|The New Evangelization is Alive and Well in Atlanta|
|Written by Sherry|
|Sunday, 22 June 2008 16:25|
Gashwin has a exuberant post about Atlanta's dynamic Eucharistic Congress:
"This was my first time. 25,000 Catholics. Perhaps 30,000. On fire! Man! Apart from the amazing shot in the arm such gatherings provide, it was just fantastic to adore the Lord with tens of thousands of others. I cannot emphasize just how powerful Adoration is, and how every time it hits me in the heart. (Sherry W has a great post up at the Siena Blog on the evangelical power of Adoration.)
And the phenomenal diversity of this Particular Church! I heard so many tongues! The roar when the Hispanics were first acknowledged! And even the Vietnamese!
And the entire place was steeped in personal, intentional, awakened faith as well, as well as the apostolate of the laity."
"The first main talk was by Fr. Tim Hepburn, a priest of the Archdiocese, who's recently finished a degree in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. What an Spirit-filled priest! He said that one cannot assume that just by being Catholic one has faith. Faith is an intentional response. It doesn't just happened. So many Catholics have an unawakened faith. "You shouldn't even presume that just because I am a priest, I have faith!" "If a mouse were to jump up on the altar during Mass and eat the consecrated Species, would it receive the Real Body and Blood of Christ?" (Yes) "But would it receive the Eucharistic Lord?" (No!) "The Sacraments are Sacraments of faith. The power of the Eucharist only works if we are properly disposed. "So many Catholics have the faith of mice!"
Hurray for Fr. Tim. He (along with Tim Ferguson of St. Blog's) was the reason I got invited to speak at Sacred Heart Seminary last October. The two Tims (one whom we knew from working in Atlanta, one who we knew from our many trips to San Francisco) spend a long time after class one day talking to Ralph Martin about CSI's work with the charisms (the subject had come up in class that day).
Atlanta is still at the top of my list for healthiest diocese I've ever worked in. Filled with lots of creative, confident intentional disciples at the diocesan level and the parish level. The renewal of the Atlanta archdiocese started with a lay woman who asked the previous Archbishop to sponsor Eucharist Adoration at the cathedral and then, throughout the diocese. It was the collaboration of that woman with her bishop that jump-started much of the good stuff going on there today and Adoration was the spiritual catalyst.
Someday, I hope to get to the Eucharistic Congress there myself.