ALL ADULTS (single or married of ANY age) are invited to join the Avila Young Adults for a special night of PAINT & PINOT WITH FR. PHILIP (as our artist/instructor).
This event will be held on Saturday, October 12, at 7:00 p.m., in the Avila Room/Guadalupe Courtyard (within the Parish Office building at 510 North El Molino Street).
The cost is $25 if you RSVP or $30 at the door. Everything is included in this cost, including the painting supplies, the wine, and the hors d’oeuvres. Join us and bring a friend!
To RSVP, E-mail AvilaYoungAdults@gmail.com.
Women's Self Defense
WOMEN’S SELF DEFENSE CLASSES
Learn to block, escape, and get home safe. Program is for five Thursday evenings (Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, and Nov. 7) from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. each night.
FEE: $60 for the five weeks, plus a $5 registration fee (total of $65). No need to pre-register. Just come to the Parish Hall for the first class (about 15 minutes before class--6:30 p.m.
AVILA YOUNG ADULT RETREAT
For Adults in Their 20's & 30's (Single & Couples)
Retreat Theme:"St Therese: The Little Way in Today's World”
Date / Place: November 8 - 10 at El Carmelo Retreat House in Redlands, California
Led by the Discalced Carmelite Friars
PLEASE RESERVE YOUR ROOM BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18!
The Discalced Carmelite Friars and the Avila Young Adults of Alhambra and Tucson invite all young adult Catholics (singles or couples in their 20s and 30s) to join us for this silent retreat from November 8 through 10. The theme is “Saint Therese: The Little Way in Today’s World”. The retreat will include conferences, adoration, private prayer and reflection, opportunities for spiritual direction/confession, Holy Mass, Lauds/Vespers, and a Eucharistic Procession. It will begin and end with a social.
The fee is $155 per person, which includes two nights accommodation and six meals. Space is limited! To reserve your room, please mail your non-refundable deposit of $50 to “El Carmelo Retreat House”, Post Office Box 8067, Redlands, CA 92374 (must be paid by check or money order only (no debit or credit cards) made out to “El Carmelo Retreat House”).
Along with your deposit, please include your name, phone number, and your email address. For more info on the retreat, go to “Avila Outreach Young Adults" on Facebook or contact Dalal by TEXT at (619) 333-9619 or EMAIL at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about your deposit/fee, email email@example.com or call Nellie at (909) 792-1047.
ALTAR SERVER TRAINING
ATTENTION: All Boys from Third Grade and Up!
There will be another Altar Server Training on Saturday, October 19, from 10:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the church (includes a pizza lunch at Noon, including time for basketball). The training will be led by Fr. Philip and Fr. Matthias for ALL new and continuing St. Therese altar servers! Servers must be in the Third Grade or above and have made their First Holy Communion. Registration forms for new Altar Boys will be available at the training. We hope to see a big group there! For more information or any questions, please contact Fr. Philip at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 282-2744, ext. 222.
Carmelite Aux Fall Boutique
THE CLOISTERED CARMELITE NUNS' AUXILIARY ANNUAL LUNCHEON AND BOUTIQUE!
Tuesday, October 22
SAVE THE DATE OF TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22: The HOLIDAY LUNCHEON BOUTIQUE, put on by the Auxiliary for the Cloistered Carmelite Nuns, will be held at Holy Family Church (Connolly Hall, 1501 Fremont Avenue) in South Pasadena, on the above date. The schedule is: 10:30 a.m.: Boutique and Social Hour; 12:00 p.m.: Luncheon.
The donation per person is $25. To RSVP, send your check to Kathy Cardoza, 710 Lindaraxa Park, Alhambra 91801. For more info, call 570-9012.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS HAVANA CASINO NIGHT
The Alhambra Knights of Columbus invite everyone to their Annual HAVANA CASINO NIGHT in the Hall on Sat., Oct. 19, from 6:30 to 11:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and include $100 in game chips (for Black Jack, Roulette, Craps, Texas Hold ‘Em), food, a 50/50 raffle, prizes, and all the casino games you can play. The more you win, the more chances you have to win end-of-the-night raffles. Come dressed for the theme of “Cuba: Holiday Isle of the Tropics”! There will be a contest for the best dressed. TICKETS will be sold at the door or you can get yours in advance by calling (888) 869-3124. We hope to also be selling them after the Masses on the weekends.
