Neil Storch's Home Page     
Full Text Document




 

    INTRODUCTION

    In August 1969, I packed my meager possessions and with a heartfelt goodbye left the University of Wisconsin--Madison. My years in graduate school included many rewarding and memorable experiences at the University Catholic Center, where I was active in the liturgical reform movement inspired by the Second Vatican Council.

    Like most Catholics, I followed the developments of Vatican II, 1962-1965, from afar reading reports in newspapers and magazines. The council, a series of sessions in Rome led first by Pope John XXIII and then, after his death, by Pope Paul VI, was attended by bishops from all over the world. Vatican II led to important documents and a spirit of reform and renewal that swept away much of the religious culture that I had known all my life. Changes were made in Catholic theology, philosophy, liturgy, vestments, altars, and music. Most importantly, the church began to timidly move away from the hierarchical model of governance in favor of a Vatican II-inspired concept: the People of God.

    Journeying to northern Minnesota, I began teaching at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Imbued with the spirit of Vatican II, I was naturally drawn to Duluth's charismatic bishop, Paul Francis Anderson, who strove to implement the ideas and spirit of the council. My contacts with the bishop were limited--sermons, meetings of a diocesan history committee and a memorable day of bicycling along the famed North Shore of Lake Superior. My interest in studying Anderson was later sparked by the contagious enthusiasm of Monsignor George Schroeder and exposure to some of the bishop's papers when I was writing an historical piece on his predecessor, Bishop Francis J. Schenk.

    Bishop Anderson and his efforts to renew the church in Duluth and beyond can best be understood by using a new approach to the study of the American Catholic experience. David J. O'Brien, Loyola Professor of Roman Catholic Studies at the College of the Holy Cross, suggests that the history of the American church be retold as a story of liberation. "Families once poor and on the margins, exploited workers in mines and factories, immigrants in squalid tenements, over three or four generations moved up and moved in." He points out that "if liberation has to do with overcoming economic insecurity and dependence, lack of education, cultural marginalization, and political powerlessness, then this is a liberation story." For O'Brien, "the question now is: 'liberation for what?' Perhaps it always was."

    How does one answer O'Brien's telling question? Perhaps the best way is to study and reflect on the lives of American Catholics such as Paul Anderson who have been effective witnesses to Gospel values. Bishop Anderson offered a strong vision of what can be achieved by taking seriously the ideas and spirit of Vatican II. He called for a change of heart and mind leading to renewal based on the council's vision of the church as the People of God; this included expanded roles for women, lay ministry, personal and spiritual growth, and a strong commitment to social justice.

    Reading Anderson's papers was indeed a privilege and I wish to thank Father Patrick J. Moran for all his help as I examined the rich collection of newspapers, letters, sermons, talks and personal journals housed in the Archives of the Diocese of Duluth. Father Moran also shared his own valuable insights into Anderson's character and contributions. Chancellor Jerome Klein of the Diocese of Sioux Falls facilitated my work with Sioux Falls collections.

    I am grateful to the following who formally or informally shared their memories of Bishop Anderson; Rev. Mr. H.L. (Chico) Anderson, Father James Crossman, Donna Effinger, Father John Whitney Evans, Sister Helen Giesen, O.S.B., Jon Helstrom, Professor Delores Leckey, Bishop Raymond Lucker, Sister Mary Paul Ludwig, O.S.B., Monsignor Patrick McDowell, Monsignor John McEneaney, P.A., Sister Mary Charles McGough, O.S.B., Monsignor Bernard Popesh, Father Richard Rice, S.J., Mrs. Robert J. Rich, Archbishop John R. Roach, Monsignor Gregory Schaeffer, Father James W. Scheuer, and Monsignor George Schroeder.

    Sisters Giesen and Ludwig also shared their recordings of Bishop Anderson's talks. In addition to providing invaluable information, the tapes enabled me to once again listen to the bishop's ideas and stories in his own voice. Sister Mary Charles has a rich collection of the bishop's paintings. Through her efforts, his artistic contributions have been preserved.

    Bishop Anderson believed to the very core of his being that the church was the People of God. He strove with all his energy to foster a change of heart and mind leading to a renewed church, a powerful witness to the risen Lord. It is my hope that this reflection on his life and ministry will contribute to keeping alive his message of love and hope.

I

MAKING OF A BISHOP

    "Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man--the biography of the man himself cannot be written." Mark Twain's astute comment is especially applicable to Paul Francis Anderson, the fifth bishop of Duluth. It is not enough to study the climatic highlights of his career. To really know the man and appreciate his impact on people and their lives, one must see him in the small moments of his life relating to people. This can not be done. Still, if Anderson's legacy and contributions are to be preserved, if we are to document the history of the post-Vatican II era, then it is necessary to study the man and his career.

    To understand Anderson's life and career, we must journey back to his Massachusetts boyhood and his early years as an assistant pastor and hospital chaplain. Paul Francis Anderson was born in West Roxbury, a division of the City of Boston, on April 20, 1917. He was the second son of Mary Elizabeth and Philip Anderson both children of Irish immigrants.

    Never prosperous, the family was at times in dire straits. Paul's father lost his job in the famous 1919 Boston police strike, crushed by Governor Calvin Coolidge the future President. Showing his faith in God, Philip Anderson dropped his last dime in the collection plate at mass. Sixty years later, reflecting on those trying days, Bishop Anderson remembered that his father literally did not have a dime to his name, but the family survived thanks to friends and the grace of God.

    The stock market crash in 1929 and the Great Depression which followed was an especially difficult time for the Andersons, since Philip, like so many fathers, was out of work. The family, which at times lacked ample food, scraped by with everyone doing odd jobs. Finally, Phillip found steady work as a motorman on the Boston Elevated Railway. The future bishop never forgot his boyhood experience with poverty and it left him with a profound sense of compassion and an abiding concern for the poor and disadvantaged.

    Despite hardships, Paul's boyhood years were happy and he shared precious memories with friends for the rest of his life. He fondly recalled making toys from odds and ends found at home or in the city dump--bows, arrows, slingshots, swords, shields, kites, model boats, planes, and other things that filled his heart with delight. Sports equipment included skis made from barrel staves and footballs made from stocking caps filled with rags.

    Memories of his parents filled his heart and animated his life as he recalled his tall, busy mother with her smiling face, and his father who taught him to take advantage of every day urging him to try things: "You can do it!" From his family he learned two cardinal virtues: hard work and generosity. For Paul Anderson, family was central. His life-long effort to form Christian communities wherever he went stemmed in part from boyhood memories of his family.

    Paul cared about people. Working for a number of grocery stores--pushing a cart and helping customers in the store--he got to know most of the people in his neighborhood. This personable young man was offered a managers position as soon as he finished school, but another calling was beginning to stir, a vocation that would combine his strong interest in people with his growing religious faith.

    Raised in an old fashion Irish Catholic family by devout parents, Paul experienced the first stirrings of a call to the priesthood in the 1930s. Vivid images of services at St. John's in Winthrop remained all his life: candles glowing on the altar, Marian hymns and prayers, homilies, the smell of incense, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and weekly novenas to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Taking an active part in those services as an altar boy made a lasting impression. Another precious memory from altar boy days was of a very special Christmas when a man celebrated his first Christmas as a priest. Anderson never forgot that Christmas and the priest became a model that helped lead him to the priesthood.

    After graduating from Winthrop High School in 1935, Anderson attended Boston College, a Jesuit institution in Chestnut Hill. Then, despite doubts and fears, he decided to follow his dream of becoming a priest; he transferred to the seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston, St. John's in Brighton. With this important, life-changing decision made, he planned to catch a streetcar and tell his grandmother the good news. His mother urged him to refuse the money that his grandmother was sure to offer. She reminded her son that his grandmother was poor and took in laundry and scrubbed floors just to make ends meet. He set out determined to heed his mother's advice and when he arrived he refused to accept any money, but his grandmother persisted until he finally took the envelope assuming that it contained $5 or $10. Imagine his shock when he opened the envelope and found $1000, a large sum in those days. Though poor, she long believed that her grandson would study for the priesthood and was determined to help. The money, eked out of her meager income, was of immense help.

    Anderson completed his studies in an accelerated year-round program, designed to meet the shortage of priests during the Second World War. He was ordained on January 6, 1943 by Auxiliary Bishop Richard Cushing , the future cardinal who continued to play an important role in the young priest's life.

    After celebrating his first mass in his hometown of Winthrop, Anderson returned to the two-floor house, his family had long called home. He greeted family and friends and bestowed his first priestly blessings. A most touching incident occurred in the middle of the afternoon when an elderly Jewish neighbor, a friend of the family, hobbled up the front steps to congratulate the new priest saying "it is so nice that you are a priest. Someday my son Reeven will be a rabbi and he can come and preach in your church and you can come and preach in the temple." Anderson never forgot her powerful words and the day would come when as Bishop of Duluth he would have the opportunity to preach in a temple, condemn anti-Semitism and apologize for any Christian actions that contributed to the Holocaust, the mass murder of Jews during World War II.

