West River Catholic September 2018

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Youth Rally 2018: ‘Going to the ends of the earth and sharing the good news’

By Becky Berreth

How does one live once we have encountered Jesus?

That is the question posed by this year’s Diocesan Youth Rally speakers Chris Padgett and Gina Bauer. The two will address youth sixth grade through seniors in high school at the Oct. 7 event held at the Terra Sancta Retreat Center.

“This year’s theme — The Road to Discipleship” — is based on Jesus’ walk with the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus,” said Craig Dyke, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. “This year, we are working from the experience of having had an encounter with Jesus — what do you do then? Stop and say ‘that was awesome,’ and go back to our old way? No! Once we encounter him, we walk with him, and along the road we talk to him, get to know him and his plan for us.”

“Missionary discipleship is a big deal in our church right now,” said Padgett. “The call to live out our faith is a very important call. Jesus himself talked about going out to the ends of the earth and sharing the good news. This road to discipleship is about learning how to fall more in love with Jesus and sharing that relationship with other people in a natural way. I feel that a lot of people think they have to be street corner preachers to do this, but they don’t; it’s caring for people, it’s loving the unlovable.”

“The hope is for each student to be filled with the desire to want to be a disciple and then go out into the world and make disciples,” agreed Bauer. “I will teach the youth what it means to encounter the Lord, know him intimately, and then share Christ with the world.”

This year, high school students will have the opportunity to live the call to share Christ by participating in the Teen Missionary Disciples Conference, the day before the youth rally. According to Dyke, the idea stemmed from the reality that a number of high school age teens who attend youth rallies, Steubenville Youth Conferences, etc., are ready to move from the experience of encountering Christ to more of an ongoing daily encounter with our Lord. “We will dive into what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ through prayer, fellowship, Scripture, the sacraments, and boldly witnessing to his presence in our lives,” explained Dyke. “Both speakers will give talks to inspire our teens to grow as disciples and share the good news of Jesus Christ.

“The teens who participate in the TMDC will play particular evangelizing roles for the youth rally that takes place the next day. All will have some role in the set up for the day — hospitality and welcoming, leading prayer experiences, lecturing, or serving at Mass, and opportunity to share their personal testimony at the youth rally.”

Padgett hopes to equip students attending both events with “resources we need in this difficult and dark time,” he said. “We are trying to do something that’s a little unconventional — we are swimming up-stream. This is a positive message and a place of encouragement.”

“Life is crazy,” agreed Bauer. “We need to take time to slow down and what better place than a youth rally!”

Registration forms for both events can be found online, www.rapidcitydiocese. org/yya or from your parish youth director. TMDC begins at 5 p.m. on October 6, and the Youth Rally begins at 9 a.m. on October 7. Cost for rally is $45, includes lunch and t-shirt. The cost for TMDC is $75 which includes overnight stay at Terra Sancta, youth rally, meals, and t-shirt. Scholarships are available for those in need. Registration deadline for both events is September 25. For more information call Craig Dyke or Linda Batman at 605-716-5214 or email lbatman@diorc.org or cdyke@diorc.org.


‘Questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive’

As we seek to address the crisis in the Catholic Church, the pain and confusion of this moment in her history is palpable. I have received many letters, both of support and challenge. I appreciate the lay faithful expressing their feelings and concerns. The pain and suffering goes far and wide. In the midst of this public scandal, many victims of sexual abuse by clergy will have to relive the abhorrent experiences again. As a church, as the body of Christ, it is important to keep them deeply in our prayers. “When one member of the Body suffers, the whole Body suffers,” (1 Cor 12:26). Most importantly our prayers are needed at this time.

Published reports about these criminal allegations and the lack of appropriate response by some bishops over many decades are deeply disturbing. The betrayal by church leaders runs deep in the hearts of victims and faithful Catholics, and rightfully so. These horrific actions bring deep sadness and shame to all of us who love the church so dearly, in particular the faithful bishops and priests who seek to live their priesthood with faithfulness and integrity. My sincere apologies and prayers go out to all victims and their families — anyone who has been affected by this scandal.

Where must we go from here? Throughout her history the church has faced many challenges, many crises. Each time she has had to look inwardly at her own weaknesses and flaws. This is nothing new, painful as it is. It has been painful each time it has occurred in the church’s history. It is very painful today for us who are living through this time in her history. This may be the greatest crisis the American Catholic Church has had to face throughout her history.