Choose to play Black Jack, Roulette, Craps, Texas Hold ‘Em—or try your hand at all four.
St. Therese Church will host its second Open Chess Tournament for Adults and Students (Grades K-12) of any skill level. This event, sponsored by the Saint Therese Carmelite School (STCS) Chess Club, will be held on Sunday, October 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall—with the Award Ceremony taking place at 3:30 p.m. Delicious hot foods, snacks, and drinks available for sale on site.
The entry fee is $25 (cash or check payable to St. Therese School). Register by filling out the form below OR by going to the school or church offices during open hours OR by contacting the Chess Club coach, Franklin Teng, at (626) 241-6898 or Franklin.Teng@charter.net.
ADULT BIBLE STUDY
Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.
Study Guide books for our current Bible study, “The Prophets: Messengers of God's Mercy,” are available now for any persons wishing to watch lecture presentations online and do individual studies at their own pace. If interested, call Debbie Robles at 679-6370 to register, drop off a $30 book fee (checks payable to St. Therese Church), then pick up your Guide from the Parish Office at 510 North El Molino Street. For more information, visit www.ascensionpress.com or contact Debbie at 679-6370 or email@example.com.
You may still join us on Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m., in the Parish Meeting Room for our weekly Bible study..
Guido the Cathusian wrote in the 12th century, "Seek in reading and you will find in meditating; knock in mental prayer and it will be opened to you by contemplation.
FIRST FRIDAY MASS
The next First Friday Mass will be Friday, October 4, beginning with Mass at 7:30 p.m., followed by benediction. (Note: If we have an available priest, he will also hear confessions during the Mass.) You are also invited to continue praying in our Adoration Chapel following the Mass (open 24 hours a day).
FORMED: The Catholic Faith on Demand
St. Therese Church has purchased a subscription to the Catholic media website, FORMED.ORG, and is making it available to ALL our parishioners! Discover all the best Catholic content in one place: Entertaining movies, enlightening programs, inspiring talks, audio dramas, and a great selection of popular e-books--all just a link away! To register, click on the image below. Simply enter your name, your email address, a password, and your zip code--and get started enjoying all they have to offer!
November 9 and 10, 2019
WE NEED YOUR DONATIONS!
WHAT TO DONATE: All your unwanted Knick-knacks, Appliances, Baby items, Books, CDs/videos, Clothes (Ladies', Men's, Children's), Costume jewelry, Dishes, Electronics, Furniture, Home Decor and Housewares, Shoes, Toys, etc.—anything that will sell!
WHERE & WHEN TO DONATE: You may take small items to the Parish Office during open hours. If you have a lot of stuff or big items, please ring the office door bell and ask to have the basement room opened to put the items directly there.
VOLUNTEERS! We need volunteers from our School families, as well as from the parish—before, during and after the sale—to receive, sort, and price all the donated items. We also need volunteers after the sale to help box any leftover items for pick up the following Monday morning by St. Vincent de Paul and to CLEAN THE HALL!
DONATE YOUR DELICIOUS TREATS! Sweet treats and beverages will be available for purchase during the sale. Help us by donating items for this sale (cookies, cakes, pies, cupcakes, brownies, etc.—homemade preferred!)
SHOPPING HOURS for both days are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
CONTACT: For more info or to volunteer, contact Megan at the School at (626) 289-3364, ext. 661.
STRE - Ongoing
(For Elementary and High School Students and for Adults)
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION: If you missed this year's Orientation and would like to register, please call Rhonda Storey, DRE, at 284-0020, ext. 1--OR arrive 15 to 20 minutes BEFORE class starts. See the bulletin or the website calendar for upcoming class dates.
* STRE (Kindergarten through 8th Grade, including Eucharist Preparation): Classes are held twice on month on Sundays--from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, incuding the 11:00 a.m. Mass.
* CONFIRMATION (High School): Classes are divided into Year One and Year Two. Students attend one Sunday a month (9:00 a.m. to Noon, including the 11:00 a.m. Mass) and one Tuesday evening a month (7:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Parish Library).
* RCIA: Anyone wishing to become Catholic or to complete their Sacraments is welcome to join us! Classes are held in the Parish Meeting Room on most Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
JOIN THE 11:00 AM CHOIR!
The 11:00 Choir will begin rehearsals at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 21st, in the choir room. For more information, contact the Director, Charlotte Lansberg, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (626) 807-8611.
