Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
"Believers are ready to exert themselves in the service of peace, justice and humanitarian causes, but do they believe in eternal life? Our Churches have carried out an immense effort to renew catechesis, but does not this catechesis itself tend to overlook the ultimate realities? For the most part, our Churches have embarked on the ethical debates of the moment, at the urging of public opinion, but how much do they talk about sin, grace, and the divinised life? Our Churches have successfully deployed massive resources in order to improve the participation of the faithful in the liturgy, but has not the liturgy for the most part lost the sense of the sacred? Can anyone deny that our generation, possibly without realising it, dreamed of the 'Church of the pure', a faithful purified of any religious manifestation, warning against any manifestation of popular devotion like processions, pilgrimages, etc?"
"The difficulty to which I would like to draw your attention therefore goes beyond the boundaries of a simple generational conflict. My generation, I insist, has equated openness to the world with conversion to secularisation, and has experienced a certain fascination regarding it. But although the younger men were born in secularisation as their natural environment and drank it together with their mother's milk, they still seek to distance themselves from it, and defend their identity and their differences".
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
"This implies, on the part of those responsible for instruction and formation, the discontinuation of an initial formation marked by a critical spirit - as was the case for my generation, for which the discovery of the Bible and doctrine was contaminated by a systematic spirit of criticism - and of the temptation of premature specialisation: precisely because these young men lack the necessary cultural background".
"It is absolutely reasonable to want to give future priests a complete, top-level formation. Like an attentive mother, the Church wants the best for future priests. For this reason the number of courses has been multiplied, but to the point of weighing down programmes in a way that is, in my view exaggerated. You have probably perceived the risk of discouragement in many of your seminarians. I ask: is an encyclopedic perspective appropriate for these young men who have received no basic Christian formation? Has this perspective not, perhaps, provoked a fragmentation of formation, an accumulation of courses and an excessively historicising outlook? Is it truly necessary, to give young men who have never learned the catechism an in-depth formation in the human sciences, or in the techniques of communication?I would adivse choosing depth over breadth, synthesis over dispersion in details, architecture over decoration. Similar reasons lead me to believe that learning metaphysics, as demanding as this is, represents the absolutely indispensable preliminary phase for the study of theology. Those who come to us have often received a solid scientific and technical formation - which is a good thing - but their lack of general culture does not permit them to undertake theology confidently".
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
"Regardless of the form it has taken, secularisation has provoked a collapse of Christian culture in our countries. The young men who come to our seminaries know little or nothing about Catholic doctrine, about the history and customs of the Church. This generalised lack of education forces us to carry out important revisions in the practice followed until now. I will mention two of these.
First of all, it seems indispensable to me to provide these young men with a period - a year or more - of initial formation, of 'recovery', catechetical and cultural at the same time. These programs can be designed in various ways, based on the specific needs of each country. Personally, I am thinking of an entire year dedicated to assimilating the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which presents itself as a very complete compendium".
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Dom and Phil have already worked and scraped together to raise the £2,000 to pay for their trip. (Dom has been working for me in the parish for the best part of this year and the parishioners are missing him!). They hope to raise at least another £2,000 in sponsorship all of which will go towards the Waslingham retreat. As Dom says, it would be nice to think that they raise more than the trip costs otherwise they will feel they could simply have donated the money themselves!
The Youth 2000 Retreat at Walsingham attracts over a thousand young people and costs over £80,000 to stage. Participants are only asked to make a donation and very few can afford to pay the real cost of £80 per person. That's why it is so important to organise fund-raising events and to rely on the generosity of benefactors who believe in the importance of rock-face evangelisation!
Could you make a donation? It doesn't matter whether you can spare £10, £100, or £1000. The fact remains that every penny counts. To sponsor Dom & Phil go over to this link where you will also have the possibility of Gift Aiding your donation.
The two cyclists have a Blog but I doubt they will have much opportunity to post much over the next two months - so on their behalf let me thank you for any donations you send in.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
There's a lot to post about and it will take me some time to get everything up. In the meantime, thanks for your prayers. Here's a French vocations video that was waiting in my inbox when I got back.