Saturday, December 31, 2011
of unseen things above,
of Jesus and his glory,
of Jesus and his love.
Tell me the story simply,
as to a little child,
for I am weak and weary,
and helpless and defiled.
Tell me the old, old story, tell me the old, old story,
tell me the old, old story, of Jesus and his love.
Tell me the story slowly,
that I may take it in,
that wonderful redemption,
God's remedy for sin.
tell me the story often,
for I forget so soon;
the early dew of morning
has passed away at noon. Refrain
Tell me the story softly,
with earnest tones and grave;
remember I'm the sinner
whom Jesus came to save.
Tell me the story always,
if you would really be,
in any time of trouble,
a comforter to me. Refrain
Tell me the same old story
when you have cause to fear
that this world's empty glory
is costing me too dear.
Yes, and when that world's glory
is dawning on my soul,
tell me the old, old story:
"Christ Jesus makes thee whole." Refrain
Words: Katherine Hankey, 1866Music: Evangel
Friday, December 30, 2011
A letter from Bishop Crosby concerning Kitchener-Waterloo Anglicans received into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church
“For many years, groups of Anglicans repeatedly asked the Pope if it would be possible for them to become Catholics, while at the same time being allowed to keep their liturgical, musical, spiritual, and pastoral traditions, which had developed over the 500-year history of Anglicanism, and which they greatly valued. In November of 2009, in response to these requests, the Holy See, through the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus (“Groups of Anglicans”) and its accompanying norms, established a new structure within the Catholic Church to allow Anglicans who become Catholics to do just that.” (Archbishop Thomas Collins, Toronto)
Within our Diocese of Hamilton, a small group of Anglicans has been meeting in the Kitchener-Waterloo area since 1996 in a community know as St. Edmund’s Anglican Catholic Church. This group of Anglicans has indicated their desire to be received into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church under the terms of Anglicanorum Coetibus. For several months they have been preparing for this by prayer and a period of instruction based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
On January 1st, 2012, the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, in the Cathedral of Christ the King, I, as Bishop of Hamilton, will receive these men and women into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church by the Profession of Faith and the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. The Mass will be celebrated according to the Anglican Use – a fully-authorized Catholic liturgy that maintains distinctive elements of the Anglican heritage of language, music, tradition and spirituality.
From January 1st, these newly-received will be known as the Sodality of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, and will continue as an Anglican Use community within the Diocese of Hamilton. They will, in due time, become part of the Personal Ordinariate that is being erected in the United States. Until then, they will be served by Fr. William Foote as Chaplain.
As Catholics, the members of the Sodality of St. Edmund will be subject to the Code of Canon Law and will fully embrace the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We welcome them into the Roman Catholic Church, pray for them, and invite them to pray for us.
Sincerely in Christ and Mary Immaculate,
(Most Rev.) Douglas Crosby, OMI
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I intend to stay with my Anglican Catholic Church of Canada parish as long as it is preparing to enter the Catholic Church. If down the road, our parish decides for whatever reason—no clergy accepted as Catholic priests could be one—to opt out, then I may see about making arrangements to become Catholic on my own. I trust that God will guide me at the time and I ask that people refrain from pressuring me or anyone else to join the One True Church right now on threat of hell or of having questionable faith. It is as annoying and off-putting to me for that to happen as it is for most Catholics to find some zealous evangelical asking them “Are you saved?” and insisting they are not unless they have said the Sinner’s Prayer and asked Jesus into their hearts as their Personal Savior. I love the Sinner’s Prayer, mind you, and I think it is wonderful when someone can genuinely feel repentance and sincerely make the plea. But there is a big difference between a God-given repentance and “repeatance” when one is browbeaten or pressured to say a formula.
There are some who might argue that well, if there is no Ordinariate for you, then if you really hold the Catholic faith you must abandon everything and become a Roman Catholic. Right now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Interestingly, the ones most likely to say this are usually those Continuing Anglicans who have no intention of going to what they perceive as “jail” themselves.
For the sincere Catholics who read this blog, I would ask that you prayerfully consider how you might put forward a vision of the Catholic Church in a way that encourages someone to take that step rather than browbeating with a set of propositions that make the prospect nauseatingly grim. And think also of the responsibilities a priest might have to people in his charge who are not ready to take this step, the shut-ins who will no longer receive ministry of any kind if he walks away, and so on.
