Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Some of our Bishops are speaking with particular clarity, courage and conviction. They have the bugle in hand and they are sounding it and summoning us all

The truly liberating message of authentic and true human progress which only the Catholic Church offers the world - is just what is needed in this critical hour in human history. It is the only solution for the malady which ails western culture. However, we need strong, courageous, holy and faithful Bishops who can proclaim it in both word and deed. We have many these days and Cardinal SeŠn Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap, is one.

Se√°n Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., of Boston

Se√°n Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., of Boston

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/11/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal newman Society, Boston College, Cardinal Se√°n Patrick O'Malley, Enda Kenny, Right to Life, Pro-Life, Deacon Keith Fournier


BOSTON, Mass. (Catholic Online) - I was born and raised in Boston. I remember with great fondness the salt of the earth folks who filled my childhood. That is why I was happy to accept an invitation to speak at a Deacons conference for the Archdiocese of Boston several years ago. I also knew Cardinal SeŠn Patrick O'Malley would be there and I wanted to meet him.

I have followed his service to the Lord for a long time. It has inspired me in my own. 

Catholic Deacons have a vital role to serve in the New Evangelization of the Church. They are also an important asset in this new missionary age, for a Church which needs all of her assets. We are living in what I prefer to call a PRE-Christian West rather than a post-Christian West. We are all Christian missionaries, no matter what our state in life or vocation.

The Deacons of the Catholic Catholic Church have a distinctive vocation. They are called to live life in the real world- but a life that is not "of this world". (See, e.g. Romans 12:2, 1 John 2: 15 - 17) They are to be an icon of Christ the Servant, in word and deed, as a distinctive order of clergy in the midst of the world.

Deacons are to be a witness of the Church, which is the new world - to use a term loved by the early fathers - a seed of the kingdom to come. They are invited by their ordination, not unto the priesthood but unto ministry - to live as leaven in the loaf of human culture, elevating it from within.

I often say that Deacons go from the altar and the ambo into the street. There, they bring men, women and children to Jesus Christ, helping them to find their home in the heart of the Church, where they can experience the transforming grace of God, and participate in the ongoing redemptive mission of Jesus Christ.

However, after seventeen years of service in this vocation, I have really come to understand the importance of the relationship between a Bishop and his priests and deacons. I have seen the impact it has not only on the clergy, but on the faithful whom they serve. I know that the Bishop has the fullness of orders. His role is so critical. that is why we need to pray for our Bishops and call attention to the ones who stand on the front line.  

If the Bishop is distant and detached, the priests and deacons often do not experience the fatherly and brotherly care so integral to their fruitful exercise of ordained ministry. As a result, the faithful do not receive the particular gifts the clergy are ordained to offer them so that they can serve the Church in their vital role.

By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we have been given some great Bishops in the United States and beyond. One of them, as I saw so clearly that weekend, is Courageous Cardinal SeŠn Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap. His obvious relationship with the Risen Jesus Christ comes through in his words, his warmth and his work. This is a man who knows the Lord, undertands his vocation, and lives it. How refreshing! 

The Holy Spirit is at work, re-securing the foundation stones of the Catholic Church in the United States. Lord knows we need it, the culture is under siege from false ideologies which, while promising liberation, lead to slavery. Faithful Catholics and other faithful Christians are the freedom fighters of this age.

The work of rebuilding the Church extends across the beautiful vocational spectrum. We are witnessing an authentic renewal of the priesthood, the episcopacy, the diaconate, the religious and consecrated life, the lay ecclesial movements, and the lay faithful. Oh, I know, some of my readers wonder how I can make such a claim. Where I cause for hope, they see something else. 

However, I make this claim without any reservation.

In fact, the more I have traveled in the last few years, the more convinced I am that there is no vocations problem in the Catholic Church. I use the phrase in the limited way it is often used to refer to men responding the invitation to the priesthood.  After all, there are many vocations within the one call to follow Jesus Christ and to live out the universal call to holiness and mission. 

I suggest that all one has to do to see the truth of my claim is to look at the seminaries where Bishops are being Bishops - and not just administrators. There you will see the Church alive with dynamically orthodox living witnesses of the ancient but ever new Catholic Christian faith. There you will also find vocations to the priesthood increasing. Priestly vocations are a fruit more than a part some strategic plan.   

