COMMENTARY: Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical on the regulation of birth turns 50 next year.
by Archbishop Charles Chaput
A bishop attends a lot of worthy public events and fundraisers. It’s part of the job. And supporting good people doing good things is always a source of satisfaction and hope.
But once in a while, an event comes along with an unexpected pleasure.
The June 17 luncheon on behalf of our Philadelphia Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary was just that kind of event. It drew an enthusiastic crowd — honoring Bishop John McIntyre’s 25th anniversary as a priest was part of the focus — and among the many attendees were two longtime friends: Martha and Bill Beckman.
The Beckmans have three children. A daughter will marry this fall, and twin sons are both studying for the priesthood. As members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, they’ve devoted much of their lives to Church service. That’s included direct missionary work as a couple and as a family. Bill served on my staff during my ministry as archbishop in Denver. He helped me with a number of key projects, including a pastoral letter I released in 1998 on the 30th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae (“On Human Life.”).