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Catholic by Choice

Catholic by Choice

Bio

Deacon Keith Fournier is the Editor in Chief at Catholic Online, one of the largest integrated Catholic Media Networks on the World Wide Web. He is a widely recognized voice in the Catholic and broader Christian community. He is a member of the Clergy of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia. In his fifteenth year of service as an ordained Catholic Deacon, he is currently assigned to St Stephen Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, Virginia. He is also authorized to serve the Liturgy of the Greek Byzantine Melkite Catholic Church. Deacon Fournier and his wife Laurine have been married for 34 years and have five grown children and six grandchildren.
Deacon Fournier holds his Bachelors degree in theology and philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville (BA), his Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Theology from the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (MTS), his Juris Doctor Law Degree Law (JD) from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and is a PhD candidate in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America where he is currently writing his Doctoral Dissertation. Deacon Fournier also holds two honorary Doctorates, a Doctor of Laws (L.L.D. 1994,Honoris Causa) from St. Thomas University - Given for pro-life legal contributions, and a Doctor of Divinity Degree (D.D. 2005, Honoris Causa ) from the National Clergy Council and the Methodist Episcopal Church for his contributions to authentic ecumenical efforts toward Christian unity.
Attorney Fournier is a constitutional lawyer who appeared as co-counsel in cases before the United States Supreme Court on Pro-Life, Religious Freedom and Pro-family issues. He served as the first Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice for seven years. He then served as a public policy activist for the causes of life, marriage and family issues for a number of years. He has extensive experience in nonprofit and for profit leadership. He has taught at the College level and served in Academic administration. He was a Dean of Students and the Dean of Evangelization at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio.
Deacon Fournier is, above all, a communicator. His faith informs his passion to share the fullness of life which he has found in the heart of the Catholic Church. He has written eight books on matters of faith, family and the Christian life and is widely published in the broader Christian community on matters of life, faith, family, and cultural and social issues. He hosted two daily national radio programs, Purpose for Living, and Millennial Moment. He hosted several television series on Christian family and contemporary faith issues on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network). He is actively involved in preaching and teaching in the Catholic Church and the broader Christian community.
In addition to serving as the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online, Deacon Fournier is the John Paul II Fellow and special counsel for the National Pro-Life Center in Washington, D.C. and is the president of Third Millennium, LLC, a communications and consulting company. He views his role on Beliefnet as an opportunity to share his Catholic Christian faith in what he calls a new areopagus. The areopagus is referred to in the 17th Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the Christian New Testament. Also called Mars Hill it was there where the Apostle Paul shared the Christian faith with the early Greeks in their temple.

Lord, Teach us to Pray: We Live the Way We Love and Love the Way we Pray

By: Deacon Keith Fournier “He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished , one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When […]

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I am Glad to Be Back at Beliefnet: It is Time to Begin Again

I have not written a column for Beliefnet in a long time. I have been writing a lot – just in other venues. As is the case with all of us, my life just seems to get busier and busier. […]

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Pope Enters a Monastery – to Teach us All How to Pray in the ‘Real World’

On Sunday, October 9, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI presided over Second Vespers with the Carthusian monks at Serra San Bruno. From the Chapel of that Carthusian monastery he shared beautiful  insights on silence and prayer which should be considered by […]

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A Catholic Activist Looks at the US Presidential Campaign of 2012 and the ‘Catholic Vote’

After Labor Day, the US Presidential campaign of 2012 will move into high gear. Clearly, this is one of the most important elections of my lifetime.  The economy is in a free fall and the sense of fear in the […]

The Christian Vocation and Living in the ‘Fourth Watch of the Night’

As a Deacon in the Catholic Church, I have the joy of proclaiming the Gospel during Holy Mass. The Gospel account two Sundays ago is one of my favorites. It is also one which is familiar – almost too familiar […]

Religious Cleansing: Judge Orders Removal of the Ten Commandments Outside of Florida Courthouse

On July 15, 2011 the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida ordered that a large Ten Commandments monument – paid for privately by a local businessman and displayed since 2006 – be removed within thirty days […]