    Father Anderson's first assignment was at Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted in Waltham, Massachusetts, a parish that ministered to three hospitals as well as serving a congregation. This assignment, which tested his mettle, exposed him to the pain and agony of mental illness, old age and death. The newly ordained priest, who felt inadequate in the face of his challenging ministry, found the mental hospital most difficult as he witnessed the horrifying sight of patients locked in rooms and restrained in straitjackets. Some patients were old and infirm, not mentally ill, but since they had no other place to go they were left to languish in the mental hospital. Anderson developed a lifelong concern for the mentally ill and elderly and years later as a bishop made it a point to visit mental institutions and nursing homes.

    His ministry brought him face to face with death. The young priest witnessed the anguish of families who mourned the death of a loved one or even more heart-rending the sight of those facing the agony and fear of death alone without the comfort of family and friends. Experiences with mentally ill and dying patients left an indelible mark--a sense of compassion early in his priestly career. Moreover, his experiences in the hospitals left him with the firm conviction that Catholics needed to focus on the essence of the Christian message and cultivate a life of prayer so that they could deal with the vicissitudes of life. Later, serving as a bishop in the midst of the rapid changes following the Second Vatican Council, Anderson insisted that as valuable and healthy as the ferment was Catholics must not lose sight of the essence of the Christian faith--the life and message of Jesus. Catholics needed to pray!

    Anderson's life and priestly career took an unexpected turn when he and some of his seminary classmates accepted an invitation to serve for eighteen months in the Diocese of Sioux Falls. How did five Massachusetts priests end up in South Dakota? With the end of World War II and the return of military chaplains, Richard Cushing, now Archbishop of Boston found that he had a surplus of priests. Cushing informed the nation's bishops at a 1946 meeting that he would share some of his priests with any diocese that needed them. Cushing's plan, dubbed "Lend-lease" after the famed World War II program, allowed priests to serve, in what the archbishop referred to as the "missionary outpost of our own country." After eighteen months, the priests could elect to return to Boston or stay in the new diocese.

    Bishop William O. Brady of Sioux Falls, the future Archbishop of St. Paul, quickly took advantage of Cushing's offer. When the possibility of serving in South Dakota was broached, Anderson, conjuring up visions of dust storms and grasshoppers, was decidedly negative, but his love of adventure and his desire to see a different part of the country changed his mind. Anderson and four of his seminary classmates, John J. McEneaney, John D. Hausman, Leonard Stanton, and James L. Sullivan, decided to serve in South Dakota. Cushing, taking an active interest in the five, invited them to his home for dinner the night before they left and wrote letters of encouragement as they adjusted to life on the prairie.

    Leaving behind the hills and ocean beaches of his native state, Anderson found it difficult to adjust to the wide-open spaces and incessant wind of South Dakota. He also missed his family. When the eighteen-month assignment was coming to an end, Anderson and his classmates decided to go home, but Bishop Brady, telling them he would have to close parishes, pleaded with them to seek an extension. Ultimately, Anderson remained in South Dakota until he became a bishop two decades later. Two of his classmates remained as well. McEneaney became vicar general of the Diocese of Sioux Falls and was named a protonotary apostolic with the title monsignor. Stanton served numerous parishes, became chaplain to the Boy Scouts of the diocese, and in 1966 was appointed national chairman of the Scout's Altare Dei Award program.

    Anderson, after serving as an assistant pastor in three parishes, became administrator of St. Catherine's Church in Oldham in 1947 and worked hard to rejuvenate the 43-year-old frame structure. His efforts went up in smoke. On May 7, 1954 he was awakened early in the morning by a telephone call telling him that the church was on fire. "By the time he ran from the rectory to the burning building, the heat was so intense that he was unable to enter by either the front or back doors. In a matter of minutes flames burst through the roof and the tower collapsed, carrying with it the 1,200-pound bell which had been installed less than a year before." The story has a happy ending. Thanks to the prayers and financial sacrifices of the parishioners, Father Anderson was able to build a handsome brick church that was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Brady on June 18, 1956.

    Reflecting back on his years in Oldham, where he served from 1947 to 1959, he realized how close he had become to the people and how much "practical and psychological support" they gave him. His attachment to the people of South Dakota increased while he was pastor of St. Patrick's Church in Montrose from 1959 to 1962. Once again, the approachable priest shared meals, conversations, laughter, and precious memories becoming part of many families. Father Anderson of Sioux Falls just like Father Anderson of Boston was people-oriented and family-oriented.
In 1962 Anderson was named pastor of St. Mary's Church in Salem. It was during this memorable assignment that he developed many of his ideas about the People of God, Christian community and layministry. Seven couples joined him in dealing with the problems that plagued the town. Thirteen years later, Anderson, now a bishop described the situation in Salem: "Catholics were severely divided from Protestants. Public school and parochial school had little in common and what they did have they never discussed. Rural Electrification Association (REA) and Northern Power (NSP) were fighting in the courts. National Farmers Organization (NFO) and their opponents clashed in episodes that left barns painted yellow in the middle of the night and tires slashed on vehicles carrying cattle to market."

    Anderson and the couples "observed, judged and acted." Divisions were healed! "When Pope John XXIII died, the Protestant churches in town tolled their bells of requiem.... I saw the time come when the superintendent of the public school met with the head of the Catholic school each week at the rectory.... And who do you think installed the new fire detection system in St. Mary's school? Employees of the REA and NSP, working side by side, joking and laughing far into the night. The struggles of the family farm still continue, but Sr. Thomas More called together the heads of farm organizations and got them talking of an American Federation of Agriculture. And so it went. Conversion, reconciliation, peace and community were born through the dedicated prayers and efforts of a handful of people." His experience in Salem, convinced Anderson that the People of God joined together in small communities could effectively implement Gospel values.

    In Salem Anderson actively participated in the Christian Family Movement and gained first-hand experience with lay action. Historian Jay P. Dolan explains that the Christian Family Movement, born in Chicago, "grew out of a unique Catholic Action movement that captured the imagination of many young people in the 1930s and 1940s. Developed by a Belgian priest, Joseph Cardijn, it...stressed the reform of society through the formula of 'observe, judge and act.'" Dolan notes that the CFM movement "was militantly lay-oriented. Priests had an advisory role, but lay people controlled the groups."

    Sally Cunneen, founding co-editor of CROSS CURRENTS and widely published in the field of women's religious experience, adds that CFM included women as equals. It "took steps that would eventually help to shatter the vague idealization of women which had marked their exclusion from leadership positions in the Church. Men and women met together, breaking the earlier custom of most church groups to assemble separately by gender." She notes that "the committed priests who became CFM chaplains saw a mission in the world for Catholic lay people just as the married couples did. And for women in particular, the CFM provided an education in critical thinking and action as part of the Church."

    Historian Jeffrey M. Burns stresses that CFM was a harbinger of Vatican II since its stress on the Mystical Body of Christ and its understanding of the theological implications of this concept led to the popularization of a new model of the church. Laymen and women were told that they were the church! Burns notes that CFM clearly anticipated Vatican II's concept of the People of God. It is no surprise that Father Anderson was ready for Vatican II.

    CFM's idea that laymen and women were responsible for one another led naturally to layministry. Anderson's involvement in the movement helped shape his conviction that laymen and women were gifted and called to ministry. Later, as a bishop and member of an important committee on the laity, his views were decisive in the use of the term "ministry" to describe certain lay actions.

    The popularization of the Mystical Body concept may also have shaped Anderson's thoughts on individualism, social justice and community. As Burns explains "the concept of the Mystical Body undercut the individualism of modern American society, undercut selfish concerns about one's own success and one's own family. CFM taught that salvation was not simply an individual matter between God and the person. Salvation was communal. The person's purpose in life--to know, love, and serve God--could be worked out only within the context of the human community."

    Father Anderson became pastor of St. Martin's Church, Huron in 1965 and in this, his last assignment before being named to the episcopacy, he instituted programs that foreshadowed some of his best known ideas as Bishop of Duluth. To surface the ideas and views of parishioners he conducted a survey followed by small discussion groups. This grassroots approach reflected his People of God view of the church. In Anderson's eyes, the people were the church and a pastor, valuing their opinions, should lead and not dominate. This approach stood in sharp contrast to the prevalent model of the church as a triangle with the pope on top, followed by cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and priests with the laity assigned to a lesser, more passive role. Later as Bishop of Duluth, he instituted a rather elaborate plan to discern the ideas and goals of all the People of God.

    As pastor of St. Martin's, Anderson eliminated fund-raising gimmicks such as bazaars and raffles instituting a "Fair Share" plan. The plan encouraged parishioners to become tithers giving 5 percent of their income to the parish church and 5 percent to charity. This plan raised St. Martin's income from $800.00 to $3,000.00 a week in three years. His skill at fund-raising was perhaps decisive in his promotion to the office of bishop and his assignment to the financially troubled Diocese of Duluth. Moreover, his long tenure as editor of THE BISHOP'S BULLETIN (1950-1963) provided an opportunity for Bishop Lambert A. Hock and the chancery staff to know and appreciate his talents.

