Archive for the ‘Arts & Ideas’ Category

Happy Resurrection Day!

1st sem grades

December 18, 2007 Leave a comment

Stephen King's The MistToday I received my grades for my first semester in St John Vianney College Seminary:

Arts & Ideas – (Fr Vallee) — B
Ancient Philosophy – (Fr Santos) — B+
Modern Philosophy – (Fr Santos) — B
Ministerial Methods – (Fr Michael) — A
Intermediate Spanish – (Dr Jimenez) — B
Intro to Old Testament – (Fr Michael) — A

DOTS — Stephen King’s The Mist [PF]

Gaudeamus skit + gifts

December 14, 2007 Leave a comment

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — last exam & turned in reflection paper on “Amadeus highlighting the Modern Period”

SJV Gaudeamus 2007 skit @ St John Vianney College SeminaryGAUDEAMUS — There’s a tradition at the seminary, called Gaudeamus, where a skit is performed to make fun of seminarians.  At the end of the first semester, all new guys are highlighted.  At the end of the second semester, seniors are highlighted.  Since I’m a “new guy,” over the last week, guys are asking what I think they “have on me.”  I have no idea — hopefully nothing that will haunt me throughout seminary.  After dinner at 9:30pm, we all gather in the Community Room for the “show.”  Just when I think I’m safe, the FIRST guy that comes out is “ME” — making fun of me taking fruit (if that’s all the got, I dodged that bullet!).  The whole skit was hillarious with great impressions, including the Rector Fr Michael, Fr Santos, Fr Vallee, & Bishop Noonan. 
SJV Gaudeamus 2007 skit @ St John Vianney College Seminary  SJV Gaudeamus 2007 skit @ St John Vianney College Seminary SJV Gaudeamus 2007 skit @ St John Vianney College Seminary 

Christmas gifts 2007 @ St John Vianney College SeminaryChristmas gifts 2007 @ St John Vianney College SeminaryCHAPEL GIFTS — Our last activity together (besides tomorrow’s morning Mass) was Night Prayer in the Chapel.  Afterwards, each class presented their Christmas gifts to their chosen priest and the Rector’s staff presented each of us with a gift — a SJV personalized messenger bag — AWESOME!

postmodern + Monsignor + Christmas dinner

December 7, 2007 1 comment

last day of class @ St John Vianney College Seminary, MiamiMASS – (Fr Vallee) — “frail bird”

MODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — finish Hegel.  Turned in reflection paper on Locke.

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — finish Neoplatonism.  Turned in reflection paper on Epicureanism.

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — as the last day of class before finals week, we covered the Post-Modern Period in 1 day.

VIGIL MASS + MONSIGNOR – (Fr Michael) — [2 battleships practicing]  we celebrated a Vigil Mass for tomorrow’s feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Bishop Noonan began Mass by announcing our rector Fr Michael Carruthers has been made a Monsignor (along with 20+ others in our diocese during this Jubilee Year), but he still prefers us to call him “Father.”  — Congratulations!
Monsignor Mass @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL table setup for 2007 Christmas Dinner @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL table setup for 2007 Christmas Dinner @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL

CHRISTMAS DINNER — especially for faculty member, we had a big Christmas Dinner with ham, pork, rice & beans, green beans, po-ta-toes, fudge pie, key lime pie, apple dessert, & a bowl of strawberry/blueberry “mix” — GREAT!
2007 Christmas Dinner @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL 2007 Christmas Dinner @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL 2007 Christmas Dinner @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL

Aristotle test + Venus + cartoon + David

November 28, 2007 Leave a comment

DaVinci's Madonna of the RocksMODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — start Hegel.  Hegel’s solution to Kant’s problems of circularity & skepticism is to unify the “knower” (subject) and “known” (object).  Hegelian Absolute Idealism = subject + object are 2 moments of the process by which the absolute unfolds into reality.  — if you say so?

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — test on Aristotle.  — I think I started understanding him half-way through the 3 essay questions (Plato vs Aristotle’s view of “soul” … forgot #2 … Aristotle on “virtue”)

Botticelli's The Birth of VenusVirgin and Child with St Anne and St John the BaptistARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — Boticelli‘s The Birth of VenusLeonardo da Vinci’s cartoon sketch for Madonna and Child with St Anne and the young St John.  DaVinci’s Madonna of the RocksMichelangelo‘s David & Bacchus.

DOTS — laundry day — worklist: floors — holy hour: Fr Rios

gym rats + hedonism + Annunciation + limo driver

November 26, 2007 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Santos) — “gym rats” — “juice” — sacrifice.

MODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — test on Hume.  — I think I wrote the same answer for all 3 questions … it’s got to apply to at least one

Annunciation by Fra AngelicoANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — start philosopher Epicurus with his Epicureanism & hedonism … (Letter to Menoeceus) … believe in gods … everything is material … death is, therefore, not something to be feared … focus attention on life, the happy, pleasant, and pleasurable life.  — It sound nice … most people today live exactly this way … even those in church. 

Annunciation by Sandro BotticelliARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — started Renaissance by comparing 2 painting of the Annunciation, by Sandro Botticelli & Fra Angelico.

MINISTERIAL METHODS – (Fr Michael) — (part 3) Being Discerning … level of judgement … does my understanding correspond to what is true?  (Limo driver interviews ’round a hill)

(part 4) Being Responsible … level of decision … What should I do?

3 people + yacht + multiple choir

November 16, 2007 1 comment

MASS – (Fr Alvarez) — there are 3 kinds of people … those that live for things (most selfish) … those that live for ideas (most frustrated/ing) … those that live for people (most happy). 

Maltese Falcon yachtMODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — intro on Kant.

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — discussed Aristotle‘s Nicomachean Ethics.  What is true happiness?  a yacht? … Virtue is connected with “habit” & “moderation”?  … (for next time)

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — today was our test for the Medieval Period.  We were told (several times) that it would be multiple choice, matching & true/false.  So, what was it? … fill in the blank and true/false.  — must be yet another test in patience.

MIAMI MEETING – (Fr Manny) — the Arch of Miami seminarians had a meeting reviewing our handbook.

Organ ConcertORGAN CONCERT — 8pm tonight was “An Evening of Sacred Music” by St John Neumann Festival Choir (all volunteers) at our St Raphael’s Chapel.  The event was done to thank all the benefactors who have financial assisted the seminary with various projects, especially the repair of our organ (damaged in a hurricane years ago).  A beautiful choir performance, but I would have like to hear more organ (– or more cowbell). 

Pre-T bowl + croquet

November 15, 2007 Leave a comment

PRE-T SOCIAL DAY — today, us Pre-Theology seminarians got together in the afternoon for some social bonding with some bowling at Bird Bowl.  The pins were stubborn, but we had a great time.  — I was “Agent Black”
Pre-T bowling day Pre-T bowling day Pre-T bowling day

Pre-T croquetSOCIAL PART 2 — afterwards, we played some Boggle [11 points for CLOISTER and body parts count] and then some Croquet in the backyard [freshly soded foot-tall grass] — I was out first.

STUDY GROUP — several evening study groups to prepare for tomorrow’s Arts & Ideas test on the medieval art period.

nominalism + Mandylion + sin catcher

November 14, 2007 1 comment

Mandylion, face of Jesus on cloth, iconARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — turned in my reflection paper on the Christian religious icon “Mandylion.”  In class we discussed nominalism … “Can God make a square circle? or a rock too heavy for God to lift?”Aquinas says NO (can’t contradict himself) and William of Ockham says YES (can’t limit divine freedom).

LAUNDRY — Wednesday is my new laundry day and today was my first time at the new Pre-T house.  Even with a busy day [3 morning classes, worklist, holy hour & finsh a reflection paper], I fit in my laundry time.  As I was doing my drying, cleaning the “lint catcher” made me reflect on venial sins offered up at Mass — it could make for a good homily illustration.  I took the “sin catcher” thought to “holy hour” and, since I remembered I left the dryer on, I also prayed I don’t burn the house down.
laundry - dryer lint catcher laundry - washer knob laundry room

DOTS — lint catcher — house still standing — shrimp — no volleyball — online The Unit & Cane

gothic variety + gargoyles + corruptio

November 12, 2007 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Santos) — when it comes to bad influences and avoiding scandal, be transparent and trust formation.

Notre Dame gargoylesMODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — summarize Hume.

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — Aristotle‘s 3 kinds of soul … vegetative, animal & rational.

