My name is Barry Schoedel. I work as an Associate Director in the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. I converted to the Catholic Faith when I was 29 years old. During this journey I studied philosophy (Eastern & Western) and started to adopt ascetical disciplines and spiritual practices. What I lacked in virtue I tried to make up for in commitment.
After college I considered going on to get a PhD in academic religious studies but was drawn more and more to the study of Catholic theology. This led me to study for a graduate degree in theology at a Benedictine institution, St. Meinrad. I was drawn to St. Meinrad primarily because of the beauty of the pastoral setting and liturgical prayer of the Divine Office.
After this I completed the coursework for an MA in Philosophy at Gonzaga while in seminary. I voluntarily withdrew from seminary because of an illness.
I have worked for the Church since then in various capacities.
I view my life through the lens of moral reform and awakening to the love of God in Christ.
After much trial and error I have lived a life free of drugs and alcohol since February 28th 2003, by the grace of God, and the kindness of others.
It was during that early period of recovery where through a mix of suffering and grace I slowly awakened to the truth that there was a personal and loving Creator that was present to me.
I continue to seek to deepen my relationship with God and to grow in humility, that I may evermore live in wonder at the gift of life and love.
My views here are my own personal reflections. As a practicing Catholic I always seek to write and live within the communion of faith. If I fall short in my expression of faith and my devotedness to the communion thereof this reflects my own lack of understanding, or perhaps passions I am blind to. For these moments I apologize in advance.
The ultimate end of this blog is to serve Christ, especially in the poor in spirit, and to serve the Holy Church.
Like the Blessed Mother I seek to bear Christ in the Sacrament of the Present Moment.
This blog is especially dedicated to those who are existentially suffering, who experience a deficit of love and because of that find themselves bound to thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that only compound that suffering.
I am thinking of those who are lost in darkness and pain, who feel estranged from the love of God.
May we together seek that love that reconciles – the love that the Jesus communicates to the lost sheep. May the angels rejoice in heaven as together we turn anew to the all-merciful Lord.
This title of this blog is inspired by Benedict XVI whose papal motto was, Cooperatores Veritatis, or Cooperators of Truth.
The writings of then Joseph Ratzinger, especially his book Introduction to Christianity, I will be eternally grateful for. He helped me to understand the beauty and reasonableness of the Christian faith.