Author Topic: Catechumen, Background Check?  (Read 5761 times)

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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Catechumen, Background Check?
« on: April 21, 2016, 01:40:34 AM »
Hi guys, well ever since Forgiveness Sunday, I have been a Catechumen, and extremely happy :). This last Friday, Father gave me some paperwork to fill out, and return it to him, he said if everything goes good, I should be Chrismated by Pentecost, yay very cool 8). However One thing I'm frightened about is Father said he wants to run a background check on me, now for over a decade, I have been following the law, and I have been turning my life around, yet back when I was like 17 - 21 years old, I did get into some small trouble for things like possession of Marijuana (very small amounts), Public Intoxication (found drunk in a bush by police), and a open container. My last trouble was in 2005 with the Open container. I haven't turned into my Catechumen paperwork yet, I'm stuck at the renouncing of heresies part, What should I do? I'm frightened if I don't mention any of my past concerning getting into trouble I'm a liar, If I tell the truth, Father might not want me converting to the Church, What should I do guys? this sucks, I'm ashamed my past follows me this far  :-[

any other convert had to go through this, I understand why the Church does it, and I'm willing to do it, just I'm scared to talk to Father that he may see me in a different light  :(

Offline biro

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2016, 01:46:48 AM »
I didn't have a background check run for me. Never heard of anyone else having to do it, either.  :o
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 01:48:06 AM »
 
I didn't have a background check run for me. Never heard of anyone else having to do it, either.  :o

Thanks biro, this will be fascinating what happens with me :o

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 02:40:03 AM »
I can't imagine you being refused baptism. It would certainly not be Orthodox or Christian, so you'd have recourse. Not that it would come to that I'm sure.

And, btw, this would come up in confession, anyway.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 02:40:54 AM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline Cavaradossi

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 02:43:26 AM »
I can't imagine you being refused baptism. It would certainly not be Orthodox or Christian, so you'd have recourse. Not that it would come to that I'm sure.

And, btw, this would come up in confession, anyway.

Exactly. A priest cannot refuse somebody baptism on the basis of crimes committed in the past. Were that so, there would be no such thing as prison ministry at all.
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2016, 03:07:25 AM »
Thanks guys, should I request a Confession ASAP to clear the air about my past youthful mistakes?

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2016, 07:44:43 AM »
Thanks guys, should I request a Confession ASAP to clear the air about my past youthful mistakes?
I dont know what jurisdiction you're going in to but for me, I had to make a life-confession before Chrismation. I did mine on Lazarus Saturday. It was the most poignant, impactful thing I have ever done in my life.

As far as the background check, it might be to make sure you're not a sex offender, so he doesn't assign you to something with kids and open you to temptation, or something.

Just a guess.

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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2016, 09:20:30 AM »
I have never heard of background checks being run for catechumens. In fact I would consider it immoral of a priest to require such a thing as a prerequisite to initiation.

Now, it is a policy in jurisdictions to require child abuse clearances for council members and Sunday school teachers, which is reasonable, but connecting it to baptism/ chrismation is beyond the pale.
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2016, 09:25:13 AM »
I have never heard of background checks being run for catechumens. In fact I would consider it immoral of a priest to require such a thing as a prerequisite to initiation.

Now, it is a policy in jurisdictions to require child abuse clearances for council members and Sunday school teachers, which is reasonable, but connecting it to baptism/ chrismation is beyond the pale.


I would ask the priest about it...if i were the original poster.  I agree with you that it seems to be out of line...and not the norm.   Maybe there is a confusion or something else is going on that we are not aware of.

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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2016, 09:56:19 AM »
Hi guys, well ever since Forgiveness Sunday, I have been a Catechumen, and extremely happy :). This last Friday, Father gave me some paperwork to fill out, and return it to him, he said if everything goes good, I should be Chrismated by Pentecost, yay very cool 8). However One thing I'm frightened about is Father said he wants to run a background check on me, now for over a decade, I have been following the law, and I have been turning my life around, yet back when I was like 17 - 21 years old, I did get into some small trouble for things like possession of Marijuana (very small amounts), Public Intoxication (found drunk in a bush by police), and a open container. My last trouble was in 2005 with the Open container. I haven't turned into my Catechumen paperwork yet, I'm stuck at the renouncing of heresies part, What should I do? I'm frightened if I don't mention any of my past concerning getting into trouble I'm a liar, If I tell the truth, Father might not want me converting to the Church, What should I do guys? this sucks, I'm ashamed my past follows me this far  :-[

any other convert had to go through this, I understand why the Church does it, and I'm willing to do it, just I'm scared to talk to Father that he may see me in a different light  :(

Um, this sounds really, really strange.  I mean, like flashing-red-light strange.

