Religion briefs 4-12-08


St. Henry party to benefit Gresham High event

St. Henry Catholic Church, 346 N.W. First St., will host a dinner and auction titled 'Hollywood Night' starting with a silent auction at 5:30 p.m. and a dinner at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 12.

Proceeds will benefit Gresham High School's senior class Drug and Alcohol-Free All-Night Party.

Tickets are $30. For information, call Darla at 503-661-2931.

Church to provide lunch for spring clean up

Gresham Bible Church will provide lunch for volunteers in the Saturday, April 19, spring clean up at Dexter McCarty Middle School, 1400 S.E. Fifth St.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers will pull weeds, plant flowers and bulbs, paint, mulch and edge. Bring work gloves and clothes to get dirty.

For information, call the school at 503-665-0148.

Under civil law, Catholic parishes to be restructured

Archbishop John G. Vlazny has announced plans for restructuring the Catholic parishes of the Archdiocese of Portland under civil law.

Each parish will be reorganized into a non-profit 'member corporation.' Each corporation will have a five-person board of directors. The restructuring is being done 'so that the parishes are legally separate and distinct from the archdiocese itself under civil law, as they are under canon (church) law.' Vlazny informed parishioners of the new structures in a letter released after Easter.

The archbishop announced last fall that an advisory group was formed to make a recommendation on how to restructure the parishes. The group 'was to recommend a civil legal structure for each parish that, to the extent possible, would: 1) be consistent with canon law and best mirror the canonical structures under which parishes presently operate; and 2) clarify under civil law the separation of assets of each parish one from another and from those of the archdiocese.'

In the restructured parish, the powers reserved to the member, the Archbishop of Portland, will be similar to the responsibilities of a bishop for oversight of parishes under canon law. The non-profit member corporation has the benefit of consistency between civil and canon law which distinguishes 'the responsibility of the pastor for the ordinary day-to-day administration of the parish from that of the bishop for canonical oversight of parish affairs.' The five-person board of directors will include the pastor of the parish, the vicar general of the archdiocese, a priest who serves on the College of Consultors, and two appointed directors, typically parishioners serving on the parish finance council and the parish pastoral council. The pastor will serve as president of the corporation.

The day-to-day operation of the parish will continue to be directed by the pastor as advised by the parish finance council and the parish pastoral council. The mission of the parish remains unchanged.

Vlazny noted, 'most parishioners will not notice any difference in the life of the parish as a result of the restructuring.' Parish property will be legally conveyed to each parish corporation, and the parish corporation will hold legal title to the real property that belongs to the parish.

Vlazny wrote that the archdiocese would continue to assist parishes. 'A 'services agreement' will be adopted between each parish and the Archdiocese, to ensure that the parishes continue to receive the benefits and services now provided to the parishes by the Pastoral Center and to ensure that the bishop may appropriately fulfill his canonical obligations for oversight of parish affairs.'

The archbishop also noted that the pooled parish funds held by the archdiocese for the Archdiocesan Loan and Investment Program and the Catholic Education Endowment Fund would be restructured under civil law, and that a Catholic Community Foundation may be established in the future.

Sermon to address environmental issues

Saving the earth has become a privilege. Those who are poor are often the most affected by environmental devastation and also the most likely to be unable to afford organic food or hybrid cars. Can the entire earth be saved by an elite few? And would you believe that fungus could have something to teach us about all this?

The Rev. Susan Maginn will deliver a sermon on this topic, titled 'Floating in Gravity' at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday, April 20, service in Eastrose Fellowship Unitarian Universalist Church, 1133 N.E.181st Ave. For more information, call 503-665-2628 or visit