Our Hope in Mary

Part II of a Marian Triptych

1 Just as the actual history of sin brought a problem between the sexes (cf. Gn 3:16–17) so the reality of salvation history entails a remedy for the problem between the sexes. In other words Mary, as the Mother of the Redeemer, both brings Jesus Christ into the world and, through Him, contributes to the restoration of the good order between the sexes (cf. Jn 19:26–27) which sin disfigured. Thus our relationship to Mary is an integral part of conversion to the reality of salvation history; and, therefore, our relationship to Mary is fundamental to recognizing the order of salvation established by Christ. The saving work of God in the life of Mary, the Mother of the Lord, is not only about how she intimately participates in the saving work of her son and the transformation of marriage into a sacrament of salvation;2 it is, too, about how she participates in the plan of God as a whole: the salvation of the human race and, therefore, the reconciliation of man, male and female.

In the focus on hope of this second part of an essay on Mary,3 then, it is more than fitting that we hope in Mary; indeed, to hope in Mary is to receive the very prescription of our Redemption in Christ. It is God who has ordained the nature and history of our salvation. Therefore, pondering the mystery of what God has actually done helps us to recognize how perfectly salvation answers the reality of sin.

This essay considers the following question: What is hope? Therefore let us seek God through the very same ‘Gate of heaven’4 that God Himself chose in order to seek us. In the first section of this essay we define hope in the reality of the Holy Family (I); the definition of hope in the light of the coming of Christ (II); then how many hopes appear to us as impossible (III); and a reflection on how Mary helps us to hope (IV); two objections to hoping in Mary (V); and, finally, a conclusion.

I: Hope in the Reality of the Holy Family

The history of salvation is, therefore, an actual remedy of the whole problem wrought by sin: a remedy that both addresses and transcends the real nature of our condition; and so marriage experiences a renewal which, it is possible to argue, is begotten in the mystery of the Holy Family’s living the fulfillment of marriage as a sign of Christ’s love for the Church: a sign expressed in the reciprocal love of St. Joseph and Mary which was, inseparably, open to embracing and rejoicing in the coming of Jesus Christ.5

Thus Mary, spouse of St. Joseph, lives the redemption of marriage in the new beginning which arises out of their openness to Christ: Mary as His fruitful, virginal mother and St. Joseph as His celibate, virginal father. At the same time, however, they live this redemptive love in the reality of Mary as fruitful mother and Joseph as a “childless” father. Moreover, there is a hidden generosity in their act of faith in God which only comes to light, as it were, incidentally, although it could be said to be implied in the very “openness to God” which their openness to Christ expressed. Thus, it would seem, Mary and Joseph’s “open house” showed itself in the extended family that was so closely identified with Jesus: ‘Then his mother and his brethren came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd’ (Lk 8:19); and, extending this, Jesus replies: “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it” (Mt 8:21). The unbounded generosity of God finds expression in an increasingly unbounded, vocational relationship of Mary and Joseph to those around them; and, more widely, of their Son, Jesus Christ, to us all.

More particularly, in encompassing the whole human reality of husbands and wives being both childless and having children, there is a “sign” of this in the will of God for Mary and Joseph; indeed, a tender sign in that, when they lose Jesus, Mary affirms St. Joseph’s fulfillment of the relationship of father to the child Jesus when she says: “Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously” (Lk 2:48). Mary’s affirmation of Joseph is all the more positive in view of how clear she is that Jesus is conceived of ‘The Holy Spirit’ (Lk 1:35, but also 26–56). On the one hand, lest there be any confusion about Jesus’s identity, His reply, when He is found, establishes a very clear distinction between the divine Fatherhood of God and that of Joseph: “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” On the other hand, Jesus shows that He accepts wholeheartedly the fatherhood of Joseph as St. Luke writes, presumably drawing on Mary’s testimony: “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them” (Lk 2:51).

The hope, then, expressed in the Holy Family is that there is a “mission” for each of us — even if it looks, at times, as if God has taken what we thought it was from us; but, then, in the light of the will of God, we discover our vocation anew in a way we did not expect.

