January 1, 2023 | Your Stories
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

During their parish mission with Fr. Ken Geraci, CPM, the faithful of St. Martin Parish in Rome, Ky., participate in the talk on Day 3: “Two Obstacles to Healing.” People waiting for confession line the sides of the church; St. Martin had several visiting priests to help with the large crowd. At the front, the faithful come forward pew-by-pew to receive a Eucharistic blessing from Fr. Geraci with the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance. COURTESY OF NICOLE GRAY

‘Why Be Catholic?’ mission held at St. Martin Parish

BY NICOLE GRAY, SPECIAL TO THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC

On Nov. 26, Fr. Ken Geraci, CPM, said Mass at St. Martin Parish in Rome, Ky., to kick off the four-day mission titled: “Why Be Catholic?”

What the faithful didn’t know at that time is that that was the beginning of a wonderful spiritual transformation, just in time for our current Christmas Advent season.

Fr. Geraci was raised in a nominally Catholic family, who only lived the externals of the faith. He left the Catholic Church for many years. During that time, he earned a business degree and worked as a business professional in Advanced R&D and software testing; a few years into his career he joined a few of his coworkers in establishing a $4.5 million internet software company. Focused on money, fitness, and success, he made little room for God; but God did not give up on him. During this journey, God presented him with challenges that forced him to question his personal beliefs and the question “What is Truth?” Through a series of conversions, years of struggle, study and questioning, Fr. Geraci found his way from agnosticism to non-denominational Christianity, and ultimately back to the Catholic Church.

This is what made Fr. Ken the perfect person to kick off this Advent season, especially with all the struggles the faithful have been having in the past 2.5 years. There have been times that we all have felt abandoned and alone. Many of us had questions about our faith and wondered “Why?” Fr. Geraci answered that during these mission talks.

The first night’s talk was “What did Jesus Do – Church or Spirituality?” Day 2: “Why do we do that as Catholics?” Day 3: “Two Obstacles to Healing,” and Day 4 was “How to Pray the Mass.” Each night confessions were heard before and after the talks. Fr. Geraci also had the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction each night. Each night of the mission, St. Martin Parish had a packed church, especially on Day 3. During the healing talk, Fr. Geraci spoke about forgiveness, how to forgive others and yourself, so that you may be healed through Christ fully. Many young adults and teens were in attendance.

Wednesday evening was the Solemn Close of the Mission. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Geraci and concelebrated by pastor Fr. Pat Bittel. There were eight servers in attendance and again, the church was full. The mood was dignified and beautiful. It was a great way to end the mission.

Fr. Geraci has a great understanding of the personal and societal pressures that individuals face and knows what it is like to “hate coming to church.” His mission talks are for people of all levels of faith; from those who are madly in love with Jesus to those who struggle with church and religion. If you’d like to go to one of his missions, please check out FathersOfMercy.com. There you can also find the mission in book form, DVD as well as a download. Just search for “Why Be Catholic?” in the media type you prefer.

What a joy it was to have Fr. Ken at St. Martin Parish. We are grateful to him and all who attended this worthwhile and meaningful spiritual journey!

Nicole Gray is the director of communications at St. Martin Parish in Rome, Ky.


Originally printed in the January 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
Send change of address requests to janet.clancy@pastoral.org