Habitats of Faith

Habitats of Faith

“One of the great and essential tasks of our evangelization is, as far as we can, to establish habitats of Faith and, above all, to find and recognize them.”

“[It] is rather obvious that we do not need another Church of our own design. Rather, what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the Faith in the Reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament.

…. The idea of a better Church, created by ourselves, is in fact a proposal of the devil, with which he wants to lead us away from the living God, through a deceitful logic by which we are too easily duped. No, even today the Church is not just made up of bad fish and weeds. The Church of God also exists today, and today it is the very instrument through which God saves us.

It is very important to oppose the lies and half-truths of the devil with the whole truth: Yes, there is sin in the Church and evil. But even today there is the Holy Church, which is indestructible. Today there are many people who humbly believe, suffer and love, in whom the real God, the loving God, shows Himself to us. Today God also has His witnesses (martyres) in the world. We just have to be vigilant in order to see and hear them.

…. If we look around and listen with an attentive heart, we can find witnesses everywhere today, especially among ordinary people, but also in the high ranks of the Church, who stand up for God with their life and suffering. It is an inertia of the heart that leads us to not wish to recognize them. One of the great and essential tasks of our evangelization is, as far as we can, to establish habitats of Faith and, above all, to find and recognize them.

…. To see and find the living Church is a wonderful task which strengthens us and makes us joyful in our Faith time and again. “


64 Replies to “Habitats of Faith”

  1. Just a reminder, our diocese is in bed with these decline-management vultures:


    You want to know “what’s coming” with Uniting in Heart? Just look at the wreckage wrought by these “plans” in other dioceses. None of the nice-sounding things they promise ever come true because all the players pulling the strings are more interested in money than souls. Our saintly Catholic forebears did so much more for souls with so much less.

    The warning in Matthew 6:24 comes to mind:

    “No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

    The only positive development is that this year’s diocesan cash grab appears to be less effective than last year. Perhaps more people are waking up to the notion of “not one more penny”?

  2. The apologists for “Uniting in Heart/CMA/Fruitful Whatever” all correctly state that the Church is a business. They do so to their shame, however, for a “business” is not what our Lord founded. I believe this is the likely reason why our Lord is allowing His Church to be cut down to size in the west at the hands of a malfunctioning hierarchy: The patrimony of our forebears is, at best, largely being squandered on works without faith.

    Why would our Lord allow this to persist?

    The answer is all around us now as what we have is being taken away (See Matthew 13:12).

    “For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.” – 1 Timothy 6:10

      1. For sure. Look at all the money wasted on Deoreo and Hasser. Wonder what issues they had in the seminary. Or maybe Weldon and his Muncie “love shack.” The number in our own diocese has been a disgrace. Why can’t something be done to better ID these predictors before we in the pews spend so much for their recruitment, training, education, salaries, legal defense, victim payouts, therapy and on and on for years…

        1. Have you read the court documents about the Fr. DeOreo case? Have you looked at the letters and documents written by the accuser regarding the case and circumstances? If not I suggest you go to mycase.in.gov and read them. Fr. DeOreo is suing his accuser at his own expense; not ours. The accuser is/was trying to get a settlement from the dioceses. I’m not defending anyone here, but I do think we must understand the facts before we trash a priest and his reputation. Priests that break the law, sexually abuse minors or anyone for that matter should be arrested, prosecuted by our courts, and laicized by the Church. Keep in mind though, these men can also be unfairly and unjustly targeted.

          Do you have any idea how much screening, evaluation, and discerning is done on these seminarians? Of course they are human. Of course they are also sinners just like the rest of us, but to insinuate that the majority or a good number are predators seems unfair. The published information shows that the dioceses had 14 priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors. These priests were ordained in the 60ies, 70ies and 80ies. Nearly all of these 14 are either deceased or laicized. Having one such priest is awful. However, generalized statements about seminarians and disgraceful numbers is not helpful. It is no wonder young men do not want to enter the seminary or the discernment process. I want good and holy young men to discern the priesthood. As a Catholic, I am happy to financially support that discernment process. No priests, no Eucharist, no absolution, no sacraments.

          1. Just went to mycase as you requested and see that there is now a MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT. Mentions things about harassment, intimidation, frivolous litigation, and inappropriate conduct by Deoreo’s lawyer. Maybe the apple does not fall far from tree. Things are not looking good and will drag on for a long time costing us yet more. Also have heard of other victims at other parishes. So sad and sickening. The costs to we in the pews will keep going up. God help us all.

