Tag Archives: St. John Paul II

St. John Paul II’s greatest gift

What was the greatest gift that Pope St. John Paul II left the Church? Some talk about the impact of World Youth Day. I have heard others say his prolific teaching on the Theology of the Body will be his legacy.

Thomas Monaghan

Thomas Monaghan

What about his leadership in publishing the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)? The previous officially authorized catechism — the Roman Catechism — was published in 1566, just after the Council of Trent!

Do you remember the confusion that existed prior to the publication of the new catechism? I sure do. Confusion (aka dissent) among theologians was widespread and there was no definitive catechism that we as Catholics could point to as the official teaching of the Church. It was a confusing time for people who were genuinely searching for the truth, not to mention those who were looking for reasons behind specific Church teaching.

In the late 1980s, the Holy Father asked a group of cardinals and archbishops to work on developing a new universal catechism for the Church. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the president of the commission and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn was appointed editorial secretary. John Paul officially approved the new Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992.

Did you know that the CCC is a “universal catechism,” which means it is intended to be a resource for the development of other national (or local) catechisms? For example, from the CCC there is YOUCAT, a youth catechism. It’s the official catechism for World Youth Day and was written for youth and young adults. In 2006, the American bishops published the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults, which has the same structure as the CCC, but also includes stories, reflections, quotations, discussion questions, and prayers in each chapter geared toward Americans.

To say that the Catechism is a great gift to the Church would be an understatement. Our mission in Legatus is to study, live and spread the faith, and we can only share that which we know. Whether you have read it before or not, I encourage every member to read the Catechism. I was looking at it the other day and realized that if you read just two pages a day, you would read through the whole book in about a year.

Lastly, as we continue to roll out Legatus’ new Awards & Recognition program, I want to take this opportunity to announce that we will recognize any member who reads the entire CCC (starting Oct. 1, 2015) by awarding them with a Catechism Completion pin!

TOM MONAGHAN is Legatus’ founder and chairman. He is a member of Legatus’ Ann Arbor Chapter.

On the air in the City of Angels

LEGATE DOUG SHERMAN brings Catholic radio to Los Angeles for the first time 14 years . . .

cover-feb15Scott Turicchi confesses he was a little skeptical when he was asked to meet a fellow Legate named Doug Sherman who wanted to bring Catholic  radio to Los Angeles.

Past efforts to start Catholic stations in the City of Angels had not panned out, and Turicchi, a member of Legatus’ Ventura/LA North and Hollywood chapters, wasn’t sure another could compete with the myriad of choices vying for Angelenos’ attention.

“But I said, ‘Sure, I’ll meet this guy,’” he explained. “I was pretty convinced that we’d have a nice lunch and I’d have some questions, figuring there’s no way he’s going to have really good answers.”

Towering presence

However, Sherman surprised Turicchi. The At-Large Legatus member and custom home builder from Tahoma, Calif., had started more than 25 Catholic radio stations in 16 years. He had a proven business model and knew how to generate a donor base.

Turicchi was intrigued. Following a series of meetings and conversations, Turicchi’s family foundation invested in what became the 33rd station in the Immaculate Heart Radio network. In addition, Turicchi pointed Sherman toward other interested parties, including Legatus members who responded with monetary and other donations.

KHJ 930-AM, a former top-40 station purchased for $9.75 million, went on the air Nov. 17 with a reach of 15 million listeners, making it the biggest Catholic station in the network — and in the country. It was the first time in 14 years that English-speaking Catholic radio had been heard in the LA market.

Sherman said the network decided to establish a Catholic station in Los Angeles because the area represented a huge void. “It’s the largest market by some metrics in the country and when you looked at our map,” he explained, “it stood out like a sore thumb. We had stations everywhere but LA, and we would hear from people that we needed to be there.”

Immaculate Heart Radio also had been challenged in 2010 by Chuck Haas, a member of Legatus’ Napa Valley Chapter, to expand its reach to all of California. Haas had been personally touched by Catholic radio several years earlier when he tuned in to an Immaculate Heart Radio station after seeing a billboard while driving on I-80.

“It turned a kind of nominal, lukewarm Catholic to where he is today — now Catholicism is the center of my life,” said Haas. When he started supporting the network, he was asked to take over a stalled Immaculate Heart Radio campaign for the San Francisco Bay area during an economic downturn.

