Fr. Kevin’s Reflections on Listening Sessions: Part 2 of 4

This is a continuation of my reflections on the Archbishop’s summary of the Listening Sessions. If you missed past bulletin columns, you can find them online at under “News and Events” on the right hand side of the web page; OR can see previous bulletins at the same website and click on “Bulletins” tab.

Since the beginning of Christianity, the Church has always had to live in the tension between:

  1. How to remain faithful to all the Christ came to teach and reveal, and
  2. And how do we apply that to new and different questions, contexts, situations, etc. (especially those not explicitly addressed in Scripture).

Thus, over the centuries, Christians have wrestled with, discussed, and, most importantly, prayed through these questions as they’ve arisen.

We recognize that there are foundational, unchanging Teachings of the Church that will not change. That there is objective Truth, and there is objective Good (morality, right and wrong). These objective things do not change, and are not a matter of popular vote or opinion.

All that being said, while the foundational truths/doctrines are unchanging, some things that can change are things such as the particular way we articulate those truths. What can change is the prudential application in explaining those truths, and accompanying people who are struggle in various ways.

Example 1 – Regarding abortion: For example, the sacredness and dignity of every human person, from the moment of conception. While it is an unchanging truth that life begins at conception and therefore, abortion is the taking of an innocent human life (a grave moral evil), there are the challenging pastoral questions raised regarding situations such as rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother – although, statistics show these are not the majority of abortion situations in our nation.

How do we compassionately care for and accompany women in those places of fear, of deep hurt and abuse and of various other challenging questions around that? What do we do when it does seem we have to make a choice between the life of the mother or the child?

Or how do we compassionately and empathetically accompany women who have had abortions? How do we not come across as condemning, but show the deep love, mercy, and healing available to them in Christ?

On a different note, I remind you that there will be some opportunities to learn about prayer this month:

  • Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., St. Mary’s, Ackley
  • Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., St. Patrick’s, Hampton

And Sundays in March there will be a series on prayer in SPANISH

More on this next week.


– Fr. Kevin

PS: Check out our parish social media: or This past month features some various speakers and inspiring talks from the March for Life, which took place on Jan. 20.

Also, you can find there announcements of various upcoming events in our parishes.