    Not only was Anderson not seeking the office of bishop, he was shocked--indeed thrown into turmoil--when the letter offering the promotion arrived. On vacation in the Boston area, he prayed constantly walking around the city, sitting on the commons, and in a Paulist chapel, but often the only prayer he could muster was "God help me." He was painfully aware that it was a difficult time to be a bishop and felt unsuited to the office since he did not want the authority and pomp that usually accompanied the promotion. He wanted to live simply rather than in a mansion.

    A candidate for the episcopacy, while he is considering whether or not to accept, can only share the news of the promotion with his confessor. Anderson was especially blessed since he was on vacation with his seminary classmate and best friend John J. McEneaney who told him: "You can do it!" Anderson, who felt that McEneaney should have been named a bishop instead of him, later realized that his friend was the vehicle that God used to convince him to accept the appointment. Finally, he went to a Western Union office and sent a coded telegram of acceptance to the pope's official representative in the United States, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Luigi Raimondi, Apostolic Delegate (1967-1973).

    When Anderson met with Raimondi, the archbishop asked how he felt about the appointment. The bishop to be, realizing that he held no graduate degrees and had no chancery experience pointed out that he had only been a pastor. Raimondi had the perfect answer: "Well what do you think you're going to be now?"

    On July 17, 1968 Paul Francis Anderson was named a coadjutor bishop with the right of succession to the ailing Bishop of Duluth, Francis J. Schenk. Paul VI had assigned Anderson to a far-flung diocese, established in 1889, which included the following counties in northeastern Minnesota: Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Itasca, Lake, Pine, Koochiching, and St. Louis. The Diocese of Duluth served almost 109,000 Catholics and maintained 90 parishes and 35 mission churches.

    At Anderson's ordination, held on October 17, 1968 in the Huron Arena, a stirring homily was delivered by Cardinal Cushing of Boston, the man who had played such a pivotal role in Anderson's life and career. In "thundering tones" and in words Anderson would never forget, the cardinal spoke about the role of a bishop and the needs of the time. Cushing declared that "a bishop should know how to listen. One of the most profitable ways of learning is to listen, and when we cease listening we most often stop learning. When we stop learning, we really stop living." He then applied this maxim to Anderson's new office arguing that a bishop needed to know the thoughts, attitudes and fears of the people he served. "Sometimes bishops in our country are described as administrators, and truth to tell, a diocese--especially a large one--demands a great deal of administration. For all of that, the wise bishop, in my judgment, is out of his office more than he is in it. And he should not be out preaching all the time." A bishop should spend some of his time listening. "Not everything he hears will be helpful and not everything will be pleasant to hear. But, in most cases, he will come home wiser than he went out." With those words of wisdom in mind, Paul Francis Anderson journeyed to Duluth to begin his new challenging ministry as a bishop in the post-Vatican II church.

II

MESSENGER OF HOPE

  Arriving in Duluth in late October 1968, Anderson was struck by the oceanlike beauty of Lake Superior and the steep, wooded hills. The scene, so different from the prairies of South Dakota, evoked powerful memories of the ocean and hills of his native New England. "It was almost like being home again." An avid outdoorsman, he drew strength and inspiration from nature and he soon came to love the natural beauty of the area he now called home. As Monsignor McEneaney so eloquently put it, Anderson "reveled in the beauty of creation. How he loved the lakes, the woods and hills of Northern Minnesota! Unique among all episcopal vehicles in the United States was his automobile, with canoe on top, bicycle on the back, and camper in tow."

    Meeting Paul Anderson was an experience never to be forgotten. The 51-year-old six footer with black hair and striking eyes--eyes alive with warmth and compassion--related to people more as a person than as a bishop. Anderson believed that an authentic minister of the Gospel did not allow his office or professional expertise to stand in the way of Christlike service. Father Stanton, a long-time friend, described the bishop's great gift: he made every person feel special, he made every person feel he or she was his "particular, very special friend."

    Interested in people since his youth, the new bishop loved gatherings. He continued the open house at Christmas started by Bishop Schenk enlisting all available help, staff and friends, to decorate the house and prepare for guests, some of whom had no place to go for the holidays. Anderson greeted his 30 or 40 guests at the door, personally cooked dinner and prepared elaborate desserts. Lively conversation and the singing of carols created the family atmosphere that he treasured.

    Some of Anderson's happiest moments were spent with families--camping, hiking, biking, swimming, and visiting. Always sensitive to children, he was a grandfriend to many. Families treasure warm memories of hours spend with this remarkable man who, like a ray of sunshine, brightened their lives and served as a reflection of God's love.

    Anderson's love of people and community also explains his joy at the annual Ojibwa celebration held over the Memorial Day weekend. Community was fostered with mass, visiting and feasting. At this all-day event, the bishop, who had been close to the Sioux when he served in South Dakota, came decked out in his Sioux headdress and enthusiastically joined the celebration visiting with Ojibwa friends.

    Those lucky enough to spend time with the charismatic bishop soon discovered that he was bright and well read keeping abreast of the latest developments in theology, biblical studies, ministry, and spiritual direction. Despite his obvious intelligence, Paul Anderson was haunted by self-doubt about his intellectual ability; he harbored painful memories of being called stupid and of his struggle to pass Latin.

    Though conversant with the latest ideas, the bishop never forgot that he lacked advanced degrees. His expertise was being a parish priest and most of his ideas were based on lived experience and common sense. Paul Anderson was an introspective and highly sensitive person, with an acute awareness of the human dimension--people's needs and concerns. Inclined to be supportive and nonjudgmental, he had difficulty with the disciplinary aspects of his office. On the other hand, his ability to empathize and provide emotional support was ideal for the pastoral side of his episcopal role.

    First and foremost, Anderson was a pastor and he took to heart Cushing's advice that a bishop should be out of his office more than he was in it--indeed it came naturally for him since he never cared for administrative tasks or paper work. He would gladly stop whatever he was doing to greet visitors and give them his undivided attention. Most of his time was devoted to counseling, advising and above all encouraging. He was so interested in people that it was difficult for him to focus on essential matters of administration.

    Anderson was committed to the ideas of Vatican II and worked to implement them with every ounce of his energy and strength. He realized that education was needed to prepare Catholics for new forms of religious life. The liturgy had been a central symbol of the unchanging nature of the church. As reforms were implemented from 1964 to 1970, the language of the mass was changed from Latin to English, altars were simplified to look more like tables, and arranged so that priests faced the people. Laymen and women were more actively involved in the liturgy as lectors and Eucharistic ministers. Architecture changed as Catholics built modern rather than medieval looking churches. Meatless Fridays, an important symbol of Catholic identity, eventually disappeared. Confessions became far less frequent. As theologian Patrick W. Carey explains, "these mutations were not matters of small consequence, because they touched the lives of many Catholics who had been accustomed to thinking about their religious life and their own religious identity in terms of these...practices and customs."

    The reform of church governance, with a timid move away from monarchical authority, was another important result of the council. This trend was very near to Anderson's heart and he enthusiastically supported the establishment of pastoral councils: parish, regional and diocesan.

    Anderson's leadership was rooted in his deep conviction that Vatican II renewal must not be limited to external things such as liturgy and governance; it needed to reach much deeper changing hearts and minds. He stressed education. The bishop took pains to explain current practices and the reasons for them. Committed to the Vatican II vision of the church, Anderson tried to foster a new attitude toward the diocesan church arguing that it was the entire People of God and not just the bishop, the chancery and the priests. Renewal required a new attitude. The people needed to accept freedom and responsibility if the church was to move away from decisions made by the bishop alone to decisions made by the consensus of many.

    Anderson took on more responsibilities as the ordinary of the diocese, Francis J. Schenk, suffering from an inoperable malignant brain tumor, became less and less able to administer the diocese. On May 1, 1969 Anderson became Bishop of Duluth. Believing that ordinaries were not effective for long periods of time, he decided that his tenure in Duluth would be limited. After a period of time, Anderson hoped to turn the position over to a younger man, better suited to carry the heavy burdens, while he moved to a new ministry.

    Among the burdens of his office were the sharp and bitter disputes over the meaning of Vatican II. Anderson was nettled by complaints from conservatives who argued that the church was in danger of losing its way and that heresy was rampant. Some, influenced by a conservative organization, Catholics United for the Faith (CUF), accepted Vatican II's documents, but opposed liberal interpretations. They were strongly opposed to unauthorized liturgical experiments, to what they perceived as Modernism (condemned by Pope St. Pius X in 1907), to the ideas advanced by certain theologians and biblical scholars, and to the weakened authority of the magisterium, the teaching authority of the pope and bishops. At an October 1974 CUF-sponsored talk, Father Daniel Lyons, S.J. told his Iron Range audience that the church was threatened by the ideas of Modernist theologians such as Father Hans Kung, University of Tubingen in Germany and Father Richard McBrien, University of Notre Dame in the United States. Conservatives expected Anderson to end what they regarded as unauthorized liturgical practices.

    In contrast, some liberals argued that he was too attached to the clerical system. Caught in the crossfire, Anderson suffered sleepless nights and finally concluded that the vehement debate was diverting attention from the real issue: people in need. Who would feed the hungry? Who would care for the ill?

