LEADERSHIP LUNCHEON: Rev. Fanning, Father Elizondo honored by CTSA
Deacon Pat Rodgers, Rev. Buckner Fanning and Michael Belz, president of Catholic Life Insurance, greet well-wishers at the CTSA event.
Rev. Fanning, Father Elizondo honored by CTSA
Dr. Fanning led Trinity Baptist Church for 42 years.
Beginning at least as far back as 1967, he
pioneered a variety of thoroughly ecumenical initiatives in the community that were unheard of in Baptist life then and remain rare even today.
invited Catholics from Corpus Christi to celebrate Mass in Trinity's gymnasium while they were sheltered at Trinity Baptist during a 1967 hurricane, even though a Catholic parish church, Our Lady of Grace, was only a short walk down the street.
hosted an unprecedented and unrepeated ecumenical prayer service for the safety and success of Pope John Paul II's 1987 pastoral visit to the United States on the evening of the pontiff's arrival in Miami to begin the tour.
also welcomed participants in the World Council of Churches'
1989 World Congress on Missions and Evangelism
for the congress' opening worship service, with Archbishop Patrick F. Flores and an archbishop from the Vatican among the prominent participants.
The awards were in the form of a Lladri statue of the Blessed Mother for Father Elizondo and a glass flame for Dr. Fanning
, your ministry has reflected that yearning for unity that people of good will, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, share.
The charismatic priest added he
was "especially happy to be honored at the same time as my very, very good friend, Buckner Fanning
," adding, "We worked together very often at the cathedral; I remember being invited to preach in his
church, and I invited him to come over to our place.
We worked together beautifully, and I've always considered him a great man of God.
, it's a real pleasure to be honored with you.
Father Lawrence Christian, vicar general of the archdiocese and pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish
, introduced Dr. Fanning
by observing that the retired Baptist pastor might be honored for any number of things.
The video also featured praise from Father Elizondo, who declared that "Buckner
is a very special friend and a very special person; when I see him on television in his spots, I know he's a Baptist minister because I know him personally, but he speaks simply as a man of God; he speaks to people of all religions, men and women, who are searching to discover that inner goodness that God has placed in each one of us; so Buckner's message is very personal and very universal."
Accepting the award, Dr. Fanning
said, "It's hard for me to tell you how much I appreciate the fellowship I have with you and that we have together through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"I felt the presence of the spirit of God in that little church," Dr. Fanning
"I know there was a Catholic church that was destroyed in Nagasaki.
This was a little one that had once been a big, marvelous church.
But that turned my life around.
Years later, I came to understand that God's grace is sufficient for all the world," he
said, "You can never know how much I thank you for what you've done in my life.