Seeds of Truth Ministries
Through evangelization and catechesis, Seeds of Truth Ministries exists to assist adult Catholics to respond more fully to their baptismal call to be disciples of Christ in the 21st century. Through radio programming, inspirational talks, retreats in both parish and diocesan settings, and catechetical formation, Seeds of Truth Ministries provides the north state of California and beyond with future lay leadership that will enhance and enrich the mission and work of the Church. Seeds of Truth Ministries is a response to the Church’s call for a new evangelization.
Seeds of Truth Ministries Services
Media Evangelization and Catechesis.
Seeds of Truth Ministries provides a daily program (listen now) that will focus on various aspects of Catholic life and thought. Through the prism of guest-driven dialogue and catechesis, its primary task is to develop a deeper sense of the Catholic faith so as to live a more vibrant discipleship in the Lord Jesus Christ. Seeds of Truth will also utilize its website for on-going formation and catechesis.
Parish and School Evangelization.
Seeds of Truth Ministries provide inspirational talks for parish missions, retreats, and other settings applicable to evangelization. Under this umbrella, Seeds of Truth Ministries provides consulting services, as well as other enriching formation opportunities for parish life and their schools.
Catechesis for Lay Certification and On-Going RCIA Training.
Seeds of Truth Ministries provide training and formation for catechetical teams and leaders in both parish and diocesan settings.
Seeds of Truth Explained: A Theological Reflection
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will go down in modern papal history as one of its great theologians. Among his many lucid words, stands his beautiful insight on Truth from his work Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection: “In Christ, God entered the world and set up the criterion of truth in the midst of history. Truth is outwardly powerless in the world…Yet in his very powerlessness, he is powerful: only thus, again and again, does truth become power” (194). In other words, we discover Truth when we discover that wonderful maxim of “less is more”. Indeed, Pope Francis’s words ring true: “Christ’s poverty is man’s greatest treasure,” because our being “without” is God’s entryway to be “within” our hearts. Essentially, our lives are to echo the words of Saint John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn.3:30).
So Truth points to what is less, being little--at first glance what might seem insignificant. Certainly, The Parable of the Mustard Seed addresses the spirituality of the Baptist, the spirituality of being little. Consider the grain of the mustard seed is only a fraction of the mustard seed itself. It is in The Parable of the Mustard Seed that one of the many paradoxes of our faith comes into view: Christian greatness comes from great littleness. It has been said, that the final growth of the mustard shrub growing alongside the Sea of Galilee can reach as high as twelve feet, disproportionate to its original size. It is this very point that Christ wishes to highlight. Like that of the Church itself, which started with the Twelve, the Kingdom of God here on earth will continue to expand so long as we, the people of God, remain in that virtue of littleness, humility. Christ is teaching us that the highest and most sublime aspects of the Kingdom of Heaven start with the most humble of beginnings.
It was in this discussion of the mustard seed and humility, that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI struck a chord with the new evangelization. In an address to catechists in Rome, then Cardinal Ratzinger, stated that the new evangelization always starts under the sign of the mustard seed, in both its humble beginnings, and the personal encounter with Christ that flows from it. Consequently, the new evangelization always starts under the sign of holiness!
In his most definitive teaching on the new evangelization, John Paull II, who can appropriately be called the Father to the new evangelization, said that evangelization is new in its “ardor, methods, and expression." (click here for more on the new evangelization)
Seeds of Truth Ministries prays and works to plant seeds of truth in every possible capacity, that together, our faith would mature and expand in size like that of the mustard shrub. Whether it is the radio and new media; the parish or diocesan setting; or the more conventional classroom, these teaching ministries are about planting seeds to bear fruit for Christ. The end goal is to give birth to a more vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ and renewed sense of holiness that leads to a more dynamic expression of the Catholic faith.
Patrons of Seeds of Truth Ministries
In Saint Maximilian Kolbe and the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, we have two figures from the twentieth century that empower us in their intercessory prayer and examples of life lived for evangelization and catechesis. They are patrons of radio ministry, and we will turn to them as intercessors for the success of this ministry. Now a few words about these hero’s of virtue.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe was born in Poland in the late 19th century. God called young Raymond (birth name) to the consecrated life at the early age of 16, where he took the religious name, Maximilian. Ordained to the priesthood at the age of 24, young Maximilian established the apostolate--the Militia Immaculata, a missionary movement that would increase the awareness of the teachings of the Church and spread devotion to Our Lady.
From 1927 to 1939 the formation house Father Maximilian founded in Niepokalanow went from 18 friars to over 900 friars, making it the largest functioning monastery in all of Europe. We can well imagine the kind of dynamic figure that was Father Maximilian Kolbe. Utilizing the most modern technology, the evangelization center was distributing a daily newspaper of over 230,000 copies and a monthly magazine that numbered more than two million. Father Maximilian Kolbe was a true apostle of the mass media, and at once reminds us that technology can be used for the greater glory of God.
Ultimately, Father Maximilian Kolbe would die a martyrdom of charity as he gave his life for a fellow brother in Christ in the concentration camp of Auschwitz. For this reason, Blessed John Paul II called him the patron saint of our difficult age. We turn to him that we might increase in our own charity to be at the service of man.
In the Venerable Fulton Sheen, we have another champion for the people of God that was born in the late 19th century. Like that of his European counterpart in using media to evangelize--Saint Maximilian, Fulton Sheen was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 24. Again, similar to that of Father Maximilian, he was known throughout the world for his muscle-bound intellect that was used to serve the Church in its evangelization capacity.
Father Sheen was most known for his radio ministry (1930-1950), and television broadcasts (1951-1957; 1961-1968) that reached millions of people. His popularity grew like that of a rock star earning him two Emmy Awards for Most Outstanding Personality. The charismatic Sheen was always finding new ways to transmit the faith for all who would listen. Essentially, the Venerable Fulton Sheen embodied the essence of what the new evangelization is all about: a man of holiness using all outlets available to evangelize souls. Thus, we also lean upon his intercessory prayer for the success of this ministry.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe and Venerable Fulton Sheen, pray for us!
About Joseph Hollcraft
Dr. Joseph Hollcraft has taught at the Middle School, High School, and University level. During that period, Dr. Hollcraft also hosted the radio broadcast, Seeds of Truth, which reached thousands of listeners in over 40 countries. Seeds of Truth radio can still be found as an iTunes podcast. Currently, Joseph Hollcraft is a Professor and Director of the High Calling Program with the Avila Institute.
Dr. Hollcraft is the author of A Heart for Evangelizing (Emmaus Road, 2016). Joseph has also been published with aleteia.org and is a regular contributor to The Catechetical Review, the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, and spiritualdirection.com.
Joseph earned his B.A. and M.A. from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and received his PhD from Graduate Theological Foundation with studies completed at Oxford University.
Most importantly, Joseph is a devoted husband and father. He lives in Canal Fulton, OH with his beautiful wife Jackie, and their four children: Kolbe, Avila, Isaac, and Siena.