Monday, November 5, 2018

Watch me tonight on EWTN's "The Journey Home"

Tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern, EWTN airs a new interview with me on "The Journey Home" with Marcus Grodi through its cable, satellite, and online broadcasts. I am grateful to Marcus and to the production staff for inviting me to speak about how I, as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, came to believe in the truth of the Catholic faith despite the abuse crisis afflicting the Church.

If you have found this page through learning about me on "The Journey Home," you may be interested in my books My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, Remembering God's Mercy (which offers Ignatian spirituality for healing of memories), and the revised Catholic edition of The Thrill of the Chaste. You may also enjoy listening to the many podcast interviews and talks available online in which I discuss spiritual healing.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Video: I participate in a panel on "Confronting a Moral Catastrophe"

From left, at the Georgetown panel Sept. 25: Robert Bennett, Karen Tumulty, moderator John Carr,  myself, and Kevin Byrnes.

I am grateful to the Georgetown University Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life for inviting me to take part in its recent public dialogue "Confronting a Moral Catastrophe: Lay Leadership, Catholic Social Teaching, and the Sexual Abuse Crisis." It was an honor to contribute to the discussion at Gaston Hall alongside Robert Bennett, Karen Tumulty, Kevin Byrnes, and moderator John Carr. A number of news outlets covered the sold-out event, including Catholic News Service, the National Catholic Reporter, and Crux.

Here is a video of the dialogue. My main contributions are at 31:20 (beginning with John Carr's questions to me) and 1:18:05.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Why would an abuse victim want to enter a scandal-ridden Church?

I discuss the abuse crisis and healing on EWTN News Nightly. Click here to watch the interview.

National Review Online's Kathryn Jean Lopez asks and I answer:
I intended to be anything but Catholic,” Dawn Eden Goldstein remembers. She grew up in a Reform Jewish household but “fell into agnosticism” in her late teens and become a rock-music historian in New York City. In 1999, she says, she “encountered the love of Jesus Christ” and became a nondenominational Christian.

Her impression of the Catholic Church was influenced by Christians who told her that its teachings were “unbiblical.” All her biases were confirmed when the scandal hit in 2002. On top of all the natural anger and disgust, her sensitivity ran deep, having been molested as a child.

And yet, today Goldstein is a professor of dogmatic theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and the author of My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints.

“I remember the moment I began to change my mind about Catholicism,” she recalls. She was at a meeting of the New York City G. K. Chesterton Society. “Somehow the discussion turned to the scandals, and I made some derisive comment about how Catholics disbelieved the reports of abuse that were then flooding the news media.” Goldstein was especially “irritated” after reading comments that tried to suggest that the scandals were really “a witch hunt orchestrated by reporters who hated the Church.” Her surprise came when the Catholics around her weren’t trying to look away from or explain away what was being revealed.

“They were angry about the abuse,” she says, “angry that such despicable and criminal acts were being perpetrated by their own priests, in their own Church. They didn’t at all want the abuse covered up, as I had assumed. Rather, they wanted it brought into the light so that abusing members of the clergy could be brought to justice and the Church could be purified.”

“It was when I saw ordinary Catholics who were furious about clergy abuse that I started to consider seriously the Catholic Church’s claim to be the true faith,” she remembers. “I entered into full communion with the Church in 2006 and have never looked back.”
Read the rest at National Review Online.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

I speak on EWTN News Nightly on the abuse crisis and how survivors can find healing

EWTN News Nightly yesterday gave me the opportunity to speak about the abuse crisis and to share the message of my book My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints.

I will soon be undertaking a teaching mission in India. Please click here to learn more about the mission and how you can help.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Finding hope at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy

If you cannot see the video below, please click here to view it on YouTube.

I will soon be undertaking a teaching mission in India. Please click here to learn more about the mission and how you can help.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

[Updated:] Seeking your support as I prepare to embark upon a teaching mission at the JP2 Institute in India

Update, 8/23/18: As of today, I have met my fund-raising goal for my India teaching mission and have some funds left over, which I intend to use either for a second mission there or for a speaking tour of Native American reservations that is currently under discussion. Many thanks to all whose generosity makes my mission work possible.

Original post follows:

During my years of study earning my canonical licentiate and doctorate in sacred theology, I dreamed of using my knowledge to help Catholics in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa, where there is a great need for teachers to help strengthen the rapidly growing Church. That dream is now poised to become a reality this coming January, as I have accepted an invitation to team-teach a three-week intensive course at the Indian Session of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences. I will be on-site at the Kerala campus from January 14 through February 4.

The invitation came through my friend Father Gregory Gresko, O.S.B., professor of theology at the Pontifical University Sant’Anselmo in Rome, and was confirmed by Institute Vice President Father Jacob Koippally. Father Gresko, who is originally from Virginia, teaches an intensive course at the Institute each January on a theological topic related to the Institute's mission of promoting studies in marriage and family. He invited me to team-teach with him a course on the indissolubility of marriage and I was delighted to accept.