In order to take part in our Baptism Program, PARENTS & GODPARENTS are required to attend a class from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., in the Parish Library. The fee is $25. Your child will then be baptized on a Saturday (normally at 11:00 a.m. but subject to change). Check the calendar for dates.
SELECTING THE GODPARENTS: Canon Law requires you to have at least one godparent (may have two) who: 1) is at least 16; 2) has been Confirmed; and 3) is a practicing Catholic. A form attesting to this needs to be signed by a priest from the parish of each prospective godparent.
UPCOMING CLASS / BAPTISM DATES: To see the dates of the next classes and baptisms, click here X for the 2018/2019 schedule.
YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER! To do so, either call the office at 284-0020, ext. 1, OR click here (X) to download the REGISTRATION FORM. After filling it out, return it to us with your check for $25 for the class. We must receive your RSVP or the registration form before the class date. When you come to the class, please bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate with you (or mail it with the registration form).
LATIN RITE (EXTRAORDINARY FORM) BAPTISM: If you attend the Latin Mass and would like your child to be baptized in the extraordinary form, click here (X) to download the Latin REGISTRATION FORM.
For more information, contact the DRE, Rhonda Storey, at (626) 284-0020, ext. 225.
BRIGITTINE CARMELITE ROSARY
Prayed After the 8:00 a.m. Mass
The Rosary is prayed Monday through Saturday after our 8:00 a.m. Mass. We have recently begun using the Brigittine Carmelite Rosary instead of the regular Dominican Rosary. This Rosary came to the Discalced Carmelite Order through the travels of St. Teresa of Avila. While she was visiting a Brigittine Monastery in Spain (the Brigittine Nuns were founded by St. Bridget of Sweden) and there she learned to say their six-decade Rosary. It was later adopted as the Rosary of the Discalced Carmelite Order, with an added medal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Each Mystery in the Brigittine Rosary has an extra decade for an additional mystery. It has a total of twenty-four decades instead of the usual twenty.
The additional decades in each Mystery, all related to Mary, are inserted chronologically and are as follows:
Joyful: The Immaculate Conception of Mary (prayed immediately before the Annunciation);
Luminous: The Obedience of Jesus to Mary and Joseph (prayed first, before the Baptism of the Lord);
Sorrowful: The Pieta (when the Body of the Lord was placed in the arms of His Sorrowful Mother (prayed last—immediately after the Crucifixion); and
Glorious: The Patronage of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel (prayed immediately after the Coronation). The other mysteries remain the same as in the Dominican Rosary.
If you would like to obtain a Brigittine Rosary and a pamphlet showing the extra mysteries, you may pick one up at the Religious Goods counter in the back of the church for a free-will offering. You may also download the pamphlet by clicking here X.
ST. THERESE CARMELITE SCHOOL
Congratulations to our students for completing a successful school year! Have a blessed SUMMER VACATION!
WATCH OUR LATEST SCHOOL VIDEO,
"LITTLE THINGS"! X Click on the link "Videos" (from the panel to the left) for more videos.
Please contact the office at (626) 289-3364 or admin@sttheresecarmeliteschoolto arrange a SHADOW DAY for your child. See the school'swebsite for more info!
We encourage you to visit the school office to learn more about our wonderful school. Please feel free to contact us at (626) 289-3364 or by email at email@example.com.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY
Saint Therese Carmelite School (School), mindful of its mission to be a witness to the love of Christ for all, admits students regardless of race, color, national origin, and/or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, disability, medical condition, sex, or national and/or ethnic origin in the administration of educational policies and practices, scholarship programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs, although certain athletic leagues and other programs may limit participation and some archdiocesan schools operate as single-sex schools. While the School does not discriminate against students with special needs, a full range of services may not always be available to them. Decisions concerning the admission and continued enrollment of a student in the School are based upon the student's emotional, academic, and physical abilities and the resources available to the School in meeting the student's needs.
Vox Vitae Events
VOX VITAE EVENTS
40 Days for Life (September 25 – November 3): 40 Days for Life is the largest internationally-coordinated pro-life mobilization in history, helping people in local communities end the injustice of abortion through PRAYER & FASTING. Knowing that “with God, all things are possible,” people of faith and conscience unite internationally in 40 days of prayer and fasting. Come join us in this focused, 40-day prayer vigil held outside Pasadena’s PP, 1045 N Lake Ave, any day through November 3.
