Monday, May 28, 2007

Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life Int'l at Assumption Grotto

Fr. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International was in this weekend as retreat master for the Helpers of God's Precious Infants on Saturday. Fr. Euteneuer spoke at all of the Masses this weekend and he celebrated the noon Mass on Sunday. He celebrated in a way that is familiar to Grotto-goers - ad orientem!

Fr. Tom Euteneuer, celebrating ad orientem, elevates the Sacred Chalice in this Novus Ordo. I was taken aback by this priestly posture the first time I experienced it on Pentecost of 2005. I shifted in my pew as if to seek the face of the priest when I suddenly realized it is the face of Almight God I should be seeking in the Mass.

Incensing taking place during a brief Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament following the Noon Mass - something Grotto-goers enjoy weekly. On nice days in the summer, it is held in the outdoor Grotto with a full procession.

Fr. Tom during Benediction, with Fr. Perrone in the foreground, along with altar boys with their celebratory white cassocks and red shoulder capes for Pentecost. They wore gold shoulder capes through the Easter season, and now will return to black cassocks and white surplice.

Fr. Euteneuer's message was one rarely heard from pulpits these days. He talked about life, abortion, and contraception. In some parishes, I've seen people walk out on sermons like these, but not here. For the most part, he was singing to the choir, but the choir always needs sound reminders about authentic Catholic teaching, and how to put it in practice.

He said that the culture of death is so entrenched in our culture that it is impossible from human standpoint to change it. But, citing examples in history, showed how God can work through the impossible with the miraculous. We can change the culture of death, but we need to start with change in ourselves, even if we aren't participating in it per se.

We must live virtuous lives, and be willing to make sacrifices. Prayer, fasting, and penance are things we can offer to change this culture of death. We can pray outside the clinics. We can pray in adoration chapels and in our homes. We can pray for the conversion of abortionists, those aiding them, the mother, the father, and the list goes on.

During the retreat, Fr. Euteneuer talked on exorcism and deliverance - the topic of a new book he is soon to be releasing according to a column just written this weekend.

You may also recall that not too long ago there was a controversy between Fr. Tom and Sean Hannity, which led to a national discussion on contraception and Catholicism.

I will be having more on Fr. Euteneuer's visit soon.

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