I can't believe that any of our jurisdictions in America would require this as a matter of policy, and I really don't think it is clergy business to have people fill out questionnaires.  Either people tell the truth or they don't, and it isn't our job to squeeze every drop of info out of people without exigent circumstances (i.e. running a Lifescan on someone working with kids, etc.).  Asking for a life confession prior to Baptism is the norm... paperwork isn't.

I strongly suggest you get some guidance from your bishop.  It is his diocese, and you are part of his flock.  The bishop may not approve of this (and may be thinking of some of the legal ramifications of this regarding records storage, liability, etc.), but he'll never know until someone tells him.

Yes, that is a big step to go to the bishop, but I personally believe this is way out of line.  I've been to seminary, and I've been around a while, and this is the first time I have heard of a 'background check' on catechumens.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 09:57:26 AM by FatherGiryus »
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Offline Schultz

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2016, 10:47:05 AM »
We're talking *criminal* background check?  As others have pointed out, even one of our resident priests, that's out of line.  WAY out of line.

If you're just talking about getting your baptismal certificate from the church you were baptised in as a baby (assuming you were), then that's normal.

as Fr. G says, contact the bishop about your misgivings.
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2016, 11:24:11 AM »
Thanks guys, should I request a Confession ASAP to clear the air about my past youthful mistakes?
I dont know what jurisdiction you're going in to but for me, I had to make a life-confession before Chrismation. I did mine on Lazarus Saturday. It was the most poignant, impactful thing I have ever done in my life.

As far as the background check, it might be to make sure you're not a sex offender, so he doesn't assign you to something with kids and open you to temptation, or something.

Just a guess.

PP

Bingo.

The way that seekeroftruth777 phrases it (or his priest), it sounds REALLY weird/awkward, but whatever your background, it shouldn't prevent you from being baptized.  I think maybe ALL jurisdictions now though require a background check for those working with kids (i.e. Sunday school teacher, chaperone, etc.).  This could just be his process to a priori (dis)qualify you in the even that want to volunteer in that capacity.  If this is his (or his bishop's) new SOP (standard operating procedure), it would behoove them to at least mention it so you're not shocked by it.

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2016, 11:26:58 AM »
Given that a check -costs- money.....doing it before the person has any interest or has been approached to be in such a ministry.....is un-needed and wasteful of resources.

A priest that wants to run such a check before this...either has way too much $ or time......
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Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2016, 11:32:12 AM »
seekeroftruth777- have you volunteered to do anything with the youth group or sunday school classes? Something that would involve you working with children in any way?

Either way, the first thing you need to do if you don't know already, is to ask him what he wants a background check for.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2016, 11:43:09 AM »

What ZZ said.

Everyone having anything to do with kids, may be subject to a background check.

...otherwise...repented past sins should not hinder your future as an Orthodox Christian.  We all have a past...and have sinned in some shape or form.  We come to Christ to heal us. 
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2016, 11:53:54 AM »
Just to chime in another voice to the chorus saying this sounds weird.

I suppose before you go to the bishop you should just ask the priest for clarification.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 11:54:34 AM by Agabus »
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2016, 12:02:15 PM »
Thanks everyone, looks like some good advice, I think father wants me to help in the altar, so it makes sense, will ask father for clarification.

Offline WPM

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2016, 12:03:23 PM »
I don't think background checks are for church.
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Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2016, 12:05:51 PM »
I'm not Orthodox but this is very common practice in Protestant churches if your going to work with youth in any capacity.

Offline Bob2

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2016, 12:48:17 PM »
Just to chime in another voice to the chorus saying this sounds weird.

I suppose before you go to the bishop you should just ask the priest for clarification.

This

Offline Quinault

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2016, 11:13:13 PM »
Doh! I just repeated what everyone else said, never mind.

It does sound odd, but if you will be working in the altar it would be understandable that he wants to check your background.

At your first confession you will be doing what is called a "life" confession, which would be a great time to go over these things. In any case at your baptism you will be "cleared" so to speak of those sins. Your priest has likely seen and heard some pretty awful stuff so don't be too self-conscious. The church is a hospital for the sick, not a club for perfect people.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 11:22:53 PM by Quinault »

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2016, 07:01:39 AM »
Thanks guys, should I request a Confession ASAP to clear the air about my past youthful mistakes?

