Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Rediscovering Catholicism

All of the posts under the "Rediscovering Catholicism" category.

Rediscover Catholicism and the Rediscover Initiative

Matthew Kelly wrote the book Rediscover Catholicism as a way to bring lapsed and fallen away Catholics back into the faith. This book has been changing lives with its simplistic approach in discussing Catholicism. Its given away at parishes for free at Easter and Christmas in order to get those Catholics who only come to Mass twice a year, to read more and explore the faith. I’ve reviewed the book here.

Rediscover Logo

The book has become so popular, that in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, they have created an entire initiative around Rediscovering Catholicism with Matthew Kelly. Last year, they had the Rediscover Catholic Celebration in which Archbishop Neinstedt Consecrated the Archdiocese to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. They have talks at various parishes in the Archdiocese, they have a website with lots of information, and many other ways to grab your attention.

I follow their page on Facebook. Yesterday they posted an article in their “Rediscover Music” section in which you can listen and buy music from Bebo Norman. The post states “New to Rediscover: – Bebo Norman, Contemporary Christian artist.” If you’ve been practicing your Catholicism long enough, something about that statement should knock you in your seat.

If your answer was “Contemporary Christian”, then ding-ding-ding, you win! I did some Google Searching on Bebo Norman to find that it is highly unlikely that this guy is a Catholic. If that is the case, why is the Rediscover group, run by the Archdiocese mind you, actively promoting Protestant music in a Rediscover Catholicism group?

I simply asked “Is this guy Catholic?” to which they responded “Bebo Norman is one of dozens of Christian (some Catholic) artists we now feature on the Rediscover: website, with our new section Rediscover: music. While he’s not currently on the schedule for the Rediscover: Catholic Celebration, you can visit Rediscover: music online to hear from an artist who will be here in October: Marie Miller!”

They admit it, they are promoting Protestant music. Another question I ask “How does listening to Protestant music help us to Rediscover Catholicism?” And there response was simply “In featuring Christian artists, we hope that listeners can be moved and inspired by the message and beliefs that are shared in these songs, which reach across Christian denominations. We also feature Catholic artists you may enjoy, such as Audrey Assad, Matt Maher and Danielle Rose.”

Read my question again and then read their response. They do not answer the question. They give a typical PR answer that spins the question around to make themselves look good.

The problem with promoting Protestant music is simply that they do not believe that which Catholics do. They will not sing on and on about the greatness of Mary and the Saints. They will not sing about Jesus’ true presence in the Eucharist. They will not sing about how great the Catholic Church is. They have cut themselves off from Christ by actively resisting Him in their Protestant views. Sure, we may share some beliefs, but the differences are vast and are what make us different.

As long as the Catholic Church harps on and on about how great Praise and Worship music is and detracts from authentic Catholic music such as Gregorian Chant (which is the preferred music of the Church), we will continually slip further and further away from our Catholic identity. We will no longer be different than Protestants, and we will continue to lose Catholics to the Protestant mega-churches.

Jeff May 20, 2014 1 Comment Permalink

Rediscover Catholic Celebration in Review

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.

Rediscover Logo

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?

Jeff October 22, 2013 1 Comment Permalink

Rediscover Your Catholic Faith

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis just wrapped up their “Rediscover Faith” series. They worked closely with Matthew Kelly on this in order to help jump start the faith within the Archdiocese. At Christmas this past year, they gave away copies of “Rediscover Catholicism” (which I reviewed last Summer) to everybody that came to Christmas Mass (since many people want to go to Mass on Christmas).

They’ve encouraged book study groups to form through each parish (my wife and I started our own through our Young Adult group) and that has been taking off like wildfire, I don’t recall the exact number, but if memory does serve me right, there were about 400(?) different groups. This is magnificent.

The Archdiocese sponsored a speaker series in which once a week, every other week, we would all meet at a parish and there would be a presentation of a specific topic within our faith. This was highly successful as we went generally to the largest parish in the Archdiocese, and it literally ended up being standing room only.