The Catholic Church is being prepared by the Holy Spirit for a new missionary age. In fact, the historic parallel between the early centuries of the First Millennium and the Third millennium are instructive. I have no doubt of two things; it will be difficult and it will bear the fruit past missionary ages have borne. This is Christ's Church, the gates of hell will not prevail against her, and His loving plan for the whole world will not be thwarted.

The truly liberating message of authentic and true human progress which only the Catholic Church offers the world - is just what is needed in this critical hour in human history. It is the only solution for the malady which ails western culture. However, we need strong, courageous, holy and faithful Bishops who can proclaim it in both word and deed. We have many these days and Cardinal SeŠn Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap, is one.

St. Paul wrote to the early Christians, "And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound - who will get ready for battle?" (1 Corinthians 14:8). The bugle has sounded and it is time for all of us all to be ready for battle. Some of our Bishops are speaking with particular clarity, courage and conviction. They have the bugle in hand and they are sounding it and summoning us all.

These Bishops are inviting us by both word and example to engage in a new Catholic Action, each according to our distinct vocation, state in life, placement in the work and complimentary role. They show us by both their words and their actions that these may be tough times, but they are our times.

They know, as we do, that for our mission to this pre-Christian culture to bear fruit, the Church must be holy and faithful to her head, Jesus Christ. She must witness to the compelling new way of life which is found in Him in a new way of living. They must also be willing to stand up and say No when the situation demands.

As we enter the months of commencement exercises on Catholic College campuses, these Bishops are emerging. Cardinal SeŠn Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap. just announced he will not attend the commencement exercises at Boston College. He should be commended.

Get ready; the stories concerning commencements at catholic Colleges are just beginning. The finest source, bar none, for following the ongoing struggle on Catholic College Campuses is the Cardinal Newman Society. I strongly recommend their online publication entitled Catholic Education Daily. .

Boston College has defied the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops directive to not invite speakers openly opposing the teaching of the Catholic Church. Boston College invited Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as their commencement speaker. That is a scandal.

Enda Kenny denies the fundamental human right to life of our first neighbors in the womb. He is Anti-Life and his support of legislation which protects and promotes the crime of procured abortion is reprehensible. 

We need to stop using the Orwellian language of those who oppose the fundamental human Right to life. Every single human person has a fundamental Human Right to life, period. Those civil societies who fail to recognize it deny the truth as revealed by the Natural Law, confirmed by medical science and clear to every conscience. 

In fact, without the Right to Life, there can be no other rights because rights are goods of human persons. Without the recognition of the Right to Life the entire infrastructure of human rights is placed in jeopardy. Those who think they are somehow promoting human rights by denying them to our smallest neighbors are dangerously deluded.   

Here is the complete statement released by courageous Cardinal SeŠn Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap.:

*****
Because the Gospel of Life is the centerpiece of the Church's social doctrine and because we consider abortion a crime against humanity, the Catholic Bishops of the United States have asked that Catholic institutions not honor government officials or politicians who promote abortion with their laws and policies.

Recently I learned that the Prime Minister of Ireland, the Hon. Mr. Enda Kenny was slated to receive an honorary degree at Boston College's graduation this year. I am sure that the invitation was made in good faith, long before it came to the attention of the leadership of Boston College that Mr. Kenny is aggressively promoting abortion legislation. 

The Irish Bishops have responded to that development by affirming the Church's teaching that  "the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong" and expressed serious concern that the proposed legislation "represents a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law." 

Since the university has not withdrawn the invitation and because the Taoiseach has not seen fit to decline, I shall not attend the graduation. It is my ardent hope that Boston College will work to redress the confusion, disappointment and harm caused by not adhering to the Bishops' directives. 

