Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Pastor Fr. Fernando Orejuela (A.I.C.) evicts Society of St. Vincent de Paul from St. Boniface Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FL

July 14, 2014 4 comments

St. Boniface Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FLI wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it first hand, but the new pastor of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FL is making some major changes at his parish.  His preoccupation with all the Spanish ministries has left the ignored English-only speaking parishoners (many lifelong and elderly members) to leave their “neighborhood” parish and pilgrimage to other churches.

It’s a different parish than even a few years ago.  There has always been a great need for Spanish ministries in the parish neighborhood, but now they make phonecalls to parishoners for donations to buy personal translating devices so English speakers can understand what is being said.  I could understand if the parish is a “mission parish” like San Isidro Mission in Pampano Beach, but marginalizing the English speakers is a poor pastoral example.     

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

In the past few days, the pastor wrote a letter to one of their longest working ministries, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (Archdiocese of Miami council link), to vacate the premises by the end of the month (10 days away).  They need to shut down their parish food pantry to make room for a bigger chapel.  Not even meeting with the ministry volunteers, but writing a letter while the ministry head was sick in the hospital, only to return home to an eviction letter from their pastor for a ministry they volunteer their time on a daily basis.

Why would they turn away an independent organization that provides for the needs of the needy (with food, clothing, money, support, prayer, etc.)?  Many depend on selfless groups like St. Vincent de Paul for essentials.  I hope and pray the parish can continue to meet the needs of the suffering of the parish, while redecorating the rectory with expensive new furniture. 

I don’t know much about who this new pastor is, but I hope his changes are just a case of poor communication and mistaken perception of his vision and direction for the parish. 

Fr. Fernando Orejuela, A.I.C.Pastor Fr. Fernando Orejuela, A.I.C. is a religious priest from the order of La Sociedad de la Inmaculada Concepcion (Society of the Immaculate Conception) from Colombia.  He has an active following on YouTube and through Spanish radio/tv shows.  The charism of his religious order is:

El Carisma de nuestra Sociedad de la Inmaculada Concepción es: “Aceptar, vivir y proclamar el Señorío de Jesucristo, a imitación de la Santísima Virgen María en la Iglesia y en el mundo, en orden a la Cristofinalización” (Cf. Ef. 1,10)

which I Google translated into:  “The charism of the Society of the Immaculate Conception is: “Accept, live and proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ, in imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church and in the world, in order to renew in Christ everything that exists through him in heaven and on earth” (cf. Eph 1. 10)

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

CCD 7th: God the Son (day 17)

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment

In our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we reviewed God the Father (from last week) and focused on God the Son (chapter 5 in our book).

(A) Reviewed God the Father. Played the video clip from Martian Child (see last week’s summary).  Reviewed homework assignment … think of an example of a movie clip demonstrating a “good dad.”  From that, we brainstormed why our relationship with God the Father becomes so wounded that we stop trusting the unconditional love He has for us.

(B) Discussed prayer “Core Wounds.” In our diagram of the Christian Heart (body, mind, soul), our life experiences can develop “core wounds” that hurt our lives physically, psychologically and/or spiritually.  They are shown as X’s on our diagram.  These wounds are actually “LIES” that affect our future relationships, especially with our Heavenly Father.  A common example, even shown in movies, is how our hurt relationships with our earthly father affect how we view the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father.  Wounds can keep us from trusting His loving plan for our lives.

(C) Who is Jesus? We showed a movie clip from the 1996 Sylvester Stallone movie called Daylight.  It’s the scene when the rescue worker (Stallone) first encounters the trapped people.  Only getting 1 rescuer is not what the trapped people expected.  This disappointed reaction is similar to the one Jesus received from people as they came to discover Him as the Messiah.  The idea came from thesource4ym.com clip ideas.  Click the link to get discussion questions.

Here is a trailer for the movie.  The actual clip used is here (but it’s in a foreign language).

Good discussion as we imagined the roles of the people, the Messiah and what our reactions would be in their shoes.

Homework: (1) Chapter 5 assessment questions on the last page.
(2) handout “How the Bible describes Jesus” … look up passages
(3) bring textbook + Bible + journal

CCD 7th: God the Father (day 16)

January 31, 2010 1 comment

In our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we touched on God the Father (chapter 4 in our textbook).  I finally got to bring in my laptop and play a few movie clips.  Awesome topic.  — I was really looking forward to today!