I am blessed here in Canada that I live in a diocese where the Roman Catholic Church is alive, where the archbishop is a true shepherd who draws me and attracts me to the Church. While I have been crushed by what has happened to us over the past two years, and have already been grieving over the loss of our hopes and dreams to come in corporately, I can see a joyful future for myself as a Roman Catholic if this whole Ordinariate dream crashes around me and I find I must move on. I also have an option of Ukrainian Catholicism because of my Russian Orthodox christening.
But others may not see that joyful future for themselves.
I believe the Church Christ instituted subsists most fully in the Roman Catholic Church. But that does not mean there is no grace outside her institutional confines. The One True Church apologists might have been unable to experience the joy of spiritual communion I felt recently with a group of evangelicals who are involved in the Alpha program. I loved being with them. They are my brothers and sisters in Christ because of their love for Him and the love they express that can only come from Him. The Catholics who make me want to be in communion with them and who, by their love, testify to me that the claims the Roman Catholic Church makes about herself are true, would have experienced the same joy as I did. They are not legalists or modern-day Pharisees.
Above all, let’s focus on the true unity that can only be effected by the Holy Spirit. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith and make sure that we ourselves are not an impediment to unity because of our own sinfulness and pride.
In recent years, the zombie version of progressivism has become closely linked with the idea of ‘social justice’. Social justice can be defined in many different ways, but in essence it expresses a worldview committed to avoiding uncertainty and risky change through demanding that the state provides us with economic and existential security. From this standpoint, progress is proportional to the expansion of legal and quasi-legal oversight into everyday life. From the perspective of those who demand social justice, the proliferation of ‘rights’ and redistribution of wealth are the main markers of a progressive society.
Paradoxically, the idea of social justice was historically associated with movements that were suspicious of and uncomfortable with progress. The term was coined by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in 1840. His aim was to reconstitute theological ideals on a social foundation. In the century that followed, ‘social justice’ was upheld by movements that were fearful of the future and which sought to contain the dynamic towards progress. Probably one of the best known advocates of social justice was Father Charles Edward Coughlin. This remarkable American demagogue and populist xenophobe set up the National Union of Social Justice in 1934. Through his popular radio broadcasts, which regularly attracted audiences of 30million, he became one of the most influential political figures in the United States. Coughlin praised Hitler and Mussolini’s crusade against communism and denounced President Roosevelt for being in the pocket of Jewish bankers. Here, ‘social justice’ was about condemning crooked financiers and putting forward a narrow, defensive appeal for the redistribution of resources.
Today’s campaigners for social justice bear little resemblance to their ideological ancestors. They’re far more sophisticated and middle class than the followers of Fr Coughlin. But they remain wedded to the idea that the unsettling effects of progress are best contained through state intervention into society. They also maintain the simplistic notion that financiers and bankers are the personification of evil. The current Occupy movement would be horrified by Coughlin’s racist ramblings, yet they would find that some of the ideas expressed in his weekly newspaper, Social Justice, were not a million miles away from their own.
Mercer had been Anglican Bishop of Matabeleland in his native Zimababwe before coming to us in Canada. When Anglican provinces began ordaining women, he left. But is seems in some circles, it is better to remain in the Anglican Communion than to be guilty of "schism" no matter how principled the reason for leaving, no matter how much courage and sacrifice it took to be true to the Apostolic faith.
One of the big disappointments for me (of countless disappointments) in the whole Ordinariate process is the silence on Mercer over the past year or so. Always a mention of five Church of England bishops "converting" but never a mention of the sixth former Anglican bishop. Mercer is a hero to us in the TAC. Long before joining us, he was a veteran of the early ARCIC process, praying and working for unity with the Catholic Church. He hosted a young John Paul II for Evensong at his cathedral in Matabeleland.
The way Mercer prayed the Mass helped me intuitively grasp the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. He made heaven palpable in our poor little cathedral with the graying linoleum and wax-spotted red indoor/outdoor carpeting. If he proclaimed one of the Epistles during the Mass, it was as if St. Paul was standing there, the words were read with such meaning they same to life. His homilies, always brief, were so rich and insightful. He made time stand still and eternity present.
