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October 8, 2017

TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

JMJ

A few years ago we had a guest speaker here at Holy Spirit, Roy Schoeman, who is a Jewish convert who had written a few books about the Jewish contribution to salvation history. As part of his visit he told his conversion story. It had many dimensions, but the one part that I would like to relate was an experience he had while visiting a friend’s house. The friend was Catholic. But before I tell you what happened there, a little background information would be helpful.

Roy grew up as a very devout and conservative Jew and almost became a rabbi. But he was also a very bright young man and decided to pursue higher education, first as an engineer and then as a businessman. He got his MBA at MIT and chose to remain on as a business professor. He really enjoyed the good life and his avocation was downhill skiing in the Swiss Alps. But as life continued, his relationship with God became strained by all of the distractions of his work and recreation. He began to get depressed. He lost all meaning in life. One day however, while walking in the woods on Cape Cod, God revealed himself. It was a turning point for Roy and began a journey of discovery in which he tried to find out the true identity of this God. And he said that he would follow him regardless if he was the pagan god Apollo, the Buddha, Allah, or the Hindu Krishna, just as long as he was not Jesus.

Shortly thereafter, he had a dream in which a beautiful lady appeared to him. He knew immediately who she was – the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The story goes on for several more years as Roy went down several paths that led to dead ends. He even wandered into New Age and occult practices. But the one event that I’d like to relate here is associated with Fatima, in particular the last apparition that took place on October 13 of 1917. Roy was visiting that Catholic friend when he discovered a book on the coffee table. It had to do with modern miracles. He had been thinking for some time that it would be so helpful if we here in modern times enjoyed some of the signs and wonders that his Jewish ancestors experienced back in ancient Biblical times.

Roy was paging through that book when he came across the story of Fatima. He was intrigued and amazed, and even annoyed, that he had never heard of it. His friend reassured him that it was a genuine event and that it had been documented in the media.

The conversion story went on towards his eventual baptism in the Catholic Church, and right now he is a professor at Ave Maria University in Florida. But the point of all of this is, of course, that this Friday is the 100th anniversary of the last apparition and we will be showing a movie that describes a modern miracle of Biblical proportions. It’s called The 13th Day and it will conclude our six month celebration of this very important apparition and mission where God sent his mother to give us a prophetic message of peace for our troubled times.

Let me conclude here with the prayer given to the three shepherd children by the angel of Fatima, in the year before the apparition occurred. It would be good to memorize it and pray it from time to time.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee. (To be repeated three times in reparation for the sins of the world.)

Addenda:

Recently I added a new link to our webpage which I think you should check out. It’s from YouTube and is called “A Guru or Jesus. Father Joseph-Marie Verlinde”. Father, like Roy, has a very interesting conversion story. It’s beautifully filmed in the French countryside where his monastery is located. Go to the “Media” tab on the top of our homepage and scroll down to “Father John’s Links”. You will find there a number of interesting video presentations of general interest, most of which have been provided by our parishioners. Fr. J

 

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