On the evening of the autumnal equinox, Friday, September 22, I was honored to be one of five recipients of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform's 2017 Adsum Award.
Above: With fellow 2017 Adsum Award recipients Ed Walsh and Jim Moudry.
Right: With my dear friend Mary Beckfeld, a previous Adsum Award winner and the recipient of CPCSM’s 2008 Father Henry F. LeMay Pastoral Ministry Award.
"Adsum" is a Latin word which means "I am present and listening." Whenever the participants in Vatican II were gathered at St. Peter's Basilica their traditional prayer was the exclamation: Adsumus – "we are present and listening." CCCR's Adsum Award recognizes individuals who have made an "extraordinary commitment to be present and attentive to the Spirit, to be partners in re-creating the face of the church here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis."
Above: Seated at left with (from left) Brigid McDonald, CSJ; Mary Sutherland; Bill Bailey; Bev Bailey, Caroline Beal, and Lisa Vanderlinden.
This year's awards were presented at a special dinner hosted by CCCR and the Council of the Baptized at St. Joan of Arc Church. The other 2017 Adsum Award recipients were Bernie and Eileen Rodel, Ed Walsh, and Jim Moudry.
In Vatican II, the Spirit gave our Church a vision. What it took us time to realize is that human institutions, like human individuals, don't change without a struggle. The Spirit is with us in these human struggles. I am extremely grateful to the founders of CCCR and the Council of the Baptized and to their current leaders. They give me a vehicle, the support and the inspiration that I need to carry out my vocation to move my church community closer to the vision of Jesus.
Jim Moudry in accepting his Adsum Award:
CCCR and the Council of the Baptized came along for me at the right time to address and to give hope for continuing the reform of our church called for by the Second Vatican Council. Their efforts have been an anchor for my spiritual life. Thanks to all such reformers for walking the walk. Ecclesia semper reformanda.
As the executive coordinator of the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM), I was a founding member of the Catholic Coalition of Church Reform in 2009. I served on the board of CCCR from its founding until February 2016.
Above: Members of the leadership team of the Catholic Coalition
for Church Reform with Janet Hauter (front row, third from left), vice-president of Voice of the Faithful (National) and co-chair of the American Catholic Council – April 2009.
Back row, from left: Rev. Judith McKloskey (Roman Catholic Womenpriests) and Lonne Burkhardt Murphy.
Middle row: Dan DeWan, Bernie Rodel (Call to Action-MN), Bob Beutel, Eileen Rodel (Call to Action MN), Connie Aligada (Call to Action MN), Jane Collova, Brian Willette (president, Call to Action MN), Jim Moudry, Bill McGuire (Call to Action MN co-founder), Michael Bayly (CPCSM executive coordinator and Progressive Catholic Voice co-founder and editor).
Front row: Paula Ruddy (Progressive Catholic Voice co-founder and editorial team member), Mary Jo Czaplewski, Janet Hauter (vice-president, Voice of the Faithful and co-chair, American Catholic Council), Mary Beckfeld (CPCSM president and Progressive Catholic Voice co-founder and editorial team member), Terry Dosh (Corpus, Call to Action MN co-founder).
Absent: Brian McNeill (president, Dignity Twin Cities), Dorothy Irvin (MN St. Joan’s Community), and Shari Steffen.
I have many happy memories of working with some incredibly inspiring people as together we endeavored to be the church we envision – a Gospel-inspired community of justice, compassion, and inclusivity. Thank you for this great honor.
Although I know longer feel called to work in the area of church reform, I do indeed have many happy memories of the important reform work I helped plan and facilitate during my time with CCCR.
More often than not, this work took the form of educational/social events, including:
• "Many Voices, One Church," CCCR's 2009 prayer breakfast.
• "An Evening in the Park with Roy Bourgeois" (2009).
• The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Work/Study Group (2009).
• "Creating a Liberating Church," a presentation by Rosemary Radford Ruether at CCCR's "Evening in the Park" fundraiser (2010).
• "Taking Our Place at the Table," CCCR's first Synod of the Baptized in 2010.
• "An Evening in the Park with Diana Culbertson, O.P." (2011).
• "Making Our Voices Heard," CCCR's second Synod of the Baptized (2011)
• "Co-Creating the Living Church," CCCR's third (and to date most recent) Synod of the Baptized (2013).
• "Companions on a Sacred Journey," an interactive workshop on Evolutionary Christianity sponsored by CCCR and which I facilitated for groups within the local church throughout 2014-2015.
Right: With Bernie and Eileen Rodel in March 2010. We were at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison, WI to hear a talk by theologian Roger Haight.
Bernie and Eileen were unable to join us at CCCR's September 22 dinner, but the following statement from Bernie was published in the evening's program booklet.
Eileen and I are constantly wrestling with a few critical developments which we hope the church in the archdiocese is addressing. We know that CCCR/Council of the Baptized has been mindful of their implications for the archdiocese yet there seems to be many disconnects when it comes to implementation. Two developments which we feel need continuous dialogue with the archdiocese are pluralism and christology. In a pluralistic consciousness the local culture of the archdiocese can no longer command the center of thoughts expressed but it must realize that there are a variety of local centers of thought. Another development is our understanding of Jesus of Nazareth and his historical ministry as we search for his particularity and his individuality. Why is this significant? The result of this search leads to an understanding of God's salvation in our lives.
Above: With the inspiring John Brandes, Catholic priest and a truly prophetic and pastoral presence in our local church. He is the inspiration for the character of Fr. Brandon in my semi-autobiographical series, The Journal of James Curtis.
Above: With my friends Lisa and Brent Vanderlinden.
For more CCCR-related posts at The Wild Reed, see
• The Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (2009)
• "Many Voices, One Church" (2009)
• Preparing to Claim Our Place at the Table (2009)
• An Exciting Endeavor (2009)
• Twin Cities-based CCCR Goes Global (2009)
• A New Phase (2010)
• Prayer of the 2010 Synod
• The Spirit of Pentecost Is Very Much Present and Active in the Church of Minneapolis/St. Paul (2010)
• Taking It to the Streets (2010)
• Countdown to Synod 2010
• Out and About – September 2010
• Out and About – August 2011
Out and About – September 2011
• Astounded (2013)
• Out and About – Autumn 2013
• Minnesota Catholics, LGBT Students, and the Ongoing Work of Creating Safe and Supportive Schools (2014)
• CCCR Responds to Archbishop Nienstedt's Resignation (2015)
For Progressive Catholic Voice articles about CCCR and the Council of the Baptized, see:
• "Something Exciting and Joyous" (2009)
• CCCR's 2010 Synod: A Progress Report (2009)
• Synod of the Baptized Uncovers Deep Well of Hope (2010)
• The Call of the Baptized: Be the Church, Live the Mission (2010)
• A Tradition Worth Returning To (2011)
• Council of the Baptized Launched in Minneapolis-St. Paul
• Council of the Baptized Calls for the People’s Voice in the Selection of Bishops (2013)
• Council of the Baptized Recommends Comeback for Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (2013)
• Countdown to Synod 2013
• A Pre-Synod Get-Together
• Local Catholics Discuss the Need for a "Healthy Christian Theology of Sexuality" (2015)
• CCCR Representatives Meet with Archbishop Hebda (2015)
• Council of the Baptized's Open Forum Continues with Focus on Parish Life (2016)
Images: Brent Vanderlinden (except for the 2009 Prayer Breakfast image which was taken by David McCaffrey, a previous recipient of CCCR's Adsum Award.).