For more info about these events OR if you would like to volunteer, contact Catherine Contreras at (213) 395-8977 or Catherine@VoxVitae.org or go to www.VoxVitae.org.
PHOTOS AND/OR CERTIFICATES READY TO BE PICKED UP!
If you or your child received one of the Sacraments this past Spring (First Communion, Confirmation, or the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil), please come to pick up your photo and/or your Certificate from the Parish Office by October 15.
CATHOLIC KARATE FOR YOUTH AND MEN
ABOUT GRIFFON ARTS CATHOLIC DEFENSE:
Self-defense is about learning the value of the human person as given by God and applying mutual respect to yourself as well as any bully or offender. Knowing both how and why to protect that worth, and that of those around you, is important to a healthy lifestyle, great relationships, and providing a safer community. For more information, contact John Wrot at SenseiJohnWrot@gmail.com.
The following KARATE CLASSES resume Thursday, November 14, from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.
New Youth (Boys & Girls from 7 to 17)—Learn to defend yourself; understand why you’re worth protecting; and earn your black belt. Meet from 5:15 to 5:55 p.m.
Yellow & Orange Belts meet from 6:00 to 6:40 p.m.
Men’s Classes (18-60)—Learn to protect yourself and your family. Meet 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.
Classes are held in the Parish Hall; register on site. Please arrive 15 minutes early!
§ 1st Youth: $10 per week; 2nd Youth: +$7 per week; 3rd Youth: +$7 per week; Additional Youths: +$5 per week. Pay in full to save $1 per week, per kid!
§ Men: $10 per week, plus a $5 registration fee.
For any questions, e-mail John at SenseiJohnWrot@gmail.com.
*Please arrive 15 minutes before every class to REGISTER.
· Self-defense and
· Increased discipline
...and have lots of fun!
Attire: Come in sweats;
uniforms are available for purchase in class.
DADS & YOUNG MEN
· How to protect your wives and children
· Increased self-control & stress outlet
· Confidence and leadership
...all while getting a little more fit.
Attire: Your work or play clothes; no uniforms.
No prior experience required!
Good news: You do not need to be “fit”!
WEEKLY CLASS FEES:
· 1st Youth: $10 per week
· 2nd Youth: $7 per week
· 3rd Youth: $7 per week
· Additional Youths:
$5 per week
· Dads & Young Men:
$10 per week
$5 per student
COR JESU CARMELITE YOUTH MINISTRY
Cor Jesu Youth Ministry has its own link (see the links at the top of our web page).
WE'RE IN A RUSH... SO OUR KIDS CAN FLUSH!
Donations for Upgrading our School and Parish Hall Restrooms
We are seeking donations to upgrade both our School restrooms and the Parish Hall restrooms. These restrooms are almost 60 years old…which is…VERY OLD in restroom years. Please make it clear on your check that you are donating towards the restrooms.Thank you in advance!
We welcome anyone to attend who has suffered the loss of a loved one. It does not matter how long ago you suffered this loss or what your relationship was to the person (spouse, child, parent, friend, etc.). Please feel free to come and join this new group and meet new friends. You may have something to share that will be of help to someone else.
The Grief Support Group meets in the Parish Offices on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. For additional information, please contact the office at (626) 282-2744.
Pro Life March
VIDEO OF 2019 WALK FOR LIFE
Pro Life Pilgrims from across the Nation descended on San Francisco in January 2019 for the annual Pro Life March (click on the logo above to see the video, which was filmed and produced by Gobi Entertainment Productions on behalf of St. Therese Church). Catherine Contreras, the President of Vox Vitae at St. Therese, chartered two buses for our parishioners to attend (both were filled!). It was a wonderful life-affirming event. Stay tuned towards the end of the year for announcements about the 2020 Walk for Life! (Note: You can see Catherine in the video at 6:35 and 46:40.)
NOTICE REGARDING THE CHURCH BULLETIN BOARDS
The bulletin boards in the vestibules of the church (front of the church and the two sides, as well as the bulletin boards in the sacristy AND at the bottom of the stairs leading to the sacristy, etc.) are FOR THE USE OF THE CHURCH STAFF ONLY.
Please do NOT put any flyers, photos, announcements, etc., on these boards. Again, it is only for the hired staff to put things there. You MAY put these types of things in the little pamphlet/flyer boxes located in the main vestibule—on the walls on either side of the main church doors. We thank you for your cooperation and your understanding.
