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Catholics Come Home – From Apathy To Heroic Faith


Tom Peterson:
In recent decades,
millions of peoplehave drifted away from Jesusand their Catholic faith.Sadly, many may never
find their way back.
[music]I’m Tom Peterson.And I believe that God
has called me
to use my background in mediato be a catalyst
in the New Evangelization.
Our organization produces
inspiring and creative
evangelization messages
that have helped lead
hundreds of thousands
of inactive Catholics,
converts, agnostics
and atheists,
Home to Jesusand His Holy Church.Join us as we travel
across North America
to bring you stories ofheartbreak, redemption,and transformationas the Holy Spirit
leads His people Home.
God has anextraordinary
plan for each of our lives. He wants us to spend
eternity in Heaven with Him, and bring as many people
with us as possible.This is
‘Catholics Come Home.’
Now, I welcome you to my hometo hear their amazing stories.[music] Welcome to
‘Catholics Come Home.’ In this episode, we’ll meet a cradle Catholic who was born and raised in Cameroon, Africa. After moving to the US, this man drifted away
from the Church. While working at a gas
station/convenient store, during his university years, our lapsed Catholic
met a holy priest who helped him Home
to the Catholic faith and a priestly vocation. Like everyone else
in this series, today’s guest came Home
to the Church by responding to a call
of the Holy Spirit. I’d like you to
meetFr Henry Atem.[music] Fr Henry,
welcome to our home. Fr Henry Atem: Thank you. Tom: Welcome to the show. And thank you for
your Holy Priesthood. Fr Henry: Thank you.
Appreciate it. Tom: I love hearing
about people’s youth, where they grew up,
what their faith was like. So, tell us about
your young days. Fr Henry: Well,
I was born and raised in a small city in Cameroon
called Buea. Tom: And for those viewers
who don’t know, Cameroon is in West Africa. Fr Henry:
West Central Africa. Tom: Okay. Fr Henry:
Yeah, next to Nigeria. So, that’s where I was born, one of five children. My dad was a
university professor. My mom was a schoolteacher.And so, grew up
in the neighborhood
with a lot of kids.So, grew up
in an environment
where community was such
a big thing for us.
Tom:Sure.Fr Henry:
And it kind of defined
a lot of who we were
and what we did.
Tom:Part of the culture.Fr Henry:It’s part of
the culture. That’s right.
Tom: And was your
family Catholic? And were most of the families
around you Catholic? Fr Henry: Pretty much. I think most of the families
around us were Catholic. Cameroon is about
40% Catholic. Tom: And what other faiths
are popular in Cameroon? Fr Henry: A third of
the population is Muslim, to the north. And then, there’s
also Protestants, like Presbyterians and Baptists and all the other
Protestant denominations. But my family was Catholic, born and raised Catholic. I come from a very proud
tradition of Catholics. And so, the faith, especially through my parents, meant something serious
and important for us, growing up as a little boy. Tom: What do you
remember most that your parents imparted upon you about the faith, a family tradition, devotion, a particular saint, anything in particular you remember
from your childhood? Fr Henry:
Well, I think from my mom, it was a sense of devotion, so my mom was very devoted
to the faith. You know, she was
a daily Mass goer and things like that. For my dad, it was more from an intellectual
point of view. Tom: Yes. Fr Henry:
My dad saw Catholicism as being necessary in life, because he thought it gives structure to life. Tom:Yes.Fr Henry: So, for him,
it was very important. He looked at all the things that the Catholic Church had done in the world. And so, for him,
that was a big thing.So, he encouraged usto alwaysvalue
the contribution that the Church has made, and that was one
of the motivations why he stayed Catholic, why he always appreciated and lovedCatholicism.Tom:
You know what I think is really cool
about your parents? You had faith and reason
in the same house. Fr Henry: Absolutely.
Absolutely. Tom: That’s tremendous. Fr Henry: I could
actually say that. Tom: Yeah, and what
a good foundation. Fr Henry:Yeah.Tom: So, that was
your foundation. And you stayed in Cameroon and your life as a Catholic
went deeper. And that was the end
of the story. Fr Henry:
Well, not really. [laughter] We know. No, I mean, growing up
as a little boy, went through Catholic school through middle, grade school, everything and high school, and pretty Catholic, very involved in Church, altar servers. I belonged to a few
of the different ministries in my local parish growing up as a little boy. When I finished high school, my family relocated
to Georgia. Tom: Okay. Fr Henry:
We came to America, andthat was whereI think things kind of
changed a little bit.
