WASHINGTON (November 3, 2000) -- The Jubilee Day for Lay Ministers, November 26, will be marked by diocesan and parish celebrations nationwide.
"Together in God's Service," the theme of a resource packet distributed in August by the Bishops' Subcommittee on Lay Ministry, will guide many of the celebrations.
Copies of the packet were distributed to every parish in at least 20 dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Boston, where Cardinal Bernard F. Law urged all parishes to highlight the jubilee day.
"It is the ministry of all -- bishops, priests, deacons, laity -- that builds up the body of Christ, and equips the Church for its work of transforming the world for Christ," Cardinal Law wrote in a letter distributed with the packets. "It is impossible to enumerate all the ways in which the lay faithful serve the mission of the Church. Their contributions of time and talent, in both volunteer and paid positions, are a gift to the Church, a gift that we welcome and celebrate."
One national body, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, encouraged members to use the Jubilee Day to celebrate pastoral musicians. The association also suggested a prayer for church musicians and artists, taken from The Book of Common Prayer, which might be incorporated into the prayer services of the resource packet.
The Diocese of Orlando also distributed the packet to every parish and urged participation in a diocesan-wide celebration at the Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe with Bishop Norbert Dorsey presiding. Parishes were asked to prepare for the celebration by holding dialogues on ministry in the Church and the world.
The Archdiocese of Seattle sent the resource packet to every parish and faith community and urged local celebrations. It also planned a November 11 diocesan gathering of the leadership of lay organizations, including Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett's presiding at a Mass at St. James Cathedral for representatives of lay organizations.
Several diocesan newspapers were slated to feature lay ministry in their late November editions. At least two dioceses planned to use TV and radio to call attention to the jubilee day. In the Diocese of Albany, for example, where the packets were distributed to every parish, prayers for lay ministers were to be included in the TV Mass for shut-ins on November 26. On the same day the Diocese of Youngstown was scheduled to be the sponsors for the day on the local National Public Radio station and will broadcast several messages throughout the day which affirm the gifts of the lay ministers in their parishes and institutions.