Meade County parishes to hold missions

Special to The Record
BRANDENBURG, Ky. — The Catholic parishes in Meade County will hold their 2014 Meade County Catholic Mission from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 18.

The mission programs will be held at the Meade County Farm Bureau Building at 8789 Hillcrest Drive in Brandenburg.

The guest speaker for the event, according to a news release from the four Meade County parishes, will be Father Paul CB Schenck, a priest from the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., where he is director of the Respect Life Office, ongoing formation of deacons and continuing education for priests.

The theme of this year’s mission is “Blessed the People the Lord has Chosen to be His Own,” taken from Psalm 33:2-3.

All four churches in the county — St. Martin of Tours in Flaherty, Ky.; St. John the Apostle in Brandenburg; St. Mary Magdalen in Payneville, Ky.; and St. Theresa in Rhodelia, Ky. — take part in the mission each year.

This year’s featured speaker, Father Schenck, was born and raised Jewish. A news release, apparently taken in large part from the  National Pro-life Center, said:

“He was baptized a Christian at age 16 by a Salvation Army officer substituting in a Methodist church.”

Prior to becoming a priest, Father Schenck was “trained in a missionary Bible college; attended an Evangelical Christian college and Catholic university and seminary. He is certified in health care ethics with the National Catholic Bioethics Center and completed the master course in bioethics at the Kennedy Institute
of Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.”

After serving as a priest in the Episcopal Church, he was ordained a Catholic priest in 2004.

He holds degrees in Biblical studies, theology, bioethics and pastoral practice. He teaches in the Diocesan Institute of Harrisburg and Holy Apostles College and Seminary in the Diocese of Norwich.

Before he was ordained a priest, he was a minister in the evangelical and Anglican communities. For more than three decades, the release said, “he has been active in ministry to prisoners, addicts, the homeless, refugees, immigrants, persons facing crisis pregnancies, members of the abortion trade, health care professionals, judges and politicians.”

“Father Schenck has also been an animal caretaker, janitor, short-order cook, youth minister, substitute teacher, college professor, seminary instructor, author, missionary, boiler operator, public interest law advocate and pastor.”

He and his high school sweetheart, Becky Wald, a businesswoman, have been married for 36 years. They have eight living children and one deceased.

The release said when he was a Protestant minister, Father Schenck challenged a federal court order prohibiting pro-life sidewalk counseling, religious demonstrations and free speech activities. His case reached the U.S. Supreme Court which voted 8-1 in his favor, striking down certain speech restrictions. His case was cited by the court in the unanimous McCullen vs. Coakley case of 2014, which struck down the remaining restrictions on sidewalk counseling.

Father Schenck is also chairman of the National Pro-Life Center in Washington. Those attending the mission events in September are asked to make an offering to help support both the event and future parish missions.

For more information, call Greg Beavin at 270-668-6923 or Greg_beavin@kyfbins.com; Ed Tate at 270-547-0645; or Tim Curran at 270-828-2233.

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