Pastor's Blog

In 1943 an anti-Fascist Jesuit priest from Croatia fled to Czechoslovakia to escape the Nazis.  His name was Father Kolakovic.

Father Kolakovic feared that if the allies defeated Hitler, eastern Europe would come under the rule of the communist Stalin and that would mean persecution for the Catholic Church.

The priest was concerned about the testing that the church would face, and he didn’t believe that there was enough spiritual vitality in the very formal, very orthodox, very traditional Catholic Church to survive persecution.

To prepare the church for what he believed was coming, Kolakovic established cell groups of faithful young Catholics that met to pray, to study, and to share life together.  He used the meetings to teach them a Christian world view, how to live out the faith and how to identify and resist evil.  The cell groups came to be known as “The Family”.  Kolakovic’s “Family” spread throughout Czechoslovakia.

In 1946, when the Soviets had been given control of eastern Europe, just as the priest had anticipated, Kolakovic was deported.  Most of “the Family” was imprisoned by Stalin.

When they re-emerged from prison in the 1960’s, the Family re-established themselves as the underground church, meeting in small groups disseminating the teachings of the Christian faith.

In 1988 Father Kolakovic's "Family" helped organize a protest against the communist state (called "The Candle Demonstration").  The push for freedom continued and blossomed.  A year later, the communist regime fell and a free democratic government led by the now-renowned Vaclav Havel was established.

Because one man anticipated what was coming and did what it took to spiritually strengthen and prepare God's people.

Perhaps nothing will come of the leftward trend in our own country that seems bent on slowly eroding our liberties and marginalizing Christians from the mainstream culture.  I’m not optimistic about that.  I believe we should prepare as Father Kolakovic did for a day when perhaps the government will more viciously oppose us for our beliefs.  I believe we should start working on a system that enables us to meet in smaller groups to encourage and strengthen each other and to continue passing down our faith to our children and to others that may come seeking spiritual sustenance.

And now, I'm all ears...

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