Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Making an Act of Perfect Contrition

Have you ever felt helpless at the bedside of a loved one who may be dying? Someone who has left the Church and refuses a priest? Or a non-Catholic Christian who would not be comfortable making confession to a priest? Or, have you wondered how to pray for a non-Christian who is dying? Perhaps you want to know what to do if you find yourself or someone else in dire need of a priest, but one is not available?

Listen to this homily (below) by Fr. Wolfe of Mater Dei Catholic Church. Additionally, here are the booklets referenced in his sermon.

Make an Act of Perfect Contrition (click on the link to hear the sermon)

You may save someone's soul. You may save your own.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The bureaucratization of pastoral care...

"Solving the pastoral problems that present themselves in your dioceses must never limit itself to organizational questions, however important these may be. This [approach] risks placing an emphasis on seeking efficiency through a sort of 'bureaucratization of pastoral care,' focused on structures, organizations and programs, ones which can become 'self-referential,' at the exclusive use of the members of those structures. These would have scarce impact on the life of Christians who are distanced from regular practice [of the faith]. Instead, evangelization requires starting from the encounter with the Lord, within a dialogue rooted in prayer, which then concentrates on the witness of giving itself toward the end of helping the people of our time to recognize and discover anew the signs of the presence of God.”  -- Pope Benedict XVI (Ad Limina Address to the Bishops of Western France, Castel Gandolfo, 21 September 2012)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why? Part Two

On page two of the latest bulletin, parishioners are invited to attend a tent revival at the Chemung Country Fairgrounds. The Ignite Tent Revival is advertised as a great awakening to call on God to bring healing and a renewal of purpose to our families, community, and country. Several evangelical ministers will be preaching during the two-week revival. In case you’re wondering, no Catholic priests or lay people will be presenting.

If you review Ignite’s Facebook page (you do not have to be a member to see it), you will get a feel for what a tent revival is all about. Wikipedia defines it as “a gathering of Christian worshipers in a tent erected specifically for revival meetings, healing crusades, and church rallies.” Traditionally, they have been held by “Pentecostal or Holiness Christians who not only adhered to evangelicalism, but believed in speaking in tongues, healing the chronically ill, and in some cases resurrecting the dead.”

Generally, Catholics are only welcomed at these events in order to be converted or “saved.” So why would a Catholic parish encourage its members to attend an evangelical revival? Why not hold a type of revival for Catholics? Why not collaborate with other area parishes for events and retreats? Why not build up Catholicism in our community? We could even invite our non-Catholic neighbors. We do believe that we are the true Church, don’t we?

Interestingly, this particular revival is being run by Dr. Wayne Gwilliam’s Destined to Win Ministries. This is the evangelical minister who spoke at All Saints Parish in May. If you read Dr. Gwilliam’s April 26 post, he includes Deacon Dean’s letter to the area’s Catholic leaders, asking them to encourage their parishioners to attend the revival. These leaders were also asked to have lunch with Dr. Gwilliams at Rogers Hall.

I don’t know who attended the luncheon, but the other Twin Tiers parishes have so far declined to place the revival invitation in their bulletins.

Note that Dr. Gwilliams used a photo of St. Vincent de Paul’s Church in his post. I wonder if he knows that this church was almost sold two years ago. Or if he noticed the For Sale sign outside of Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Church.   --Susan M.

Admin note: Susan's first post can be found here.