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — discussed variations in gothic architecture: French/German, English, Spanish, & Italian Gothic.  Then gargoyles (with water spouts) & grotesques (no spouts).  // corruptio optima pessima est = “corruption of the best is the worst” //  — guys care about winning, no matter what kind of baseball team.

MINISTERIAL METHODS — missed class ‘cuz of last night Denny’s (I think). — I can’t eat like some of these younger guys … old man!

De Anima + wax + incense

November 7, 2007 1 comment

thurifer with thuribleMODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — Hume on “self.”  There is no real “present.”  We need to make connections for survival/living/existence … “fides” (faith) & “fiducia” (trust/confidence).

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — Aristotle‘s De Anima on the “soul.”  His “soul” explains WHY something is alive, and not otherwise.  // (don’t ask about Jesus in the Trinity using Aristotle’s form/matter?) // Man has a potentiality of becoming a corpse? // biggest advantages of Catholic over Protestants is we are (1) incarnational & (2) sacramental

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — Romanesque vs Gothic architecture.

WORKLIST — today I did “polishing” of all candle stick holders … which means I use a hairdryer to melt off the wax.  — my fingers are still waxy
polishing candle holders polishing candle holders

HOLY HOUR (bonus) — today I alter served during benediction at holy hour.  I was the thurifer (incense guy) holding the thurible (incense burner on chain).  I was nervous (afraid the coals would die out), but did ok.  Holy hour included a considerable reflection on our fragile vocation.  — memorable

DOTS — PreT lunch — spanish study group — Bionic Woman — CCC 

Fr Omar + icons

October 25, 2007 Leave a comment

Fr Omar explaining iconsTonight, instead of a “Rector’s Conference,” we had an “Academic Conference” presentation by Fr Omar about religious icons & iconography.  A great insight into the background and creation of icons with various samples to see.  We’re currently studying them in “Arts & Ideas” with Fr Vallee, where we’ll need to write a 3-5 page reflection paper on an icon of our choosing.  — I should start looking.
Christian icon samples Christian icon samples Christian icon samples

DOTS — Spanish vocab quiz — salmon burger — “Black Hawk Down

Lauds + angel icons + Daily Examen

October 22, 2007 Leave a comment

NEW MORNING SCHEDULE — starting today, we’re doing Morning Prayer (Lauds) together (instead of “on our own“) before Mass everyday.  It’s a revision to our regular schedule, but it shouldn’t affect it too much.  — my breakfast time is critical.

MODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — today we start David Hume.  He’s supposed to be easier and more relevant to us.  — we’ll see about that.

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — today we start Aristotle.  According to Fr Vallee, reading Aristotle is “like chewing sandpaper.”  — whatever that means?

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — we reviewed some slides of various angel icons.  I didn’t realize the significance of each color.

MINISTERIAL METHODS – (Fr Michael) — the next part of our semester will focus more on person reflection of our ministry.  Today we learned how to do a “Daily Examen” of St Ignatius of Loyola.  For next week, we have an assignment to write a 3-5 page reflection paper on any aspect of the Church documents we’ve studied so far regarding the laity.

PRE-THEOLOGY MEETING — all the Pre-Theology guys met with Fr Michael to discuss status of the new off-campus housing for us 12 guys.  It looks like we’ll be moving in the next couple of weeks.

V-O-L-L-E-Y-B-A-L-L — the greatest way to return to seminary life … an evening of VOLLEYBALL.  — Heroes” will have to wait.

2 tests – Archangel Battle – tables

September 28, 2007 Leave a comment

MODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — Quiz on Decartes.  3 essay questions took the whole hour: How was he successful at determining “self” as the “rock of certainty”?  How did he fail at proving “world” and “God” as “innate”?  How was “world” distinct from “self” and “God”?   — at least those are the questions I thought (through subjective perception and err) I answered.

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — continued Plato’s Phaedo to explore personal, social & objective immortality.  Body vs soul.  4 Causes: material, efficient, formal & final.

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — test on Classic Greek Culture.  Also turned in a 3 page Reflection paper on “Greek Hellenic Idealism vs. Hellenistic Reality.”

