Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blessed Adolph Kolping 1913-1865

While Advent is full of beloved, well known saints, here's a newcomer. Blessed Adolph had a similar ministry to St. John Bosco to single men adrift in cities during the Industrial Revolution in Germany. He started the Young Workmen's or Kolping Society to sanctify family life, to improve work conditions, and to keep them in the Catholic Faith.
It just occured to me that this could be one of the main reasons Europeans(and Americans) have largely left the Faith, fast-paced city life, more leisure time and disposable income in a city full of temptations, and distance from family and traditional mores.

Father Kolping once said, “The first thing that a person finds in life and the last to which he holds out his hand, and the most precious that he possess, even if he does not realize it, is family life.”This is where we learn the Faith, grow in love, and revceive love not for what we earn, but for who we are, faults and all. Homeschoolers know this, and try to build children a strong basis in the Faith before the ravages of modern life teach the child his worth is something less, like his buying power, or his ill-used sexuality. We hope that like a young tree, tied to stakes while it's vulnerable, and untied when it can withstand storms, our young ones, by the time they leave home, will resist the evils of the world, while accepting the goodness, and work to bring about the kingdom of God.

Adolph Kolping gathered skilled workers and factory laborers together. Thus he overcame their isolation and defeatism. A faith society gave them the strength to go out into their everyday lives as Christ’s witnesses before God and the world. To come together, to become strengthened in the assembly, and thus to scatter again is and still remains our duty today. We are not Christians for ourselves alone, but always for others too” (Pope John Paul II, beatification homily)

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