Our Lady’s Work Has Finally Begun

From Lisa Mladinich: This simple and accessible 22-minute talk provides information about the origins of the devastating corruption in the Church’s corridors of power and influence (most of which I had heard before from totally reliable sources), as well as enormous inspiration related to the plan for Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart to triumph–and raise up great saints (that’s us, with God’s help).

Thank you, Fr. Altier, for sharing the truth. God bless you.  Our Lady’s work has finally begun.  We all need to be faithful.  We need to pray and fast because this kind of “demon cannot be expelled without fasting.”
An excellent homily from Father Robert Altier.

Below is another excellent homily from Fr. Lankeit from the Phoenix Diocese. Thank you, Father, for your powerful sermon and for not mincing words. “We must cut out this cancer of dissent at stage one when it’s still treatable rather than waiting for it to hit stage four…again, so we are not forced to deal with this same sex scandal again sixteen years from now.”

And…How many times have priests, bishops and cardinals been “Fr. Iscariot?”

Thank you, Fr. Lankeit, for sharing the truth!

Advertisements

This is the Homily Catholics Need to Hear

This has been a difficult month for Catholics. First, allegations about Cardinal (now Archbishop) McCarrick, then the PA Grand Jury report and now credible allegations about the Holy Father.  Priests, bishops, cardinals and the Holy Father need to speak up.  This is a decisive time for the Church and the Holy Father’s vague response is not what we need from the spiritual leader of the Church.

This is the sort of homily Catholics need to hear right now.

Please pray for the Holy Father.

The Forgotten Victims of Clerical Abuse

me and my dad

Summer, 1961, visiting my father at the psychiatric hospital

“He heals the wounds of every shattered heart.” Psalm 147:3

The recent revelations about Cardinal (now Archbishop) McCarrick, and the newly- published Grand Jury report from several dioceses in Pennsylvania, are disturbing, especially to the most devout Catholics.  Some members of the Church are leaving in disgust.  I haven’t yet read the PA Grand Jury report, but from what I can gather through social media, it will take someone with a strong stomach to endure the entire document.

The most recent announcement that homosexual networks existed within seminaries and dioceses has caused some Catholics to have a crisis of faith because numerous seminarians tried to alert higher-up prelates, to no avail. It’s unacceptable that a bishop – or as in the case of McCarrick, the cardinal – would be complicit.  Pope Francis has now made a public statement promising justice for the victims.

For every abuse that was reported, there are hundreds, maybe thousands over the past 70-plus years, that were not – and have never been – reported. There are many victims who will never see justice.

Whenever I hear a story about clerical sex abuse, it opens a wound, not only because I’m Catholic, but because my father was abused over 70 years ago. He is one of many who never reported the (likely ongoing) abuse.

My father’s abuser was indeed a priest, who happened to be one of his teachers in high school.  This information was something that my siblings and I didn’t find out until after my father died in 1978 as he had only told my mother about the abuse.

Back in the 1940’s, priests were placed on a pedestal. My father couldn’t go to his parents or other teachers or anyone because he was ashamed, and he didn’t think anyone would believe him. At the time, my father was discerning the priesthood.  To say the abuse confused him is an understatement.  I can’t imagine having to attend school and see your abuser every day and not be able to say anything.

Dad later met and married my mom and tried to settle down into married life. But his troubles were far from over.  He dealt with depression and other mental illness on and off for a few years before he had a mental breakdown in 1961 and was committed to the local psychiatric hospital. I remember visiting him there and, despite the odd surroundings, I was always happy to see my dad.

He was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression (now called bipolar disorder) and was prescribed a regimen of medication.

My dad continued to battle with mental illness for the rest of his life.  He eventually became an alcoholic and died tragically at the age of 49. His life ended not unlike many other abuse victims.

It wasn’t easy to lose my father. But the first time I saw him in the casket after he had passed away, he looked more at peace than I could ever remember.  I felt confident that God would take care of him.

When I first found out my own father had been abused, I was angry, but my father’s troubled life made a lot of sense in light of his abuse. Of course, I wanted to strangle the priest who traumatized him.

There are many like my father out there, some living, and some already deceased, who are/were unknown victims of clerical abuse.

But we as a family were (are) victims too.  As a family, we watched my father’s struggles and suffering.  We watched him go through drunken stupors and depressive episodes. We watched him get on and fall off the wagon too many times to count. It wasn’t unusual for him to break down and cry. I know that there are many factors that cause someone to have a mental breakdown or become an alcoholic, but I believe the abuse contributed substantially to his ongoing despair.

