Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Catholics Come Home

The diocese of Baton Rouge launched a wonderful campaign this lent to reach out to people who have left the Catholic Church and are interested in returning. It is part of a national campaign geared toward helping people reenter the church. The most visual aspect of this campaign are the tv commercials and billboard ads inviting people back to the Catholic Church. I have been very touched by these commercials because they show the broad influence of the Catholic Church on the world while also being centered around the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Christian faith. Many faiths and organizations help the poor, heal the sick and educate children, but what is truly unique about the Catholic faith is that every day we have the opportunity to receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and we can visit him 24/7 in Eucharistic Adoration. People leave the Church for a variety of reasons and many find that afterwards they long for Eucharist and God uses this desire to bring them back to the fullness of His truth.

The next step in this campaign is to welcome people back into their local parish and help them to get connected to various ministries. Each parish has different programs for this, but many involve helping people to get information on seeking annulments since many people leave the church surrounding a divorce. Some parishes are conducting programs to answer questions people have about Church teaching; sort of like a no-commitment RCIA for people who are already Catholic. For many people all they need is to meet with the pastor for confession. Many parishes have already seen Catholics returning to the Church as a result of this wonderful campaign.

Take a look at one of the commercials and if you know anyone who has been away from the Church invite them back and help them to get connected with their local parish.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

They don't deserve it...but we'll give it to them anyway

I am very disappointed in New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg for his comments at a Planned Parenthood rally on March 22nd. He was talking in front of an Englewood, NJ Planned Parenthood clinic with many New Jersey state senators and other lawmakers, defending the tax payer funding of Planned Parenthood that is currently in jeopardy. In reference to the people who want to defund Planned Parenthood, Sen. Lautenberg said, "These people don't deserve the freedoms in the Constitution, but we'll give it to them anyway."

Well, isn't that nice of him.My opinion differs from yours and therefore I don't deserve the rights protected in the Constitution, but your a nice guy so you'll allow me to have them anyway. It also seems like there's a veiled threat here that he holds the power and could take away my freedoms at any time, because I didn't really deserve them to begin with. Sen. Lautenberg refers to distinct groups (they don't deserve them; we'll give it to them) and I'm curious who exactly these groups are. He is speaking to a pro-abortion rights group, so are the groups defined by their stance on abortion? However, he is directly referring to the effort in Congress to stop taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood which is led mostly by Republicans, so maybe that is the group division. Even though I'm unclear how exactly he defines who is worthy to be protected by the Constitution, it is clear that the only reason those people are undeserving is because of their differing view point from his.

I find it odd that while people who uphold the dignity of all life are trying to help others understand that everyone should be protected by the Constitution, no matter what race, religion, ideology, gender, or stage of development, Sen. Lautenberg seems to be denying that they are not even worthy of those freedoms, let alone the people they are fighting for.

Here's a short video of the quote: