Imagine God looking down upon humankind — the divine heart bursting with joy as He beholds people of all faiths reflecting his divine image around a table of shared hospitality and good will. This scenario resounds Jesus’ call to be children of the heavenly Father by loving all (Mt. 5:45) and St. Paul’s affirmation that “no partiality exists with God” (Romans 2:11).
Before serving the liturgical and pastoral needs of the St. Edward Catholic Church community, Father Joe Gietl and Deacon Nick Thompson answered another call. Both men are veterans of the Vietnam War as members of the United States Marine Corps (USMC).
Not too long ago my nieces and nephews invited me to go on a camping trip with them and their parents. Though I enjoy nature, I remember my classmates in the seminary used to call me the “city boy.” I love the comfort of my own pillows in the air-conditioned room with the convenience of TV, computer and cell phone. But at the time, I was curious as to what it would be like for a city boy like me to go on a camping trip with a group of even more city people.
We have only just entered into the Year of Faith with the 50th anniversary of the opening session of Vatican Council II and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. As a Church we have been preparing for these anniversaries, but more importantly for the work that lies ahead.
Being Catholic means that our faith is at the heart of who we are; the values, practices and norms of the Catholic faith have intertwined with our sense of self-identity. This identity becomes a compass for our life, helping us to make choices and put our faith into action. In light of this, our beliefs and practices as faithful Catholics are not things we put on or take off.
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