The life—and death–of Senator John McCain proved there is always a larger view and a larger love. You’ve probably read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. His books begins by asking the reader to look at the lens through which he or she sees the world. How does that lens shape one’s interpretation of the world? Maybe our country needs a new lens; maybe we need to change our perception. Having viewed much of Senator McCain’s funeral, I wonder how many Americans will change our perceptions of what the United States is.
Will we have the same lens as John McCain and see the good and the bad, the true and the false, for what they are—realities that continually challenge us to work together in unity? Can we become a united United States? Can we widen our views to see across the Senate Chamber aisle and the Atlantic? From our colonial days Americans have loved freedom—political, religious. We formed our country on respect for life and pursuit of happiness. Has our country’s paradigm shifted? Once upon a time we imagined democracy, and a whole new way of governing was born. Once upon a time we imagined a world without slavery, and amendments were added to our Constitution abolishing this evil. Once upon a time we imagined forgiving our enemies and rebuilt Germany. Will all the “once upon a time” values become mere fairy tales? I can only hope that today’s speeches at John McCain’s funeral will bring people of good will to our founding fathers’ large view and large love.

Faith with Coffee

September 4th, 2018 | Posted by Sr. Mary Valerie Schneider in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

The saints knew how to evangelize. It seems they had one rule: go to the people; don’t wait for them to come to you. Missionary saints like St. Paul, St. Patrick, St. Francis Xavier, and countless others traveled the globe to tell others about Jesus Christ. Other saints, like St. Therese of Lisieux, shared the gospel with letters and prayers without leaving their monastery or convent. Still others like St. Maximilian Kolbe evangelized by the witness of their heroic virtue and self-sacrifice. Every place on earth is a field ready for the seeds of evangelization.

In our parishes are there groups who are hungry for spiritual awakening or religious deepening? Are there groups that are underserved? Perhaps parents with small children?  Maybe the octogenarians who ponder how to live their remaining years well? Those with disabilities? The homebound or those who don’t drive at night? Care-takers?

One of my goals this new academic year is to increase opportunities for those who may be underserved. One way I call “Faith with Coffee.” When parents or drivers drop off children at school, they can stop by for a cup of coffee and 30 minutes of adult religious education. (They may bring their pre-schoolers, and anyone else is the parish is invited, too. The time was chosen designedly for the space of time between dropping off students and the next thing that needs to be done.) This Tuesday presentation will also include something Gospel-oriented to take home for themselves and the rest of the family. Similarly, those who bring children for religious education classes on Wednesday evenings will have the same opportunity.

Please pray that these Catholic Coffee Klatches truly evangelize. And let me know how you or your parish goes to the people to evangelize. Like all good vocation directors, let’s not wait for people to come to us.