Signs of Hope

by | May 31, 2024

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

May grace and peace be yours! 

Yes, we are gifted with the peace that the world can’t give—the peace that comes from knowing we are loved and that we are part of Christ’s own body and have his own Spirit living in us. The Spirit that raised Him from the dead will raise us also on the last day! It’s pretty amazing. 

As usual, a lot is going on. As much as I would like to stop commenting on the troubling things continuing to come out of Rome, people need to be reminded about the truth of the faith and what can and cannot change. Therefore, from time to time over the past few months, I have recorded YouTube videos dealing with such topics as a leading cardinal’s call for a “rainbow Church.” I’ve also discussed the slippery language of a recent document that claims it doesn’t change Church teaching on married love while slyly leaving open the door to normalize homosexuality by acknowledging it as a lesser love. A recent press conference also suggested that the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality should be reworded to better communicate what we are trying to communicate. That raises a question, however: What are we trying to communicate now? You can view my discussion of some of these concerns here.

The good news is that the Good News keeps getting communicated, no matter what. There are so many faithful, resolute brothers and sisters doing sacrificial service for the Lord. Just in the last few months, I have spoken at two Michigan men’s conferences in Bay City (pictured above) and in Plymouth, where hundreds of men heard the Gospel and responded. I’ve also spoken at the annual gala for the Chesterton Academy in Omaha, Nebraska—one of many new, parent-run, Catholic schools trying to faithfully hand on the faith along with a solid Catholic education. And then in Brazil, Scott Hahn and I spoke to hundreds of priests, lay leaders, and bishops, encouraging them to stand firm in the Gospel amid pressure to collapse its meaning into liberation theology or a fearful traditionalism.

Shortly before leaving for Brazil, I stayed at a seminary for the Neocatechumenal Way in the Archdiocese of Miami, where I gave talks for priests and lay leaders and received an award at their annual gala for my work in evangelization. 

And every day here in Ann Arbor, there are opportunities through video, personal meetings, and events to spread the Gospel. Many of us at Renewal Ministries are big supporters of Ave Maria Catholic Radio, which has offices in the same building as us. Recently, some of us were able to help with their annual fund drive by taking “shifts” during the week as special guests. I also have done Zoom talks for people in Slovenia and a Zoom talk for a class at the Franciscan University of Steubenville that is taught by Fr. Dave Pivonka, one of our distinguished board members. Speaking of board members, Bishop Robert McClory of the Diocese of Gary, Indiana, recently celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary as a priest, and some of us drove to Indiana to join him in a Mass of Thanksgiving.

My favorite event over the past months, however, was spending an evening with Catholic students at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. I was invited by FOCUS missionaries serving at the Catholic center there to visit with a number of students and give a well-attended talk that was followed by questions and Adoration. Even though I had to get up at 3:30 a.m. the next morning to get on the first plane back to Detroit in time to make our monthly faculty meeting at the seminary, it was well worth it. What a fine bunch of dedicated young men and women, those serving at the Catholic center and those being served! Several of those who I had dinner with had just come into the Church and were truly aglow with the Spirit.

One of the townspeople (only fifteen-thousand people live in Williamsburg) introduced himself to me as a Renewal Ministries Partner. I thanked him, and I thank you for our partnership in the Gospel. If you have not had a chance to consider becoming a formal Partner by establishing regular, monthly giving, please consider doing so. You can find more information here.

I pray that you will find signs of hope and signs of springtime amid the battle. 

Thank you for being a sign of hope! 

 

 

Ralph 

This letter originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ June 2024 newsletter.

About the Author

<a href="https://www.renewalministries.net/author/martinnick/" target="_self">Ralph Martin</a>

Ralph Martin

Ralph Martin is president of Renewal Ministries. He also hosts The Choices We Face, a widely viewed weekly Catholic television and radio program distributed throughout the world. Ralph holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome and is a professor and the director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He was named by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and was also appointed as a “peritus” to the Synod on the New Evangelization. Ralph is the author of a number of books, the most recent of which are A Church in Crisis: Pathways ForwardThe Fulfillment of All DesireThe Urgency of the New Evangelization, and Will Many Be Saved? He and his wife Anne have six children and nineteen grandchildren and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

2 Comments

  1. Catherine Reed

    Your Renewal Ministry is like a HOME REMEDY for me. Comforting, rejuvenating and edify all at once.
    Thank you sincerely!

    Reply
  2. Michael J Donnelly

    My question to those who seem to be adjusting the full consequences of denying
    the eternal damnation we incur when we deny the totality of Jesus promises.
    i now add my question to these people who seem settled upon universalism.
    I ask them : I assume then you treat Heaven and Eternity with the Lord Himself. ie you must see His justice as meaning that while Eternal punishment isnt really eternity, Eternal Heaven with the Father is limited just as is Eternal Damnation. You expect that when you enter Heaven, it may have limits as well – Heaven may go on for some period but for some [in justice] may experience the end of their Heaven

    Reply

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