In his letter resigning from his various positions of responsibility in the TAC, Mercer quoted Cardinal Newman, who said: "Catholics did not make us Catholic; Oxford made us Catholic." (a letter quoted by Dessian on p. 131 of 'John Henry Newman'.)
I hope someone is there to take photographs and give the occasion the dignity it deserves.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph has an article on the English Ordinariate, with an interview with Msgr. Newton. Here's an excerpt:
“But you can’t become a Catholic because you simply want to escape the problems of the Church of England – you have to want to become a Catholic.”
He believes the Synod vote on women bishops, at which all three "houses" of the Church's parliament must back the historic move by a two-thirds majority, is on a “knife-edge” with only a handful of votes needed to swing it either way.
However he warned Anglo-Catholics trying to oppose the change that even a victory in July would likely be short-lived.
“If anybody thinks if it doesn’t go through that the issue will go away, they’re actually fooling themselves.
“If it got to a situation, which it will, that you have a House of Bishops of the Church of England where some of the bishops are not in communion with other bishops, I just think that’s an impossibility. You could hardly call that a church.”
Mgr Newton said the provision made for opponents of women priests in the 1990s, the flying bishops of which he was one, was only a “short-term solution” that enabled traditionalists to “hang on by our fingertips” in the Church of England.
But he said none of the elaborate proposals suggested for those who do not wish to be under the care of a female bishop would be “adequate” for him, and pointed out that the Ordinariate is “exactly” what some Anglo-Catholics had once proposed as a solution but with the added feature of being part of the Roman Catholic Church.
“If you’re longing for staying in the Church of England, then you’ll stay. But if you’re actually longing for that greater goal of being in communion with the Holy See, then what is the point of waiting? I don’t quite see what is the point of hanging on.”
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Christ is born for us! Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to the men and women whom he loves. May all people hear an echo of the message of Bethlehem which the Catholic Church repeats in every continent, beyond the confines of every nation, language and culture. The Son of the Virgin Mary is born for everyone; he is the Saviour of all.
This is how Christ is invoked in an ancient liturgical antiphon: “O Emmanuel, our king and lawgiver, hope and salvation of the peoples: come to save us, O Lord our God”. Veni ad salvandum nos! Come to save us! This is the cry raised by men and women in every age, who sense that by themselves they cannot prevail over difficulties and dangers. They need to put their hands in a greater and stronger hand, a hand which reaches out to them from on high. Dear brothers and sisters, this hand is Christ, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary. He is the hand that God extends to humanity, to draw us out of the mire of sin and to set us firmly on rock, the secure rock of his Truth and his Love (cf. Ps 40:2).
This is the meaning of the Child’s name, the name which, by God’s will, Mary and Joseph gave him: he is named Jesus, which means “Saviour” (cf. Mt 1:21; Lk 1:31). He was sent by God the Father to save us above all from the evil deeply rooted in man and in history: the evil of separation from God, the prideful presumption of being self-sufficient, of trying to compete with God and to take his place, to decide what is good and evil, to be the master of life and death (cf. Gen 3:1-7). This is the great evil, the great sin, from which we human beings cannot save ourselves unless we rely on God’s help, unless we cry out to him: “Veni ad salvandum nos! – Come to save us!”
The very fact that we cry to heaven in this way already sets us aright; it makes us true to ourselves: we are in fact those who cried out to God and were saved (cf. Esth [LXX] 10:3ff.). God is the Saviour; we are those who are in peril. He is the physician; we are the infirm. To realize this is the first step towards salvation, towards emerging from the maze in which we have been locked by our pride. To lift our eyes to heaven, to stretch out our hands and call for help is our means of escape, provided that there is Someone who hears us and can come to our assistance.
Jesus Christ is the proof that God has heard our cry. And not only this! God’s love for us is so strong that he cannot remain aloof; he comes out of himself to enter into our midst and to share fully in our human condition (cf. Ex 3:7-12). The answer to our cry which God gave in Jesus infinitely transcends our expectations, achieving a solidarity which cannot be human alone, but divine. Only the God who is love, and the love which is God, could choose to save us in this way, which is certainly the lengthiest way, yet the way which respects the truth about him and about us: the way of reconciliation, dialogue and cooperation.
