Three Churches / One Parish

Bulletin Letter May 7 2017

+JMJ

Dear Parishioners,

This past week a parishioner recommended to me a “Catholic Stuff You Should Know” podcast, which was an interview with Matt Fradd. I quickly remembered that I had heard an interview with him also on Al Kresta. Originally from Australia, Matt Fradd is an international speaker on topics such as human sexuality, chastity and pornography. He has a blog called “Integrity Restored”, as well as a podcast of the same name, to which you can subscribe. (He also has a podcast called “Pints with Aquinas”.) The “Catholic Stuff” interview focussed on Fradd’s book, The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography. The book is published by Ignatius Press, and the following is the description from the book’s back cover:

The Porn Myth is a non-religious response to the commonly held belief that pornography is a harmless or even beneficial pastime. Author Matt Fradd draws on the experience of porn performers and users, and the expertise of neurologists, sociologists, and psychologists to demonstrate that pornography is destructive to individuals, relationships, and society. He provides insightful arguments, supported by the latest scientific research, to discredit the fanciful claims used to defend and promote pornography.

This book explains the neurological reasons porn is addictive, helps individuals learn how to be free of porn, and offers real help to the parents and the spouses of porn users. Because recent research on pornography’s harmful effects on the brain validates the experiences of countless porn users, there is a growing wave of passionate individuals trying to change the pro-porn cultural norm, by inspiring others to pursue real love and to avoid its hollow counterfeit.

Matt Fradd and this book are part of that movement, which is aiding the many men and women who are seeking a love untainted by warped perceptions of intimacy and rejecting the influence of porn in their lives.

The fact that the book is a “non-religious response” to the problem of pornography is pretty intriguing. A religious response, of course, is very useful: i.e., speaking about human sexuality from a theological point of view, e.g., explaining God’s mind on it. Pope Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body does this. But Fradd’s “non-religious response” seems to be a great evangelistic tool for informing people who might not have enough faith to be concerned immediately with God’s perspective. I think this book could be a huge help for parents trying to explain to their teenagers why pornography is always the wrong choice.

Needless to say, pornography is an ever-increasing dilemma in our society. It causes great harm. It has absolutely devastated some marriages and families. I highly recommend Matt Fradd’s materials to anybody seeking better to understand addiction to pornography, as well as it’s effects.

On another note, you will see that we have placed a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the alcove next to the confessional at our Paulding campus. Some generous parishioners paid for the statue itself, and then for some of the other items needed. We will have to wire a small spotlight from the ceiling of the alcove. Then we will be considering what type of small rack to purchase for devotional candles. Also, we are considering a kneeler and a very small bench for anybody who wants to pray in front of the statue. Finally, should there be some type of curtain behind the statue? One of our parishioners is building a pedestal for the statue. In the meantime, we will continue to support the statue on some of the platforms and blocks from our sacristy. Although we hope very much that the statue will be a significant factor in our attempt to evangelize the Hispanic community, I hope everybody realizes that all of the Americas were put under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Pope St. John Paul II in 1998. He called her the Star of the New Evangelization for America. This is because of the example She left us by appearing to Juan Diego, creating Her miraculous image on his tilma, and then bring millions of Mexicans to the Catholic Faith within a few years. So, although this statue is so precious – especially to the Mexican population – because of Mary’s apparition there in 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe pertains to all of us in America. I hope everybody can appreciate this new statue in our parish.

Have a blessed week!

In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,

Fr. Poggemeyer

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