I had the privilege of going to the Rediscover Catholic Celebration event hosted by the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis on October 12. I want to share with you some of what I felt were the highlights.
The day started off with Mass and it was a really good Mass. There was a little bit of everything, a little bit of English, a little bit of Spanish and a bit of Latin believe it or not. It was really good to hear the St. Thomas University Schola sing Gregorian Chant. I would’ve preferred a bit more Latin throughout the entire Mass but that’s just me.
Jeff Cavins was the Emcee for the day, making sure that everything stayed on schedule. He provided some good humor in between the events and made some good comments throughout the day. I would have liked to have heard him give a talk, but, I’m sure there will be other times.
Up first was Matthew Kelly, the key-note speaker. Matthew Kelly is the author of the book Rediscover Catholicism, which I reviewed earlier. The Archdiocese has been hitting the “Rediscover: Faith” series very hard in which Matthew Kelly has been very instrumental in getting off the ground.
Matthew Kelly’s talk was very exciting and inspirational. He made some valid points (in bold) along with my comments (not bold).
- You don’t have to tolerate good things. Today, so often we are told that we need to be more “tolerant of others”, usually in cases in which they are practicing something immoral. This goes hand in hand with the entire homosexual movement in their fight to redefine marriage. If it was so good, why would we need to be “tolerant”?
- God’s in the business of transformation. When we accept God into our lives, our entire lives are changed. We are transformed. We are no longer who we once were. This especially happens in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confession. In Baptism, our sins are completely forgiven, we are washed clean of original sin and we are born anew. In Confession, we take all of our sins, we confess them with a contrite heart and God in his infinite love and mercy, forgives them. We reestablish that grace with God.
- Everybody needs game changers. Game changers are those ideas that are different, that are going to make a huge difference. We need to come up with more good ideas to try to share our faith with both our fallen-away brothers and sisters in the faith, and our brothers and sisters outside of the faith.
- Spend time every day with the Bible, and start with the Gospels. We won’t know Jesus if we don’t read the Bible, especially the Gospels as the Gospels are primarily what Jesus taught and spoke. How do you get to know somebody? By spending time with them and getting to know them. We can accomplish this through reading sacred scripture. On top of that, you gain a plenary indulgence for spending 30 minutes reading the Bible.
- Pray for our enemies. Jesus taught us that we should pray for our enemies. How come we don’t? Never have we offered Masses for Osama Bin Laden. He was our enemy, yet we never prayed for him. We should pray for our enemies, because that is what Jesus has called us to do.
Matthew Kelly received a standing ovation after his talk was over.
During the day, Archbishop Nienstedt even consecrated the entire Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I mentioned that in greater detail here.
Father Robert Barron received a standing ovation when he was announced to give his talk. He commented “Wow, a standing ovation before I even give my talk, I wonder what I’ll get when I’m finished? A sitting ovation?” Father Barron gave a talk giving seven ways we can be practical at evangelizing. Luckily, I wrote them all down and similarly as above, I will give the seven suggestions in bold, with my comments not bold.
- Lead with the beautiful – Its difficult to argue around truth and goodness when our culture has completely made everything relative. What we can do though, is lead with the beautiful to goodness and truth.
- Don’t dumb down the faith – Since the Second Vatican Council, we have seen the faith dumbed down to the point where it is barely even recognizably Catholic. This isn’t the fault of the Council, but the fault of those who have implemented what the Council or the documents had said.
- Preach with ‘ardor‘ – Ardor is another word for fire. When we preach, we need to have that fire, that passion in us. We can’t just preach the Word of God with a lukewarm attitude, this won’t bring anybody into the Church. But having passion and excitement will draw in people.
- Tell the Great Story – The Great Story is everything from Creation all the way until Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected from the dead and of course, everything in between. Many people have no clue what the story is of the Bible (I am a perfect example, I had no clue who Jesus was growing up and after I learned who He was, I had to become a disciple).
- Emphasize the Augustinian anthropology – St. Augustine said “Lord, you have made us for yourself, therefore our hearts are restless until it rests in Thee.” We need to emphasize that God created us in order for us to worship Him and that no matter what, we will not be happy if we are not accomplishing this.
- Stress the Iranaeus Doctrine – The Iranaeus Doctrine is that God does not need us. Harsh? Sure. But, this is good for us, because we know that God will not bribe us in order to get us to follow Him. We have to do this out of our own free will. Love after all, must be freely given.
- Spend a lot of time with old media – A lot of times we want to go dive right in and start hitting the social media, the blogs and everything in between and start sharing the faith. But what we really need to do is spend time reading books, watching videos, listening to talks and everything in between. We have to know the faith before we can teach the faith.
Father Barron received a well deserved second standing ovation for his very good talk.
All in all, the event was very, very good. It was nice to feel in the majority, after all, there were about 5,500 practicing Catholics at this event. Again, this is only the highlights, there were two other speakers, Bishop Daniel Flores and George Weigel were also there, as well as many other events going on. I’m looking forward to next years Rediscover: Catholic Celebration and can’t wait to see who is in the lineup. I have not received a phone call yet, but, who knows, right?