Tom:A little culture shock
coming to America.
Was it more secular herethan you remembered
in Cameroon?
Fr Henry:It was.
It was more secular.
Well, secular
in the sense
thatit wasn’t as
community oriented as… Tom: Big city
versus a small community. Fr Henry: Exactly. So, I was kind of used to
a small community where in the community, everybody was connected
to everyone. Tom: You had accountability.
Fr Henry: Yes. Exactly. Yeah, where here you could do
what you want, and people may not
even know it. Fr Henry: Back at home,
that’s exactly was, it was like we’re all
brothers and sisters. It was like a whole
big community. The whole neighborhood, we all felt like we were one big family. When it was here, it was
more individualistic. I mean, everybody had
their own little lane they were walking in, and so, it was hard for me, it was such a difference, to kind of realign myself to that new way
of defining culture. Tom: So, did you eventually
stop going to Mass? Fr Henry: Well, I did. When we moved, my family
lived in Gainesville, Gainesville, Georgia. And I pretty much just, part of it was
the culture difference. I think it was
so hard getting, understanding the Mass the way Mass was celebrated. In Cameroon, it was
such a celebration. I mean, you know,
Mass in Cameroon… Tom:Festive.
Fr Henry: Yeah, very festive. It goes on for
a couple of hours. There’s singing,
and there’s dancing. Tom: So,
a shorter Mass here wasn’t [laughter]
more appealing to you? Like, I don’t get it. I could see kids going there, saying, hey, it’s three hours. What gives? But, yeah. You’re the first
guy who’s ever left because Mass was too short. [laughs] Fr Henry:
Mass was too short. Good point. Good point. But, no. I think Mass
wasn’t as festive as it was back at home
in Cameroon. Tom: So, you were
kind of bored? Fr Henry: Exactly. So, it was
kind of like, okay… Tom: And you weren’t engaged. Fr Henry: I wasn’t engaged. I didn’t understand
the culture very much. So, even homilies were
hard for me to understand, because I did not
understand the references that were made
during the homilies and things like that. So, I went to church maybe
a few months when we came
and I just stopped going.The other part of it too
was just money.
I started chasing money.I mean, I was all about…Tom:So, in college?
Fr Henry:…about the dollar.Yeah.Tom:In college started
chasing money, working?
Girlfriend in college?Fr Henry:I had a
girlfriend in college.
We dated for 3 1/2 years
of college.
Tom: So, up till this time,
you were working. Fr Henry: Yeah. Tom:
And something changed, where you met this priest… Fr Henry: Yeah. Tom: …while you were
working at a gas station? Fr Henry: At the gas station.
That’s right. Tom: At a gas station
convenient store. Fr Henry:
Convenient store.Yeah.Tom:And everything changed
at that point in your life.
Fr Henry:
Everything changed.
Everything changed.It was quite dramatic.[music] Tom: Coming up, you’ll see
what happens next in Fr Henry’s
journey of faith. Fr Henry: I started
thinking about the fact that, you know, there had
to be more to life than just going to school and going to work. There’s a soul and that soul also is in need
of our attention. Man: Should I try
to use my mind to figure everything out, or should I simply rely
on faith to understand? See, those who rely
on faith alone to view the world are not using
their minds to reason. And those who only rely
on reason to interpret reality are turning their backs
on the gift of faith.Well, the perfect solution
involves a marriage
of both faith and reason.See, God knew that we would be full of questions, big questions,
as large as our universe. And God created us
with intellects, to wonder, dream,
and philosophize. Yet, God asks us to
believe in some truths that we can’t see
with our eyes. We can arrive
at perfect truth when wechoose to see
with the eyes of faith,
while we reason
with our minds.
And our faith
can truly blossom,
when we explore it
with our mind.
Maybe St Augustine
said it best. [music] [upbeat music] Tom: So, Fr Henry, you’re a Georgia Bulldog. And you’ve got a girlfriend for 3- 3 ½ years in college, you’re making money, working at the gas station
convenience store, finishing up your schooling. Life is good. You’re not going to Mass. You’re living the American
secular life, and a priest walks
into your gas station and your life changes? Fr Henry: Absolutely. Tom: What happened? Fr Henry:
Life did change. Okay. So, Fr Larry Niese, his name. He came into the store. And he was going to
purchase coffee, milk, and things, andhe came and he put
the stuff on the counter.
And I was standing
behind the counter
and I was the store manager.And so,he forgot his
billfold back in the rectory. Tom: Ah, the old ‘Forgot
the billfold’ thing. Fr Henry:
Billfold, that’s right. That’s what I keep
telling him every time. I say, “Yeah, you forgot
the billfold alright.” Tom:
He did that when I went to breakfast with him
last time! [laughter] No, he didn’t. He’s a really good…
Keep going. Fr Henry: But anyway, so, he came back and he said,
well, he apologized. He said, he has to go
back to the rectory to get money and that
he will not be able to pay for his stuff and just walked in
with a, you know, kind of little pocket
of change. And I said, “Yeah, whatever,”
you know, but I decided to take care
of the stuff for him. Tom: That’s nice.
Fr Henry: Yeah. So, walked outside
with him to the car. And then he said, “You look like
a very nice young man.” He gave me his card. He said, “Why
don’t you call me?” And I said, well, you know, not been to church
for a long time. I don’t know if he
wants to talk to me now. You know, what’s
this all about? But anyway, and I
didn’t make much of it. So, I didn’t think about it, never called him
for a few months, until I had a priest friend
visiting me from Europe. He came to visit
and as a priest, he wanted to celebrate Mass. Tom:Ah!Fr Henry:
So, called Fr Larry.
He was so gracious
to this priest.
Tom:
And he remembered you?
Fr Henry:
He remembered me,
and he, and the guy came,and the guy was able to
celebrate Mass at the parish. Tom:Nice.Fr Henry: And then,
the guy left. And a few months went by. And I finally just said, you know, let me call him
and talk to him. Let me just, you know,
have a more general… Tom: What was inside of
your heart or mind at the time that prompted
you to do that? Fr Henry: Well, you know, I think I was getting
to a point where college was
wrapping up very soon. And I was almost midway
through senior year. And I was thinking to
myself, you know, okay, so after I graduate
from college, is this going to be it for me? Tom: Yeah, there’s got to be
more to life than this, huh? Fr Henry: Exactly. It’s like, you know, I didn’t go to church
and it was like, am I going to
just get a 9 – 5 job and just go to work,
go to home, go to work, go home and was that going to be it? So, I said, well,
let me call him, and just go have a chat
with him. Tom: Right. Fr Henry: You know,
so I called the office, made an appointment. Went, and we had
a little chat. And I think this is what was most interesting
about the story. The fact that when I went
over to talk to him, there was never a time he talked to me
about becoming a priest or about, ‘Have you
ever considered going to seminary?’ It never came up. Tom: He wasn’t selling
you on anything. Fr Henry:
He didn’t sell anything. Well, he sold something. He sold Jesus. Tom: Amen. Fr Henry:
That was all he sold. Tom: Praise God. I just got this
Holy Spirit shivers. Fr Henry: He sold Jesus. Cause, he kept telling me; and he used himself
as an example. He said, “You know, people
look at you as a priest, and they look
at the sacrifice you make, and they think that
you’ve given up so much, and somehow a lot of people think that you get so little for all the sacrifice
that you’ve given.”But he told me, he said,“Henry, the much,
I get so much
out of doing what I do.”
And…
Tom:He talked about
the adventures with God…
Fr Henry:Absolutely.Tom:…where you can’t
out-give God,
and he was doing it, not to convince you
to be a priest, but talking about faith. When you say ‘yes’
to God on faith, He rewards you
with so much more than what we put in. Fr Henry: And that was
precisely the path he took me down, because he even,
when we had conversations, and we had a whole
lot of conversations. Tom: Sure. He knew you were
an intellectual and he could talk to you
in that way. Fr Henry: Yeah.
He introduced me to a whole lot of books. He said, “You know, you need to read
some of these Catholic guys. You need to read
some of these guys who will expand
your way of thinking.” Tom: And you
were open to that? Fr Henry: I was
very open to it. I mean, I read
a lot of Peter Kreeft. Tom:
Oh yeah, Peter Kreeft, cause Dr Peter Kreeft
is a genius. Fr Henry: Exactly. Tom: He’s a blessing
to our Church. Fr Henry: I read
a lot of his works. He introduced me to some
philosophical stuff. I read a lot of that. Tom: Oh. Fr Henry:
And it made me think. You know, I started
thinking about the fact that, you know, there had
to be more to life than just going to school
and going to work. Tom:Yes.Fr Henry:
There is a soul and that soul also is in need of our attention. Tom: Amen. Fr Henry:You know, so,
that brought me back.
And hesaid, “You know,
when you get a chance, come by the church.” They had Eucharistic
adoration on Tuesday evenings. He invited me to that
and introduced me… Tom:
So, you started going, it started becoming
a good habit? Fr Henry: Yes. Exactly. Tom: And you suddenly
found yourself at home. Fr Henry: I found myself
just going to adoration. And, again, I was taken aback
by the sense of reverence and the sense of awe,
which was there in adoration. Tom: And you remembered
those things from when you were a child. Fr Henry: Absolutely. Yes. From my childhood,
as a Catholic boy. Tom: So, when did the
transition happen, Fr Henry, from coming back to
regular practice of Mass, and then discerning
priesthood? That’s a pretty big leap. Fr Henry: Well, so… Tom: And how did your
girlfriend feel about that? [laughter] Fr Henry:
That’s a whole nother story. But, when I came back, and I started
going to adoration, that was the first thing. So, he invited me
back to adoration, and I started
doing adoration. And then I found out that, yeah, I think I need to start going back to Mass. And the first couple of
times I went to Mass, it was one of those, you know, got there like
right after the readings and stayed there…
Tom: Oh, late? Fr Henry: …
for a little bit. Yeah. Tom: You were a Catholic. Came late, left early. Fr Henry: Left early.
Pretty much. And, you know, I came in
and a short while afterwards and I just said, well, like,
right after Communion. And I did not receive
Communion, cause I knew I was falling
so far off. Tom: Well, good for you.
Fr Henry: Yes. Tom: Good for you, you
didn’t receive unworthily. Fr Henry: So, I didn’t
receive Communion, but I just came there. And it was like; and I left and you know,
like for a lot of people, when you fall off the faith, to come back
into faithful practice, it takes a little while,
you know.
Tom: Were you one of
those people who said, “I’m not sure the Church
wants me back? I’m not sure God
can forgive me?” Or was your issue
something different? Fr Henry:
No, it was different, because I never felt as if being away from the Church, I never felt any kind of guilt. Yeah, it was just like,
I didn’t go to church. But, I never felt like
I did something wrong not going to church, you know, that was the sad part
about it. Tom: Yeah. Fr Henry: So, it was only when I started coming back, and becoming a
little bit more active. And I remember, one time, I came to church on a Sunday, and Fr Larry
gave me a cassock and a surplice and he said, “You’re going
to serve Mass today.” Tom: Oh, wow! Fr Henry: And I was like, “Well, I have no idea,”
you know. But he said, “Never mind. You know, they’ll show you
exactly what to do.” Tom: He’s bold!
I like his style. Fr Henry:
I’m telling you. Tom: St Paul, yeah. [laughs] Fr Henry:
So, and because of that, I was able to get in there,
altar serve. And that kind of made me feel more part of the community and part of the Church again. And even as a priest,
I try to do a lot of that. People need to be involved
in some tangible way. Tom: Yes. Yes.
Fr Henry: You know. Yeah. Tom: Well,
God bless Fr Larry for listening
to the Holy Spirit, not only to invite you,
and engage you, to not forget you, and then, to encourage you and invite you to adoration, to give you
intellectual books. And now he’s going,
“Here’s a cassock, come serve Mass.” That’s bold. But, the Holy Spirit was
giving him the nudge and he wasn’t embarrassed, or wasn’t shy about going with that nudge
from the Holy Spirit. Fr Henry: Absolutely.
Absolutely. And I think he planted
all those seeds, I think, in the right way
at the right time. Never any pressure. It was always just
very inviting. Tom: Yeah. Fr Henry: And I think,
as I said, at no point, throughout the whole
journey did he ever talk about the priesthood. It was one day I came and
I sat with him and I said, “You know, maybe, I think maybe I’ll try
to become a priest. I think God is calling
me to this.” Tom: That’s awesome. Fr Henry: And he said, “Well, I think God
is calling you, too. I’ve seen those signs.” But he never said
anything about it. And so, he said, “Well, I’ll put you in touch
with Fr Brian Higgins, who was Vocation Director
at the time. Tom: Excellent priest. Fr Henry: And, you know,
and we had a conversation and he said, “Okay. We’re going to get you started with the application process.” You talked about
my girlfriend. It was such a
heartbreak for her. I mean, which is
kind of expected. Tom: Well,
we can’t blame her. I mean, you know, I mean, you’re a good catch, Father. Fr Henry: [laughs]
Thank you. Thank you. But, yeah, but it
was a struggle. But I had to tell her. I mean, she even saw signs, because I started
watching EWTN a lot in Athens at the university. Tom: That’s kind of a weird
thing to do with your date. Right? [laughs] Fr Henry: [laughs] Right. Tom: I think it’s a great
thing to do with your date. Don’t get me wrong, but for a guy
who just came back… Fr Henry: Let’s
watch Catholic TV. Yeah. Tom: Yeah. Fr Henry: And she
wasn’t even Catholic. She was Protestant, so… Tom: Praise God for that. Fr Henry: But yeah, I started
watching EWTN a lot. And at the time, Pope John
Paul II was making a lot of trips around the world. Tom: Sure. Fr Henry: So, it was kind of
warming my heart a lot, coming back to the faith
and all of that. Tom: Was your mom
praying for you, and your dad, all this time? Like, was she doing the, you know,
St Monica routine for you? Or did she just know
you’d come back some day? Fr Henry:I think she did.
I think she did. Because, I think my mom
has always been faithful. And I think she recognized that it was so unusual
for someone like me, because even back at home
in Cameroon, the school I went to
was so very, it’s a Catholic school where a lot of guys who left
from the Catholic school went to the priesthood. Tom: Yeah. So, she never
lost hope in you? She just knew it was
a timing thing? And she trusted God
to bring you Home in your time, and in His? Fr Henry:
And His. That’s right. Tom: So, where did
you go to seminary? And tell us about that, and how it was to celebrate your first Mass. Fr Henry: Well,
seminary was great. I went up to
Mount St Mary’s, up in… Tom: Oh, excellent. Fr Henry:
…Emmitsburg, Maryland. Tom: Yeah.
Excellent seminary.Good holy priests
come out of there. Yeah.
Fr Henry:
It was beautiful.
It’s a beautiful
experience.
I had a wonderful time.Had a good set of
brothers over there.
There was such a
good balance between
intellectual
and
human formation and spiritual formation, which pretty much
is what we needed. Then I was ordained
a priest on May 31, 2008 by Archbishop Gregory. And I celebrated my first
Mass up in Gainesville, at St Michael’s,
up in Gainesville. And it was a
beautiful experience.I had about a thousand
people there for the Mass,
partly because
a lot of people
in the Cameroon community.Tom:That’s awesome!Fr Henry:Yeah, because
they had never had
an experience of a Cameroon
young guy
getting ordained before…Tom:Especially here in
the States, too, yeah.
Fr Henry:Yeah.
Tom:That’s neat.Were they wearing
their traditional garb…
Fr Henry:Roman,
the traditional…
Tom:Oh, I love that.Fantastic. Fr Henry: So, it was
quite a celebration. A lot of people there
and it was beautiful. And then,and just
such a joy-filled,
a joy-filled moment.[music] Tom: Soon you’ll find
out what’s new in Fr Henry’s life
and vocation today. Fr Henry: But, I think the
heartbeat of our parish, as a pastor, but also of Parish life, is Eucharistic adoration. [music] Man: All my life I was
searching for something that seemed to be
just one step away, the perfect soulmate,
the ideal job, that big adventure. And just when I thought I
found what I was missing, I realized that I was
never really fulfilled. Then, I discovered
what I was searching for was really faith in God
and belonging to a Church. You can find what you’ve
been searching for, too.Come and see at
CatholicsComeHome.com.
[music] [upbeat music] Tom:
Fr Henry, your mama never stopped
praying for you. God never gave up on you. Fr Larry had the boldness
to gently and lovingly invite you home. And I thank God all
three were doing that. And you accepted
that invitation and became a holy priest. And we thank God for that. And we thank you for that. Fr Henry: Thank you. Tom: Tell me now,
how is the priesthood? What’s parish life like as a pastor at St George
in Noonan, Georgia? Tell us more about your life
as a pastor there now. Fr Henry: Well, I could
not be any more blessed to be a pastor at St George. I work with a community
that truly loves me, respects me, supports me, and we have a lot of projects going on in the parish. This year, we are
preparing to celebrate 50th anniversary of the
dedication of the Church. Tom: 50th Anniversary! That’s fantastic! Fr Henry: 50th.
Tom:Wow!Fr Henry:So, we are
looking forward to that.
All the plans in place
to celebrate that.
We are also building
a new rectory
for the parish.Tom:Good.Fr Henry: The current
rectory has some issues.
So, the parishionersdecided to build a new one.So, we’re carrying out
that project. Tom: Oh, that’s fantastic. You’ve got your hands full. Fr Henry:
Got our hands full. A lot of work going on. But I think the heartbeat
of our parish, as a pastor,
but also a parish life, is Eucharistic adoration. I think that is one thing which I’ve introduced
in the Parish and I feel like the community
has really embraced it. They have really taken
ownership of it, and that has really brought
a lot more life, and you know, a lot more joy… Tom: Yes.
Fr Henry: …to the parish. Tom: And, obviously, I know you’re a fan of St Bosco,
St John Don Bosco, a fan of Chautard’s book, ‘Soul of the Apostolate,’ which all shows the fruit
that comes from a parish,
and a diocese that has perpetual adoration. Fr Henry: Yes. Tom: And you’ve seen
it in your community. And yourcommunity
is somewhat diverse.
Isn’t it?
Fr Henry:It’s diverse.Tom:You’ve got
different languages.
And you celebrate
Mass in Spanish.
And you teach in Spanish.
Fr Henry:Yes.Tom:And you
also speak French. Right?
Fr Henry:
French, that’s right.
Tom:That’s wonderful.Well, you’ve got an
international house
of prayer goingon there. So, that’s a good thing. What other things
do you promote in the parish? What other devotions
are big in your parish, that you feel strongly about? Fr Henry: Okay. Well, we recently started
Divine Mercy hour. So, every Friday
at 3 o’clock. I realize it’s not
very big at this point. But I think that there’s
a sense of devotion and consistency in the, in that devotion
that I think is really helping the parish. We’re also doing, on a weekly basis,
different things. At one point, we do like
a Marian consecration… Tom: Nice. Fr Henry: … and
different things like that. So, yeah. Tom: You’ve had a devotion
to St Philomena over the years, too,
haven’t you? Fr Henry: I’ve had a
devotion to St Philomena. Tom: Yes. Fr Henry:
She’s been my Patroness since when I was about
13 years-old. And she continues to
journey with me, even now into my priesthood. Tom: One of our
granddaughters, Hannah, has Philomena as
her middle name. And I remembered
that about you… Fr Henry: How beautiful. Tom: …that you had
a big devotion to… Fr Henry: Yes.
Tom: …St Philomena. So, we have to give
her credit where it’s due. Fr Henry: [laughs]
That’s right. Tom:Father, we have
just a few short minutes left.
What would youtell people who are struggling
with the scandals in the Church and that? And I wanted to bring you on, because good holy priests need to be put
in front of the public. We need to see that. We’ve got some real
apostles in our midst, who are carrying on that
tradition that Jesus set. And there are a few Judas’
who aren’t, there are a few others that we just need to pray for. But what would you tell
people who are struggling, seeing the nightly
news and this about staying there and…
Fr Henry: Staying there. Tom: …staying close
to Jesus at this point? Fr Henry: Yeah. I mean, I think there’s
a couple of things. And there’s a lot of things
that we could talk about, and different ways that all of this
could be perceived. And, first of all, you know, as a priest of the Church, the first thing you say is, you feel sorry
for all the victims. Tom: Yeah. Fr Henry:
Something like this should never have happened
to anyone, let alone coming from
the Church of Jesus Christ. Tom: Amen. Fr Henry: But, you know,
in the end, we look at all
the other people who are making an effort
to be faithful. Tom: Right. Fr Henry:
And we all do recognize that the one thing that builds up the Church, you know, when we profess
the faith we say, the Church is One Holy
Catholic and Apostolic. Tom:Yes.Fr Henry:
And those four marks remind us of the very meaning of our identity as Catholics, and that the Church is built on the Holy Eucharist. The Church is not built
on my faith, or on the faith of any other priest,
or any other person. It is built on
Jesus Christ Himself. Tom:
And what He taught.