(A) Opening prayer song reflection was He is Yahweh by Dean Salyn.

(B) God the Father is always present & knows what’s best for us & forgiving. Showed a clip from Lion King (1994), when Simba takes Nala to the Elephant Graveyard after father Mufasa warns against and ends up saving them from the 3 Hyenas.  The focus is the discussion between father and son at the end.  [Idea from thesource4ym.com with discussion questions.]

(C) God the Father has unconditional love for me. Showed the movie trailer for the John Cusack movie Martian Child (2007) about a sci-fi writer wanting to adopt a child who thinks he’s a Martian sent to observe Earthling life.  The focus clip is when the child breaks something and thinks he’s bad and will be sent away.  The father assures him that “Nothing you can do will change the way I feel about you.” and then proceeds to break other “things” showing they don’t matter as much as him.  Awesome clip!  — I had to “pause” when leading the discussion … it easily resonated how I hear my Heavenly Father’s voice.

Discussion was great.  [Idea from thesource4ym.com with questions.]

Homework:
(1) Chapter 4 Assessment questions,
(2) Pray the Lord’s Prayer each day this week,
(3) Give an example of a movie clip with a “good dad.”

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:

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!

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!

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 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)

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: 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: parents orientation (day 1)

September 22, 2009 Leave a comment

A local parish, St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, needed catechists for their Religious Education program on Tuesday & Wednesday nights.  Since I go to St Mark’s for Mass occasionally & Wednesday Bible study, I guess I consider it a “2nd home parish,” so I volunteered to help.  I was paired up with Jose A., another former seminarian (3 years in Colombia), who’s very excited about our High School Confirmation class of 24 kids, so far.  Most showed up today with their parents for a large group orientation with the DRE and pastor in the church.  We got to introduce ourselves for about 20 minutes at the end.

— Even though it wasn’t really “planned,” I can already see the blessings that will come from my passion for catechesis being used on Sunday’s at my home parish with 7th graders and here on Tuesday nights with high school teens.

Do we really need priests?

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Christopher West with Theology of the Body at SJVCS

September 17, 2009 Leave a comment

090917_SJVCS-Christopher-West-Theology-of-the-BodyToday my seminary friends at St John Vianney College Seminary in Miami were blessed with a day of lectures on Pope John Paul II’s ” Theology of the Body” by renown speaker Christopher West, founder of the Theology of the Body Institute.

I’m guessing his lecture was very similar to the 2-day lecture he gave at IPF this past summer on “Priestly Celibacy and the Redemption of Sexuality.”   See day #1 at IPF (plus video of Christopher West lectures).  See day #2 at IPF.

current news item:  Following debate, two bishops affirm ‘strong support’ for Christopher West

Weblinks to Theology of the Body resources:

[thanks to Javier Barreto for the picture]

CSS Bible study on Romans

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

CCS_Romans_coverTonight was the first night of a 25 week Bible study on the book of Romans that a friend told me about.  It is a strictly Catholic group study by Catholic Scripture Study International.  The $50 individual registration comes with a binder of lessons and study sheets.  The weekly study involves facilitator guiding us through the teachings, DVD’s and individual sharing homework answers.  This study of Romans is written by Scott Hahn, a well renown Catholic convert.

The book of Romans is probably the single most disputed Biblical book between Catholics and Protestants. This book written by St. Paul is the book from which Martin Luther built his doctrine of “justification by faith alone”. Luther twisted St. Paul’s words to fit his own false teaching and even added (in his Lutheran Bible) the word “alone” to Romans 3:28 in his attempt to further enhance his doctrine of “Sola Fide” (meaning that by faith alone we are saved).

There are over 100 participants in my area.  The study is done at two Catholic parishes: St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Southwest Ranches, FL and St Bernadette Parish in Hollywood, FL.

Monday … 8:45am to 10:15am … @ St Bernadette Parish
Wednesday … 7:30pm to 9:00pm … @ St Mark Parish
Thursday … 8:45am to 10:15am … @ St Mark Parish
Thursday … 3:30pm to 5:00pm … @ St Mark Parish

There’s about 30+ in the Wednesday night class so far.  I’m excited.

SJVCS enrollment at 35-year high

September 12, 2009 Leave a comment

There’s a great article in the Florida Catholic.org this week about the 50th Anniversary of St John Vianney College Seminary in Miami have a record enrollment of 76 men discerning the priesthood, which is a 35-year high.  Check out the article.

