Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Hall of Fame call

by the Cowboy, Jeff Brantley during this past Thursday's debacle.

Audio clip found at Lance's Blog.

(When I said a while back that I thought the Red's would be 20 games below 500, I really didn't think it would be by the All Star break!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Are there really 64 million US Roman Catholics?

Asks the provocative headline of an article appearing in today's USA Today.

As the 2007 edition of The Official Catholic Directory hits the stores (who buys these things besides dioceses, seminaries, a few parish churches and religious goods stores?), questions are raised as to the accuracy of the claims of the numbers of Catholics in this country and what makes for a good Catholic.

As a side note, I found the comments at the bottom of the article to be fun to read, with the typical anti-Catholic diatribes spewn all over the place.

Reflection for the Ulster Project

The Ulster Project is a peace initiative in Northern Ireland, seeking to break down barriers between the Catholic and rival Protestant factions there. They bring groups of teens over to Cincinnati for a month in the summer and work on helping them realize that they have more in common than different. I was asked to give the Catholic portion of the reflection for their opening prayer service, which was held last night at the Cathedral. My thoughts follow:


(Based on Colossians 3:12-15)

In the history of Christianity, there is a great history of the saints doing wondrous things, going above and beyond the simple call of love of neighbor where they truly embrace the love of enemy as well.

The example that strikes me the most is the example of Stephan the Deacon in the Acts of the Apostles. Chosen as one of the seven who were called to assist the Apostles in their ministry to the community, specifically to the Gentile community, those who were ‘other’ from the Apostles themselves, Stephan quickly distinguished himself as a man of prayer and a man of integrity. Not content with just ministering among his own people and faith, he boldly took on those who were challenging the new Christian movement. He was unafraid to challenge those who were persecuting them, concluding a long speech in Chapter 7 of the Acts of the Apostles with the following words:

You stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always
opposing the Holy Spirit just as your fathers did before you. Was there
ever any prophet whom your fathers did not persecute? In their day, they put to
death those who foretold the coming of the Just One; now you in your turn have
become his betrayers and murderers. You who received the law through the
ministry of angels have not observed it. (Acts 7:51-53)

Pretty bold stuff, to be sure. But it was motivated and guided by the love that Stephan had for Christ and his desire that all be saved. Stephan’s reward? He was martyred, stoned to death by Saul, who would become Paul, the great Apostle. By what is even more amazing, instead of blasting and challenging and cursing those who were actively stoning him, actively killing him, with his last breath he quotes Jesus from the Cross: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” and with that he died.

How do we achieve what St. Paul discusses in the Letter to the Colossians? How do we put on love and make Christ’s peace reign in our hearts? I think that the example of St. Stephan gives us a beautiful model to follow. We hold people to the highest standard: peace, respect, toleration, love of neighbor and enemy; but when we are wronged, betrayed, mistreated, instead of reacting out of anger or hatred, we call those around us to embrace the love of Christ, which we ourselves are the first to witness. And that love is built first by communication, respect, and finally we are drawn into relationship not only with one another, but then necessarily also with Christ.

To the teens visiting, may you have a wonderful stay here in Cincinnati, but may you also learn from each other and grow in your love for each other, and for all of God’s Children.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I can only imagine

what would happen if pastors and dioceses put as much effort into calling forth candidates for the priesthood and religious life.

Rocco reports on the ordination of 60 men to the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of LA. While I am sure it was certainly a joyous and faith filled event, I can't help but wonder if they put even half the energy into candidates for the priesthood what might happen.

Pastors were invited to identify and recommend deacon candidates, "all of whom were actively involved in their parishes," said Father Quihuis.

Why not do the same for candidates for the priesthood? Every year?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Radio Ga Ga, part II

I was on the schedule again this week to tape the homily for "The Gospel Today" on Sacred Heart Radio.

You can listen online, and it plays 7:30 and 11:30 Saturday and Sunday mornings.

(Text will appear later this week, don't want to ruin the surprise ;) )

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bishop Carl Moeddel

The Vatican announced today that acceptance of the resignation of Cincinnati Auxillary Bishop Carl K. Moeddel. The text of the announcement follows:

Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha accettato la rinuncia all’ufficio di
Ausiliare dell’arcidiocesi di Cincinnati (U.S.A.), presentata da S.E. Mons. Carl
K. Moeddel, in conformit√† ai canoni 411 e 401 § 2 del Codice di Diritto
Canonico.



Canon 411: The prescripts of cann. 401 and 402, sec. 2, on resignation from office apply to a coadjutor and auxiliary bishop.

Canon 401, sec 2: A diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfull his office because of ill health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.


In my personal dealings with Bishop Moeddel, I have always found him to be very upfront and open about his concerns and thoughts. He was a good father figure to his priests, and I thought he and Archbishop Pilarczyk complimented each other well. His presence at the office has been greatly missed, as he was always very quick with a smile or joke to lighten the mood during tense times.

Please keep him in your prayers that God may ease his sufferings and reward him for his faithful ministry during some very difficult times.


UPDATE:

As I think more about Bishop Moeddel, I also thank him for the gifts that he has given to me. He was the bishop who confirmed me as a Junior in High School, he accepted me into both Minor Orders (I think), and I know that he ordained me to the Diaconate. He was very helpful in my preparations for my first assignment, and during some of the struggles that I had during that assignment. I remember serving for him many times during my time in the seminary, and he was always very gracious. He was always fun to run into in the halls at the seminary where he lived. I will miss him greatly.