Haas, now the network’s chief financial officer and member of Legatus’ Board of Governors, said said he would agree to direct the campaign if the network would commit to covering the entire state. At the time, Sherman thought just finishing the capital campaign in San Francisco would be overwhelming. “And trying to tie that into a campaign to cover the rest of California was beyond overwhelming.” Still, he continued, “Four years later, we’ve done it and Chuck has been a huge part of it.”

Besides Los Angeles, Immaculate Heart Radio in the last four-and-a-half years has added California stations in Monterey/Carmel, San Luis Obispo, San Diego, Orange County, Modesto and the Central Valley. Additional stations went live in Las Vegas and Maui. The network also provides access to its programming online, MP3 streaming, and smartphone apps. More recently, it has added streaming channels that play contemporary Christian music and sacred music.

Healing touch

Legate Doug Sherman

Legate Doug Sherman

The network started in 1997 with KIHM, named for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area, where Sherman lived and ran Sherman Homes. At the time, the station was the seventh full-time Catholic radio station in the country — compared to 1,600 run by evangelical Protestants. The number of Catholic stations and translators has since grown to more than 300.

Sherman, a convert to Catholicism who was raised “Presbyterian with a Southern Baptist twist,” was impressed during World Youth Day in 1993 by St. John Paul II’s message about the New Evangelization. Even before that, however, he had come to a new appreciation of the Church as a gold mine of truth that needed to be shared.

Then, while driving across the country to take a car to one of his children, he reached into a grocery bag full of Catholic cassette tapes that a fellow parishioner had given him. While listening to them, he thought, “This needs to be on the radio.”

When the idea to start a Catholic radio station began to take shape, Sherman said he never thought it would involve more than one station for Lake Tahoe. Expansion came quickly, however, beginning with a request from Sherman’s bishop to start a station in Sacramento. Other opportunities soon followed and within a decade eight stations had been added in California and New Mexico.

As the network grew, Sherman was spurred on by the stories he heard about lives being changed through Catholic radio.

More than 40 listeners have contacted the network to say they had been considering suicide, but changed their minds because of what they heard on Immaculate Heart Radio. Others credit the network’s messages opposing contraception and abortion with their decisions to bear children.

A recently widowed woman told how she had been overwhelmed with grief and unable to get out of bed each morning when she happened to hear the rosary on her clock-radio. Soon, Sherman said, she was praying it every morning. “She called to thank us for bringing her back to life.”

Another woman was driving to a drug store to buy pills to end her life when, while listening to a rock music station, her car hit a bump and the radio changed to Immaculate Heart Radio, which was airing the rosary.

Doug Sherman, Rev. Ed Benioff and Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gómez

Doug Sherman, Rev. Ed Benioff and Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gómez

“She hadn’t heard the rosary since she was a little girl sitting on her grandmother’s lap,” Sherman explained, “and it brought her such a sense of peace that all she could do was pull over to the side of road and listen.” The next morning, she drove to the nearest Catholic parish, met with a priest and began the process of returning to the Church.

In addition to starting radio stations, Sherman’s interest in Catholic radio led to the formation of the Catholic Radio Association, a trade group that provides support for fledgling and established stations.

About the time he began Immaculate Heart Radio, Sherman learned about stations that were being started by a mortgage banker in St. Louis and a dentist in Florida. “The three of us got together along the way because our combined knowledge about radio couldn’t fill a thimble.” Their monthly phone calls grew into the association.

Immaculate Heart Radio sees its mission as helping Catholics better understand the truth and beauty of their faith and bringing non-Catholics and lapsed Catholics to a greater understanding of Christ and the Church. Toward that end, the network produces much of its own programming, including The Patrick Madrid Show and Right Here, Right Now.

Turicchi, president and CFO of j2 Global and member of Legatus’ Board of Governors,  said that despite the number of distractions people in Los Angeles experience, he thinks Catholic radio will reach people there because, amid the “cacophony of sound, half truth and partial truth,” there is a legitimate hunger for the truth.

“When people find the truth, if they listen for 10 minutes, I think they will want to consume more. If they consume more, they will understand the Church better.”

JUDY ROBERTS is Legatus magazine’s staff writer.

Learn more: IHRadio.com

Dina Belanger (1897-1929)

DINA BELANGER was a Canadian musician, nun, visionary and mystic, beatified in 1993 . . .

Dina Belanger

Dina Belanger

Feast Day: September 4
Beatified: March 20, 1993

A Canadian nun and mystic, Dina Belanger’s brief life was accompanied by a dazzling musical score that, at her beatification, led St. John Paul II to say, “She had musical gifts that no doubt prepared her for the acceptance of the divine presence.”

