Soon after the birth of my son Charlie*, who has Down syndrome, a visitor asked whether he was “mild, moderate, or severe”—referring to his level of cognitive impairment. I knew the terminology, but the question shocked me. In my arms I held my beautiful baby boy, who defied easy categorization. Clinical labels may describe some aspects of an individual’s “functioning,” but they don’t tell the whole story. Labels could not describe how Charlie’s smile lit up a room or how the sweetness of his soul had captured our hearts so completely.READ MORE
All priests are required to pray the Office of Readings (the lay faithful are encouraged to pray them as well). In last week's bulletin, I shared how I was inspired by the second reading of the Office of Readings from Thursday, September 20th. It was from the final exhortation of Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn, priest and martyr. I included an excerpt from it and my reflections on whether we are Catholics/Christians in name only. Here is another excerpt from that exhortation, followed by my commentary:READ MORE
I was inspired by the second reading of the Office of Readings from Thursday, September 20 . It's from the final exhortation of Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn, priest and martyr (Pro Corea Documenta, ed. Mission Catholique Séoul, Séoul/Paris, 1938, vol. 1, 74-75):
My brothers and sisters, my dearest friends, think again and again on this: God has ruled over all things in heaven and on earth from the beginning of time: then reflect on why and for what purpose he chose each one of us to be created in his own image and likeness.READ MORE
Last week, the Church celebrated Catechetical Sunday onSeptember 16 with the theme “Enlisting Witnesses for JesusChrist.” Every year, Catechetical Sunday provides a wonderfulopportunity to reflect on the role that each of us plays, by virtueof our Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to theGospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicatethemselves to this mission as a community of faith.READ MORE
Three weeks ago, I preached at all the Masses about the current scandal in the Church. Several times in that homily (which you can read on the website), I called out those bishops and priests who tried to hide the truth, to call a sin a sin. Now, in reaction to the complacency and silence, the truth is coming out, thanks be to God. Though it is difficult to face, it will set us free and the Church will be healed when we stand for the truth.READ MORE
Kenneth Hensley, Online Resource & Pastoral Care Coordinator, The Coming Home Network, www.chnetwork.org - August 2018 CHNewsletter
In Part 1, I described how I came to see that the unanimous testimony of the early Church thoroughly supported a Catholic and sacramental view of Baptism. But what about sacred Scripture?
In his Emergence of the Catholic Tradition, the great Church historian Jaroslav Pelikan summarizes the early Church's view of what occurs in Baptism. The early Church believed, Pelikan explains, that Baptism effects "the remission of sins, deliverance from death, regeneration, and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit."READ MORE
Kenneth Hensley, Online Resource & Pastoral Care Coordinator, The Coming Home Network, www.chnetwork.org - July 2018 CHNewsletter
As a "Bible Christian," I would have said I loved the writings of the Fathers. Of course, what I would have meant is that I loved to read Luther and Calvin and the other heroes of the Reformation. What Christians believed in the early centuries of the Christian era didn't matter too much to me.
And why should it? After all, when it came to determining Christian doctrine, all that really counted was, "What saith the Scriptures?"READ MORE