Corpus Christi Blog

Remembering the Reformation — Together: Why Christian unity is closer now than before

10-29-2017Weekly ReflectionJimmy Akin

from Catholic Answers Magazine; Sep-Oct 2017 issue

In recent years both Catholics and Protestants have been puzzled by occasional mentions in the press that the two groups would be jointly commemorating of the upcoming five hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

What on earth?

Why would Catholics commemorate such an event?

Let’s talk about that.

“And So, It Begins . . .”

According to legend, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenburg, Germany.

Despite the legend, we don’t have solid evidence that he actually did this, but it is true that in 1517 Luther published a set of 95 propositions he proposed for academic debate.


An Excerpt from Devin Rose's The Protestant's Dilemma

10-22-2017Weekly ReflectionSelected by Bulletin Editor, Christi Deg

Over the summer, our bulletin ran a series of articles by Ken Hensley about the Protestant Reformation (What was the Reformation and Why Did it Happen). The feedback from parishioners has indicated that the series was very helpful and informative. As thismonth marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, it is our responsibility as Catholics to continue our understanding of our Faith in comparison to Protestant claims. There are numerous apologetics articles and books that one could read. One such book is The Protestant's Dilemma by Devin Rose, a Catholic convert, in which he examines over thirty Protestant claims and what they would signify if thought through logically. The following excerpt is from Chapter 2:The Papacy.


The Liturgical Ministries

10-15-2017Weekly ReflectionMatt Henry, Director of Music & Liturgy

A few weeks ago, I highlighted the roles that the congregation participate in as part of the liturgy (service of God and each other). I want to thank everyone who has accepted the challenge of increasing the efficacy of our Masses! I have felt the increased focus and participation. Your prayerful silence and your joyful exclamations have made an impact on my experience at the Mass…and I am grateful to you for that!

What if God is calling you to go beyond the expectations of “normal” participation in the liturgy? (I use the word normal in quotes, because there is nothing ordinary or normal about real participation in the Mass!) Today I would like to highlight the various liturgical ministries and offer you an invitation to participate even more deeply in the service of the Mass.


Ministry Spotlight: Knights of Columbus

10-08-2017Weekly ReflectionJames McGrath, PFN, PGK

Corpus Christi Council 10062

The Knights of Council 10062 have long acknowledged that their successful operation as one of the leading Councils in Arizona is due in large part to the overwhelming support of our pastors and parishioners. The practice of the Order’s first principle, Charity, would not be possible without the loyal patronage and unending collaboration of the Corpus Christi Catholic Community. We are immensely appreciative of the continuous support provided by our parishioners.

The generosity of Corpus Christi Parishioners in support of Knights’ Charities has had an enormous impact on our community. One example is the PWID Campaign (Persons with Intellectual Disabilities), was the first fundraiser event our Council undertook after it was founded. The iconic yellow cans, aprons and nationally recognized Tootsie Roll candy have since become an annual event.


Many Reasons to Celebrate

10-01-2017Weekly ReflectionFr. Chad King

This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. We celebrate two of my favorite Saints: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, on October 1 (though this year it is trumped because it falls on a Sunday) and St. Francis of Assisi on October 4. Additionally, on September 29 we celebrated the Archangels and on my birthday, October 2, we’ll celebrate our Guardian Angels. Furthermore, my sister’s birthday is October 5.

Last week, if you remember, the Gospel was the Parable of the Landowner who hired workers to work in his vineyard at different times of the day, but paid each worker equally, no matter how long they worked. In his homily, Dcn. Chris Kellogg led us to reflect on the joy it is to be called to work in the Lord’s vineyard. For me personally, that truth has been resonating in my heart.


Does God Care About What We Wear to Mass?

09-24-2017Weekly ReflectionFr. Chad King

Last week, Matt wrote about the sanctity and dignity of what we are doing at Mass and how our participation with our bodies and souls should reflect that. In every Mass, Heaven and Earth touch — the eternal Mass in Heaven comes down so that we on earth join the Angels and Saints worshiping God in Heaven. Today, I want to bring up what some think is an important issue, while others don’t really think about it — how we dress at Mass.

A few years before I entered Seminary, I worked in a credit card call center. I was in a big building, full of individual cubicles, sitting in a chair talking to people over the phone for 8 hours a day. As someone who stutters, this was my least favorite job I’ve had — I still remember how I counted the minutes until my next break and dreaded going back to work after them. Another thing I did not like about this job was that I had to wear dress pants with dress shoes, a button-down shirt, and a tie every day. When I started there, I asked myself, “why do they make us dress up just to talk to people over the phone? Couldn’t we all do the job, perhaps enjoy it more, if we were in more comfortable clothes?”


The Mass —Worship and Service

09-17-2017Weekly ReflectionMatt Henry, Director of Music & Liturgy

The Heavenly Mass

Did you know that as we celebrate Mass, it is also happening in heaven? Jesus, the High Priest, presides over the heavenly Mass, surrounded by the heavenly hosts. In the book of Revelation, John gives an account of the heavenly Mass which consists of reading from the scrolls (Liturgy of the Word), the singing of hymns, and the breaking of bread (Liturgy of the Eucharist). In the Mass, the priest references the heavenly Mass just prior to the “Sanctus” (Holy, Holy) when he says, “And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim…” With them…at that moment…now…here!


