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Rosary Sunday, October 9, 2022

There has been a crisis facing the Catholic Church in the last 57 years – vocations to the priesthood and religious life are down across most Dioceses and Religious Orders.  Even more discouraging, many Catholics have drifted away from the faith and many others only practice it sporadically.

When I entered Santa Clara University 28 years ago, it was the first time I’d been around lots of students who had been formed in Catholic Schools (those don’t exist in Coalinga where I’m from)!  However, I was shocked at how many of those who had been formed for their entire lives in Catholic schools neither went to Mass nor did they really understand basic tenants of the faith.

As a young zealous man, I presumed that it was a fault of their intellectual formation.  There has been a lot of talk about how Catholic religious education has been spotty in its quality over the last 57 years.  Bishop Robert Barron is someone who has been a champion for a much more robust intellectual formation for the laity as a response to this crisis.  He reminds us, “No one was ever hugged into atheism.  They are argued!  And often our Catholic response in religious education is to give people banners and balloons…”  There is indeed a problem in a lack of doctrinal formation!!!  People often do not know their faith!!!

But there is a problem with simply reducing the current crisis to lack of doctrinal formation – that problem for me is the example of my Grandmother. My Grandmother certainly never was able to go to Catholic school.  In fact, she wasn’t able to even attend the most basic Catechism classes when she was growing up.  She was the daughter of poor Portuguese immigrants and she had to go to work at age 5.    She decided on her own as a teenager to be confirmed and receive her First Holy Communion.  She met one time with a Priest who told her to just get in line when the others were confirmed and to go to confession and start receiving communion.  Yet despite that total lack of intellectual formation, my Grandmother was an incredibly loyal Catholic!  She never missed Mass, and she prayed fervently every day!  So maybe the problem isn’t intellectual?  Maybe the problem is a heart problem?  Maybe we need to stop emphasizing dogma so much and instead just teach people to love Jesus?

Is this a head problem or a heart problem??

My Dominican answer – YES!!!

We have BOTH of these problems in our church today!  We both need to teach people the truth of the faith and help them develop a loving and devout relationship with God!

In the Rosary – we combine BOTH of these things!  In the Rosary is contained all of Catholic Doctrine and Dogma!  However, in the Rosary is also the greatest love story ever told – the story of our Redemption!!!  This should cause our hearts AND minds to be lifted up to heaven – and to practice our faith fervently in this life – and with an eye on the world to become, with God’s Grace – SAINTS!!!

It's also probably no accident that my Grandmother’s favorite prayer was the Rosary!

This Sunday is Rosary Sunday – and it is the Sunday when we also take up our collection to support our newest Preachers of the Rosary – our Dominican Students!!   Please be as generous as you can – because your investment has an incredible return – the salvation of souls!!!

We Dominicans receive NO help from the Archdiocese or Bishops, nor from any other collection, nor from the Vatican.  This is it!

St. Dominic’s is our flagship Parish in the Province – and last year we raised over $152,000 for formation from 220 donors!  THANK YOU for this support!!!  It costs about $1,000 per week or 52K a year to support one of our students.  Let’s knock these numbers out of the park even more this year!!!  How much can you support our future Dominican Priests – our Rosary Preachers??

God Bless you all – and praised be Jesus Christ!!!

Fr. James Moore, O.P.

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