Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Sr. Helena Burns, FSP

Sr. Helena, fsp, is a Daughter of St. Paul. She holds a Masters in Media Literacy Education and studied screenwriting at UCLA. www.HellBurns.com  Twitter: @srhelenaburns

Why are our young people leaving the Catholic Church en masse? Many “panic studies” and “exit polls” have been done to answer the question of this gargantuan exodus. 

It’s that time of year again. The last Sunday of the liturgical year is a great and glorious day. It used to be known simply as “The Feast of Christ the King,” but has now been expanded to “The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.” Yes, please! 

As November is the month of Holy Souls, containing both the feasts of All Saints and All Souls — let’s continuously pray for all our beloved deceased. Why? Because there’s this thing called Purgatory, and you really don’t want to go there. Aim higher. 

The best sermon I ever heard was delivered by Fr. Philip Merdinger, the founder of the Brotherhood of Hope, a religious community dedicated to campus ministry. Father preached a retreat for us Daughters of St. Paul, and the gist of his sermon was: “You are not the most important thing in the world. God is.”

If you are feeling discouraged about the state of the world and the Church these days, please remember that hope is one of the three theological virtues infused into you at your baptism. St. Paul tells us that “…these three remain: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13); but perhaps the “hardest of these” can be hope.

Perhaps you’ve heard some recent rumours and rumblings from Rome about the possibility of the Catholic Church reconsidering, re-looking at, revamping, re-working or redacting Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), the 1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI on contraception (synopsis: the document says “no” to contraception).

I come from a family of lead-foots. I think we have black-and-white checkered genes. Nunhood made no dent in my “need for speed” heritage. So here are a few of my encounters with law enforcement on the roadways of North America. (Be it known that I’m always dressed as a nun. I don’t really have any other clothes.)

I don’t need to tell you that gender confusion is rampant among our youth today. Only 10 years ago, when I would ask an audience of adults or youth, everyone knew someone who was same-sex attracted, but no one knew someone who was experiencing gender dysphoria or identified as “trans.” Now everyone knows some young person fairly close to them in that situation: a son, daughter, nephew, niece, grandchild. Why?

When Dr. Lisa Littman learned that 80 per cent of youth showing up at “gender clinics” were females, she decided to investigate. She quickly named the phenomenon “ROGD” for rapid onset gender dysphoria, because, unlike typical gender dysphoria that begins in childhood, these girls had no discomfort with their sex until approximately age 12, and then suddenly decided they were actually boys.

It all started with a phone call. When the Daughters of St. Paul arrived in downtown Chicago in 1979, we were in need of a garbage pickup company. Why not continue with the company that had already been servicing our building? When the Sisters called Flood Brothers Disposal, little did they know the lifelong friendship it would kick off. Mike and Joe Flood were fervent Irish Catholics and…practical jokers. They first pretended to be atheists, but eventually came clean (pun intended) and began picking up our trash gratis, along with financially supporting our media mission.

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