Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
First of all, this weekend I asked Matthew Reinhart to give a witness before each Mass for FOCUS. FOCUS is short for Fellowship Of Catholic University Students. It is a Catholic university outreach program that began under Archbishop Chaput in Denver in 1998. The Archbishop said of FOCUS,
“No one does a more dynamic job of reaching college students for Christ than FOCUS.” Since 1998, FOCUS has sent some 20,000 graduates back into United States society to help transform it for Jesus Christ. I know that our own Bishop Daniel Thomas would love to have FOCUS missionaries in our diocese all over the place. Since one of our own parishioners, Matthew Reinhart, is a member of FOCUS at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti Michigan, and since FOCUS was constantly highlighted as part of our Amazing Parish Conference a few months ago – and since I have known for many years of the work of FOCUS as the premiere university outreach in the United States – I thought it made sense to ask Matthew to give a little witness before each of our Masses this weekend. Our second collection, as part of mission outreach, will go to support FOCUS for Matthew’s mission trip. As I have written before to any of our university students: If you are at a university where there is a branch of FOCUS, please join them as soon as you are able!
On another note, our summer seminarian, Deacon Scott Perry, arrives Tuesday, June 6. Next weekend, therefore Deacon Perry will preach the homily for us, which will include a bit of an introduction of himself. Since he is a “transitional deacon”, heading towards priesthood, the Diocese asked me to make sure he gets some preaching experience. In addition to preaching some homilies on Sundays, Deacon Perry will attend various meetings with me, to learn how things work. I’m sure he’ll help out with my Wednesday morning gospel sharing time. Then he will visit the various prayer groups we have, in order to share the Faith with them. Then he will help out with our summer Bible camp, as well as the girls’ retreat. Deacon Perry told me on the phone that he loves basketball, so we have to have two or three events with basketball, which will include a vocations twist. I hope many of our young men can attend. I believe our new diocesan Vocations Director would even be interesting in attending. I hope that Deacon Perry gets to spend some time with many of you in your homes. Our parish has a fine tradition of educating, building up, and encouraging seminarians who have been sent to us. I know you will all be a wonderful blessing to Deacon Perry, and I’m sure he will be a blessing for all of us. In order to welcome Deacon Perry, we will have a luncheon this coming weekend – his first weekend here – after our 10:30 AM Mass in Paulding. I hope many of you can attend. I invited Scott’s family to attend as well. It would be great for us to meet the whole family!
On another note, this past week I listened to another talk by Matt Fradd on how to safeguard your children against pornography. Many parents are uncomfortable with the idea of addressing this issue with their children, either because their own past with this very sensitive topic, or because it is simply so difficult to talk about, given the culture around us today, which is so highly sexualized and missing the mark regarding the beauty and holiness of human sexuality. Matt’s talk suggested the following resource to help parents begin to guard even their young children against pornography: Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids, by Kristen Jensen. Consider purchasing this book on Amazon to give you ideas for how to protect your own children from future exposure to pornography. Pornography is very, very harmful to families and couple’s relationships. Matt gave the example of the first occasion his own elementary-school aged son asked, “What is pornography?” Surely, his son had heard the word “pornography” thrown around in the household, since his own father speaks around the world on this topic. Matt’s answer?: “Pornography is when somebody shows you pictures of a person’s body, where you can even see the parts of the body that are normally covered by a bathing suit. If anybody ever shows you such pictures, your mommy and daddy would be so proud of you if you came to tell us!” Matt got this answer from the book I just mentioned. In addition to this resource, if you go to the website “integrityrestored.com”, there is also a pull-down menu for youth and young adults. This would be great to make known to any of your high school and college age children, as they encounter the phenomenon of pornography in our culture. Matt Fradd will also be speaking at a public event on Wednesday September 6 at 7 pm in Bowling Green. Watch the bulletin later this summer for more information on this. Because pornography is such an increasing epidemic in our society, the Diocese of Toledo will even be hosting this fall for parish leaders a daylong conference on the topic, just as they hosted a similar conference last fall on societal areas beckoning mercy: divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, and those affected by abortion. I will pass on to you, as I am able, wisdom gleaned from the conference – probably by means of this bulletin letter.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,