‘What is this Roncalli thing that they are talking about?’
‘It’s a new thing. A fella said to me the other day he thought it was a new take away like Macari’s or Fuscardi’s, or maybe a pizza place, but it’s not, it’s something to do with the Church’.
The Archbishop was asked could Roncalli be the beginning of a schism? ( a division or a split in the Church).
I myself received a message during the night asking me ‘Do you work for Satan or Jesus?’
So from Take Away food outlet, to schism, to the work of the devil, Roncalli has got off to a rocky start!
Since Roncalli has been founded by myself here in St. Matthew’s and it is here in this parish that it finds it’s temporary home, I thought I had better clear up a few things.
The Roncalli Community, or Roncalli Movement or Roncalli Project, and as we find our feet all three are acceptable titles, was founded by myself and formally launched in St. Matthew’s on October 11th last. October 11th specially chosen as it is the feast of St. John XXIII, otherwise known as Angelo Roncalli.
Roncalli, Pope John XXIII had a heart for reform. Elected as a ‘caretaker’ Pope who would neither last long nor do anything significant, he became known as ‘the Good Pope’. What his electors did not realise was that old Roncalli was on fire with the Holy Spirit.
So Roncalli is the hero not Luther. It might be good to name just what this Roncalli Reform is and perhaps just importantly to name what it is not.
RONCALLI is not a new or alternative Church
is not at odds with Church teaching
is not designed to undermine the authority of the Church
is not confined to St. Matthew’s
No rather RONCALLI IS born out of love for the Church
IS faithful to the Church
IS committed to the reform and renewal of the Irish Church.
Each Roncalli meeting begins with a half an hour of contemplative prayer. There then follows Input and Discussion and concludes with Fellowship. The discussion/debate is specifically around the need for reform in the Church. So what might this include?
Topics that will present will include: the haemorrhage of people leaving the Church, the diminished sacramental life of the Church, the crisis in priestly and religious vocations, the prayer life of the Church, the changing face of Catholic schools, a rediscovery of our Baptism, how might we nourish a personal vibrant relationship with Jesus? This is just a flavour of some of the areas that might form our agenda.
Roncalli has only had two meetings but there are already hopeful signs. Over a hundred people wish to be part of it in various ways. A conversation has begun. People want to talk about their Church. They want to be heard.
More Roncalli Meetings coming up: Tuesday December 18th, Tuesday January 22nd, Monday 18th February, Thursday 21st March, Tuesday 30th April, Thursday 30th May and Tuesday 25th June. The meetings last from 7 – 9 pm. For the moment these meetings take place in St. Matthew’s.
I hope the people of St. Matthew’s Parish will grow to be proud of the Roncalli Initiative and ‘boast’ that this act of love for the Church, this flame of reform was sparked amongst them.
I hope as we grow, we will be engaged in ‘prophetic action’ for the reform of this Church that we love.
Eventually I hope to form a community that will live together and witness to the living reform of the Church.
Please pray for us. Perhaps come along to a meeting. Donations small or otherwise are welcome.
Talk about us to others.
The Church is the Lord’s. He looks after it. He will breathe new life into it. Where are we in this?
Surely not vegetating as spiritual couch potatoes? Hopefully alive as his hands and feet. Hopefully as builders of his Kingdom, as ambassadors of his good news and as instruments of his peace!