2009 Convention Theme: Preparing the Harvest: Service in the Lord's Vineyard
The CLSA Board of Governors has selected the above
theme for the 2009 Annual Convention.
St. Paul acknowledged the men and women who
collaborated with him in spreading the Gospel as “my co-workers in Christ
Jesus” (Romans 16: 3-16). This concept was echoed in the 2005 statement of the
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Co-workers in the Vineyard of
the Lord. Service in the Lord’s
vineyard is not restrictive but inclusive.
The Church is a communio in which all members
are given a share in the union with God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit
and sent on mission. Ministry or service is a means for accomplishing mission
and as such is a participation in and expression of the ministry of Christ.
Pope John Paul II, in Novo millennio ineunte,
wrote: “The unity of the Church is not
uniformity but an organic blending of legitimate diversities...(t)herefore the Church of the Third Millennium will
need to encourage all the baptized and confirmed to be aware of their active
responsibility in the Church’s life” (#46). He went on to say that “(t)ogether
with the ordained ministry, other ministries can flourish for the good of the whole community”
Lay collaboration with ordained ministers does not
mean substitution for ordained ministry which is a uniquely constitutive
element of the Church (Ecclesiae in Mysterio, foreword). Rather it is through the fruitful
collaboration of ordained and lay ministers who serve in distinct but
complementary ways that the saving mission of Christ to the world continues in
the Church (CWVL, 6).
The CLSA 2009 Convention will explore, among other
things, some of the canonical implications of the collaboration of ordained
ministry with other ministries in the Church. How is each of us called to work
together in service in the Lord’s vineyard? How can canonists collaborate with
others in preparing the harvest of the Lord?
Board of Governors