As I wrote in my last statement, because further questions have arisen in the released testimony from the former Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, making serious allegations about the Archbishop McCarrick abuse case, I join my voice with Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Executive Committee in calling for the Holy See to conduct a thorough investigation that includes granting authority to a lay commission to examine the many questions that surround the case of Archbishop McCarrick.

As Cardinal DiNardo said on August 27, “The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and the guilty may be left to repeat sins of the past.” A thorough investigation is necessary, one that is credible and done with the utmost transparency. The “truth” must be found. The only way through this is openness and honesty — that lead to effective reforms. Jesus assures us “the truth will set us free.” We shouldn’t fear anything. Truthfulness and transparency will lead to the path of purification and reform.

Perhaps right now, many Catholics may feel compelled to leave the church because of the scandal. Without denying this reality, I urge those who are considering this response to prayerfully reconsider, lest they fall into the desires of the Evil One. A better response is for each of us to renew our commitment to seek holiness in our lives, trusting that Jesus is intimately with us this moment.

Pope Francis, in Gaudete et Exultate, said that “Holiness is the face of the Church.” This “face” is not so pretty at this moment. We must remember that this “holiness” is meant for everyone. We are all called to seek holiness every day and to live a life of faith — courageously and with integrity, as beacons of light and hope, personally, in our families, in our parishes and in our communities. This  then, allows the world to see the true face of the church.

As Catholics, we believe that Christ has not and will not abandon his church. He promised to be with us always — and he is living with us through this crisis. He looks out over his beloved Bride, the church, and weeps with us. But we live in faith and hope that Jesus, as we surrender ourselves to him, keeping our gaze upon this “crucified One,” will lead us to a new place where the Gospel can be preached and lived with faithfulness and love, thus bearing new life in the world.

The sanctity of the church rests in Christ himself. I believe that Jesus is very present; he is fighting this spiritual battle with Satan. Perhaps that is why all of this is coming to light. “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed” (Jn 3:20). Perhaps Jesus has forced these things into the light. Only when things come into the light can he heal them.

The weakness of the church, a human church, can be transformed through Christ — and through prayer and repentance. This is something all of us can do and should do for the sake of our Bride, the church — for her healing. Our fasting and prayer can lead to healing, to purification, and to the necessary reforms.

The church is holy to the extent that her members are holy. The church’s conformity to Christ is complete only to the extent that her members are conformed to Christ. Each of us, as disciples of Jesus, are called to help lead the church through the challenges, through the sinfulness of our culture, to become more fully the church that Jesus Christ established.

In response to this, I invited all priests of the diocese to join me in offering a Mass on September 14, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, and/or September 15, the

Memorial of our Lady of Sorrows, in each of their parishes in reparation for the sins of priests and bishops. During this Mass all victims — children and adults — who have suffered abuse at the hands of priests and bishops were lifted in prayer.

I have also encouraged my priests, and now all of you, to make Fridays for the next year a day of prayer and sacrifice for reparation for all priests and bishops who have so grievously wounded the body of Christ. Some suggestions might be:

  • Pray the Mass on Friday for this intention if you are able.
  • Pray a rosary or the Rosary of Our Lady of Sorrows.
  • Pray the Litany for the Abuse Crisis each Friday for nine Fridays and then repeat.
  • Offer a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration on Friday.

Please consult your parish bulletins to find out what is being done in your parishes.

I also ask Our Lady, Our Mother of Mercy, to pour out her mercy upon our Church and our families, so that all victims may experience the healing love of her Son. We must never forget those who have been harmed by the church. May our prayers and sacrifices bring true healing, conversion and holiness to all.

Why I am Catholic by Father Leo Hausmann

Father Leo Hausmann
September 9, 2018

This is why I am a Catholic and always will be. Jesus Christ. That is why I am not only Christian but why I am a Catholic and always will remain a Catholic.