        2. @Anonymous commenter of April 29, 2022 at 7:57 am:
          A wise person once said: “Like so much of social media, words are just tossed out there with no proof, context or basis of truth. What one types often reveals where ones’ heart is.”

      2. This should be Dougherty’s new motto: “At Least I’m Not Stika”.

        The faithful in Knoxville are hurting bad at the hands of their morally-impaired prelate.

        1. In the grand scheme of things, generally, the person being sued asks for the case to be dismissed. That fact is of little consequence to me. I was suggesting that you read the letters the accuser sent to the diocese and even the letter the accuser sent to Fr. DeOreo. Read the complaint. The “story” from both sides is presented. This lawsuit is about Fr. DeOreo trying to reclaim his reputation by asking for declaratory relief; specifically a declaration by the court that the accusers threatened claims of negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress are unsubstantiated and legally and factually insufficient.

          This case is about Fr. DeOreo letting the facts come out in an attempt to reclaim his reputation. This case is costing us nothing. This is Fr. DeOreo filing a lawsuit at his own expense against the accuser, not about a monetary settlement. I have to ask myself, if Fr. DeOreo actually did something wrong, why in the world would he file a lawsuit? Wouldn’t he just let the diocese pay a settlement and quietly sink into the past?

          I am not defending either side. I am merely reading court documents, which outline what is claimed. I have NOT heard about any other victims at other parishes. Nothing like that has been announced. Those types of statements are inflammatory and most likely not true. In fact, in this current situation despite the media’s innuendos, no sexual contact AT ALL is being claimed by the accuser. He developed an eating disorder from participating in Exodus 90. He also felt uncomfortable. Those are the claims. Statements like sad and sickening don’t really seem to match with the facts as outlined in the case.

          I merely believe in innocent until proven otherwise, and I strongly believe in not spreading rumors that could further harm an individual. I think about what if I was falsely accused in my workplace. Wouldn’t I want my boss to stand up for me and support me in the process to recover my good name? We should all be allowed to defend ourselves if we believe we have been falsely accused. The possibility of a priest being falsely being accuse exists. I am willing to consider that possibility.

          1. Good observation. There really is no getting through to some people if they’re stuck in the “all priests are guilty” camp. It’s all emotion. No reasoning. Let the legal process play out. Let the facts reveal the truth of things.

            Anyway, I agree that a person making legal moves to essentially clear their name (when their “guilt” is beyond question) is not something you normally see, which raises doubts. And of course the other side would make a motion to dismiss. They know they’re dealing with a spineless, rich entity (an American Catholic diocese) who blindly settles out of court so routinely, it’s like a reflex action. The other side wants to get paid post-haste and not muck around in annoying facts.

            And what a great vocations advertisement if the diocese settles, cancels Fr. DeOreo, and Fr. DeOreo ends up prevailing and has his name cleared: Come, be a priest in our diocese; though watch out, if some malcontent so much as sneezes, your faculties will be suspended and you’ll be kicked to the curb faster than you can say Uniting in Heart! Dioceses that treat their priests this way don’t deserve any vocations.

  3. God bless those clergy suffering in any way these days! We are with you in prayer!

    Finishing this semester in a discussion with a prof about a book on the syllabus today comparing Stalin, Hitler and other 20thc dictators.

    I had a chill when I realized the prof was really describing the leadership of our diocese.

    Here’s what I wrote from my meeting with the prof:

    “Evil is often times the product of ideological radicalism – the end justifies the means.

    “They are full of self-righteous dogmatism: ‘I have this great idea…and this is something we ALL MUST achieve. This is something we must do!’

    “I know people are suffering, but the end justifies the means…

    “They browbeat and bully others into accepting their view…they pull us toward disaster because they reject the humanity of others.”

    1. The Church, as established by our Blessed Lord, is not a democracy. So, when our dictators are benevolent, souls are saved and Catholic civilization flourishes. However, when our dictators are not benevolent, well… you get things like Traditionis Custodes, the Synod on Synodaliciousness, and the square-peg-hammered-into-a-round-hole known as Uniting in Heart.

      1. The diocese should consider a sale of the Tipton Center to the Coalition for Cancelled Priests. At the rate America’s bishops are cancelling good priests, the Tipton Center will soon be busting at the seams!

        1. The diocese should consider the sale of the Tipton property and use the money to endow the funds that they want US to endow. Our bishop is not interested in having the backs of our priests. They are merely liabilities to him. He is listening to lawyers, not ministering to his priests. When the bishop sees the $0 behind so many names for the CMA, he can see how many people are trying to be good stewards of their own money. No more money directly to the diocese until something changes. The future of the diocese depends on whether he can change the disaster he has let happen.