Fr Henry:
And what He taught us. Tom: Yeah. Fr Henry:And that,
you know,
as bad and as scandalous as the times we are going
through right now could be, we always have to look
at the face of Jesus Christ.
Tom: Amen. Fr Henry: That face
that was bruised on the cross for our salvation, which, that face that was
standing there symbolizing the sins
of the whole world, that He’s the One
calling us to be faithful. It is not a priest
who did that or a priest
who did not do what. That is Jesus Christ,
ultimately that… Tom: Praise God. Fr Henry:
…that, you know, where everything
has to go back to. Tom: Father,
that is sound advice, and a great way
to end our show. I can’t thank you enough. I thank God for Fr Larry
inviting you back. I thank God
for your priesthood, your friendship, and serving,
not only your community,
but the whole archdiocese.Father, welcome Home.Fr Henry:Thank you.I appreciate that.It’s such a great
feeling to be back Home.
[music] Katie Warner: In 1622 on his deathbed
and unable to speak, St Francis de Sales was given a piece of paper and a pen, and asked by
the religious Sisters, who tended to his bedside, what virtue he most
wished them to cultivate. He wrote one word
in large letters: HUMILITY. Here are ‘5 Habits
of the Humble.’ First,you recognize
your littleness.
St Therese of Lisieux
was an expert at this.
She knew how small she was
in relation to God,
and embracing her own weakness
and littleness, believed that
she had the power to become a great saint, because God loves to work
with little humble souls.Second, you rely
on God’s mercy
.Just like He did
with little Therese,
the Lord wants to liftall little souls
to the heights of Heaven.
No weakness of yours is
too great for His mercy. Trust that. Rely on it.Third, you work to
squash your pride
.When you are tempted to pride,deliberately practice
humility instead.
Let me give you
some examples.
First, when you’re
tempted to think highly of yourself for something
you’ve accomplished, or some talent you possess, thank God instead. When you’re arguing
with your spouse, and don’t want to give in, practice self-forgetfulness, and focus instead
on loving your spouse instead of being right. When you want
to criticize others, refrain from the criticism, and perhaps even encourage
or compliment instead.Fourth, you don’t take
yourself too seriously
.Deacon Douglas McManaman
writes,
“The proud take themselves
very seriously,
but among saintly peoplethere really is a great
deal of laughter.”
Fifth, you pray for humility.It’s hard to accomplishgreat things without prayer.Get on your knees and
petition God to help you
become a humble soul.Pray with Scripture too, allowing God’s supreme example
of humility, becoming Man and dying
on a cross for our sins, to sink deep into your bones, and set your heart on fire with a Christ-like humility. And also, a Marian humility
that says to God, “Be it done unto Me
according to Your Word.” Tom:Here’s your chanceto get active in the New
Evangelization.
Visit the
CatholicsComeHome.org
website,and click on the Shop tab.Here, you can order a
Catholics Come Home book,
evangelization cards,a DVD of the evangomercials,or a car magnet.If you or someone you know
has come Home to the Church,
thanks in part to
‘Catholics Come Home,’
let us know.Or if you have a comment,question, or want to support
our mission,
e-mail us at[email protected]or write to us
at Catholics Come Home,
PO Box 1802,Roswell, Georgia 30077.Like us on Facebook,
and follow us on Twitter.
During his youth, Henry Atem was part of
a vibrant Catholic family and community
in Cameroon, Africa. But, after moving to the US, and attending university, he drifted
from his Catholic roots. Thanks to a holy priest, Henry not only returned
to the Church, but pursued a
priestly calling himself. Now he’s a vibrant and Holy Catholic priest
and pastor, bringing countless souls
closer to Christ. Thank you for joining
us on this episode of ‘Catholics Come Home.’ Please keep Fr Henry and his parish in your prayers. Remember to fulfill your role in the new evangelization and help love somebody
to Heaven. Male:I’ve gotta loveSomebody to HeavenI’ve gotta…

Otis Rodgers

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