Cape Cod summer speakers series returns

By Becky Aubut, Anchor Staff

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MASHPEE, Mass. — Christ the King Parish in Mashpee will be launching its annual Summer Catholic Reflections Speakers Series on June 25. Co-sponsored by Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville, Our Lady of the Assumption in Osterville, and St. Anthony Parish in East Falmouth, the annual series is held at Christ the King Parish Hall (www.ChristtheKingParish.com).

“The series was developed in 2008 by the pastors of Our Lady of Victory, St. Anthony and Christ the King,” explained Deacon Robert Lemay of Christ the King Parish. “The need for adult Faith Formation was the originating purpose of this joint venture. This endeavor, of course, allowed those parishes involved to help defray the cost of having the guest speakers. It was also determined that Christ the King Parish would be the appropriate location for the presentations as Mashpee is the geographical center to the particular parishes.”

Deacon Lemay added, “The presentations are also offered throughout the Cape and the diocese and not limited to the local parishes” and are free to attend.

Three speakers are scheduled — one for June, July and August — and the series will begin on June 25 at 7 p.m. by hosting Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., who will present, “The New Evangelization for the 21st Century.” The bishop will take a look at the development of the concept of evangelization from the Second Vatican Council to the present, and examine the meaning of evangelization and discuss why evangelization should be in the forefront of every Catholic’s mind. Bishop da Cunha will explore what evangelization has to do with being Catholic, and why it’s an integral part of the mission of parishes and the Universal Church.

“I think there is excitement in hearing from our new Bishop of Fall River,” said Deacon Lemay. “I would say his topic of ‘The New Evangelization for the 21st Century’ will be in tune with Pope Francis’ ‘Joy of the Gospel.’”

On July 14 at 7 p.m., Father Austin Fleming will speak on “Finding and Sharing Jesus Online.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI encouraged evangelization through digital content during his papacy, and that through the Internet the Good Word could be shared daily. Father Fleming will answer many questions regarding the best strategy to using the Internet: “How best do we bring the person and message of Jesus to the digital world? Does online Spirituality satisfy too easily? How can the online presence of the Church draw people to our Sanctuaries on Sunday mornings?”

“Father Fleming’s topic will be attractive to our younger generation and for those who are so-called ‘connected,’” said Deacon Lemay.

Father Fleming is a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and has served in campus ministry at the University of Notre Dame, Northeastern University and Emerson College. He is also the author of “Preparing for Liturgy: A Theology and Spirituality,” a “Prayerbook for Engaged Couples,” and “Parish Weddings.” For the past eight years he has written a daily blog on prayer, Spirituality and the Liturgy through “A Concord Pastor Comments”: www.ConcordPastor.blogspot.com.

Bishop Robert Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg, Fla., will cap the summer series on August 6 at 7 p.m. with his presentation, “Three Popes: One Church” as he reflects on the pontificates of St. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis and their very different styles of serving the Church. Bishop Lynch is known for his time spent as the general secretary of the United States Catholic Conference and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. He was ordained a bishop and installed as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg in 1996.

“His topic seems like a topic that will pique curiosity for finding the thread that connects [the popes],” said Deacon Lemay. “That looks interesting to me.”

Each summer series has been filled with exceptional presenters and this year is no different, said Deacon Lemay: “I have heard many comments regarding the upcoming speakers, and all are looking forward with anticipation.”

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