Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fr. John Riccardo :- Abuse Scandal

I am sure that many of you are aware of the abuse scandal that has been circulating over media lately.  Honestly, I have been pretty much out of the loop on these stories, and I have only recently started to give them some attention.  Child abuse is a horrible sin, and those who have committed those sins should be brought to justice and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

You all know how big of a fan I am of Fr. John Riccardo.  He is articulate, funny and just an all around great pastor.  Earlier this month, he held a Catholicism for Cradle Catholics talk devoted to the topic of the abuse scandal.  In it, like many of his talks, he invites the audience to come and ask their questions and then after they have been asked, he spends time on each, answering them to the best of his ability and also interjecting personal experiences and perspectives on the matter.  He addresses how the Catholic Church reacts to abuse allegations at a Diocesean level, as well as the popular allegation that the reason why abuse is committed by priests is due to their vow of celibacy.

If you are interested in listening to this talk, you can find it here:

Catholicism for Cradle Catholics :- Abuse Scandal

If you are interested in the other talks from Fr. John Riccardo, you can find them here:

Fr. John Riccardo Talks

Thanks and God bless...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chrism Mass :- WOW!!!!

This past week, I was fortunate enough to have a ticket to attend the Chrism Mass at the Catehedral. For those of you who don't know what the Chrism Mass is, it is when the oils that are used for many of the sacraments - including Baptism, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick, Confirmation - are blessed by the Bishop in the Diocese. These oils are then transported to every parish within the Diocese. It was easily the most amazing Mass that I have ever been to - second only to the Easter Vigil where I was welcomed into the Church.

It wasn't the humongous choir and orchestra that made it so amazing for me, although that was awesome. It wasn't the pounds of incense that was used, although I love incense during Mass. It wasn't the fact that we had readings in both Spanish, Vietnamese and English, although that was amazing (I mean what else would you expect from the Universal Church that encompasses all languages and nationalities).

During this Mass, I was most taken back by another realization of a different facet of my Church. My parish is but one of the parishes in Grand Rapids, MI. My parish is not the Church, it is but a part of it. Every priest from all of the different parishes were in attendance and during the procession, all of those priests and deacons processed in. It was the most beautiful sight. My parish is united with all of these other parishes under one Bishop. I know that this is Catholicism 101, but when you see it live, it really takes you back. We are truly One, Holy, Catholic Church.

Bishop Hurley stressed that every parish's altar is but an extension of the altar of the Cathedral. The Cathedral is the Parish where the Bishop resides. Since the Bishop is in control of the Diocese and we are not separate individual institutions, we are all united under the Bishop and our altar's are truly extensions of the Bishop altar.

Now let's take it to the next level. There are many Dioceses around the world. Every inch of soil on this earth falls under the jurisdiction of a Bishop. There is one Cathedral in each Diocese. Each of the parishes in their respective Diocese are but an extension of the Cathedral. Each Cathedral is but an extension of the Church in Rome. We are truly One Church united under the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

When I came back home to tell my wife about the Mass, and even as I reflect on these things now, all I can say is...

"My Church is sweet!!!!!"

God bless...

P.S. If you want to see the Chrism Mass Homily, click here