Here is a letter from Father Koippally in which he confirms my invitation and provides details of my teaching mission.

Father Gresko and I will have about forty students in our class, including lay people, religious, deacons, and priests from throughout India and English-speaking Africa. Our course will be part of the Institute's canonical-licentiate program. (A canonical licentiate, which is issued under the authority of the Holy See, is the minimum degree required for teaching on the seminary level and is a necessary prerequisite for a canonical doctorate.) The language of the Institute is English.

Father Gresko (in white at center of back row) stands with his students at the Indian Session of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences in January 2017.
Fulfilling my dream of teaching in the developing world will require me to make certain sacrifices. For one thing, it will entail a significant amount of additional work, as I already teach full-time at Holy Apostles College and Seminary as assistant professor of dogmatic theology and chair of online theology degree programs. Thankfully, beginning this fall, my Holy Apostles teaching will be entirely online rather than on-campus, so I will have the freedom to travel. I will nonetheless continue to be responsible for teaching my online classes for Holy Apostles while in India.

In addition to the sacrifice of time and energy, there is another sacrifice involved, one for which I ask your help if you are able. The Church in the developing world is rich in faith but poor in material resources. For that reason, Western professors who do short-term teaching the Indian Session of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute typically pay their own overseas-travel expenses and do not receive a salary, although the Institute does cover their accommodations, food, and ground travel. What I am doing, then, is truly a teaching mission, a labor of love for my own professional growth and for the growth of the Church.

Today I purchased my round-trip airfare to Kerala, choosing the lowest business-class fare available; it cost $4,248. Normally I fly economy, and I thought about doing so for this trip. But given that the journey requires nineteen hours in the air, and given that I will have to dive into teaching soon after I land, it seemed prudent to choose a flight that would enable me to sleep well en route.

My other expenses for the mission will include a travel visa, acquire vaccinations, and purchase other items related to travel. I expect that, even with my food and accommodations covered while in India, my total expenses, including airfare, will amount to $5,500-6,000.

I have created a PayPal page for those who wish to provide financial support for my teaching mission in India. Here is the link if you would like to help:

My hope is that enough people will provide financial support to make this teaching mission viable for me so that I might return to the Institute every year. Who knows—perhaps, with the Lord's help and yours, I might also be able to teach intensive courses at other seminaries that would not normally be able to afford a visiting professor.

Whether or not you are able to make a monetary gift, I would be very grateful for you to support me with your prayers as I prepare to undertake my teaching mission. Everyone who supports my apostolate in any way is in my prayers every day. Thank you and God bless you.

In today's Catholic Herald: I write on the need for bishops to do penance

Today's online edition of the Catholic Herald features my op-ed urging the U.S. bishops to perform public acts of penance to start the healing process:
Something very important is missing from every statement issued by US bishops thus far in the wake of the allegations against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. It is something needed not only for the restoration of the bishops’ credibility but also, and more importantly, for the healing of the Church.

Given that the bishops form a college in continuation of the Apostles’ own, they need to take the initiative in summoning themselves, as a body, to public acts of penance for (1) the sins of bishops and all clerics, and (2) those who enabled or failed to act against such wrongdoers.

It is true that all the faithful need to examine themselves and repent of their role in failing to protect others, whether minors or adults, from clerics who abused their power. But if such repentance is to have its proper effect, leading to reparation and conversion of life, it needs to be modeled by those entrusted with governing the faithful.
Read the rest on the Catholic Herald's website.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Coming in August: a retreat on "St. John Paul II, Divine Mercy, and Healing of Memories"

Attention, women of the Great Northwest: I am leading a retreat for women on "St. John Paul II, Divine Mercy, and Healing of Memories" from August 24-26 at the Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center at the Palisades, Federal Way, Washington.

Through the wisdom of St. John Paul II and other saints, especially Ignatius of Loyola, I will provide a model of healing designed to help you accomplish positive change in your spiritual life, including:

  • Acknowledging your memories
  • Accepting that they change the way you see God, your fate, and other people
  • Allowing God to transform your memories by coloring the past and present with His story of salvation

For details or to register, visit the retreat center's website.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Catholic Answers signs me to write my conversion memoir

Speaking at Thomas Aquinas College, September 8, 2017
I am thrilled to announce that I have signed with Catholic Answers Press to write a memoir that will tell the story of how I went from a Judaism to agnosticism and Evangelical Christianity to find my home in the heart of the Catholic Church.

With Brian Wilson after interviewing him in August 1988
The memoir will share how the Lord reached me through the people I knew and the events I experienced, including my journey through the world of rock journalism and New York City tabloids. Tentatively titled Sunday Will Never Be the Same: My Quest for Infinite Love, from Rock to Rome, it should appear in the spring of next year.

It is an honor to join the wonderful roster of authors at Catholic Answers Press. I have long appreciated the vital work that Catholic Answers accomplishes in its media apostolate, and have been blessed to appear several times on their syndicated radio program "Catholic Answers Live" (most recently in February). Please say a prayer for me as I prepare to complete the book this summer.