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CCCR wants to build a channel for communication in our Archdiocese
to unify and strengthen the voice of the laity
in working together for the mission of the church.

What is a deanery, you might ask?

The priests of the Archdiocese are organized in a deanery system. There are about 12 to 15 parishes to a deanery, and there are 15 parish deaneries in the Archdiocese, grouped geographically. The pastors meet regularly. Each deanery has a dean; one of the pastors serves in that role. The deans meet with the Archbishop in the Presbyteral Council. We plan to use this Archdiocesan structure for parishes to form our network of parishioners. Some of the deans are supportive of this lay effort. Since this kind of networking has not been done before, we are building a model from scratch. With your help, we can succeed.

How do you join or find your place in the Lay Network?

To join, all you have to do is register using the link found in the Featured Items at the right -- Register for the Lay Network. When you list a parish, you will automatically be entered in the Lay Network in that parish and in the deanery and quadrant the parish is in. If you do not affiliate with a parish, leave the "parish" line blank and you will be listed geographically in the deanery and quadrant of your home address. We are calling Catholics who do not affiliate with a parish "St. Elsewheres."

Lay Network members get a Lay Network Update email during the second week of each month.

To find your parish, deanery number, and quadrant, click here.

To help us organize, email us at .

OK, what is the plan?

Step one: Register online on the home page of this site.
Step two: Read the monthly Lay Network Update and join in the current campaign to get our voices heard..

The 2014 campaign was to demonstrate that the people could have a voice in the selection of their leadership and to tell the Papal Nuncio of our concerns.The campaign for 2015 was giving Pope Francis the feedback he asked for on questions of family and sexual morality.  In 2016 we have focused on promoting an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council with lay deanery representation.  See "Some History" below.

Step three: CCCR emails all registered Lay Network members in all the deaneries and serves as the clearinghouse for the concerns of the laity. The network will bring the concerns of the people to the decision-makers. The Council of the Baptized* will continue to provide the firm grounding in scripture, Church tradition, and contemporary theology for the positions the laity takes.

Who is doing the organizing?

Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) is organizing an email network of lay people in the deaneries of the Archdiocese. Call Paula Ruddy if you want to help. (612) 315-3599.

What is your next step?

• If you want to be part of your parish organizing team, please call us.

• If you know either a trained or a natural-born organizer, ask him/her to call us.

• If you know one or two people in any of the parishes in your deanery who might be part of a team organizing, Email


Why are we doing this?

People usually have a strong parish identity, and that is a good thing. But we are thinking that an inter-parish email network with a deanery identity would give lay people a much stronger voice in the direction of the Church. It would provide a channel for feedback to the Church decision-makers-- pastors, deans, the Archbishop. At this time, there is no organized way for the lay people to communicate with them. We want to target the Church decision-makers and bring the people's voice to them. The network of parishioners within deaneries is our strategy to make the voice of the people heard in one campaign after another.

Some history:

First campaign through the Network

One decision-maker in the institutional Church is the Papal Nuncio, the Vatican diplomat in Washington, D.C. One of his jobs is to send recommendations to the Vatican for bishops in the U.S. In 2014, through our deanery network, we invited people to nominate and elect candidates to suggest to the Papal Nuncio for his next recommendation for bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. CCCR had a Bishop Selection Task Force, formed at Synod of the Baptized 2013, planning a campaign to nominate and elect candidates for bishop to send to the Papal Nuncio.

The Lay Network Organizing Team used the bishop selection campaign as the first campaign to engage the lay deanery network. A large number of people wrote to the Papal Nuncio, expressing their concerns about local church leadership.  

The people's voice in the election of bishops is part of Church tradition. The Council of the Baptized published a position paper entitled "People's Participation in Selection of Bishops" in January, 2013, giving the history and the rationale for the election of bishops.

Second campaign through the Network

Pope Francis asked for feedback from the faithful for the Synods of Bishops in 2014 and 2015.  The Archdiocese held listening sessions which CCCR member attended.  The Council of the Baptized published a position paper entitled "Toward a Healthy Christian Theology of Sexuality."  The Lay Network members attended listening sessions, participated in surveys, and wrote letters, all input transmitted to the Synod participants and Pope Francis.

Third campaign through the Network

In 2016, the Lay Network is talking to their pastors about re-establishing a channel of communication between the lay people and the Archdiocesan decision-makers, an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.   Each of the parish deaneries has a pastor who is dean of the parish priests in the deanery. The dean belongs to a Presbyteral Council advising the Archbishop.  We are asking our pastors to talk to their deans about an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council to encourage the Presbyteral Council to advise the Archbishop to re-establish one in this Archdiocese.  The Council of the Baptized published a position paper entitled "Archdiocesan Pastoral Council in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: A Recommendation for Re-establishment". 

*Council of the Baptized position papers can be found on this website under CoB, publications.  

Featured Items

Council of the Baptized Open Forum, March 13, 2018


Join the discussion of our Vatican II orientation with theologian Catherine Michaud, C.S.J. on Tuesday, March 13, 7:00 p.m.  It is at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. 

Deepening our Vatican II Spirituality

Like many church councils before it, Vatican Council II effected an enormous change in the spiritual identity of Catholics. Still, fifty-six years later, Catholics feel insecure about what the Council has called us to embrace. Questions still nag at us. We are asking, among other things:

  • *How did this enormous change happen?
  • *Why did it happen?
  • *Why, over five decades later, does there seem to be such resistance to this Council? 
  • *What exactly does it mean to be a Vatican II Catholic? What is a Vatican II spirituality?


Join the

CCCR/Council of the Baptized Lay Network

to connect  parishes and deaneries

for a strong lay voice on matters of concern in our Archdiocese. 


Please register your name, email address, home address, and parish (if any). 

We need your home address to place you geographically in the Archdiocese.  Thanks..