites there.
So, I am excited about the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. They inspire me in my own role as Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. They are great role models for the Church today, John XXIII for his openness and desire to make the message of Christ relevant to the modern world and John Paul II for being an ambassador of Christ to that world.
Last year at a meeting of religious superiors in Rome, I had the privilege of meeting the man who now walks in the footsteps of John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Francis. I came home encouraged by this spiritual father, who reaches out to all. He truly continues the legacy of the two he will canonize as saints, that is, people who had a call to holiness and acted on it. May we all follow their example.
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Vatican City, 3 October 2013
(VIS) – The reform of the Curia and the attribution of of more incisive
role to the laity were among the principal themes considered yesterday
afternoon and this morning in the meeting of the Council of Cardinals,
instituted by the Pope to assist him in the governance of the Church,
said the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi
S.J., in a briefing with journalists.
Before commenting on
the issues discussed by the cardinals, Fr. Lombardi referred to the
words of the Pope at the end of the audience with participants in the
meeting held to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of John XXIII’s
encyclical, “Pacem in terris”, in which he recalled the victims,
currently numbered at 90, of the shipwreck this morning near the Italian
island of Lampedusa. “In the light of this new tragedy”, he said, “we
understand more clearly the value and meaning of the first trip of
Moving on to the work of the Council of Cardinals, he
stated that the Pope was present yesterday in the afternoon session,
held between 4 and 7 p.m. “The Holy Father goes to pray at the Chapel at
seven o’clock, and that is the end of their collaboration, although the
the cardinals may join him together, if they see fit. This morning he
was not present as he received in audience the participants in the
meeting organised by the Pontifical Council ‘Justice and Peace’”.
The cardinals worked principally on the reform of the
Curia. “The direction of their work would not indicate an updating of
the apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’, with retouches and marginal
modifications”, explained Lombardi, “but rather, a new constitution with
significant new aspects. It will be necessary to wait a reasonable
amount of time following this Council, but the idea is this. The
cardinals have made it clear that they do not intend to make cosmetic
retouches or minor modifications to ‘Pastor bonus’”.
The intention of the cardinals is to emphasise the nature
of the service on the part of the Curia and the universal and local
church “in terms of subsidiarity, rather than the exercise of
centralised power. The intended direction would be to put this into
practice in the service of the Church in all her dimensions”.
Another important theme was the nature and functions of
the Secretariat of State, which “should be the secretariat of the Pope;
the word State should not give rise to doubt. This body serves the Pope
in the governance of the universal Church. The meeting of the Council is
very useful at the moment, in view of the directions the Pope will give
to the new Secretary of State, who will assume his role shortly, on 15
Again in relation to
the Curia, the Council will address the matter of relations between the
heads of the dicasteries and the Pope, and co-ordination between the
various bodies. “In this context, mention was made of the role of a
‘Moderator Curiae’ (moderator for the Curia), and the functions of such a
figure. The issue was touched upon but no decision has been made as to
whether it will form part of the new constitution; however, it is in
fact one of the hypotheses suggested by the Council”.
With regard to a
possible reorganisation of the administration of temporal goods, the
cardinals touched upon this matter but without exploring the theme in
depth, since they are awaiting the “reports of the referring commissions
on the matter, who will communicate the results of their work [to the
The question of the laity merited “significant attention”
from Council members, as they had received many suggestions and
questions on this subject from their various areas of origin. “When
dealing with the reform of the curia and its institutions, the Council
also plans to give more specific attention to issues relating to the
laity, so that this dimension of the life of the Church is properly and
effectively recognised and followed by the governance of the Church. Now
there is a Pontifical Council for the Laity, but it is still possible
to think of ways of strengthening this aspect”.
This morning, in view of the preparations for the next Synod, debate on the matter was reopened.
said that yesterday no date had been set for the next meeting of the
Council, although mention was made of a meeting in spring next year, of
an informal nature. “The intention”, he concluded, “is to continue,
without waiting for too long. Also, it would be incorrect to assume that
nothing happens between one meeting and another; the cardinals and the
Pope continue to exchange opinions and messages, even in the absence of a
plenary meeting of the Council”.
- Pope and cardinals to completely overhaul the Curia, says spokesman (catholicherald.co.uk)
- VATICAN – Pope establishes a “Council of Cardinals ” to help govern the Church and reform the Curia (asianews.it)
- Pope convenes cardinals for church reform talks (news.yahoo.com)
NEW BERLIN, Wis., Aug. 8, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – Liturgical Publications Inc (LPi), a stewardship communication company providing print and online services to Catholic churches and other organizations nationwide, has announced the addition of two new staff members to support the rapid growth of its WeShare online donation management tool.
Kathy Minnihan, business development specialist, helps churches, dioceses, and nonprofit organizations grow their stewardship programs and donor base. Karina Simon, engagement manager, is responsible for helping customers develop and strengthen their stewardship programs, capital campaigns, and nonprofit fundraisers.