II: The Definition of Hope and the Coming of Christ

The hope that God gives us as a task6 is the Christian hope of the definitive coming of the kingdom of God:7 a kingdom which comes, in a way, through our “concern for people in their concrete personal situations.”8 This is because of the intimate relationship between what we do and to whom we do it;9 and the fact that the coming of the kingdom is the coming of a person, the person of our Lord Jesus Christ: who has come; who is coming; and who is to come. Furthermore, the coming of a kingdom is the coming of a person because “person”, means “relationship”; and, therefore, there cannot be the coming of Jesus Christ without the coming of all the relationships which, together, constitute the kingdom of God.

Our Christian hope, however, has the particular characteristic of turning us to God for what we cannot do for ourselves. The Christian “must hope that God will give him the capacity to love Him in return and to act in conformity with the commandments of charity” (CCC 2090). Thus hope is ordered to love. While hope will come to an end, the end of love to which hope is ordered, will not (cf. 1 Cor 13:13 and Rom 8:24–25); and so hope could be said to be ordered to the Holy Spirit as to the Love10 who will help us to love. Furthermore, if the Holy Spirit is the “Person-Love” between the Father and the Son,11 then we love God in our neighbour12 in the “Love” that the Holy Spirit is13.

When St. John Paul II wrote about the second year of preparation for the beginning of the third millennium, he spoke of these things in connection with Mary as “a woman of hope who, like Abraham, accepted God’s will ‘hoping against hope’ (cf. Rom 4:18)”14 In other words, it is as if the definition of Christian hope is that it is a hope in God for what is not humanly possible for man to do. What emerges is that Christian hope is the gift to man which corresponds to the need of man. Therefore, when Abraham believed in God’s promise of an heir, even though he and his wife knew ‘it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women’ (Gn 18:11), Abraham was “hoping against hope” in the promise of the Lord. Thus, as Cardinal Ratzinger says: “Now it becomes clear why barrenness is the condition of fruitfulness – the mystery of the Old Testament mothers becomes transparent with Mary.”15 For without the condition of what is humanly impossible, the reality that “with God nothing will be impossible” (Lk 1:37) is not made manifest.

III: How Many Hopes Appear to Us as Impossible?!

There seem to be a growing number of hopes that are like Abraham’s “hoping against hope,” in that the obstacles to a human accomplishment of these goals are too great, too numerous, and too entrenched.

“Hoping against hope” for a conversion to reality, as Cardinal Scola once called it: the human reality of man, male and female, marriage and family life; and, “hoping against hope” for a recognition of the reality of sin, both in the Church and in the history of the human race, our relationships and society as a whole. “Hoping against hope,” then, for a renewal of the Church as expressing the salvation of the sinner and a renewed appreciation of a philosophy that begins, as it were, with the everyday reality of our relationship to what exists.

The impossible hope of an end to an extremism that leads to a destruction of people’s lives, families, homes, Churches, and the ordinary, everyday activities of earning a living, going to school, living in society, and worshiping God. “Hoping against hope” for the help we need to abandon the arms race and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The impossible hope for a dialogue between peoples about their past, the need for forgiveness and a common will to build a future together. To hope for the impossible hope of “hoping against hope” for the return of kidnapped children.

To hope for the impossible hope for there to be an end to the misuse of power. Hoping, therefore, for political objectivity and a recognition of the real needs of the vulnerable peoples of the earth. To hope, then, for help to get to those who need it. “Hoping against hope” for a just and generous international world authority, a renewed concern for the working conditions of the people’s of the earth and the welcome of displaced people.

Hoping for an end for the technological exploitation of the human being and the environment of the human family; indeed, hoping for a decisive pursuit of the good of the peoples of the earth. Hoping, therefore, for a common recognition of the moral limits of technology, for the real promotion of the good of the human family and for the “gardening” of the earth.

Hoping for an end to the multi-national manipulation of peoples and profits; and, therefore, the widespread deprivation of reasonable hours, family wages and good working conditions. Hoping, therefore, for international wage agreements, profit sharing and benefits distributed to communities in need.

