Dr. Ralph Martin gives a talk on “Mercy and Mission: Living as a Catholic in Challenging Times” on April 20 at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Center in Madison — part of the semi-annual St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture Series. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)
MADISON -- “Seventeen hundred years of Christian culture is collapsing before our eyes,” Dr. Ralph Martin warned in his talk, “Mercy and Mission: Living as a Catholic in Challenging Times.”
Dr. Martin was the guest speaker for the semi-annual St. Thérèse of Lisieux Lecture at the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Center in Madison on April 20.
He is president of Renewal Ministries and an associate professor of theology and director of Graduate Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit.
He is the author of a number of books, the most recent of which are The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call; The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints; and ed? What Vatican II Actually Teaches Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization.
Living with challenges
“We’re living in something like a big apostasy, whether it’s the [Great] apostasy or not, I don’t know,” he added. He cited the decreasing numbers in Mass attendance, vocations to the priesthood and Religious Life, and Baptisms and other sacramental practices.
The “Great Apostasy” Dr. Martin referenced is one of the events St. Paul said has to happen before Christ comes again -- a “a turning away of the faith on the part of those who once had faith.”
Another event is a time of unrestrained evil and lawlessness.
MADISON -- “Built on a Rock” is the theme of the Madison Diocesan Choir’s Spring Concert to be presented on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. in the chapel of the Bishop O’Connor Catholic Center, 702 S. High Point Rd.
Choir Director Dr. Patrick Gorman said the theme points to Christ as our rock and the cornerstone of our faith as we look forward to our heavenly home. “We’ve taken the theme, ‘Built on a Rock,’ and selected Scripture readings and songs based on the theme,” he said.
ASHTON -- "I want to talk to you today about something very special that we can pray about," said Grace Mazza Urbanski, director of children's ministry for the Apostleship of Prayer, to students at St. Peter School in Ashton.
That "very special thing" was mercy.
"We're going to pretend we are mercy walking through the world," Urbanski said.
The Apostleship of Prayer, based in Milwaukee, encourages Christians to make a daily offering of themselves to the Lord for the coming of God's Kingdom and for the Holy Father's monthly intentions.