By Matt Janeczko, OFM Cap.
Another writer sent me this link last week when she saw it in the New York Times and I filed it away as “worth posting.” And so, well, here we are. It comes from Mark Oppenheimer’s “Beliefs” column. The lede:
The sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church broke into the news around 2000, just as Paul Elie was writing his book “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” His topic was the intertwining friendships of four great Catholic thinkers and writers, some of the best people in his tradition: Dorothy Day, Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor and Thomas Merton.
Meanwhile, he was reading, in the news, about the abuse of children.
When Mr. Elie published his book, in 2003, news of the abuse and the cover-ups was still coming. A practicing Catholic, and an alumnus of Fordham, a Catholic university, he felt that the only story people heard about his church was an evil one.
“I felt a pain about my tradition,” Mr. Elie said when I met him for an interview in Brooklyn last month. “Something was broken here, and there must be something in the way we tell our stories that could help to make it better. I’m in the story business. So how could I help to heal it, somehow?”
And so, Mr. Elie wants to tell the common stories of everyday Catholics. Pretty cool, huh?
Here at CatholicHow, we’d like to do the same, but with a small twist: we want to hear your ministry stories – successes, failures, surprises, disappointments, hopes and fears. Lay or cleric. No story is too large or too small. Our goal is to publish one a week. Submit them to email@example.com. Please keep submissions to 250 words; please include your name and a brief bio. If you’d like to remain anonymous, please let us know.