April 27, 2000
- Overview of the Jubilee Day for Single Persons and How to Use the Resource Packet
- Nine Ways to Live Jubilee as a Single Person
- Prayer of a Single Person
- Suggestions for a Parish
- General Intercessions
- Single Role Models
- Single Role Models From The Bible
- Single Saints
- Single Role Models From The Bible
Prayer of a Single Person
Nine Ways to Live Jubilee as a Single Person
Single Role Models
Single Role Models from the Bible
If you have access to Adobe, this handout is available camera ready.
What is the Jubilee Day for Single Persons?
Pope John Paul II has designated a number of Jubilee Days throughout the year 2000 to recognize and celebrate different groups of people. The Jubilee Day for Single Persons will be held on Thursday, April 27; however, these resources could be used for a Single Person's Day at any time during the year. This Jubilee Day has a twofold purpose: to celebrate the gift of single people in society and the Church and to draw attention to the needs and gifts of single people in the Catholic faith community.
Is there a theme for the Day?
Yes. The theme is "One Chosen and Called in Christ." Emphasis is placed on the mission that single persons have in the world and the gifts that they have to offer. The call to single persons is the same call given to all the laity of the Church.
What is the definition of a "single person"?
Defining "single person" is not as easy as it may sound. Often an attempt is made to understand a single person as one who is not married, a vowed religious, or a priest. However, defining single persons by what they are not does not always speak to the diversity of the single population. Some are single by circumstance and some are single by choice. There are those who are single yet open to the prospect of marriage, priesthood, or religious life, and there are those who feel called to live the vocation of the single life. Some find themselves single again after separation, divorce, or death of a spouse.
What is the purpose of this resource packet?
These resources are for anyone who finds them useful. This packet can be used by dioceses, parishes, organizations, and individuals to plan their celebration of the Jubilee Day for Single Persons or other events relating to the single life. It was compiled by the bishops' Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women, and Youth with the assistance of parish and diocesan contacts involved in ministry to single persons.
These materials do not attempt to classify single persons into one group whose needs are met by a single ministry. There are young adult singles, mid-life singles, and older singles. Each of these populations requires and deserves specific attention from our Catholic faith community. It is our hope that the resources provided here can be of assistance.
How can I use the resource packet?
There are three possibilities:
- Use the material "as is." All the resources in this packet can be reproduced for use by dioceses, parishes, and organizations. In particular, you may want to consider copying and distributing the flier for parishioners, groups of single persons, or others.
- Adapt the resources to meet the particular needs and concerns of your diocese, parish, or organization.
- Use the resources to generate your own ideas. A small planning group in the parish or diocese might use the resource packet as a starting point for a brainstorming session.
Yes. They can be accessed through the U.S. bishops' web site at www.nccbuscc.org/laity/singles.htm. The web site includes all the resources in this packet. Additional suggestions and ideas for ministry with single people will be included on the web site as they become available.
Where can I obtain further information about the Jubilee Year?
More information can be obtained from your diocesan Jubilee contact person or from the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for the Third Millennium and the Jubilee Year 2000 (202-541-3244). The bishops' Jubilee web site (www.nccbuscc.org/jubilee) includes articles, newsletters, lists of resources, helpful links, and other information.
Whom can I contact for more information about the Jubilee Day for Single Persons and singles' issues?
The bishops' Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women, and Youth is producing resources for several Jubilee Days. Regarding the Jubilee Day for Single Persons, contact Michelle Miller, program specialist, at 202-541-3044 (e-mail: email@example.com).
There are many ways to minister with single persons. The gathering of these resources continues, and you are asked to send your ministry ideas and suggestions to the Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women, and Youth. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
- Make time for prayer.
Reflect on the blessings and challenges of being single and the gifts you have to offer.
- Make prayer a part of your daily life.
- Use personal prayer, the Scriptures, journaling, meditation, and the Liturgy of the Hours.
- Schedule a personal or group retreat.
- Plan a pilgrimage to a holy site. Visit area shrines and other historical religious sites.
- Learn to forgive and be forgiven.
- Examine your conscience, and practice fasting and sacrifice.
- Celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.
- Actively participate each Sunday.
- Register with your parish, and if you've already done so, look for ways to get more involved in the liturgy as a lector, eucharistic minister, usher, musician, or choir member.
- Work against discrimination, racism, and oppression.
- Treat all people with the dignity they deserve as sons and daughters of God.
- Participate in the national Pledge for Charity, Justice, and Peace (www.nccbuscc.org/jubilee).
- Look for ways to simplify your life and share what you have with others.
- Look into local service opportunities or other ways your gifts can be used in service to others.
- Gather others together for group service projects. Practice charity by assisting those living in poverty, and promote community-based solutions for injustice and poverty.
- Take this opportunity to establish some personal traditions around holidays, special feast days, and other celebrations or memorials.
- Designate a door in your home as your Jubilee Door. (A Jubilee Door blessing is available at www.nccbuscc.org/jubilee.)
- Offer your home as a place for friendship and hospitality.
- Talk about God's presence in your life with other people; be an evangelizer.
- Consider getting involved with your parish RCIA program for those learning more about the Catholic faith.
- Look for opportunities to invite others to experience your faith community.
- Join a small faith group to receive support to live your faith.
- If one does not exist, form one of your own. Gather regularly for prayer, faith sharing, and community.
- Look for opportunities for adult faith development and education.
- Visit a good bookstore or the Internet for resources on faith and the Church.
- Read the Scriptures.
- Begin a study of saints who lived a single life.
- Be aware of the invitations and experiences that you may decline because you are single. Challenge yourself to go out (movies, parties, weddings, etc.) alone.
- Write, call, or e-mail other singles and make them aware of this Jubilee Day.
- Gather together singles you know to share your experiences, blessings, and challenges. Plan a group meal or other activity around this Jubilee Day.
(Adapted from "Nine Ways to Live Jubilee and Be a Holy Person" in A Parishioner's Guide—Preparing for the Jubilee Year 2000. For more information on the "Nine Ways," visit www.nccbuscc.org/jubilee.)
from my mother's womb
you have known and loved me
more than I can ever know.
I ask for the courageto live a holy life,
that your hand guide my decisions
and that your mercy be extended
when I seek my own glory instead of yours.
I ask for the wisdomto know your will for me,
and like our Blessed Mother,
I ask for the strength to say yes.
May I find you in every person I meet,and may my life so shine forth
your goodness and love
that each person may be led to you
through Jesus, your Son,
who is Lord, forever and ever. Amen.
(can be adapted for use at the diocesan level)
Ministry with singles at the parish level is vast and varied. Some parishes minister specifically to singles while others incorporate this ministry within their ministry to other populations (young adults, older adults, small Christian communities, etc.). Parishes should modify these suggestions to fit their communities' needs.
- Use the liturgies of the April 28-29 weekend or another time to recognize singles—for example, in the homily or general intercessions.
- Reproduce the flier and make it available to parishioners.
- Sponsor an evening in the diocese or parish that focuses on those in your community who are single and are willing to share their experiences. This event could include a panel discussion and could be open to the whole faith community.
- Sponsor a parish (or diocesan) gathering of singles. The day could include a keynote address, workshops, and a closing Mass at the cathedral, celebrated by the bishop. Suggested topics: exploring messages about being single from society, culture, family, friends, and the media (TV and movies); singles in Scripture; single saints; singles and intimacy; the blessings and challenges of being single today.
- Host a "dinner dialogue." At the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Milwaukee, the evening includes gathering those who are single for a meal at the parish and listening. In table groups, participants are asked to discuss how welcome they feel, as singles at the parish, and what the parish can do to support them further. The large group sharing is wrapped up over dessert with a summary from the tables. For more information, call Monica Meagher at 414-962-2443.
Leader: For those called to serve God as single people, that their lives be filled with the Lord's grace and love.