So with the recent allegations, what is the way forward?  First, I’d like pass on encouragement to the many faithful and virtuous priests with the words of Dr. Janet Smith when she said: “To all you wonderful, faithful, chaste, devout, self-giving priests out there, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for answering the call and thank you for staying. The temptation to leave will be great. Please stay. We need you now more than ever. And please know I am praying ardently for you!”

Second, many of the links below give detailed ways the Church can move forward. One thing is for certain: leaving the Church is not an option.

Did my father ever leave the Church of his youth?  No.

Following his example, I will do the same. Why? Because my faith is not dependent on the pope, any priest or any human being. I’m Catholic and will remain so because of the Eucharist, because of Jesus Christ and because I believe God’s Word.  My faith also tells me I must forgive: the priest who abused my father, anyone who tried to cover it up, and any past and present priests, bishops and cardinals who have been guilty of any wrongdoing.

As Frank Sheed said in the early 60’s: “We are not baptized into the hierarchy; do not receive the Cardinals sacramentally; will not spend an eternity in the beatific vision of the pope. Christ is the point. I, myself, admire the present pope (Paul VI), but even if I criticized him as harshly as some do, even if his successor proved to be as bad as some of those who have gone before, even if I find the church, as I have to live with it, a pain in the neck, I should still say that nothing that a pope (or a priest, Bishop, Cardinal) could do or say would make me wish to leave the church, although I might well wish that they would leave.”

And there is always hope.  I believe very much what Fr. Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) predicted in 1969: “From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek… But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church.”

As we pray and make reparation in the days ahead, I ask you to pray for all those forgotten victims (like my father) who never reported the abuse, and for all families of abuse victims.

Let’s continue to pray and fast for all victims and their extended families.  As much as we yearn for a renewal of the Church and the defrocking of any cleric who chooses not to live a chaste priesthood, let us also continue to pray and fast for the conversion of the abusers.  As difficult as it is, we are all called to forgive.

Read more about the Grand Jury report here.

Read more about the homosexual subculture in the Church.

Read more about another victim

Read more about the root of the crisis.

(Opinion) Read more about why men with same sex attraction shouldn’t be priests.

Dr. Janet Smith’s Message to the Bishops: Save the Church, Tell Everything

Another excellent article from Dr. Janet Smith: McCarrick, Dissent from Humanae Vitae and the Sensum Fidelium

Sex Abuse Scandal Saps Trust in the Church, but Not in Church Teaching.

Chastity for All is Central to a Life of Holiness

Novenas and Prayers

Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Church

A Novena to the Saints for a Church in Crisis

A Novena for the Abuse Crisis

Copyright 2018 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Updates on Translations and Audiobook

Julia's Gifts Italian Cover Front

The Italian Edition of Julia’s Gifts is now available on ebook and Paperback. Special thanks to Daniela Mastropasqua (translator) and Adelia Marino (editor) for their thorough and awesome job!!

Julia’s Gifts is also being translated into Portuguese, French and Italian. Those translations should be available before the end of October.

 

El Secuestro de Jenny front cover sm

The Spanish edition of Stealing Jenny is available on Kobo and Barnes and Noble Nook  and in Paperback on Amazon. Special thanks to Saskia Di Stefano who did an awesome job with the translation!

 

Julia's Gifts AB cover

I’m really looking forward to sharing the audiobook of Julia’s Gifts, which is currently in production.  I continue to be in awe of all the wonderful narrators/producers on ACX.  Special thanks to narrator Kristen S. Osborne.  We are hoping this will be available by mid or late September.

 

The Lion’s Heart #samesexattraction

The Lion’s Heart by Dena Hunt encompasses the beautiful teachings of the Catholic Church on same sex relationships.  It won the 2016 Catholic Arts and Letter Award for Adult Fiction.
Front Cover Final revisedsm

Synopsis:
Paul Meyer has never let anyone get too close. Until Max. The Lion’s Heart is a heart-rending story about love and sacrifice. The emotional struggle of Paul’s same-sex attraction, the guilt he feels, and his ambivalence toward his Catholic faith all come together in this look inside the heart of a tortured man.

