Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
From the beginning of the Kolbe Center, one of our main concerns has been our young people, and the devastating effects of evolutionary teaching on the faith of Catholic youth. Almost all Catholic young people are taught that Genesis 1-11 is a myth or a poem and that modern science has "enlightened" us to understand how life and all living things, including the human body, evolved through natural processes over hundreds of millions of years. The theological consequences of this teaching are not lost on young Catholics - even if they are not able to articulate them. Once we were giving a seminar in a parish in the Midwest when a young woman and a young man wandered in during the Q and A session. The young lady later told us that she had brought her male friend in to speak to the pastor because her friend had a drug problem, and the pastor had a reputation for being a caring priest.
To our surprise, after listening to us for a few minutes, the young lady asked to speak to the group, so we gave her the floor. She told us that she had gone to Catholic schools in the city where we were - almost all the way through high school. She said that the teachers were good people who cared about the students, and that they taught them about God. But - and this was the remarkable part of her testimony - she said that the students always knew from the way that their teachers taught them that "Science" was the highest authority, not the Bible and not the Tradition of the Church. That was the reason, she explained, why the students lost respect for the Church and did not take the Faith seriously. Amazing!
I knew another young woman whose family had converted from Protestantism to the Catholic Faith through the apostolate of the Legion of Mary when she was about seven years old. The young lady had been raised to believe in the literal historical truth of the sacred history of Genesis, but when her father enrolled her in the local Catholic school, she was shocked to find out that all of her teachers taught that Genesis was a myth, that the universe was billions of years old, that all living things had evolved from a one-celled organism, that the human body had evolved from an ape, and that Noah's Flood was a local flood. When the little seven-year-old shared information that she had learned from her father - for example, the overwhelming evidence from history, archaeology and paleontology for dinosaur and human co-existence - her teachers and classmates made fun of her. But it didn't end there. She told me that the students' attitude to Genesis carried over into other areas of the Faith. They showed little respect for the saints, for the sacramentals, or even for the sacraments. The ridicule of her teachers and classmates affected her so deeply that she became physically ill, so that her parents finally took her out of the Catholic school and began to teach her at home.
More recently, my wife and I spoke with a layman who has taught catechism to 12-14-year-olds for many years. He is a big, strong, intelligent, man with a military bearing. He told us that he had taken a few years off from teaching this age group and that he had returned to teaching them in his home parish the previous year only to find that their lack of respect for the Church, for the Faith, and for authority had reached such an extreme degree that he had had to resign from his position. We explained to him that if 12-14-year-olds are shown that real science supports special creation and not evolution - and if they are shown the overwhelming evidence from Scripture, Tradition and the lives of the Saints, of authentic miracles which bear witness to the reality of the supernatural, and of the Four Last Things, they will quickly acquire that "fear of the Lord" that is the beginning of wisdom" and often have a genuine conversion to the Catholic Faith.
I am mentioning all of these things because I want readers of this newsletter to know that we have developed a confirmation preparation retreat for teenagers - which can also be used as a retreat apart from preparation for a specific sacrament - with a focus on Special Creation. Pamela Acker, several of her students, and I designed the retreat for a parish in New England whose pastor had heard one of our seminars and wanted his confirmandi to receive this unique opportunity. Needless to say, the devil was fit to be tied, and just a few weeks before the retreat, a controversy erupted on the parish council over the hiring of an "arch-conservative" teacher, who had been recommended to the pastor by the same teacher who had introduced him to the Kolbe Center. The result? The pastor regretfully told me that he was going to have to cancel the Kolbe confirmation retreat lest it spark even more division within the parish. I have lost count of how many times this has happened to us over the last nineteen years. And the irony is that the only thing that a Kolbe seminar "divides" is truth from error, so that the sponsoring community can enjoy true unity in the Truth of Creation, which is the foundation of our holy Catholic Faith.
If you would be interested in exploring the possibility of hosting a Kolbe retreat for confirmandi or young people of any age group, please contact me and I will be happy to send you the program that we have prepared. Please also continue to pray that our DVD series will be ready for release by October 1, the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, the Patroness of the Missions. If you would be willing to help with the marketing of the DVD series, please let me know. It will be a powerful tool to potentially reach millions of young Catholics all over the world.
Yours in Christ through the Immaculata,
P.S. Almost all Catholic young people are taught that Monsignor Lemaitre did a great thing for humanity when he proposed the Big Bang hypothesis. This presentation by Dr. Thomas Seiler completely debunks this mythology. The DVDs by astronomer Spike Psarris in the Kolbe web store go into even more detail in debunking Big Bang cosmology and its feeble attempts to explain the origin of stars, galaxies, and the solar system naturalistically.