By Susan Matthews
As my son became an adult in the Church, I sat in the last pew contemplating whether or not to remain a member. I could keep my faith but leave the religious institution. I prayed for some sign that I haven’t been on a fool’s errand in my efforts.
My father leaned over and whispered, “Did you hear about Avery?” My heart sank at the short prison term, but the victims finally got to hear some small part of the truth exposed. My son took Anthony as his Confirmation name – the patron saint of lost things. By the end of the Mass I’d found hope, a slim ray of it.
Confirmation includes the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Wisdom; Understanding; Right Judgment; Courage; Knowledge; Reverence; Awe of God. We need this gifts more than ever in Philadelphia.
As my son climbed into bed, I explained how we are called to Christian action and the Holy Spirit will help him to know what is right. Sometimes what’s right may seem confusing but if he asks, “What would Jesus do? it will become very clear.
Our Church leadership is failing to ask that question or answer with their actions. So it is up to us – every member of the Church. The 99%. We can’t fail to speak or act. Children are depending on us.
Many of you have commented about the silence of clergy. Stop waiting for them. As Catholics, we believe all members of the Church are called to share in the priesthood through Confirmation. We are called to publicly profess the faith of the Catholic Church. Start doing it – with your neighbors, your lawmakers, your pastor, your bishops.
We are the Church – the clergy abuse survivors, the D.A., your children and mine. The institution is broken. We aren’t. I received confirmation of that yesterday.