1997 Nov 23 Christ the King Sun (Bulletin Letters)
Pilate said to Jesus, “Truth? What is truth?” Jn 18/38
Fr. Frank’s Travel Log….
My trip to Las Vegas , NV, for the National Catholic Worker celebration of Dorothy Day’s 100th Birthday, was a great success. About 350 Catholic Workers from all over the country attended the weekend celebration.
The most interesting and fun thing about the weekend was meeting the people who attended, many of them old and dear friends. The most exciting thing about the gathering was the younger age of many of the participants. At least half the folks attending the gathering were under 40 years old and there were many young children in attendance. This testifies to the growing number of families and young people who are joining the movement.
The high point of the weekend for me came Sunday morning when we car caravanned 65 miles NQ of Las Vegas to the main entrance of the U.S. Nuclear Test Site for our concluding liturgy and an en masse “line crossing”. I was privileged to be one of the two presiders for this special service that took place just outside the test site’s main gate. I shared a presiding role with Cindy Pile, a woman from Oakland, CA, who has her Master’s in Divinity degree and calls herself a “priest in waiting”. I also got to give the homily, a real treat and challenge for me.
Right after the liturgy, we proceeded to the main gate of the test site and 150 Catholic Workers crossed over onto US Government property. We were held in two large open fenced-in pen – one for men, the other for women.
Shortly after all were arrested and placed in the holding pens, the police started taking us out one at a time and giving each of us a “misdemeanor citation” that can either be taken care of, by paying a $315 fine, or by appearing in court at a later date.
At this point in the campaign, no one pays the fine and no one shows up for court – the charges are routinely dropped by the local county authorities before the court date arrives.
My trip to Detroit, MI, and the annual National Call to Action ( CTA) Conference, was also a great success. I was very hapy with my two presentations of my talk, “Following the Nonviolent Jesus – a call for a Resistance Church”. I got a lot of good feedback from many people.
The best part of the weekend was meeting and sharing with CTA folks from all over the country. Working for Church reform can be a very lonely and discouraging endeavor these days. Just getting together with others who share the same vision and hope for the Church was an empowering and spirit lifting experience.
One thing I did find interesting was that local CTA groups are treated differently in different diocese. In some diocese, CTA groups are even welcomed and allowed to use Catholic Church property.
This is true in the Diocese of Saginaw, MI. That is why I welcomed an ivite from the Saginaw Catholic Worker community to come visit and talk at their Catholic Worker Monday night after the Detroit CTA Conference.
While in Saginaw, I also got to visit the Diocesan Offices. I was invited to share at a noon “round table discussion” for disocesan employees. They asked me to talk about my struggle for reform in the Catholic Church and why I stay in the priesthood. About ten diocesan employees attended.
At the Catholic Worker, Monday night, over twenty people showed up for my talk. We were honoured that Bishop Ken Untner was one of the people who attended.
Apologizing for missed funerals.
I am very sorry I missed the funerals of Ed Shurman and Ferdinand Knochel. I am grateful that Fr. Kevin Cameron and Fr. Frank Palmer were able to cover for me in my absence. Missing someone’s death and funeral is always a grave concern of mine whenever I am away from the parish. Sometimes it can not be helped. This was one of those times. Thanks to all who helped put together the funeral services and lunches.