Welcome to Deacon Jim’s Musings, which will be a site for my homilies, reflections (original or from others), Catholic Factoids (stuff that’s currently in the news), Catechesis (which will be grounded in the Catechism), and videos (the library is limited, but very lively!).
I am a 68 year old deacon (ordained June, 2004) living in the Diocese of Sacramento. I have been married for 43 years and am the father of two children. I have been a theology teacher at a diocesan college preparatory high school for 24 years. My focus has been World Religions, Church History, and Christology. We are inaugurating the Bishops curriculum changes for next school year and I’ll be teaching freshman courses on The Bible and Jesus Christ: God’s Love Made Visible. I cultivated an interest in theology, especially the Social Justice of the Church, as a senior in high school (I had converted to Catholicism as a junior), when I read Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, which planted a virus in my consciousness. That was followed by being blown away by good Pope John XXIII’s Pacem en Terris a few years later. Then came Vatican II; I was especially influenced by Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World). At this point, as Jesuit Volunteers would say, “I was ruined for life.”
I had the opportunity to apply our Social Justice Tradition during the Vietnam Era, in which I was very active in the Catholic peace movement. The U.S. Catholic Historian (the official publication of the U.S. Catholic Historical Society)chronicled my involvement in an article, A Matter of Conscience: The Selective Conscientious Objector, College Students and the Vietnam War, by Helen M. Ciernick (Ph.D); (Vol. 26, #3, Summer 2008). These formative years and influences solidified my conviction that our Faith needs to be lived in accordance with the Sermon of the Mount and Matthew 25, which is nourished by the Eucharist, “the fount and summit of our worship.”
In addition to teaching, my diaconal services include Detention Ministry at Folsom Prison, spiritual direction, and adult faith formation at Divine Savior Catholic Church. I regularly minister to the Word and altar and feel very blessed and privileged to preach at our parish which has been my spiritual home for 23 years. Preaching is a passion which is done collaboratively with my spouse who takes a diamond in the rough and polishes it and who adds a welcomed feminine perspective.
Your comments are most welcome. My contact list is varied, ranging from parishioners, colleagues, former students, brother deacons, and people that somehow God puts in my path. I value your insights and I hope that you will express them when you feel so moved.
Peace and good will,
Deacon Jim McFadden