Share this story

 | By Anne Grycz

Shepherd of Inclusivity

Anne Grycz Reflects on Bishop PJ’s Inclusivity of the Laity

In 1998, when the Institute for Leadership in Ministry was in its second year, Bishop PJ was appointed to the Diocese of San José. That was when I first met him. He greeted me with a warm handshake and a wonderful smile, and he mentioned his delight at being assigned to our diocese with its history of lay ministry.

Soon after this, I requested that he give a class on the organizational structure of the Church, focusing on both the curia in Rome and the diocese. I recall that his presentation was excellent and emphasized the existing and potential role of the laity in ministerial leadership roles in the Diocese of San José.

Bishop PJ’s support of lay inclusion has resulted in well-formed parish staff, committed volunteers, and creative outreach to people on the margins. From our earliest days, lay men and lay women have served representing the diocese on national boards, such as the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, Catholic Charities U.S.A., the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators, and others. Lay leadership in the Diocese of San José has benefited the Church across the United States in several ways, chief among them our contribution to multicultural ministry. At the same time, the diocese has benefited from interaction with the larger Church. Witnessing Bishop PJ's inclusion of lay men and women kept my spirits and my love for our Church alive and well.

Mostly I will miss Bishop PJ’s humor and his pastoral sense. From the beginning, Bishop PJ spoke of the priesthood of the baptized. He unceasingly encouraged the students in the Institute for Leadership in Ministry to serve the Church of San José with their gifts and talents. It has been a gift to respond to my baptismal call by serving in diocesan ministry for 24 years and in parish ministry up to the present.

Anne Grycz is the Director Emerita of the Institute for Leadership in Ministry. She is a long-time parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Palo Alto, where she serves as a lector and a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She loves traveling, reading, and getting together with friends.

¡Lee este artículo en español! (Spanish Language Version)

Đọc bài viết này bằng tiếng Việt! (Vietnamese Language Version)