28 September 2009

Corn Maze & Respect Life

Dear Villagers,

Thank you to everyone for a successful inaugural Dead Theologians Society last night! We headed up to the Church Choir Loft, and were surrounded with Gregorian chant, candles, and statues of the Saints who have gone before us. We heard about the life of St Francis de Sales from David, one of our Village Volunteers. In addition there was time for questions, intercessory prayer, and a decade of the Rosary. The Dead Theologians Society motto is, 'Dead to the World, Alive in Christ' to remind us of how we are called to live. Starting next week, the Dead Theologians Society will meet on Thursday evenings from 7-8pm.

This Friday is our first Village Social, the Corn Maze & Bonfire! We'll be arranged into small groups and get lost in 8 acres of corn fields, then relax at a bonfire with s'mores. All high school students are welcome, bring your friends! The cost for participation is $8 and the deadline for registration is this Wednesday, 9/30.

October is Respect Life month! Join us next Sunday at our regular Village meeting from 5-6:30pm for Respect Life Night We’ll be getting into freedom and the right to choice, partial-birth abortion, cases of rape and incest, and the many alternatives to abortion. It is critical that we take a stand for the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn!

With our first three Village meetings behind us, we've averaged 32 teens each week, and more than 20 different teens have come for their first time! If you haven't been able to make it to The Village yet this year, come this Sunday. Join us to be challenged in your faith, build friendships with other Catholic teens, and encounter the Lord Jesus through prayer.

You are all in my prayers!

God Bless,
"The Cross is not a roadblock on the way to happiness; it is a ladder
upon which one climbs to a heaven of love." -Bishop Fulton Sheen

The Village News 9/27

Corn Maze & Bonfire Social This Friday 10/2
Don't miss our social night at the Three Cedars Farm Corn Maze this Friday October 2nd! We’ll be wandering through a huge corn maze, enjoying a hayride, and cooking up some s’mores around the campfire. Drop off will be at Three Cedars Farm at 6:30pm, and pickup will be 9pm. All 7th -12th graders are welcome! Permission slips (attached/online) and money are due by this Wednesday September 30th.

Next Sunday: Life Chain & Respect Life Night 10/4

Next Sunday 10/4 marks the annual national Life Chain event at the corner of Washtenaw and Huron Parkway. Join Villagers there between 2 and 3:30pm for a peaceful pro-life demonstration. We’ll pray the rosary and hold family friendly signs to engage our community in dialogue about some tough issues!

Next Sunday 10/4 at our regular Village meeting from 5-6:30pm we’ll be getting into freedom and the right to choice, partial-birth abortion, cases of rape and incest, and the many alternatives to abortion. It is critical that we take a stand for the most vulnerable in our society, the unborn! We'll also have some guests with us from the St Thomas Respect Life Committee.

More about the Village:
The Village is an outreach of St Thomas the Apostle to all high school aged teens. As a group, our mission is to prepare each of us for our encounter with the Risen Christ, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. Some of us may have doubts like our patron St Thomas did. Others have already joined St Thomas in those words of faith, "My Lord and My God!” Like St Thomas, we are asking real questions, having real dialogue, and developing real faith. The Village meets on Sunday nights from 5-6:30pm. We also have socials and service days. The highlight over and above all of these activities will be our Fall Retreat- a chance for renewal, fun, and prayer!

Here’s Your Question of the Week: Why do we call priests 'Father', when Jesus told us not to?

You’re referring to the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 23:9 where Jesus says ““And call no man your father on earth- for you have one Father, who is in Heaven.” Jesus does not distinguish between spiritual fathers and biological fathers here. So if he meant this literally- we should probably come up with a new name for Papa and for Father Bill!

Check out the context of this verse, and you’ll see that this verse comes in an extensive chastisement of the Pharisees. Calling them hypocrites and blind guides, Jesus is saying that the Pharisees exalt themselves with honorary titles while trying to take honor that should go to God alone. Based on the context of this statement, the Church sees this verse not as a literal teaching against using the word “Father,” but rather a warning against the Pharisees and Scribes who were trying to usurp the fatherhood of God.

In addition to the context of this verse, the title of “Father” is used throughout the New Testament to refer to spiritual fathers.

  1. Jesus, in the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16, has the rich man referring to Abraham as “father” several times.
  2. Paul, in Romans 4, refers to Abraham as the “father” of the Gentiles- referring to spiritual fatherhood.
  3. Stephen, the first Christian martyr in Acts of the Apostles 7, referred to the Jewish authorities and elders who were about to stone him as brothers and “fathers.” (As does Paul in Acts 22)

Since the Bible frequently speaks of this spiritual fatherhood, we Catholics acknowledge it and follow the custom of the apostles by calling priests "father." God has given a great gift to the Church in the spiritual fatherhood of the priesthood. As members of a parish, we have been committed to a priest’s spiritual care- therefore we affectionately call our priests “father.” Priests, in turn, follow the apostles’ biblical example by referring to members of their flock as "my son" or "my child" (cf. Gal. 4:19; 1 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:1; Philem. 10; 1 Pet. 5:13; 1 John 2:1; 3 John 4).

Christ’s priests do have a role as spiritual fathers, and Jesus is not against acknowledging that. It is he who gave these men their role as spiritual fathers, and it is his Holy Spirit who recorded this role for us in the pages of Scripture. The important thing is to remember that our true Father is God the Fatherm, and that all aspects of fatherhood, biological and spiritual, are derived from Him.

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