Hoping for an end to the misuse of human life from conception until death; and, indeed, all the multiple ways that people are enslaved and deprived of human dignity and human rights. Hoping, then, for a growth in the world-wide recognition of foundational human rights. Hoping, therefore, for the powerful to recognize the humanity of the weak.

How many different human hopes have turned out to be hopeless? How necessary it is to “hope against hope”; and, therefore, to hope in God for what it is humanly impossible to accomplish.

Either we are approaching the “end times” or we are discovering, globally, that hoping in God is indispensable for the future of humanity — or both!

IV: How Does Mary Help Us to Hope?

There are three complementary ways in which one can answer this question. On the one hand, we can believe that Mary is a God given “sign of sure hope.”16 On the other hand, we can ask for the help that Mary can give us because she is free to distribute the gifts of her Son.17 It could even be said that the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an inseparable expression of both these elements: almost as if her life is an embodiment of the gift of redemption; for what was first effective for her and in her is what will be effective for us and in us. Thus there is what I will call the God-given ontological reason for the fact that Mary is a “sign” of sure hope; and then, on this foundation, there is the unfolding of her vocation within her own life and the life of the Church. For it seems as if the identity of Mary is like a glorious secret within the life of the Church: a glorious secret which the development of the Church makes it increasingly possible to communicate; indeed, as Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Emiritus Benedict XVI: “the doctrine of the Immaculata, like the whole of later Mariology, is first anticipated as ecclesiology.”18

What does it mean to speak of Mary’s ontological identity?

This concerns the “gift” of what Mary is from the first instant of her creation. On the one hand Mary is a creature. She had a human mother and a human father and she came into existence at the moment of her natural conception.19 And so she was a true daughter of the human race, born of and into the people of God. But on the other hand it is also and simultaneously true that at the first instant of her conception Mary was “preserved free from the stain of original sin.”.20 Thus, just as Mary was conceived a true daughter of her parents she was made a true daughter of God.21 In other words, Mary’s Immaculate Conception is the gift of God; and it is the gift of God “in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race.”22 Furthermore, Mary is given to be so splendid that, in the extraordinary words of Pope Pius IX: “she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being.”23 Mary is, therefore, God’s perfect creation; after the Redeemer, she is the first in the order of the redeemed. And so it can be said that Mary is the “gift” to the human race of the beginning of the new creation in Christ: she is both the “new Eve”24 and “the mother of the living.”25

Thus Mary “is the fulfilment of the promise God made to man after original sin26: the promise of a woman whom God destined to be the Mother of His Son (cf. Gn 3:15). Thus, in the full mystery of her free acceptance of this, “Mary remains a sign of sure hope” because she is a sign that God’s election of her “is more powerful than any experience of evil and of sin, than all that ‘enmity’ which marks the history of man.”27 In other words, Mary is a “sign” of hope in the very being God gave her to be precisely because she manifests, as it were, God’s faithfulness to Himself. God is a God whose acts28 both reveal Him and ourselves to us. God fulfills His promise of salvation from the seed of the woman.29

This identity of Mary is, however, both a gift and a task.

Thus Mary is given a vocation at the very moment of coming into existence; but it is also a vocation which she is called to discern in the words and deeds of God. Moreover, the words and deeds of God exist in the life of the people of God: revealing the personal nature of the history of salvation. On the one hand, as the Mother of God, she is the most exalted of the people of God; and, at the same time, the most humble:30 the most “totally dependent upon God and completely directed toward him.”31 Furthermore, it is a vocation Mary is called to live out in the response and acts32 of her own life. Thus in the famous words of St. Irenaeus, quoted in the last part of the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, which is devoted to Mary: “she ‘being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race’”:33 an obedience which St. John Paul II calls an “obedience of faith.”34 In other words, the Annunciation was a moment in which God revealed to Mary the nature of the identity that was His gift to her; and in that same dialogue with the angel, God made that same “gift” the subject of Mary’s free consent.