Children as Commodities: In Vitro Fertilization and the Culture of Death

On July 6, 2011 I read an article Wednesday entitled  “Lottery for IVF” in the Sun newspaper out of the UK. The article was written for the Wednesday edition by Emma Little, their health and science Editor. Here are a […]

Choosing to be Catholic: Catholics Returning to the Church

I named this blog “Catholic by Choice” with a specific purpose, to communicate to those who read my writing that I choose to be a Catholic Christian and love the Catholic Church. I am a “revert” to the Catholic Church. […]

The Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul and an ‘Adult Faith’

Since at least the Third Century, Christians have commemorated this day as a Solemnity, the day when the two pillars of the Church, the great Apostles, Peter and Paul, met the Lord whom they served with such beauty, face to […]

Gay Marriage in New York and the Coming Persecution of Catholics

Last week in New York the homosexual equivalency agenda advanced their cutural revolution and dealt one more blow against marriage – and the family and society founded upon it. I call this effort a “homosexual equivalency movement” to reflect the […]

Catholics and the Feast of Corpus Christi

On Thursday June 23, 2010,at 7 p.m., the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Holy Father celebrated Mass on the square in front of Rome’s St. John Lateran Basilica. Following this Liturgy he presided at the traditional Eucharistic procession from the […]

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: Catholic Christians and the Mass

There is a Latin maxim that addresses the centrality of worship in the life, identity and mission of the Catholic Church; “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”. The phrase in Latin literally means the law of prayer (“the way we worship”), and […]

A Catholic Christian Way of Being ‘Green’

Last week Pope Benedict XVI received the credential letters of six new ambassadors to the Holy See. He sounded a theme which is common in his locutions and writings; he spoke of a “Human Ecology”.  He recalled the “innumerable tragedies […]

Christians, Politics, Faithful Citizenship and True Social Justice

Several years ago I spoke at a gathering of Catholic Leaders. The participants included men and women from every walk of life who understand the implications of their faith on social, cultural, political, and economic participation. They are trying to […]

Truth, Twitter and Tangled Webs: Learning from ‘Weiner-gate’

I just returned from what would have been a wonderful, hard, exhilarating and uplifting workout at the gym- but for “Weiner-Gate”. Most people reading this piece know what I am referring to. The sad series of events which continues to […]

Whatever Happened to those Pentecostal/Charismatic Catholics?

This year the Liturgical celebration of Pentecost occurs on Sunday June 12. Among the many biblical accounts we will hear at Mass is this one: “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And […]

The Feast of the Ascension is Not an Intermission but a Key to Life

The Ascension of the Lord is not some final act in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, in the theatrical sense, though it does complete, in one way, His earthly ministry and the “Paschal Mystery”. Nor is it some kind […]

Simplicity and Communion: We will live the way we love and love the way we pray

As I grow older things are becoming simpler. Left behind with the years was some of my propensity to complicate things. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go. Having been with those preparing for death […]

Forget Heaven: Maybe Stephen Hawking Isn’t Real

On Monday May 15, 2011, scientist/cosmologist/physicist Stephen Hawking gave an interview to Ian Sample, the science correspondent for the Guardian Newspaper of the United Kingdom. It was entitled Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story’. There was nothing […]

Why Does the Catholic Church Oppose Stem Cell Research? Answer: It Doesn’t!

How many times have you heard the charge that the Catholic Church opposes “Stem Cell Research”? You know  – the insinuation is that this antiquated remnant of the middle ages, run by old men, is somehow impeding human and scientific […]

Needed: Morally Coherent Christians who are Responsible Citizens

With the first US Presidential debate of the season behind us campaign 2012 is underway in the United States. The issues presented in an election of such significance will immediately engage the entire Christian community. Putting aside the schizophrenic notion […]

Happy Mothers Day: Jesus Called Her Mother and So Can We

On this mothers day, I am drawn once again to reflection on motherhood and its meaning. Many years ago I was an invited guest at a celebration of the life and ministry of an evangelical Protestant leader. It was a […]

