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Archive for November, 2009

Christmas decorating … begin!

November 29, 2009 2 comments

Let the Christmas decorating begin!

MIAMI HERALD article on Bryan Garcia at SJVCS !!!

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

This morning, I saw Bryan Garcia, Javier & Chuck on the FRONT page of the Miami Herald and I thought I was dreaming.  After realizing I wasn’t, I started reading the article titled, “Answering the Call” that continued to TWO FULL PAGES inside.  WOW!!!

The article spoke on the high enrollment at St John Vianney College Seminary (SJVCS) and the discernment process of seminarians, specifically profiling Bryan Garcia, my fellow brother seminarian.

The rector, Msgr Michael Carruthers, has some great quotes as well.  “What they [seminarians] want most is help in knowing the Lord.  If that leads to priesthood, great.”  And is the section about struggling in discernment, he said, “If you don’t struggle, you’re not discerning.”

The article closed with one of my favorite passage, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

There is also a SECOND ARTICLE on “Priesthood of today is much smaller than a decade ago.”

There is also an AUDIO SLIDESHOW with Bryan sharing his experience in seminary at SJVCS.  CHECK IT ALL OUT!!!


Arby’s + Wonder Woman + Ph.D

November 28, 2009 2 comments

Avoiding “Black Friday,” I ventured out with friends shopping on Saturday.  Not much better, I think.

During lunch at Arby’s, I put together this “kid’s toy” that said age 3+.  Probably the worst kid’s toy EVER!  Even with 2 bachelor’s degrees, I had difficult putting this 15 piece paper-cutout of a “bobble head Wonder Woman.” She didn’t last long after her completion either.

Thanksgiving “Attitude of Gratitude” prayer

November 26, 2009 Leave a comment

I hope everyone had as great a Thanksgiving as I did, with family & friends!

Attitude of Gratitude (prayer)
Dear Lord, we come to You today
With a humble attitude.
For all you give, our hearts are full
Of love and gratitude.Thank you for this special time
To offer our Thanksgiving.
Thank you for this food, and for
The blessed lives we’re living.
In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen
—By Joanna Fuchs


catechists … prepare for Advent

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

I found a great blog called Catechist’s Journey.com by an 8th grade catechist named Joe who “knows his stuff” and provides resources and discussion about catechesis.  He’s been in ministry for 30+ years and does online seminars called “webinars.”  Check it out … especially if you’re a catechist.

In the above video, I especially like the following (I’ll use it in class next week)

Jesus’ Three Comings:  In …

  1. History — when Jesus came Man (incarnation)
  2. Mystery –as Jesus comes to us today in many ways, especially in the Eucharist
  3. Majesty — as we look forward to His triumphant return at the end of time

Lots more on his site.  Check it out!

P.E.A.K. for priests

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

In this Year for Priests, Father David Toups creates an acronym (something he beat me to) about what every Catholic can do for priests, this year especially.  (P)ray for priests.  (E)ncourage those interested in discerning the priesthood.  (A)ffirm priests for their vocation and service.  (K)nowledge — increase your knowledge of priesthood.

There’s also more videos related to the Year for Priests, including more from Father Toups.

icon of Christ the Great High Priest

November 24, 2009 1 comment

As we are in the Year of the Priest, the USCCB website has some great resources as we spend this year with greater prayer and focus on Priesthood.  This icon is a beautiful symbol for priesthood.  More info on the iconographer and opportunity to buy an 18″ x 24″ poster here.

This icon (egg tempera and gold leaf on wood panel, 28” x 22”) is “based on a fifteenth century Greek prototype; here Christ is shown in Latin Rite vestments with a gold pelican over His heart, the ancient symbol of self-sacrifice. The borders contain a winding grapevine and altar prepared for the celebration of the liturgy of the Mass; in the borders are smaller icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.”  Incidentally, it is St. John Vianney whom Pope Benedict XVI, with the announcement of this special year, has declared the Universal Patron of Priests.

NY ordination 2009 video

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

As we are in the Year for Priests, the USCCB website posted this You Tube video of the priest ordination of New York.  It’s done really well … by the same people (Grassroots Films) that made the Fishers of Men video.

The USCCB website also has a listing of all the new priests that were ordained this year with pictures, backgrounds and quotes.

