Prayer and fasting for the gift of life
By LISA SCHULTE
The Catholic Voice
Father Rodney Kneifl is calling for a greater respect for life, in all its stages, in the United States.
He believes that through prayer and fasting, the gift of life, which he claims has been destroyed by violence, abortion and euthanasia, will be restored in this country.
'It's about helping people to realize what they're missing because of a lessened relationship with Christ because of all the things that are going on," said Father Kneifl, pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Platte Center and St. Michael Parish in Tarnov. 'We are so desensitized to the effects of the culture around us."
Servants of the Heart of the Father, founded by Father Kneifl in 2000 as God's People for Life, is a Catholic ministry that promotes prayer and fasting nationwide as a way to change the culture. It is based on the Biblical principles that life is sacred from the moment of conception to the moment of death.
Each quarter, Father Kneifl and directors Barb Kadlec and Chuck Moser send out nearly 30,000 faxes and e-mails to Catholic high schools and colleges, churches, hospitals and nursing homes across the country, providing them with spiritual and educational information on life issues.
Specific ministries of the Servants of the Heart of the Father are aimed at teen-agers and those in nursing homes and hospitals. Renewing Our Shepherds at the Foot of the Cross has laity and clergy praying for one another and Healings in the Father's Heart ministers to those who have been hurt by the clergy abuse in the Catholic Church.
New to the program is a confidential ministry for religious or members of the clergy who are struggling with some aspect of addiction, as well as a 12-week facilitated series for parishes called Life in the Father's Heart.
'It calls people to conversion through the realization of the Father's love and life for us," Father Kneifl said. 'And it's out of that conversion then that hopefully we create a stronger parish ministry and stronger faith because we have experienced conversion in the cross."
Father Kneifl said he wants people to experience the enormous mercy and compassion that God has for his people and to become aware of how much has been lost through the culture of death. Through that experience, he hopes people will become an expression of the Gospel of Life in their daily lives, he said.
'It's not just about bringing Christ to others. It's about being able to see Christ in everybody," said Kadlec, a mother of four and parishioner at St. Isidore Church in Columbus.
'We're just trying to get people more aware of God's love," Father Kneifl added. 'When our relationship with God is right, then all the rest of life fits together."
The phone number to call for religious or members of the clergy who are struggling with addiction is (402) 246-9215.