Pope Francis has begun using an interesting word as we seek to evangelize. He says we should “attract” people to Christ. It’s not helpful to hit them over the head with the Bible or tell them they are going to be disappointed forever if they do not belong to a Church. Rather, Pope Francis is begging us to “attract” people to Jesus and His Pilgrim People.
Attached is a little item describing how Christmas is the best time of the year to do this, and how St. Eugene de Mazenod loved Christmas. Please click here to view.
As the most hectic time of the year approaches, especially for families, may we cut back on all the worries and concerns, and concentrate on how much we have been given by our Savior. A very merry and holy Christmas and New Year.
Fr. Harry Winter OMI
November 19th 2014
Thanksgiving is a unique time for Christians to witness in a very special way to the love of Jesus. It is the only religious, or perhaps a better word, spiritual time on which all of our nation agrees. Let us gently remind ourselves that we are Thanking God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit for all the One God has done to make the USA the envy of the world. Of course, there continue to be injustices and evils too in the “American Way.”
I have found that one very effective way to speak of God (which many older Americans fear doing in mixed company), presents itself at the end of the Thanksgiving dinner. Ask “What is the best Thanksgiving you have ever had?” I’m sure that as people at the table reminisce, God and religion will enter into the conversation. And you can bet that most of the children will be listening very attentively as the adults tell their stories.
Our Five Ways autumn meeting at St. Patrick’s Church, regretfully, has been postponed until spring. Many thanks to St. Pat’s for hosting the May 7/8 meetings. Please consult the MUD website though; it is being continually updated ( www.harrywinter.org). In a few days the home page will include a marvelous article by Russell Shaw on each Catholic being a true witness, but not a mini-priest or nun. The Christian Joy page will be headed by a video of Pope Francis chatting with families, and Ellen DeGeneres’ take on him as being a natural, joyful comedian.
From Nov. 17-19, Pope Francis hosted an extraordinary meeting at the Vatican on the Family. Hindu, Buddhist and Moslem leaders attended, along with some prominent American evangelicals. More info available on the internet.
A thorough article in the Washington Post, noting the 20th anniversary of the document “Evangelicals and Catholics Together for Mission,” stated : “Pope Francis has urged the faithful to recover their enthusiasm for preaching the Gospel and has said that evangelism should be ‘first and foremost.’ And he called on Christians to care for the poor, saying, ‘There is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor’.” (May 7, 2014).
I welcome hearing from any of you as you experience both joys and obstacles in witnessing to Christ, converging with other Christians, and developing dialogue with people of other Faiths, and all of good will. May you have a Happy Thanksgiving. Fr. Harry Winter OMI
July 18, 2014
1. Every year, on the Sunday closest to July 20, Webster Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX has a special Lord’s Supper to commemorate the Communion service that their parishioner and astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, held on the moon July 20, 1969. As we participate in Mass this weekend, may we thank God for the great convergence in our Sunday worship that is occurring across Christianity. For more on this, see the evangelization website www.harrywinter.org, Eucharistic Hospitality page.
2. The remarkable meeting and statement of Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew on Sunday, May 25, in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, was followed up by Pope Francis inviting the Patriarch to join him at the Vatican when he hosted Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas for prayer for peace in Gaza, June 8. Let us join them now as we all continue to pray for an end to Palestinian rockets being fired at Israel, and for justice and peace for the Palestinians.
Five Ways Fellowship Group, updated November 12th 2013
On Tuesday, November 12, 2013 2:03 PM, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I had hoped to have a meeting this autumn at St. Pat’s, as we have had in the past, with a speaker who could help us regarding Christian Unity and the New Evangelization. Let us put this off until late winter/early spring. In the meantime, there have been some important developments.