CCD 7th: Parent child Jeopardy + Angelus + BAPTiSM prayer types (day 10)

November 22, 2009 1 comment

Today, in our 7th grade Pre-Confirmation class, parents were invited to come to class for orientation of the upcoming year and review of the last 9 classes.  We opened with a review of “incarnation” and the “Angelus” for an opening prayer.  Then I reviewed the different prayer types with B.A.P.T.i.S.M..  Then we played Jeopardy!

“Angelus” Prayer
(The Angel of the Lord)

[Lead:]  The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
[ALL:]  And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
HAIL MARY, full of grace …

[Lead:]  Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
[ALL:]  Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
HAIL MARY, full of grace …

[Lead:]  And the Word was made flesh,   [bow during]
[ALL:]  And dwelt among us.
HAIL MARY, full of grace …

[Lead:]  Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
[ALL:]  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

[Lead:]  Let us pray.
[ALL:]  Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord,
Thy grace into our hearts;  that we,
to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son,
was made known by the message of an angel,
may by His Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of His Resurrection,
through the same Christ Our Lord.
AMEN.

Types of prayersB.A.P.T.i.S.M.

  • BLESSING – invoke God’s power for a person, place or activity
  • ADORATION – the “created” before the Creator
  • PRAISE – glory God (for who He is)
  • THANKSGIVING – gratitude (for what He does)
  • i ASK for ME (petition) + OTHERS (intercession)
  • SORRY – ask of forgiveness
  • MEDITATION – tuning into God, reflection (through quiet prayer, Sacred Scripture, lectio divina, liturgy of the hours, Rosary, holy icons, imagery, books of daily devotion, lives of saints, works of spirituality, etc.)

The MASS includes ALL these types of prayer

We played Classroom Jeopardy! with teams of parents & kids.  With almost perfect attendance, only 5 kids came without parents and everyone seemed to have a great time playing.  Most categories were facts we’ve covered in class like “Jewish Roots,” “Gotta Have Faith,” “Facebook Jesus,” “Catholic Pop Quiz,” “Catholic Prayers,” “Angels & Demons,” and “A.R.R.R. You Listening?” Then there was the more entertaining categories like “Chronicles of Narnia,” “Anything Goes,” and the favorite “Candy Bars.” A great time for all.  I can’t wait to bring the parents back soon!

nativity display at a mall ?

November 21, 2009 4 comments

I was shopping with family & friends at the Town Center in Boca Raton and saw this beautiful nativity display inside.  There was also a Hanukkah display on the other side of the mall.

In Neiman Marcus, there was a creative display over the escalator of butterflies and small mirrors that looked impressive.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.

CCD hs: grace + sin + service journal (day 9)

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

In our high school Confirmation class, we reviewed everything we learned to date using handouts of outlined points covered each day (basically our catechist notes).  I then covered GRACE, SIN, and CONFESSION.  The visual illustrations are my own (in parenthesis) that I used to teach these “highly religious” words to 7th graders years ago.  (If you have any other suggestions or comments, please let me know.)

Holy = to be set apart and united with God.

Grace = free and undeserved gift of God’s love and life.  (like “air”)

Sanctifying Grace = supernatural gift from God where our sins are forgiven & are made holy. First receive thru Baptism & continually sanctified through all sacraments.  (like “clean air“)  Lost by mortal sin.

Actual Grace = God’s impulse to help in our everyday lives.  (like “sweet smells”)

Sacramental Grace = graces specific to each sacrament.  (like “satellite TV”)

Sin = freely choosing to do something that we know is wrong and against God’s will; we can sin in thought, word, action, or by omission.  (like “rejecting air”)

Mortal Sin = serious offense that breaks our relationship with God & His grace. (like “holding your breath”)  Requirements are …

  1. it must be a grave matter
  2. we must know we are sinning
  3. we must freely choose to sin

Venial Sin = a less serious offense that weakens our relationship with God.  (like “smoking”)

Sacrament of Reconciliation = by confessing mortal sins with a contrite heart to a priest (in persona Christi = in the person of Christ), we are reconciled with God and with the Church, the Body of Christ.  Penance is the whole cycle of conversion, forgiveness and making reparation (repaying any debt) for our sins.  This strengthens us to resist future temptations.