SOCCER TOURNAMENT — Soccer has become some big here that we have a 4 team tournament going on.  Today was game 2 of round 1.  It was called the “Battle of the Archangels” because one team is called St Raphael and the other ???  Today’s game was supposed to be last night, but there wasn’t enough light.  — today was too hot (1:30pm) 
SJV Soccer SJV Soccer SJV Soccer

Parent Day table setupTABLE SETUP — in preparation for Parent Day tomorrow, we set up the tables in the Refrectory for 300 people!  — wow 

VOCATION LINK UPDATE — Yesterday I had a record 35 hits on my Vocations link page (& 190 for my whole site), so I decided to add more than just Miami links.  Added some links for general vocation info, seminary listings and all the diocese of Florida with their vocation links.  I even found some profiles of some of my brother here.  — it only took me 4 month to add stuff in a half hour … procrastinator

Bishop Estevez – name graces – volleyball fix

September 26, 2007 Leave a comment

MODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — started John Locke’s “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.”  Empiricism vs rationalism.

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — continued Plato’s Phaedo with “knowledge as recollection” and “the indestructibility of the soul.”

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — finished the Greek handout for our test on Friday.

WORKLIST — in “Sacristy,” I had bathrooms, so I finished pretty quick with time enough to help mop.  The tapistry of St Lawrence (hurricane damaged) was also being put up, so I took some pictures up close.
St John Vianney College Seminary - St Raphael Chapel sacristy St John Vianney College Seminary - St Raphael Chapel sacristy St John Vianney College Seminary - St Raphael Chapel sacristy St John Vianney College Seminary - St Raphael Chapel - St Lawrence tapistry St John Vianney College Seminary - St Raphael Chapel - St Lawrence tapistry

HOLY HOUR — with a small delegation of visitors from a Cuban priest and religious conference in Miami, we were blessed to have Bishop Estevez presiding over Benediction & Vespers.  He mentioned some words of wisdom from a formator in seminary that stood out for him.  He said we should NAME the graces we receive throughout the day in order to trace our journey with the Lord.  — that’s a great idea … like “Connect-the-dots” of grace … I should do that, but I probably won’t stick to it

VOLLEYBALL TONIGHT — I finally got my fix tonight from 9-10pm in the gym.  I hope we can have it more regularly (weekly at least).

CONNECT-the-DOTS — (since holy hour🙂  rain … benediction … air conditioning … Bishop’s blessing … good food … table fellowship … quiet study … volleyball … health & safety … refreshing shower … did I mention volleyball?   🙂

John De Rosen – polish artist

September 24, 2007 3 comments

John De Rosen, polish mosiac muralistARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — at the end of class, we went to the St Raphael Chapel to view the outdoor mosaic mural by John De Rosen, a polish artist.  His most famous works are at Grace Cathedral (with 8 murals) and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC (with 12 murals).

Our mosaic is themed after the Second Vatican Council in the spirit of ecumenism with Peter (the first pope), surrounded by the 4 churches and includes the bishop coat of arms for Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, and Archbishop Coleman Carroll (who built St John Vinney College Seminary here in Miami, FL, USA).  — beautiful!
“Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen “Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen “Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen “Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen “Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen “Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen “Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen “Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen “Vatican II Council” mosaic murel by John De Rosen

In froht of the mosaic are three porcelains by Rafael Consuegra that represent the 3 Archangels Gabriel, Michael and Raphael here @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL
 “Archangel Gabriel” porcelain by Vincenzo Bianchini @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL, USA “Archangel Michael” porcelain by Vincenzo Bianchini @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL, USA “Archangel Raphael” porcelain by Vincenzo Bianchini @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL, USA

TV — watched the season opener of “Heroes.”

good shadow – Hail Father

September 21, 2007 Leave a comment

walking shadowMASS – (Fr Joseph) — a story of a “Good Man” offered any miracle from an angel.  He refuses “the gift of healing,” “the ability to change sinners righteous,” & the opportunity to be a “sign of virtue.”  He refuses all so that he gets no credit and God get the glory.  Even though he says “grace is enough,” the angel gives his shadow healing power so people don’t focus on him, but God.

MODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — “SELF” is the primary “innate idea” (but God?)

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — started Plato’s “Phaedo” — the first philosophical arguement for the immortality of the soul.

ART & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — we began with the “Hail Father” and discussed more on Socrates to Aristotle.  “Universals, ideas & substances dominate.”  … “Plato divides the soul into the appetitive, emotional, and rational parts, which were located in the abdomen, the chest and the head, respectively.” … “Aristotle’s metaphysics is the elaboration of the four causes: formal, fina, material & efficient.”

DAY of REFLECTION — a 24 hour day of reflection starts today at 5:15pm and goes until tomorrow’s Vigil Mass.

