"Fear and Faith Can't Live in the Same Space"
—Bishop Joseph W. Estabrook
In January, 2006, RENEW International entered into a partnership with the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) for the purpose of sharing Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism with the Catholic communities on installations/bases around the world.
It was because of Bishop Joseph Estabrook's wisdom, visionary spirit, and love of evangelization that this relationship began. Sr. Maureen Colleary, a RENEW presenter, was the primary contact between AMS and RENEW and worked with the installations/bases that implemented the Why Catholic? process.
In these past six years, there have been over 30 training weekends of lay leaders completed in the United States, Hawaii, Germany, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. 780 leaders representing approximately 3,900 participants from 45 bases have experienced the power of faith sharing in small communities using Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church through the Why Catholic? process. Bishop Joe accompanied Sr. Maureen on many of these training weekends and his presence is already sorely missed since his death from pancreatic cancer on February 4. His love of the people and his story telling gifts were such an asset to these weekends.
One particular highlight that he shared often with the people was his belief that faith and fear could never inhabit the same space. This belief was deeply instilled in his being as was evidenced by all who had the privilege to journey with him during the last year of his life. We are very grateful to Bishop Joe for his vision and his commitment to evangelization for the people who so generously serve our country.
Shortly before his passing, Bishop Joe wrote "Come and See," a courageous and inspiring account of his journey, for the spring 2012 edition of Salute, the quarterly publication of the AMS. The next issue of Salute will be a tribute to him.
Sr. Maureen and Bishop Joe (standing, far right)
with Why Catholic? Leaders in San Diego, August 2010