Out of this obedience of faith by which Mary expressed her acceptance of what God had given her to be, there broke forth the “hope against hope” that “with God nothing will be impossible” (Lk 1:37); and that through her virginal consent would come the savior of the family of God:35 the Son whom she loved in her heart before she conceived him in her flesh.36 It was this “hope against hope” which, while conceived in the history of Israel, was in a preeminent way expressed in her own life. Thus, not only was this vocation from her own conception, but then it was also from the annunciation: from the conception of Christ. In the context of the people of God and her own life, there was the “hope against hope” of salvation through the crucifixion of her Son and what looked like the complete “negation”37 of the promise of a redeemer. Thus Mary “lived” the resurrection of her Son, His ascension, the birth of the Church and the transformation (cf. 1 Cor 15:51–56) of her own bodily self in the mystery of her own assumption into heaven.

Mary helps us to hope because God prevailed in her and, therefore, she embodied the fulfillment of the promise “planted” in her life; and, at the same time, she helps us to hope because, as our Mother, she “hopes in God” for us.

V: Two Objections to Our Hope in Mary

The first objection could be that, as we are not immaculately conceived, then how can what befell Mary be of use to us?

The answer is that the sacrament of Baptism is our conception in Christ. In other words, while there are important differences between the Immaculate Conception and our Baptism, there is a fundamental identity: each is an act of the Holy Spirit by which we are conceived in Christ; and each conception in Christ constitutes, as it were, the seed of a vocation to be discerned through the Church, among the people of God in whom the Father’s acts of salvation are also and inseparably a word.38

A second objection is that if Mary did not sin personally, then how can she know what it is for us to be sinners?

An answer to this is that innocence is no obstacle to experience;39 for “Not having known sin, she is able to have compassion on every kind of weakness.”40 This is indeed a fascinating reversal of the popular idea that unless a person experiences something “he” cannot “know” it; however, what emerges from this “reversal” of that idea is the deeper, more mysterious wisdom of the cross. Thus the terrible nature of sin was experienced fully in the Crucifixion, not because Christ personally committed sin, but because He fully experienced the sin-caused-suffering of the Crucifixion. Mary, therefore, sharing in the suffering of her son, “understood” the “disfiguring reality” of sin through what it did to her son.

Mary, then, not only knew “sin” through the crucifixion of her son, but she also knew the forgiveness of sin through the “paschal” coming of the Holy Spirit; and, therefore, it can be said that Mary’s knowledge of salvation was thus as humanly complete as it was possible to be. In other words, although she had not sinned personally, she “understood” both the desperately disfiguring reality of sin and the wonderfully redemptive blessing of the forgiveness of sins. Furthermore, Mary knew, too, the sublime beauty of innocence. Mary knew not only the “original” innocence that God intended for each one of us, but she also knew it as a redemptive gift of her Son, Jesus Christ; and, on that basis, she also understood how wonderful was the work which God was accomplishing in her (cf. Lk 1:49) and, indeed, did accomplish in her.

Finally, then, our hope is in Mary on both counts. On the one hand she knows how to cooperate with grace. Just as she cooperated with the grace of the Immaculate Conception, so are we called to take up the gift and task of the sacrament of Baptism. Therefore, Mary is able to understand, to encourage and to help us with our graced cooperation with the “redemptive gifts” of her Son. On the other hand, as she understood sin from the point of view of the harm it did to her Son, she understands more fully the tragedy that it is and the depths of forgiveness which await the sinner. Moreover, just as a mother’s love is ever hoping in the return of the prodigal son, so is her prayer effective for our final perseverance.

Conclusion

In the first place, Mary is a sign of hope in that God accomplished in, with and through her, what he seeks to accomplish in, with, and through us.

Secondly, we see in Mary that the full meaning of to “hope against hope” is to hope in Christ for our salvation. For “she stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him”:41 a salvation that is impossible for us to obtain for ourselves. Thus “hoping against hope” for salvation is preeminently knowing that it cannot come from the “self”; rather, salvation can only come from the paschal grace of Jesus Christ.

Thirdly, it is the plan of God that Christ gives us His mother to be our mother; and what good (cf Gn 1:31) mother does not actively seek the good of her children? Thus “Mary can be said to continue to say to each individual the words which she spoke at Cana in Galilee: ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”42 For Christ is our good. And thus we can hope in the ministry of God’s choice of her maternal love of us.

