Skip to comments.Abp. Chaput: "America is mission territory—whether we recognize it yet or not..."
Posted on 04/27/2013 5:20:08 AM PDT by markomalley
Here is an excerpt from the Foreword to Russell Shaw's book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America, written by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap., of Philadelphia:
What people really believe, they act on. And when they dont act, they dont really believe. For all of us as American Catholics, this issue of faith is the heart of the matter. Real faith changes us. It hammers us into a new and different shape. We too often confuse faith with theology or ethics or pious practice or compassionate feelings, all of which are importantvitally important. But real faith forces us to face the deeply unsettling command given to each of us in the First Letter of Peter: As he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct (1:15).
Holiness means being in the world but not of it. It means being different from and other than the ways of our time and place, and being conformed to the ways of God, as Isaiah says: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Is 55:8, 9).
To the degree Catholics have longed to join the mainstream of American life, to become like everyone else, to accommodate and grow comfortable and assimilate, rather than be other than and holy, weve abandoned who we really are. Clergy and religious face this temptation just as vividly as laypersons. Like the Jews in the days of Jeremiah, too many American Catholics have too often forgotten the covenant. Weve burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of [our] own hands (Jer 1:16). Weve ignored the final command Christ gave to all of us when he said, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. He was speaking to each of us, right here and right now. Catholics are a missionary people led and served by a missionary priesthood.
So I think this, then, is the lesson of the last fifty years for all of us. We need to return to Christs call to repent, and believe in the gospel (Mk 1:15). We need a Church rooted in holiness. We need parishes on fire with faith. And we will get them only when we ourselves fundamentally change; when we center our lives in God; when we seek to become holy ourselves.
Throughout his long ministry, Blessed Pope John Paul II urged Catholics again and again to take up the task of a new evangelization of the world. Seeking an armistice with the spirit of the world, both outside us and within us, is an illusion. The Church in the United States faces an absolutely new and absolutely real kind of mission territory every day now, filled with intractable pastoral challenges. Were a nation of wealth, sophisticated media, and excellent universities. Were also a nation of aborted children, the unemployed, migrant workers, undocumented immigrants, the homeless, and the poor.
We live in a nation of great material success and scientific self-assurance but also a nation where the inner life is withering away, where private spiritualities replace communities of real faith, and where loneliness is now the daily routine of millions of people.
America is mission territorywhether we recognize it yet or not; whether we live in New York or Atlanta or Phoenixand we need a new Pentecost. We need to be people who are men and women of prayer, people of courage, people of service, men and women anchored in the sacramental life of the Church.
Russell Shaw has lived his own life of Christian witness with uncommon integrity, humility, and keen intelligence. His skill animates every page of [The American Church]. He has captured the story of the Church in the United States with honesty and love, and its a privilege to call him my friend.
The word, "Catholic," could be changed to "believer" or "Christian." What he writes is equally valid in all Protestant denominations and churches!!!
From Rapid City, to Denver, to Philly, the message has been the same. My view has been if the stars continue to align, it will be Cardinal Chaput.
This I have believed for a very long time now. Plus with the massive growth of the Christian faith in the global south nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, countries in which America and the west sent missionaries, look for the global south countries to send missionaries in turn.
Look for both Archbishop Chaput and Archbishop Gomez of LA to become cardinals sometime this year.
That will occur on 19 April 2015 when Rigali turns 80.
Good grief, Cardinal Regali is RETIRED.
Irrelevant. So is Mahony and until he and Rigali turn 80 their successors will not become Cardinals because they both can still vote in a Papal conclave. SOP is to not have two voting eligible Cardinals from the same Diocese. Although there have been rare exceptions to that in the past. Dolan's elevation was a special case. He voted in the last conclave, Egan did not.
Oh okay, got it corrected.
“America is mission territory”: this was recognized - and acted upon - three decades ago or longer by Fr. Fred Schell SJ (RIP).
Three years ago, a young priest was assigned as pastor to our parish. He introduced himself to us with those same words. He is both monastic and a missionary, a member of the Maronite Lebanese Missionaries.
To the degree Catholics have longed to join the mainstream of American life, to become like everyone else, to accommodate and grow comfortable and assimilate, rather than be other than and holy, weve abandoned who we really are. Clergy and religious face this temptation just as vividly as laypersons. Like the Jews in the days of Jeremiah, too many American Catholics have too often forgotten the covenant.Very true. That was, perhaps a necessary detour as ethnic Catholics with names ending in a vowel mixed with Catholic converts, but the time is upon us to gird ourselves for battle.