Missionary Discipleship: God’s call for every Christian

Missionary Discipleship: God’s call for every Christian

Featured, July 2020
By Father Scott Traynor The Gospel according to Saint Matthew concludes with the disciples receiving the Great Commission from Jesus. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.” (Matthew 28:16–20) Each of us, by virtue of our baptism, has received this mission from Jesus. In our families, with our friends and co-workers, and in our communities, each of us is called by Jesus to be on mission to help others encounter…
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Why do we pray for the souls in purgatory?

Why do we pray for the souls in purgatory?

Headlines, July 2020
Question: As a convert, I have never really understood purgatory and why we are to pray for those who are there. (submitted on Facebook) Answer: This is an excellent question and a common one: because other Christians—Protestants, specifically—do not believe in purgatory, they often have questions about the Church’s teaching, which can persist even if they become Catholic. So, thanks for asking it. Let me try to explain what the Church believes about purgatory and praying for those who are there. In short, purgatory is the word the Church uses to describe a state of spiritual “cleansing” which occurs after we die. We are told in Scripture that nothing impure will enter into heaven (Rev. 21:27), but we are also told there are sins which we commit which are not…
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ALS diagnosis is a mysterious answer to prayer

ALS diagnosis is a mysterious answer to prayer

Headlines, July 2020
By Father Dana Christensen [caption id="attachment_5141" align="alignright" width="243"] Father Dana Christensen, parochial vicar, St. Mary of Mercy, Alexandria[/caption] The evening of February 27, 2000, I had the immense privilege of meeting a saint. I was on pilgrimage to Rome with a group of seminarians, and we were invited to an audience with St. John Paul II. While it was exhilarating to meet a personal hero, it was also sad to see him struggling with Parkinson’s disease. He shuffled along instead of walking with a confident gait as he did when young and healthy. His speech was slurred instead of sonorous and crisp. His secretary wiped his lips because he had spittle seeping from the corner of his lips. All this was hard to see. To many he was a weak…
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How the world’s feminism fails to honor femininity, and how Natural Family Planning helps preserve it

How the world’s feminism fails to honor femininity, and how Natural Family Planning helps preserve it

Headlines, July 2020
By Renae Kranz Women have a special vocation in the world and in the Church. Saint John Paul II understood it and called it the “feminine genius” in his exhortation “On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.” But modern feminism would have us believe women should only focus on achieving equality with men, which in essence means becoming like men. Why put women in such a narrow box, reducing their role to a competition with men? It’s time for women to understand what makes them authentically female and wholly daughters of God with a role only they can fill. John Paul II described the four aspects of the feminine genius as the key way women can affect the world around them and in turn the Church. Those four aspects—receptivity, sensitivity,…
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Virtual fishing tournament a hit, but more help is needed

Virtual fishing tournament a hit, but more help is needed

Headlines, July 2020
[caption id="attachment_5125" align="alignright" width="227"] Bishop Donald DeGrood flashes an enthusiastic thumbs up.[/caption] The 24th Annual Bishop’s Charity Fishing Tournament moved its tracking online this year to keep the fun alive and well in the midst of a pandemic. The total individuals who participated reached 194. It was a good showing for a virtual endeavor, but more work remains to be done to reach the goal to fully fund two seminarians for the coming year. Since many pieces of the event had to be cancelled, donations are still being accepted to hit the goal for this year. [caption id="attachment_5127" align="alignright" width="300"] Pete, Tony and Joe DeGrood don paper bishop’s miters and win the Fan Favorite Photo award.[/caption] If you’d like to help fund seminarian education, please send a check to CCFESD,…
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We are truly members of one human family

We are truly members of one human family

Fr. Mike Griffin's Column, July 2020
We are used to having alerts and warnings in our lives because we want to be informed and warned of impending danger. Once I slept through a tornado, and soon after bought a weather radio for my bedroom that definitely wakes me up if there is a storm or tornado warning in my area. The weather radios and warning apps, the security systems we put in, the alarms and the devices we use all serve a purpose, to keep ourselves, our families and property safe from harm. I suppose car alarms are meant to do the same. The intention is simple: someone tries to break into your car and the alarm goes off, which either alerts others to the crime, or drives the would-be thief away. That is the way…
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God’s promptings in the silence of my heart

God’s promptings in the silence of my heart

Bishop DeGrood's Column, July 2020
In each of my assignments as pastor and now as your bishop, I have received a particular grace (spiritual insight from God) to provide a clear vision or focus for everyone to follow. The clear sense I got in prayer for our diocese is that God desires for everyone in our diocese to focus on lifelong missionary discipleship through God’s love. Our feature article this month is written by Fr. Scott Traynor who is working with the diocesan Discipleship and Evangelization Team so they all can support the missionary discipleship efforts of clergy, staff and parishioners in all our Catholic parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions. Here are some insights from Fr. Traynor and the team he is overseeing. The team has been engaged in fruitful efforts around the diocese…
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