The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Wound and Wonder

Days later I am still pondering the remarks made by my Formation Director, Fr. Gregory Comella, CPPS, at the recently concluded Precious Blood Assembly

Greg emphasized that the situation in which we find ourselves in the world and the church is not significantly different from the first Christian communities after Pentecost. Wound and wonder seem to go together.

The early community found itself in an extremely wrenching experience soon after its birth. This wrenching experience is told in the story of Ananias and Sapphira in the fifth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The story reveals a major wound in time of high power and hope. The experience of deceit and pain is so intense and the disconnect from the life of community so complete that they both dropped dead.

Yet there is something to pay attention to in this time of scandal and sorrow. Where is the wonder? Go back to the Acts of the Apostles. There is just one mention of this painful episode. After that all the emphasis is on Barnabas. And Barnabas was a wonder. It was Barnabas who gave us Paul. It was Barnabas who gave us Mark. He is a man of encouragement. He is a saint of Reconciliation.

Who is the Barnabas today? Yes, wounds are part of our life. Each of us bears the wounds of our past. I share my own story of this on Retrouvaille weekends. But the point is Grace. In the midst of darkness a Christian proclaims light that never fails. In the face of death a Christian proclaims life without end. Faith is the ability to walk in the dark. I am reminded of a favorite saying given to us by one of our retreat masters in the past, Fr. Al Naseman, CPPS. We would often find him saying, “Be a Barnabas.”

It is in this context, with this prism, I survey the wreckage that is Catholic Journalism these days. Are there no saints? Is it all sinner? Must we focus so intently on Ananias and Sapphira? Can we look for Barnabas too?

Catholic World News has reported that their
mission in life is to report only on things they find interesting. It matters little that there may be other perspectives and experience out in that big Catholic World. What they find interesting is mainly scandal. What they focus on is judgment.

Their managing editor has his own blog. I used to read it every day along with Catholic World News.

I used to read Amy Welborn every day too.

Now I read these blogs and news services only occasionally. When it seems so focused on sin and scandal, I have to decide that I can only ingest so much of that.

I still think they may provide a valuable journalistic service, but I am beginning to have my doubts. My own recent experience of being at an event that CWN reported on, and seeing that they only reported on less than 5% of the event gave me my first clue. It seems I am not the only one out there with doubts about CWN. Are they reporting on what happens, or just on their opinion of what happens? If the former, it is news. If the latter, it is opinion.

And to all the Cathlic Bloggers out there who focus so intently on the scandal:: Are there no saints? Is it all sinner? Must we focus so intently on Ananias and Sapphira? Can we look for Barnabas too?

[update: Mr. Bettinelli has removed his whiny posts from yesterday and so the link to his comment about how they only report on things THEY find interesting no longer works. Just be warned, caveat emptor, etc. CWN feels it is the sole arbiter of what is true and useful.]

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 8:38 PM link
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On our international website there is a chart outlining the growth in the congregation in the past year. We are now 532 definitively incorporated members. At the end of 2002 there were 524 members. Most of this growth in numbers is occurring in two of the newest units of the Congregation, Tanzania and India, which now number 45 and 34 members respectively.
There is table on the website that gives a breakdown of all definitively incorporated members by unit of the Congregation. (you have to scroll down to the table)

There is also a list of the names of the twenty young men recently ordained for the congregation.

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 9:40 AM link
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