Presentation Chapel of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
HISTORY: In December of 2012, the Carmelite Friars moved out of the former rectory—freeing up a lot of space for other purposes. After much discernment, Fr. Philip decided to move the Chapel to the former rectory and to restore the current Adoration Chapel back to a Baptistry, as originally designed by the architect. A beautiful new Chapel has now been created in the spaces that used to be the priests’ dining room and Fr. Jerome Lantry’s room; it has been named the “The Presentation Chapel,” and is dedicated to the Loving Memory of Fr. Jerome Lantry, OCD.” (Note: Eventually, the Baptistry will be refurbished and will be dedicated to the Loving Memory of Fr. William Fenton.)
ELECTRONIC KEYS: Over the years, we have had security issues at night. To prevent these problems, Adorers using the chapel between 5:00 pm and 6:00 a.m. need to register for their own electronic keys (for a small deposit of $20 each). All registered users need to refrain from lending their keys and from allowing unknown persons to follow them into the chapel.
LAST PERSON IN THE CHAPEL?: A photochromic glass has been installed in front of the monstrance. If at the time you are leaving the chapel there is no one else in it, please TURN OFF THE LIGHT (LOCATED TO THE LEFT OF THE EXIT DOOR AS YOU FACE IT) on your way out. This will cause the glass in front of the monstrance to turn dark so that Our Lord will not be exposed in an empty room. Likewise, if you are the first to re-enter, TURN THE LIGHT BACK ON, and the glass will clear.
MAKE A COMMITMENT: If you haven’t already done so, please commit to coming to the Chapel at the same hour and day each week. The goal is to have at least two adorers signed up for each hour of each day (24 hours a day, seven days a week), so that if one is absent, at least one other person will still be present. To sign up for an hour, please call the Coordinators (contacts on the front of the bulletin). May God bless you for your dedication and love for Him!
PRAY FOR VOCATIONS: Ever since our chapel opened in 1988, one of its primary purposes is to pray for vocations to the consecrated life, in particular to our own Archdiocese and Carmelite Community. We thank our Lord that the Carmelites have been blessed with so many vocations that a new house had to be built to make room for all our seminarians!
GUIDELINES: Using the chapel requires following the Guidelines. If you did not receive a copy, you may read them on our website. Just go to MINISTRIES > PRAYER & DEVOTION MINISTRIES > PERPETUAL EUCHARISTIC ADORATION.
EXTRAORDINARY EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION TO THE HOMEBOUND
Would you like to minister as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion to our sick and homebound parishioners? You would visit them either on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday every other month—only six times a year. Remember . . . at some time in the future, YOU may need this help, too! If interested, please call the coordinators, Fred or Margaret Padilla, at (626) 282-0943. Thank you in advance!
If you would like to honor or memorialize a loved one AND help to beautify the altar at the same time, then take advantage of our Floral Dedication Program. You may choose the kind of flowers and the colors for not only memorial remembrances, but also for anniversaries, birthdays, engagements, weddings, baptisms, get-well wishes, etc. For each dedication, a notice will be posted in the bulletin (on the Mass intentions page) under “Floral Dedication” and will include your loved one’s name and the occasion. Bouquets start at $90 for two (we charge only the actual cost of the flowers). In order to schedule a memorial or a dedication, please contact Giovanna Setiady at 281-9049.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUSld-id
FIVE REASONS TO JOIN THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS: If you are a Catholic male over the age of 18, here are five reasons that will encourage you to join this great fraternal organization of the Catholic Church—founded on the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism: 1) The Heartbeat of the Knights of the Columbus is Service; 2) the Knights Support the Catholic Church; 3) the Knights support the Catholic Church; 4) the Knights are strongly and devoutly Pro-Life; and 5) the Knights are Faithful to the Catholic Church.
For more information, call the current Grand Knight, Frank Bodeman, at (888) 869-3124. Frank will answer any questions you may have!
NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING (NFP)
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."
KEEP CALM AND LEARN ABOUT CREIGHTON: Did you know that Married Couples benefit from learning about Natural Family Planning? And that NFP can be used to achieve or postpone pregnancy and to uncover and treat women's health problems or infertility? It can also be used to diagnose and treat repetitive miscarriage, infertility, PMS, post-partum depression, painful cycles, and so much more!