Fourthly, Mary knew from her faith43 experience the work of the Blessed Trinity in her life44; and, therefore, she is in a unique position to educate45 us in our relationship to the Blessed Trinity. For Mary is the “daughter of the Father,”46 the “Mother of the Son” and the “spouse of the Holy Spirit.”47 In other words, if ever there was a unique relationship of a creature to their Creator-God, then it is that of the Blessed Virgin Mary to each and to all the persons of the Blessed Trinity.

Finally, there is a very particular sense in which our hope is in Mary; and this is because if God chose to come to us through the Virgin Mary, then He chose us to come to Him through the same Virgin Mary. Should we not seek God through the very same “Gate of heaven”48 that God Himself chose in order to seek us?49 In other words, the “woman” is an important, even an indispensable “word” for man. Therefore, somewhat astonishingly, salvation is as much about God restoring the right relationship between man, male and female, as it is about reconciling us to the Father. In view of the actual nature of the events of salvation history, perhaps that right relationship to God begins in the right relationship of man to woman, which begins with gratitude. On the one hand, there is a man’s gratitude to woman for the vocation of motherhood (cf. Tob 4:3–4); and, on the other hand, there is a man’s gratitude to Mary for her full participation in being the “mother of all [the] living” (Gn 3:20). Thus, notwithstanding the mystery of the original creation of man, male and female, the dependence of “man” on woman is a sign of salvation from God; and, in consequence, seeking to be freed from that dependence is a sign of pride: of “man’s” desire to be self-sufficient.

In the end, then, the actual nature of our salvation is what befits the real nature of our condition; and, in view of the immense blessings of salvation, blessed be God for the blessings of the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

