David Carollo, Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA, recorded an increase in rosary sales since The Atlantic magazine published an article in August that attempted to link the rosary to violent, right-wing extremism in the United States. After a frenzy of grave concern of what many considered anti-Catholic sentiment, the magazine changed its headline from “How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol” to “How Extremist Gun Culture is Trying to Co-Op the Rosary.”
The article said, “These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal.” Well, I don’t know about that. I do know that I’ve been carrying and praying the rosary since seventh grade. Does that make me a threat to others? (more…)
The readings from this reflection: Am 6:1a, 4-7; Ps 146:7, 8-10; 1Tm 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31
The emphasis of riches and wealth in the Gospel account of Luke is overwhelmingly obvious to any reader of the Gospel. As in previous Sundays in this liturgical cycle, Jesus invites three groups of persons to be aware of the blessings that riches or wealth provide but also reminds that whatever riches or gifts we possess, each has its source in God. The three groups highlighted in the Gospel according to Luke are the disciples of Jesus, the Pharisees, and the crowds that followed Jesus with no specific desire of committing themselves to the Gospel proclaimed. To paraphrase the words of a little-known writer, Tony Evans, our only source is God, and the riches we have and the gifts we possess are all resources that flow from that one source. Recognizing this will help us appreciate their value in our lives as we seek to be stewards of these blessings from God.
Our Gospel passage this weekend highlights this fact in a vivid way and how we need to be aware of this, especially in our relationship with our brothers and sisters. The parable points out two principal characters both described in an interesting way in our Scriptural translation. First, there is “a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.” Jesus does not give a name to this rich man, but rather describes him by his lifestyle and actions. However, the second character in the story is given a name, Lazarus, which means: God is my helper. But, he is also described according to his situation: “a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.” The interesting detail we immediately see here is that both are described in relationship within the situation of another.
During the national three-year Eucharistic Revival, The Very Rev. Shoby Chettiyath, V.G., the diocesan Vicar General, will write a series of articles exploring the various Eucharistic Miracles of the World. A companion for readers in this series is, “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World,” an international exhibition designed and created by Blessed Carlo Acutis, the Servant of God. All rights reserved; used with permission. More information may be found atwww.miracolieucaristici.org/en/liste/list.html
The Very Rev. Shoby Chettiyath, V.G., serves as Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. He is Parochial Administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, in Nixa, MO.
COME, AND YOU WILL SEE written by Bishop Edward M. Rice
In my last column, I shared my thoughts on the importance of Catholic identity and the integrity of life required of a teacher in our Catholic schools. Notice that I didn’t say, “Catholic teachers,” but teachers in our Catholic schools. The reality is that we do partner with non-Catholics in the faith formation and education of the students in our schools. How can that be? First, by the integrity of their lives, as with a Catholic teacher, they strive in their moral and civic life to be intentional disciples of Jesus. Then, by a spirit of openness—i.e., not being an obstacle to what the Catholic school is trying to accomplish—forming our students as intentional disciples of Jesus in our Catholic faith.
In this column, I would like to highlight and offer my profound thanks to the many volunteers that serve their parish as PSR directors, catechetical leaders, catechists, youth directors, RCIA leaders and catechists. I hope each of you is recognized on the local level on Catechetical Sunday, which is celebrated Sept. 18 this year! If you think passing on the faith is difficult, try passing on the faith when you have one shot every week in a PSR program! Many who volunteer as catechists and directors of parish programs are just that: volunteers. For all that you do—I thank you!
Whether you are a teacher in a Catholic school or teaching in one of the PSR programs, or simply have the desire to grow in your faith, I hope everyone knows the many resources that are available to them through the Online Catechetical Institute from Franciscan University. All these courses are FREE of charge, thanks to the generosity of the Missouri Knights of Columbus. Franciscan University is constantly putting out new programs to help in the faith formation of our young people and adults. More information, including how to register, can be found on p. 14 of this issue of The Mirror! And let us not forget the three-year Eucharistic Revival that we have entered into. The USCCB Website has many resources as well. And, a good number of our parishes participate in “Formed,” a Catholic App that focuses on Catholic movies for all ages, Bible study, and sacramental prep materials. I constantly tell all of our teachers, principals, catechetical directors, and youth ministers that they share in my work in forming people in the faith. And that is the way it should be. That’s the role of the laity. Hopefully, our priests are nurturing our people who in turn, nurture the faith in others. And when that happens, as it does here in southern Missouri, the faith grows. I’m not naïve and I know we have our challenges, and the greatest challenge is to move forward in faith. Thanks for all you do.
I am so pleased that we have three new candidates that have entered into formation and formal discernment for the priesthood, God willing. One of the young men, Jesse Thompson, from St. Cecilia Parish, Kennett, MO, is in formation as he finishes his degree at Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH. The other two men are both from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Springfield. Trey Ringgold is in an internship at St. Vincent de Paul, Cape Girardeau, while Wyatt McFall is in Conception Seminary, Conception, MO. These three men, along with the three returning seminarians, bring us up to six total seminarians for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, which is just under 25% of our goal of having 25 seminarians by the year 2025.
I am encouraged by the enthusiasm of our vocation promoters throughout southern Missouri, from Joplin to Cape Girardeau. They will be a blessing to Fr. Scott Sunnenberg, our diocesan Director of Vocations & Seminarians, as he continues to work with young men discerning God’s will in their lives. The three-year Eucharistic Revival should also result in a revival of vocations.
Some important dates to remember:
Fri., Sept. 9, is International “Buy a Priest a Beer Day”
The readings from this reflection: Ex 32:7-11, 13-14; Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19; 1Timothy 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32
If we are looking for a theme that runs throughout the readings on this Sunday, we can find it proclaimed in the Alleluia verse taken from 2 Corinthians 5:19. In all of the Scripture passages on this day, we see so clearly that “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
In the first reading, as Moses was leading the people of Israel away from Egypt, they so quickly lost sight of the power of God who had set them free. They began to worship a calf, calling an idol their “God.” The one, true God tells Moses, “Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.”