Response: Lord, hear our prayer.
Leader: For single people who continue to discern their calling, that wisdom, courage, and patience be theirs. (Response)
For the gift of single-hearted love and devotion to the Gospel of Christ. (Response)
For those who are lonely, that God's presence be known to them and that all may reach out to offer support and community. (Response)
For a dedication to the common good and a love of all who are poor or sick. (Response)
For perfect joy, peace, and a heart open to love. (Response)
For the intercession of all the saints, especially those who lived a single life, that our love for God grow in abundance. (Response)
That the example of those who have gone before us having lived faithful, holy lives as single people, will inspire and encourage us all to live as faithful stewards of Christ. (Response)
That single people in our Catholic faith community will continue to discern their gifts and offer them for the good of all. (Response)
Single Role Models From The Bible
When we think of our ancestors in the Bible, we often think in pairs. Famous couples leap to mind: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Mary and Joseph. But there are single people in the Bible as well. The one who comes most easily to mind is, of course, Jesus. But many of Jesus' friends and disciples were also single: Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, and Lazarus. The apostle Paul was very vocal about the advantages of being single. There are also single people in the Hebrew Scriptures. Miriam, Moses' sister, was single and so were some of the prophets, such as Jeremiah and Elijah.
I see the Bible as the book where most of the wisdom to lead our lives can be found. And so it is possible to find in Scripture clues and suggestions for the single life. Look at the virtues modeled by singles: the initiative of Paul as he traveled through the Roman Empire. Or the wonderful courage of Miriam, who, as a young girl, found a nurse for Moses, and then helped Moses lead the people from Egypt. The generosity of the poor widow who gave most of what she had. The leadership of Lydia, who began the church at Philippi. From Jesus, perhaps the most famous single person in the Bible, we can learn about a life of love, healing, and sacrifice that we, too, can imitate. All these and more model for us the productive, meaningful lives and ministries we can have as single people.
(Excerpted from One Like Jesus—Reflections on the Single Life by Debra K. Farrington, copyright © 1999, Loyola Press. Reprinted by permission of Loyola Press.)
St. Benedict Joseph Labre—April 16
Benedict was the oldest of fifteen children. At eighteen, he went off to join a religious order only to find that he was too young. He tried with two other communities before realizing that his call was not to the priesthood. He spent his life in pilgrimage all over Europe living on alms and helping the poor. He died in 1783.
St. Praxedes—July 21
Praxedes lived during the second century and was known for her kindness and charity toward the poor. As a Roman single woman she cared for those Christians who were being harassed by Emperor Marcus Antoninus. She refused to marry in order to dedicate her life to the poor, persecuted, and suffering.
St. Zita—April 27
Zita lived in Monte Sagrati, Italy, and became the housekeeper of a rich weaver and his family. She stayed with this family for the last forty-eight years of her life and became their trusted friend and advisor. Zita also worked with the poor and those in prison. She died in 1278.
St. Joseph Moscati—April 12
Joseph was a physician and professor who as a bachelor dedicated his life to medicine and his faith. He was known for his cures and gave his wages and skills to the sick and the poor. Joseph died in 1927.
Other single female saints:
- Alodia (Oct. 22)
- Bibiana (Dec. 2)
- Emiliana (Dec. 24)
- Flora (Nov. 24)
- Gudule (Jan. 8)
- Syncletica (Jan. 5)
- Tharsilla (Dec. 24).
- Benezet (April 14)
- Boniface of Tarsus (May 14)
- Casimir (March 4)
- Cuthman (Feb. 8)
- Gerald of Aurillac (Oct. 13)
- John Rigby (June 21)
- Pantaleon (July 27).
These publications can be ordered from the United States Catholic Conference at 800-235-8722.
