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Posts Tagged ‘Catholic’

Song about celibacy and priesthood

September 20, 2014 1 comment

Here is a song about celibacy and priesthood, performed by a brother seminarian currently at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary.

A great performance by Michael Hartley, challenged by his summer at the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF).

Catholic wedding bells

June 28, 2011 1 comment

Since I am getting married this Saturday, I thought the latest Vortex episode (from RealCatholicTV) was appropriate (and very true).

In a few days, I’ll be one of the few … the proud … the married … Roman Catholic !

God bless & stay holy!

Catholic? Bon Jovi concert

April 18, 2010 21 comments

Went to the Bon Jovi concert (Circle Tour) at the (Bank Atlantic?) Sunrise Arena. Opened with one of my favorite songs, Blood on Blood. Also closed with an encore of Runaway, Wanted (Dead or Alive) and Livin on a Prayer. Show was great! Our nosebleed seats were eye level with the lighting catwalk, which may be why the audio was vocal audio was so hard to hear, but, otherwise, and great show! I think their show last time in 2008 was better even through we were behind the stage.

Their newer songs seem to be more focused on social justice. I know Bon Jovi is a big campaigner for Democrats (Gore, Kerry and Obama), but I was wondering if he’s still Catholic, especially since he sang Hallelujah solo for 5 minutes.

I found a quote from Parade magazine in 2007:

On his Catholic upbringing:
“I went to Catholic school in and out. I’m what you call a recovering Catholic. I have many major issues with the church.”Jon Bon Jovi

I know that was 3 years ago, but I hope and pray that his search for truth brings him back home to a faithful Catholic identity. I also noticed Richie Sambora was wearing a St Benedict rosary around his neck. I hope it wasn’t just a fashion statement. I couldn’t find much about his faith background.

Another favorite Bon Jovi song is Keep the Faith.

My favorite part (usually cut off the radio version) is the part after the guitar solo (about 4 minutes) where he says:

I’ve been walking in the footsteps of society’s lies
I don’t like what I see no more
Sometimes I wish that I was blind
Sometimes I wait forever
To stand out in the rain
So no one sees me cryin’
Trying to wash away the pain

Mother father
There’s things I’ve done I can’t erase
Every night we fall from grace
It’s hard with the world in yours face
Trying to hold on, trying to hold on

Catholic Cartoon Blog

I ran across this Catholic Cartoon Blog with some “Cartoons based on happenings in the Catholic Church, or in the world at large from a Catholic viewpoint.”  — I added it to my blog roll.

Lots of comments and discussion about the Catholic Church and the world.  Check it out.

IPF on TV (EWTN) with Fr Gabuzda

The Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) was featured on EWTN show Sunday Night Live with host Father Benedict Groeschel.  The guests were Father Richard Gabuzda (IPF director) and Father Joe Kelly (priest of New York & IPF faculty).  They focused on the the mission of IPF and their efforts in building a Center for Priestly Spirituality.  Some great discussions and live call-in questions.  They spoke on the summer programs (that I took last summer) and how awesome the Holy Spirit has grown the mission of IPF.  I hope they post some of the show on their website or YouTube.  You can order it from EWTN, show #280.

Here is a short video about the mission of IPF that is on the IPF website and on YouTube (from 2 years ago):

Vatican praises The Simpsons

March 17, 2010 3 comments

I’m not a huge fan of The Simpsons, but I just watched a episode about Bart going to Catholic school called “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star.” [S16E21] In the classic Simpsons’ satire, Bart & Homer become Catholic while Protestant Marge tries to bring them back. WOW! A great episode to use with high school discussion groups. This episode touches on all kinds of questions about faith and religion (and there’s lots of paintball in it, too!).

I also found an article about the Vatican praising The Simpsons show.

Animated US television show, The Simpsons has gathered praise from the Roman Catholic Church for their “realistic” way of dealing with religion and spreading happiness among viewers. An article published in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano has lauded the long-running show, insisting “many today wouldn’t know how to laugh” if the series hadn’t been aired, reported Contactmusic.

The newspaper story thanked the show’s producers for depicting family patriarch Homer’s struggle with his own faith through its 20 years on the small screen. “Homer finds in God his last refuge, even though he sometimes gets His name sensationally wrong. But these are just minor mistakes, after all; the two know each other well,” the article said. The story also insisted that The Simpsons success is due to its “realistic and intelligent writing”.

The same newspaper had recently paid tribute to ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’, for highlighting the “sacrifice” needed for good to triumph over evil.

WOW! Who would think The Simpsons would be watched at the Vatican?  What next, Family Guy?

Ash Wednesday POLL … take it!

