Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Good Cheer is the brand new outreach of CCM. Each week, we'll have a guest speaker who'll cover an interesting topic dealing with faith and/or morals. It will be fun, relaxed and informative. Best of all, it is open to everyone. The more friends you can bring with you, the better!
This week's topic is: "Spirituality or Religion? Does it Matter?" It's happening on Wednesdays at The Library: Bar & Grill from 7 until 8pm. If you need a map to The Library, you can find one here. See ya there!
at 11:16 PM
Friday, August 27, 2010
|St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica|
In most areas of the modern Deep South, Catholics make up a very small percentage of the population. We are surrounded by many different "brands" of Christianity. So naturally, those of us who profess the Catholic faith are asked questions by our well-meaning friends and neighbors from other faith traditions. One question that comes up every now and then is "Why do y'all call yourselves "Catholic" instead of "Christian"?
Well, it's not a case of either/or but of both/and. That is why on this site, we often use the term "Catholic Christians." According to the New Testament, the earliest members of the Church referred to themselves as followers of "the Way." The term "Christian" was first used by non-believers to describe the believers at Antioch (Acts 11:26). "Catholic" was one of the first names that Christians gave to the Church - it came into use near the beginning of the second century and is simply derived from a Greek word katholikos which means "universal" and "whole" or "complete." This term - denoting both the scope of Christ's saving mission and the geographic dispersion of the Church - is fitting and was first applied to the Church by St. Ignatius (died 117 AD), the third bishop of Antioch after St. Peter. Writing on his way to Rome to be martyred for the faith, Ignatius encouraged his fellow Christians to "follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery [i.e. priests] as you would the Apostles. Wherever the bishop appears," he wrote, "let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church" (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8).
In truth, "Catholic" is less a denominational title, and more a description of Christ's Church (remember - "denominationalism," in the modern sense, didn't start until the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century), for "there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him" (Dominus Iesus, 17).
My sister who lives on the Mississippi Coast (an area with a decenlty large number of Catholics, as Southern populations go) told me about an article in her local newspaper about an initiative called "See You at the Pole" where local teens were encouraged to gather at their high school's flag pole before the start of school for prayer on a particular day. One of the non-participating teens interviewed for the article said that she did not participate in the prayer service because "it's a Christian thing and I'm not Christian - I'm Catholic." Ouch. Sometimes we Catholics can be our own worst enemies. Remember: it's not a matter of being Catholic or Christian; we who profess the Faith are, by God's grace, Catholic Christians.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
|Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA|
Sister Thea received her bachelor's degree from Viterbo College in Wisconsin and completed graduate work at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, earning a Ph.D. After completing college, Sister Thea served as a teacher at schools in Wisconsin and at her alma mater, Holy Child Jesus in Canton as well as at various universities. She also worked in a variety of positions within the Catholic Diocese of Jackson.
Aside from her work in education, Sister Thea was a gifted speaker and singer. She gave lectures throughout the world on racial harmony and African American issues. She spoke with joyful passion and with power, often bringing her audience together at some point in her remarks, with a soul-stirring rendition of a favorite hymn or spiritual. It was said that hers was a ministry of reconciliation and joy.
In 1984, Sister Thea was diagnosed with cancer. Undaunted in the face of adversity, she often said that her prayer was only, with God's help, "to live until I die." In her final years, she did just this, accepting and offering up the sufferings that her illness afforded. She died in 1990, at the age of 53.
Sister Thea is a wonderful example of one who spent her life and her talents, trying to bring people together. She saw in the Gospel of Christ, not only the path to salvation, but also the way to reconciliation and to a joy-filled unity which transverses differences of race, culture and class. In the Catholic Campus Ministy at Ole Miss, we ask for Sister Thea's prayers and look to her example as we seek to minister to all on our campus with joyful compassion and reconciling love.
at 1:09 PM
To reiterate Fr. Scott's words, he encouraged the Catholic students at Ole Miss to get involved and stay involved with CCM and through regular Mass attendance. Our relationship with Christ and his Church is at a critical point during the college years and, whether we realize it or not, we need all the spiritual support and growth that we can get during these important years. Our time in college is preparation for the rest of our lives and we need to make sure that we don't shortchange ourselves by going light on our spiritual formation.
My challenge to Catholic students echoed his. It was threefold: 1) Get and stay active in the various CCM activities b/c they're designed to reenforce your Catholic faith and your Catholic identity; 2) Stay committed to regularly attending Mass - the sacrament of the Eucharist is quite literally the spiritual food we need to survive as Christians, it is an amazing gift from God - our "soul food"; and 3) Pray - the more you practice prayer, the better you'll become. Pray for God's guidance for yourself and pray for others. And please pray for our priests like Fr. Joe and Fr. Scott and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood among the men of our diocese.
at 11:46 AM
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Father Scott Thomas of St. Francis parish in Madison. Father Scott is the newest priest in the Diocese of Jackson. We look forward to seeing everyone there!
at 7:54 AM