Today’s Narrow Gate post is written by Matthew Tague, who is a Parousia volunteer. He is a revert to the Catholic faith, a Benedictine Oblate and resides on the NSW south coast with his wife Jenna and their two children.
The Narrow Path
A great sadness and shock for me, since my return home to Holy Mother Church, on the 21st September 2015, is that far too many Catholics don’t spend enough time learning their Faith.
It’s one of those areas that Protestants seem to have over us in spades. We also seem to forget that in order to find the Narrow Gate one must first find and follow the Narrow Path and this path can be very lonely in the Church when surrounded by bad Catechesis, moral relativism and indifferentism.
Such sombre, and at times depressing feelings, were NOT something I experienced during Dr Edward Sri’s “Love Unveiled” Australian tour last week!
I have long been a big fan of the work that Charbel Raish and his team at the Australian apostolate “Parousia” do, but when I heard that they would be hosting one of my Catholic heroes, I felt a strong desire to do more than simply attend the events.
I needed to serve!
With experience in retail and hospitality, as well as technical experience with live corporate events, my offer to volunteer my time was gratefully received by the wonderful team at Parousia for four days of the tour.
Dr Sri lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Beth and eight children. He is the co-founder with Curtis Martin of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), a professor at the Augustine Institute, has written 18 books, developed and presented in many Parish Level Study Programs and lectures on may diverse subjects including Scripture, Moral and Spiritual Theology, Mariology, the New Evangelization, Christian Marriage and the Theology of the Body.
I myself have read several of his books, watched his study programs and devoured every one of his weekly podcasts “All Things Catholic”.
To accuse me of being a super fan would not be far from the truth but what I was about to experience would leave me in awe and, if anything, an even bigger fan.
What I saw swept me away…
From the moment Dr Sri entered the venue early Thursday morning I knew something special was about to happen.
From greeting old and new friends; to presenting to hundreds of Religious Education teachers from the Diocese of Parramatta; to speaking for The Culture Project Fundraising Dinner; to hanging out with the youth until 2am in the morning; to speaking at retreats and enthralling multiple parishes, Dr Sri maintained his energy, his incredible presentation style and his obvious love for evangelisation.
He is a consummate presenter, a man of prayer, a man devoted to the Blessed Mother and deeply in love with Christ and His Holy Apostolic Church.
Venues were full, people were impressed and event hosts left with wide grins of elation. But it was in speaking with the participants of Dr Sri’s presentations, the normal everyday Catholics from the pews, that really swept me away.
I saw people hungry for good catechesis and revelling in Christian fellowship.
Time and again, I witnessed faithful Catholics agonising over which of Dr Sri’s books to purchase or which study programs would suit their Bible Study Groups.
Marching Towards the Narrow Gate
I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit alive and vibrant in every person, conversation and purchase.
I sit here now recalling my four days with Dr Sri and the Parousia team and I don’t feel alone.
I stand on the Narrow Path, shoulder to shoulder with my brothers and sisters in Christ, marching forward toward the Narrow Gate; toward our great Redeemer.
May Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless Dr Sri and his family, and all the staff at Parousia richly. May your work be ever fruitful for the harvest of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Matthew-Hermann Tague Obl. O.S.B.
Who are your Catholic Heroes?