    In the face of pessimism, the bishop was determined to be a messenger of hope: "My mission seems to be to supply the encouragement and the hope that is so lacking in many of God's people. This I try to do despite the whirlwinds of pessimism that blow all around us." He warned that it was unrealistic to expect a return to the "apparent serenity" of the pre-conciliar era since the world was experiencing broad cultural change that was impacting the church. Convinced that Catholicism would eventually emerge renewed and revitalized, Anderson looked forward to a bright future. In the meantime, he urged Catholics to deal with the turmoil by remembering the core of the Christian faith. This would restore hope!

    In the March 1972 issue of the diocesan newspaper, OUTLOOK, the bishop devoted his column to death and resurrection and the need to focus on the core of the church's message. Recalling many of his own personal experiences with death, including his traumatic first assignment when he served patients in three Massachusetts hospitals, Anderson reminded his readers that a Catholic should never lose sight of the root meaning of life, death and resurrection. He warned: "Of late we have been so preoccupied with problems of liturgical change, the authority crisis, ecumenism, celibacy, vocations, community, relevancy, infallibility and sundry other problems that affect the contemporary Church, that some of the more fundamental issues seem to be passed over or even totally neglected.... Certainly the present ferment and seeming turmoil in the Church is necessary and healthy, for it is a sign of life. But it is also necessary to put it all in proper focus and understand that the heart of the Gospel message centers around the person of Jesus."

    His ministry of hope proved to be most difficult in a cynical era haunted by questions raised by the Cold War, nuclear weapons, and the war in Vietnam. His mission was especially difficult since many Catholics, both conservatives and liberals, thought the church had lost its way and was not providing the moral leadership they expected--indeed demanded. The bishop soon discovered how difficult and exhausting it was to spread hope. Moreover, while supporting others, he, like every Christian, had to live with his own weaknesses and insecurities.

    The bishop also brought hope by ending the financial problems that "hovered like a dark cloud over the entire diocese." The financial plight was discussed at a series of meetings by a small group of priests and laypeople and a new system was born: United Catholic Appeal (UCA). This system, based on the plan Anderson had pioneered in South Dakota, replaced the old method of fund-raising--parish assessments and special collections. The new approach was centered on the People of God vision of the church. Anderson opposed bazaars, bingo, raffles, games, prizes, and other fund-raising gimmicks that obscured Gospel values. He was in the business of selling religion not raffle tickets. As a man of faith, the bishop wanted Catholics to realize that they were the church, the People of God, and that they had a responsibility to learn about poverty--local, national and global--and to render Christian service. If the Gospel was as important as Catholics claimed, it should stand on its own merit and the people of the diocese should develop a Christian attitude toward material goods.

    UCA worked! In January 1972, the bishop happily reported that UCA had enabled "the diocese to turn a financial corner." Most importantly, UCA publicity, stressing poverty and the need for Christian service, was an effective educational tool. A questionnaire mailed to all the parishes showed that Catholics had become more aware of local, national and global needs and often developed a stronger sense of belonging to their parishes. In short, UCA had led to a change of heart and mind.

    The bishop thought that Catholics, as the People of God, had a right to know how their money was being spent. Financial reports were published in OUTLOOK and people were invited to examine the books. The clear explanations of the Christian reasons for sharing coupled with openness about how diocesan money was being spent led to successful UCA campaigns and eased the financial burden. Over the course of time, parish quotas and special collections returned, but the original idea of using the campaign to educate Catholics must never be forgotten. The bishop's astute observation that Catholics needed to develop a Christian attitude toward material goods stands as a challenge to this day.

    UCA did not end all the problems. Cathedral High School, which experienced one financial crisis after another, was a serious drain on the resources of the diocese. Despite the problems, the bishop was determined, to keep the school open since he believed that an alternative form of education was needed. To save the school and its religious values, he enthusiastically endorsed a plan proposed by Robert J. Rich, a 1936 Cathedral graduate. Cathedral changed from a Catholic to an ecumenical institution based on the Judeo-Christian tradition. It began its first full year as an ecumenical school in the fall of 1972. Once again, acting as a messenger of hope, Anderson was instrumental in saving an important institution, now known as the Marshall School, that is still serving the greater Duluth-Superior area. It was but another example of his commitment to a change of heart and mind in accordance with the People of God vision; he listened to laypeople and was willing to share his power with them.

    Bishop Anderson, like many Catholics, was deeply troubled by a decreasing number of priests and nuns. The national trend was evident in the Diocese of Duluth which had "146 priests in 1970, 143 in 1975 and 138 in 1979." The number of religious sisters "dropped from 397 to 367 in 1975 and 346 in 1979." Anderson was painfully aware that the average age of priests was rising and the number of students preparing for ordination was steadily decreasing. Closing parishes, because of a lack of priests, took away an important part of peoples' lives--the sacred places of first communions, marriages and funerals, significant markers of personal and family history. What consolation could the bishop offer? The best he could do was to assure people that their old parish would live on in their memories. The bishop's effort to console recalls the sentiments expressed by Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in the movie CASABLANCA. To comfort Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and himself as they parted, presumably forever, Rick pointed out that they would always have their beautiful memories of their romance in Paris. Though memories are important, they are not a complete answer and Anderson, messenger of hope though he was, could not make the pain disappear. His hope for the future centered on lay ministry.

    Despite his profound sorrow at the loss of so many talented men from the active priesthood, Anderson remained a true friend to those who left. He responded to their departure on a deep personal level. When James P. Shannon, an Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul, resigned and married, Anderson expressed what was in his heart: "I suppose I am one of the countless many that is making a real effort to adjust my thinking and my feelings to your new life style. Somehow or other your picture in the NCR [NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER], attired as you were in jacket and tie and standing beside your new wife, left me with mixed emotions. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I guess I just felt that things shouldn't be this way."

    Anderson was quick to apologize for not offering the emotional support that Shannon needed: "At the moment I feel sad to be numbered among the many around you who made little effort to offer you the sympathy, understanding and love that you most sorely needed during these past trying months. For this I ask your pardon. All that I can offer you now is my daily prayers that God's grace will guide you in the fulfillment of His holy will." Anderson and Shannon continued to correspond. Shannon, in his autobiography, RELUCTANT DISSENTER (1998), wrote: "Paul Anderson...was the kind of bishop Jesus Christ had in mind when he put together the original team."

    Even closer to home, when Francis X. Shea, president of a Catholic College in Duluth, St. Scholastica, left the active priesthood, Anderson visited Shea's parents to ease their pain and help in the healing process. In January 1975, the bishop scolded TIME magazine for branding Shea, then chancellor of Antioch College an "apostate." This "was more than a misuse of language, it was an attack on one of man's most cherished possessions his reputation." Shea was still a Catholic and had left the Jesuits in accordance with canonical procedures. The bishop was quick to add that Shea had served St. Scholastica and the Duluth community well.

    Bishop Anderson also provided hope for those who believed that laymen and women should be involved in the decisions that impacted their religious lives. To form the People of God, the bishop had to nudge many pastors and parishioners to form parish councils, an action urged by his predecessor Bishop Schenk. Anderson faced a dilemma: if he used his authority to force parishes to establish councils he would be returning to the authoritarian ways of the past, but if he did nothing, he would not be able to implement his vision. His answer was education.

    In 1976 Father William Rademacher, a professor at St. John's Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan, offered workshops in the diocese. Father Rademacher, like Bishop Anderson, viewed parish councils as communities. Councils, he argued, should do more than deal with parish finances; they should foster prayer and play an active role in peace and justice issues. Education was the only viable approach for the bishop, but it was a slow way to implement his vision.

    In addition to parish councils, five regional pastoral councils were formed: Brainerd-Case Lake, Hibbing-Grand Rapids, Virginia-Border Area, Cloquet-Pine City, and Duluth-North Shore. His next step was to establish a diocesan pastoral council to coordinate social, economic and educational activities.
    The bishop had reason to be pleased since the diocese was moving in the direction that he advocated, but as he himself realized there was a problem. In December 1972, writing to Monsignor William Granville, a Massachusetts friend, Anderson confided, "we are right in the middle of setting up a Diocesan Pastoral Council and meetings seem to be proliferating all over the place. Sooner or later, we will have to get rid of some of our organizations and limit the number of meetings that we can attend. Whether we do so or not voluntarily, I think it will happen." Anderson's concern was telling, especially in light of the large geographic spread of the diocese, harsh winters and poor driving conditions. How many meetings could people fit into their busy lives? There was an even larger question that the bishop never asked. How long would the rather elaborate structure of councils--parish, regional and diocesan--last without his charismatic personality to draw people to meetings?

    The bishop had managed to lead the diocese in the direction of shared responsibility. He now came up with a bold plan--so bold that it sparked a steady stream of criticism. To foster renewal, Anderson planned a large Easter celebration for all the parishes in the City of Duluth. His plan flowed from who he was. It reflected his love of large celebrations, his sense of adventure, but above all his desire for the physical presence of the People of God.

    On Easter morning 1972, 8,000 men, women and children packed the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The service, drawing people together from diverse areas and economic groups, allowed them to see the city's priests join their bishop in a moving liturgy. The Easter celebration, one of the highlights of Anderson's years in Duluth, did not just happen--it was the result of careful planning, spiritual programs, talks by teams of religious sisters, and pastoral visits to all the parishes by the bishop himself.

