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Glimpsing Dawn in Bhutan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 29 March 2011 10:29

A friend just sent me a link to a fascinating article about the emergence of the Christian community in reclusive Bhutan. Numbering maybe 10,000 in an overall population of 700,000 (about 1.4% of the population), Christians are slowly becoming visible although they are still careful to maintain a low profile. Christianity is technically legal in Bhutan but Christians continue to pay lesser penalties for publically acknowledging their faith. (For instance, a student who lists his or her faith as "Christian" may not be allowed access to higher studies.)

(The French Internet site “Aide à l’Eglise en détresse” puts the figure of Christians in Bhutan at 12,255, with only 1,000 Roman Catholics, i.e. 0.5% of the population as against 74% Buddhists, 20.5% Hindus, 3.8% Animists and 1.2% uncategorized. Catholicism was the first form of Christianity to reach Bhutan via Jesuit missionaries in 1627.

UCA's article begins with the journey of an Indian Archbishop and three members of the Jesus Youth movement across Bhutan. In places like Nepal and Bhutan, it was lay Indian evangelists who were the catalyst of the much wider emergence of Christianity in the 20th century.

I wasn't suprised to discover that Jesus Youth is an international charismatic movement that arose in Kerala in the 1970's and has organically spread across India and now to 24 other countries. The lion's share of serious Catholic evangelization around the world, and especially in the global south, over the past 40 years has arisen from within various groups affected by the charismatic renewal.

 

 


 
Back PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 29 March 2011 10:16

I'm back from a Called & Gifted in Vancouver, BC.

There were several reasons for the blogging hiatus. The biggest one was that I spent a lot of time in February and March caring for my sister, Becci, in both Houston and California. Becci died a week ago and I didn't feel up to doing anything beyond the occasional Facebook post. (I'd be so grateful to anyone who would pray for Becci and her husband Rod. I'm the only Catholic in my family and Becci's friends were all Protestants so most of the prayer for her has stopped. It is very good to know that we can continue to hold her up before the Lord.)

So now I'm trying to pick up the pieces again. More in a bit.


 
Becoming a Great Lover: Life After Sunday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:00

I wanted to bring a wonderful evangelization and formation resource to your attention:  Life After Sunday. As their website puts it:

The purpose of catechesis is to learn how to become a great lover.

Who can teach us how to love in the only way that will satisfy the human heart? Only Jesus Christ. Allowing ourselves to be drawn into a deeper intimacy with him is the purpose of all catechesis.

“At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, the only Son from the Father... who suffered and died for us and who now, after rising, is living with us forever. To catechize is ‘to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God’s eternal design reaching fulfillment in that Person. It is to seek to understand the meaning of Christ’s actions and words and of the signs worked by him.’ Catechesis aims at putting ‘people. . . in communion. . . with Jesus Christ: only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.’” —CCC 426

And this:

"A Long-Term Crisis in the Parish"

While in Boston attending the installation of Archbishop Sean O’Malley, Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, then president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, sat with a reporter for The Pilot to talk about the crisis in the Church. “Many of the problems that we are experiencing in the priesthood, I think, especially the sexual abuse, are due to a crisis, not just an acute crisis, but a long-term crisis in the parish and in the community of the parishes that is lived out. Part of it is rooted in the fact that people do not really experience love within the parish; it is a place in which they really do not trust one another enough to be able to experience the forgiving love of Jesus as that is mediated by the community” [emphasis ours].

We believe the Cardinal has articulated well the most pressing need for the "New Evangelization" in America today. In many parishes, relationships among parishioners can be casually indifferent in a way that often does not communicate Christ’s passionate, merciful love for each person “in the flesh.” As a result, the personal experience of God’s love can appear as distant as the impersonal contact with a fellow parishioner; faith in the Presence of Christ can become increasingly difficult to recognize in the breaking of the bread, in the Word and in the faces of the people in the pews or on parish committees. In the meantime, many Catholics attend Mass on Sunday, but then live the rest of the week without the mystery of the intimate Presence they have just received, a Presence who longs to permeate their lives every day. While many Sunday Catholics make an earnest attempt to live their faith, they still experience the faraway God of isolated Christians in the popular culture.

Very true.  And so clearly put.

Take a look at their beautifully written small groups materials which can be downloaded for review and used for a nominal donation.  They would make a great resource for Mystagogia (New Catholics), and many other faith-sharing group settings.  Evangelization and early formation in the midst of real Christian community is so powerful.

Check out Life After Sunday.  You won't be sorry.

 



 
Catholic Quote of the Day PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:00

"It is necessary never to lose sight of the fact that the objective of the Church is to evangelize, not to civilize. If it civilizes, it is for the sake of evangelization."

- Pius XI to Father M. D. Roland-Gosselin, sociales de France, Versailles, 1936, pp. 461-462


 

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