Although I shall not be present to impart the final benediction, I assure the graduates that they are in my prayers on this important day in their lives, and I pray that their studies will prepare them to be heralds of the Church's Social Gospel and "men and women for others," especially for the most vulnerable in our midst. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

As death toll passes 2,600 U.S. lawmakers worry about spread of Ebola Watch

Image of Red Cross workers in Guinea in protective gear. Currently, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the worst nations worst hit by the West African Ebola outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Legislators in Washington are becoming increasingly concerned about the spread of Ebola and worry that it could become more contagious and potentially spread into the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama's new plan to put 3,000 U.S. ... continue reading


Obama gains support from House to further fight against ISIS Watch

Image of President Obama, with the support of the House of Representatives, may now start arming and training Syrian groups to fight the Islamic State, and will continue to strike targets in Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Barack Obama told Americans-in somewhat ambiguous terms-last week that he intended to destroy the Islamic State, as of September 17, he promised that the United States will not fight another ground war in Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Values Voters: What We Can Learn from Ted Cruz Being Booed at the In Defense of Christians Conference Watch

Image of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was the keynote speaker at what was billed as a Gala Solidarity Dinner. Sadly, it certainly did not demonstrate solidarity between Christians. A small group in the assembly, rudely and loudly, reacted negatively to some of the words Senator Cruz spoke as he expressed his convictions concerning the persecution taking place in this land which is properly holy, precisely because of its role in God's loving plan of salvation for the whole human race.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The events of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at the Inaugural In Defense of Christians Gala make abundantly clear that there is a serious and urgent need for values voters to meet and discuss the crisis in the Mideast and ways in which we can work together to ... continue reading


Our Age Need Rebels of Love: The Christian Church is the Real Counterculture Watch

Image of As a young man I rejected secularist, atheistic humanism - but not humanism itself. As I studied the early Church fathers I came to understand that the true humanism is authentic Christianity, the kind professed, in word and deed, by the early Christians. As I read early Church history I was brought back to the mother church of the entire Christian movement, the Catholic Church. I came to believe that she offers the theological anthropology, ecclesiology and world view of the early fathers of the Church. I also came to believe that she was the real counterculture.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We can - we will - change the culture of the contemporary West, if we are willing to suffer, struggle and offer ourselves to the Lord for the task. His power, the power of the Holy Spirit, working through us, will accomplish what we can never accomplish on our ... continue reading


What is a Catholic Deacon? Bishop Kevin Rhoades Gives the Answer Watch

Image of The Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, presiding over the Mass of Ordination to the Diaconate of six new Holy Cross Deacons

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

It is a privilege to ordain you permanent deacons.  No, I didn't make a mistake.  Don't worry: you are scheduled to be ordained priests next year by Bishop Jenky!  But what happens today in the sacrament of Orders is not something transitional; it ... continue reading


ISIS among us! New York man sought to kill Iraq war veterans Watch

Image of Mufid Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old, Yemeni born man who lived in New York, attempted to send three people to Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, and purchase firearms to kill veterans from the Iraq War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni born food store owner in upstate New York sent funding to the Islamic State and attempted to sent three jihadists to Syria to fight alongside the terrorist cell while plotting to perpetrate attacks against American troops who had served in Iraq. LOS ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone: 16433 Children Buried in One Grave Watch

Image of Fr. Pavone prays at the graveside of the children

By Fr. Frank Pavone

For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It's too disturbing a ... continue reading


Nice try! Democrats try to distance themselves from Obama for midterm, but it's too late! Watch

Image of Kentucky Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, seen here with a shotgun in an ad where she attempts to distance herself from the disastrous and unpopular policies of President Barack Obama.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Democratic Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, is trying her best to let Kentuckians know that she is certainly not an Obama Democrat, releasing a campaign ad where she wields a gun to prove it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grimes' 30-second ad takes place in ... continue reading


Are terrorists invading the US through the open border with Mexico? Watch

Image of The Islamic State nay already have sympathizers and cells within the USA. The porous border does nothing to aid the situation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans are worried that the Islamic State will soon conduct terror attacks within the U.S., inserting agents via the porous border between the states and Mexico. At least one sheriff has told the media he received an official alert while the federal government is ... continue reading


'We'll send them to hell!' Texas sheriff declares war on Islamic State Watch

Image of Texas sheriff Gary Painter reveals that he believes the Islamic State has already infiltrated the U.S. through the porous southern border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Law enforcement agencies along the U.S.-Mexico border have received alerts to be on the lookout for terrorists from Islamic State attempting to cross into the United States, a sheriff from the region has said. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Midland County ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:1-11
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 28
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:36-50
36 One of the Pharisees invited him to a meal. When ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 18th, 2014 Image

St. Joseph of Cupertino
September 18: St. Joseph was born at Cupertino, in the diocese of Nardo in the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter