Although it is a bit later than I would have liked, I want to update everyone on the Area Catholic Community. At our last meeting, we chose as our name, “Together as One.” It is a reminder that we are all called to be one Church, one Body in Christ. The unity that we have as brothers and sisters in Christ and as sons and daughters of the Father is the foundation for every other relationship and encounter. It also hearkens to the “Together in Change” blog that has been devoted to discussing different aspects of Area Catholic Communities. We remember that no matter what changes may come in our lives, our parishes, or our world, we are still bonded together through God in faith and love.
Someone pointed out to me as well that the acronym for “Together as One” is TAO. Though we did not specifically consider it when choosing the name, TAO has an appropriate connection to faith as well. Tao/dao is a Chinese word that can mean “way” or “path” (tao is the normal English translation for the Chinese word). Early members of the Church were called followers of the “Way”, becoming “Christians” only after St. Paul’s visit to Antioch (cf. Acts 11:26). Jesus describes himself as the “way, the truth, and the life” (cf. Jn 14:6). Tao/dao can also mean “guide” or “doctrine” and describes a virtuous life lived in connection with the guiding principles of creation.
The concept of tao has often become primarily associated with Taoism – a philosophical way of life and later religion. But as a philosophy, like much of ancient Greek philosophy, it can be (and has been) “baptized” in a Christian understanding. Many Christian authors, including C.S. Lewis, have written about how much of our natural human knowledge and philosophy point to similar conclusions. He saw tao as a word for living rightly in accordance with creation and who we as humans are created to be. This is most fully revealed and expressed in Jesus Christ, who is the fullness of humanity while retaining fullness of divinity. In fact, in Chinese translations of the Bible, logos (the Word of God) is usually translated as tao/dao.
I think Together as One is a fitting name for our Area Catholic Community. And now that we have a name, we can begin to work on things like a website where common information can be uploaded and shared. Hopefully, we can continue building a sense of community amongst all members in our ACC and foster a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. We may come from many different backgrounds and perspectives, but in Jesus Christ we can all go forward Together as One.
Fr. Timothy Gapinski