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July 7, 2019

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    The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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It took the most innocent, helpless life to show avowed atheist the Light

It took the most innocent, helpless life to show avowed atheist the Light

By Dave Myers

Southwest Kansas Catholic

So ingrained was her atheism, that while only in the fourth grade, Jennifer Fulwiler quietly moved all the bibles in her school library from the religion section to the fiction section.

“I was always an atheist, from earliest childhood,” Fulwiler told thousands of college-age youth at the national SEEK conference in Indianapolis (see Page 3). “My father was an atheist. I didn’t ever wonder if God might exist. I never said a prayer just in case. …It just seemed kind of obvious: You only believe in what you can prove. I believe this microphone exists because I’m holding it. How can you believe in something there is no material evidence of?”

Fulwiler was one of several guest speakers at the annual conference Jan. 3-7. Among the 17,000 youth attending from around the country were 26

 students from the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, including diocese Director of Youth Ministry, Adam Urban, and Director of Young Adult Ministry, Gentry Heimerman.

“Modern atheism is very well branded,” Fulwiler explained. “It is branded as well as Gucci and Tommy Hilfilger. It’s branded as being for the inteligencia. Smart people are atheists, right? People who question assumptions. Highly educated scientists and engineers.

“I adopted the view that’s very common in atheism: scientism. Everything must be provable by the scientific method. I clung to that because it was safe. It’s safer to say that I don’t believe in this extra stuff. I’ll never be vulnerable, never risk looking dumb.”

She took her atheism to college. It was part of her identity, she said. So, when she learned that the guy she had fallen in love with was a believer, it blew her mind.

“When I found out he believed in God, I was shocked! My husband ended up going to Yale, graduating in three years with honors, then to Columbia Law School, then Stanford Business School where he earned a masters in computer science.

“So, when I found out he believed in God, I said, ‘But you’re smart! That’s so weird!’

“Then it got even weirder! He said he believed in Jesus, which seemed so absolutely crazy to me! He said, ‘I don’t go to church, I don’t read the Bible, I rarely pray. But, I’ll tell you this. I was baptized [in the Baptist Church] when I was 13 years old. When I came up from those baptismal waters, I encountered something. I encountered someone. … I know that I encountered the living person of Jesus Christ when I was baptized, and I will never deny that. No one can every take that away from me.’”

Fulwiler was shown for the first time that you can be a reasonable, intelligent person and still believe in things that can’t be proven by the scientific method.

She didn’t immediately abandon her atheism.

Then came the birth of her first child.

“It was a shattering experience to be a part of a vulnerable new life,” she said. “I looked at this baby and I said, I know that the love that I feel for this child—the love that has come into my family since his birth—has a source that is external to the neurons in our brain. I can’t prove this. But I know more than I know anything else in the world that this love is real, and if the whole world blew up tomorrow, this love would still exist.

“And that was the moment I let go of atheism.”

The couple believed in God and in his Son, Jesus, but they had no faith center. In fact, when they were married, their common beliefs included an expressed anti-Catholicism. 

In their search for faith fulfillment, the couple decided to allow themselves to examine the Catholic Church, certain they would find reason to dismiss it. 

“When we studied what the Church actually believes, it was like we found the owners manual to the human soul,” Fulwiler said. “This Church knows us better than we know ourselves! … This Church had been saying the same truth for age after age as empire after empire has fallen away around it. We said, We see the fingerprints of God here. We see things human beings can’t do on their own. At the Easter Vigil 2007, both Joe and I became Catholic.”

Later, when they had their child baptized, Fulwiler began an introspection. How did I get here? she asked herself as she looked back on her unlikely journey. 

“I opened a drawer and to the front slid a long narrow box. It was my baptism candle. I had been baptized in a Catholic Church when I was six months old (as per the wishes of a dying grandparent).

“The moment the priest said the words of baptism and poured waters on my head when I was a baby, I was sealed with an indelible mark of belonging to Christ. Even a life of atheism could not take that away.

“You will have moments when you doubt your faith,” she concluded. “You might fall away, have difficult times, but you can always count on the grace of your baptism to guide you home.”

 

Past Issues

May 5, 2019

April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday

April 7, 2019

March 24, 2019

March 10, 2019

Feb. 24, 2019

Feb. 10, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019

Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

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