My faith is in Jesus Christ. I am a cradle Catholic, but have come to know and believe that he is the Son of God, that He died for me, He has risen, and if I cooperate with his grace, he will bring me to live with Him in heaven for all eternity. I echo the words of St. Peter, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

I am Catholic because my faith is in Jesus Christ who chose twelve apostles as the foundation stones of His Church. One of these twelve became a traitor, allowing Satan to induce his heart. That was the first scandal in the Catholic Church and a clear teaching of Christ that even under His direct care scandal does not nullify the Church He established, as some fifty days later the Holy Spirit descended upon His church at Pentecost confirming it as His chosen instrument to bring grace into the world.

I am Catholic because my faith is in Jesus Christ who proclaimed to Peter, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

I am Catholic because history from the earliest years of the Church shows that even while some Apostles still lived after the martyrdom of St. Peter, the Church understood that St. Peter’s special place of authority In Christ’s Church was to be passed down to the bishop that followed him, even to our present Pope, Francis.

I am Catholic because Jesus promised His Church He would never abandon it when he said to his disciples: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

I am Catholic because Jesus said to the crowd, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” And at the Last Supper “Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”

I am Catholic because the Church has understood from the very beginning that the authority to consecrate the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Jesus was given to those who are ordained priests and bishops.

I am Catholic because no one can proclaim themselves a priest, but they must be chosen by the Church and then ordained by a bishop who was ordained by another bishop, who was ordained by another bishop extending back in a historical unbroken line back to the Apostles. As a Catholic I truly receive Christ’s Body and Blood, and not just a symbol, because of this historical succession of priests and bishops.

I am Catholic because it is only in that historical link to the Apostles in the priesthood that I can receive sacramental confession for the forgiveness of my sins. It was to the Apostles, the first bishops and priests of the Church, that Jesus breathed on and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

I could go on saying why I am Catholic because of all of the other Sacraments that come through the Catholic Church, as each one is vital to my happiness and eternal life. I could also speak about the great comfort I enjoy knowing that the Church will never lead me astray because in the teachings of faith and morals the Church is preserved from error through the Holy Spirit. These are the things of the Catholic Church that are rooted in Christ’s living presence and the work of the Holy Spirit that are essential and true even to the end of the world.

These reasons for which I am Catholic and will always remain Catholic can never be wiped away by the bad behavior or the poor judgments of men. Christ is the invisible head of the Church and keeps it true even during times of scandal and disappointment caused by men, even those who have high places of authority in the structure of the Church Christ instituted.

I am Catholic also for the very many beautiful and glorious works of the Church through its history. Like the Catholic hospitals and schools that have brought healing and learning to so many, especially the poor. Like the great religious orders of women and men whose members have served God’s people in so many beautiful and wonderful ways, such as St. Theresa of Calcutta who gave dignity to the poor and forgotten dying in the gutters of India. Like the priests, bishops, cardinals and popes over the ages, and even today, who were true servants of Christ offering their lives in His service. Like the blessed martyrs who bravely professed their faith in Christ even in the face of torture and death. Like the lay faithful who in marriage have lived their marriage vows with deep sacrificial love for their spouse and their children. Or the lay faithful who with that same spirit of sacrificial love serve their local parishes in care of their church building, serving funeral dinners, teaching catechism and so many other things.

I am Catholic and I am boldly Catholic, honored and proud to be associated with Jesus Christ, with His Holy Catholic Church, and with the beautiful works and saints that it has produced throughout its history.

No bad behavior and poor judgment by any man or woman during any age will ever change me from my love and devotion for Christ’s Church, even in times when their bad behavior and poor judgment has brought us all humiliation before the world.

I continue to love the Catholic Church because I know and believe that it is truly the Body of Christ that St. Paul proclaimed it to be. I love that Body of Christ especially when it is suffering in its members as it is today because of the scandal that has touched it. In fact, I love it even more, because I believe the suffering we endure will bring a new spring of purity and renewal that will one day make the Church shine forth in glorious beauty before all the world.

I am Catholic and will always remain Catholic. Boldly Catholic, even in these times when I am embarrassed and ashamed by the behavior of some. I proudly profess my faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.

For those of you who are troubled by the events of our time I leave you with the words from our first reading: “Thus says the Lord: Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you.”

God has not abandoned His Church and nor should we. Rather, let us pray for the Church and be part of its renewal. Let us pray for the victims of this scandal and those whose faith has been shaken by it. And now, more than ever let us be Catholic. Let us be boldly Catholic.

50th Anniversary of the Diaconate Mass