Reconciling All Things

The purpose and mission of this website is simple: assist in the purpose and mission of the Catholic Church.

What, though, is the purpose and mission of the Catholic Church?  The seeming simplicity of this question is betrayed by the manifold answers it receives in modern discourse.  It remains, however, a simple question to answer.  The cacophony of understandings, and the ink (digital and print) that has been spilled proliferating them have led us to a point where the God-given mission of the Church has been obscured by unnecessary obfuscation (much like this sentence).

The answer I would like to propose is not a new one, and it’s not even mine (shout out to Robert Feduccia).  It is simple, but not easy.  It is Biblical.  It is centered on Christ, and only possible by the grace of God.  (Alas, I understand the irony of proposing an answer after proclaiming the question one that is over-answered, but I nonetheless wonder if I might allow for some clarity by returning to simplicity.)  The purpose and mission of the Church, and therefore of this website, is to reconcile all things to Christ.  Such a notion, however, begs brief explanation.

First, in truth, it’s inaccurate to say that this site will reconcile anything to Christ.  Only the grace of God can actually and effectively reconcile, but it is my hope that this site will assist the Church in re-acquainting all things with Christ, and that reconciliation will soon follow.

Second, the phrase comes from St. Paul’s first letter to the Colossians, in a beautiful 6-verse hymn on the person and mission of Jesus Christ (1:15-20).  Some translations, however, use “restore” instead of reconcile.  Admittedly, I have not taken the time to look into these different translations, but I prefer “reconcile” nonetheless, due to the relational aspect that it implies.  Any dumb object–any something–can be restored; only a relational creature–a someone–can be reconciled.  A Christology that fails to take account of the relational aspect between the Trinitarian God and Creation is a flawed one–hence “reconcile” on this page.

Finally, as Diocesan Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, one task of mine is assisting our Youth Ministers, adult volunteer leaders, and parents by providing resources to aid them in their vital work.  The wonders of technology are able to fill the geographical & existential gap that is a sprawling diocese of very busy people.  To that end, I’ll be using this site to provide four main resources, posted as often as I’m able (one per week?):

1) Catechetical blog posts, focused on issues at the intersection of theology, apologetics, and culture.  These will be primarily for the groups mentioned above, but not written exclusively for them.  It is my hope that anyone will be able to read, engage with, and maybe even enjoy them.

2) 5-10 minute Evangelization Videos, focused on techniques, strategies, and topics for evangelization.  If the New Evangelization is not to die out in a shrill sermon only the choir hears, we must take a closer look at why and how we are evangelizing.  These videos will hopefully do so, offering practical approaches to spreading the Gospel.

3) Book Reviews.  There is a LOT of literature out there, on various topics, and sifting through it all is a daunting task.  Even deciding what to begin sifting through is itself worthy of an Amazon Wish List 20 pages long.  Through reviews of relevant texts, I hope to help with this sifting process, and maybe even offer some topics to ponder for further engagement with the work of these authors.

4) Leader Resources.  This will be the only section of the website that will be relevant only to those involved in youth & young adult ministry.  Similar to the Book Reviews, the goal here is to allow for some pre-selection in the wide world of “Make Your Ministry Great Today (TM)” programs, services, and videos.

I am realistic about the meager amount of help that can be provided by yet another Catholic blog.  That said, I’ve seen trees of faith grow from mustard seed beginnings, and if the resources, dialogue, and ideas that arise in posts and comments here can serve to bring about a handful of those seeds, along with the means by which to nurture them, I have faith that the reconciliation of all things in Christ will be brought that much closer to fruition.  Whereas complexity tends to abound in mission statements, this one will remain simple and Christocentric:

To Reconcile All Things.

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