I made confession during Holy Week before my confession.  To me, that seems a lot better than running a background check.  You're not applying for a job.  You're being received i to the Church!
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2016, 08:11:00 AM »
Hi guys, well ever since Forgiveness Sunday, I have been a Catechumen, and extremely happy :). This last Friday, Father gave me some paperwork to fill out, and return it to him, he said if everything goes good, I should be Chrismated by Pentecost, yay very cool 8). However One thing I'm frightened about is Father said he wants to run a background check on me, now for over a decade, I have been following the law, and I have been turning my life around, yet back when I was like 17 - 21 years old, I did get into some small trouble for things like possession of Marijuana (very small amounts), Public Intoxication (found drunk in a bush by police), and a open container. My last trouble was in 2005 with the Open container. I haven't turned into my Catechumen paperwork yet, I'm stuck at the renouncing of heresies part, What should I do? I'm frightened if I don't mention any of my past concerning getting into trouble I'm a liar, If I tell the truth, Father might not want me converting to the Church, What should I do guys? this sucks, I'm ashamed my past follows me this far  :-[

any other convert had to go through this, I understand why the Church does it, and I'm willing to do it, just I'm scared to talk to Father that he may see me in a different light  :(

I can't speak to the background check bit, but you're in good (bad?) company with your past; I just was never caught.  :(  And like was said already, the priest has probably heard a lot of junk.  Perhaps you could just share your concern about being seen in a different light.  Either way, Christ makes all things new!  Be repentant, but also be joyful in God's mercy and forgiveness.
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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2016, 10:23:59 AM »
I have never heard of background checks being run for catechumens. It only recently has started for  seminarians, sunday school teachers. Even with this stated, none of the "crimes" or sins you cited would ever eliminate you from entering the church. It is  not unheard of , but not a requirement to do a life confession just prior to baptism---in any case baptism is a clean page in the eyes of the Church.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2016, 10:24:15 AM »
I don't necessarily have a problem with the background check. A priest will be privy to much more intense info from parishioners than the few items you mentioned.

However, a background check is also an exception.  I would ask if there is anything else that seems odd about either you or about the priest that would explain his strange request. It could just be a fluke and both you and the priest could be totally normal. But there are cases where either a parishioner or a priest has a personality issue.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 10:26:23 AM by rakovsky »
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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2016, 10:33:34 AM »
If the poster will work behind the altar, the check might well be for that, since it would likely be working with the youth that also serve.

But that means it has ZERO to do with being received into the Church itself.

THIS is what the poster needs to have clarified, since it is sounding like a 'to be received' vs a 'to work around children...' 


the former is wrong, the latter is routine.

but the latter can also WAIT until after he is actually Orthodox.
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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2016, 11:06:54 AM »
I didn't have a background check run for me. Never heard of anyone else having to do it, either.  :o
+ 1

I only undestand a general confession before converting, during which you should tell such things, to be cleaned out of sins and that your new spiritual guide (father) know what used to form your soul, with what things you may have problems etc.
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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2016, 03:20:43 PM »
If I recall correctly, a background check is mentioned here:

http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/thearena/making_your_church_a_catechetical_power_house

I agree with the general sense here that it's strange.

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2016, 03:23:53 PM »
"Making your church a catechetical power house." Wow.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2016, 03:25:09 PM »
"Making your church a catechetical power house." Wow.
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2016, 03:25:31 PM »
If I recall correctly, a background check is mentioned here:

http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/thearena/making_your_church_a_catechetical_power_house

I agree with the general sense here that it's strange.



eww thats creepy.

'they are welcome, but we have this piece of paper over in the church office that lists their 'sins' so to speak, forever'


maybe if he wasn't so worried about being a 'powerhouse' he would slow down and just get to know the people personally... ;)
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2016, 03:26:31 PM »
"Making your church a catechetical power house." Wow.
Edward Bernaysodoxy

Or is it Tony Robbinsodoxy?
Quote
When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2016, 03:29:17 PM »
"Making your church a catechetical power house." Wow.
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Or is it Tony Robbinsodoxy?

Tony Robbins is small potatoes. He was never chill enough to help a fruit company overthrow the Guatemalan government.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 03:29:58 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2016, 04:02:24 PM »
"Making your church a catechetical power house." Wow.

