Study Circles

West Virginia

300 Foxcroft Ave., Ste. 302
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Contact: Dr. Donald Patthoff

Donald Patthoff sends news from the Martinsburg community:

The Martinsburg Communio Study Circle continues to integrate selected Communio articles within special meetings of the Shepherd's Gate Christian Life Community (CLC). Starting in 2005, selected articles and passages from recent issues of Communio were used to match the theme of its biweekly meetings. This past year, however, a selected article from each seasonal issue was simply introduced to some of the CLC meetings as a focus for that evening's deliberations. An open invitation is always extended to the members of St. Joseph parish and the local community.

One of the richest meetings this year focused on the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Communio, “‘Keeping the World Awake to God’: The Challenge of Vatican II.” The ten-member core group was first introduced to passages from Rev. Antonio López's article: “Vatican II's Catholicity: A Christological Perspective on Truth, History, and the Human Person.” The group’s members found Fr. López’s quotation from Hans Urs von Balthasar a key to sharing their personal experiences and present familiarity with Vatican II. “Jesus must be catholic, otherwise his Church, which follows him and is promised his fullness could not be called Catholic. Being catholic means embracing everything, leaving nothing out.” This thread was further developed in a later meeting through reading Rev. Roch Kereszty's “Catholicity and the Mission of the Church” found in the same issue.

The hope now is to explore the most recent issue (Fall 2012) on Death. The theme is appealing on the surface for several reasons: one of our members holds a position with Hospice, another is on the Hospital Ethics Committee, and finally death remains a mystery of life that we all long to understand. Furthermore, alluding to Dr. D. Alan Shewmon's question, “What does integration mean in science and theology?,” (author’s paraphrase from the Fall 2012 issue) this theme seems to be a very timely and insightful gift to all of us.

We look forward to our 2013 experiences and deliberations. We also welcome the new Pastor of St. Joseph Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Fr. Eric Hall. He is now able to be part of our periodic gatherings along with Fr. William P. Linhares, T.O.R.