Luke’s Gospel tells the story of the fisherman, Simon Peter, who had fished all night in familiar waters, but had caught nothing. Christ commands him, “Duc in Altum,” that is, “push out into the deep and lower your nets for a catch.” Although skeptical, Peter does just as Jesus commands. Out in the deep, he catches so many fish that his nets begin to tear and his boat is in danger of sinking. Peter's astonishment is overwhelming. Christ reassures him, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."
Peter was an ordinary man called to an extraordinary mission and who grew, by fits and starts, ever greater in the spiritual life by his ever-hopeful trust in the Lord.
Each week, and in the style of a directed retreat, Fr. Joseph Henchey and Lisa Fortini-Campbell will delve into a different dimension of Peter's growth in faith, connecting it to the vast treasure chest of Scripture and the Magesterium to show how we, too, can move further out into the deep as we follow Christ in the path of the fisherman, our first Pope.
Just as Peter's call began when Christ caught his eye, his fall was complete when Christ caught his eye once again after Peter denied Him three times. Peter's fall is anguishing proof of our human tendency to protect ourselves when our beliefs are under siege even if, like Peter, we have said, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you." (Mk 14:31, Mt. 26:35). But, Fr. Henchey shows us that when "sin abounds, grace super-abounds" and in times like these, we can all rise up again, helped by the hand of the Merciful God, just like Peter did. August 16, 2017.
When Peter proclaimed to Christ, "You are the Son of the Living God," he didn't comprehend the full meaning of those words, yet in them, Christ saw the touch of His Father: "Blessed are you, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you." (Mt 16:17). That notwithstanding, the "Rock" on whom Christ would build His Church still had much to learn. In this reflection, Fr. Henchey shows how Christ helped Peter develop humility and trust by teaching him to stay close by and never to get ahead of Him as they traveled to Jerusalem and eventually on to Calvary. August 9, 2017.
As Peter began his walk with Christ, he grew in humility and trust. Like many of us, his learning process was clumsy, full of false starts, mistakes and misunderstandings. Yet, through it all, Peter was willing to pick himself up and start again which, as Fr. Henchey tells us, must be our way, too, so that we never give into the temptation to discouragement along the long path of our own growth in the spiritual life. August 2, 2017.
This reflection begins a multi-part series on the central events of Peter's life; his call, his early preaching, his fall, his conversion and his repentance, all of which culminated in the great mission of mercy Christ entrusted to him when He said, "Feed my lambs, tend my sheep." (Jn 21:15-17). Fr. Henchey begins here with Peter's call, when Christ caught his eye and said, "Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men." July 26, 2017.
In this last reflection in the series on the Precious Blood, Fr. Henchey draws on the Letter to the Hebrews to show how Christ's sacrifice has allowed us all to become members of his integral family; that is, his true "blood brothers and sisters." July 19, 2017.
Fr. Henchey develops St. Paul's idea of the Precious Blood, particularly as the seal of the covenant of God's mercy which is the fundamental divine attribute. July 12, 2017.
In this reflection, Fr. Henchey delves more deeply into the nature of the Precious Blood as that substance which sustains us during our pilgrimage on earth, giving us new life and hope in our lifelong quest for happiness and union with Christ. July 5, 2017
In this reflection, Fr. Henchey begins a four-part exploration of what Peter first called the "Precious Blood" of Christ (1 Peter 1:19). He begins by tracing the water of baptism and the blood of sacrifice back into their Old Testament roots and explores the way these two "life principles" seal our covenant with God. June 28, 2017.
Where do we get the energy to persevere in our voyage into the spiritual deep? In this reflection, Fr. Henchey shows how baptism changes our essential character, bringing us new life and making us more open to the grace that will transform us as we ever so gradually work to become more Christ-like during our pilgrimage here on earth." June 21, 2017.
In this reflection, Fr. Henchey will tell us about four Old Testament heroes: Abraham, Moses, David and Jeremiah, all of whom God called "out into the deep" from their so-called comfort zones to great heights of spiritual growth. In that sense, they all prefigure the great St. Peter himself and their stories enhance our own understanding of how we, too, might travel further "out into the deep," in our own spiritual journeys. June 14, 2017.
In this inaugural episode, Fr. Henchey and Lisa show us why Peter, the most ordinary of men, can be a model for us on our own journeys of faith. In hope and in trust and despite his many weakness and failings, Peter never gave up on his willingness to move beyond his “comfort zone” and into the spiritual depths, as he gradually conformed himself to the model of Christ. June 7, 2017.
Rev. Joseph Charles Henchey, CSS, STD was born in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA, not far from Boston, on June 2, 1930. He entered the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata on January 6, 1946, and was ordained a Stigmatine Priest in Rome, Italy, on July 1, 1956.
Father Henchey received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome, in 1973. He served in Rome teaching at the Pontifical University for over 20 years, and also as General Councilor of the Stigmatine Congregation [1970-1976 and 1988-1990]. Following this, he taught several years at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT.
In 1996, the North American Episcopal Conference appointed Father Henchey to the Pontifical North American College in Rome as an Assistant Spiritual Director. Father Henchey held this position until 2002, when he was then appointed to the same position at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, MA.
In the fall of 2006, he was appointed to Mundelein Seminary, near Chicago, IL, as occupant of the Paluch Chair of Theology. He held this position until 2009, when he was appointed as Professor of Theology and a Formation Director to the St. Joseph Seminary [Dunwoodie] in Yonkers, NY, position that he held until March, 2014. In the fall of 2015, Father Henchey returned to Mundelein Seminary as Adjunct Spiritual Director.
He has also traveled widely giving retreats, courses and lectures to priests, religious and the laity.
For all of his Stigmatine life, Father Henchey has been a student of St. Gaspar Bertoni, the founder of the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata.
Lisa Fortini-Campbell, PhD, has served on the faculty of the Medill School of Journalism and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University near Chicago for the last 25 years. Her teaching has focused on motivational psychology and communications theory and she has taught a wide variety of courses to both graduate degree students and executives at the university and in corporate settings around the world.
Lisa is a mid-life convert to the Catholic faith and now that she is retired from her university teaching, she is redirecting her work as an educator to encouraging fellow Christians in their faith. She is a frequent speaker at retreats, conferences and parish missions and has been a long-serving faculty member in the Ongoing Pastoral Formation program sponsored jointly by the Kellogg School of Management and Mundelein Seminary. In 2013, she was invited by the late Cardinal Francis George to address the priests of the Archdiocese on the New Evangelization and also served as a keynote speaker at the 2015 Catechetical Conference of the Archdiocese speaking after Cardinal Blase Cupich.
Lisa met Fr. Henchey during her conversion to Catholicism, and he has served as her Spiritual Director since 2009.