Friday, December 23, 2011
She tells us what to do about any problem in glib and superficial terms that include disparate advice such as to eat our protein, wash our dishes by hand, celebrate layoffs in the Episcopal Church, support the Obama health care bill, call ourselves beloved, criticize the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, make the United States government limit capitalistic profits, declare unity in the Episcopal Church, and plant gardens on the church lawns.
Jefferts Schori bounces from one subject to another with the rapidity of a writer not disciplined by transitional ideas or even rational thought. On page 23 within four sentences, Jefferts Schori drags in, with her typical pell-mell fashion, Katrina and its aftermath, genocide in Rwanda, global AIDS, torture for terrorists, and health care reform in our country. With all her vast pronouncements, she doesn't even bother with a bibliography to support her ideas and includes only seven notes for quotes (two of which are from the Book of Common Prayer).
The only really clear part of this book is that Jefferts Schori supports the Obama health care bill.
Jefferts Schori also criticizes those who evangelize by telling others about Jesus Christ. She praises a man who came to her same conclusion, writing, "He said he finally learned that his job wasn't to get somebody to say a verbal formula about accepting Jesus as personal Lord and savior, but to make a space that was safe enough for others to say what they really think and feel."(75) She taunts both those who evangelize for Jesus and those who accept His ministry. She says about the leper who received healing from Jesus, "Actually, he's a bit whiny about it."(22)
Time and time again, Jefferts Schori reveals that she has no depth conception of the struggles involved with working out one's salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) Faithful people who testify that Jesus is Lord might actually have accepted Him as their Savior, in the midst of severe hardships, and, in doing so, found the great redemption of our Lord.
That apparently means nothing to Jefferts Schori. She declares her easy Islamic theology about the Beloved by commanding everyone to claim the divine baptismal promise given only to Jesus. Beginning with the scripture from Luke 3:22, Jefferts Schori writes, "'You are my beloved, and in you I am well pleased.' If we're willing to risk hearing that and being transformed by it, we have begun to participate in Jesus' reality. It is a hopeful saying for most of us-we don't quite believe that we can be all that pleasing to God, because we think we know more about ourselves than God does. But it was also an aspiration in Jesus' ears-he aspired to live into the fullness of God's intent."(121)
Jesus aspired to live into this? I might aspire to write something like Tolstoy's War and Peace but whether this will happen is surely in question. So Jesus aspired to live into the fullness of God's intent? Does she mean Jesus maybe hoped to do something like God might have wanted? Jesus sounds like a pretty foggy character here, not anything like the powerful revelation of the Godhead the Gospels portray.
Sarah Frances Ives is a regular contributor to Virtueonline. She lives in Washington DC with her husband and two children
It is against Canadian law to possess kiddie porn. I can't even imagine what canon law might have to say about it, although I am relatively sure canon law is very much against bishops having one night stands, ten year sexual relationships and, oh yeah, homosexual sex relations. I cannot even imagine what this defense is all about unless you now get a free pardon in Canada for being just an ordinary elderly gay guy with a steady boyfriend and kinky fantasies. I see that the lawyer thinks his Disgrace should get brownie points for having awarded millions of Canadian Catholics' money to victims of clerics with even kinkier fantasies.
The Church encourages the Christian faithful to promote or sustain a variety of apostolic undertakings but, nevertheless, prohibits any such undertaking from claiming the name Catholic without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority (see canon 216 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law). For some time, the Archdiocese of Detroit has been in communication with Mr. Michael Voris and his media partner at Real Catholic TV regarding their prominent use of the word “Catholic” in identifying and promoting their public activities disseminated from the enterprise’s production facility in Ferndale, Michigan. The Archdiocese has informed Mr. Voris and Real Catholic TV, RealCatholicTV.com, that it does not regard them as being authorized to use the word “Catholic” to identify or promote their public activities. Questions about this matter may be directed to the Archdiocese of Detroit, Department of Communications.
What about the "Catholic premier of Ontario" ? Perhaps Dalton McGuinty should seek permission from the proper ecclesial authorities, too.
Lots of interesting remarks in the comments section at Fr. Z's.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Here's an excerpt:
Former Episcopal Bishop of the Rio Grande, Jeffery Steenson, is to be named the Ordinary when the Anglican Ordinariate is erected on January 1, 2012, sources tell VOL.
