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Preparing the Harvest
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” (#46).  

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? 

October 2007
Board of Governors
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