Thursday, March 16, 2006


UST Lenten Lecture

Last night at the University of St. Thomas Annual Lenten Lectures series
Msgr. James Anderson of St. Rose of Lima parish
(, and Mark McNeil
( spoke about
their journey of faith from baptism among our separated brethren with their
rays of truth, to the fullness of truth in the Catholic Church.

Msgr. Anderson's started in his journey after visiting a Catholic Church in
the early 60's for Holy Thursday as a young child. A particularly
beautiful mass under the rubrics the traditional missal, or so I'm told, as
it unfortunately is not celebrated in this diocese. The "incarnate" beauty
of the traditional Catholic church and liturgy connected with his soul in a
special way which prompted him to begin this journey. I wonder would
today's church buildings and liturgies engender the same response in
potential converts? In speaking with Msgr. after his talk we agreed that
it would be good to bring back this beauty which drew him in. I plan to
visit his parish in the near future to see how it's progressing under his

Professor MacNeil conversion was later in life, and based on more
intellectual theological reasons, but no less profound.

I asked the speakers to comment on Church hierarchy's present focus on
"dialogue" rather than "return", the response, particularly from Mark was
that it is time for the pendelum to swing back towards return, as it has
moved far too deep into the area of "dialogue". Mark suggests that
dialogue is an important first step in opening the lines of communication,
but it must have, as a second step the goal of returning the individual or
group to the One True Church. We ought to give special consideration to
this perspective from converts who have personal experience as protestants.

Msgr. Anderson commented that the Church no longer "hurls out anathema's",
in charity, I didn't ask what he felt has been the fruits of this change in

The remaining lectures in the series are:
March 22 "The Rite of Baptism from the Early Church to the Present" by Fr.
William Kelly.

March 29 "Does the Church Say Non-Catholics Can Be Saved?" by Dr. Paul

April 5 "The Theology and Ritual of Baptism among our Non-Catholic Fellow
Christians" by Sr. Madeleine Grace, CVI.

Last nights lectures was a significant improvement over the 'touchy-feely-cumbaya' meaningless rhetoric of last week's lecture. Other than that it was ok.
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