Fr. Dwight Longenecker is just such a good priest!

Here he is, writing to parents whose kids have left the Church.  He follows up here with more words of comfort and counsel.

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  • ForsythiaTheMariner

    Yes, he seems like a great priest. Thanks for sharing!

  • ivan_the_mad

    Work brings dignity and a sense of worth. It’s no wonder this applies universally to our endeavors, whether working to pay bills or working to further the Kingdom of God.

    I had a coach in high school who defined fun like so: “Fun is encountering a challenge, working to beat that challenge, and then beating it.” Wisdom for the ages, especially for spiritual development.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Read the comments to this article. Worthwhile.

    I remember reading an article a few years ago about why many Brazilian Catholics say they are becoming Pentecostal.

    Some say: Because the Pentecostal preachers tell us how to fight the devil. The devil is no bland theological phantom in countries like Brazil.

    And because, one dares say, of the passion and power of the Holy Spirit.

    When priests become functionaries rather than brave shepherds, they lose the sheep.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    Too many words. Too many lectures and philosophical exegetical discourses. Too much preaching about engagement without the engagement.

    Words like pebbles thrown against a screen.

    A priest needs to be like a chip drawn into a great maelstrom.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    This is the priest who rushed to interview Anne Rice when she supposedly came back to the Church.

    I’ll have to repudiate this post, because it is in fact detraction. And the detraction is based on envy.

  • Mark R

    He is right to a degree…People respond more to a challenge…if something is too easy, why bother. It does not help, however, that the parish and diocese structure in N. America is very bureacratic and coldly institutional. The parochial approach tends to the lowest common denominator. Parishoners can be subject to Fr. Whoever at the whim of the bishop. Nor does it help either that those of us who try to be doctrinally orthodox lack charity; I am bad here. (Really, the E. Orthodox have the worst rate of generational retention in the West, one wonders if it is just weak catechisis.) People really leave their Churches in the U.S. because you can almost have religion as you like it, or not at all.The upside I guess is that if the children return to the Faith, it is because the desire so.

  • Dymphna

    I was disappointed in these 2 articles. Yes, we need to make sure our children (and adults) have proper catechesis, but “all doctrine, all the time” as I am getting in my current parish (the priest reads from the CCC during his sermons!) is killing me, spiritually. It is this narrow-focused religion that drives people out of the church and something that I think our current pope is preaching against.

    • Bill

      Then your church is really exceptional in all senses of the word. Fr. Longenecker is absolutely correct.

      • Dymphna

        I am not suggesting indifferentism. I am suggesting a more pastoral approach. (Again, I am not suggesting a theological free-for-all, but balance.)

    • ivan_the_mad

      “something that I think our current pope is preaching against”

      This is not right. As a past pope put it, truth does not contradict truth. This is not a narrow focus, but first principles! The very things that this Pope emphasizes are ultimately grounded in the doctrines and dogmata of the faith, which this Pope has not failed to reference with regularity.

      If this is causing you turmoil, I would suggest you reflect and pray on it and discern what troubles you. Then, calmly, humbly, and with open mind, approach your pastor about it. It’s what he’s there for, to help you in your faith.

      • Dymphna

        Of course the pope is grounded in doctrine. I’m not suggesting otherwise. What I’m talking about are non-essentials that drive people away from the Church.

        To quote the Holy Father: “Think about a single mother who goes to church, in the parish and to the secretary she says: ‘I want my child baptized’. And then this Christian, this Christian says: ‘No, you cannot because you’re not married!’. But look, the Pope adds, this girl had the courage to carry her pregnancy, what is this? A closed door! This is not zeal! It is far from the Lord!”

        I’m also not suggesting that doctrine be thrown out the window. But, I really think that a balance of doctrinally-focused sermons with practical-application type sermons is what is needed.

        • ivan_the_mad

          I didn’t think you were suggesting such a thing. It’s clear that you feel some things there are being emphasized at the expense of others, which is why I suggested a talk with the parish boss.

          Consider also that not all talks need be given by the pastor. The parish is also constituted of groups and families. Why not take the initiative of your own accord? Start a study group to do just that. Invite speakers. I understand that some bebearded rascal named Shea has some good ideas about the works of mercy and is available to speak 😉

          • Dymphna

            Not at the expense of others, no. (Sorry, I misread you. You are right–I do think that some things are being emphasized at the expense of others.) Catholics go to Mass at least once a week. Why should we literally hear the same couple of sermons every time? Why can’t we have *some* sermons that are about the practical application of the scripture for the week, at least some of the time?

            Good idea about inviting a certain bearded rascal to speak! 🙂

            As for talking to the pastor, people have done that. He says that he “has to” preach the way he does. People have also asked him to refrain from reading aloud from long passages during his sermons, but he hasn’t.

  • Irksome1

    Strange to see Mark endorsing what appears to be the catachetical equivalent of “Click It or Ticket.”

    • Dymphna

      I’m not sure he is.

  • Rakhi @ Pitter Patter Diaries

    My favorite line? Catechesis should be more like boot camp than fat camp.