The Catholic Church is wide, deep and universal. There are hundreds of millions of Catholics in every continent and country of the world.
The Church also is local, with every member joined in the Body of Christ, as I was reminded yesterday.
But to put this in context…I spent the first weekend of May in Pulaski, Wisconsin (suburban Green Bay) attending the diaconate ordinations of Br David Parker LC and his dad, David Parker. To summarize, the younger Parker now is a transitional deacon and will be ordained to the priesthood in December. The elder Parker now is a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Green Bay. (Read all about it here.)
This week I’m in Rome, supporting the communications around the International Regnum Christi Lay Convention. (The days are long and there is much work, but there are worse places to be for a week…Italians make great cappuccino, pasta, pizza, gelato…but I digress.) Romans don’t much care about the Packers and I doubt the folks in Pulaski care much about the fortunes of A.S. Roma.
From a geographic and cultural standpoint, Rome is a long way from Pulaski. But as the celebrants processed in for a beautiful celebration of the Mass yesterday evening, Deacon David Parker LC was entering with our General Director, Fr Eduardo Robles-Gils LC.
So there at the altar of a chapel in Rome were a Mexican head of a religious congregation and a newly ordained American deacon. Absent the uniting power of the Catholic faith and religious vocation, it is unlikely these two souls would ever have crossed paths, let along be involved together in the holiest of holy sacraments.
I admit that the scene choked me up a bit. As a convert who found faith difficult to accept, I never expected to witness such a scene; in the past decade, for me it has become rather common. I may be just one little man, but I’m part of something awesome.
Wonderful article on the universal nature of
our Catholic faith.