Apologetics: Catholic for a Reason
Source : St Mary's Catholic Church News Network
The first apologetics seminar in the UAE opened to a church full of faithful at St Mary's Dubai on Wednesday 3 February. Fr Varghese introduced the world renowned Apologist Steve Ray and his wife Janet from USA. Steve, who, at the age of 40 converted to is very strong in his Faith and beliefs of the Catholic religion and is active in defending the faith for the past 15 years.
Steve spoke on Eucharist and Mother Mary with references from both Old Testament and New Testament. He also referred to the Church's majestarium and oral tradition and why we have to take these into consideration in our Christian beliefs. Whilst Steve expressed his appreciation to the fact that with a congregation of over 100,000 St Mary's Dubai is world's largest parish and he urged the faithful to thank God for the gift of faith and to strengthen it.
An exclusive seminar on 5th February morning for a group of 200 participants saw Steve discussing the importance of being a Catholic. He also answered questions on a wide range of topics from reciting the rosary, statues, icons and holy pictures, and why we call a priest as 'Father'.
On the second day, Steve Ray spoke about his own conversion from being a Baptist to a Catholic and highlighted the importance of reading and understanding the Holy Bible. Steve also discussed whether faith alone is enough for our salvation. He quoted "See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone ... For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (James 2: 24, 26). In the concluding part he spoke about the reality of purgatory which prepares the souls who have died in grace for their heavenly abode.
On Wednesday 10 February, the final day of the UAE seminar, Steve returned to Dubai to summarily answer the main questions asked by the faithful during the entire programme. He explained the importance of statues, relics and praying to Mother Mary and the saints. On behalf of the congregation Fr Tomasito felicitated and thanked Steve and Janet for sharing their faith experience and commended their missionary activities.