Catholic Coalition for Church Reform
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REGISTER by November 9





Please register your name, email address, home address, and parish (if any) to join in a strong lay voice on matters of concern in our Archdiocese

We need your home address to place you geographically in the Archdiocese.  Thanks. 


November 6, 2014:   About the CCCR Bishop Selection Campaign: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A



We are in the VOTING phase of the campaign for a people’s voice in the selection of our leadership.

First, the people nominated leaders. Then a committee of the people who were likely to know the

nominees selected seven of them for the slate. Now it is up to all the people of the archdiocese

to vote for three of those seven when they get ballots by email in the first two weeks of November. If

you prefer, you may write-in the names of leaders not on the ballot. 


The seven local pastors on the slate are Fathers Mike Byron, Paul Feela, Paul Jaroszeski, Charles

Lachowitzer, Phil Rask, Tim Wozniak, and Bishop Lee Piché. 


These seven men had no involvement in the process and were not consulted in advance of their selection by the Committee. We are calling them to leadership based on the people’s confidence in them. As we cannot elect our bishops, as explained below, any appointment will come from Pope Francis, and if one of these men is appointed, he may decline at that time.


Preparing to vote means we have to get some information about the nominees. CCCR has produced

profiles of the  nominees with the information we could find. You can find them by clicking on "Bishop

Selection" in the left menu and then going to "Priest Profiles."



If you know one of the nominees and can endorse him to be bishop/archbishop, you are invited to make a statement we will publish on this website. Call Paula at 651-219-5909.  See Testimonials below.




Fr. Michael Byron is an outstanding candidate for Bishop. We have experienced him as a teacher and a visiting Priest and feel he has all the qualities needed for the position of Bishop.

The combination of his academic background ( both his own and his teaching at Holy Angels High School and at the St. Paul Seminary) in combination with his experience as parish priest give him a depth of understanding of people and a knowledge of the church that would serve him well as Bishop.


His leadership qualities became apparent at a very early age being elected to the Parish Council of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church (his home parish) in his early twenties. These qualities continue to surface in every aspect of his ministry.


He has a heart of compassion---not judgement, and in his words: "A priest should live among the people as one who is noted as kind, charitable and generous...." He has a heart for the poor and marginalized much like our Pope Francis that can bring healing to our Diocese. To quote Fr. Byron, "do not remain silent in the face of injustice just to keep peace. Take a stand on behalf of the invisible ones." 


Fr. Michael Byron is exceptionally qualified candidate for Bishop.


Phillip K. and Gloria W. Smith

Christ the King Catholic Church


I do not know Fr. Michael Byron personally, and what leads me to recommend him is what I have heard from a couple people who attended St. Cecilia's when he was there. The comments were that he was both pastorally and intellectually contemporary. His dissertation on the Church as symbol, as described in Lumen Gentium, tells me much about his thinking. Also, his advisor, Roger Haight, and his focus on pluralism is important to me. 


So he seems to have both a pastoral and theological orientation that would make for a good bishop.


Don Conroy



Observation:-I know Father Paul Jaroszeski as the Pastor of St. Katherine Drexel Parish in Ramsey, MN.  I worked with him as a member of the Parish Start Up Committee when we first opened up the parish and also in various ways over the past years.


I endorse Father Paul and believe he would be a good Bishop because he is not interested in the pomp and ceremony of the office but more interested in working with and helping the followers of Jesus Christ in a personal way.  He listens to all sides of an issue, is very fair and nonjudgmental to begin with, and has the ability to engage people so they feel that their points are being listened to and his decisions are well received. He is very pleasant and greets all parishioners quite well and is not so rigid that he will not listen to new ideas.  His homilies are well thought out, presented in a meaningful way, and very pertinent to the everyday life of the parishioners. My experiences with him have been very positive and as our parish has not met the enrollment numbers that had been projected he has stayed very upbeat and supportive as we have gone from a designation  “to be determined” to “a parish in formation” by the Archdiocese.  Lastly I believe he would make a good Bishop because he is not actively seeking this position but supports the premise that the lay parishioners should have a stronger voice in selecting their leadership in the Catholic Church.



