May 20th, 2018

Offering prayers for local trustee

By Letter to the Editor on January 24, 2018.

Re: “Catholic chair has choice words for trustee,” Jan. 10 and “Trustees spar over St. Thomas decision,” Jan.11

There must be method in the madness of Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education airing its dirty linen in public. Or has God engineered these circumstances in order to expose the truth behind MHCBE’s slogan, “Sharing the Face of Christ to All”?

Continuing controversy appears to be centred around new trustee David Leahy. As a News reporter more than 50 years ago, I covered the Catholic board, and I still follow its adventures, including those of Mr. Leahy. He was a student of mine when I taught English at CHHS in the early 1970s. I didn’t catch up with him again until 2008 when I was a MHCBE substitute teacher and he was my boss, the superintendent. I noted then his passion for “Catholicity.” I took notice that “Catholicity” was high on his agenda in last year’s campaign to join the board.

Superintendent Leahy acted on his “Catholicity” in supporting changing the name of McCoy High School to Monsignor McCoy High School. In 2013, I ran into Leahy again in a coffee shop and wished him well as he had been encountering poor health, which had forced him to resign as superintendent. I mentioned that I was curious to know more about his obsession with “Catholicity.” He replied that “Catholicity” reinforced the Roman Catholic nature of the school system and he wanted the Catholic high school to promote that. I then asked him what power “Catholicity” had to lead Catholic students to become born-again Christians. He responded that I was an “anti-Catholic bigot.” My response was to say, “no, I love all Roman Catholics, and I want to see them all come to receive Salvation and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” He just walked away.

Fast forward to a few days ago, and Leahy appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place. However, I don’t see it that way. On the contrary, I sense in my Spirit of Christ, that God is moving on him to draw him to know His Son who shed His precious blood on the Cross for our sins and the sins of the world. We cannot see the Kingdom of God through the religious bells and whistles of “Catholicity,” but rather through a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m going to pray for Leahy, because I’ve been where he is now. I was in the Roman Catholic denomination for 29 years. I converted to Catholicism in my native Britain when I was 19, a year before I came to Medicine Hat. I did not meet Jesus Christ until I was 38. “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity 38 years,” John 5:5 — KJV.

I’m going to pray that God will help Leahy exchange “Catholicity” for a real born-from-above relationship with Jesus Christ. For “Catholicity” has no power; it does not have the Spirit of Christ. Jesus has all power. There is only one True God, and He has revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.

John Stanley

Medicine Hat

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