Monday, July 28, 2008

Al Kresta on Bishop Athanasius Schneider.....

Cute ending to the interview that Al Kresta had with Bishop Athanasius Schneider on Ave Maria Radio a few minutes ago. Actually, the Bishop was already off air and the clock had ticked passed 5:00 when Al came back on after the break.

He said that a few seconds prior he had just wrapped up talking to Bishop Schneider off-air and felt like he just wanted to sit and think about the Eucharist. Before going back off air for a second he said he had to get his bearings back which was not easy after that conversation.

Yeah, Al. We know.
Myself and others I have spoken with following the talks His Excellency gave at our parish yesterday felt the same way. In fact, it was all working hard on me yet today, and probably will for some time to come. I spoke in that same post about the unexpected examination of conscience that began to happen almost as soon as his talks began yesterday.

Al Kresta, like the rest of us who have had the pleasure of meeting this humble, simple bishop from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, will undoubtedly continue to ponder his words. It's one thing to hear him on the radio or read his words. It's quite another to be in his presence when he talks because there is an air of humility that simply can't be captured. It has a calming effect.

EDIT 7-28-08 at 8:26PM: The archived audio is up on Al Kresta's page. I don't know how long this will be available online so listen to it soon.


I could have missed it, but I don't think the bishop explained the part of his background where the people in Kazakshstan - a former republic of the Soviet Union - sometimes went years between receiving the Sacraments, including Communion. This is because the priests were imprisoned. He said that when one was released and the people could finally have Mass, they fasted for days in advance, had Mass and a big celebration. Of course, many of those Masses were held secretly in some home.

You really have to understand his background to comprehend why he has such an intimate understanding of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Some might say that his words are not relevant for a society like ours where we have not had such experiences. I would say that the opposite is true. We can learn from our brothers and sisters in other countries about the very things we take for granted, one of which is easy access to Mass and the Sacraments.
I had mentioned in an earlier post that His Excellency traveled to Alabama where he celebrated Mass and then was interviewed for a future program. I still don't have the name of the program, but can tell you that it will be aired sometime in December 2008. I'll give you more when I have it.

More to come....

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!