Born in Quebec, Dina intended to become a concert pianist, though she early confided in hearing the Lord calling her to religious life. Her devout parents encouraged her musical aspirations, sending her to study at the New York Conservatory. As Dina wrote at the time: “To prove my gratitude [to my parents], I am duty- bound to become a saint. I will become holy in the degree God has marked out for me.”

She studied in New York from 1916-1918, often playing concerts for charity. While there, she continued interiorly hearing the call to religious life. She returned to Quebec to enter the Convent of Jesus and Mary.

Through the rest of her life she had mystical visions similar to those of St. Faustina and recorded them in her posthumously published autobiography. As a nun, she taught music. While tending to a sick child, she contracted scarlet fever, leading to the tuberculosis that took her life at the age of 32.


God defined marriage once and for all

FR. WALSH: John Paul II’s Theology of the Body reveals the meaning of marriage . . .

Fr. Miles Walsh

Fr. Miles Walsh

One of the most descriptive definitions of man in Catholic tradition is that he is “capax Dei” or “capable of God.” Saint Augustine writes, “The mind is the image of God, in that it is capable of Him and can be partaker of Him” (De Trinitate, XIV, 8:11).

Augustine is saying that among all the creatures on earth, man is unique because he was created with a rational soul. Therefore, unlike any other earthly creature, he is capable of receiving God! We love our pets, but we don’t take our dogs to church with us on Sunday nor do we invite them to receive Holy Communion because dogs simply are not capable of receiving God in the way that we are; they do not possess rational souls.

You don’t pour gas into the wheel well of a bicycle. You put it into your car’s gas tank because your car was made to receive it. By analogy, on the face of the earth, man alone is “capable of God” in that He is able to receive the gift of sanctifying grace, the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity, the gift of God Himself.

Another way of expressing this truth is that man alone is the imago Dei. The sacred author of Genesis 1:27 says: “God made man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” You will not find this or any similar statement in Scripture about God’s other creatures.

The rest of creation does indeed reflect the glory of God. In their own humble way, even the beasts of the field give glory to their Creator, but we alone are capable of living in eternal communion with Him. This is God’s free gift to us — namely, to invite us to intimate communion with Him. For even though we are made in the divine image, there is no way on our own that we could be filled with God’s presence and hope to one day enjoy the beatific vision unless God Himself had willed through Christ that it be so.

After man sinned, he experienced a darkening of the intellect. He was no longer able to see and comprehend the mystery of God as he once had, and so he fell into idolatry. It is telling that when God chose to reveal himself to Israel, he forbade the Israelites to fashion graven images of himself because man had to relearn the truth that God had already made an image of himself in our human nature: “In the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.”

In making man in his image, however, God did not simply recreate the spiritual beings we call angels. No, unlike the angels, he made us “body persons,” as St. John Paul II would say in the corpus of his teaching known as the Theology of the Body. Our whole being is made in God’s image, body as well as soul. God thus reveals himself to us in the language of the body and specifically in the nuptial meaning of the body.

Both faith and reason confirm that the union of man and woman in marriage — and the issuance of children from that union — is the clearest image of God on earth. That is why John Paul spoke of marriage as the primordial sacrament. If we don’t get marriage right, we will not comprehend who God is, for he is a communion Personarum, a “communion of Persons” — Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each Person equal in dignity and yet distinct.

The language of the body and the body’s nuptial meaning implies that in the permanent, faithful, and life-giving union of man and woman in marriage, we see the triune nature of God himself reflected and revealed. Indeed, a trinitarian “communion of persons” comes into existence with every Christian marriage. Christ revealed this in becoming man and in sacrificing himself for his bride, the Church.

On Calvary, the union of Jesus and his bride was consummated, and we are the children of that union. The form and function of the human body then, male and female, is no mere accident; it is a sign of the spiritual nature of man, which in turn is a reflection of God himself. By creating us in his image, God has defined marriage once and for all.

FR. MILES WALSH is the chaplain of Legatus’ Baton Rouge Chapter and pastor of Holy Sacred Heart Parish in Baton Rouge, La.

St. John Paul II and St. Joseph

Fr. Doyle writes that it’s time for the Church call a ‘Year of St. Joseph’ . . .

Fr. Joseph Doyle

Fr. Joseph Doyle

Pope Leo XIII made this observation in 1889: “We see faith, the root of all the Christian virtues, lessening in many souls; we see charity growing cold, the young generation daily growing in depravity of morals and views, the Church of Jesus Christ attacked on every side.”