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I know today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of 40 days of penitence and reflection, called Lent, to cleanse our soul by making atonement for the wrong things we have done and growing our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Since I’ve been in seminary the last 2 Ash Wednesday, I’m a little ignorant when I ask this, but … “Why are there so many people at Mass today?!?” Standing room only at the 6pm Mass I went to. Some churches even have 3 to 4+ different Mass times throughout the day.

Don’t get me wrong … it’s awesome to witness, but today isn’t even a holiday day of obligation. Why do so many Catholics feel the need to “get the ashes” today … what draws them today. Today, I even got a record number of 578 hits on this blog, with keywords like lent, fast, ashes, abstinence, & penance.

I’ve been debating possible reasons, from the supernatural movements of the soul toward God to practical whys.  Here is poll (in the sidebar of this page) with some possibilities that I hope people will be honest about.  — Please add more in comments.

What is the background on Ash Wednesday (in case you didn’t know)?

The ashes are made by burning the blessed palm fronds used on last year’s Palm Sunday and christened with Holy Water.

The marking of the forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each of us that:

  1. Death comes to everyone
  2. We should be sad for their sins
  3. We must change ourselves for the better
  4. God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes.
  5. It’s also a reminder of the mark of the cross made at baptism
  6. The cross of ashes may symbolize the way Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as atonement for sin replaces the Old Testament tradition of making burnt offerings to atone for sin.

When marking the sign of the cross on each believer’s forehead, the celebrant says, “Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” When leaving the observance, we carry the cross out into the world.

During Lent, each Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. It invites us to undertake spiritual discipline, deliberate abstinence from indulgent behavior involving food or luxuries, or finding ways to be of service to society.

young adult retreat @ St Vincent DePaul Seminary

January 30, 2010 1 comment

First time ever, the seminarians at St Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary in Boyton Beach, FL led a retreat open for young adult of the Palm Beach Diocese.  I heard about it through my friends on FaceBook.  It was a Spirit-filled retreat … simple schedule … 3 seminarian testimonies … deep small group discussion … Benediction & Adoration … and lots of social time.

Even though I couldn’t stay for the whole retreat, I’m grateful to have been invited and grateful to see by brother seminarians at their finest at “home.”

Hopefully, with their great turnout, they can do more events to not only reach out to the community, but keep vocations on everyone’s minds and prayers!

See the Florida Catholic article that promoted the events.

Here’s some pictures I took of their beautiful chapel on campus:

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!!!


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: Like Jesus + Holy + All Saints (day 7)

November 1, 2009 Leave a comment

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

(PRAYER) “Confirmation discipline” story … our actions can reveal our thoughts, feelings & desires

[story] “Crying over Jesus” story

Jesus shares our struggles

  • single Mom,
  • step-Father dies as teen,
  • lost in Temple,
  • discovering His real Heavenly Father,
  • tempted by Satan (3 times),
  • rejected in hometown,
  • apostles = motley crew of friends,
  • false allegations,
  • denied by Peter,
  • tortured,
  • tempted to deny “himself,”
  • abandoned by friends,
  • suffering for other’s sins,
  • resurrected

3 closest APOSTLES (= “to be sent”):

  • Peter “Rock,” fisherman, first Pope, Simon
  • John, youngest, “beloved,” given to Mary,
  • James, bro of Matthew (tax collector)

Hallowed = Holy = “to be set apart”

Nov 1 = All Saints’ Day

Nov 2 = All Souls’ Day

Pop Quiz, questions 1-5 (Catholic traditions, Pastor, parish ministries)

HOMEWORK: Catch up on overdue homework assignments …

  1. prayer quiz,
  2. both journal assignments, &
  3. “Pop Quiz” handout (do with parents)

CCD 7th: Hats + 3 Birthdays + Vocations (day 5)

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we discussed our unique identities, our stages in life, vocations, marriage and closed with the story of St Agatha.  Lots of interaction and discussion, full of the Lord’s blessings!

3 BIRTHDAYS … each begins a new life

  • Physical B-day … start earthly life
  • Baptism B-day … start Christian spiritual life
  • Death B-day … start our heavenly life

Who Am I? (back page of journal)

  • –Birth name, Nick names, “Hats” (our roles)
  • Spiritual names? What does God call you?
    • (we’ll find out as we try different prayers)

VOCATION = “a call” by God to holiness

  • Primary” Vocation
    • –“to be a beloved child to our heavenly Father”
  • State of Life” Vocationwhich one?
    • Single, Consecrated Single
    • Married (husband/father, wife/mother)
    • Religious sister or brother
    • Priesthood (clergy, deacon)
  • Service” Vocation … career, ministry, etc.

Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …

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

St Agatha (3rd century virgin martyr) a beautiful young girl who consecrated herself to Jesus and resisted the advances of a nobleman. He imprisoned & tortured her (even cut off her breasts), but she stayed faithful to God.  Died in prison. Feast on Feb 5. Patron of breast, nurses, (bell-makers & bakers – due to statue plater).