          1. If we don’t fund the CMA, how do we support the seminarians and those discerning a vocation? Since the Bishop rolled the seminarian fund into the CMA, our future priests will be suffering with lack of funds. That is my biggest problem with the CMA and not giving. We need seminarians. We need new priests. The CMA is the only way now to support that program. It is impractical to say “give money directly to the seminarians”. How, who, how much? Outside of CMA, there is no practical way to support these men.

          2. So, bishop creates a transparency problem and then wonders why the stupid laity won’t do as they’re told and cough up the cash? Got it. Thanks Uniting in Heart!

      2. Look at the money spent on priest abuse settlements and related legal fees. That is the real waste across the country and in our own diocese. Just lately how much did Hasser’s abuse cost me and other donors? And now Deoreo? How much will his scandal cost us all once the other victims come out? We could all name several other priests in the last 20 years. And then I’m also approached to contribute to a Deoreo defense fund? Yeah right – more waste and fraud. These priest abuses are the worst SIN and real WASTE! They need jail not defense funds or group homes in Illinois.

        1. Both your post and the “If we don’t fund the CMA” post are intertwined and, I believe, go back to what we now know was an infiltration of the Church. With that, so were the gatekeepers of the the seminaries allowing men through that shouldn’t have been as well as denying those that should have (or making life so miserable for them that they quit). We’ve been seeing the fruits of that infiltration for some time now. While we still should pray for our clergy (frequently), we do need to be prudent with what we fund with our tithings. That said, there has been nothing of late that shows me that my tithing will be well spent in our diocese under the Fruitful Harvest/CMA fund. Therefore, I’ve directed my tithes elsewhere in the diocese. God have mercy on me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t taken my discerning lightly, and I’m fed up with what I’ve seen coming out of the episcopate of late (locally and globally). One cannot help but be reminded of what Archbishop Fulton Sheen told us that the layity will save the Chruch. One has to wonder if that’s, in part, why they halted his canonization process. No matter, because in the end we know who is triumphant. We just need to keep working hard to stay in a state of grace and under the protection of Our Lady’s mantle.

          1. I’m not sure how many of our diocese’s parishes will be hosting these, but some KofC chapters will be selling mums for Mother’s Day, and supposedly all proceeds go to the seminarian fund. If so, what’s to say someone couldn’t spend 1K or 2 on a mum? Just a thought. That is assuming, of course, that we are comfortable with the current state of the seminaries–sadly, a big assumption at the moment.

          2. Certainly you have made some true statements about seminaries and being prudent. But still, don’t we want to fund good and holy men to become our future priests? How do you propose we do that in our current environment where the CMA funds everything. As for the seminarian dinners, mums, etc. Better check on that. There is no more seminarian fund. I believe these monies will ultimately end up in the CMA since that is now the source that funds our seminarians.

          3. So many people on hear obviously don’t know what CMA really is and all the good works it provides. In addition to funding pro-life centers around the diocese and poverty reduction programs around the diocese, it also funds a large part of retirement for many priests, 403b matching contributions for lay staff around the diocese, some living and medical expenses for retired priests, training for lay employees and priests, spiritual retreats for priests and lay, some priest and lay pension contributions, church repairs for items not covered by insurance, the planning of church renovations or restorations, retreats put on for our youth, legal issues parishes and schools face, HR help like when covid-19 hit, recruiting and training young men discerning for the priesthood, college loan pay offs for priests, and much more. Although we are a faith based organization, we are also an Indiana business and must comply with and provide most of the same things any large business does. And I know for a fact that our diocese does all of this for much less funding via CMA than other dioceses do. As a former employee who still volunteers and interacts with parish, school and chancery staff; I find the dis-information on here hurtful and not helpful much of the time. Like much of social media people toss stuff out, much of it not accurate, and hope it will stick. So Sad.

          4. Dearest Former Parish Business Manager:

            I will gladly personally fund a part of the retirement costs for His Excellency. Until then, no dice on any on the attempted guilt on your part.

            Your most obedient servant,

            Eric Morris

  4. I wonder if someone from Lafayette reads this and reports its goings-on to Bishop Doherty. If so I hope he will explain in The Catholic Moment why he wasn’t a signatory to the letter originating with US bishops engaging in fraternal correction of the German bishops in their heretical and toxic “Synodal way.” The letter has expanded to include signatures of bishops from every continent (except Anartica). In all charity I think an explanation is owed the laity.

    1. I’m afraid our diocesan leadership suffers from an acute charity-deficiency. Besides, they’re too busy trying to find new ways to move money around to prop-up the empty Tipton Center to worry about what Cardinal Apostate and Archbishop Heretic in Germany said about the progress of the “Schismatic Way”.

