May. 9, 2012
Upcoming Programs
I Believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church...and in One Baptism

As American Catholic Radio continues to explore the Nicene Creed in our Easter Season series, I offer my "pastor's take" on the meaning of Church, and sacrament as I lead the assembly in the Creed each weekend.

It used to bother me when Catholics critical of the Church would say, "Father, why does the Church tell us...?" I knew they were referring to the Church's leadership. But I wanted to say, "YOU are the Church!"

To understand what we are as Church, the Creed gives us four adjectives: one, holy, catholic, apostolic.

There is one way for us to really know Jesus and what he is all about,: in the Church, the sacraments, and the teachings of the Church. Though made up of many different people and expressions of Catholic life across the world, the Church remains a unity because God is one, and it professes Jesus as "one Lord," our way, our truth, and our life."

The teaching of the Church is reliable, because it is apostolic—connected to Jesus through his apostles and those who came after to continue the work of Jesus.

Being catholic means that Jesus is fully present in the Church and that it fulfills Jesus' command to carry his message to the ends of the earth. Although it is clothed in many different languages and retold in different cultures, this message of love and forgiveness remains constant.

In our time–as, sadly, in times past–it may be hard for some to call the Church "holy" because of the failings of some Christians. The holiness of the Church is more about what we are all together as Church, as the "Body of Christ." We belong to the Church in order to become holy, to share the life of Jesus through the sacraments.

When we think about these four ways to describe the Church, perhaps it's a bit easier to say "We are the Church."

As it celebrates the sacraments, the Church makes Christ visible to the world. Catholics understand deep down that they are as "Church" when they celebrate the sacraments.Our Profession of Faith in "one baptism" reminds me how much I love baptizing babies! It's such a visual sacrament, with the water, the fragrant oil, the white baptismal robe, the lighted candle, and the proud family members gathered around. A crying baby doesn't hurt the effect, either!

In such sacramental moments (including all the sacraments), we profess our connection to the life of the Risen Jesus. We don't always need the Creed's theological terms to explain how important it is to be joined to Jesus through Baptism and the other sacraments—although our weekly Profession of Faith in them is important!

As parents seek to give all of themselves to their children, as a parish community gathers to embrace its newest members (infant and adult), we understand how God's life flows through us. That life has power to sustain us. In joyful celebrations, we sing our gratitude. In sad times, we entrust ourselves to God's love. In moments of sinfulness, we seek forgiveness.

We don't need many more words to "confess one baptism" and thus to acknowledge everything that the life of Jesus, given to us in the sacraments of the Church, means to us. These powerful signs speak loudly!


Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
American Catholic Radio: Upcoming Episodes (#12-21 , #12-22)
Use the links below to preview the shows or download them in MP3 format for broadcast.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick talks with Barbara Cooper and Jeff and Jeannine DeGeorges from Long Island, New York. One parish has created a family blog to answer the call from Pope Benedict for Christians to "join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible." The blog enhances the communication within families about their faith and brings them closer together.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Dan Kroger answers three pastoral questions: Were months and years counted the same way in Jesus' time as they are today? Why is cremation permitted now when it was forbidden in the past? Do the Franciscans have Spiritual Exercises similar to the ones used by the Jesuits?

On Faith & Media
Direct from Hollywood, ACR presents Sister Rose Pacatte from the Daughters of St. Paul. Her mission is to help people of faith understand what we're seeing and hearing all around us. She's an educator, author, movie reviewer for the Catholic press, and she's won numerous awards for her passion to illuminate what's good in today's popular culture. Sister Rose offers insight on several important films about the Church.

Exploring Our Faith
Our guest throughout this Easter season is award-winning author and speaker, Mark P. Shea. He has served as senior content editor for Catholic Exchange, and is the author of numerous books on Catholic apologetics, most recently The Work of Mercy: Being the Hands and Heart of Christ, published in 2011 by Franciscan Media. In our Easter series, Mr. Shea speaks with John Feister about the various elements of the Nicene Creed, today focusing on the Church.

Minute Meditations
Barbara Beckwith reads from Making Sense of God: A Woman's Perspective, by Elizabeth A. Dreyer. This book is part of the "Called to Holiness" series published by Franciscan Media.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick speaks with best-selling author Nicholas Sparks about his Catholic faith and how he witnesses that faith in the media culture.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Don Miller answers two moral questions: Should a child always be brought to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for stealing? Why would the Church oppose using embryonic stem cells that were obtained from abortions, for research?

On Faith & Media
Direct from Hollywood, ACR presents Sister Rose Pacatte from the Daughters of St. Paul. Her mission is to help people of faith understand what we're seeing and hearing all around us. She's an educator, author, movie reviewer for the Catholic press, and she's won numerous awards for her passion to illuminate what's good in today's popular culture. Water, says Sister Rose, is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible and is a frequent visual motif in movies and on television. Why?

Exploring Our Faith
During this Easter season, we're taking a closer look at the words of the Nicene Creed, one of two ancient statements of faith used at Mass. Mark P. Shea, our special season-long guest and award-winning author and speaker, speaks with John Feister about Baptism, the gift of God's relationship with us. Mark's one-minute presentations, "Words of Encouragement," on various Catholic faith issues, are heard on Catholic radio stations nationally.

Minute Meditations
Barbara Beckwith reads from Reasons for Hope: Daily Readings, by Blessed John Paul II. This Servant Book is published by Franciscan Media.
 
 
Franciscan Radio
Link to audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, Sharing the Word and American Catholic Radio.
American Catholic Radio
A weekly half-hour catechetical program, in the popular style of the Franciscans.
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