By Father Timothy Gollob
Pope Benedict XVI is retired, but not gone. The rumor has it that he is somewhere in the Vatican enjoying prayer, study and relaxation. The man deserves all three.
He is also not gone because I (and probably thousands of other priests) slip up during the canon of the Mass and pray for “Our Holy Father Benedict.” Old habits are hard to change!
But Benedict is especially not out of mind because of his writings and spoken words. As late as his general audience on Feb. 13, 2013, he reminded the pilgrims assembled that conversion is a very difficult task.
He pointed out in a special way the conversion of Dorothy Day. This American journalist of the last century confessed in her autobiography that she vehemently believed in the Marxist proposal that all ills could be solved by political activity. But God’s grace won her over in the end and she is now a candidate for canonization.
Then the pope made the statement that in our times we must think of conversions as the return of those who after a Christian education and upbringing move away from the faith of their youth.
Then one day the Good Shepherd knocks on the door of their heart and some open the door just a little bit and the spirit of God returns.
These words were very meaningful for those who were in the meeting of a diocesan gathering at Bishop Dunne Catholic School last week. It was labeled “A Taste Of Home.” The subject was how to get those who have moved away from the church to return.
Symbolic of the good, satisfying taste of the “Old Time Religion” was an excellent buffet spread. Symbolic of the joyous spirit in the church was the singing of the Bishop Dunne choir giving zesty witness by Gospel music. Symbolic of the difficulty of the task ahead was the track meet going on at the same time, which I could see through the windows of the conference room.
During one race, all runners were sprinting down the track. However, one girl was chugging along far behind. But she did not give up. She was determined to finish the race.
Nor can we give up on this blessed task to renew our church under the leadership of Pope Francis!
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.