Lent is a growing season, in terms of faith and hope. Nothing, short of grace, contributes to growth in faith and hope so much as faith education. Knowing the reasons and the history behind what we believe, what the Church teaches, gives wings to our faith. This year we are providing you with a golden opportunity to grow in your knowledge of the Catholic Church, and of its teachings, and of the foundations of its teachings. We have invited Mr. Graham Osboune, a columnist with the B.C. Catholic, to give us a two-day conference on the theme: “Y B CATHOLIC?”, that is to say, “Why be Catholic?” I can think of two very good reasons for attending this conference, or at least a part of it.
The first is that sooner or later, most, if not all of you, will be questioned on your belonging to the Church. If someone were to ask you: “why are you still Catholic, why are you still in Church?”, what would your response be? If you’re not sure, that’s a pretty good indicator that you would benefit from this conference. As Catholic Christians, we are called to “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks us for a reason for our hope” (cf 1 Peter 3:15). Blessed be God if it should come to pass that one day a belligerent person who has left the Church, or a sincere and searching non-Catholic asks you to render an account of your Church-belonging, and you are in a position to respond, because you educated yourself.
The second reason is simply for your own personal benefit. As Catholics, we typically, instinctively love our Church a lot. But we’re not always sure of the reasons why. To know the Church, and its history, and its teachings, and the reasons behind them, is to love the Church more deeply. If only for the sake of shoring up the love that you have for your Church, this conference would be well worth your time.
This conference will take place next weekend, on Friday February 23rd from 7:00 till 9:15 p.m., and on Saturday February 24th, from 9:00 a.m. till 4:30 p.m. We will provide beverages, but we ask that you bring your own lunch on Saturday. There is no need to preregister. To help us cover the cost of this event, there is a $10.00 charge, payable at the door by cash, credit card, or debit card. This $10.00 charge covers both days. Doors will open one hour before the session starts i.e. 6pm on Friday and 8am on Saturday.
I truly believe that if you attend this conference, or even just the Friday evening, or just the Saturday, many years down the road, you will consider that this is one of the best, most important, most beneficial things you’ve ever done.
I wish I could say “see you there”, but I can’t, as I will be in Montreal for a Dominican meeting, but my absence takes nothing away from the excellence of this opportunity for growth in Church knowledge.
Finally, let me add a third reason for attending: this conference is a golden opportunity for fellowship. Any event that brings us together outside of our usual, very large and therefore very anonymous Sunday gatherings, is a good thing. It provides us with an opportunity to meet fellow parishioners. Every new parishioner that we come to know and appreciate is yet another reason why we choose to remain Catholic.
To all, a blessed Lenten season,