I wanted to more or less draw attention to the website that the Archdiocese kicked off. Rediscover-Faith.org is the name of the site and they have a numerous amount of resources to help you learn more about the faith, in a very simple and easy to understand way. They have articles, videos, and even a smart phone app for your Apple or Android phones and tablets. I personally have not used the app yet, as I apparently have too old of a phone. I should be getting a new phone shortly though, and am excited to try it out. It shows all parishes within the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis as well as confession times. It sounds like a great tool to help you in your faith and prayer life too, allowing you to organize and keep track of what you have been doing. Sounds similar to what I’ve been saying on spiritual discernmentspiritual examination and prayer routine.

The videos range from long to short. The long ones are generally the talk that they gave for the week, so they are about an hour in length. They are well worth the view though. I believe they are downloadable so if you would rather listen you can do that.

I highly recommend going through the site if you can. I am only one man, who works full time and has many other responsibilities. I do my best to update this blog as often as I can, and I think of lots of interesting things to talk about, but, here is a site that goes down to the basics and can probably explain it better than I can. However, I think its important that if you ever have a question about the faith, please, please, please don’t hesitate to ask. Leave a comment on pages (I allow anonymous posts (for the time being)). I really do enjoy talking about Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church. So, again, don’t be afraid to ask.

Book Review: Rediscovering Catholicism

UPDATE: I have since read many other books and have come to realize that Matthew Kelly’s version of Catholicism is not the solution and is barely even Catholic. While I do not believe in removing posts that I have published unless absolutely necessary, I will leave this here so you can see what I thought at this point in my life. I will have the record show that I no longer agree with this review, so keep that in mind when you read it.

I just finished reading Rediscovering Catholicism the other day. So, I thought I’d give my thoughts on it.

The book is quite possibly one of the best books that I have read on Catholicism (UPDATE: No it isn’t, I hadn’t read many good Catholic books at this point in my life, and in hindsight, this book isn’t the best. Not even close.). Matthew Kelly gives a very simple, yet highly informative look on the traditions of our faith, as well as the importance of it. He doesn’t get highly technical, which is fine, because the purpose of the book is for those who have drifted away from the faith, or who haven’t really been that active in the faith, to understand it, and take off with it.

The simplicity of this book gives it incredible power, seeing as it doesn’t matter where you are at in your faith journey, you will be able to readily and easily pick it up. I almost wish that my first Catholic book was this easy, but, who knows if I would have converted.

Matthew Kelly picks up all the important parts of the Catholic prayer life: Mass, Confession, the Rosary, just to name a few. He discusses the importance of each one of these Sacraments or sacramentals and gives reasons for embracing them. As always, he uses good examples to go along with it.

There is a section on talking about his favorite Saints. He gives a pretty decent length bio of each one and talks about why they are important to him. After this he mentions how we each need to pick up a few Saints that admire us and learn about them. After we have finished with this piece, it’s time for us to start praying to them as well as to begin allowing them to inspire us to become Saints or “the-best-version-of-ourselves” as he has coined the term.

I have a list of books that I believe are beneficial to me and help me to grow as a person. I have a “Read Every Year” list as well as a “Read Every 5 Years” list. This book will be going on the first list, but I have reason to believe that realistically I’ll probably get to it more every 5 years. I’ve never been inspired so much and a lot of the posts that I have been discussing lately are because of this.

This is a book for all Catholics, no matter where you are at in your faith journey or how much you practice or don’t practice. I believe you will be inspired regardless of where you fall in the spectrum. I do not think that this is a book you would give to your Protestant or Atheist friend. I say this because you sort of need to be Catholic in order to read it, but, as I always say, if they are willing to read it, then go ahead. I suppose it depends on the situation. I would recommend lending it to fallen-away Catholics if they are willing to read it.

What is nice about this book is that through Matthew Kelly’s Dynamic Catholic program, you can get this book relatively cheap through his website, www.dyanamiccatholic.com. You can even order additional copies for relatively cheap. I purchased about a dozen copies myself as a gift for my Religious Ed Confirmation students, only to find out that at their confirmation, the Archdiocese had decided to give them this book as well. Luckily for me, I have a few people in mind that I can give copies to.

Jeff July 2, 2012 4 Comments Permalink

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