Both support LPi’s online donation management tool, WeShare, which allows parishioners to set up recurring payments; allocate varying amounts for different church funds; view their giving histories, and choose to use their checking account, debit card, or credit card. Church staff can accept pledge payments, run capital campaigns, and manage event ticketing entirely online — with much less time spent on bookkeeping then the manual systems they may now be using.
Simon and Minnihan previously worked closely with one another at another organization that supplies online giving tools to Catholic churches — Minnihan as director of sales and partner relations and Simon as director of account management and operations — and bring with them to LPi a wealth of experience in the management and growth of parish stewardship and fundraising.
Minnihan is based in New Jersey, with a national focus on transitioning accounts using PledgeConnect, an online giving company LPi acquired in early 2013, to WeShare. “My simultaneous experience in sales, account management, business development, and partner relations gives me the advantage of knowing what our customers need from us in every phase of our relationship,” she said.
Based in New York City, Simon supports WeShare accounts nationwide. “My experience gives me the knowledge necessary to assist nonprofit and faith-based organizations in developing a plan to help them realize their goals,” said Simon. “When organizations are fighting for every donor dollar, the importance of a customized strategic plan should never be overlooked.”
WeShare processes donations for hundreds of churches, dioceses, and other nonprofits nationwide. For more information, visit www.4LPi.com/WeShare.
Liturgical Publications Inc (LPi) is a stewardship communication company that serves as a single source for connecting communities through printed materials and online services. Specializing in Catholic churches, LPi offers communication tools for religious and community organizations that include ad-supported church bulletins and newsletters, and solutions for online donations, church websites, and communication networks. Family-owned since 1972 and backed by industry-leading customer service, LPi builds relationships with nearly 100,000 local businesses to support its more than 4,000 parish partners with advertising. LPi has regional offices in Milwaukee, Wis.; Cleveland, Ohio; Hartford, Conn.; and Orlando, Fla.; as well as sales and service offices and regional representatives nationwide.
Pastor Jim Cymbala of The Brooklyn Tabernacle Visits Atlanta to Encourage Ministry Leaders on August 22nd
ATLANTA, Aug. 8, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Jim Cymbala, Sr. Pastor of the 10,000 member Brooklyn Tabernacle and their Grammy Award winning choir, is passionate about encouraging pastors and ministry leaders. Daniel Henderson, Director of The 6:4 Fellowship, has a national ministry focused on equipping pastors and churches in prayer-based renewal. These two are now teaming up to launch an exciting initiative.
With a shared vision, Cymbala and Henderson will be visiting key U.S. cities in 2013 to minister to church leaders in a one-day event called, “Rediscover.” Rediscover will be a day of encouragement, teaching, prayer and connection with other leaders.
Cymbala, author of the best-selling book “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” (Zondervan), has led the Brooklyn Tabernacle for almost 40 years. The church is known for its Tuesday evening prayer meeting that attracts 4,000 participants each week. Cymbala’s lessons on spiritual power, authentic prayer and enduring leadership are going to be the focus of this one-day event. Pastors, church staff, missionaries, ministry leaders and spouses are all welcome.
Henderson also serves as President of Strategic Renewal, applying his 27 years of pastoral experience to a ministry that specializes in bringing prayer based renewal to churches. Henderson is often noted for his book “Fresh Encounters: Experiencing Transformation through United Worship-Based Prayer” (NavPress).
Henderson notes, “This is a day of giving back to spiritual leaders who sacrifice so much for the Kingdom. We are not selling anything, rather giving away books and other resources on pastoral leadership and prayer. We hope every participant walks away from this day with fresh hope and practical tools for ministry.”
In anticipation of these one-day gatherings, Cymbala states, “We are going to call on God and ask Him to teach us how to make our churches houses of prayer as we trust Him to also meet each of us at our point of need. Pastors need so much encouragement these days. We anticipate experiencing His presence and grace together.”
Thursday, August 22, 2013, 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: The Church at Liberty Square (Cartersville)
Cost: $35.00 (Includes lunch and free resources)
For more information, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by Phone: (888) 326-4774
- Free July Audio Book (wateredsoul.com)
- Free Audio Book | Fresh Power (wateredsoul.com)
- Famed Choir Release New Album: The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir tie up new distribution deal (crossrhythms.co.uk)
- Brooklyn Tab Meets Love Fellowship For The First Time! (praisecharlotte.com)
- Jim Cymbala – 22 of His Finest Quotes (crossquotes.org)
Sharefaith is the largest provider of church websites, hosting, worship
presentation, and worship media in the country. Users can now enjoy
complete freedom with drag-and-drop layout and real-time editing; no
programming required. With nearly 4,000 churches switching to a
Sharefaith website in just a little over 2 years, the Sidekick website
editor has proven to be the fastest, simplest, and most versatile church
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perception that the more expensive the website, the better, Sharefaith’s
Church Website editor is correcting that false stigma. We have proven
that we can build a stellar, industry-leading web and hosting
platform, bundle it with our award-winning library of worship media and
give churches a one-stop-solutions with all the bells-and-whistles that
fits their budget. Sharefaith’s Sidekick website editor does that and
it does it extremely well,” says Hein van Wyk, CEO & President of
members, this new revolutionary website editing tool lets users simply
drag and drop items around the page. Pick columns, rows, and layout as
you decide how the site should look. Endless possibilities and the
ability to build a stunning church website with amazing ease is the real
here. Sidekick also comes bundled with Sharefaith’s new media
interface, letting users access their Sharefaith membership and enabling
them to drag and drop any media from the Sharefaith library straight
into their website. In addition, the one-of-a-kind graphic editing tool
giving members “Photoshop”-like ability within their website.
