Video – Fr. Angelo – Homily #2 – Gaudete Sunday

By December 17, 2006June 11th, 2008Fr. Angelo Geiger, Homily
Loading the player...

Views 4054

Ave Maria!

Fr. Angelo preaches to a packed chapel on Gaudete Sunday. Many FI 3rd Order members were present for their meeting, which was held later in the day.? Christmas and the Nativity were covered.

Ave Maria!

Author apostolate

More posts by apostolate

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Joe Roberts says:

    Another nicely crafted lecture in Marian theology, Fr. Angelo. Thank you for that.

    One thing that occurs to me, with all due respect, is what may be the locus of some of the unreceptivity you’ve encountered in the days since the release of your review of The Nativity Story. Reading and now watching you hammer and hammer away at the Church’s historic teaching on Mary’s painless childbirth, I get the feeling that it does seem like you’re teaching a seminary or college class, not equipping rank-and-file lay people to evangelize and catechize the culture. You might try splitting the painless-childbirth hair in the much larger context of how Our Lady is a role model to wives and mothers, and St. Joseph someone to emulate for husbands and fathers. Isn’t that one of the main reasons the Church canonizes saints in the first place? For example, how did Mary relate to Joseph in that stable — and in the months and years after Jesus was born? Today’s women could use guidance like that. A Mary who is so far above them morally, spiritually and even physically isn’t so much a role model as an impossible standard to live up to. Is that what she wants to be to the women in her Church?

    I just feel like you might be majoring in minors, and a little too strongly at that — a fine thing to do if you’re versing seminarians or theology majors in the finer points of Marian doctrine, but questionably formative for people who will leave a day at your lovely secluded friary to return to hard jobs and manic marketplaces and messy houses and bills to pay and homes to fix and cars to repair and children who need so, so much. (If I’m not mistaken, I believe I hear kids in the congregation throughout your homily.) Not to mention the severe strains so many marital relationships are under these days. None of this ever seems to come up in your preaching and teaching. It’s just all theology instruction. Preached with a certain defensiveness, rather than joy, at that.

    I guess what I’m saying is that, just as The Nativity Story was a missed opportunity for some real Christian catechesis to take place, so your concentration on the film’s failings for Catholics strikes me as a missed opportunity to send disciples out into the modern world to help the Church “go and make disciples of all nations.”

    Stated even more simply, what would John Paul the Great do were he in your position of influence and authority over a band of lay singles and families? (Remember his camping and canoing trips? His talks were broad and open-hearted as life itself, an embrace of the wonder of being; they were never narrowed in on one facet of Church teaching — not even Mariology in particluar, broadly defined.) Might that thought be worth considering?

    Best wishes in Christ Jesus Our Lord through His Most Holy Mother.

    Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

  • Father Angelo says:


    Thanks for the constructive criticism.

    Perhaps you would be interested in the broader picture of our apostolate. I don’t think you could discern this from several vlog entries. Hence, I admit, we could have done more to introduce ourselves on AirMaria, but I never expected my review to get the attention it did. On the homepage we do provide a link to and, and a look there would indicate the broader approach our community takes.

    Permit me to comment on your remarks. You assume that we make no appropriate appeal to the rank-and-file lay people in a way that both forms them as Catholics and equips them to evangelize the culture. You also include in this deficit a silence on our part about the way that Marian spirituality should help couples to thrive in marriage and family life.

    In fact, the friars offer regular help to families on multiply levels. Many young families come for our First Saturday devotions, to our monthly meetings of our spiritual movement the Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix, and to our yearly picnics. We do in fact organize Father/Son camp outs every year. We also have men’s and women’s groups that meet twice a month separately to discuss very practical issues bearing on marriage, family, and civil life. Furthermore, many family men and women come the friars on a regular basis for confession and spiritual direction. People who know our community firsthand would scratch their heads at your objection. Our friary is not “secluded” from the real world. Many of the people you are concerned about, come here precisely for the help you deem so important.

    True, every preacher has to know his audience. My homily was presented in our friary to regulars who were prepared for it. Even so, most of those present had not heard of the controversy, so they did not deem it a “hammering away.” Granted, not everyone is going to be reached by the content and manner of my homily. AirMaria will have to utilize a variety of presentations in order to appeal to the widest possible audience. I will keep your comments in mind.

    In regard to the way in which we present our Lady, I would like to address two issues: accuracy and evangelization. To say that Mary is ineffably above us, “morally, spiritually and even physically,” is, in fact, the truth. As I am sure you know, the question of relevance is one of method, not content. Even so, if we decided what we should or should not say, principally on the basis of relevance, we would not be doing the work of the Church.

