The Roots of the Present Crisis
Douglas Farrow, Professor of Christian thought and holder of the Kennedy Smith Chair in Catholic Studies at McGill University, Montreal; given in Rome, on April 22, 2017
It is not too much to speak of a crisis in the Church today, a crisis in several dimensions. There is a crisis of morality. There is a crisis of doctrine. There is a crisis of authority. There is a crisis of unity.
True, such crises are more common than some like to think. Perhaps the closest analog, however, comes from the sixteenth century. Half a millennium ago, the fathers of Trent had to defend the sacraments governing confession, communion, and conjugality from coordinated, if somewhat chaotic, attacks. The same three sacraments are threatened again today. They had to defend the Church’s unity and authority against the Protestant principle – against the inevitably divisive claim that the meaning of holy scripture could be determined independently of tradition and without accountability before the entire Church. That too is necessary today. They had to weed out persistent abuses both in the sacramental life and in the governance of the Church, while striving to recover a unified vision of Christian existence in which justification and sanctification, freedom and obedience, hold together. This also is urgently required in our own time.
Contemplative monk creates comic book to teach faith
By Carl Bunderson
Denver, Colo., Jul 17, 2013 / 04:10 am (CNA).– Building on his lifelong love of comic books, an Eastern Catholic monk has authored a short graphic novel, “The Truth is Out There,” to help explain the truths of the faith in an understandable way.
“The reason I did it in cartoon format was because I didn’t think my friends would read it any other way,” Amadeus — which is the author’s pen-name — told CNA in a recent interview.
“The Truth is Out There” tells the story of two space-age mail carriers who begin discussing the meaning of life at a coffee bar, and as they search for truth, one comes to find it resting in the Catholic Church.
In the book’s introduction, Amadeus recounts that the work began a few years before he entered the monastery, during a conversation he was having with three friends of his who were all “born and raised Catholic.”
“It became appallingly clear how little any of us knew our faith…I had just stumbled upon the greatest problem of my generation of Catholics,” wrote Amadeus.
Queue to 4:30. Los Angeles Religious Education Congress 2014
Why the New Evangelization May Flop
The call for a New Evangelization is a desperately needed initiative especially when it is directed at baptized Catholics who are secularized and distant from the Faith. A serious hemorrhage of Catholics, especially youth and young adults, is due to what St. John Paul II termed an “invasive secularism.” Yet, the New Evangelization may be a flop when it comes to evangelizing families.
Key to the long-term success of an evangelistic effort that results in widespread cultural transformation is the targeting of specific “people-groups” (a term used in missions and in evangelistic planning) that are keys for the conversion of others. In other words, instead of trying to evangelize everyone, the focus is put upon those who in turn will be instrumental in the conversions and reversions of others. As far as I can tell, the key “people-group” for the New Evangelization of families has yet to be identified, namely fathers.
Yes, it’s encouraging that we now have annual Catholic men’s conferences in many places, but that’s a long way from a full-court, year-long, and multi-faceted effort at evangelizing fathers.
The Southern Baptists, who are effective evangelizers, published these remarkable results from research done by their church resource division:
• If a child is the first in the family to become a Christian, there’s a
3.7 percent probability that the rest of the family will become Christians
• If mom is the first in the family to become a Christian, there’s a
17 percent probability that the rest of the family will follow
• If dad is the first in the family to become a Christian, there’s a
93 percent probability that everyone else in the family will follow his lead
A Catholic Response to Bullying
He who heeds discipline
shows the way to life, but
whoever ignores correction
leads others astray.
An outreach of the Catholic Education Center, Archdiocese of St. Louis.
VBRD HAS TWO KEY OUTCOMES
• Decrease anti-social behaviors
→ Problematic disruptions
• Increase faith practices
→ Education on virtue
→ Integration of faith in discipline at home and at school
• Commit to Constructive Language
→ Eliminate judging, criticizing, labeling, gossip, rumors, diminishing statements
• Become a Student of Virtue
→ Learn them, live them, pick three per year
• Engage in Restorative Practices
→ Circles at every level: parents, staff, students; address harm with dignity, hope