The awakened faith

04 March 2021
An interview has been aired in Radio Kossuth with Mary Healy, Professor at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, a senior fellow at the St. Paul Centre for Biblical Theology. The talk was preceded by Cardinal Péter Erdő’s introduction.

Dr Mary Healy, also a guest speaker of the Budapest International Eucharistic Congress, has been interviewed by Enikő Gécsek-Tóth, reporter to Radio Kossuth. The talks covered many topics, among others touched upon Professor Healy’s undertaking –depending on the actual pandemic restrictions - as a frequent speaker at international conferences around the world on topics related to Scripture, evangelization, theology of the body and the spiritual life.

Mary Healy lives in Ypsilanti, near Detroit. Since November, due to the pandemic, in-person education at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary has been suspended, and the lessons have been forced to move online. Besides teaching Dr Healy gives lectures as an international preacher, an activity having long traditions in the United States.

“It is pretty easy to find a list of hundreds of well-known Catholic speakers in the United States. We do have many respected and popular speakers, but a couple of hundreds are really famous. There is nothing to admire about this, since people are hungry for the teachings so as to have their faith awakened.” – said Professor Healy.

Our faith affects each and every part of our life

Speakers are regular participants of congresses, diocese conferences as well as of meetings on topics related to the Scripture. At such events Mary Healy’s speeches have a focus on the evangelization and the theology of the body. The Associate Professor spoke enthusiastically about her primary goal as a speaker: she is convinced that drawing people towards the way to deepen their faith raises the desire to attend the Holy Services. “The Eucharist is the source of our life, the summit of our Catholicism, though not the only dimension that of. Our faith affects each and every part of our life. To put it simply, any kind of event, conference, and retreat that people attend is a sort of help to get them closer to God, and to implement the Gospel into their daily life, like raising a child, marriage and the prayers. On top, deepening people’s knowledge on the Eucharist enables them to participate in it with zeal and faith.” – explained the Professor.

The beginnings

Mary Healy has never expected to serve God as a preacher. Her assignment outlined step by step. At the beginning of the 2000s she became the leader of a charismatic Catholic community. They had meetings on a weekly basis, and upon getting the opportunity to deliver short lectures she developed herself to become a proficient speaker. In 2005 she published her book “A Study Guide to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body” that triggered great interest amid the faithful. On account of the pandemic, many of her lectures have been cancelled or delivered online. Travel restrictions and the confinement that came with the current extreme circumstances let her to write commentaries that interpret the First Book (Genesis) of the Old Testament.

Twenty biblical scholars, tough questions

In 2014 Pope Francis appointed her as one of the first three women ever to serve on the Pontifical Biblical Commissions. Prof Healy was talking about this duty as well: “This is an international group of twenty biblical scholars, meeting in Rome once a year to discuss matters related to the Church itself. Our purpose is to offer the best forms of operation that harmonise with the teachings of the Bible. During the past 5 years our main task was to study the topic of biblical anthropology, in terms of what the Bible teaches about the human person.” Other particular topics the Commission discusses: the human as a creature; human’s relationship to God; man and woman, the relationship between the two of them; our attitude to the world, animals, and the created world; the characteristics of social relations…the matters to deal with is far too long to list. “Our job was to study these particular questions in terms of the Bible and to present their interpretation in a clear and understandable manner.” – added Healy.

The roles of women

The interview touched on the roles of women in the Christian Church. As to Mary Healy the voice of women are not yet heard enough neither in theology and biblical studies, nor within the Church itself. Prof Healy referred to Pope John Paul II, who had an in-depth perception on the woman’s ingenuity. He was of the opinion that women perfectly understand the priority both of the human being and the love. “We, women think differently about the Bible than men do. We are complementary to one another. Hereby I think of the parts of the Scripture that talk about marriage, family, and children. But we think differently not just about these questions, but even on the whole Bible and theology. Women are more intuitive, many times discovering contexts that are not perceived by men.” – added Dr Healy.

In the United States the role of the women within the Church increased, and females have been given priority functions. Pope Francis has also appointed women to numerous positions in the Vatican. “We would still need way more women for many reasons, including for example the issues of sexual abuses within the Church. I’m convinced that women have an intuitive sense for recognising the traumas experienced by sexual abuse, and have a strong need to firmly stand up against it. As to a woman it is always the victim who should be given priority when dealing with such a situation. All in all, I think that women’s role in the Church has already been increased, although a higher proportion is needed. There is still work to do on this field as well.” - added Mary Healy

Give an opportunity!

Prof Healy is one of the speakers we are going to hear at the Budapest International Eucharistic Congress to be held between 5 and 12 September. The Professor spent a longer period in Hungary in 1989, at the time of the iron curtain removal. Since then she has only transited Budapest, but is looking forward to returning in the fall of 2021. Her message so far is: “Jesus wants to meet you at this International Eucharistic Congress. He has a gift for you: the gratefulness that changes our life and could give far more to all of us, than we could have ever thought of. Only the chance has to be given. What a fantastic opportunity for such is to come to this Eucharistic Congress. I would love your hearts to be touched by the Lord and be shown his amazing plans for your life.”

Source: Radio Kossuth

Photo: IEC