A digital weekly newsletter for your Cathedral Community

BELONG issue 19.06  +  Feb. 13, 2019

TEXT: Summary of the parish book read discussion

We concluded our parish book discussion last night in the Cathedral Hall of Matthew Kelly’s book The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity. First off, our thanks to Dr. Tim Johans and the Cathedral Men’s Fellowship (meets Tuesday at 6AM in the Riffle Center) for the donation of copies of this book that were distributed for free during the Christmas masses.  Here’s a partial summary of some of what was covered during the discussion: while the view might be bleak for the faithful there is cause for hope and Kelly provides an action plan to move forward in a positive fashion to win back the world to Christ one soul at a time—starting with yours.

While there are numerous lies about Christianity generally, and Catholicism specifically, Kelly argues that the “biggest lie” is that holiness is not possible. If not refuted, Kelly maintains, then the devil prevails

Kelly is not alone in maintaining that we now inhabit a post-Christian world. Francis Schaeffer also noted that “ours is a post-Christian world in which Christianity … is no longer the consensus or ethos of our society.”  Harvey Cox declared “we now live in a post-Christian America. The Judeo-Christian ethic no longer guides our social institutions. Christian ideals and values no longer dominate social thought and action. The Bible has ceased to be a common base of moral authority for judging whether something is right or wrong, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable.” Many a study reveals the rise of secularism as more American Christians turn “churchless.” It’s a bleak assessment for the faithful.

Or is it?

Kelly is an optimist. While some have advocated a retreat from the frontlines, Kelly says we should instead engage like the first Christians did. From a very small circle, Christianity grew into one of the world’s major religions. So if it did that once, why not again?

In his chapter 11 he writes that Christians are being presented with a new (old) opportunity: to win the world over to God. He surveys the history of the early Church to reveal the “staggering contrast between what Christianity had to offer and what the culture at large was offering the average person” of the day during the Roman era. One of the reasons that Christianity rose to become a large religion is because it “gave people hope for this life and the next [and] it offered people new life both practically and spiritually.”

As Kelly sees it, the opportunity stems from Christianity’s consistent appeal to address the current fact that “the current secular culture is bankrupt.”  But this cannot be accomplished in a passive fashion: “the first Christians differentiated themselves from society. Modern Christians blend in.”

His action plan revolves around ten things with which to engage the religiously dis-engaged: “the way to give birth to a new and more authentic image of Christianity is to make it about them.” His action plan is based on his observation that at our human core, most folks are just trying “to make life work. It seems to me that the people who show up to church on Sunday and those that don’t show up to church all have the same ten things on their minds. If we can speak powerfully and practically to people about these ten things, we will change the world … again.” His ten things are:

This plan is further predicated on his observation of Jesus’ lie and “that he always seemed to deal with people’s human concerns and needs before he preached to them. He fed them and then preached to them.” Kelly notes that “every Sunday, every person who crosses the threshold into church comes looking for answers and carrying a burden of some type.” He states that we need to meet people where they are if we are to hope that we—the Church--can lead them to what God is calling them to be.

It all starts with what Kelly calls holy moments. What are those moments? What are the specifics of his then things? Get a copy of his book and explore this. And as he notes: 



Station of Lifelong Conversion: “Knowledge of the Faith.” This week’s suggestion is this series on True Reformers: Saints of the Catholic Reformation is a study crafted to teach about those who led the Church’s rebirth from the ashes of confusion caused by the Protestant Reformation. In six sessions, viewers learn about the true benefactors of the human race: the saints. The saints of the Catholic Reformation show us just how powerful—and beautiful—is the human heart’s free response to God’s generous grace. Check it out at


HELP SPREAD THE WORD: Adult confirmation preparation. All baptized Catholic adults—post high school, 18 years or older—who have not been confirmed are invited to participate in a four-part preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Classes will begin on Monday, March 11th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Riffle Center (St. Catherine Sienna room upstairs). Participation in all 4 classes is required (03/11, 03/18, 04/01 & 04/08 (additional 5th class for those who will receive First Eucharist on 04/15) and the Confirmation with the Bishop at the Cathedral Th. May 23rd at 7PM.  Please contact the Cathedral Office to register—342-3511 or e-mail at   


Save the dates: Cathedral Parish Lenten Mission
“Return + Renew + Rejoice”
Fathers Patrick Keyes & Tuan Pham

Preaching at the March 23-24 masses
M/T/W March 25-26-27



Lord, Here I am.  I trust that you have an incredible plan for me.  Transform me. Transform my life.  Everything is on the table. Take what you want to take and give what you want to give.  Lead me, challenge me, encourage me, and open my eyes to all your possibilities. Show me what it is you want me to do and I will do it.  Amen.  ~Dynamic




Altera septimana (Latin for “until next week”)!



Belong 2018 January-February-March (pdf)
Belong 2018 April-May-June (pdf)
Belong 2018 July-August-September (pdf)

BELONG is a weekly informative news service highlighting matters of faith formation, from the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Boise’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. It is a free information and educational service. The “Belong” banner colors are derived from the interior accent colors of the Cathedral pews, and the Cathedral altar represents our focal meeting point. Subscribe at our website

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