‘Doubting’ Thomas Teaches us the Way of Courageous Faith

The Second Sunday of Easter is “Divine Mercy Sunday” in the Catholic liturgical calendar. This year, it also became the day when beloved Pope John Paul II was beatified. Our Gospel (John 20: 19-31) recounted one of the Post-Resurrection appearances […]

Their Eyes were Opened: The Risen Jesus accompanies us on our Road to Emmaus

In keeping with the ancient Christian tradition the Catholic Church celebrates Easter for an octave, eight days. These days are seen as one continual celebration of the great event which forever changed human history. The octave opens into a liturgical […]

Walking the Easter Way by Living Our Lives in the Risen Lord Now

In the Liturgical Year of the Catholic Church we are in the “Octave” of Easter. The word means eight. This “Feasts of Feasts” as the early Christians called the Resurrection, stretches out for eight days. It was on the first […]

Happy Easter! The Tomb is Empty! Life reigns! Death dies, Alleluia!

Death was dealt a fatal blow at the wounded but glorified hands of the Warrior of love. Nothing can separate us from that Love incarnated in the Crucified, Risen Son of the True and Living God. Alleluia! The tomb is […]

One Reason we Call it Good Friday

Years ago, I served as Deacon at the solemn “Celebration of the Lords Passion” at Christ the King parish. This is the liturgy of Good Friday in the catholic Church. I had just carried the Cross into the waiting assembly […]

Holy Thursday Mandate: Washing Feet, Continuing the Redemptive Mission of Jesus

Last Sunday we celebrated Passion or Palm Sunday to begin what is called the Great or Holy Week. Just prior to the reading of the Passion Narrative, we heard proclaimed one of the most ancient of the passages contained within the […]

The Sacred Triduum, the Three Days and the New Age of the Resurrection

“Beginning with the Easter Triduum as its source of light, the new age of the Resurrection fills the whole liturgical year with its brilliance. Gradually, on either side of this source, the year is transfigured by the liturgy” (Catechism of […]

Holy Week: Why is This Week Different from other Weeks?

The close proximity in time between the Jewish Passover and the Christian Holy Week is no accident; one could write for volumes of its deeper meaning. However, as I prepare to enter into Holy Week as a Catholic Deacon, I […]

Feast of Blessed John Paul II Declared Beginning October 22, 2011

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, the Office within the Vatican which oversees all worship in the Church throughout the world, issued a decree on April 12, 2011 directing that the late Pope John Paul II be remembered […]

HBO, Bill Maher, Anti-Catholicism and ‘Catholics Come Home’

Bill Maher of HBO I spoke with Tom Peterson the founder of “Catholics Come Home”  about the horrid attack leveled against “Catholics Come Home” by HBO Talk Show Host Bill Maher on his television program. Maher had seen one of […]

Tell me About the Trinity: Deathbed Request Teaches the Meaning of Life

I preached all the Masses this past weekend at my parish. It is such a privilege to break open the Gospel and offer it to the faithful. Every time I do I become more aware of the great gift we […]

The Expression “Pro-Choice Catholic” is an Oxymoron

Geraldine Ferraro died on Saturday in Boston, Mass. at the age of 75. She had been heroically battling multiple myeloma for twelve years. Thursday morning a private funeral Mass will take place at the Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer in […]

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord: Mary as the Model for all Christians

On March 25th Catholic Christians celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord. Our Gospel passage read at Mass is taken from the first chapter of St. Luke (Luke 1: 26 -38). The Evangelist recounts Mary’s encounter with the […]

Living Faith: Our Lives are Being Woven into a Divine Design

In my early twenties I attended a conference sponsored by an enthusiastic movement which was flourishing in ecumenical Christian circles at the time. One of the workshop speakers was a Southern Baptist minister who had helped to found a large […]

In the Face of Crises, ‘Fear is Useless, What is Needed is Trust’

