Sunday, February 8, 2009

Catholic & Pentecostal Take Coffee

I'm finally trying to dig out my email's in-box. Theodore Frick wrote me back in September 2008:

Dear Stan:

I was sitting in a little coffee shop in Northern Minnesota, a town called Remer. (pop 500) A peaceful man sat at the church sponsored coffee shop and told me that Jesus Loved me as I entered the door. I smiled and said thank you, and was genuinely touched by his demeanor. I entered the coffee shop and was ordering my coffee when the woman at the counter told me to listen to the older woman who started talking about her Rome ministry and her meetings with both JPII and Benedict XVI.

Being a Catholic revert and the town's Catholic evangelist, I was struck by her sincerity and genuine respect for the Catholic faith, even though she was in this Pentecostal coffee shop. I ordered my brew and went outside on the deck to talk to her husband and was warmly greeted and he started talking about his praying in front of the Vatican.

He intrigued me and I started doing research about him, and then I found your blogs and your wonderful and clear writings. The man's name is Martin Lombardo and he has aged much since your photo from last year. I know this is a long rambling, but I really enjoyed your website and the articles you have written for Catholic Exchange.

As a revert to the faith, I want to thank you for making the toughest of choices to become Catholic. The Lord is using converts to put some fire into the pews. I am a Diocesan board member for the Cursillo movement in the Duluth diocese and have been dramatically changed by my encounters with converts. I will pray a rosary for you, and after reading one of your articles, I will put more feelings and concentrations into my daily rosary.

God Bless you

Ted Frick



Thanks so much for your kind and gracious message. It was great to hear that you ran into Martin up in MN. He gets around. Can I post your message to me on my blog? And thanks for your prayers. I'll put you on my blog distribution list, if you aren't already there.




Absolutely, I would be honored. I started reading more of your blogs and had to put them down as they were quite interesting, but I ran out of time. I am a lector at our little rural church and I was allowed to say, the reading begin on page so and so in the missal. Hopefully the parishioners would pick up the missal and follow along. The missal readings all have the scriptural reference on them. Some priests allow that, others do not. I wonder if our retention is better if we follow along or listen in reference? I am fascinated by the men who have the courage to change denominations. I am witnessed it a few times, but am amazed at how important your walk must be to you, to make that big of a change. I once told a room of Catholic gentlemen, that if someone could find more truth than the Catholic church, then I was obligated to follow, that is the kind of conviction we need. Ok, here I go again, rambling on. Have you heard of the Cursillo movement, or the Coming Home Network.

Again, I thank you for showing us the light.



Thanks, Ted.

I heard of the Cursillo movement decades before I became Catholic. My older cousin was a leader in Pittsburgh when I met him. I know Marcus Grodi, and one of my part time employees in the Coming Home Network on-line forum moderator, Dave Armstrong.

I got some significant flack from Catholics about my suggestion to get Bibles and follow along in the Mass. It depressed me because they regarded the Bible as a distraction. One of these days I'll write about the flack I received and how the Catechism tells us to venerate the Bible the way we venerate The Eucharist.

But my point in the blog about Bible reading in the Mass was an early step to get Catholics to read and study their Bibles on their own, daily. I figured the Mass would be a good place to start.



Dear Stan,

An old saying goes something like this. You never know what you have till it is gone, and those that have been spoon fed for long, tend to get lazy. One of the beautiful things about our faith is that there is an abundant harvest right in our own pews. Our little town has 500 or so people and 6 churches. Most people do not want to chase authentic truth, because (as you know) the cost may be quite high. Ok, here is a question for you. Since we now have 40,000 or so denominations, is it the responsibility of the worshipper to know what the church teaches and how severely will God judge us for being complacent? One such example would be a glaring one, the abortion issue. (I loved your Obama reference, as the black culture gets eliminated). If we are on the wrong side of that issue, is it a potentially salvation issue? If I believe abortion is no big deal, and I go to a church that teaches that, will my salvation be at risk? I believe that the answer is yes, but I need to work this through with someone who had the gumption to make the Tiber pole vault. So does believing the false teachings of a lost church an eternal choice? This really started to bother me when I was reading 1 Cor and Paul says? (weak paraphrase here) Are you a follower of Paul or Ananias? I heard that at Mass and shuddered, could we not supplant those names with the names of Martin Luther or the Wesley brothers? Again, you have piqued my interest, so I meander in the theological garden.


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