Buddah + Big Dog + sacristy

September 19, 2007 1 comment

MASS – (Fr Vallee) — Today’s Gospel shows how critics saw John the Baptist as crazy and Jesus as a “glutton and a drunkard.”  You can’t please everyone all the time.  It’s what God thinks of you that matters … not anyone else.  Some key phrases … “It’s easier to wear slippers than to carpet the whole world.”  & “If you meet Buddah in the road, kill him.”

Ancient Philosophy - cinema roomMODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — continued Descartes.  I think [of other] therefore I am.

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — watched a story video on Socrates.  Finished “Crito

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — pgs 17-23.  “Forms.”  Icons (windows) vs Idols (the end).

Big Dog tail waggingWORKLIST & HOLY HOUR — for worklist, I cleaned the sanctuary & mopped the sacristy & some pews in the Chapel.  For Holy Hour, Fr Alvarez told a story of “the Big Dog.”  (Chris-notes🙂  Big dog was in control of everything except his wagging tail — tried to catch it & control it — little dog gave advice from experience — if you stay focused forward, everything else will follow.  — so it is if we focus on Christ.

Chapel sanctuary (from left) Chapel sanctuary (from Acolyte seat) Chapel Sacristy (left side) Chapel Sacristy (back)

centurion – I am – fear of death – Virtus

September 17, 2007 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Alvarez) — Today’s Gospel is the Centurion who asks Jesus to order a healing (“Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the words and I shall be healed.”  — from the Mass).  As in the military, orders are important and executed.  Rank is also important.  Who do we take our directions from?  the Rector?  our Spiritual Director?  a priest?  a stranger?  a friend?  or a person who says what we’ll “like” to hear?  — it’s all part of discernment.

MODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — we reached Decartes’ conclusion that “I think, therefore I am” but ended the class with the question, “What is wrong with the statement? what’s missing?”  — I don’t know … a preterite conjugation? (I need to do some Spanish for tomorrow).

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — we finished Plato’s “The Apology” where Socrates is defending himself on trial before 500 politicians sentence him to death.  We concluded some points on the philosophy on a “way of life” concerning the “fear of death:”

1.  one should not fear death, but remain “at my station”
2.  one should not fear death, but unrighteousness
3.  one should not build himself up by ruining others

As we finished, I began wondering if the first martyr St Stephen read “The Apology” before standing before the Sanhedrin and then getting stoned (Acts 6).  Socrates was a man of conviction who was convicted.  — “To a good man, nothing bad can happen in life or death!”

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — some more on Socrates & Plato.

MINISTERIAL METHODS – (Fr Michael) — expanded on the “Significance of Baptism in the Early Church” using several passages in 1Peter 1&2, the 3-fold mission of Christ – Priest – Prophet – King, the Church of Communion with 1Cor 12:12-31 & Eph 4:7-13, and finally a passage for Lectio Divina in regards to the Ministerial Priesthood with Heb 5:1-6.

VIRTUS TRAINING — tonight, all the new guys were trained in the 3 hour course on Preventing Child Sexual Abuse that is required for anyone working with children in the Archdiocese of Miami.

Robert DeNiro – be bread – Tootsie Pop

September 12, 2007 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Alvarez) — when preparing for a big movie role, Robert DeNiro would immerse himself into the character for months.  As we immerse ourselves into seminary life, we are called to “change” as we grow.  Blessed are we if we are open to conversion — open to change.  — Amen.

worklist - washing windows with a lizardMODERN PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — continued Decartes’ Meditations.

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – (Fr Santos) — finished Euthyphro.

ARTS & IDEAS – (Fr Vallee) — continued Greek handout pg 6-9.

WORKLIST & HOLY HOUR — today, in “Sacristy” worklist, I cleaned windows.  During holy hour, we reflected on a spanish phrase, “un pedazo de pan”  — it means something about “being bread” — a phrase that means you’re down to earth and “meet people where they’re at.”  It as a great reflection on Jesus and how Tootsie Poppriests (and all Christians) are called to minister.

DINNER — I’m serving this week at a table that likes to make “mixed drinks” (various soda combinations).  Today was a drink that tasted just like a Tootsie Pop.  It’s Sunkist mixed with chocolate syrup.  — it’s good, but more as a stand-alone drink, not with beef.  🙂