FACING THE FUTURE WITH HOPE AND JOY +Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. Pontifical College Josephinum, 3.27.19
I’m glad to be here tonight for two reasons. First, I admire – greatly admire — theJosephinum and the men it produces. The Church needs you because we urgently need more good priests, men of prudence and charity, but also of spine and courage, who understand the changing terrain of our times. In my life, the priesthood has been a deep source of joy and purpose, the gift of knowing with certainty why God made me. But it’s not a life for the weak or the lukewarm. Especially now.
My second reason is this. Cardinal Pio Laghiwas a mentor and friend who showed great kindness to me as a young bishop. When you’re a baby bishop, everything is new and a bit intimidating. Cardinal Laghi’s encouragement made a great difference in my life and ministry. He gave me my first zucchetto, pectoral cross, and mitre. I’ve never forgotten the debt I owe him. Delivering these remarks in his name is not just a pleasure, the pleasure of being with you, but also an honor. So let’s begin.
I chose tonight’s theme because it sounds better than “facing the future with confusion and anxiety,”and angerfor that matter, because I’m tempted to feel all three of those things a couple of times a week. There are days when everyone in the Church seems angry. Laypeople and priests are angry with their bishops for the abuse scandal, which never seems to end. Bishops are angry with priests for their bad example. And many bishops are also frustrated – to put it gently — with Rome for its unwillingness to acknowledge the real nature and scope of the abuse problem. Clerical privilege is not the problem. Clericalism may be a factor in the sexual abuse of minors, but no parent I know – and I hear from a lot of them – sees that as the main issue. Not naming the real problem for what it is, a pattern of predatory homosexuality and a failure to weed that out from Church life, is an act of self-delusion.
Faithful Catholic education is under attack.
And since we just celebrated Catholic Schools Week, it’s a great time
to launch a counter-offensive that goes beyond clichéd cheerleading for
Consider what has occurred over just the last few weeks: First,
leftist activists pilloried Second Lady Karen Pence for volunteering at
an evangelical Christian school—one that upholds the same standards for
teachers that Catholic schools should embrace, when they are courageous
enough to insist on the moral formation of their students and the
consistent witness of every teacher.
Archbishop Chaput to College Students: Following God’s Will Is Answer to Dark Times ‘There’s some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for,’ he told them, quoting The Lord of the Rings. Catholic News Agency BISMARCK, N.D. — There’s a scene in the middle of The Lord of the Rings, a fantasy series written by Catholic author J.R.R. Tolkien, where the quest to destroy an evil, all-powerful ring seems to be utterly hopeless. Darkness and danger have surrounded and hounded Frodo, the little hobbit ultimately given the mission to destroy the ring, ever since he set foot out of the Shire, the idyllic and safe home he left behind for this quest.
This was the scene Archbishop Charles Chaput set for students at the
University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, as he spoke to them about
their vocations and the purpose of their lives Wednesday evening.
In a moment of despair, Archbishop Chaput noted, Frodo turns to his
most faithful friend, Samwise Gamgee, a hobbit who has refused to leave
Frodo’s side, and asks him whether it’s even worth continuing with the
seemingly impossible mission.
Sam says yes, “because there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap, the archbishop of Philadelphia, will present the 2019 Pio Cardinal Laghi Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 in the Jessing Center at the Pontifical College Josephinum, 7625 N. High St. His topic will be “Facing the Future With Confidence and Joy.”
Archbishop Chaput, 74, has been a member of the Capuchin Franciscan order since 1965 and a priest since 1970. He became bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1988, and archbishop of Denver in 1997 and was installed as archbishop of Philadelphia in 2011.
As a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, Archbishop Chaput was the second Native American to be ordained a bishop in the United States and the first Native American archbishop.
He is a co-founder of the national Catholic Association of Latino Leaders and helped in the founding of ENDOW, a leadership initiative of Catholic women. He also was instrumental in creating the Denver-based Augustine Institute, an independent, lay-run graduate school for forming lay Catholic leaders.
In February 2014, he was appointed to the Pontifical Council for the Laity by Pope Francis. In 2015, he hosted the World Meeting of Families and the visit of the pope to Philadelphia. He participated in the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome and has served the Holy See on several occasions. He also has been a member of several committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Pio Cardinal Laghi Chair was inaugurated at the Josephinum in 1992. At the time, Cardinal Laghi was prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. American cardinals and presidents of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops promoted the funding of the chair in recognition of Cardinal Laghi’s dedicated service to the Catholic Church in the United States.