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Archive for January, 2008

David Tracy + spirituality + philosophy + theology

January 31, 2008 2 comments

St Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boyton Beach, FLDavid TracyGUEST SPEAKER — this afternoon, we drove 1+ hour north to St Vincent de Paul Regional Major Seminary in Boyton Beach, Florida for a conference on “Philosophy, Theology and Spirituality” by guest speaker David Tracy.  Despite being one of the most respected theologians from the United States, his 2 talks and Q&A sessions were very understandable.  The first was on “Philosophy & Spirituality” and the other on “Theology & Spirituality.”  I found some more weblinks about him HERE.

 David Tracy & Fr Vallee @ St Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boyton Beach, FLI also jotted down some personal notes, but only in a way that I would recognize:  Stoics’ exercises of attentiveness … music, writing a paper, learning a language becomes a spiritual experience … we’re challenged by going out of ourselves … all religions say the “ego” is not the solution (probably the problem) … how what I’m thinking affects the way I live … spirituality without philosophy is dead   

Pre-Theology fajitas

January 30, 2008 Leave a comment

DINNER — tonight was our first time hosting dinner for all the Pre-Theology seminarians (13 of us) with the Rectory (Fr Michael) and Vice-Rectory (Fr Alvarez).  We had appetizers with wine, cheese, crackers, etc and cooked fajitas for dinner with flan for desert.  — great night
Pre-Theology fajita dinner @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Pre-Theology fajita dinner @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Pre-Theology fajita dinner @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL

Luke + Acts + Filipino food

January 29, 2008 Leave a comment

NEW TESTAMENT – (Fr Michael) — Gospel of Luke & the Acts of the Apostles.  Compared parables of the synoptic Gospel books.

CULTURAL FOOD NIGHT — today was Filipino Food Night.  Their food culture is a mix of Asian, Spanish & America.  — Delicious everything … egg rolls & salsa were addictive!
Philippines / Filipino food night @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Philippines / Filipino food night @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Philippines / Filipino food night @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL

CCD + catechesis crisis

January 28, 2008 1 comment

Ministry Class @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FLMINISTERIAL PRACTICUM – (Fr Michael) — since the weather was so nice, we had class outside in the grass and discussed the current state of catechesis in the Catholic Church.  Whether you call it CCD or Religious Education or Christian Formation, it’s essentially teaching the Catholic faith to adults or children (either in private Catholic Schools or weekly evening for public schoolers).  We started by sharing, comparing & contrasting our own experiences in CCD verses private Catholic Schools.  We highlighted the good and bad areas that need work, including better textbooks, better catechist training, more challenging truth (and less warm & fuzzy emotion-only faith), and other issues.

I can identify with many of these issues, especially since I’ve been a Pre-Confirmation catechist for (mostly) 7th graders for about the last 15 years.  Even when a catechist commits lots of time, effort & prayer to present catechist attractively, relevantly and challengingly, frustration stiffle your efforts that perpetuates generation to generation producing ignorant Catholics with a childish knowledge of their Catholic faith.  Improvements are coming … through the Church … through a committed laity … through our perseverence … to share the Gospel message of Christ in words and lessons and, most importantly, a living witness in “me”, in order to fullfill my role and awaken all I encounter.

Despite the obstacles and frustrations, I recall a quote from Pope John Paul II about teaching the faith to young people that illustrated my approach to catechesis and youth ministry through the years.  [I’m still looking for the exact quote and will post here … check back]  

[related resource: CATECHESI TRADENDAE (On Catechesis In Our Time) 1979 by Pope John Paul II]

surfing + volleyball

January 27, 2008 Leave a comment

surfing priestly formationMASS – (Fr Michael) — analogy of priestly formation like surfing (paddle out against obstacles, waiting & watching, riding the wave)

VOLLEYBALL — only 3 of us showed up for volleyball, so we didn’t set up the new outdoor volleyball net we had.  We bumped the ball around vowing to battle another day.

MOVIE — saw The Bucket List

Walk for Life + shooting

January 26, 2008 2 comments

Walk for Life @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FLWALK FOR LIFE — this morning, we had a full Chapel for Mass with Auxiliary Bishop Noonan since today was the “Walk for Life” here at St John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, FL.  The walking route was basically from the Main Chapel to the front gate around the Reflection Pond (the view from the gate can be seen in my blog header picture at the top looking toward the Main Chapel).  Lots of participant, especially kids from local schools.  — Great day to support life

DOTS — PsYcHoTiC — “sit” — Second Life — home

Shooting range targetCLOSE CALL — on my cellphone, I received a picture of a shooting range target with the text, “Check me out. First time at shooting range!”  It wasn’t signed (like most friends do), so I started wondering who would wish me harm, especially since they did pretty good for their first time.  After finally tracking the phone source, I was relieved to find it was my sister [or maybe I should be more concerned :)] — close call, my own “Pro-Life” experience!

lector + missing Psalm + poverty + underdog croquet

January 25, 2008 Leave a comment

MORNING PRAYER & MASS – (Fr Vallee) — today, I was lector for the Mass reading (conversion of St Paul) and lead Liturgy of the Hours (Morning & Evening).  While reading morning Laud, I TOTALLY SKIPPED the 3rd Psalm … ??? … nervous, I guess … and was reminded about it all day from my seminary brothers.  — I appreciate the fraternal correction 🙂

AQUINAS – (Fr Vallee) — started Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter Fides et Ratio.  Spent some time on the opening greating:

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth — in a word, to know himself — so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.

World Poverty filmCONTEMPORARY PHIL – (Fr Santos) — started The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels with discussion on the “working class” and poverty.  Watched an assigned video about world poverty, “When Did I See You Hungary?” a film by Gerard Thomas Straub narrated by Martin Sheen.

MEDIEVAL PHIL – (Fr Vallee) — “paradigm shift” + permanence & change + the one & the many

OLYMPIC CROQUET — our new sports coordinators have created an Olympic Sports Tournament over the next few weeks, including ping pong, relay races, volleyball, soccer, croquet & more.  Today was our Olympic Croquet tournament, which I signed up for.  16 guys in 4-4 player games, whereby the winner of each plays for the Gold.  I won my first round as an underdog in a very exciting & close game.  The final round was actually ALL underdogs from the first rounds, ending with the champion being my “Guadeamus Clone” who must have copied my abilities & strategy into his collective.  — A great tournament!
Croquet @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Croquet @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Croquet @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL

EVENING PRAYER & DINNER — In order to redeem myself with this morning’s blunder, my post-dinner prayer (also the lector’s job) included an “excerpt from this morning’s missing Psalm” and gratitude for food, friends, fellowship, faith & fin de semana (“weekend” in Spanish).  — Dr Jimenez would be proud!