    Deeply touched by the enthusiastic response--people moved to tears during the celebration and happy faces in the parking lot--Anderson described it as "simply fantastic." The bishop rejoiced that people were still filled with enthusiasm weeks later and was pleased with national coverage in publications such as WORSHIP, LITURGY MAGAZINE, LIVING WORSHIP, and the NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER. A major high point in his life, the celebration gave him an experience of the Risen Lord. The bishop, a messenger of hope to others, now felt JOY in his own heart. The seeds were planted that would lead him to the charismatic movement.

Chapter III

Prayer, Social Justice and Diocesan Governance

    Believing that prayer was at the very heart of renewal, Anderson wrote that an important part of Catholic reform began with the all-city Easter celebration. In a January 1975 interview, published in NEW COVENANT, he stressed that Catholics had become caught up with external things such as changing the liturgy, with different formats, altars and language, yet there was "still a depression in the hearts of people, a sadness that pervades the church." Spiritual conversion was needed! Amplifying this theme in a letter, he explained that the reform that the Vatican II popes, John XXIII and Paul VI, had "prayed and longed for was a reform and a renewal of man's spirits not really of external structures." Once again, Anderson was calling for a change of hearts and minds, through prayer and a new attitude.

    Knowing that many devotions had disappeared in the post-Vatican II church, Anderson feared there was a vacuum in many hearts and was pleased that charismatic prayer was helping to fill the void. As Patrick Carey explains, the Catholic charismatic movement, calling attention to gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues and healing, was "one of the most dramatic, ecumenical, long-lasting, and widespread movements of the post-conciliar period."

    In an effort to foster spiritual growth, an essential ingredient of renewal, Anderson actively participated in charismatic services. Though enthusiastic about the movement, he was aware of the danger of elitism. "In some few instances I have meet people who were quite distressed that everyone did not agree with them and immediately rush out to join a charismatic prayer group." The bishop was also concerned about the tendency of some to adopt a fundamentalist view of scripture. Because of this, Anderson encouraged priests "to continue their studies in sacred scripture and spirituality and give sound direction."

    Anderson's desire to foster prayer and community led to an important decision in regard to his mansion residence. Residing in a splendid house did not fit his simple lifestyle and weakened his message of social justice. He seriously considered moving to the rectory on Minnesota Point, a beautiful strip of land that juts into Lake Superior, where he could live simply in touch with nature. After more reflection, he decided that the mansion could serve the diocese as a house of prayer where support groups could form and flourish. Deeply concerned about resignations from the active priesthood, the bishop invited groups of priests to the house for prayer and discussion, a powerful antidote against the isolation that was all too common in the far-flung diocese.

    St. Francis House, named for Anderson's patron saint, became a Mecca for priests, sisters and laypersons looking for a place to pray and think. Many came to the house to experience the bishop's warm personality and deep spirituality. It should be noted that Anderson, in his effort to help others, had created a community that encouraged his own emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth. Many of the bishop's ideas developed in the context of this community formed by mass, prayer and discussion. Father Stanton, a classmate and friend, observed that St. Francis House was the "dynamic heart of the Diocese of Duluth."

    Anderson believed that if priests grew spiritually their parishioners would soon follow. He therefore embarked on a three-year program for priests under the direction of a Trappist monk, Vincent Dwyer, associated with St. Mary's College in Winona, Minnesota.

    Father Dwyer, like Bishop Anderson, was concerned that Vatican II renewal was focusing almost exclusively on structures and other external matters while ignoring spiritual growth and the message of Jesus. To help priests develop positive self-images, Dwyer added the methods of the behavioral sciences to classic forms of spirituality. He encouraged priests to join support groups. Bishop Anderson, pleased with the results, thought that Dwyer's program had sparked a spiritual revolution in the diocese creating a strong foundation for other initiatives such as the United Catholic Appeal, the Priests' Senate and the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

    Vatican II renewal also required a change of heart and mind in regard to ecumenism. In describing Pope John's efforts to improve Catholic-Jewish relations, historian Egal Feldman starts with John's pre-papal career as a Vatican diplomat during World War II. As Angelo Cardinal Roncalli, he had "exerted heroic efforts to prevent Jews from being transported to death camps. While serving as papal nuncio in Istanbul, the future pope offered baptismal certificates to many Jews in order to prevent their deportation."

    As pope, John removed offensive phrases and passages from Catholic prayers such as "unbelieving Jews." The innovative pope continued his efforts to improve Catholic-Jewish relations, and at the suggestion of Jules Isaac, a prominent Jewish historian, the pope put this issue on the Vatican II agenda. John appointed Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. (1881-1968), the retired rector of the Biblical Institute in Rome, to head a committee that would prepare a draft of what became known as NOSTRA AETATE NO. 4. This important document approved by the council on October 28, 1965, was a blueprint for improving Catholic-Jewish relations. It rejected the notion that Jews were guilty of deicide and called for Catholic-Jewish dialogue.

    In Duluth, improved relations between Catholics and Jews were sparked by the friendship of Rabbi Bernard Gelbart and Bishop Paul Anderson. When Gelbart, a teacher at Cathedral High School, invited Anderson to speak at the temple, the bishop seized the opportunity to improve Catholic-Jewish relations.

    What should he wear on such an occasion? The rabbi suggested he dress the way Bishop Fulton Sheen did on his popular television show, "Life is Worth Living." Anderson, digging the appropriate apparel out of closets and draws, appeared all decked out in black cassock, purple feriola, zuchetto, ring, and pectoral cross. The trappings of his office proved important since they emphasized his official position when he departed from his prepared text and movingly spoke about the Holocaust, the genocide of European Jews by the Nazis during World War II. Anderson "could not remember any Catholic Church leader expressing sorrow to the Jewish people for the death and mutilation of their brothers and sisters at Dachau, Belsen and the other horror camps of the Third Reich." In his capacity as Bishop of Duluth, he "begged forgiveness for any part that the Christian world played in such a catastrophe."

    Many in the temple wept openly. Some still remember Anderson's 1975 talk as one of the most memorable events of their lives. For Anderson, the occasion was a touching reminder of the old Jewish lady who 32 years earlier, had came for his first priestly blessing and hoped that when her son was a rabbi they could exchange pulpits. The ecumenical actions of Bishop Anderson and Rabbi Gelbart were an important grassroots contribution to the improvement of Catholic-Jewish relations.

    Social justice was another area of great concern to the bishop since he believed that renewal could only occur when the laity realized that the entire People of God, not just bishops, priests and nuns, had a responsibility to become informed about poverty. A change of heart and mind was needed because there was "a severe dichotomy...between the way many Americans wish to live and the way outlined by Christ the Lord." For those who were not happy unless they lived in an expensive house in a prestigious neighborhood, he wrote: "I guess it is possible to live in such surroundings and follow the way pointed out by Jesus in the Gospels, but at best it appears most difficult." He explained that riches were not evil in themselves, but a Christian had to remember that only God was good. The message of Jesus was to share! Anderson maintained that the real question was "not how much one has or does not have. It is a question of whom or what is the central value of one's life. Who or what sits on the throne of one's heart."

    In addition to trying to awaken Catholics to the problems of world-wide hunger and encouraging them to share, the bishop took action to deal with poverty in his own backyard. Devastating conditions in the taconite industry, backbone of northeastern Minnesota's economy, prompted him to establish the Damiano Center in 1982; the center housed agencies that provided badly needed services to the needy. Bishop Anderson believed that for Vatican II renewal to flourish, the People of God had to put Gospel values first and realize that they were their brother's brother and their sister's sister.

    The second class status of women in the Catholic Church was a thorny issue for the reformed -minded bishop. Despite his strong conviction that women should be ordained, obedience was important to him, and he adhered to church law. Anderson could not fulfill women's dreams of equality at the moment, but he looked to the future with hope. Although Pope John Paul II was opposed to the ordination of women, Anderson declared, that "no one has the capacity to see how the spirit will move in the future."

    Bishop Anderson did what he could to improve the statues of women in the diocese asking the Diocesan Pastoral Council to establish a task force to examine the issue of women in the church. This led to a two-day meeting at St. Francis House in mid-May 1976. The discussions at the conference were a clear indication that the church needed to change the second class status of women.
    In 1980 the bishop secured permission from the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura to appoint Mary J. Donahue a defender of the bond. Donahue was one of the first laywomen in the country to be appointed to this position on a diocesan matrimonial court.

    Though papal policies on the ordination of women compromised Anderson's stand on social justice, the U.S National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) issued statements that provided welcomed guidance on moral issues raised by the war in Vietnam and violations of human rights in Central America. Breaking with tradition, the bishops opposed U.S. military efforts in Vietnam. It was a dramatic change since the bishops had a strong tradition of vigorously supporting the government in every military conflict from the War for Independence in the 1770s to World War II in the 1940s. This patriotic stance, reflecting the minority status of U.S. Catholics, was part of an effort to prove that Catholics were "true" Americans and to deflect anti-Catholic bias.

