There is probably no greater role-model for evangelization and priestly zeal then St. Paul. St. Paul traveled the known world proclaiming his faith in God and Jesus Christ His only Son and our Savior.
We learn from the life of St. Paul, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles and from his letters, that he not only felt a compulsion to travel proclaiming the Gospel but also to make sure it was proclaimed in a way that his audience could understand. St. Paul’s personal encounter with the Lord not only changed his life but created within him a desire to help others come to a personal encounter with our Lord so that they too could be saved. He wrote, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom 5:13-14a).
I am sure that I am not the only priest who feels this way and that most of us are looking for new ways to reach out to our people — especially those who do not come to Mass on Sundays. Like St. Paul, we too strive to go out and meet the people where they are and to present the Gospel in a way that will allow others to understand the power of the Gospel in their own lives. My search for more opportunities to spread the Gospel has led me to start this ministry to people via the Internet through a weekly e-mail newsletter and my own personal website.
For the first couple years of my priesthood, I put off ministry on the Internet because I am in no way a computer expert. I personally have only the basic computer knowledge of word processing and e-mailing. I finally made the jump into cyberspace because of the following quote of St. Paul: “When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive (words of) wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God” (1 Cor 2:1-5). I saw St. Paul’s willingness to preach despite his weaknesses as a summons from God to get over myself and try this new form of ministry.
At first I really did not know what to write about and started by writing about upcoming events that I hoped they would attend. Eventually inspired by Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s words, “There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing,” I fell into the habit of picking one topic a month and diving deeper into the topic in ordered to help explain and enlighten my readers to the great truths of the Catholic faith.
I discovered quickly that there were many questions out there that people were afraid to ask because they did not want to appear stupid, and so my weekly “Spiritual Ponderings” column was born. Eventually parishioners began to tell me how they were sharing my “Spiritual Ponderings” with other family members and friends who did not go to my parish or to church at all and how much they too enjoyed my writing. I began to receive the suggestion to begin an e-mail version of my column each week in addition to having it published in the Sunday bulletin, and so my ministry on the World Wide Web began.
It is my true hope and pray that you will find this website helpful in your faith journey by being both informative and uplifting.
Thank you and God bless,
Fr. Thomas M. Pastorius