website bundle with hosting included, in addition to their online
library of 50,000 strong worship media, videos, and print, making it an
all-in-one solution for churches at an unbeatable low price. Options
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- Short Course on Church – What You Need To Know (zohrbak.com)
- The Strategies for Making Effective Church Websites Design (greatchurchwebpages.wordpress.com)
- Important Insights in Designing a Church Website (greatchurchwebpages.wordpress.com)
First time Federal guidelines for Houses of Worship a mix of good and bad
CINCINNATI, June 19, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – For the first time the Federal Government has released guidelines for developing emergency operation plans specifically for Houses of Worship, an acknowledgement that is long overdue.
“It is encouraging to see government agencies acknowledge that there is a crime problem in our religious community in the United States because there is a lack of awareness and planning on most church’s part,” stated Jeff Hawkins, a Subject Matter Expert in the area of church security and emergency planning.
“The report gives solid basic advice that many of us have been telling church leaders for years regarding emergency planning, however the guidelines seems to downplay certain crimes and gives, what I believe, poor advice in planning and dealing with an Active Shooter situation,” Hawkins continued. “I know it is not politically correct to talk about guns and armed security as a preventative and reactive measure, however I am never comfortable telling people as a last resort to attack the shooter with a fire extinguisher, as recommended in the guidelines.”
Hawkins, author of the book “Introduction to Security & Emergency Planning for Faith Based Organizations,” lectures at churches around the country on a regular basis and recently completed a seminar in Los Angeles drawing over 200 attendees with a mix of church staff and law enforcement from as far away as Alaska.
“I don’t dwell on the topic of Active Shooter because realistically someone is more likely to die of a heart attack in a church than a gunshot, but it does have to be addressed in a realistic manner. People I speak with around the country are concerned for their safety and their loved ones while in church and churches remain a soft-target for all crimes,” Hawkins concluded.
Jeff Hawkins (JeffreyHawkins.net) has served as Chief Security Officer for a worldwide Christian ministry and is former Executive Director of the Christian Security Network. He now provides training, resources, and support for churches and ministries in the areas of security and emergency planning. Hawkins has an M.S. degree in Management and over 1,000 hours of training with such specialty agencies as the Chicago Police Academy, the FBI, and counter terrorism agencies in Israel. He has served as an Adjunct Professor and has written numerous articles for publications such as The Counter Terrorist, Law and Order, Police Magazine, Church Executive, Security Management.
- Rock Church Hosts National Church Security Conference in San Diego June 20 and 21 (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- Federal Government Issues Guidelines for Churches on How to Deal With Gunmen (blackchristiannews.com)
- US releases school massacre survival manual (smh.com.au)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 18, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — The Board of Directors for The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) in the United States announced Thursday that Dr. John P. Stumbo has been elected as president of the denomination.
Dr. Stumbo, who received his doctor of ministry from George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, will serve as the twelfth president of the U.S. C&MA. “My lifetime of ministry could be summarized by a simple statement: loving Jesus by loving His church,” says Stumbo. “I would see the presidency as a continuation and expansion of this calling.”
Stumbo has served in a variety of roles in The Alliance. In addition to many years of pastoral ministry, he was vice president for Advancement at the C&MA National Office, corporate vice president of the U.S. C&MA, and acting superintendent of the Alliance Northwest District. He has been a frequent contributor to Alliance Life magazine and also has written two books, including An Honest Look at a Mysterious Journey, which chronicles a serious illness that left him bedridden for 77 days and unable to swallow for more than a year.
“I am grateful for God’s touch on my life,” Stumbo says. “A ‘reshaping’ work has begun in the aftermath of my health crisis. My growing desire is to be a man that walks in the Spirit every day, all day.”
Stumbo believes that the vision of The Alliance “is not something to be created. It is to be received. . . . My prayer [is that] God would help me . . . to hear His heart for the future of our movement.
“I’ve observed the tendency of an organization to consume all its resources to sustain its own survival,” Stumbo adds. “The corporate draw is ever inward. Meanwhile, the compulsion of the Spirit is to . . . free us to love and serve others. We do not and must not exist for ourselves.”
The Alliance is a fellowship of nearly 6 million evangelical believers worldwide, with more than 2,000 U.S. churches, dedicated to fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations. The Alliance has a thoroughly evangelical doctrinal statement and encourages believers from diverse backgrounds and theological traditions to unite to complete Christ’s Great Commission.
- The Mission Society President Dick McClain Announces Retirement after 28 Years of Service (faithinspires.wordpress.com)