It’s amazing what a month can do. Per usual, I took some time over Christmas and the New Year to step back from making videos, to relax and plan ahead. By this time of year, I’m usually a bit burned out and need a break. Come January, I’m back with big ideas and new videos.
This year is no different. I’m happy to share with you some news that I think could quite exciting, not just for me, but also for many of you.
Unfortunately, I’m also quite saddened by recent events in my life (and the life of the friars) to share something very sad.
Because I know that some people like their good news first while others like the bad news first, I’ve decided to create two videos, released them at the same time, and let you decide when you want to watch them. I’ve posted them both below, and they will both go live on Wednesday at 5:00pm.
Here’s the bad news:
Here’s the good news:
I suppose you’ve seen some of the comments. Some of your followers are more than a little concerned, and they’ll stay that way at least until Wednesday. I already know the bad news and hope it won’t change the plan for “Breaking in the Habit.” On the other hand, I’m anxious to hear the “good news.” So I’ll settle down and be patient til Wednesday, difficult though that always is for me.
Father Casey, who has devoted his life to the Lord: “As the shock is starting to wear off, sadness and anger are certainly taking its place, and honestly, I’m just left a little dumbfounded by the decision.”
Snake Eyes, who has devoted his life to his country: “I went to lose myself in the mountains, just brooding and thinking too much– mostly about myself– which is a subject that always leads to trouble. It tends to put the center of the universe in the wrong place.”
Father Casey, learn from Snake Eyes. Our lives are not about ourselves. We go where we are sent, we give all that we can, and we endure for whatever number of days God has allotted for us. Most of the time, we never even see the good results of our efforts. You have a great number of things to be thankful for, and nothing to be sad or angry about.
Hang in there, you are young. I am 53 and in a deacon formation , A large class deacon formation. A shockingly large class. Not priest no but place holders and helpers to the priests. A bunch of guys many who realize maybe they ignored a calling years ago when they where your age. Many of our sons are now discerning that call. You guys, your age cohort need to hold the church together until we can correct the situation. It is not easy I know. In reality either we will correct it or we are closer to the end then we know. Our only mission, all of us, ordained, religious, laity is to get as many to heaven as we can and to do what we can to improve things here now for the pilgrims. Don’t let it get you down. The Holy Spirit will use you as needed. The enemy seems to have the upper hand now but we all know it is only temporary. Which ever way it works out here in earth we have already won through our Lord Jesus.
Pax and God bless you
Hi, just discovered your videos. Great. The “good news, bad news” videos kinda of hit me because of the situation we find ourselves in this year. With so many dioceses closed due to concerns about the Covid virus, we all might be feeling some of the same emotions you have been dealing with. God Bless your ministry.. pray for us.
your doing a great job!! stay strong on this long road that you have chosen. my prayers are with you.
As an Orthodox Christian, I really don’t understand the unevenly-applied prohibition on married priests in the RC church. Most Orthodox priests are married, although we have plenty of monastic priests as well. Notably, for hundreds of years, RC priests in Eastern Europe have been married, too. Why is there so much resistance to an ancient practice that has much to commend it and very little to criticize it? If the concern is the burden of family and children, then there could be an age requirement for married priests, as there is in Orthodoxy. The usual minimum age is 30; some men are ordained younger than that, but the average age at ordination in the US is closer to 40. Ministry and charitable work are the very things that many people turn to when they have finished the work of raising their own families, and the priesthood would be the perfect vocation for many such men.
Are you doing any of these virtually this year? I’d love to talk to our church leadership about having you for a virtual visit to our parish, but I don’t know if you’re doing this.
I watched your video about 5 movies you recommended. The Way and The Mission did not hit me as they did you but I’ll try again. I’ll also try the others you recommended. That said, you asked for our favorites but I didn’t see a place to reply, so I ended up here. Have you seen the Italian movie about Dr. Moscati? You must! I loved it because I felt like I was watching Christ in action through this doctor. And you can only love this character/Christ. Try it!
I live in the Diocese of Bogor in Indonesia that was originally founded by Fransiscans, three of our four bishops are Fransiscans, and I went to Fransiscan schools until high school.
I am thankful for what the Fransiscans have given us, and pray that more young men and women would answer the God’s calling. I myself believe that I was not called to become a priest, but I managed to have a family that is keen in providing service to our church, however small it is.. and, frankly, I couldn’t imagine myself wearing habit that seems to be heavy and would be hot under the tropical sun 😛
The shortage of priests is so very sad, but if the Church could make some accommodations for today’s people, it might not have such a problem. First, only unmarried men are allowed to be priests, so we’ve just eliminated half of all adult Catholics, and half of all Catholic men. Next, only men–and women–are permitted to join the religious life, as priests and nuns, if they are below a certain age, have no family obligations, no debt. and oh, ideally, are also college-educated. –And have a vocation to a Church that has suffered from terrible press and terrible events, trying to draw from a younger generation consumed by secularism and loathing of organized religion. You’ve now just about eliminated everyone.
