Bishop Vincent M. Rizzotto's Address

2007 Christmas Banquet

      Club president Mike Montz introduced Bishop Vincent M. Rizzotto, the keynote speaker. His address centered on the four defining moments in the 2,000 years of the Catholic Church. The first of these was the advent of St. Benedict, founder of the Benedictine Order. Benedict was very spiritual man, and his associates asked him to become their aba, or father. He agreed if his followers would lead the spiritual life Benedict found productive for him by devoting their whole day to the Lord by work and prayer.
      Six centuries later two men, Dominic and Francis, formed the Mendicant Order of friars. They lived among the poor, particularly in the rapidly growing towns, preaching and bearing witness to a Christian life. Out on the streets, they were an inspiration to all.
     The third defining moment was the phenomenal growth in the nineteenth century of woman religious communities. Thousands of women left their homes to set examples and to teach social services, welfare, and health care. Bishop Rizzotto credited his decision to become a priest to the influence of these women in the schools he attended.
      The last of the four defining moments was the challenging of the laiety to take charge of activities in the church of today. This was addressed by a statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in December 2005 in a document titled, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord. It is a resource for guiding the development of lay ecclesial ministry in a step-by-step detailed way.

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