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.
Fr. Henchey interviews with Cardinal Timothy Dolan about his Duc in Altum show.
Episode 27: The agony in Gesthemane now serving as an anchor for our understanding of the vast wisdom of Scripture, Fr. Henchey explores such fundamental ideas as temptation and trial and introduces the influence of the "evil one." All of this serves to help us better understand Christ's own temptations and the great spiritual combat he undertook to save us all.
Episode 26: With this reflection, Fr. Henchey begins major leg of our voyage into the deep with a long study of the redemptive mystery of the Agony in the Garden of Gesthemane. He gives us a preview of all of the elements of this study and then offers an overview of the ideas that are crucial in our attempt to grasp this mystery: temptation, trial, agony and the sweating of blood, according to the Gospel of Luke.
Episode 25: Here, Fr. Henchey goes deeply into the writings of the prophets Joel and Amos whose descriptions of the darkness reveal the awe-inspiring power of God which we call, "The Day of the Lord." The Day of the Lord reaches its zenith on Calvary in the darkness that came over all the earth when Christ's sacrifice was complete and Death was defeated. This is a redemptive darkness and out of it comes eternal salvation because the powers of darkness will never prevail.
Episode 24: In this episode, Fr. Henchey continues his Scripture-wide exploration the rich meaning of darkness with a special focus on the Exodus imagery and its stories of the dark cloud, the ninth plague and the dark night. Yet, out of this darkness came new life for Israel just as forgiveness and a new mission came out of the dark night for Peter. For us, too, the darkness which comes into our lives is not permanent and by the mercy of God, we can walk out of it into new light.
Episode 23: Moving forward from his discussion of Psalm 130 (De Profundis) Fr. Henchey opens up a new theme in our voyage into the deep with an exploration of the pervasive metaphor of "darkness." In the darkness after he denied Christ, Peter repented and hoped. In contrast, in the darkness after he betrayed Christ, Judas despaired. Thus, the "darkness" can both "illuminate and comfort" us or "obscure and frighten" us. Beginning deep in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, Fr. Henchey explores the richness of references to the darkness into which the Light of the World will eventually come.
Episode 22: Fr. Henchey concludes his discussion of Psalm 130 by developing the theme of God's great and all-encompassing mercy. The psalmist has confidence that God will forgive him, extend His hand to him, and mercifully lift him up because he has cried out to God in his helplessness. In the life of St. Peter which follows the Resurrection, we can see that God did indeed extend His hand of mercy after Peter's great fall. In the same way, all of us should lift up our hearts and have the same confidence that if we turn back to God, no matter the persistence of the weakness nor the gravity of the sin, God will lovingly welcome us back to Him.
Episode 21: Fr. Henchey begins his discussion of the poetry of Psalm 130 in earnest and he links its description of the "depths" of suffering which the psalmist expresses in images of flooding, darkness and imprisonment to the many other Scriptural passages that use similar imagery to describe a supplicant's misery. Yet, the psalmist is confident God sees his pain and hears his pleas. In the same way, we, too, can be confident that God hears our cries for mercy and just as He saved Peter, He will wash away and forget our sins in the abundance of His mercy.
Episode 20: In this reflection, Fr. Henchey continues and then concludes his explanation of Psalm 51, the psalm that he suggests could well have been the cry of Peter's own heart (although it was written centuries before he was born). He analyzes the poem verse by verse concluding with its hope-filled promise of forgiveness and redemption. This leads directly to his overview of Psalm 130, the poem referred to as De Profundis because of its opening lines: "Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!"
Episode 19: Fr. Henchey begins an exploration of Psalm 51, the great Miserere. After a discussion of the context, history, dating and authorship of this poem, Fr. Henchey sets up its three great themes: acknowledgment of sin, plea for mercy and thanksgiving for redemption. The psalmist gives us a preview of all three themes in the poem's opening verses.
Episode 18: The great Psalm 22 concludes with the sufferer singing hymns of thanksgiving and praise full of confident hope that God will save and redeem him. In this reflection, Fr. Henchey teaches us that we, too, can lead lives full of such hope, no matter the suffering we are enduring or the sins we have committed. St. Peter knew this truth first hand as he was forgiven his denial of the Lord and offered the great mission to feed and tend Christ's flock. As we begin to absorb this idea, too, we are led to a greater abandonment of our lives to the mercy of God so that no matter what our life's circumstances, we will "live in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives."
Episode 17: Going even more deeply into the descriptions of suffering in Psalm 22, we see metaphors for fear, pain and rejection expressed in heart-breaking poetry. But, the psalmist never loses hope. In the depths of his suffering, his meditations turn to supplication for rescue and then towards hope and praise for the goodness of God. The psalm which began with words echoed by Christ on the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," will end with heartfelt thanksgiving for the mercy of God.
Episode 16: In this reflection, Fr. Henchey continues his exploration of the richness of Psalm 22, uncovering the nuance of its verses which lament the emotional and physical suffering of its writer. He shows how this kind of suffering, in great and small ways, comes to each and every one of us. However, he also teaches that our lamentations must not become an endpoint in our suffering, but rather a threshold over which we cross as we acknowledge the greatness of God and allow Him to help us move towards trust in Him.
Episode 15: After Peter's fall, he did not despair but trusted in the mercy of God. While we do not know the words of his repentance, perhaps the poetry of the three great psalms of suffering, repentance, and trust in God (Ps 22, 51, and 130) might give us a clue. In this reflection, Fr. Henchey begins an in-depth exploration of Psalm 22 and its famous words of overwhelming distress, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," words echoed by Christ himself, and words which set the stage for the sufferer to open himself to God's mercy. September 13, 2017.
Episode 14: In this reflection, Fr. Henchey continues to discuss the theme of conversion by exploring its theology and connection to the Blessed Trinity. Conversion is an exodus from what was to what will be and the Trinity fosters that pilgrimage through the gentle encouragement of the Father, in the exemplar of the Son and with the fortification of the gifts of the Spirit. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the action of the Trinity becomes evident as the penitent who leaves sin behind is elevated to a deeper communion of friendship in the Trinity. September 6, 2017.
Episode 13: In this reflection, Fr. Henchey explains that true conversion must be undertaken urgently, be sincere and total, although of course, it comes to final fruition only in our personal resurrections. However, while we are on earth, and as it was for Peter, our conversion will begin to bear fruit as it changes us and our relationships with other people. August 30, 2017.
Episode 12: David's conversion began when he absorbed the impact of Nathan's words: "You are the man!" Peter's eye contact with Christ was a similar moment of epiphany when he realized that Christ's prediction that he would deny Him three times was true. True sorrow over this failure put Peter on the road to redemption. In this reflection, Fr. Henchey shows us that while conversion needs to be expressed in external behavioral change, at its foundation, it requires a "metanoia;" that is, a deep interior conversion and turning of heart and mind toward God. August 23, 2017.
Episode 11: 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.
Episode 10: 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.
Episode 9: 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.
Episode 8: 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.
Episode 7: 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.
Episode 6: 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.
Episode 5: 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
Episode 4: 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.
Episode 3: 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.
Episode 2: 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.
Episode 1: 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.