Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Preparing for a life in the service of others

by Dan McAloon from Catholic Outlook (Australia)

Andrew Bass, who is to be ordained a deacon in St Patrick's Cathedral on 7 December 2007, said that his journey to priesthood has been about discovering the constancy of Christ in a life that has seen him move through many countries and cultural experiences ... In retrospect, he sees this experience of being a Christian in an Arab country as a "transformative experience" in his Catholic faith life. In Saudi Arabia under Wahhabi law all Christian worship is banned. For the whole population, Muslim orthodoxy is enfiorced by the Muttawa or "religious police", which carry out the public punishments, including executions, of transgressors. "Despite the risks, my parents continued to practise their Catholicism. They refused to bow to an idea that they couldn't practise their faith." Mass would be celebrated secretly in the home under the guise of social gatherings. "Mass would occur at night. Many hands would see to the preparation, because nothing was simple. Even the bread would be brought to the priest from the Tupperware container where it had been concealed."

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