Excerpt
It wasn’t the deception, unpleasant as it was, that troubled him. In fact, he simply couldn’t put his finger on it. All he knew that was truly different with Max was that he loved him. And it was that, that single stark truth, which made everything different. He never loved before… He put the empty wine glass on the balcony floor beside him and tried to find again that mysterious, interior quiet that city noise always brought him. But he felt instead a kind of disquiet that seemed urgent… Love was never wrong. He’d heard that so often from sincere people, good people… ‘Love is never wrong.’ More than a platitude, it became a mantra. No one could argue with it, not without being judgmental or bigoted. Paul himself always believed it, although he never thought much about it before—never had much reason to think about it. But then, he’d never really loved anyone before…

Reviews 
“Dena Hunt is a consummate storyteller who does not shirk or shy away from the difficult questions about life and love that her story raises. The Lion’s Heart contains not only the loves of lovers, spouses, parents, and children but also the demons and dragons that selfishness unleashes. The Lion’s Heart is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for the hard-hearted. It pulsates with a passion that will bring true hearts to their knees.” Joseph Pearce, author of The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, co-editor of the St. Austin
“It may be fiction but The Lion’s Heart reflects a truth that is as real as the sunrise. The moral conflicts and dilemmas are treated with dignity and there are no easy answers, though, thank God, there are answers. The style, beauty, and flow of Dena’s writing speaks for itself. I could not give this book a higher rating, for it is at the top of the charts. I thank Ms. Hunt for having the courage and the beauty of heart to see, feel, and love as she did – for this book is, above all, a work of love. May it be accepted as such.” A.K. Frailey, author The Deliverance Trilogy

“Dena Hunt conveys some of the very real struggles of those persons who have same-sex attractions (SSA), especially the shame, confusion, and misery that can accompany such feelings. She shows how that suffering can affect family and friends. The path to understanding homosexuality requires abundant patience, prudence, and good will because the topic is not primarily a controversial cultural issue, but rather a complex personal reality. It is one for which there is not one simple or general explanation – or response. This novel gives us a glimpse into the lives and hearts of those touched by SSA who are striving to understand themselves, and so to love genuinely after the example of Jesus Christ and the teachings of His Church.” Rev. Paul Check, Executive Director, Courage

“Whatever side of controversy you call home, this book is a game-changer. With The Lion’s Heart, Dena Hunt gives us a compassionate story courageously told, depicting the truth in all its dimensions. Readers will never be the same, and with The Lion’s Heart, the landscape of faith-based fiction is changed forever.” Erin McCole Cupp, author, Don’t You Forget About Me

“The Lion’s Heart is a rocketing page-turner that had me hooked from beginning to end. The characters’ very genuine experiences with same- sex attraction, and its consequences, led me to a much deeper understanding and empathy for all those who must bear this burden. Above all, this story powerfully brings to life the reality that love often means saying “no” to one’s own desires, and instead choosing what is truly good for the other.” Christopher Blunt, author of Passport

You can purchase The Lion’s Heart on Kindle at this link.

It’s also available in paperback at this link.

Catholic Writers Conference Live 2018 Highlights #cwcl2018 #cmn2018

I had a wonderful time in Lancaster, Pennsylvania this past week at the Catholic Writers Conference Live and the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show! Here are just a few of the highlights.

CWCL 1a

Dinner with fellow Guild members, a few bookstore owners and a surprise friend from Canada!

CWCL 1

Clockwise: Fr. Don Calloway giving his keynote presentation at the Catholic Writers Conference Live; fellow Guildies and dear friends/authors Lisa Mladinich and Mary Lou Rosien; with “fans” Dr. Jean Egolf and her daughter; the CWG booth.

CWCL 2a

With some of the Guild members and Fr. Don Calloway.

CWCL 2

Clockwise from left: Historic St. Mary’s, Lancaster Convention Center, Historic St. Mary’s (exterior), inside the convention center and Greenwood Cemetery (where some of my Gable ancestors are buried)

CWCL 3

Top: FQP Authors: Back row: me, Dr. Barbara Golder, Michelle Buckman, Amanda Lauer; front row: Carolyn Astfalk, Erin McCole Cupp, Karina Fabian and Arthur Powers. Bottom: the Writer and Spirituality panel (left to right: Arthur Powers, me, Marge Fenelon and Lisa Mladinich.) Right: with my dear friend and fellow Guildie and author of children’s novels, Karen Kelly Boyce.