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The Origin of Open Door

In December of 1968, Father Chet received a gift of several hundred dollars and was faced with the decision of what to do with the money.  At the time, he was pastor of Holy Comforter Parish in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Father had long mailed the Parish Bulletin and other material to interested people, and he thought it might be a beneficial use of the monetary gift to begin sending  a bulletin covering a “variety of topics which might be of interest and of help in solving the problems, questions, and difficulties facing many of us today.”

This was the beginning of the Open Door – a series of pamphlets addressing spiritual, theological, and psychological topics he thought would be of help to others.  The project would continue for over forty years. Letter from January 1969

What are We Doing About Social Development?

Father Chet, June 15, 1971 (republished June 2, 2021)

Why are we urged by the church to become involved in the elimination of poverty, war, and racism? Is it not just as true now as ever that religion and politics don’t mix? Are not the church and its clergy out of their element when they concern themselves with changes in the structure of our society? Continue reading

Holy Week: The Redemptive Value of Suffering

Father Chet, Holy Week 1969 (republished March 30, 2021)

The primary purpose of Holy Week is to put us into the proper mood and frame of mind to appreciate the high price Jesus Christ paid for our redemption from sin and our salvation by grace. The intention of the church is that Holy Week should be a time of retreat for all Christians; a time to meditate and reflect upon the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and a time to make application to ourselves of this mystery Continue reading

Change: Knowledge, Resistance & Resilience

Father Chet, February 1, 1975 (republished Feb. 1, 2021)

We live in an age characterized by patterns of change that surround us like overlapping, concentric circles. Human nature and human planning (economic, social, political, educational, and religious) have been unable to adjust quickly enough to the fantastic increase in the rate of change in every area of human experience. Continue reading

Honoring the Incarnation of God

Father Chet, December 1991 (republished Dec. 3, 2020)

Recently, I have been studying the ecological and environmental crisis which is facing us today. Yet, we are told by the prophet Isaiah (62.4), with the coming of the Messiah, “No more shall men call you ‘Forsaken’ or your land ‘Desolate,’ but you shall be called ‘My Delight,’ and your land ‘Espoused,’ for the Lord delights in you and makes your land his spouse” (Christmas Vigil Mass). We believe that the Messiah came to earth 2000 years ago. How then do we explain what seems to be happening to the earth today? Continue reading

Our Personal Challenge

Father Chet, February 1, 1969 (republished Oct. 4, 2020)

Each of us should feel a very personal challenge to do all in our power to meet the needs of the times. No matter how small I feel myself to be, I am called by God to do something worthwhile to help the world of today attain the fullness of maturity destined for it. Continue reading

Evils in Our Present Day of Life

Father Chet, May 1, 1969 (republished Aug. 7, 2020)

In a recent article in the magazine, Crosscurrents, Michael Novak says: “The enemy in America (today) is the tyrannical and indifferent majority (of our fellow American citizens) – the good people, the churchgoers, the typical Americans, the ones who have been taught that to be an American is by that very fact to be moral, just, free, generous, and trustworthy.”

Such a statement merits consideration. Continue reading