Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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Fr. Dwight Longenecker joins Gus in the Conversion Corner. Fr. Dwight grew up in Pennsylvania in an evangelical Protestant home and went to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he encountered a deeper level of anti-Catholicism. It was there where he met a devoutly Catholic woman for whom he did yardwork, which eventually led him down the path of the Episcopal church, in which he eventually became an Anglican priest based in England. Adherence to Scripture and tradition were deeply seeded in Fr. Longenecker so, when the Anglican Church voted to ordain women in 1992, along with nearly 800 other priests, he converted to Catholicism where, eventually, he was accepted as a priest. He shares the rest of the story with Gus and the listeners, which he details in his new book from Ignatius Press, "There and Back Again: A Somewhat Religious Odyssey."
Later, Gus talks about today's Gospel reading from Matthew, which is one that really challenges a lot of us. In it, Jesus tells the parable of a wealthy landowner who goes out and hires laborers to work his fields throughout the day. At the end of the day, he pays them all the same wage. Those who worked longer were outraged that they got paid the same as those who worked a shorter day. The landowner tells them that he lived up to their agreement and asks them, is he not entitled to do what he wants to with his money or are they jealous that he's generous with his money? Gus likens it to later-in-life and deathbed conversions, and invites listeners to call in and talk about what that particular passage means to them.
And Gus goes over some Catholic news items of interest, including the dictatorship of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega seizing the Jesuit Central American University, kicking out the priests and staff, and renaming it, as the persecution of the Catholic Church there continues. He also talks about a protest by parents outside the state capitol steps in Sacarmento, Califorina over several proposed bills that would take parents' rights away in the name of transgenderism and inclusivity. The bills propose eliminating or reducing funding to schools that don't comply. Gus says both of these stories are examples of totalitarianism.

1 comment

  • Joe Sevic: August 24, 2023

    Gus, I totally agree with you regarding how the world right now is upside down. However you would be more credible if in addition to giving examples of Nicaragua and the California protests you also mention the January 6th incident and the attack on democracy. Thanks.

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