The following comes from a November 4 Angelus article by J.D. Long-Garcia:
LAKEWOOD — Scott Hahn, the internationally-known Bible scholar and best-selling author, spoke before 400 gathered for the annual Archdiocese of Los Angeles Faith Formation Day for Faculty.
He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1982 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia. Yet, as he studied the early Church fathers, a growing restlessness persisted.
“I had to go and find a Church that matched what I found in the Bible,” Hahn said. He described attending his first Mass, seeking out a priest and learning more about the faith.
After much soul searching and conversations with his wife, Hahn felt that delaying a conversion to Catholicism would be disobedient.
He was set to enter on Easter Vigil in 1986 when the topic he’d been avoiding came up: confession. Why not just confess your sins directly to God? Why go to a priest?
“It’s not the priest, it’s Christ who he represents,” the answer came.
Hahn prepared for his first confession, filling two notecards front and back, and spent two hours in the confessional. He received his penance, which Hahn described as meager given what he had done.
Hahn left the confessional a different man. He entered the Church and began making frequent use of the sacrament.
Msgr. Sal Pilato, superintendent of Catholic High Schools, said the faith formation days are an initiative of the California Catholic bishops. The program, which aims at ongoing faith formation for faculty, was developed with a four year cycle and reflects themes in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“Ongoing formation is a recognition that constant conversion is a part of our life,” said Msgr. Pilato.
Hahn spoke at St. John’s Seminary and on Oct. 28, he spoke to a packed house of mostly young adults at St. Therese. They mobbed him afterward, lining up to take selfies with the author while he asked them for prayers.
“He spoke to us as one Catholic to another,” said Margarett Hernandez, who teaches English at St. Joseph, noting that she related to his examples. “He didn’t talk over our heads.”
Hahn spoke to faculty gathered at schools throughout the archdiocese, including Bishop Alemany, Bishop Diego Garcia, Bishop Amat and St. Mary’s Academy. He taught high school for five years, an experience he called formative to his speaking and writing.
“All my theology is filtered through my teaching,” he said. “You don’t learn it until you teach it. And you don’t really learn it until you teach it to high school kids. It forces you to teach it well.”