Dr. Thomas Carey


St. Katherine Drexel

Prior to retirement  I had 52 years of service in Education and 33 years in Catholic schools.  I was also involved in starting St. Gerard’s Parish in Brooklyn Park in 1969 and am a member of the Knights of Columbus.




Bishop Selection Process


Thanks to everyone who nominated a local pastor for the role of bishop/archbishop in this Archdiocese.



And thanks to the Consultant Committee of the CCCR Bishop Selection Task Force for their work in winnowing the nominations from 55 to seven. The Consultant Committee consists of five priests, Fathers Stephen Adrian, John M. Bauer, John Brandes, Patrick Griffin, and Dale Korogi, and three lay people, Cathy Edwards, Patricia Gries, and James Moudry. Carol Tauer is the Committee Coordinator.



The Committee considered the number of nominations each person received, the qualifications listed below, and the gifts as they knew them of each man on the list. The chief quality they considered was the ability to unify people in a polarized community.



In November we arel voting to narrow the list to three.  The purpose of the voting is


  • to accustom ourselves to the idea of selecting our own leadership, and
  • to determine who among the local pastors has the confidence of the people to lead us in the mission of the Church.


You may write-in nominees on the ballot if you so desire.



Because we cannot at this time elect our leadership, after this balloting process we will then ask you to write to the papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican ambassador to the U.S. whose responsibility it is to recommend names to Rome for appointment.  In your letter you may recommend one or more of the three final names or anyone you think qualified.  The reason for writing individually to the papal nuncio is that the Vatican discourages organized group recommendations to avoid campaigning and factions.



This initial attempt to make the people's voice heard is far from an ideal process. It is a first step to filling a crucial need in our Archdiocese.  Fr. Stephen Adrian, part of the Bishop Selection Task Force, has expressed the need like this:


To lead one must have the trust and confidence of the community.... It is essential that the next archbishop be selected only after a broad consultative process involving clergy, religious and laity. The process should include an opportunity to articulate the qualities we need in a bishop; the process should also allow people to suggest names of persons they consider meeting those qualities.


For an ideal process we would need Archdiocesan cooperation.  That is a future to be prayed for.  In the meantime we take first steps.



Rationales for Reducing the Number of Nominees


On the principle that the people under the bishop’s jurisdiction should have a voice in choosing him, the Task Force first eliminated nominations from people outside the Archdiocese. Secondly, believing that local pastors are more likely to be familiar with the needs of the Archdiocese, we eliminated nominees from other jurisdictions.



Reluctantly, we eliminated the much-appreciated senior nominees—70 and over. Since a bishop is required by canon law to tender his resignation at the age of 75 and it is probable that the investigative and appointment process is lengthy, a person over the age of 70 would not have sufficient time to serve. That left us with a list of 43 names.



Eliminating all nominees with only one nomination resulted in a list of 23 names from which the Consultant Committee chose the seven named above.






Criteria Used in Reducing the Number of Nominees to a Slate


The bishop should have:      


  • The ability  to unify polarized factions and bring Catholics together to accomplish the Church’s mission.


  • Significant pastoral experience in parish, hospital, or similar settings (not solely academic, Chancery, etc.).
  • A reputation for being credible and trustworthy and for  valuing transparency and accountability.
  • Theological competence.
  • An ethic of servant leadership on the model of Pope Francis.
  • Demonstrated willingness to foster two-way communication with clergy and laity.
  • Demonstrated skill as a public speaker and preacher.
  • Evidence of leadership skills within the archdiocese.
  • Demonstrated administrative skills.
  • Involvement in promoting social justice and fostering concern for the poor and disenfranchised.
  • Ability to engage and relate to people of multiple generations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to interfaith efforts and cooperation.
  • Sensitivity to and credibility with diverse communities.