    Our Lady does not represent an “impossible standard to live up to” because She is not a static ideal or abstraction. In Redemptoris Mater, John Paul II’s monumental encyclical on Our Lady, he refers to Her “active and expemplary presence in the life of the Church” (1). The encyclical reintroduces into the public square the notion of Our Lady’s “maternal mediation.” Certainly, the sublime holiness of Mary will seem distant, unless we open our hearts to Her maternity. But what could be nearer to us than a mother?

    In number 44 of the encyclical the pontiff draws the connection between Our Lady’s role as model and mother:

    44. Given Mary’s relationship to the Church as an exemplar, the Church is close to her and seeks to become like her: “Imitating the Mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she preserves with virginal purity an integral faith, a firm hope, and a sincere charity.” Mary is thus present in the mystery of the Church as a model. But the Church’s mystery also consists in generating people to a new and immortal life: this is her motherhood in the Holy Spirit. And here Mary is not only the model and figure of the Church; she is much more. For, “with maternal love she cooperates in the birth and development” of the sons and daughters of Mother Church. The Church’s motherhood is accomplished not only according to the model and figure of the Mother of God but also with her “cooperation.” The Church draws abundantly from this cooperation, that is to say from the maternal mediation which is characteristic of Mary, insofar as already on earth she cooperated in the rebirth and development of the Church’s sons and daughters, as the Mother of that Son whom the Father “placed as the first-born among many brethren.”

    Though my presentation of Our Lady is often doctrinal, it is also devotional and pious as well. There is an appeal to the heart. That appeal is specifically to open one’s heart to Our Lady.

    The present Holy Father, in 1985 (The Ratzinger Report, Ingatius Press), when he was cardinal prefect of the CDF, affirmed the soundness of this approach. Marian devotion is a “piety which is no mere piety.” It is a pedagogy:

    ‘Mary must be more than ever the pedagogy, in order to proclaim the Gospel to the men of today.’ Precisely in that continent [Latin America] where the traditional Marian piety of the people is in decline, the resultant void is being filled by political ideologies. It is a phenomenon that can be noted almost everywhere to a certain degree, confirming the importance of that piety which is no mere piety.

    In regard to the question of evangelism you state: The Nativity Story was a missed opportunity for some real Christian catechesis to take place, so your concentration on the film’s failings for Catholics strikes me as a missed opportunity to send disciples out into the modern world to help the Church “go and make disciples of all nations.”

    Catechesis, evangelization and apologetics are all distinct modes of teaching the faith. Sometimes they may overlap, but no one can do them all well at the same time. My review and subsequent remarks were all clearly catechetical in nature. One of the main arguments from Catholics against either the content or methodology of my remarks is that they were not inclusive enough. This effectively is a suggestion that the formation of Catholics in their own faith should be subordinated to the broader concern of evangelizing the masses. The net effect of this is to have Catholics think like Protestants. In fact, those who took exception to my remarks were far more concerned about what non-Catholics might think, than they were about seeing Our Lady honored the way She deserves.

    I apologize for seeming defensive. I never expected such a reaction, but I have tried to remain objective and charitable in spite of the ad hominem attacks against me (e.g. on Mark Shea’s blog). It would not be entirely accurate, though, to characterize the overall reaction to my remarks as “unreceptive.” Many were glad to read what I had to say.

  • Steph says:

    Being one of the “rank and file” people I cannot stress enough the benefit, to our family and to us as a married couple, we have received from being involved with the friars. As Fr. Angelo mentioned, there is ongoing formation for men and women, as well as activities for families and the children.

    I, personally, enjoy the “lovely secluded friary” and am eternally grateful that we live close enough to take advantage of perpetual adoration, first Saturday devotions, first Friday with the Homeschoolers, the women’s discussion group and Cenacle Sunday, which includes the women’s group “The Holy League of Other Mary’s Guardians of Heart and Hearth” (which as the name implies does focus on Our Lady and teaches us how to become more like Our Lady). Being at the friary always boosts me up so I can go home to my “messy house” and to my 10 children that “need so so much” and truly strive to be a better wife and mother based on the formation I have recieved.

    If you base you “catechesis” on homilies alone, then you are sorely lacking in your formation. Though, I have to admit, hearing homilies from Fr. Angelo is always thought provoking and allows you to be stimulated intellectually.

  • Joe Roberts says:

    Fr. Angelo, thank you for your thoughtful reply.

    Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Mirror of Justice, Queen of Families, Virgin Most Prudent, pray for Fr. Angelo.