NFP hosts free Introductory Session of the Creighton Model Fertility Care System of Natural Family Planning. This session is for married and engaged couples or single women who would like to learn more about their health and fertility. To register or for dates of future sessions, call Jack and Katrina Crow at (626) 292-1906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; or for Spanish, Martha Lacayo at (626) 372-0808 or email email@example.com.
ADDRESSING ABUSES AND COVER-UPS IN THE CHURCH
Recent revelations about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s scandalous behavior have brought the emotionally sensitive subject of the priest abuse scandal back into the limelight. This scandal, as those revealed over the last couple of decades, was not due only to the fact that children were abused, but that Catholic clergy who knew about the improprieties failed to report the cases to the police. Combining other obstacles that people have about the hypocrisy of believers, Christian teachings on sexual morality, and a suspicion of hierarchical religion, this one is indeed a mountain. And it is impossible to get around or over it. The only way is to drill a hole right through it.
One strategy is to put the scope of the issue into perspective. The media coverage led many to think the numbers were far greater than they were. In 2004, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York to conduct a study analyzing allegations of sexual abuse in Catholic dioceses in United States. The study covered the time period from 1950 to 2002. The final report identified 6,700 unique accusations against 4,392 clergy, or four percent of the 109,694 clergy active during the period. Of those accused, only 252 were convicted, which is less than one-tenth of a percent of the total clergy.
To be sure, even these numbers are too many. But they do show that the scope of the scandal, despite the coverage it received, was very small—surely too small to be a basis for rejecting the Church completely. It’s also important to point out that this kind of problem is not confined to the Catholic Church, but it is found among Protestant clergy as well. In his book, Pedophiles and Priests, Philip Jenkins, a Protestant and expert in the study of pedophilia, writes, “The most-quoted survey of sexual problems among Protestant clergy states that some ten percent are involved in sexual misconduct of some kind, and that ‘about two or three percent’ are pedophiles, a rate equal or higher than that suggested for Catholic priests.”
Sexual abuse is not only found within the boundaries of Christianity, but is also a problem in virtually all settings where adults have care of minors. Consider, for example, the 2014 scandal concerning USA swimming coaches, ninety of whom were banned for sexual misconduct. In January of 2018, Larry Nassar, former doctor for the USA Women’s Gymnastics team and a sports medicine physician, was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing over 150 women over the past two decades of his practice.
The abuse of children is a horrible crime and needs to stop. There is no one that a child should feel safer with than a person who represents Jesus Christ. But to think this is solely or conspicuously a Catholic problem, which is the narrative the media created, is simply not true. For the same reason that we shouldn’t reject Christianity because some Christians are hypocrites, the presence of sinners in Catholicism doesn’t mean that the religion is false.
Let’s say you found out that certain doctors at several different hospitals were guilty of malpractice. Would you refuse to go to any doctor ever again? The malpractice of a few doctors doesn’t undermine the basic value of medicine—because we know that doctors heal people and save lives. Likewise, just because a few priests were guilty of spiritual malpractice doesn’t take away from the spiritual goods that the Catholic Church has to offer: the healing and salvation of souls. All the members of the Church, including its ministers, are sinners who are “still on the way to holiness” (CCC 827), and “always in need of purification” (CCC 827). Even Jesus teaches this on several occasions. For example, in His parable about the good and evil sower (Matt. 13:24-30), He says that the weeds will grow alongside the wheat until the Master comes at harvest time. But He assures us that the wheat will then be separated from the weeds.
To those who cause scandal in the Church, Jesus gives a severe warning: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a millstone fastened round his neck and be drowned in the sea” (Matt. 18:6). It’s important to recognize that the Church is made up of human beings like any other institution, and human beings are sinners. At the same time, the Church is not merely a human institution. It has Jesus as its Founder. He has promised that “the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18) and that the Holy Spirit will animate and guide it into truth (John 16:13).
These promises and others reveal that Christ has been and always will be with His Church, preserving it in the truth and life that is necessary for us to be saved. We don’t have to reject the Church just because one of the apostles was Judas.
In response to the abuses, the Archdiocese of L.A. began the VIRTUS program to help keep children safe. For more info about the program and/or to attend a class and/or be fingerprinted, see the Article above or contact our DRE, Rhonda Storey, at 284-0020, ext. 1.