Word seeped out from the Vatican late last week that Steenson -- who left The Episcopal Church in 2007 over TEC's polity - has been tapped for the new post as the Ordinariate gets its first foothold in the United States.
Steenson's Anglo-Catholic pedigree comes from being an Episcopal priest for 24 years including stints as the curate and rector at two Pennsylvania parishes -- All Saints' Church in Wynnewood, and Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, before going on to St. Andrew's in Fort Worth, Texas. From there he was elected, in 2004, to be bishop coadjutor for the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande under Bishop Terence Kelshaw. The former Rio Grande bishop has the distinction of being the 1000th Episcopal Church bishop consecrated with his "lappets" stretching all the way back to the first Bishop of Connecticut, Samuel Seabury who was consecrated in 1784. Steenson's consecrators included then Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, his predecessor Bishop Terence Kelshaw, Anglo-Catholic Bishop Clarence Pope, indigenous Bishop Mark McDonald, and ecumenical Bishop Anthony Burton from the Anglican Church of Canada. Steenson became the eighth diocesan bishop in 2005. He was an Episcopal bishop for two short years before swimming the Tiber.
Well, I recall hearing rumors back in the spring or summer 2010 that Steenson had been invited to Rome and told that he would be the first ordinary.
I wish Fr. Steenson well if this is true, and we hope he will take us under his wing.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
As Premier Dalton McGuinty presses forward with his controversial “anti-bullying” bill, he is invoking his Catholic faith to justify his effort to impose “gay” clubs on the province’s Catholic schools in violation of Catholic teaching. The premier has been emphatically using the homosexual activist preferred term “gay” (see video) and its current association with the broad homosexual sub-culture or lifestyle.
“I fully expect that Catholic kids are going to use the word ‘gay,”’ McGuinty told reporters earlier this month, after emphasizing that the anti-bullying bill requires schools to allow students to set up gay-straight alliances, though not necessarily under that name.
“I fully expect that Catholic teachers are going to use the word gay, and as a Catholic premier of Ontario I’m going to be talking about gay kids,” he added.
McGuinty’s “Accepting Schools Act”, which was tabled Nov. 30th and is undergoing second reading, seeks to impose tougher consequences, including expulsion, for “bullying and hate-motivated actions,” with a special emphasis on “sexual orientation”.
The Catholic Civil Rights League warns (my bolds):
The Catholic Civil Rights League supports efforts to make all schools welcoming and respectful of all students, and to provide guidance, support and pastoral care for individual students. Students have a right to be free from bullying in all of its forms. Moreover, that is what parents expect, whether they send their children to public or publicly funded Catholic schools. However, there is more at issue in what the Ontario Liberal government has proposed. While some effort is made to allow school boards to develop policies that discourage and penalize bullying, Bill 13 also includes significant effort to advance a radical understanding of gender, adopted from various queer studies movements, of which great numbers of Ontarians may be unaware. Bill 13 introduces in its preamble the acceptance of the disputed notion of "gender" as a social construct, making use of the acronym LGBTTIQ to describe variants of sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, two-spirited, intersexed, queer and questioning). Is there a need to engage in the broad acceptance of controversial studies in these areas to provide schools and school boards with tools to address bullying? Is it necessary to identify and label various students according to notions of their "gender" in order to hold bullies to account? A comprehensive anti-bullying policy based on respect for the dignity of the person, which is consistent with Catholic teaching, would recognize that all students should be free from bullying, without categorization or qualification.
The government has gone further, and has deemed that school boards “shall support pupils who want to establish and lead…activities or organizations that promote the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including organizations with the name gay-straight alliance or another name.” Why are parents, trustees, or school officials to be shut out from oversight of such clubs?
Parents of all faiths, including those with a blind faith in government edicts, will wish to know just what is being offered at their local school, especially in the areas of sex and gender, with or without the engagement of faith and morals.
In particular, a student led club for various strands of the now-identified LGBTTIQ theory of gender cannot be adopted in a Catholic setting, since all sexual activities outside of the traditional understanding of marriage are understood to be sinful, and in contravention of Church teaching. Forcing a student-led club on these themes on Catholic boards, in a manner implying approval of the subject matter, would be an affront to Church teaching, and a subversion or infringement upon the denominational guarantees established in the constitution with respect to Catholic schools in Ontario.It is also a dramatic infringement on the prior rights of parents to educate their children.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
OTTAWA - Disgraced Bishop Raymond Lahey engaged in a number of homosexual “one-night stands” before settling into a 10-year relationship with a man, according to testimony Dec. 19 at Lahey’s sentencing hearing on child pornography charges.
Court also heard that Lahey has an addiction to Internet pornography but is probably not a pedophile and poses a next-to-zero chance of offending sexually or violently against children, according to a forensic psychiatrist. Dr. John Bradford, who examined Lahey, said Lahey has gay sadomasochistic fantasies where he is the submissive partner, although Lahey claims he has never acted on them.
The former Antigonish bishop, 71, pleaded guilty last May to possession of child pornography for the purpose of importation. He opted to go directly to jail before sentencing and has served seven and a half months.
Lahey will be sentenced on Jan. 4.
The Crown is seeking an 18-22 month sentence. Lahey’s lawyers argued for the minimum one-year sentence and said Lahey is entitled to a two-for-one credit for time already served, and therefore should be immediately released.
The Truth in Sentencing Act, which abolished double credit for jail time served prior to sentencing, was passed in February 2010. But because Lahey was charged in September 2009 he should be exempt from the new law, his lawyer argued.
In a sexual history inventory, Lahey revealed to Bradford that he had engaged in “a number of one-night stands” before settling into a “longstanding relationship that has lasted 10 years.” Lahey said he hopes to continue the relationship when he leaves prison.
His attorney, Michael Edelson, told CCN he knew about the romantic relationship and said the other man was not a cleric but a “civilian.”
The CBC reports that Lahey read from a prepared statement the following:
Lahey read for a statement in which he admitted to being addicted to internet porn "on an indiscriminate basis."-snip-
He said though he desired to be found out, he did not seek help because of his position in the church. But he said being arrested was a blessing and that others could learn from his experience.
"To others, look at what they are doing cease it and seek help," he said from a statement written on a piece of paper. "It causes genuine harm to children."
"I apologize to those I may have hurt by the actions. I apologize to the church, to my family," he said.
Dr. John Bradford, the psychiatrist who assessed Lahey for both the Crown and the defence, confirmed Lahey told him he would still be a bishop if he had not been caught.
Yikes. How can someone lead this kind of double-life?
I felt kind of sorry for him---he's 71, frail-looking and the shame of this must be just awful. But what scandal he has caused. Is causing.
TORONTO - As hopeful Anglo-Catholic parishes across Canada completed two months of catechetical study Dec. 18, dreams of a Canadian Catholic ordinariate for ex-Anglicans are fading.
"We had hoped, of course, we would have our own Canadian ordinariate, but we realize our numbers may not warrant it," Bishop Carl Reid, Anglican Catholic Church of Canada auxiliary bishop, told The Catholic Register.
I have been meaning to write about this happy occasion for quite some time, but somehow other things interfered. I got busy. The usual excuses. But it gives me great joy to remember this night.
The picture shows me and some dear Christian folks, some I had just met. at a dinner at LaPointe's Seafood Restaurant in November with representatives of Alpha Canada who wanted to meet me because of this story based on an interview with Quebec Archbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix.
Wanda Ho, second from the left, works for Alpha Canada out of Vancouver in getting Chinese Christian churches involved in using this wonderful program to bring people to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. She had read the article and emailed it to Tony Copple, who is extremely active in Alpha as a trainer, organizer and prison-Alpha ministry guy here in Ottawa, and also my financial advisor and a long time friend. Tony is across from me, fourth from the left. Wanda was planning a trip to Ottawa to meet with Chinese churches here, so Tony suggested we all meet. With Wanda, next to Tony is her prayer partner and friend Rita Fung, who ended up treating us all to dinner. Monica and Keith Brown are the couple in the foreground, who are both active in Alpha in the National Capital Region.
How I loved being with them! The love of Christ, the joy in their faith, the passion for sharing the Good News! Interestingly, they told me someone from Alpha had met that afternoon with Archbishop Lacroix, who is already running Alpha in his diocese.
We all agreed there was something powerful in what the Archbishop said in the interview about not "mellowing down" the Gospel. After the installation of the new Archbishop of Gatineau, Archbishop Lacroix spoke with me about the response he has had from across North America and even Mexico to the interview.