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Beacons of Light Glossary

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Infrastructure: The collective physical structures and property in our archdiocese – church buildings, school buildings, office buildings, rectories and real estate, including parking lots, grounds, etc.
Bishop / Archbishop: A successor of the Apostles who has received the fullness of Christ’s priesthood. The bishop is the proper shepherd of the diocese entrusted to him under the authority of the Holy Father. An archbishop is the bishop of an archdiocese. “The diocesan bishop governs the particular Church entrusted to him with legislative, executive and judicial power, in accordance with the law.” (Code of Canon Law, c. 391)

Pastor: The pastor is the proper shepherd of the parish or parishes entrusted to him under the authority of his (arch)bishop. He is an ordained priest responsible for the ministry of teaching, sanctifying and governing, with the cooperation of other priests or deacons in the parish and the assistance of lay members of the faithful.

Parochial Vicar: A parochial vicar is a priest assigned by his (arch)bishop to a parish or Family of Parishes to assist a pastor in the care of the faithful. The Code of Canon Law defines the office as follows: “Parochial vicars are priests who render their services in pastoral ministry as co-workers with the pastor in common counsel and endeavor with him and also under his authority.” (Code of Canon Law, c. 545 §1)

Deacon: A deacon is a man ordained for service in the Church’s ministry of charity. Deacons receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, as do priests and bishops. Deacons assist priests with various parish ministries. They are able to administer the sacrament of baptism, witness marriages and assist with both the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Deacons also often assist with parish administration, catechesis and other duties. A permanent deacon may be married or single and is not a candidate for the priesthood. A transitional deacon is a man in formation for the priesthood, for whom the diaconate is a final stage before priestly ordination

Triune God: A central doctrine of the Church, stating that there are three Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – in one God. Sharing the same divine substance, the three divine Persons are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstanstial. They are due co-equal glory and adoration. This doctrine is commonly expressed as that of the Most Holy Trinity.

Synodality: A way of living the faith in a permanent manner at every level – in the parish, in the family and at the peripheries. All members of the Church, laity in addition to clergy, are to be engaged in this way of living. Synodality describes the journeying together of the People of God toward the New and Eternal Jerusalem.

Lumen Gentium (“The Light of the Nations”): One of the principle documents of the Second Vatican Council, known as the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Lumen Gentium has two purposes: to explain the Church’s nature as “a sign and instrument of communion with God and of unity among all men” and to clarify the Church’s universal mission as the sacramental means of human salvation.

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