Sound familiar? In order to address and hopefully correct this situation, Leo decided to call upon St. Joseph for heavenly intercession. The result was Quamquam Pluries (On Devotion to St. Joseph), the first encyclical letter on St. Joseph. It was promulgated on Aug. 15, 1889. The date is significant: the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Joseph is always linked to his beloved spouse, Mary, because the two had become one in a real and true marriage. Henceforth, all papal documents concerning Joseph would be proclaimed on a feast of the Blessed Mother.

Exactly 100 years to the day after Quamquam Pluries, St. John Paul II issued an apostolic exhortation, Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer) on the person of St. Joseph in the life of Christ and the Church. The world has not improved since the time of Leo XIII. Indeed, the 20th century was the most violent in human history.

Unlike Leo, John Paul didn’t call on Joseph to use his heavenly influence to remedy the evils of the times. Rather he held up Joseph as an example for all to follow. Who could ignore John Paul’s subtle pedagogy as he addressed some of the most vital issues of the 20th and 21st centuries: marriage, fatherhood, work and the interior life?

With regard to marriage, John Paul is best known for his Theology of the Body, a collection of teachings on the nature of human sexuality. Based on these theological perspectives, he summarizes his teaching on the spousal love of husband and wife as “deepening within it everything that bespeaks an exclusive gift of self, a covenant between persons, and an authentic communion according to the model of the Blessed Trinity” (Redemptoris Custos, #19). Although Joseph and Mary lived out their spousal love in a unique way, husbands and wives today can learn from them.

There is little doubt that there is a crisis of fatherhood in our culture today, especially in the Western world. While there are good and faithful fathers, many are physically and emotionally absent from their families. Likewise, some are either actively brutal or passively weak, in which case the mother often assumes responsibilities forfeited by the irresponsible father. St. Joseph offers married men an example of authentic fatherhood.

Two years after Quamquam Pluries, Leo XIII promulgated the encyclical Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Workers, 1891), which opened the door to a “theology of work.” This theology later developed in Poland thanks to Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski and Cardinal Karol Wojtyła. It gained global prominence with the Solidarity movement under Lech Walesa. In 1981, John Paul proclaimed the “gospel of work” in his encyclical Laborem Exercens (On Human Work), which focused on the dignity of all human work.

St. Joseph’s place in the economy of salvation is to be found in the carpenter’s shop with Jesus at his side. In Redemptoris Custos, John Paul states that “work was the daily expression of love in the life of the family of Nazareth” (#22). Joseph is known as the Patron of the Interior Life. John Paul, in the conclusion of Redemptoris Custos, speaks of Joseph with words such as “silence,” “deep contemplation, and “love of the truth.” Those who are interested in making progress in the spiritual life should have Joseph as their guide.

Finally, where do we go from here? We could start by fulfilling Leo XIII’s request made 125 years ago in his prayer “To You, O Blessed Joseph” to be recited after praying the rosary, especially during the month of October. John Paul gives a shortened, easy-to-memorize version in Redemptoris Custos:

“Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin/Graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness/And just as once you saved the child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity” (#31).

Is it time for an ecclesiastical “Year of St. Joseph” to honor his exalted place in the history of our salvation? An appropriate year would be 2017, the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparition at Fatima. Although she appeared to the children several times, she was always alone — until Oct. 13, 1917, when St. Joseph appeared with the child Jesus in his arms, together blessing the world. Now is the time to acknowledge his blessings and follow his example!

FATHER JOSEPH M. DOYLE, SSJ, is the co-chaplain of Legatus’ New Orleans Chapter and former principal of St. Augustine High School.

Equipped for the ‘next America’

Tim Busch’s Napa Institute has a mission to catechize through its various programs . . .

Tim Busch

Tim Busch

For four days every July, Catholic leaders gather in California’s Napa Valley to learn from theologians, bishops, philosophers and others how to live and defend their faith in a world that is increasingly hostile to religious belief and practice.

The Napa Institute is the brainchild of Orange County Legate Tim Busch, who was inspired by the annual Legatus Summit as well as by the secular Aspen and Vail Leadership institutes.

Busch, CEO of Pacific Hospitality Group and co-founder of Busch & Caspino, began envisioning the Napa Institute, after a 2006 Legatus conference at his Meritage Resort in Napa.