1). Tuesday evening, Nov. 12, 7-8:15 pm , “Little Mosque on the Prairie.” The Church of St. Pascal Baylon, 1757 Conway Street, St. Paul announced that it would use some episodes from this very significant Canadian tv show, to promote dialogue among Christians, Moslems and Jews. The first two sessions were on Oct.15 and 29 and attracted about 25 participants. The last session is tonight. Sorry about the late notice, but if anyone has attended this project, I would like very much to hear about it.
2). Nov. 22, 50th Anniversary of JFK’s Assassination, and Ecumenical Implications: See Home Page
3) World Council of Churches Tenth General Assembly, Busan, South Korea, Oct. 30-Nov. 8. Pope Francis has sent a very concise letter reaffirming the Catholic Churches desire to cooperate with the WCC, especially to show solidarity with the most vulnerable in the world.
The Prayer after Communion for the Feast of St. Josphat today is very appropriate: Lord, may this eucharist we have shared fill us with your Spirit of courage and peace. Let the example of St. Josaphat inspire us to spend our lives working for the honor and unity of your Church. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Five Ways Fellowship Group, updated May 28th 2013
Pastor John Marboe spoke to us May 15, evening, repeated May 16, morning. Three of this parishioners from Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church joined us for the evening; a previous speaker, Assembly of God pastor Steve West joined us for the morning session. We learned much about Lutheran and Lutheranism. The joint Lutheran–R.C. Statement on Justification assumes more importance as we approach the 500th anniversary of Luther posting his 95 theses, Oct. 31 1517.
With the Second Vatican Council, the R.C. Church again took up the theme of Church always needing reformation. Lutheranism now looks more calmly at the contrasting truth, the Church is always reformed.
St. Peter’s Church, North St. Paul had an ecumenical hymnfest on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3 pm. It is significant that music is becoming very important for bringing Christians together. The hymns of Taize and Iona are included in Catholic hymnals; our Catholic hymns such as “On Eagle’s Wings,” “Be Not Afraid,” and many others are being included in Protestant hymnals. It would seem that hymnfests are rivalling prayer services for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Two Polish Oblates who have worked in the Ukraine have recently been named auxiliary bishops in the Ukraine. Please pray for them as they learn how to work with the Ukrainian Catholics in union with Rome, and the Ukrainian Orthodox. It is not easy for us, who belong the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, to appreciate the richness of the Eastern Churches, both those in union with Rome and those still separated (but converging with us in so many ways).
The June 2012 meeting included a very thorough presentation by an Assembly of God chaplain (and former Catholic) Rev. Steve West, brother to St. Patrick parishioner Jim West.
The Nov. 2012 meeting featured Corrine Bauer summarizing her participation in the Vatican II 50th anniversary conference of Sept. 20-22 at St. Thomas University. We learned a great deal about this momentous event in our Church’s history. Then I explained about the Aug. 17 apology between the Polish Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, especially how it was a continuation of the Second Vatican Council’s effort at reconciliation. Several features of St. Patrick’s were mentioned, such as the ministry at New Harmony Rehabilitation and Care Center, and the long-standing shawl project of St. Patrick’s.
People who have read the book Dividing or Strengthening, or who have made the retreat have expressed a desire to pray for unity and to work with other Christians. We meet regularly and update. There are no dues and no regulations. We are a very small part of an increasing web of Christians who identify with one denomination and are concerned with all Christians. Some of the larger groups are Renovare, Stephan Ministries, Taize, and Iona.
Currently we have about 50 people connected by e-mail and regular meetings. An initial group came out of the weekend retreat at King’s House, Buffalo, MN, Jan. 15-17, 2010. Following that, there were parish retreats at St. Casimir’s Church, St. Paul, MN, March, 2010 and St. Patrick’s Church, St. Paul, MN, March, 2012. What started out as an update meeting for those who attended any of the three previous retreats was expanded to anyone who is interested in the challenge of sharing our faith: June 6,7, 2012 (evening, repeated the following morning for those unable to come in the evening), and Nov. 7, 8, 2012; May15,16, 2013