CONFESSION Procedure

  1. Spend some time reflecting on your actions and do a thorough examination of conscience.
  2. Go in the confessional & greet the priest.
  3. Make the sign of the cross together.
  4. Begin: “Bless me Father for I have sinned.  It has been (time) since my last confession.”
  5. Confess your sins.
  6. Priest will speak to you and/or share something from Scripture.
  7. Priest will give you your penance.
  8. You will say the Act of Contrition.
  9. Priest will pray the prayer of absolution.
  10. Thank the priest & leave confessional.
  11. Spend some time doing your penance.

We finished the class by giving examples on their “Christian Service” Journal reflection that is due next time.

CCD 7th: Review ALL classes (day 9)

November 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we REVIEWED all our previous classes to date.

Here are links to previous classes:

All these links are indexed on my Uth + CCD tab (at the top of this blog) for all classes.

HOMEWORK:

  1. bring parents next class,
  2. bring Bible, if you have one already,
  3. review notes with parents in preparation for playing Jeopardy!

sister’s bridal shower

November 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Today is my sister’s first (of 3) bridal showers.

Virtus training re-cert.

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Tonight I was at Pace High School for re-certification training of my Virtus Facilitator status. I was trained back in 2003 when the Virtus (Protecting God’s Children) Program was begun here in the Archdiocese of Miami. There have been some changes since and I haven’t facilitated a class in years. This training session is tonight and all day tomorrow.

Miami Auxiliary Bishop Noonan was present and gave a great introduction about the programs history, importance and full support. The main training was led by Dr Paul Ashton.

CCD hs: St Ignatius + BAPTiSM + PRAY + ARRR + journaling (day 8)

November 10, 2009 159 comments

In our high school Confirmation class, today was supposed to be a review of everything to day, but I couldn’t get my handouts run off in time, so I took the cue from the saint presented today and taught on next week’s topic, PRAYER.

St Ignatius of Loyola (16th century;  feast day July 31) injured in battle at age 30. During recovery, he read the life of the saints & responded strongly to a personal call by God.  He was convinced that God could be found in all things, and was guided by an inner peace (“consolation”) that comes from knowing one is doing the will of God.  Developed the “Spiritual Exercises,” a practical guide to live a truly Christian life with prayer & especially devoted to the name of Christ (IHS).  His companions were called the “Company of Jesus,” today called the “Society of Jesus,” or the Jesuits, one of the largest religious communities in the world. Besides the 3 vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, members take a 4th vow of obedience to the Pope.

Prayer of Self-Offering to God

by St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will.  All that I am and all that I possess, You have given me.  I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your Will.  Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more.

Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …

  • Pro-create (open to children),
  • Educate (evangelize your Catholic children)
  • Holy Mate (get your spouse to heaven)

Types of prayersB.A.P.T.i.S.M.

  • BLESSING – invoke God’s power for a person, place or activity
  • ADORATION – the “created” before the Creator
  • PRAISE – glory God (for who He is)
  • THANKSGIVING – gratitude (for what He does)
  • i ASK for ME (petition) + OTHERS (intercession)
  • SORRY – ask of forgiveness
  • MEDITATION – tuning into God, reflection (through quiet prayer, Sacred Scripture, lectio divina, liturgy of the hours, Rosary, holy icons, imagery, books of daily devotion, lives of saints, works of spirituality, etc.)

The MASS includes ALL these types of prayer

CONTEMPLETIVE prayer“silent love” — a deep awareness of God’s presence by being alone with God who we know loves us (“centering prayer” helps develop skills)

Steps in prayer … P.R.A.Y.

  • PRAISE = God for who He is + thanksgiving
  • REPENT = confess + rec forgiveness + change
  • ASK = for others + me   (see A.R.R.R.)
  • YIELD = be open to God’s voice & His Will

[PRAYER] When your spending time in personal prayer with the Lord, here’s a good outline to follow  . . . . A.R.R.R.

Personal Prayer … A.R.R.R.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE –- How’s my life right now? Pay attention to your thought + feelings + desires (“the Big 3”).
  • RELATE -– Tell God about ALL “3” honestly.
  • RECEIVE -– Quiet your mind, focus on God, & listen to “the Big 3.”  (Discern spirits)
  • RESPOND -– do what you NEED to do

When you have something to talk to the Lord about, process your “Big 3” with this model.