Apparently, Father Josiah feels the same. From the transcript:

"I’m very humbled to be here, and I want to make some apologies just up front for the kind of grandiose title of this workshop: “How to Make Your Parish a Catechetical Powerhouse!” [Laughter] Sounds really great! I knew it would be attractive, even though I’m completely embarrassed by the title. And remember, too, we’re talking about Orthodox, okay. [Laughter] When you have a very—I always tell people—when you have a very tiny pond, a little minnow is a big fish. That’s how it works. We Orthodox—God love us—we stink! [Laughter] We stink in catechesis and outreach, and some of my heroes with regards to real catechism are people like the Fathers of the catechetical school of Alexandria, which was started in the second century and went on for hundreds of years and educated tens of thousands of Christians all across the Roman Empire, and the heads of this catechetical school were successive saints."

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2016, 04:23:09 PM »
Well, he's certainly not above engaging in even crazier histrionics with a straight face.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 04:30:30 PM by Iconodule »
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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2016, 04:27:41 PM »
Well, he'll certainly not above engaging in even crazier histrionics with a straight face.


ahhh that's where i remembered the name from.
All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Agabus

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2016, 05:36:43 PM »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

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Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2016, 05:54:39 PM »
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Fr. Josiah: I’m glad you’re asking that. You’re saying after they’re received? Oh, I know that. We have a catechumen coordinator. I didn’t mention this; I should have mentioned this. Her name is, in fact, on the front of the handout that you just got. She keeps a record of attendance to tell me.

Q13: Do you do that for everybody, or just the catechumens?

Fr. Josiah: No, no, no. Just the catechumens. I would love to do it for everybody. [Laughter] But I just don’t have the resources yet, brother. No.

Hey, there's a blast from the past. I had completely suppressed memories of chapel check-in at my Puritan-roots college.

Fr. Josiah says: "I would love to do it for everybody. [Laughter] But I just don’t have the resources yet." Papers, please. [Laughter] No, seriously. Papers, please. Now.

I'd like to believe his bishop is ignorant of this background check, attendance record ... stuff. But there's a transcript on AFR!

Ironically, I liked the man because we came from a similar background. But this is ... stuff.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2016, 06:01:56 PM »
Phat stax cover a multitude of indiscretions
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2016, 06:23:46 PM »
Don't anyone tell him about this:

Quote
Churchix is a face recognition based event attendance tracking software. Developed as a desktop application, Churchix identifies event attending members in videos and photos. All you need to do is enrol high quality photos of your members into the software data base, then connect a live video USB camera or upload recorded videos or photos – and Churchix will identify your members!

Churchix facial recognition software is designed for Church administrators and event managers who want to save the pain of manually tracking their members attendance to their events.

First of its kind, Churchix provides you with accurate data on members attendance in your events and services. The software also allows you to sort and manage your videos and photos.



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And I don't need to see any more
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2016, 06:39:20 PM »
Thread locked pending moderator review. 

Mor Ephrem, section moderator
Mor Ephrem is a nice guy.  Just say sorry and it will all be ok. Say I had things that were inside troubling me but I didn't know how to express appropriately. I will not behave that way again but I am seeking help.

thank you so much Mor ephrem you are a hero!

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2016, 12:35:11 AM »
I reviewed the comments and  have no issues with this topic, I am unsure why a priest or a congregation would need background checks on new catechumen becoming members, the other comments just indicate it is  more of an issue than I was aware of. Let the discussion continue. But remember keep it simple with resources, not hearsay.

Thomas
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Your brother in Christ ,
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Offline Opus118

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2016, 01:05:52 AM »
Perhaps it is related to Matthew Heinbach. This is the only explanation I could come up with.
If you cannot remember everything, instead of everything, I beg you, remember this without fail, that not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth but theirs.  If we have this attitude, we will certainly offer our money; and by nourishing Christ in poverty here and laying up great profit hereafter, we will be able to attain the good things which are to come. - St. John Chrysostom

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Catechumen, Background Check?
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2016, 10:00:46 AM »
Perhaps it is related to Matthew Heinbach. This is the only explanation I could come up with.

Idk, thanks everyone for your help, but more, and more I feel like it could be about working in the Altar, Father been kind of laying out to me, what a altar boy does a lot lately, so I'm ok with that being a reason, and completely understand it, considering that kids are there.