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 The Convocation Monologues

One of my priest friends said to me the other day, "I really think it's about time for us to let the laity in on what's about to happen to them."  I couldn't agree more. 

The Church, as we've known it in this country, is not going to exist in ten years.  Whether that's for the better or worse, the transition period is going to be extremely challenging and, in my opinion, a bit frightening. 

If my personal experience is any indication, most lay people are either completely oblivious to how severe the priest shortage is, or they're in some sort of strange denial that makes them believe their own parish is immune to the problem.  

These monologues here were written for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  They will be used at the priests' yearly convocation in June.  They are meant to be a starting point for discussion and reflection.  Therefore, they ask a lot of questions that they don't answer.  But they paint a pretty clear picture of where things stand and where they're headed.

I was given copies of similar monologues that were used by the Chicago diocese and told to adapt them for the west coast.  Initially, that meant throw in some references to the freeway system and take out the stuff about Chicago.  However,  when I sat down with the convocation committee, we realized there was still a lot left to be said, so I rewrote them.  These are about 75% new material.  (I don't know who wrote the Chicago version.  It was full of great stuff that I used, and I'd like to credit the writer.  I am working on finding out who wrote it and I'll post a name here  as soon as I get an answer.)

The theme of the convocation this year is the pastoral letter by Cardinal Roger Mahony that was published on April 20, 2000.  The letter is entitled "As I Have Done for You: A Pastoral Letter on Ministry".  The letter outlines the changes that are taking place and will continue to take place over the next decade.  

With the monologues, I tried to do the same thing.  The challenges ahead of  us are staggering.  But, as is usually the case in such matters, so are the possibilities.

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(*Note:  I would really appreciate any thoughts and comments on the monologues, especially from priests!  Please e-mail me if you have any qualms or suggestions.  Thanks!)


 (1) Martin McCaffrey  (age 67)

(2) Antonio Calletano  

(age 44)  


(3) Victor Tolentino  

(age 30)





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