There is a very special reason why I am alive and also why I was named Charbel. About halfway through my mother’s pregnancy, she bled heavily for about a week. Naturally, she became very worried and went to her doctor. The outcome of that visit was that her doctor made it very clear to her that the bleeding was not good for the viability of the pregnancy and that the baby, me, would have less than a 5% chance of surviving.
Last week I rang my local NSW State member of the Legislative Assembly to leave a message. Since he had been reported in local media as being committed to voting against a proposed abortion bill, I wanted to thank him and urge him to stay strong amidst the inevitable attacks that would assail his resolve.
There is much uncertainty in our society today. Confronting this uncertainty, the Catholic Church gives witness to its very particular view of the world.
Recently, I heard a priest addressing a large audience composed almost entirely of priests on the topic of the sacrament of Penance. He began his presentation, saying, ‘Sin is our (priests’) business.’
‘Our job,’ to lightly paraphrase, ‘is to reconcile sinners to God.’
A friend once made a pilgrimage to Ars in France, home of the fabled Curé d’Ars, St John Mary Vianney.
What fascinated me at the time, as a young adult, wasn’t so much his priestly ministry, which was impressive enough
The first priest I ever knew was Fr John Scarborough. He had already left deep impressions prior to this meeting. At this time he was on the verge of retirement and, though a towering figure, at least to me, he was always ready with a warm laugh, forever smiling, and the truest of gentle men.