    1. Bishop is stuck somewhere in between the modernist heresy and being unfriendly to the Church’s tradition: He’s not a full-blown revolutionary, but he’s not particularly welcoming of the tradition-minded either. Out of respect, it’s best just to pray for him and not make a scene at his masses. Don’t kneel down in front of him at communion with your tongue out. Go to some other priest or just fast from receiving our Blessed Lord that day (or just avoid bishop’s masses altogether).

      And if one day the bishop issues orders to all clergy to forbid communion on the tongue (and the clergy complies), then it’s time to hit the road and go to mass out-of-diocese when you are properly disposed to received Holy Communion. You’ll appreciate our Eucharistic Lord all the more for the sacrifices you’re making for him, and the parish you visit out-of-diocese will appreciate your tithe.

      1. Good response. I have badly deformed hands so receiving in the hand is not an option, in addition to my personal preference for reception on the tongue. That well can apply to many with severe arthritis or Parkinson’s as well. But I wonder if this bodes poorly for ever being able to receive from the chalice again. I know the Eucharist is complete with the Precious Body but I agree with the argument that reception of both is desirable.

  5. Our diocesan priests were assured that UiH with its parish clustering, helpful diocesan staff, and with administrative burdens eased they would have much more time for
    – personal prayer
    – priestly fellowship
    – priestly fraternity
    – and more effective ministry.
    According to the priests we know, it’s been just the opposite.

    And as we were told openly in a parish gathering recently, with at least two priests retiring this summer, “it will only get worse” for the stretched/stressed priests, and the parishes.

    Where UiH was concerned, leadership didn’t/wouldn’t listen with honesty to anyone who tried to give input. That’s how people get fired at secular businesses. And it’s had a negative, unhealthy effect on priests, parishioners and parishes.

    Priests aren’t even subtle anymore. They’re honest with us. They’re being good and honest pastors. Ours are and I know they’re not unique.

    This isn’t “throwing stones.” These are facts.

    1. Spot on. A very accurate assessment of UiH so far. And the days will just get darker as our diocesan leadership, strangled by pride, refuse to admit making any mistakes. Now they’ve so isolated themselves from all the people they were meant to surrender their lives to, there is little left for the faithful to do except wait for God’s correction. And it will come.

      “For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” – Luke 8:17-18

    2. Personally I think that stretched/stressed priests is more a function of vocations and one the church is experiencing around the world. Priests are dying, retiring, and being dismissed due to misconduct far faster than new ones are coming in. So why are vocations down around the world including in our parishes? Some of it is SIN for sure. Some of it is the decline of the domestic church = parents/families. And some is the poor job current priests due in inspiring young men or being poor examples to young men. So when it comes to stretched/stressed priests, I think we all need to ask, what have I done to inspire vocations or to hurt vocations and what am I personally going to do about it going forward.

      1. There’s plenty of blame to go around on the vocations front. But don’t forget to include our bishop, the hierarchy, and many bad seminaries in desperate need of reform too. While there may be a vocations crisis with roots all over the place, there is also an ordination crisis and its roots lie squarely with bad bishops, a bad hierarchy, and bad seminaries: Good men turned away for being too “rigid”, having the wrong “tone”, or (heaven forbid) appreciating the old mass and Sacred Tradition. I have met men like this and their stories are heartbreaking and no one ever talks about it. There are many men out there that would have been excellent priests had not the system screwed them.

        The process for training priests is needlessly long, expensive, and (when you throw in superiors with revolutionary agendas) stifling. Do not assume when a man applies or is admitted to seminary that all is right with the world and that the bishop, the hierarchy, and the seminary always make the right decisions and have no agendas of their own that are remotely contrary to the faith. It’s just not true.

        All the faithful have a part to play in fostering priestly vocations. But the system that supports a man’s training once he decides to take the discernment plunge is in dire need of reform. Until that happens, the ordination crisis will continue.

      1. Whether it is diabolically-influenced or just plain old human frailty at work, what is clear (from it’s “fruits”) is that UiH is most definitely not inspired by the Holy Spirit.

  6. Meditate on the readings today. You DO have to find that quiet habitat of prayer and worship that your soul desires.
    The stones thrown in this diocese at many levels sends me to my knees. Praying that those who are throwing stones may have a final judgement with love and mercy and unconditional love, not measured by their actions. Jesus does not condemn but forgives and loves unconditionally. I will continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus!