    The tradition of supporting U.S. military efforts continued for much of the Vietnam War, but finally in 1971 the bishops called for an end to the fighting "with no further delay." In fact, they called for a Marshall-like plan for Southeast Asia: "We recognize our nation's moral obligation, together with other nations, to contribute mightily to the restoration and the development of Southeast Asia. After World War II, our country launched an unprecedented program of economic assistance and social reconstruction of war-torn countries. Certainly we can do no less now." Bishop Anderson strongly supported the 1971 statement.

    Likewise, Anderson's opposition to President Ronald Reagan's decision to supply arms to El Salvador must be seen in the context of the NCCB's 1981 "Statement on Central America." Some who angrily telephoned the bishop to denounce his stand may have been surprised by the views of the U.S. Catholic Conference.

    Though strongly opposed to Communism, the bishops, reminded Catholics that "the Latin American Church has repeatedly stated in the last decade that external subversion is not the primary threat or principal cause of conflict in these countries. The dominant challenge is the internal conditions of poverty and the denial of basic human rights." They added "any conception of the problems in Central America which is cast principally in terms of global security issues, military responses, arms transfers, and preservation of a situation which fails to promote meaningful participation of the majority of the population in their societies is, in our view, profoundly mistaken." Clearly, the bishops were appalled by the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador and four United States women serving as missionaries in that country.

    Bishop Anderson publicly supported the statements issued by the NCCB on the Vietnam War and Central America. Given the strong anti-Communist ideology of many Catholics, it is not surprising that he faced opposition and even anger, but he was convinced that the NCCB was right and that a renewed church actively pursued social justice.

    In addition to fostering renewal through social justice, Bishop Anderson embarked on a bold diocesan initiative, "Call to Action," designed to implement the People of God vision. Duluth's "Call to Action" surfaced grassroots concerns and fostered greater shared responsibility. Laymen and women participated in setting diocesan goals and objectives. The rather complicated process involved discussions in the parishes, a survey, and a 1977 plenary session of over 200 parish representatives and members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. The goals were to be announced at an all-diocese mass to be held on Pentecost Sunday 1978.

    Bishop Anderson announced his plan for a diocesan-wide celebration of Pentecost at a 1975 pilgrimage in Rome urging those present to spread the word and spark enthusiasm. He hoped to gather 40,000 or 50,000 or more so that the congregation could see that the church was people! Thick fog and cold rain led to a much-smaller-than-expected gathering at Griggs Field in Duluth. It was heartbreaking for the bishop, but the Eucharist was celebrated and the "Call to Action" goals were proclaimed: strengthening families, renewing spirituality and developing community. It was indeed a tribute to the bishop that so many braved the weather.

    Paul Anderson, deeply committed to renewal and the People of God vision of the church, was very encouraged by "the new direction" set by Pope John Paul I. When John Paul's predecessor, Paul VI, died on August 6, 1978, Bishop Anderson was hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The next morning, in a country store in Lincoln, he learned of the pontiff's death. Having registered at the North American College in Rome for a month of prayer and study, the bishop was looking forward to spending time with 44 U.S. bishops and to being present for the "coronation" of the new pope.

    There was no "coronation." John Paul I was not crowned with the tiara, the triple crown, but chose instead to inaugurate his ministry with the pallium--an inch-wide circular band of white wool with two pendant strips, one in front and one in back. The circular band, worn around the shoulders by the pope, archbishops and some bishops, is marked with six dark purple crosses. A symbol of the plentitude of the pontifical office, it rests for a night on the tomb of Saint Peter. The moving ceremony took place on September 3, 1978.

    Anderson penned a graphic description of the colorful scene. "Dignitaries came: African diplomats wearing native dress, Indian women in their saris, queens from Spain and Belgium wearing their high lace mantillas, finely tailored diplomats from Latin America, people from China and Japan and the islands of the South Pacific, not to mention American and European ambassadors and charges d'affaires. They spoke powerfully of the universality of the Church and the world-wide importance of the See of Peter."

    The bishop was impressed with the new pope and filled with hope: "I don't think I shall ever forget the feeling of peace and joy that overwhelmed me that night." At an audience, held on Thursday, September 21, 1978, John Paul talked about many things, but what stood out boldly in Anderson's mind were the pope's words about bishops as pastors. John Paul urged the bishops to stay close to the people telling them how he would "visit parishes and stay sometimes for two or three days at a time." His "frank and open style" and his relaxed mood made the audience a "family-like" visit. John Paul, with his pastoral emphasis, touched Anderson's heart and mind. The new pope was a kindred spirit. Anderson declared: "Coming away that day I am sure that we bishops felt the Church was embarking upon a new era of warmth, trust and collegiality that was so personified in this personal, humble and loving man John Paul I."

    Before Anderson left Rome, John Paul was dead. If the pope had lived would he have fulfilled Anderson's high expectations? We will never know. His thirty-three day pontificate was far too brief to accurately assess his vision of the church. The Duluth bishop, grieving at the loss of the pope, made a final visit to the tombs of the two popes who led the Second Vatican Council, John XXIII and Paul VI, and wondered where John Paul I would be placed. After a short visit to Ireland, he returned to Duluth and continued his efforts to foster renewal.

Chapter IV

The Laity: "Called and Gifted"

    After his return to Duluth, Bishop Anderson continued his efforts to implement the People of God vision of the church stressing pastoral councils, small neighborhood communities, and social justice. In addition to his work in the diocese, he played an important role on a national committee that drafted a document on the role of the laity. The document, "Called and Gifted: The American Catholic Laity 1980, Reflections of the U.S. Bishops," addressed a wide-range of topics including lay ministry, a vital aspect of Vatican II renewal.

    Anderson's interest in lay ministry was in the tradition of one of Minnesota's most notable prelates, Archbishop John Ireland of St. Paul. At the turn of the twentieth century, the archbishop advocated greater lay initiative. He declared, "Let there be individual action. Layman need not wait for priest, nor priest, for bishop, nor bishop for pope."

    Ireland was deeply interested in the history of the church in the upper Midwest. He wrote lay persons "were the vanguard of the priesthood, they prepared the way and drew after them the priesthood, and before the priesthood came they did, as far as they could do, the work of the priesthood, instructing children in the faith and meeting together for prayers on Sunday. The tradition of early settlements handing down in their respective districts the names of laymen familiarly styled priests or bishops, give proof of this lay apostolate."

    It is obvious that Ireland both recognized and appreciated the laity's important role in the history of the church in the upper Midwest. Without using the words "lay ministry," Ireland was clearly pleased that laypersons did the work of the church. Despite his efforts lay ministry remained a controversial idea in the Catholic Church. Some priests opposed it fearing that it threatened their authority and prestige.

    Bishop Anderson was fully aware that lay ministry raised troubling questions about the relationship between priests and laity. Despite the problems, he thought that lay ministry was essential in keeping the church truly alive. With the steady decline in the numbers of priests, the church, more than ever, needed to awaken the sleeping giant of lay ministry.

    Given his exposure to the lay-oriented Christian Family Movement, Anderson was ready, indeed eager for lay ministry. The Mystical Body concept that informed CFM prepared Anderson for the Vatican II understanding of the church as the People of God. Historian Jeffrey Burns explains that "CFM was one of the earliest Catholic groups to vigorously popularize the concept of the Mystical Body of Christ and to push it to its logical conclusion. Given authority by Pius XII's 1943 encyclical on the Mystical Body, the concept introduced a new model of the Church." In St. Paul's analogy, the "Church is a living body, of which Christ is the head and the faithful are the members. This was heady stuff for the laity, who were now being told that they were the Church."

    Moreover, the concept of the Mystical Body "suggested a new approach to relationships within the Church. Rather than reinforcing the traditional hierarchical structure of the Church, the Mystical Body instructed that each person was responsible to and for other members of the Body." Burns adds, "few groups were better suited to implement the council's call for renewal." After all Vatican II's "new definition of Church as the People of God came as nothing new to CFMers, who had been steeped in the theology of the Mystical Body and who had been told for close to two decades that they were the Church."

    Bishop Anderson, utilizing the principles of CFM, argued that lay ministry would be effective only when Catholics realized that the church was all the People of God, not just the pope, bishops and priests. He maintained that laypeople played a vital role in ministry since they lived in both the church and the world and brought the church and its Christian message to a waiting world and the issues of the world to the church. Anderson was given a rare opportunity to help shape the national discussion on lay ministry when he was invited to serve on a committee drafting a document on the laity for the U.S bishops. The bishops planned to issue this document of pastoral reflections in 1980 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity.

    Kathleen Walsh puts the Vatican II decree into context, explaining that "the idea of organized lay apostolic action is usually traced back to Pope Pius XI (1922-1939), under whose inspirations many lay organizations were started. It was described as 'Catholic Action,' and in it the laity were intended to operate under strict episcopal direction. This reflected the belief that the hierarchy's was the true apostolate and the laity's derived from theirs." In contrast, the Vatican II Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity opened with the "emphatic statement that the call to the apostolate comes to every Christian with baptism." She adds that the Vatican II document was designed "to acknowledge a demand for and assumption of greater responsibility and autonomy of organization and action on the part of an increasingly better-educated laity, and to intensify and broaden this action."

