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How Catholics Can Realize the Royal Priesthood of the Laity and Rebuild a Church in Crisis

Nov 15, 2018
University Club of Chicago
76 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60603
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Fr. Michael Sweeney, OPLay Mission Project

  • How Catholics Can Realize The Royal Priesthood of the Laity and Rebuild a Church in Crisis

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$30 Student (with ID) / $60 General / $600 Host Committee
Registration includes lunch.

The Church has long taught that all baptized Christians share in Christ’s royal priesthood, and that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,” who should “declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

The current crisis in which the American Church finds herself lies in a failure to realize this common priestly vocation, and has led to clericalism, the cover-up of sexual abuse, lack of lay discipleship, and a dearth of vocations. Fr. Michael Sweeney, OP, has developed a theology of the laity that addresses this theological misunderstanding. He has applied this theology of the laity both as co-founder of the St. Catherine of Siena Institute and as the co-founder of the Lay Mission Project of the Western Dominican Province. 

Fr. Sweeney will speak to the suggestion of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that we ought to recognize a lay office in the Church in order to promote the full participation of the laity in the Church’s mission, with a view to enabling a real collaboration between the laity and the hierarchy.

Fr. Sweeney also participated on a panel discussion on similar topics on the afternoon of November 15.


Fr. Michael Sweeney, OP, founded and directs the Lay Mission Project of the Western Dominican Province. Previously he served as President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology (DSPT) in Berkeley, California. With Sherry Weddell, he founded the St. Catherine of Siena Institute, which equips parishes to form lay apostles. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, he was ordained in 1979 and has served as a university chaplain and as a pastor in a parish setting. Fr. Michael gives lectures and workshops around the country on lay formation and the mission of the Church.