My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Anniversary Celebration & New Ventures

Dear Blog Visitors:

I would like to share one of my recent articles with you. This particular one was published in the January/February 2009 issue of 'CORPUS Reports.' If you have not visited the CORPUS website, be sure to do so. The address is www.corpus.org. Amongst the menu items at the site, you will find my monthly audio address.

In the article that follows, I address the tenth anniversary of Spiritus Christi Church, my new ventures in YouTube and a my reflection on the next twenty years.

Here is the article:

AN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AND SOME NEW VENTURES
By Ray Grosswirth, CORPUS Media Liaison
January/February edition of 'CORPUS Reports'

It has been a few months since I wrote an article for CORPUS Reports. So, I thought it was about time for me to pull up a chair in front of the keyboard, so I can give you an update on my latest activities.

This article will be divided into three sections: 1.) The Tenth Anniversary of Spiritus Christi Church; 2.) My Adventures with YouTube; 3.) A Reflection on the Next Twenty Years.

THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF SPIRITUS CHRISTI CHURCH

I was greatly honored to receive a phone call from Rev. Jim Callan of Spiritus Christi Church in September. He indicated to me that the church was going to celebrate its tenth anniversary with an all-inclusive liturgy, whereby Jim invited me to concelebrate. Of course, I accepted the invitation with great enthusiasm.

The 10th anniversary liturgy was a wonderful experience for all who attended and participated. Members of the clergy were inclusive of Jim Callan, Mary Ramerman and Denise Donato from Spiritus Christi. Additionally, there were male and female pastors from a variety of Protestant churches present, in addition to multiple married priests and women priests, including yours truly.

Following the opening procession, each member of the clergy had an opportunity to extend a greeting to the Spiritus Christi community. I extended my greeting on behalf of CORPUS and the Federation of Christian Ministries. I also had an opportunity to extend a final blessing on behalf of CORPUS.

It was a very special moment for me when Mary Ramerman stepped up the microphone to acknowledge the fact that Rochester’s Bishop Matthew Clark is a very nice man and indicated that just as Spiritus Christi continues to pray for him every week, she knows that he continues to pray for the Spiritus Christi community as well. I was heartened by Mary’s good will, because I continue to hold Bishop Clark in very high esteem, for he is one of the few pastoral bishops left in the ranks of the hierarchy.

I recall that when Spiritus Christi began ten years ago, skeptics gave the community one or two years at most. Well, ten years later, the community continues to grow. In addition, to its primary location in Rochester, Spiritus Christi has started communities in Elmira, New York and Buffalo, New York.

I truly see Spiritus Christi as the wave of the future (parishes where there is no discrimination on the basis of gender, marital status or sexual orientation).

If you would like to extend a 10th anniversary greeting to Spiritus Christi, by all means visit their website at www.spirituschristi.org.

MY ADVENTURES WITH YOUTUBE

One of the reasons I haven’t been doing much writing lately is my new-found hobby of making videos for YouTube. It has been a process of trial and error. Depending upon the message I am delivering, I occasionally dress in clerical clothing; other times I dress in either casual attire or a suit and tie. Of course, since I can’t resist being a ham in front of a camera, I occasionally venture into the world of comedy, so I can offer some variety to viewers who want to see more than serious theological/pastoral messages.

I have had both positive and negative experiences on YouTube. (By the way, my channel can be accessed at www.youtube.com/priestray. You need to have a high-speed connection in order to watch videos.) On the positive side, I have been able to connect with Catholics of all age groups. On the negative side, I occasionally get criticized by what I like to refer to as the EWTN crowd (mostly conservative young people in their twenties or thirties who would rather watch devotional videos than the reform-minded messages I deliver on a regular basis).

There does seem to be an audience for videos dealing with church reform. Correspondingly, I would love to hear from CORPUS members who may have some creative ideas for me to try, in an attempt to draw attention to the efforts underway to change the face of the Roman Catholic Church.

A REFLECTION ON THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS

I now have a homework assignment for CORPUS members. Your assignment is to imagine what the Roman Catholic church might look like in twenty years. For that matter, what will CORPUS look like in twenty years?

I think it would be fascinating if members of CORPUS would write creative articles that envision the future. Who knows? Perhaps we can influence Vatican officials who seem to be in a state of gridlock.

As I ponder the future, I realize that as I approach the age of 60, I am one of the younger members of our organization. So, if we want CORPUS to continue its vitality for another twenty years, we need to come up with ways to attract some younger persons who will be able to carry the ball for us when we are no longer able to do so.

During our joint conference last July in Boston, I was struck by the number of young women who have recently joined the Women’s Ordination Conference. I was also struck by the energy and enthusiasm they have for reform initiatives. It is therefore my hope CORPUS can also draw some young folks to the table. This would certainly make the Vatican nervous, because our cardinals actually believe that reformers are going to fade away.

CONCLUSION

I often think of CORPUS as an extended family. I therefore want to wish all of you in this extended family a very blessed Christmas and New Year.

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