Book Review: Church historian offers predictions for future of Church in 21st century

Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the Twenty-First Century Church by George Weigel (Basic Books, 2013)

Four out of five stars

Reviewed by Tina Korbe Dzurisin

At the center of George Weigel’s latest work is not an idea to be examined, but a person to love. That person, of course, is Jesus Christ, who does not merely speak truth, but who is truth.

The centrality of Christ to Evangelical Catholicism explains the resonance of the book, which would otherwise be nothing more than a series of suggestions to improve the effectiveness of the Church’s outreach.

Whereas programmatic prescriptions for change more typically nag and very rarely invite people to action, Evangelical Catholicism functions precisely as an invitation – and as a particularly elegant and attractive one at that.



Scripture scholar explores supernatural family planning

First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity by Scott Hahn (Doubleday, 2002, 2007)

Reviewed by Brianna Osborne

This year, the Fortnight for Freedom focuses on life and marriage. It’s a perfect time to pick up Scott Hahn’s 2002 book about preserving the family, First Comes Love.

In the beginning, God was already a family: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But God so loved the man and woman he created that he gave them the chance to become part of his family. His beloved children rejected him, beginning a family feud that lasted until the Cross.



New evangelization expert headlines annual convocation of priests

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

The priests of the archdiocese gathered for the Annual Convocation of Priests from June 3 to June 6 at the Pastoral Center.  They gathered for prayer, pastoral education and fraternity.  The theme of the convocation this year was the new evangelization.

Archbishop Coakley explained why this theme was chosen: “I chose the new evangelization in consultation with the Priest Continuing Education Committee because it’s a topic of importance in the Church, and this is an opportunity for us to study it together.”

The discussion of the new evangelization was led by Ralph Martin, a professor at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit.  Martin presented at the invitation of Archbishop Coakley.



Brother Simeon raised to order of deacon

By Michael G. Kietzman

On Friday, June 7, 2013, within the brick walls of Saint Gregory’s Abbey, Shawnee, Okla., Brother Simeon was ordained to the diaconate.

Brother Simeon, who had completed his final monastic vows earlier this year, graduated from Saint Gregory’s University in 2006 with two degrees: one in political science, and one in philosophy. If God wills it, he will be ordained to the priesthood one year from now.

While philosophy is a typical pre-seminary degree, his call, his vocation, his journey of faith was not as clear-cut as it might appear.


Archbishop: Upcoming ordination to include many meaningful moments

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

On Saturday, June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Deacon Brian Buettner will be ordained a priest.  The Ordination Mass will take place at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The Rite of Ordination will take place directly after the homily, between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Rite includes numerous traditions imbued with symbolism, such as when the candidate prostrates himself on the floor during the Litany of the Saints.  In prostrating himself, the candidate shows his willingness to give his entire self for the Church.

Archbishop Coakley said there are many moving moments.



Meet Our Seminarians

This is the fifth part in a 24-part series to introduce the seminarians of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to the people they will one day serve as priests.

Meet Matt Thomason

1. What is your home parish? St. John Nepomuk, Yukon, OK

2. What seminary do you attend? St. John Vianney Theological Seminary

3. If it is God’s will, what year will you be ordained a priest? 2016


The Year of Faith according to Pope Francis

A second look at the pastoral letter on the Year of Faith written by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

By Pedro A. Moreno, OP, MRE / Director of Hispanic Ministry

A few months ago I presented the beginning of the Pastoral Letter on the Year of Faith written by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis. Here I offer the final section of that letter which was published in his then-Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Oct. 1, 2012, the Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. Here, he continues to reflect upon “Crossing the threshold of faith,” a metaphor for living the Year of Faith.

The Year of Faith is a new call to deepen within our lives the faith we have received. To profess the faith with our mouths implies that we live this faith in our hearts and manifest it through works: a witness and public commitment. The disciple of Christ, sons and daughters of the Church, cannot ever think that belief is a private matter. This is a very important and difficult daily challenge, but we are persuaded by the fact that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil.1: 6).  Looking at our own reality, as missionary disciples, we wonder: What does crossing the threshold of faith challenge us to?


Pope: Religious freedom gets more lip service than guarantees

By Carol Glatz / Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Religious freedom is talked about more than it is protected, Pope Francis said.

"The serious violations inflicted on this basic right are causes of serious concern," and the world's nations must act together to uphold "the intangible dignity of the human person against every attack," he said.

The pope made his comments during an audience with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Vatican June 8.

The pope said the cooperation that exists between church and state in Italy is built on the daily interaction and rapport between government officials and Catholics, whose main aim is always the promotion of "the interests of the people and society."



Vatican says Catholics have obligation to aid, defend refugees

By Cindy Wooden / Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Catholic laity have an obligation to root out traces of xenophobia in their hearts and recognize refugees as their brothers and sisters -- children of God whose dignity must be protected, said a new Vatican document.

"Welcoming Christ in Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons," a document of pastoral guidelines for providing material and spiritual assistance to people forced to leave their homes was published June 6 by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers and the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which promotes and coordinates Catholic charitable activity.

Since the mid-1980s, the document said, the debate surrounding refugees and other asylum seekers has become "a forum for political and administrative election purposes, which fed hostile and aggressive attitudes among the electorate."



Local youth groups assist in tornado recovery efforts

By Sarah Cooper

Several of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s youth groups sprung to action following the destructive tornadoes that ripped through the state of Oklahoma on May 19 to May20 and again on May 31. As many metro school districts dismissed for summer break, hundreds of teenagers and young adults felt called to spend the start of their summer vacation acting in service for their fellow Oklahomans.

Youth groups across the state collected food, water and supplies for the families and first responders.   Others rolled up their sleeves and traveled to the hardest hit areas during the first couple of critical weeks.