This website has now welcomed almost ten thousand visitors.* That certainly has surpassed my expectations when I inaugurated it in June of 1996. In fact since last January it has been receiving over a thousand visitors a month. It seems like a good time to write a "mission statement," that is, to clarify my purpose.
On one level this is a fun hobby. I can only compare it to the experience of learning a new language and communicating with people otherwise beyond my limited world. It has had its moments of frustration and misunderstanding, but overall is exhilarating. I am grateful to my younger brother Louie who showed me how to get started, overcome obstacles and make improvements like adding pictures.
This website also has a deeper purpose: to evangelize, to offer the saving truth of Jesus, especially to young people surfing the Internet (and perhaps asking "What is God's plan for my life?"). In doing this I have tried as best I can to explain the Catholic Faith. I take as my motto the succinct saying of Pope John Paul II in Redemptoris Missio:
What we propose is the very teaching of Jesus. We offer it freely and each person has the freedom to accept or reject it. What one cannot do is remain neutral. The questions are too important. They are three:
People both outside and within the Church have attempted compromise answers to these questions. In this website I try to show that those attempts are flawed. Only a "yes" or a "no" will really do in the long run. Of course, I hope your answer will be "yes." However, I cannot argue anyone to that conclusion. Faith alone makes that "yes" possible. I do hope I can remove some obstacles by showing it is not unreasonable to believe that God exists, that Jesus is God and He founded the Catholic Church.
The teachings of Jesus are not some occult "gnostic" doctrine. If you wish to discover them for yourself, simply read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In it the teachings of Jesus are explained clearly and are applied to the pressing problems of modern man. They are the solution to the troubles which beset our society. In this website I have tried to illustrate that conviction by discussing some hard teachings like birth control, the male-only priesthood, abortion, immigration, and others. I also challenge those within the Church who dissent from Catholic teaching and who sometimes use scandals like pedophilia as a kind of trump card when their arguments seem to be failing. I believe I have struck a chord because those articles are the most visited and have provoked the greatest amount of e-mail both pro and con.
Debating controversial issues poses a danger: the pride which can lead to putting oneself above, even judging the other person. I acknowledge that I have at times given in to that temptation, but I try to catch myself. Salvation after all comes not from being right or even acting right, but from humble confession of sins.
I am a parish priest. I do not claim any particular expertise beyond my theological studies, personal reading and twenty-five years of interaction with ordinary folk both in the Archdiocese of Seattle and the mountains of Peru. In the process of evangelization, I share a bit about myself, my family, my present parish (Holy Family, Seattle) and my experience in Peru. I invite participation in an ongoing project in that country which bears the name of my mom: The Mary Bloom Center.
I welcome your e-mail comments and questions.
I would be willing to share what I have learned with any other priest interested in this new vehicle for evangelization.
October 5, 1998 Update: Thanks to favorable recommendations from other websites, the traffic at this site has increased to about fifteen hundred visitors per month. I am grateful for your visit and would enjoy hearing from you. If you have found helpful insights in living your faith, please invite others to visit.
*Between June 10, 1996 and September 8, 1998 there were approximately 30,000 visitors to this website.
(reset at "0" when moved to this file on Sept. 8, 1998)