“Fear is useless; what is needed is trust.” Luke 8:50, Mark 5:36 Have you ever had the experience of awakening from a dream, paralyzed with fear, unable to speak or perhaps even move? Most people have. Some well intended people […]

The Whole World Becomes Irish and Celebrates St. Patrick

He was raised in a Christian home in Britain toward the end of the fourth century. It was an age much like our own, gripped by a “culture of death” and filled with a spirit of lawlessness. Tragedy struck Patrick […]

Led by the Spirit into the Desert of Lent with Jesus Christ

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4:1)  “The truth is that only in the mystery of the […]

Catholics and Social Justice: Time to take Back the Term

Last year I participated in a gathering of Catholic Leaders who take their Christian faith seriously and try to inform their social, cultural, political and economic positions in accordance with it. They came from every walk of life and understand […]

Turn Away From Sin: Who Needs Lent? We Do

Lent is an invitation of God’s grace, which, if we enter into with our entire person, can draw us, especially at its’ closure, into a deeper embrace of the power of the Resurrection. This Wednesday I will administer the ashes […]

The World Needs “Impractical” People, Christians who Pray

After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened (Luke 3:21); He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, […]

Catholics and Worship: As we Worship, so we Believe and so we Live

There is a Latin maxim that addresses the centrality of worship in the life, identity and mission of the Catholic Church; “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi“. The phrase in Latin literally means the law of prayer (“the way we worship”) is […]

Catholics and Mary: Hail Mary, Full of Grace

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. […]

The Christian Revolution: Bitter or Better? Responding to Suffering, Struggle and Failure

In a contemporary Christian culture infected by a mistaken notion that following the Lord Jesus means we will no longer have to suffer or face need, the witness of the Apostle Paul stands in stark contrast. This Gospel without the […]

Be Perfect Just as Your Heavenly Father is Perfect: Learning to Walk in the Way of Love

After processing the Book of the Gospels around the sanctuary accompanied by the beautiful sounds of the Liturgical Alleluia sung by the faithful, I stepped up to the ambo and proclaimed “The Lord be with you”. They responded, “And also with […]

Living our Lives in the Sycamore Tree: Lessons Learned from Zaccheus

Where is Jesus passing through in our own lives? He always shows up for those who have their spiritual eyes opened to see Him. How about in our workplace? How about in our relationships? How about in our families? Are […]

I Woke Up in Church this Morning: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church

Even the most sincere Christians can still live out their Christian life with a certain dualism. They see themselves as living “in the world” and “going to Church.” Family life sometimes gets included in “the world” or perhaps it is […]

Finding Valentine by Choosing the More Excellent Way of Love

When I walked into Ann’s Hallmark and saw the crowd on Saturday I had to smile. First, because of the humanity it revealed. Two days before Valentine’s Day and most people were there because, like me, they had procrastinated. However, […]

TGIF: The Wisdom of a Grandson and the Catholic Vision of Work

“TGIF Poppi’” he said with that cute little voice of his. I had to ask him to repeat what he said for two reasons; my hearing is not as good as it once was and I did not really expect […]

A Classroom of Communion: Prayer and the Catholic Christian Life

Through prayer, daily life takes on new meaning. It becomes a classroom of communion.We will live the way we love and we will love the way we pray “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this […]

Struggles, Failures and the the ‘Brotherhood of the Belt’

Jesus said to Peter ‘I tell you for certain that when you were a young man, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will hold out your hands. Then others will […]

Catholics and Time: Tyrant or Tutor, Friend or Foe, Gift or Curse?