Connect and learn

Busch’s plan was to create a place where Catholic lay and ordained leaders could connect with each other and learn about new and growing movements in the Church. In an atmosphere enhanced by opportunities for prayer, Mass, devotions and Eucharistic adoration, participants would listen to academically trained speakers whose presentations would be published after each conference.

Response to the idea was positive from day one, Busch said, and has grown in intensity, as reflected by the attendance and requests from those who want to speak at the event.

napa-1“It’s a great joy to bring all of these people together,” Busch said. “I saw it as an opportunity to develop an experience that I personally would enjoy. I wanted something really engaging that makes faith not only fun but passionate to be involved with.”

The institute’s motto is “Equipping Catholics in the Next America,” a phrase drawn from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput’s article “Catholics and the Next America.” He spoke at the 2012 Napa Institute and will return this year.

In the article, the he warns Catholics about a growing trend toward secularization in American culture, one in which they face a dwindling relevance that threatens their ability to be heard.

“The ‘next America,’” he writes, “has been in its chrysalis for a long time. Whether people will be happy when it fully emerges remains to be seen. But the future is not predestined. We create it with our choices. And the most important choice we can make is both terribly simple and terribly hard: to actually live what the Church teaches, to win the hearts of others by our witness and to renew the soul of our country with the courage of our own Christian faith and integrity. There is no more revolutionary act.”

Busch said the Napa Institute seeks to provide courage and an example to Catholic leaders to help them deal with the challenges of life in an America where faith is no longer encouraged in the public square. The effort is rooted, he said, in what he has learned through his 25 years in Legatus — and from Legatus founder Tom Monaghan, whom he considers a mentor.

“We’re trying to stop the flow of faith from the public square and put it back in the public square and business,” said Busch, who has been instrumental in founding 10 of Legatus’ 79 chapters.

Faith and reason

napa-3Legate Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press and a Napa Institute board member, said the conference has shown people that the Catholic faith has something to say regarding the modern world and contemporary scene.

He credits Busch with generating enthusiasm for the project when it started. “People see Tim as a solid Catholic leader who is quite a bridgebuilder.”

Board member Liz Yore said the institute exudes a confidence in Catholicism. “That, for me, is an example of how each of us as Catholics needs to incorporate our faith in a real, substantive way into our work and lives.”

Each year, the Napa Institute focuses on three themes, one of which is always faith and reason. This year, the other two will be economic justice and faith and beauty. Busch said economic justice is a timely topic in light of what Pope Francis has been saying on the subject, although speakers also will address it from the perspective of the Bible and what the Church has taught through the centuries.

The institute —which drew 235 attendees last year — also has a component for young leaders under 40. And this year it will offer a special panel on faith and the feminine genius as articulated by St. John Paul II.

napa-2“It’s going to be fun and interesting to see what comes out of it,” said Yore, who will moderate the panel. “My sense of the Napa Institute is that initiatives come out of it, things start happening, and people start working together on projects that they’re exposed to or create as a result of the institute.”

In addition to the summer conference in Napa, the institute holds an annual pilgrimage and other off-site events. This year’s events also include a conference on free markets and Catholic social teaching, and a symposium on Christians in the Middle East.

Kevin Hand, a member of Legatus’ Hollywood Chapter, has attended all three Napa conferences and plans to be at this year’s July 24-27 event. The institute, he said, has helped him grow spiritually by giving him a better understanding of the Church’s teachings. He cited in particular his participation in the institute’s 2013 pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

“It was such a gift from God,” he said, adding that it helped him better understand the perspective of migrating people from all over the world. “It’s fascinating how the Church has assisted in taking care of them.”

Yore said she finds the institute to be a perfect blend of the intellectual, spiritual and social. In addition to having a wide range of choices for Mass and prayer, Yore said she most enjoys the exchanges with speakers and other participants in the smaller breakout sessions. The way the institute is set up, she said, attendees have an opportunity to meet almost everyone who is there.

“That’s unusual because I’ve been involved in lots of conferences where you don’t have that sense of meeting the whole group of people and really discussing in depth the issues presented at the conference,” she explained. “It’s very stimulating on a lot of different levels and I always feel like I’m coming home refreshed, with a new set of friends as well as Catholic compatriots.”

Brumley said he believes the institute is influencing people who might not be reached through other avenues.

“They may be involved in the academic world or the creative cultural world like filmmaking, screenwriting or poetry and have a kind of leadership role in their universe, but they don’t find places to connect and to have this kind of high-level intellectual, spiritual, cultural engagement in the context of the Church.”

JUDY ROBERTS is Legatus magazine’s staff writer.

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