The Diocese of Rochester’s “Catholic Call-In” began at 2 p.m. today. English-, Spanish- and Vietnamese-speaking pastoral ministers will be on hand until 8 p.m. to answer phoned-in questions about Catholicism and the Catholic Church’s teachings.
“As soon as 2 hit, all the phones kept ringing. It’s been pretty consistent,” Shannon Loughlin, director of young-adult and campus ministry for the diocese, told the Catholic Courier at 3 p.m.
Many of the questions thus far have dealt with divorce, marriage and annulments, she added, and many of these questions have been forwarded to Emmett Wells, director of the diocesan Tribunal.
“That’s one of the biggest questions that comes up,” Wells said.
To help answer callers’ questions, the pastoral ministers manning the bank of 11 phones have access to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Revised Code of Canon Law, the Bible, books about liturgical rites and resources about such topics as stem cells, as well as a laptop computer for Internet research. They also can forward more complicated questions to the appropriate diocesan departments.
“I think the goal (of the call-in) was just accessibility, the opportunity for people to have a place to ask their questions,” said Maribeth Mancini, director of the diocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis and cochair of the diocesan spiritual renewal, Spirit Alive! The “Catholic Call-In” is part of the spiritual renewal.
The toll-free number for the call-in is 1-888-477-1718.