  1. This piece first appeared as part III of chapter nine of volume III of a trilogy called From Truth and truth: Volume III-Faith is Married Reason (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016), 57–66; the present version is, however, revised; but cf., also, Blessed Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, no. 12 — but in the present essay what is emphasized is not the spousal union but the spousal love of Mary and Joseph being open to the life of Christ: to His coming in the flesh as He did.
  2. Cf. Francis Etheredge, “The Holy Family, Celibacy, and Marriage: A Reflection on the ‘Passage’ from the Jewish Rite of Marriage to the Sacrament of Marriage,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review (August 2014), hprweb.com/2014/08/the-holy-family-celibacy-and-marriage-a-reflection-on-the-passage-from-the-jewish-rite-of-marriage-to-the-sacrament-of-marriage/
  3. The first part of this essay on Mary was called “Mary is the Choice of God: Part I of a Marian Triptych,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review (May 2019), hprweb.com/2019/05/mary-is-the-choice-of-god/.
  4. From the “Litany of the Blessed Virgin,” as in A Simple Prayer Book, 15. The title ‘Gate of heaven’, with a lower case ‘h’, is original to the prayer.
  5. Cf. Etheredge, “Holy Family, Celibacy, and Marriage.”
  6. Cf. St. John Paul II, Gift and Mystery, 79.
  7. St. John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, no. 46.
  8. Cf. St. John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, no. 48.
  9. Cf. The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1966): Mt 25:31-45. All Scriptural references are to this edition unless otherwise stated.
  10. Cf. St. John Paul II, Dominum et Vivificantem, no. 10.
  11. Dominum et Vivificantem 10.
  12. Antonio Sicari, “The Sacred History of Love,” Communio, vol. XXIV, no. 1 (Spring 1997), 19.
  13. Cf. St. Augustine’s doctrine of the “appropriate attributions” of the Blessed Trinity.
  14. Tertio Millennio Adveniente, nos. 48 and 44-47.
  15. Cardinal Ratzinger, Daughter Zion, translated by John M. McDermott, SJ (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983), 52 and 70.
  16. St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, promulgated 1987 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), no. 11, p. 64. This slim volume also contains an introduction by Cardinal Ratzinger and commentary by Hans Urs von Balthasar. The references in this article are either to page numbers in the book as a whole or to the paragraph numbers characteristic of papal writing.
  17. Cf. Redemptoris Mater, no. 21, p. 88.
  18. Cf. Ratzinger, Daughter Zion, 67; and cf. also 68.
  19. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, promulgated in 1854 (Boston: St. Paul Books & Media), “The Definition.”
  20. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus: second paragraph: “Supreme Reason for the Privilege: The Divine Maternity.”
  21. Cf. Ratzinger, Daughter Zion, 70.
  22. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, “The Definition.”
  23. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, “Mary Compared with Eve.”
  24. Lumen Gentium, no. 63.
  25. Lumen Gentium 56.
  26. I have adapted a phrase that St. John Paul II applies to the Incarnation in Redemptoris Mater, no. 11, pp. 62-63.
  27. Redemptoris Mater, no. 11, p. 64. I have reordered the last two sentences of this paragraph.
  28. Ratzinger, Daughter Zion, 61.
  29. Redemptoris Mater, no. 11, p. 63; cf. Gn 3:15.
  30. Cf. Redemptoris Mater, no. 35, pp. 117 and 37, and 121-122.
  31. Redemptoris Mater, no. 37, p. 122.
  32. Cf. St. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, no. 71.
  33. Lumen Gentium 56.
  34. Redemptoris Mater, no. 13, p. 66-69.
  35. Cf. John Paul II: a homily at Belo Horizonte, Jan. 7, 1980, in Through the Year with Pope John Paul II, ed. Tony Castle (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1995), 126.
  36. Cf. Redemptoris Mater, no. 13, p. 68.
  37. Redemptoris Mater, no. 18, p. 78.
  38. Cf. Dei Verbum, no. 2.
  39. This question has depths which it is not possible to go into here; for instance, the “innocence of God” is an unfathomable mystery. But, put simply, it pertains to beauty: the resplendent beauty of a nature that is what it is intended to be; and, being perfectly true to itself, is resoundingly wonderful and unalloyed by any kind of taint, corruption or imperfection: a marvel to the eyes of faith. In other words, contrary to the lie of the devil (cf. Gn 3:5), there is a more profound knowledge than that of the experience of evil, namely, the balanced insight of innocence.
  40. Veritatis Splendor 120.
  41. Lumen Gentium 55.
  42. Redemptoris Mater, no. 46, p. 144.
  43. CCC 2005.
  44. Cf. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Mary for Today, trans. Robert Nowell (Slough: St. Paul Publications, reprinted 1989), 35.
  45. St. John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), The Way to Christ: Spiritual Exercises, trans. Leslie Wearne (Harper San Francisco, 1994), chap. 4, “A Talk for Female Students,” 37: “Her basic task is that of educating, and when she shares the responsibility for it with men she cannot be simply an object for them.”
  46. Lumen Gentium 53.
  47. Cf. Thomas Xavier, A New Marian Dogma? (a review of Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, ed. Mark I. Miravalle), in Inside the Vatican, ed. Robert Moynihan (May 1997), 62. Cf. also CCC 505-507.
  48. A Simple Prayer Book, 15.
  49. This is not a contradiction of the fact that our redemption is from Christ, for this holds of Mary, too, as has been stated in the course of this article; rather, this is an exposition, as it were, of the fact that God chose to become a man born of a woman and, in so doing, took up the “maternity” of this woman not just for Himself but for all of us.
Francis Etheredge About Francis Etheredge

Mr. Francis Etheredge is married with eight children, plus three in heaven. He is the author of Scripture: A Unique Word and a trilogy From Truth and Truth, all from Cambridge Scholars Publishing; The Human Person: A Bioethical Word (En Route Books & Media, 2017), with forewords from eight writers; The Family on Pilgrimage: God Leads Through Dead Ends (En Route, 2018); and Conception: An Icon of the Beginning, with contributions from ten other authors, as well as The Prayerful Kiss (En Route, 2019).

Francis is currently a freelance writer and speaker and his “posts” on LinkedIn can be viewed here. A radio interview can be heard here.

He has earned a BA Div (Hons), MA in Catholic Theology, PGC in Biblical Studies, PGC in Higher Education, and an MA in Marriage and Family (Distinction). He is a co-founder of the Donum Vitae Institute.