The Church needs to come to terms with the social and economic reality of today’s people. Right now, there are more Secular Franciscans than friars. Why? Because they can include men and women. They can be married. They can have families. They can have debt. In a word, they can include just about everyone who is called to a vocation but cannot be priests or nuns.
Would it be so wrong if any adult Catholic called to a vocation could become a member of the clergy or religious? What if they went out to work to pay their own bills but then devoted their extra time to assisting liturgically? We have an army of empty-nesters and retirees who have the time and money to help, and the Church is filled with such volunteers who increasingly take on the responsibilities that the clergy and religious have done in the past. Why not accept and honor them, once and for all, and be done with this whole “shortage of priests” problem? The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers needn’t be few, if the hiring party wouldn’t be so narrow-mindedly selective.
Blessings to you, and thanks for reading.
Signed, a Secular Franciscan who would do more if they’d let her
You’re not gonna like it but the challenge of the church is to work within our tradition. If we can’t do that we have agreed we can’t conform to the ranks of saints who have gone before us. Their way of life is the proven path to heaven. They are one with Christ.
Debts equate to confinement, another master, so we have to clear them. Debt free is a sign of integrity.
Male celibates are a sign that God comes first in the life of the church. Any church that tries to go forward with women ministers just doesn’t seem to fly. Same with married men, unless you are Muslim or Jewish, but Catholic Christians even still almost match them in numbers because of celibacy.
A celibate has God first, even in his or her most intimate life. That is what we ask of clerics or religious. If you can’t do that you can’t have that life. If the world can’t do that we don’t have the Christ.
It means we are likely hastening to the end of days. All your solutions mean ‘game over’. For those of us who accept that we are willing to take what Christ gives us with gratitude.
Did you see Fr Casey Cole OFM discuss his vocation? Seeing that, you see the gift of vocation to prefer nothing before Christ. And he has entered the bonds of faith in a family of the same calling. Their dedication in vocation gives them perseverance of the married and the priority of God lived in a context other than the Sacred duties of matrimony. They really do parent the church as alter Christi.
Pax et Bonum
God bless your vocation and those of us all
In this time of stay at home orders there are still those of us fairly new to Catholicism. My spiritual background was primarily Presbyterian. I was wondering about getting a basic catechism “class” posted rather than waiting to start learning it all until the pandemic is “over”. Of course attending the classes in person is best but I live in a tiny town and they don’t appear to be happening right now (and I am an older high risk person and shouldn’t attend right now anyway….) Or could you post a link if someone has all ready done it? Thanks so much. LOVE your videos and your ability to combine serious discussions with that sense of humor. Many blessings be upon you.
I just discovered your blog. Good work Fr Casey. I too am a religious priest, a Redemptorist. Our, my history during my 50 years professed, has been the same, All the seminaries that i studied in are closed. I worked in Puerto Rico for 20 years and parishes that I loved were given over to the diocese. Like you, anger, confusion, the whole ‘what was the point of all of this!” I returned to the States, and like your order, we were “retrenching” . Like you I don’t fault the superiors, and those who had to make the decisions, but when two of the parishes that I had spent 11 total years were “given back” to the dioceses, it hurt so much, I suppose it hurts because we love so deeply. I knew one of your friars, when I was in Delaware, Fr, Chris Posh. What an amazing man, and his death was so painful for all who loved him. ” God, can you be serious? Not him, not now, he was one of the best! ” No harder prayer than Thy Will be Done. No harder song to sing than, ” I will go Lord, if You lead me, I will hold Your people in my heart.” I grieve for you. You are grieving. A priest can never forget his first love, the people who embraced him and taught him how to be a priest, It is a real grieving process, with all Kubler-Ross’ stages. Be gentle with yourself. In my religious life every change, transfer took a big chunk out of my heart. Yet in every new place, when I healed, I brought all I had learned and began to make room for the new. Someone gave me a little plaque that I treasure, “There are no endings, only beginnings. ” I want to believe that even when I all I can feel is sadness, anger, and loneliness. Like you, except I am closer to the end of my journey than you, I struggle with hope. I look on my order, perhaps you too, like the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones come to life again?” I pray that your order that has given so much to so many for so long has a rebirth. Its happened before. Ronald Rolheiser in his book Against and Infinite Horizon has a “dream, a hope” that a new St. Francis will rise up again, guided by the wildfire of the Spirit of God, and capture the imagination of people to find a new way of living. Be gentle with yourself, grieve, talk to the people who have given you life. From an older brother who’s been there and done that…and knows how painful it is. Fr. John McKenna, C.SS.R. St. Mary’s Parish Annapolis, Maryland
It appears as if Fr Casey needs a prayer for humility. What ever happened to “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”? Instead of dwelling on how these changes make one’s life more challenging we only dwell on inconvenient
matters. Perhaps we need to think of Mary’s response to the announcement of God’s plan for her rather than ours . Thank You. Paul Laboda
Father, I’m sorry you had to deal with this trauma. Five years ago Aquinas College in Nashville cut most of their programs after I’d only been going there a year. It’d been my dream school and I felt abandoned by God. I feel so deeply for you because of this. I am confident that you’ll be led to greater things in your new home, or perhaps already have, given how old these videos are.