Padre A’plas

stanley-rother-picFr. Stanley Rother was born and raised in a German-American community in Okarche, Oklahoma, but ended up as a missionary priest in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. Speaking almost no Spanish, and absolutely no Tz’utujil, the language of the local people, Fr. Stan arrived and immersed himself in his new community. This immersion transformed both him and those he served with love. Padre A’plas, meaning Padre Francis, as he became known, worked together under many difficult circumstances in the pursuit of justice and dignity.

516nNayXAiL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_On this day in 1981, he was martyred – shot in his own residence. While I had heard of Fr. Rother before (I know a priest who was in seminary with him),  I was not very familiar with his life and witness. Recently I had the privilege of reading an unpublished galley of biography of Fr. Rother. That book, The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, will be Continue reading


Santo subito? Santo lentamente? The next chapter…

Johnxxiii+and+JohnPauliiEvidence of the both/and nature of the church. Things are proceeding at their lentamente/subito pace, with dates for the canonization of both men scheduled for April 27, 2014.

This marks two adaptations – one is that Bl. John Paul II will be made a saint in record time for our contemporary era. The other is that Pope Francis has made it possible to move forward with the canonization of Bl. John XXIII without the required approved miracles.

Despite the feelings that I had regarding fast and slow, written about in a prior post (see  Santo subito? Santo lentamente?), I do believe that the dual canonization is a good and beautiful thing.

In the tiny speck of history that is our time, I suspect that future generations will see a profound symmetry and a call to unity in this action.

I am ever grateful for the presence of the current Bishop of Rome, Francis, who advances these things with grace and wisdom.  AMDG!

Santo subito? Santo lentamente?

santo-subitoThe cries of “Santo Subito!” (Sainthood now!) have been heard from the moment that Bl. John Paul II died in April of 2005. Now it appears, things may be moving forward, with a possible canonization on December 8, 2013. Typically, there is a five year wait before any work towards the beatification and ultimate canonization occurs, but Bl. John Paul II was put on a fast track, despite what was said, was his desire to the contrary. Others may also cry out, “Santo Lentamente!” (Sainthood slowly!)

jphome1As you might imagine, many people are thrilled beyond belief, and believe that this has already taken too long. Yet, there are others who are more skeptical.

ijohnro001p1It looks like there is a chance that Bl. John XXIII could be canonized the same day, bringing joy to some, and horror to others.

Bl. John Paul II’s case has moved so quickly, and Bl. John XXIII has moved so slowly. Some will complain that Bl. John Paul II should not have to share the spotlight with Bl. John XXIII. Some will complain about the same thing, but in reverse. Some Catholics will want to hurry Bl. John XXIII’s long simmering cause, and others will want to slow Bl. John Paul II’s.

Allow me to offer this observation… By canonizing both of them on the same day, the desire to assuage divisions between those who love either one or the other of these former popes may be met. Or not. Perhaps it will further inflame the divide.That there should be a divide is a very sad thing, but for many there is.

What do you think? Is there a divide? Or are we, as we are called to be, One in Christ? That’s the tricky part, isn’t it? And that in general, may be the best wisdom discerned from subito or lentamente; fast may be satisfying, but slow may make more sense – at least in situations, if not in sainthood.