Divine Design

09-10-2017Weekly ReflectionParishioner Lois Woodrow

I was 18 years old and my husband was 19 when my uncle, a parish priest in Michigan, married us. Naturally, our parents warned us that we were too young and should wait a few years to marry, however, we knew we were in love, so the wedding went ahead as scheduled. About 24 years later, my dear husband fell ill and was given six months to live. He passed away at the early age of 42. We had just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. My whole world turned upside down. I was lost, so I asked God for help. After some reflection and prayer I came to realize why we married so young.

AND SO IT WAS… God's Plan.


The Catechism — a Fundamental Resource for the Catholic Faith

09-03-2017Weekly ReflectionParishioner Mark Porter

The Catechism of the Catholic Church – what is it? A book we have on our bookshelf, sitting cold and dusty since we purchased it with good intentions years ago? The seemingly endless rules and regulations that Catholics are beholden to observe? The restrictions that prevent us from living happy lives as masters of our own destiny? The codification of extra stuff Catholics have heaped upon the original teachings of Christ?

Whether you answered yes to any of these questions, or your answer was a resounding “I don’t really know for sure,” or even if you opened it just last night, it may be time to take a new look at the wisdom of the Church as it is captured in this marvelous gift she has given to the world. Indeed, it is a marvelous gift, for within it you will find the mind and life of the Church, which is nothing less than a reflection of the divine mind and life of Christ himself.


What Was the Reformation and Why Did it Happen Part 6: Welcome to the Modern World

08-20-2017Weekly ReflectionKen Hensley

In this brief series we've been working on two central questions: What was the Reformation? And why did it happen?

In "What Was the Reformation?" I argued that, at its heart, the Reformation was a dispute over the issue of authority. In short, the separation that occurred at that time between Catholic and Protestant was a separation between those who continued to embrace the spiritual authority of the Catholic Church and those who rejected that authority to stand on the authority, ultimately, of their own interpretation of Scripture and the Fathers of the Church.


What Was the Reformation and Why Did it Happen Part 5: A Church in Desperate Need of Spiritual Reform

08-13-2017Weekly ReflectionKen Hensley

In 1510, the young Augustinian monk Martin Luther was sent to Rome on an errand for his order. He had dreamed all his life of visiting the Eternal City where Saints Peter and Paul had preached and been martyred, where Paul was beheaded and Peter crucified upside down in Nero's circus. He was thrilled at the thought of praying and celebrating Mass in the great churches of Rome.

Instead, as Luther scholar Heiko Oberman writes:

Later he remembered clearly the shock and horror he had felt in Rome upon hearing for the first time in his life flagrant blasphemies uttered in public. He was deeply shocked by the casual mockery of saints and everything he held sacred. He could not laugh when he heard priests joking about the sacrament of the Eucharist. (Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, p. 149)


What Was the Reformation and Why Did it Happen Part 4: The Rise of Individualism

08-06-2017Weekly ReflectionKen Hensley

With the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation coming in October of this year, in this series of articles we've been asking two essential questions: First, boiled down to its essence, what was the Reformation? And then second, why did the Reformation happen at that precise moment in the history of Christianity?

In terms of the first question, we've seen that the Reformation was not about the creation of a new religion. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and the other Reformers never saw themselves as teaching anything other than the Christianity of the Apostles and the early Church.


What Was the Reformation and Why Did it Happen Part 3: The Rise of Humanism

07-30-2017Weekly ReflectionKen Hensley

In this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church — for which, often enough, men on both sides were to blame. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 817)

Some of us don't think much about this issue of division in the visible Body of Christ. I didn't used to think much about it. Truthfully, I was so accustomed to the idea that Christianity existed in a fragmented state, that it didn't bother me. Like kids growing up in a broken home, at first it may seem impossible that Dad doesn't live with us any more, but after a while it seems perfectly natural.


What Was the Reformation and Why Did it Happen Part 2: An Explosion of Ideas

07-23-2017Weekly ReflectionKen Hensley

In our first installment of this series, we asked the question, “What was the Reformation?”

We argued with Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc that at its heart the Reformation was not so much a dispute over one or two or more particular doctrines of the Church but over the very question of how doctrinal disputes within the Church would be settled. It was a dispute over the issue of where authority is to be found in the Church. This is what tore at the heart of Christianity in the early 16th century.

Indeed, I believe one of the most useful ways to think about the violent fracturing that took place at that time and the separation of Christians into “Catholic” and “Protestant,” is to think of it as a bitter divorce between those who continued to embrace the spiritual authority of the Catholic Church and those who rejected that authority to take their stand on the authority of Scripture alone: sola Scriptura. This is the essence of what took place at the time of the Reformation.


What Was the Reformation and Why Did it Happen Part 1: An Overview

07-16-2017Weekly ReflectionKen Hensley

Before becoming Catholic, I was an evangelical Protestant for about twenty years, an ordained Protestant minister for more than eleven.

My conversion was hard. I broke a lot of glass coming into the Church. Because of my background and situation, becoming Catholic wasn’t something done quickly. It was the result of intensive thought and prayer over the course of some four years. It involved a rethinking of my entire worldview as a Christian — including the teaching of Scripture and the history of the Church.

Given this experience, I can’t talk about Catholicism and Protestantism without instinctively making the case for the one and against the other. At the same time, I can’t talk about Protestantism without deep affection for those I still consider my brothers and sisters in Christ.