For the Catholic Christian, time is not a tyrant ruling over us. Rather, it is a teacher, instructing and presenting us with opportunity. Rather than a foe, it is a friend. Its role and reach is a part of the […]

Catholics and the Bible: Lectio Divina, Falling in Love with Jesus the Living Word

The Bible is an invitation into an encounter with God for every Christian. Its words are not a formula to obtain “success” in life, but an invitation into a communion of Love and a new way of living. The Bible […]

Welcome to the Catholic Corner of Beliefnet and to “Catholic by Choice”

As a Christian in full communion with the Catholic Church by choice, I welcome the opportunity to enter into a robust dialogue with other Christians. I also welcome the opportunity for interreligious dialogue with other religious believers. Finally, I welcome […]

Santo Subito! John Paul II Will be Beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on Feast of Divine Mercy

On April 2, 2005 at 9:37 p.m. the Venerable Pope John Paul II died. In April of 2009 his beloved successor, Pope Benedict XVI, told Pilgrims gathered in Rome “With you, I pray for the gift of beatification”.  That prayer […]

Theophany, the Baptism of Jesus calls us to live our Lives Immersed in God

Last Sunday, in the Western Church, we remembered the “Manifestation” to the Gentiles, the Feast of the Epiphany. We reflected on the “wise men” from the East who followed the light to the fullness of Divinity who humbled Himself to […]

The Carpenter Joseph is a ‘Man’s Man’, Calling All Men to Follow Jesus

This past Saturday,the last before Christmas, the Gospel reading for Holy Mass was taken from St. Matthew: “Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary; of whom Jesus was born, he who is called Christ. Now the birth of […]

Advent Reflection: Hail Mary, Full of Grace. The Invitation Continues

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. […]

Catholics, Advent, John the Baptizer and the Way to Happiness and Freedom

This Sunday Catholic Christians we will be introduced to one of the two main personalities of the liturgical season of Advent. John the Baptizer. The other is Mary, the Mother of the Lord. As a Deacon of the Church I […]

Why Do Catholics Celebrate Advent? The Call to Begin Again

During the Liturgical Season of Advent, we walk through the great events of Christian history so as to inculcate them into our daily lives and offer their promise to the whole world. During Advent we are invited through our liturgical […]

Happy Thanksgiving: We Pause to Give Thanks and We are Called to Love

I write from a breathtakingly beautiful part of the United States of America, a little town called Snoqualmie Pass, located in the State of Washington, in the Pacific Northwest. My wife and I received a gift this year from our […]

Every End is a Beginning. Christ the King, Thanksgiving and Advent

The Catholic liturgical year follows a rhythmic cycle which points us toward beginnings and ends. In doing so, it emphasizes an important truth that can only be grasped through faith. This past Sunday was the Thirty Fourth or last Sunday […]

A Digital Mars Hill: Beliefnet as a “New Areopagus”

  It is with great joy and excitement that I begin this column for Beliefnet. As a Christian who is in full communion with the Catholic Church by choice, I welcome the opportunity to enter into a robust dialogue with […]

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Thank you for visiting Catholic By Choice. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!

posted 5:13:34pm Jul. 09, 2012 | read full post »

Lord, Teach us to Pray: We Live the Way We Love and Love the Way we Pray
By: Deacon Keith Fournier “He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished , one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." And he said to them, "When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.  Give us each day ou

posted 10:45:49am Jul. 01, 2012 | read full post »

I am Glad to Be Back at Beliefnet: It is Time to Begin Again
I have not written a column for Beliefnet in a long time. I have been writing a lot - just in other venues. As is the case with all of us, my life just seems to get busier and busier. However, I have not been able to get Beliefnet - and its potential for good - out of my mind or my heart. So, I begi

posted 4:06:55pm Jan. 19, 2012 | read full post »

Pope Enters a Monastery - to Teach us All How to Pray in the ‘Real World’
On Sunday, October 9, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI presided over Second Vespers with the Carthusian monks at Serra San Bruno. From the Chapel of that Carthusian monastery he shared beautiful  insights on silence and prayer which should be considered by all who bear the name Christian. His words brought

posted 10:59:44am Oct. 13, 2011 | read full post »

A Catholic Activist Looks at the US Presidential Campaign of 2012 and the 'Catholic Vote'
After Labor Day, the US Presidential campaign of 2012 will move into high gear. Clearly, this is one of the most important elections of my lifetime.  The economy is in a free fall and the sense of fear in the United States is palpable. A majority of people have lost confidence in our elected leader

posted 12:38:32pm Aug. 23, 2011 | read full post »

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