On the laity:
Blessings of Age: A Pastoral Message on Growing Older Within the Faith Community. The U.S. bishops invite older persons, their families, and their faith communities to develop new initiatives that encourage the participation of older persons in society and in the Church. Recognizing the social, economic, and spiritual implications of this rapidly growing age group, the bishops encourage a fresh perspective that embraces the gift of aging. English: No. 5-341, $1.95. Spanish: No. 5-825, $1.95. Also available in Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Portuguese, Laotian, and braille — call 202-541-3040.
Called and Gifted: The American Catholic Laity. Reflections of the U.S. bishops commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the issuance at the Second Vatican Council of the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem). English: No. 727-8, $0.75. Spanish: No. 728-6, $0.95.
Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium. On the thirtieth anniversary of the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity and the fifteenth anniversary of Called and Gifted, the U.S. bishops offer new reflections on the four calls in the earlier document—to holiness, to community, to ministry, to Christian maturity—and identify some of the new challenges that lie ahead. English: No. 5-002, $2.95. Spanish: No. 5-003, $2.95.
Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem). This document from the Second Vatican Council discusses the vocation of the laity in the fulfillment of the mission of the Church. English: No. 005-2, $4.25.
The Dignity of Older People and Their Mission in the Church and in the World. Through their memory, experience, and vision, older people contribute invaluable gifts to the mission of the Church. In celebration of the United Nations' International Year of Older Persons, the Pontifical Council for the Laity offers this document to stimulate reflection and commitment throughout the Church regarding its senior members. English: No. 5-344, $5.95.
Gifts Unfolding: The Lay Vocation Today with Questions for Tomorrow. A nuts-and-bolts approach to the theological and pastoral issues facing today's laity, particularly those involved in leadership roles. From the U.S. bishops' Committee on the Laity. English: No. 348-5, $3.95.
One Body: Different Gifts, Many Roles—Reflections on the American Catholic Laity. From the U.S. bishops' Committee on the Laity. English: No. 162-8, $3.95.Sons and Daughters of the Light: A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults. Men and women in their late teens, twenties, and thirties bring tremendous gifts to the Church. With this in mind, the U.S. bishops address the life situation of these individuals and offer a comprehensive and workable plan of action for connecting young adults with the Church, Jesus Christ, the mission of the Church in the world, and a peer community. English: No. 5-127, $9.95. Spanish: No. 5-128, $9.95. Also available in Korean, and Vietnamese — call 202-541-3040.
The Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World (Christifideles Laici). Pope John Paul II's post-synodal apostolic exhortation rejoices with the mission of the lay faithful of the Church, envisioning them as the "laborers of the vineyard" in the Gospel of Matthew. English: No. 274-8, $7.95.
On justice and evangelization:
Everyday Christianity—To Hunger and Thirst for Justice. A brief reflection on the bishops' statement, Communities of Salt and Light. Discusses practical tools in Catholic social teaching. From the U.S. bishops' Department of Social Development and World Peace. English: No. 5-116, $1.50. Spanish: No. 5-117, $1.50.
Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States. The U.S. bishops propose three goals for evangelization, recommend strategies, and offer resources for proclaiming the story of salvation. English: No. 556-9, $3.50. Spanish: No. 592-5, $3.50.
On the Jubilee:
A Parish Guide to the Jubilee Year 2000. Open Wide the Doors to Christ—Evangelize, Reconcile, Celebrate. The bishops offer eight ways to celebrate the Jubilee Year, along with an activities calendar, additional suggestions, and resources for planning. This resource succeeds the previous manual, Open Wide the Doors to Christ: A Framework for Action to Implement "Tertio Millennio Adveniente." English: No. 5-316, $4.95. Spanish: No. 5-817, $4.95.
A Parishioner's Guide to Preparing for the Jubilee Year 2000: Jubilee Edition. An eight-panel brochure summarizing key points of Open Wide the Doors to Christ: A Framework for Action to Implement "Tertio Millennio Adveniente." Provides a simple overview of the Jubilee Year 2000 and addresses how Catholics can become involved in the preparation and celebration. English: No. 5-322, $0.50. Spanish: No. 5-820, $0.50.