How can the Church serve your family?

The archbishop (and pope) want to know

Julie Filby

To help prepare for his October meeting with bishops from all over the world, Pope Francis has asked for input from all Catholics, including those of the Archdiocese of Denver. In response, the archdiocese has designed an online questionnaire available for all Catholics of northern Colorado to complete from now through March 2.

“The Vatican made it clear they wanted to have the widest consultation possible,” explained David Uebbing, chancellor. “To do that, we designed a questionnaire that tries to assess the needs families have, using clear, short questions.”

The Oct. 4-25 meeting—known as an ordinary general assembly of the synod—will be the second and larger of two such Vatican gatherings to take place over the course of a year. Like its precursor, the focus of the October 2014 extraordinary synod will be the family, specifically “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world.”

“The questionnaire will help improve the Church’s ministry on a wide range of topics,” Uebbing said, “like providing support for parents, strengthening family relationships, communication and finances.”

The 38-question, multiple-choice questionnaire addresses three main areas: one’s personal experience of family life, how parish life impacts the family, and how one is living their faith in “the world.” Questions include: What constitutes the greatest challenge to families? Which topics would you like to hear more about in homilies? How many people at work are aware of your faith? and Does your family pray together? It concludes with an open-ended question: How could the Church best help foster stronger, more faithful families?

The questions were developed by a team of members from the Archbishop’s Office, the Communications Office, and the Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries.

“Listening and input has always been a key part of the synod,” said Kevin Knight, sacramental preparation and education specialist for the archdiocese, and a member of the team. “It’s a worldwide effort.”

Archbishop Samuel Aquila will also use the information to better serve his flock in Colorado, according to Uebbing.

“The archbishop really wants to use as many communication tools as he can to expand his ministry to every part of the archdiocese,” he said.

In addition to input from individual families, the archbishop will gather feedback from those who serve families such as priests, religious orders, ecclesial movements, and academic institutions. Prior to the 2014 synod, Archbishop Aquila collected similar information from the head of each deanery, or geographic region, of the archdiocese.

Once the information is received from Catholics in northern Colorado, it will be compiled into a report by Archbishop Aquila, and then delivered to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In turn, the USCCB will submit a report to the Vatican that summarizes the findings from the entire country.

This feedback of the universal Church will be used to craft a working document that will help guide the bishops’ discussions at the synod. There an estimated 557,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese of Denver, 76 million in the U.S., and 1.2 billion worldwide.

Pope Francis has asked all families to support the synod in prayer, saying, “May we all, then, pray together so that through these events the Church will undertake a true journey of discernment and adopt the necessary pastoral means to help families face their present challenges with the light and strength that comes from the Gospel.”

To participate in the archdiocese’s questionnaire, visit www.archden.org/questionnaire before March 2.

Questionnaire on family life
Complete online Feb. 9-March 2 here.

COMING UP: Late St. Joseph deacon ‘reached out into the peripheries’ during ministry

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Deacon Maclovio (Max) Sanchez, 87, passed away peacefully in Olathe, Kansas on April 30. Deacon Sanchez was assigned to St. Joseph’s Parish in Denver throughout his diaconal ministry.

Maclovio Sanchez was born on May 21, 1931 in San Luis, Colorado, to Estevan and Emily Sanchez. He was baptized at Most Precious Blood Parish in San Luis, Colorado, on June 2, 1931 and grew up in Walsenberg, Colorado.  He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Wasenberg.

On April 24, 1954, he married Mary Frances Marquez at Holy Rosary Parish in Denver.  Over the 65 years of their marriage, the couple was blessed with three children: Martin, Debra and Joshua. They also had numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

In Denver, Max worked for Midwest Liquor Company, delivering products to the area stores. But his love was directed towards the poor communities in the metro area.  Max was vice chairman of the Coalition for the Westside Betterment and President of the St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Bank. He and his wife were also very involved in the parish at St. Joseph’s.

On March 22, 1975, Maclovio was ordained a deacon at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception by Archbishop James Casey. This was only the second class of men ordained in the archdiocese at the time. He was immediately assigned to St. Joseph’s Parish where he also conducted numerous Spanish Missions and served at the Westside Action Center. Retiring from ministry in 1993, he continued to serve at St. Joseph’s Parish as long as his health would allow.

“Deacon Max reached out into the peripheries and brought the lost back into the Church,” said Deacon Joseph Donohoe, Director of Deacon Personnel. “We have been blessed to have such a dedicated Cleric and Servant of the Church in Denver.”