      1. Didn’t read the above comment as a criticism of laitywho are upset necesarily, maybe am wrong. I do think lots of stones are being thrown in other “levels” too. Insulting things were said about those less willing to change …. like they are just to scared to follow the Holy Spirit. And heaven only knows what is being said toward the priests who are seeing the flaws and issues. In that sense I agree with Marie that God will have the final say, and maybe our task is to keep finding ways to preserve faith and peace in those conditions even if we see them as pretty sub-par.

  7. “One of the great and essential tasks of our evangelization is, as far as we can, to establish habitats of Faith and, above all, to find and recognize them.”

    You only have so much time. Stop the useless whining and sarcasm. It only makes ole’ Screwtape laugh with self-satisfaction. Do this, instead.

      1. “Pray, pay, obey, and look the other way. Got it! Thanks Uniting in Heart!”….So apt, so true…interesting we are getting a lot of homilies on “stop criticizing…don’t say things that could hurt people’s (read the hierarchy’s) character…Maybe the priests are getting talking points and directives so we learn to be quiet.

      2. Does anybody know whatever happened to the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in our diocese? It’s like she’s a non-person.

          1. I hope the bishop and VG like work. At the rate they’re losing people through firings, resignations, and retirements, they’ll be the only ones left to run the diocese.

          1. Let go…like so many in this diocese. Between the firings and the resignations, it’s getting ridiculous.

            May I respectfully suggest that the next firings or resignations be Bishop Doherty and his vicar general?

    1. Thanks much. And I am doing the best I can with the quote you’ve given… but sarcasm is the only coping mechanism we have given the fact that the listening sessions at the deaneries were an absolute sham and Diocesan leadership refuses to change course.

      1. The faithful aren’t as stupid as the diocesan leadership supposes. We are very well aware and honor the fact that the Church is not a democracy and that they (the hierarchy) are in charge. Our Blessed Lord established His Church this way. And when the Church is firing on all cylinders, She’s a sight to behold. The gates of hell cannot prevail against Her!

        But a deepening sense among the faithful is that She is no longer firing on all cylinders. From the dense fog of the Francis Pontificate through the scores and scores of worldly bishops and their greedy sycophants and all the way down to the lowly cancelled priest who simply taught what the Church has always taught but had the wrong “tone”, there is a palpable feeling (a ‘sense of the faithful’, if you will) that there is something wrong and that we’re not all racing toward the same goal anymore. And that hurts. So, like any reaction to pain, the faithful do what they can to alleviate it. Prayer and working out one’s salvation in fear and trembling is always job-one. But it doesn’t stop there (see James 2:14-26). And those “works” include both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

        This Red Wolf forum appears to be striving to knock out more than a few of the spiritual works of mercy in its own humble way. With many of the articles and posts I have felt admonished, instructed, counseled, comforted, and urged to be patient with those in error; all with good (and occasionally sarcastic) humor. No one is perfect of course, but there appears to be a deep sincerity behind the goings-on here. And for that, I am grateful. Authenticity is a difficult commodity to find these days.

        So, as we wait (short of divine intervention) for our Church leadership to fix itself, all the laity really can do to save the Church is follow the advice of the saintly Fulton Sheen and be stubborn reminders to the hierarchy of how things ought to be. This Red Wolf forum is one place where we safely can:

        “Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious.” – Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

  8. Woah. Woah. Woah. I really don’t think this post appreciates just how involved the Holy Spirit was in forming our Diocesan Plan of Creating a Better Church United In Heart. Red Wolf, did you not read the promotional materials?

        1. Pretty sure the above comment is sarcasm. Uniting in Heart is exactly what this post is about- and it didn’t come from the Holy Spirit.

    1. I don’t know about Red Wolf, but I read the promotional materials and they made my head hurt. I hit my “maximum buzzword tolerance” level somewhere around the second pillar.

    2. Too bad the Holy Spirit is loud as a trumpet to our bishops when it comes to selling out the church to a bunch of secular foundations and professional catholic vultures selling their decline management programs but utterly silent in kicking our bishops into gear to defend life as the abortion wars heat back up. I would have thought God would have been more interested in human life than corporate restructuring schemes.

  9. Thank you for your thoughtful post, and for the picture of these two holy men. God is good all of the time.

    1. The longer essay that these paragraphs are pulled from is a great read…I like this paragraph which explains this notion of a “habitat”: Faith is a journey and a way of life. In the old Church, the catechumenate was created as a habitat against an increasingly demoralized culture, in which the distinctive and fresh aspects of the Christian way of life were practiced and at the same time protected from the common way of life. I think that even today something like catechumenal communities are necessary so that Christian life can assert itself in its own way.


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