There are a couple of great picture of my seminarian brother Jason Priela praying in the newpaper.  I’m still praying for all the guys at SJVCS, old friends & the newbies. 🙂

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) reflections

I was looking for blog posts about experiences in hospital Pastoral Care.  I found some great reflections by someone who did volunteer work in a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program.  Although we didn’t get much formal training in my hospital work this past summer at IPF in Omaha, NE, some of these reflections could have been helpful:

1.  The nature of loss

2.  Agendas and the chaplaincy

3.  When someone asks “Why?”

4.  Assessing spiritual needs

5.  The needs of the dying

6.  Questions in pastoral care

Brooklyn Bishop at St Mark’s Parish

090830-1207_Brooklyn-Auxiliary-Bishop-Octavio-Cisneros-at-St-Mark-ParishMASS — today at St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church (in Southwest Ranches, FL), a visiting friend of Fr Whyte presided the Mass.  Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated Mass.  Even though the Deacon did a good homily, I wish the Bishop shared his wisdom over the readings.  There was also a long announcement encouraging involvement in ministries, especially Religious Education.  The Bishop supplemented both talks with great insight into tapping into our Baptism to be instruments of the Holy Spirit evangelizing wherever we can.  Catechesis is a critical part of our faith that we should all be involved in … whether on the receiving end to grow in our intimacy of our faith or the giving end as catechists to our own families or to others.  He also shared gratitude for the parish to having the weekly tradition of families taking home a Vocation Cup to pray for the response to God call in all our lives, whether it be priesthood, the religious life, or marriage.  He’s a very personable and holy man.

being a summer chaplain with poverty

August 17, 2009 2 comments

I found an article in the Florida Catholic about Jim Grebe, a 3rd year Theologian seminarian at St Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary, whose summer assignment was a chaplain at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola.  It reminded me of my own experience over this past summer at IPF as a volunteer chaplain 2 afternoon each week at Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, NE.

090228_IPF-Hospital-Pastoral-group-1As a strong introvert, my assignment at a hospital was a welcomed challenge that transformed any “preparations” that I could have made into simple “presence and prayer” that I had to rest in to make it through fruitfully.  My general progression was from Post-Intensive Care (PINS), Physical Rehab, Cancer, ICU and then Behavioral Health (mostly adults).  Each unit, as well as each individual room, brought their own challenges and blessings.  Going into rooms “cold” without much knowledge of condition or spiritualities left me at the mercy of Christ dependent on Him and allow the Holy Spirit to work without having to “try so hard” under my own abilities.

In identifying the poverty in those I ministered to, I came to recognize my own poverty that brings empathy with the poverty of Christ.  As I was stepping out in faith “giving” ministry unselfishly, I identified with the “heart of Christ” — then, in reflection, the receiving became more pure and made me more receptive to pure desires with greater confidence in the Spirit.  I found that praying within my own poverty opened opportunities in intimate relationship with God both in private prayer and with those ministered to.

On strong example was my first experience with a patient in ICU on a respirator, unable to speak a response to the open-ended questions I was trained to ask.  I quickly retreated in fear to my superior Josh, who help adjust my approach and engagement.  I returned to the patient with slightly more confidence in myself while becoming growingly dependent on the Holy Spirit to fill my poverty in encountering the non-verbal Christ with my “heart of Christ” in a distinct moment of Presence in my presence.  Using simple words of encouragement to comfort, taking time to ask important yes/no questions, and listening to the feeling of a hand-squeeze for an answer was a moment of fullness of grace.  Taking the experience to prayer and spiritual direction was easily seen as a growing echo to listen less to the words of my thoughts and more to the feelings of my heart when discerning with perseverance to God’s voice to me.

Thank you to all that ministered to me in the experience … Hospital staff, Pastoral Ministry staff, IPF staff and the Archdiocese of Miami for sending me on assignment.  I was truly blessed and I prayer all that I touched were indeed “touched” as I was.

Dominic & Dan in DR

August 16, 2009 1 comment

I saw an article today in the Florida Catholic with 2 of my seminarian brothers.  Dominic Buckley (Diocese of Orlando) and Dan Martin (Miami) had a picture of them with some kids in the Dominican Republic over this summer.  The article was mainly about Dominic’s experience.  St Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary usually sends seminarians after their first year as Theologians for a Spanish immersion program.  It’s nice to see more on vocations in the Florida Catholic.