Last Updated on Thursday, 06 November 2014 08:29
Toward an Expanding Lay Spirituality for the 21st Century PDF Print E-mail

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…and God saw that it was good.” That is how the book of Genesis begins the Hebrew people’s creation story, written down in the 6th century BC.

Homo Sapiens Sapiens (a species that knows that it knows) is a meaning-making creature, a spiritual seeker looking for answers to the ultimate question—why? Where did we come from? Where is it all going? Humans need coherent stories to survive and thrive. Their creation stories give them a secure understanding of their place in the world. Anthropologists have written about archaic societies that have disintegrated or become extinct when the story broke down. When they have a cosmology—a sense of belonging in the big picture—humans can work together to make supportive cultural systems, institutions where life can thrive. They can work together to reform institutions, even the religious institutions that carry the traditions of meaning.

In the 21st century we have global communication and economic systems, and the know-how to globally destroy ourselves, but do we have a shared story, a common meaning system? To what extent do we have a shared meaning system as a nation? What is the creation story of 21st century American Catholics?

Here is one creation story prevalent in the 21st century: Our knowledge of the beginning is by no means certain, but it has about five centuries of cumulative scientific investigation behind it. There was nothing but a pinpoint of energy until it exploded into a universe of matter about 15 billion years ago, the beginning of space/time. Particles of matter joined their energies to form increasingly complex structures till billions of stars, many with orbiting planets, spin ever outward in an expanding universe. And ten billion years later one medium-sized planet formed around one star amid twelve billion other stars in one of 100 billion galaxies. Earth was born.


The conditions on this planet earth are just right for molecules of matter to combine energies to form living cells, and they combined to form organisms, which combined to form ever more complex organisms in billions of species. And then, one species of very complex organisms, walking upright, with a cranium large enough to house an expanded brain, became conscious of itself as experiencing the world. The universe became conscious of itself and saw that it was good.

The evolutionary pattern is that new being emerges from the combined energies of already existing being; for example, hydrogen and oxygen combine and there is water. Looking back at that pattern of new creation emerging, from sub-atomic particles to atoms, then molecules, then cells, we can see that humans too have combined conscious energy to create cultural forms to produce new consciousness. They created increasingly complex or nuanced systems to live in community--governments, economic systems, educational systems—and complex systems to create meaning—religions, art, literature, music, dance. They have become co-creators of the evolving universe that now includes the culture of the species that has covered the face of the earth.

CCCR wants to explore how the above creation story can reveal Jesus’s message of God’s love for the world. Can the Christian religion, growing out of a Middle Eastern and Western cultural combination, fit with the evolutionary view of the universe? How do the concepts of incarnation, redemption, salvation, grace, and human deification fit in? How does Jesus’s vision of the Kingdom of God fit in? Is the call to personal and communal holiness the same as the evolutionary impulse to ever-expanding consciousness? Was Vatican II an evolutionary step forward in the history of the Roman Catholic Church?

We held workshops in the NW and SW quadrants of the Archdiocese during February of 2013 to talk about this shift in perspective.  Our keynote speaker for Synod 2013, September 28, is Sister Gail Worcelo who is a practicioner of the evolutionary perspective.  Look to the right of this article to register.

If you are interested in helping to set up further workshops on the questions for religion arising from this creation story, call (612) 379-1043 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Click on Evolutionary Christianity on the Main Menu to find articles, events, and a bibliography.




CCCR Board Members

                                   Sabrina Mauritz

                                               Peggy Benkert  

                                                     Paula Ruddy

                                               Mary Sutherland:               Secretary

                                                     Michael Bayly

                                              Mary Beth Stein

                                                       Lonne Murphy

                                                  Eileen Rodel:                      Co-Chair

                                                           Ed Walsh:                            Treasurer

                                                         Dan DeWan

                                                            Caroline Beal 

                                                              Bob Beutel:                         Co-Chair

                                                                Bernie Rodel:                      Co-Chair

                                                           Art Stoeberl