It is hard to overstate how important Michael is in my returning to the Church. I first went to see Chris McCullough, at the time the coordinator of faith formation at St. Matt’s, and after we talked he suggested I start attending the weekly inquiry meetings on Wednesday nights in the East Conference Room. The first time I went I met Will and Bridget, and the next week I met Michael and Barbara. And they traded off every week, Will/Bridget and Michael/Barbara.
But the thing that struck me right away that second week, meeting Michael for the first time, was something he said. He first asked us all why we were there. We went around the room giving various answers as to our backgrounds and relationships maybe with Catholics and what we were seeking. After we were all done, Michael said that these things were all well and good, but first and foremost, we had arrived here because God had called us here.
I was rather stunned to hear this.
You may argue as to the influence that God actually has on us on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps then it’s more accurate to say that God calls all of us, each and every one of us, all the time. So perhaps we had showed up that day because were just finally answering a phone that had been ringing and ringing for some time.
Talking to him since then, I’ve learned that he’s a writer. Wrote a lot about the scandal, priests sexually molesting kids and the Church covering it up for decades. The Scandal – it deserves capitalization, at least. Wrote for the New Republic. I had done some web surfing and scoured up a bunch of articles and put them together as The Michael Sean Winters Reader.
Have now discovered that he blogs. (Of course! Who doesn’t?) Over at America, the National Catholic Weekly. Read him there, contributing to the In All Things blog.