Monday, September 13, 2004

Good Lookin’ Hats!!

by Steve Ray on September 13, 2004

What a surprise when we got off the plane in Portland Oregon and were met by a wonderful group of folks wearing “Jerusalem Jones” hats and travel vests. The conference was sponsored by Tom and Kathy Call (two people on the left in the picture) and the group of ladies that make up the OFP Group (Our Father’s Plan Bible Study Group). They sponsored the Portland Catholic Conference and invited me to speak this weekend. Four of the ladies were named “Kathy” or “Cathy” –  and what a great bunch of Kathy’s (and Doris’s and Sally’s) it was!

And did they ever treat us well!  We had a marvelous dinner (I ate Elk, medium rare), they gave us a Pendelton blanket, gifts for our kids, and other kindnesses. They were very well organized and should be proud of the conference — a great effort for their first time! We saw the end of the Oregon Trail. We saw Mount St. Helen’s and Mount Hood as our plane cleared the clouds on our way home.

Fr. Tim Mockaitis, the priest at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church (standing next to me in the group picture above), where the conference was held, was a fun, faithful, and interesting priest. We really enjoyed his company, his reverent Mass and his enthusiastic love for the Church. He was the priest that brought Carl Olsen and his wife into the Church and in 1996 in Eugene Oregon. He made headline news when he was hearing confessions in an Oregon prison and law officials secretly taped the confession. It is the only time in American history that such a thing has been done and he and the Church fought teh injustice and won in court (thanks to Cardinal George). Fr. Tim has a real story to tell and we were fascinated as he told us the details!

One last thing: these ladies have a very successful Bible Study in Portland and they even wrote their own Bible Study Guide “Our Father’s Plan“ Their work is so well done that it was published by Ignatius Press. Before I even knew that it was THEM that had written this impressive study we had added their Study Guide to our video/DVD “Paul, Contending for the Faith” as a highly recommended source for further study. AND, they used the royalties earned their book to pay for the Portland Catholic Conference. And we never found out until well after we accepted their invitation to speak in Portland Oregon. They have an amazing project — an amazing Bible Study — an amazing group of women. The Pope would be proud of these remarkable ladies because they are the living embodiment of the his call tothe laity to usher in the New Evangelism.

My hat is off to these on-fire Catholics in Portland (no pun intended!)