    To commemorate this important Vatican II decree the bishops issued "Called and Gifted," written by the Committee on the Laity chaired by Bishop Albert H. Ottenwaller of Steubenville, Ohio. Ottenwaller, like Anderson, had extensive experience as a parish priest and he was eager to have the Duluth bishop on the committee knowing that he would speak from a pastoral perspective. Anderson more than met Ottenweller's high expectations thoughtfully articulating the following positions: the document should be succinct, in non-technical language, and should speak to the heart as well as the mind. In the deliberations, Anderson stressed that the laity was gifted and should play a significant role in the mission of the church arguing that the term "ministry" should be applied to certain lay activities.

    Though based on his own deep spirituality and extensive pastoral experience, Anderson discovered that his use of the term "ministry" to describe lay activities, was very controversial. Some on the committee argued that the term should be limited to the clergy and that lay actions should be considered "service" while some others were willing to extend the definition of ministry to include lay church professionals. In contrast, Anderson opposed narrow definitions stressing that laypeople ministered to each other and that helping Catholics realize this was an important part of renewal. To resolve the dilemma, he suggested regional meetings to learn what laymen and women had to say. This broke the deadlock! As committee members listened they realized that laypersons did in fact minister to one another. Thanks to Paul Anderson, the U.S. bishops did apply the term "ministry" to lay actions.

    As Anderson wished "Called and Gifted" was succinct, used nontechnical language, spoke to the heart as well as the mind, and opened with the People of God vision of the church. The bishops recognized that "one of the chief characteristics of laymen and women today is their growing sense of being adult members of the church. Adulthood implies knowledge, experience and awareness, freedom and responsibility, and mutuality in relationships. It is true, however, that the experience of laypersons 'as church members' has not always reflected this understanding of adulthood. Now, thanks to the impetus of the Second Vatican Council, laywomen and men feel themselves called to exercise the same mature interdependence and practical self-direction which characterize them in other areas of life."

    Moreover, baptism and confirmation empowered laypeople to perform certain ministries that they exercised in both the world and the church. Turning first to the world, the bishops declared that "Christian service or ministry broadly understood includes civic and public activity, response to the imperatives of peace and justice, resolution of social, political and economic conflicts, especially as they influence the poor, oppressed and minorities." The laity were in the vanguard. They were engaged "directly in the task of relating Christian values and practices to complex questions such as those of business ethics, political choice, economic security, quality of life, cultural development and family planning."

    "Called and Gifted" also praised the development of lay ministries in the church such as service on pastoral councils, school boards and committees dealing with finances, liturgy and ecumenism. Others exercised special roles as ministers of the eucharist, teachers and pastoral assistants. The document provided the bishops with a welcomed opportunity to acknowledge and thank the laymen and women who were serving in the missions.

    Highlighting the contributions of women, "Called and Gifted" declared that "special mention must be made of women, who in the past have not always been allowed to take their proper role in the church's ministry." While the document called for "an increased role for women in the ministries of the church" it did not endorse Anderson's view that women should be ordained.

    In committee deliberations, Anderson insisted that laymen and women were gifted, and he urged church leaders to listen to their ideas and concerns. "Called and Gifted" recognized that the laity was "making an indispensable contribution to the experience of the people of God" and that the full impact of their contribution was only in its "beginning form in the post-Vatican II church." The bishops made it clear that they had "spoken only to listen." It was not their intention to rigidly define or control the discussion. They simply wished to take their place and exercise their role "among the people of God."     They now waited for the next word.

The document also dealt with another area close to Anderson's heart and mind: small Christian communities. He used a Neighborhood Renewal Ministry to encourage the formation of small Christian communities. Core team members included: Father James Scheurer, a diocesan priest, Sister Patricia Schneider, S.S.N.D., Sister Joan Gerards, O.S.F., and Father Thomas Maney, M.M., and 30 lay volunteers. This successful program, which attracted regional attention, shaped the bishop's views and convinced him that Vatican II renewal really took place in small communities. "Called and Gifted" recognized that since laypeople experienced "intimacy, support, acceptance and availability in family life, they seek the same in their Christian communities." This was "leading to a review of parish size, organization, priorities and identity."

    Anderson's ideas about lay ministry were in the end decisive. Aware that he had no graduate degrees and unsure of his intellectual ability, he spoke from his own deep faith and pastoral experience. He was convinced that lived experience gave concrete meaning to theological concepts.

    Paul Anderson's legacy is not found in buildings. He was not a brick and mortar bishop. His major contributions were his profound impact on people and his ideas that grew out of his interaction with them. Much of his intellectual legacy is preserved in "Called and Gifted." Many of the ideas in this document are a challenge to this very day. The church still needs to awaken the sleeping giant of lay ministry if it is to bring Christ to a waiting world.

Chapter V

FINAL YEARS: "CALLED TO BE AN INTIMATE FRIEND OF THE LORD"

    Bishop Anderson had incessantly worked to renew the church in his diocese and beyond. He finally realized that he had to take care of himself as well as serve others. Having long appreciated art, he began to take painting lessons from an accomplished artist, Sister Mary Charles McGough, O.S.B. Painting with water colors changed his life! He learned that painting helped him focus, relax and forget the burdens of his office. Moreover, art enabled him to be creative, something the structure of the church often did not.

    In fall 1982, a beaming Paul Anderson posed for a photographer with one of his paintings. The photograph, which appeared in OUTLOOK, was used in an announcement of his exhibit, "Simple Gifts" at the College of St. Scholastica. His art even helped the poor. Writing to Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen, Anderson mentioned that when the Damiano Center for the poor opened in Duluth, he had "painted a picture of San Damiano to be hung in the building. Someone suggested that we have prints made and perhaps offer them to people who would donate to the cause of helping the poor.... We have only had them for two days and already 700 dollars have come in from 7 separate donors. When I started this painting a few years ago, I never imagined that some day it would be put at the disposal of the poor."

    Though creative in art, Anderson found that heading a diocese was often not creative. Moreover, it prevented him from doing the pastoral work that he felt called to do. Always more of a pastor than an administrator, he was eager for a new more creative ministry--a ministry that was closely connected with Vatican II renewal. He wanted to spark spiritual growth that would lead to a change of heart and mind. The way to do this, he argued, was to work with priests who in turn would share spiritual values with parishioners. Believing that a bishop should not head a diocese for more than ten or twelve years, he hoped to conclude his service in Duluth and purse a new ministry in spiritual direction.
    In 1978 he discussed his intention to seek a new ministry with officials of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops in Rome. He learned that the Holy See expected bishops to administer their dioceses until age 75, unless suffering from significant health problems. Despite this negative response, Anderson, at the end of his tenth years in Duluth, requested permission to resign from the Duluth post and assume a new ministry. Permission was denied.

    He tried again in 1982, discussing his ideas for a new ministry with Archbishop John R. Roach, Metropolitan of the Province of St. Paul. The Duluth bishop hoped to work with Father Vincent Dwyer in the field of priestly renewal--leading retreats and serving as a spiritual director. When he listed possible assignments, he did include returning to the Diocese of Sioux Falls to assist Bishop Paul V. Dudley and serve as the diocesan Vicar for Spiritual Renewal. Though returning to Sioux Falls was not his top choice, it did appeal to church officials who thought that 65 was too young to retire from administration and preferred to keep him in the familiar structure.

    On August 17, 1982, Anderson held a press conference to announce his resignation as ordinary of the Diocese of Duluth. He made it clear that he was not retiring, but pursuing a new ministry and that he would continue to head the diocese as apostolic administrator until a new bishop was named.

    Anderson's 14 years of leadership was celebrated in October with a mass at Holy Rosary Cathedral and a dinner at the Duluth Arena-Auditorium. Given the bishop's close ties with the Jewish community, it was most appropriate that Isadore Crystal, a member of the Temple Israel Synagogue, gave the innovation. Monsignor Patrick McDowell, speaking what was in many hearts, addressed the bishop: "You have grown and you have given us a chance to grow. You have helped us to understand what it means to be a Catholic Christian in 1982." McDowell's remarks were indeed appropriate! Though many of Anderson's programs, especially in diocesan governance, have not endured, his deep faith, spirituality and commitment to the People of God vision of the church touched and changed many lives. His Vatican II renewal program had achieved its central purpose: it had fostered internal changes of heart and mind. Because of his efforts many developed a new sense of prayer and changed their attitudes about themselves and their role in the church.

    Paul Anderson, in his own gentle way, had sparked a spiritual revolution. As the bishop's brother Philip so accurately predicted: "Because so much of what we learn is hindsight, I rather suspect that many people in Duluth will suddenly realize who their bishop was after he has left them."

    The departing bishop handled public farewells with grace and charm, but his heart was heavy. Leaving Duluth proved far more difficult than he had ever imagined. He fretted about his new assignment: Would he be able to concentrate on spiritual direction or would he become mired in the duties of an auxiliary bishop? Moreover, as the time for departure drew near, he became more and more anxious about the impending separation from friends--friends he had laughed and cried with, friends who had provided emotional support, enriched his life, and sparked spiritual growth.

