Lincoln’s Log 7-18-2021

Apostolic Succession

I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble; none shall be missing, says the Lord.

Jer. 26:4

Question: How do you know where to find Jesus’ church?

Answer: Find the church he established.

As Catholics, we believe that Jesus established the Catholic church to continue His mission in the world. Last weekend, we heard how Jesus sent out the Twelve to continue His mission (Mk. 6:7-13). These Twelve were directly chosen by Jesus (Mk. 3:13-19) to be the core of the community. They were the foundation of a new Israel, just as the twelve tribes were the foundation of the people of the Old Testament. Like Israel, the new community founded on the apostles was to be the instrument God would use to renew the world. In fact, these apostles would spread the restoring power of God beyond Israel to the ends of the earth.

Already in the Old Testament, God was promising to renew His people. In our reading from Jeremiah this weekend, we hear God saying, “I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble.” These Twelve apostles are the fulfillment of that promise.

And these Twelve apostles form the foundation of the church. In the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:15-26), the Apostles choose a replacement for Judas so that their mission as shepherds of the people can continue. This choice of successors to the apostles continues today in the selection of bishops who are called to be shepherds after Jesus’s own heart.

Like the Old Testament shepherds, some of our bishops fail to live up to their calling, but Jesus continues to use them to guide and sanctify His church. The authority of leadership is passed down from one generation to the next in the call and ordination of the Bishops who take the place of the apostles as shepherds of the church. This process of handing down authority from one generation to the next is called “apostolic succession” and ensures that the Catholic church stays connected to the apostles and their mission. It is the source of the church’s apostolic authority. Since the time of the apostles, leaders have laid hands on the next generation to pass along the mantle of leadership.

That’s why we pray for Bishop Ricken and Pope Francis every time we gather for Mass. We believe that God has chosen them as our shepherds and that their authority comes from Jesus through the long story of apostolic succession.


Dcn. Lincoln

Parish Pastoral Leader

Lincoln’s Log 12-27-2020

The Church of the Home

“Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another… And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.”
Col. 3:12-14

“The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason, it can and should be called a domestic church. It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament.”
CCC #2204

One thing the pandemic has taught us is the importance of the domestic church. The phrase domestic church refers to the church of the home. It is helpful to think of at least four ways we experience the church.

  1. The universal church with the Pope as the chief shepherd of Jesus’ flock.
  2. Our diocesan church, where the Bishop serves as the shepherd.
  3. Our parish, with our pastor (or pastoral leader), as our local shepherd.
  4. Our home, with parents as the chief shepherds.

The domestic church describes #4 – our home. The home is the first place where we learn how to love and forgive; how to serve and support; how to be gentle and kind to others. For most of us, it is the first place we learned to pray. We encounter Jesus in our homes every day!

The pandemic has presented serious challenges to the experience of church #1-3 because it has hindered our ability to gather. However, the domestic church, our homes, have proven resilient. We are able to pray in our homes with whoever is present, or even alone. We can use technology to connect with other homes. Jesus comes to our homes whenever we invite Him.

In some ways, we have been thrown back to the most fundamental experience of church. As we struggle together through the winter months, let’s deepen our experience of being a domestic church, knowing that Christ is the head of our homes. Invite Him in! Let’s also reach out in creative ways to connect our homes so that our parish, diocese, and the universal church can grow in depth and breadth through the power of our home churches.


Dcn. Lincoln
Parish Pastoral Leader

Here is the quote from today’s homily:

“The bible does not concern itself anywhere with pastoral plans and strategies. Instead, on almost every page it reveals that God does not act anywhere and everywhere, but in a concrete place. God does not act at any and every moment, but at a particular time. God does not act through anyone and everyone,but through people God chooses. If we do not come to recognize that again, there will be no renewal of the Church in our time, for this principle of salvation history is true today as well.”

-From Does God Need the Church by Gerhard Lohfink [emphasis added]

What do you think?

How God Acts

If I try by myself to swim across the ocean of this world, the waves will certainly engulf me. In order to survive I must climb aboard a ship made of wood; this wood is the Cross of Christ. Of course, even on board ship there will be dangerous tempests and perils from the sea of this world. But God will help me remain on board the ship and arrive safely at the harbor of eternal life.
St. Augustine

from “The Better Part” by John Bartunek, LC, ThD.

If I try by mys…

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 8-25-13

I often talk about our community as a “community of disciples.” We have each been called by Jesus to follow him in a loving, personal relationship. My hope is that by reflecting on the values of discipleship we will create a culture that fosters ever deepening discipleship.

I ran across the following description of what is normal for a disciple of Jesus. I posted it to my blog ( ) a few weeks ago and wanted to share it with you as we continue to grow as disciples of Jesus.

 1. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have a living, growing love relationship with God.

2. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be excited Christian activists.

3. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be knowledgeable about their faith, the Scriptures, the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church, and the history of the Church.

4. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to know what their charisms of service are and to be using them effectively in the fulfillment of their vocation or call in life.

5. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to know that they have a vocation/mission in life (primarily in the secular world) given to them by God. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be actively engaged in discerning and living this vocation.

6. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have the fellowship of other committed lay Catholics available to them, to encourage, nurture,and discern as they attempt to follow Jesus.

7. It is NORMAL for the local parish to function consciously as a house of formation for lay Catholics, which enables and empowers lay Catholics to do #1-6 above.

Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples

 How well does this describe your experience as a disciple?


Lincoln A. Wood