Reflections and reputable resources for assisting Catholic ministers – clergy and laity – for engaging and planning ongoing responses to the pandemic.
Practical information and theological reflections from Dr. Marc DelMonico and other Catholic ministry consultants and ministry leaders.
Strategic Ministry Resources
My regular outreach and communication with national Catholic ministry organizations has helped to identify good resources that may be helpful in addressing some of the pastoral, strategic and financial challenges we face. The usual caveat applies: Resources which contain legal or financial advice should not be construed as being offered by me and should be further discussed with appropriate parish, diocesan or organizational lawyers or financial consultants who are capable in such matters. While these resources have a Catholic focus, they may be helpful for Christians of all denominations.
From the Blog
In 2021, I wrote an essay on the possibilities for strategic change in various aspects of Catholic ministries in the U.S. based on learnings from innovative ministries provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his book “Let Us Dream,” Pope Francis reminds us that what allows us to experience the newness which faith can bring is to be present to people in their lives and to respond to their needs in the same way Christ has responded – in abundant care and love, just as he shared in the love poured out from the Father.
Especially over the past year, so many of us have experienced losses. God doesn’t take away the pain of our losses but helps us to see through it to the future that God has in mind for each one of us, and for all of us.
Like those Apostles and the early Christians, we are responding to new needs in new ways. Christ again tells us to not be afraid, even in the midst of the pains and difficulties of the present moment.
In today’s readings, God speaks to us through the prophet Isaiah and reminds us of how we come to this newness of spirit. It is a Lenten checklist of doing charity and justice – of caring for others.
The presence of the Blessed Mother to Juan Diego echoes her presence in the Scripture readings for today, which remind us of Mary’s role as “first disciple,” always bringing to the Church the Good News of her Son.
We are reminded that Advent and Christmas are first and foremost not about us. This liturgical season is here to remind us that Jesus is asking us to join with him in bringing about God’s Reign of justice and righteousness.
On this Halloween, and as we are about to recall the lives of well-known saints and the souls of recently departed who shined with their “true selves,” let us pray for the ability to take off our spiritual masks, so that we can be the “true self” that God created us to be!
As the pandemic continues, we cannot escape hard questions about our ministry practices. We must strategically plan our responses in order to be effective.
Lamentations are prayers to God – petitions – pouring out suffering and asking God for mercy. They are full of faith that even though the people have not been faithful, God is faithful to them. And God will act to rescue them.
If you would like to request Dr. DelMonico’s professional services for a virtual ministerial consultation on best practices during the pandemic, or another academic or virtual public presentation please send a message here.