Two and a half years ago, a book by Matthew Kelly (Rediscover Catholicism) appeared in our parish lobby for sale. In fact, it appeared in many local church lobbies. I bought a copy, read the prologue and immediately recognized the spiritual poison contained therein. I blogged about it then and will not rehash what I wrote; read it here. What I will do is link to the problematic pages in the prologue, since many friends thought "it's not that bad" (making me wonder just how "bad" it has to be for them to recognize real problems). Note: my use of these pages for commentary is fully permissible under the "fair use" doctrine. For those of you who are wondering, I did pose my questions and objections to Mr. Kelly on his website comment area; I never received a reply.
Here are bulletin announcements as they appear in St John Neumann's and St Paul's. Notice in the St John Neumann bulletin the purpose is to "help us become the best version of ourselves". That's new age psycho-babble. Any Catholic speaker worthy of that title will give us food for thought to become holy. There IS a difference!
I googled Kelly. Here's a wikipedia piece. According to that, he's a motivational speaker and management consultant. I can see how these things would dovetail with his "best version of self" talks. I cannot tell if there's a deliberate connection, but the possibility exists. He also had "apparitions" in the 1990s, ones that did not pass the muster of his bishop. To his credit he complied with the bishop's direction not to promulgate the rather odd content of these "apparitions". See #180 in this website. That webmaster says he/she wouldn't trust Kelly's talks or books. I concur. The same mind that produced wacky "messages from God" is the same mind that produced the heresy in the prologue to Rediscover Catholicism. That mind will be the source of words spoken at St Peter's on April 17th.
As you might have noticed in the parish bulletins, Kelly will be appearing with musician Eliot Morris. I googled Morris and found his website. Please notice that there is no mention of "God", "faith", "Jesus Christ", etc. For any "run-of-the-mill" musician or entertainer, that lack wouldn't be so remarkable. However, he allegedly "prepared a unique message inspired by God". So just what are his qualifications for imparting this message? For that matter, what are Kelly's?
For the awesome (?) privilege of having these two fellows help you to "discover God's voice" in two weeks, you will have to cough up $39.00. In the Neumann bulletin we're urged to do so quickly because "the show is expected to be a sellout". "Show"??? Freudian slip, much? I would expect an authentic Catholic talk to be called a "talk" or "address" or "event" - but "show"? That smacks of a performance of entertainment, to me. I hope I'm wrong, but I smell a racket.
I learned of this through an announcement in the parish bulletin. It makes me wonder how - or if - the parish offices take any care to vet these announcement requests before they actually publish them. Moreover, I wonder how the parishes discern what books are allowed to be peddled in their church lobbies. "Rediscover Catholicism" should have been rejected by the parishes.
Before folks waste $39 of their hard-earned money, I'm providing some "food for thought"; and I'm not charging one red penny for it!