CCD 7th: Prayer quiz + Lies + Prayerful Heart (day 4)

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we had a Prayer Quiz #1 (Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Apostle’s Creed, Act of Contrition, & other)

Then we played an “get-to-know you” game called “2 Truths / 1 Lie”

We reviewed A.R.R.R.

We spoke on VIRTUES: Faith + Hope + Love

  • Even demons believe in God, but don’t have LOVE  (the greatest virtue)

From virtues, we discussed DISCERNING Spirits in prayer as we look at the “Big 3” (thoughts + feelings + desires)

  • 3 SPIRITS: God’s Spirit — My Spirit — Evil Spirit
  • if GOD … we GROW in faith + hope + love
  • if EVIL … any virtue DROPS

CHRISTIAN HEART (levels of my personhood)  — I kept this a lot simpler in class (they are still 7th graders)

  • BODY, (surface, 5 senses, Level 1)
    • –easily affected by weather, sleep, food, tone
  • MIND, (psychological, attitudes, Level 2)
    • –affected by family, culture, DNA, prejudices, life experiences  (Pleasure /Pain Principle)
  • SPIRIT, (spiritual, the “deep Big 3”, Level 3)
  • –thoughts + feelings + desires + imagination
  • –the place the Holy Spirit dwells in us
  • Consolation … peace, loved, joy, hope, zeal, trust, courage, contentment, sadness for sin.
  • Desolation … anxiety, loneliness, sadness, boredom, fear, discourage, restlessness, etc.

HOMEWORK: After 3 times of personal prayer, journal a letter to God after each.

CCD 7th: Prayer sharing + A.R.R.R (day 3)

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we opened with some personal journaling time while listening the the Doxology prayer sung 2 different ways.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen.

First, (soft) “Doxology” by Nicole Nordeman

Then (rock) “Doxology” by David Crowder Band

After prayer, we took turns sharing our decorated binder covers with a collage of “ME” … likes, interests, family, pictures, sports, hobbies, etc.

Then we took turn sharing our experiences with praying the Doxology prayer over the past couple of weeks.  Some great stories!

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

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) study 5 Catholc Prayers for written Prayer Quiz:

  1. Lord’s Prayer (pg 305 of our text book),
  2. Hail Mary (pg 305),
  3. Apostle’s Creed (pg 305),
  4. Act of Contrition (pg 306),
  5. and any other formal prayer (of your choice)

CCD hs: Catholic pop quiz + Saints assignments (day 2)

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

In our high school Confirmation class (at St Mark’s), Jose & I gave a POP Quiz with 23 questions to see what our kids know to better gauge how much to review.  I didn’t expect much, and wasn’t disappointed.  After introductions and time to fill it out, we went over the first 10 questions in large group discussion.  Here are some of the questions:

  1. How many Catholic friends do you have?  (ranged from none to 12 to 1,000 to many)
  2. What Catholic tradition do you like?  (sign of the cross, Eucharist, Holy Week, Lent, Christmas, Christmas Novena readings, )
  3. What Catholic tradition do you not understand?  (Ash Wed, Halloween)
  4. What is the name of the Pastor here?  (only 4 of 24 got it right … not good)
  5. Name 3 ministries in this parish.
  6. What prayers do we pray in the Rosary?
  7. What is the name of the current Pope?  (who’s George III?)
  8. What is the Eucharist?
  9. Why do we have confession?
  10. What do we celebrate on Good Friday?

After some discussion about the questions, we paired up kids and assigned a Saint to present, one per day, with a schedule of presentation.  Great class, quiet but very insightful discussions.  Definitely a great year of catechesis ahead!  Praise God!

ASSIGNMENTS: handouts + write 5 questions you have about your Catholic faith

CCD 7th: P.R.A.Y.S. + angels + Yom Kippur (day 2)

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we handed out journals & wrote on inside cover …

In my BAPTISM, I …

  • PRAISE = God for who He is … God
  • REPENT = confess + rec forgiveness + change
  • ASK = for me + other (“5 finger prayer”)
  • YIELD = be open to God’s voice
  • SHARE = my faith with others

In my CLASS, I …

  • PRAISE = encourage others
  • REPENT = take responsibility for wrongs
  • ASK = learn by asking questions
  • YIELD = respect speaker + listen
  • SHARE = contribute + respect privacy

Difference between angels + humans?

  • Angels = pure spiritual beings
  • Humans = body + spiritual beings

Yom Kippur = Jewish “day of atonement”

  • fast, no work, pray, make reparations for sins
  • “scapegoat” takes sins of the people = Jesus

HOMEWORK:
(1) Decorate Binder Cover with “ME” … on a sheet of paper, make a collage of you, your hobbies, likes, etc.

(2) do the “Doxology” prayer exercise from last week if you haven’t done it yet.