About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“It would be a grave error to imagine that the principle orientation of the sacrificial action is towards the community. If the priest celebrates «VERSUS POPULUM», which is legitimate and often advisable, his spiritual attitude ought always to be «VERSUS DEUM PER JESUM CHRISTUM», as representative of the entire Church.”
— Official Vatican Statement (25 September 2000)

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True Christian Leadership
published 8 October 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

At Holy Apostles Seminary in Connecticut where I teach we had a Day of Recollection given by a priest from Illinois – a Fr. Beekman.

In his sermon he was addressing the seminarians warning them that when they get into parish life they will likely feel that they have been given a problem Church and that they can hardly handle all these inherited problems. The preacher suggested that they start instead with realizing that they themselves could be the problem. At the seminary they are called to root out the problems in themselves first of all.

It reminded me of an old adage that goes like this:

If the priest is holy, the people will be ardent.
If the priest is ardent, the people will be mediocre.
If the priest is mediocre, the people will be very sinful.

Not being a seminarian and, as a woman, surely never to be a priest, I thought that I, and most of you, might transpose this descending ladder into an examination of conscience of our own vocations. I leave this to each of you.

As a teacher and speaker I notice this phenomenon in this reality. As soon as I start teaching or speaking only out of my notes – no matter how good they were the first time I wrote them – life goes out of the encounter. I need to pray to the Holy Spirit that what I say is truly heart to heart as well as mind to mind. Otherwise I could be exemplifying a cartoon from the beginning of the tech educational age which depicts and empty classroom with tape-recorders on the students’ desks and a larger one turning around on the empty teacher’s table!

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW. Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.