INCORPORATE THE VESTIBULE


The Vestibule of the Church is home to all the Lay Ministries - but in a dormant, or merely symbolic form at the present time. The Vestibule begs to be activated by the Laity.

The "Laity Corporation" will seek to do that as an exercise of our baptismal calling.

The Vestibule is where the priests are with the people. The Vestibule is the first embodiment of the social presence of the Church. That's why the baptismal font was traditionally located in or near the Vestibule, as our holy water fonts faintly echo.

It is a big problem today that the Catholic Church presents no concrete social presence where Her communal dimension can exist vis-a-vis "the world". The world enters The DOOR of the Church and encounters the Vestibule; likewise, the vivified "Body of Christ" returns to the world through the Vestibule.... It is not right that it is unattended, neglected, and all but abandoned.

The Vestibule has an important ministry to do, that it is not now doing. It cannot exert its ministerial muscle if it is only considered to be a place to wipe one's shoes.

The Vestibule as a semi-sacral space is where "Community" forms - and transforms into "Congregation." The Vestibule is meant to enable and provide for the dynamic community life of the Catholic faithful. (Interestingly, The Biblical Greek terms for both "Community" and "Congregation" translate as "church" -cf. http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/NT-Theology-Ecclesiology.htm)

Catholics need to "show up." Obviously, we can't do that in a mere foyer or lobby. Therefore, we, the Laity, need to actualize what is present only symbolically - we need to INCORPORATE THE VESTIBULE as a Catholic Social Center.

Have you ever seen one?

Some parishes have places like that, but they usually are not conceptualized correctly. They aren't self-understood as the Vestibule of the Church, but exist more like a private club-house for the few.

The Vestibule wants to exist on Main Street, or in a Mall, and serve a Deanery-wide area comprising many parishes. (Remember when a parish was a geographic area - and the pastor was pastor of EVERYONE's soul?)

       ***  The Incorporated Vestible inherently retains episcopal permission as part of the Visible Church so long as it remains orthodox in both belief and practice - since the Incorporated Vestibule is an exercise of the baptismal charism, which needs no express permission to exert.

The Incorporated Vestibule is highly evangelistic. It exercises the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, and will work best when licensed by the State to serve food for the sake of hospitality - (think of the cakes we sell in our parish vestibules!) - and as a gift shop. But essentially The Vestibule is a place for dialogue...it's where WE SHOULD CONVERSE!

With Internet broadcasting becoming normal and economical, I don't see why every Vestibule should not broadcast live streaming discussions, musical performances, and informative talks so that the life of our community can be seen anywhere, and everywhere, in the world.

"Think Local, act Global" as I like to say.

But the initiative must come from the LAITY. It's "OUR" baby.

The Vestibule is a world-wide ministry-in-waiting...waitng for us to step into it and fulfill it's purpose.

Please contact me, Michael Phillip Miller, to get this started. I am neither able nor qualified to do this alone. My email is: earthling98765@hotmail.com I live in Harrison, New Jersey.


March 4, 2017       
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