    In light of his anxieties, it was indeed fortunate that he was able to make a retreat in the summer of 1983. His retreat at the Avila Centre of Spiritual Renewal in Thunder Bay, Ontario prepared him to say goodbye to his life in Duluth. Thanks to the advice of his spiritual director and his own fervent prayer, the move to South Dakota became less and less traumatic as he realized that it was a homecoming--once again he would be serving with his two seminary classmates and friends, Monsignor John McEneaney and Father Leonard Stanton.

nbsp;   Extended reflection produced an important insight into his core goal as a bishop. Who were the Apostles, he asked? His answer was telling: they were the intimate friends of the Lord! If bishops were to be successors to the Apostles, they must be intimate friends of the Lord. Deep prayer was needed. With renewed energy and a sense of purpose he focused on his core goal: to become an intimate friend of the Lord!

    Once in South Dakota, he found that his duties as an auxiliary bishop--masses, confirmations, parish visits, ordination of deacons, and talks--occupied most of his time; the long distances between parishes made this important ministry especially time consuming. Although he had the title Vicar for Spiritual Renewal, Anderson was not able to focus on spiritual direction to the degree he wished.

    His hope for a nontraditional ministry did not fully materialize, but he was blessed with the beginnings of a Christian community. His warm personality and infectious spirituality drew people to the new St. Francis House, a cottage on the shores of Lake Kampeska, where guests could pray and heal. As always, Paul Anderson was a sympathetic, nonjudgmental spiritual advisor, but above all a friend.

    The South Dakota years also included one of the highlights of his life. In Advent 1985 he traveled to Central America to lead a two-and-a-half-week retreat for priests and sisters who staffed the mission in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. Anderson was blessed with kindred spirits: his friend and spiritual advisor, Father Richard Rice, S.J., and a missionary from the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, Monsignor Gregory T. Schaffer. Anderson's talks, infused with his positive attitude, stressed heartfelt themes--the People of God, the need to listen to the people and lay ministry.

    A learner as well as a teacher, Anderson was impressed with the materially poor, but spiritually rich Guatemalans. He thought that North Americans could learn a great deal from their culture with its stress on the extended family, cooperation and community. Lay catechists were vital to the success of the mission and reinforced Anderson's conviction that lay ministry was an effective instrument in spreading the Gospel.

    Despite his blessings, his final years were clouded. In October 1986 he wrote to Monsignor John Tracy Ellis, an eminent church historian, expressing his deep concern that the church was moving away from the spirit of Vatican II. In particular, Anderson was distressed by the controversy surrounding Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle.

    Conservative Catholics, riled by change and turmoil, organized to protest what they regarded as destructive ideas and practices. They wrote letters to Rome denouncing reform minded bishops and theologians, who in their eyes had capitulated to modernity or even worse drifted into heresy. As historian Gerald P. Fogarty, S.J. explains a letter-writing campaign to church officials had "contributed to an apostolic visitation" of Hunthausen "and late in 1985, to the appointment of Donald Wuerl as auxiliary bishop with special faculties over certain aspects of the administration of the archdiocese. By the summer of 1986, the situation became so untenable that Hunthausen announced his inability to administer his diocese under such restrictions."

    Writing to John Tracy Ellis, Anderson stated that the controversy over Hunthausen must be a heavy burden for Ellis as he documented "the history of the Church for this day and age." He declared that it was "also a burden for someone like myself who became so caught up in the wonderful reform of Vatican Council II." Recalling happier days, he remembered when Archbishop Jean Jadot was named Apostolic Delegate. Jadot, a Belgian, who served from 1973 to 1980, was noted for his informal style and his efforts to promote episcopal candidates who were pastoral and collegial. Anderson noted that the Jadot era was such a promising time, "but now it seems that history has taken another turn." Out of favor in Rome, Jadot became the only delegate to the United States never to be created a cardinal. Anderson, with faith in the Holy Spirit, believed that things would change again and that the future held bright promise.

    Planning to retire at age 75, Anderson looked forward to living on Duluth's Park Point, where he would be close to nature, enjoy the company of friends and deepen his spiritual life. It was not to be.

    On December 31, 1986, suffering from prostate cancer, he underwent surgery at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. After postoperative care, he was returned to his own room, where he greeted his sister Dorothy Antonucci and Bishop Dudley. He mentioned that he was in pain. To control the pain, a nurse gave him an injection of Demerol and he went into a deep sleep. Dorothy noticed that her brother was not breathing and summoned help. Although resuscitation returned his heartbeat and blood pressure, it was too late.

    Arriving in the afternoon, Sister Mary Charles was shocked to find the bishop on life-support and could tell that the doctors thought that he was brain dead. Sister Mary Charles, Bishop Dudley and Dorothy stayed with him praying, singing and touching. Others came: Monsignor John McEneaney, Donna Effinger, the bishop's brother Leo, with his wife Ellen and their sons Phil and Paul, Father Richard Rice, Father James Scheuer, Margaret Gates, and Pat Leib.

    With heartfelt emotion, Sister Mary Charles details the events of the bishop's last four days. His vital signs weakened several times and in the early morning hours of January 4, 1987, the Feast of the Epiphany, the 44th anniversary of his ordination, friends and relatives gathered to see him "off on the journey of new life." They prayed, shared memories and sang hymns. Mary Charles vividly describes the "gentle beauty" of the verses of "Kumbayah" which were "sung over and over, like a mantra." The community sang "'how we love him, Lord, Kumbayah.... Take him home, my Lord, take him home.'" Paul Francis Anderson died as he had lived, surrounded by a loving Christian community.

    On January 7, 1987, Paul Anderson's life and ministry were celebrated at a memorial mass in St. Joseph's Cathedral in Sioux Fall. In his homily, Father Leonard Stanton, a friend from seminary days, recalled the bishop's joy in living, story telling and his special gift of encouraging and healing. Stanton's well-drawn sketch identified an enduring trait: Paul Anderson was real--he never pretended to be someone other than who he really was.

    In Duluth the mass of Christian burial was celebrated on January 9 in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary. Archbishop John Roach, Bishop Robert Brom and Bishop Paul Dudley presided. Bishop Anderson was buried in a simple plywood coffin made by the Benedictine monks of Blue Cloud Abbey, Marvin, South Dakota. Blue Cloud held a special place in his heart since he felt the Holy Spirit had touched him there. He was buried in his plain "beat up" miter, which was so typical of his simple lifestyle and symbolic of his commitment to social justice for the poor. His "heavy-soled walking shoes" were fitting for a man who loved the outdoors and drew strength from nature.

    In his moving homily, Monsignor John McEneaney captured the essence of his seminary classmate, confidant and close friend. McEneaney's reflections, published in Sioux Falls' BISHOP'S BULLETIN, are a remarkable tribute to Anderson's life and ministry. He pointed out that Anderson loved life and the beauty of nature. The bishop's appreciation of beauty could also be seen in his gift for painting. He "captured some of the beautiful things he saw in God's creation."

    McEneaney emphasized one of Anderson's greatest gifts: the ability to be a true friend. When he was "a parish priest in South Dakota, his rectory was always a Mecca for his brother priests. People were welcomed, especially the lonely, the shy and the troubled." Later as a bishop his "residence was a marvelous house of hospitality--it was a place of refuge and renewal--it was a house of prayer--it was a home filled with love." The bishop "had an extraordinary gift for reaching out to people, touching them and making them feel accepted, bringing out the best in them." McEneaney reminded the congregation of Anderson "rare gift of making one feel as though he were the only one enjoying his full attention, and he had all the time in the world for you."

    Clearly, the Vatican II vision of the church as the People of God was central to Anderson's ministry and understanding of the church. McEneaney stressed that Anderson was open to the Holy Spirit and "caught the true sense of the renewal called for by the Fathers of the 2nd Vatican Council. He read widely and studied; above all, he prayed and with contagious enthusiasm and a fine sense of balance, he led his people to remarkable growth."

    McEneaney was right! Anderson had loved, prayed and led people to the realization of what Vatican II was all about--a change of heart and mind. His work on "Called and Gifted," the 1980 document on the laity, and his leadership in Duluth and Sioux Falls helped engender a new attitude toward the church and the role of laymen and women. The bishop, viewing the church as the People of God, believed that laymen and women ministered to each other and that lay ministry was central to renewal.

    In a powerful conclusion, McEneaney highlighted, Anderson's warm personality, enthusiasm for life, love of nature, and contagious faith in God. "If Bishop Paul could speak to us today in his charmingly relaxed way--after telling us a story--I suspect he would say something like this:

    "I've had a full and exciting life. I've loved my family, my friends, all the people whom I was called to serve, and have been blessed with their love. I delighted in the seashore and other treasures of my native New England, the great prairies of South Dakota, the woods and lakes of Minnesota. I thank God for my Catholic faith, for his Church, and for the gift of my priesthood and episcopacy.

    "My reluctance to leave these, and all of you in this life is [made] easier by the confidence that the new life will surpass it!

"SEE YOU THERE"

Copyright 2002 [Neil Storch]. All rights reserved
Last Updated Saturday, October 19, 2002 13:46 (CST)