An Invitation

An invitation arrived in the mail this week. It wasn’t, of course, unexpected. In fact, we’ve had the date for a while now. The arrival of the invitation moves the ordination more solidly into the realm of “this is going to happen.”

I very much wanted to write something insightful here — something which summed up the last six years, something meaningful and inspiring.

But as I contemplate this next step in Evan’s journey all I can really give voice to is a profound sense of gratitude to God. Gratitude for both my sons, for my wife, for the life God has given me, and for love that God has shown me through all of this.

So I’ll leave the invitation here and ask your prayers for us and for Evan as he takes this next important step in his journey of faith and service.

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News from the Paulists!

Evan pointed out that the blog hasn’t been updated in a while.

He’s right.

I’ve missed several important events in the life of the Paulist Community. So, let me (with a firm purpose of amendment) get the blog up-to-date on a few important things.

Let’s start with this great article over at First Things about the oldest living Paulist priest, Fr. James Lloyd. The article highlights his years of service including time as a television host and seminary rector. I found this tidbit about his training as a psychologist.

Upon his return to the United States, his opportunities increased, as he earned a Ph.D. in psychology from New York University—a degree he believes enhanced his ministry as a priest. A philosopher by training, Fr. Lloyd had been instructing people in the faith with a classic theological approach. But while this logical process was effective in many cases, it ran into trouble with people who responded, “I can’t believe what the Church teaches.” Fr. Lloyd discovered that the reason these people couldn’t accept Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, was due not to intellectual factors, but to emotional ones. Deep resentments and unconscious biases had built up over many years, making them unable to see what Fr. Lloyd was teaching. He had to approach people differently, exploring their emotional worlds. That’s where his psychology degree paid off.

By combining sound psychology with traditional Catholic spirituality, Fr. Lloyd was able to remove the brambles in these people’s lives, which were blocking their path toward truth. Once those obstacles were removed, the logic of the faith became clearer, and reluctant souls under his care began flowing back into the Church once again.

The article concludes with this encouraging paragraph:

Speaking as a priest who has lived almost a century, he concludes, “I’m surprised the seminaries aren’t bulging with young men who want to have a wonderful and enriching life.” Fr. Lloyd feels blessed to have lived one.

Over at Paulist Press, they inaugurated the Elequenta Perfecta award, which was instituted “to celebrate people in communications who take their vocation seriously, live their faith life and can serve as an inspiration to others.” The award was given to Jeanne Gaffigan for her work as the writer and producer of The Jim Gaffigan Show. The cable-based sitcom chronicles the lives and foibles of a fiercely Catholic family living in New York City. Jeanne sees the program as a vehicle for sharing the faith:

She said the couple tries, “in our own imperfect way, to present a household of faith in one of the most culturally diverse places in our country.” The television show is loosely based on their experiences working in the comedy field and raising children in a two-bedroom apartment in New York.

Speaking of Paulist Press, just yesterday Paulist Press was awarded the Lumen Ex Libris by the Vatican Publish Office. Well done!

Finally, the biggest news happened back in September when Matthew Berrios, Steven Petroff and Stuart Wilson-Smith were all ordained as transitional deacons. This major milestone is one of the last before priestly ordination. Please keep them in your prayers as they finish this last year of training and formation before assuming their duties as priests.

–Dad of Evan