HOMEWORK:

(1) 3 prayer journals — letters to God, (2) Chapter 3 Quiz, (3) Chapter 17 Quiz

CCD 7th: Heaven + Hell + Purgatory (day 8)

November 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we …

Write Jeopardy Questions — everyone made up Jeopardy questions about anything we learned so far.  Some of the questions will be used for the Parent Teen Jeopardy in a couple weeks.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

  • –apparition to Juan Diego
  • –picked roses in winter
  • –“eye” of Mary portrait

–Gangs using Rosaries (for protection?)

Heaven – the state of eternal life and union with God, for those that choose God (saints).

Hell – the state of permanent separation from God, reserved for those that reject God.

  • Sheol (Hell) – Hebrew OT word for gloomy place beneath the earth for all dead, both righteous and evil.
  • Gehenna (Hell) – Hebrew NT word refers to the place on the SW side of Jerusalem, used for a dumping ground for human waste, corpses, rotting matter, etc. with “fires” burning.  Became a popular symbol for what Christians called “hell.” (See Mark 9:43-48, Luke 12:5)

Purgatory – a state of final purification that one may need following death, before heaven.

HOMEWORK:

  1. finish Pop Quiz handout & prayer journal “God letters” (3 any + 3 events),
  2. do “Jeopardy Questions” handout (x 2)

Miami Catechetical Morning 2009

November 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Today was the annual Archdiocese of Miami Catechetical Morning 2009 at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church, sponsored by the Office of Religious Education.  It drew about 400 catechists from all over the diocese to celebrate our essential ministry as catechist of the Catholic faith.

The morning began with morning prayer and some words of thanks and encouragement from Archbishop Favalora.

The keynote speaker was also encouraging as well as enteraining.  Sister Carol Cimino, a Sister of St. Joseph of Rochester and consultant for the William H. Sadlier publishing company.  Her talk was titled, “I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did.”

At lunchtime, we could browse the various displays of resources from various Catholic companies.  Respect Life was well represented as well with lots of resources for all ages.  I especially like the poster of “The Facts of Life” and the hand-held figurines of a 3 month old in the womb.

Lunch was tasty and affordable for those that chose to stay on campus.  A footlong hotdog or ham n turkey sandwich with chips or “cookie” and drink for about $5-6.  During lunch, I also had a close encounter with a butterfly.

After lunch, the second speaker was Sue DeFerrari, retreat director of the Morningstar Renewal Center retreat house in Miami.

There’s a good article on the Florida Catholic website about the event as well.

the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic

November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Here is the “Lord’s Prayer” (Our Father) in Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke.

CCD hs: Old Testament + CCC (day 7)

November 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our high school Confirmation class, we covered Chapter 3 on Old Testament.  We also included in introduction the the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) with a project assignment (a report or display or collage) based on individually assigned CCC quotes.

St Veronica (“bearer of victory”) wiped the face of Jesus on the road to Calvary.  His image remained on the cloth. Her feast day is July 12, same day as the Holy Face of Jesus.

Interpreting the Bible

  • –Literalist
  • –Contextualist

“Four Religious Truths” ( 2nd Creation Story)

  • –God is one
  • –God planned creation
  • –God created everything good
  • –God made the Sabbath holy

Sin, Personal Sin, Social Sin, Original Sin

Bible books (p34)

Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)

  • –Part 1: CREED (Prof of Faith)
  • –Part 2: SACRAMENTS (Celebrate Mystery)
  • –Part 3: MORALITY (Life in Christ)
  • –Part 4: PRAYER

HOMEWORK:

(1)  handout  “Rays of Hope” Links, and (2) assigned CCC project (report or display)

Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound

November 2, 2009 2 comments

Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound
Check out this article at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571215,00.html

Here are some quotes:

Johnson said she became disillusioned with her job after her bosses pressured her for months to increase profits by performing more and more abortions, which cost patients between $505 and $695.

“Every meeting that we had was, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough money — we’ve got to keep these abortions coming,'” Johnson told FoxNews.com. “It’s a very lucrative business and that’s why they want to increase numbers.”

But Johnson said her bosses told her to change her “priorities” and focus on abortions, which she said made money for the office at a time when the recession has left them hurting.

“For them there’s not a lot of money in education,” she said. “There’s as not as much money in family planning as there is abortion.”

Check out this article at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571215,00.html