(A swing of the thurible to Rich, where I first saw the announcement, although I had heard it was coming earlier.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reflections on Father's Day

Fr. Todd Peterson of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, has posted reflections on Father's Day. He quotes the Ten Paradoxes of Fatherhood:

1. A leader without being a frontrunner.
2. A visionary without being arrogant.
3. A servant without being servile.
4. An authority without being authoritarian.
5. A lover without being sentimental.
6. A supporter without being subordinate.
7. A disciplinarian without being punitive.
8. Merciful without being spineless.
9. Humble without being self-deprecating.
10. Courageous without being foolhardy.

While these are originally written for biological fathers, I agree that they also apply to Spiritual Fathers. It is one of the reasons that if a potential candidate is turned off at the thought of being a Dad, he won't make a good Father.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunday Reflections

can be found over at the Seminary Blog.

(I'm starting to post more of my 'official stuff' over there, and keeping this one more as a personal blog, but still with the Vocation theme.)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

So, it's just that easy!

Rich Leonardi posts on the efforts at St. Rose on Eastern Ave (NOT Riverside Drive) to solicit names of potentials for candidates.

Officially, I think every parish should have something like this in place. For those who are named, it make awaken and allow them to name what they are already thinking about deep down, but don't understand. Granted, some will not respond, but some might and that is worth the effort. Period. End of Story.

Sad news from Tennesee

during a charity event Cars for Kids.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Celibacy Pays

Mini Meanie


The golf course was haunted by a malicious, evil leprechaun who exploited the ambitions of the poorer players. He popped up beside one unfortunate man who was participating in a club competition.

"Look," he said, "if you agree never to court a woman, flirt with a girl or marry, I'll help you win."

"Done," shouted the young golfer. The leprechaun was very pleased with conniving ways, and chuckled merrily.

When the golfer was in the clubhouse being praised by the other members, the leprechaun popped up on the shelf of the locker. "Hey," said the little elf, "I have to have your name for my records. What is it?"

"Father Murphy," grinned the golfer as he adjusted his Roman collar.

Oh, Happy Day!

So, if you need me today, you will find me camped out in front of the telly.

The 24 Hours of LeMans is starting shortly. It should be a good race between the Audi and the Peugeot diesels.

So, the phone is off, the door is closed, and the TV is on SPEED!

I've been BANNED!!

I try to reach out to others, I try to hold on to the truth, and what do I get for my efforts??? Banishment!! Those folks over at Spirit of Vatican II certainly have a narrow idea of what it means to be Church!!

Why banned? My rating is as follows:

C+ = Extreme Clericalism
T = Traditionalism
F = Funny Languages


(I have to admit I have to redouble my efforts, I wanted more!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Good Morning, ruined

Well, a quick report from the Priests' Convocation in Dublin. We are here talking about managing and leading change (I know, a real theological topic...)

Well, after morning prayer, I've had to change my whole day around. Why? My car got busted into last night and things stolen out of it. ARGH! So, my whole day is shot at this point trying to get a new window, get the car cleaned out and the stuff replaced. Besides all that, trying to forgive the perpetrator for the headaches he is causing me right now.

But hey, look at the bright side, it's a good excuse to blog instead of sitting in the sessions for the convocation! ;)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

light blogging

There will be light blogging this week as the priests for the Archdiocese gather together in Dublin, Ohio, for our once-every-five-years-or-so-multi-day-convocation.

Please keep us all in your prayers.

A Spirit filled headache?

A wonderful weekend, once again, but also one filled with contrasts:

Saturday was the wedding of my cousin Brian to his very wonderful bride Rachel back home in Botkins. It is a unique place that a priest gets to be in, as I have now had a few weddings for my cousins. It is strange that people you have known for nearly your entire life start coming to you for spiritual advice: "Wait, I'm just your cousin." "Nope, you're 'Father cousin!'" Well, anyway, besides a few small issues, the wedding went off without a hitch. It is always nice to catch up with family that I haven't seen in a while. Unfortunately, I had to leave early to head back to the Queen City, as I had Mass this morning at a parish here.

Which brings me to the "Spirit Filled" aspect of the title of this post. I covered Mass this morning at Mother of Christ in Winton Place today. A mainly African American parish, Mass this morning presented an interesting contrast to the Stoicism of my mainly German hometown from yesterday. I was impressed with the way that so many in the congregation greeted one another as they came in before Mass, they also came up to welcome me to their little parish. I felt really at home, except that Mass ran over 1.5 hours! (Really, closer to 2 hours than 1.5) As a final note, I really hope that it is not another 33 years before we ordain the next African American priest for the Archdiocese.

So, about a 1/2 hour after I was already supposed to be at their house, I called some friends who had invited me over for the afternoon. (Phone conversation at 12:30: Me: "I'm just leaving 10:30 Mass." Friend: "How long did you preach?!?!") Well, they live out in the burbs, and had invited me over for lunch and some 4 wheeling. Brats for lunch, makes the German in me happy! Their house backs up against a hill and forest with some trails already established. Steve and I spent about an hour exploring trails at the top of the hill, just ramping up and down the ravines. Well, when we decided to make our way back down the hill and to the house, I'm thinking: "Be careful, this is when accidents happen, " while I swing out to make a turn to go down the hill and promptly hit a tree stump that overturns the 4 wheeler!!! (We've come to the 'headache' part of the title!) I'm mostly unhurt, except for a sore hip, but the mud stain on the jeans was pretty impressive! (Lesson: always wear a helmut!)

So, anyways, here I am sitting watching the NBA finals, just starting to ache more and thinking that I have to pack for tomorrow yet. Oh well, a busy weekend, but one that was joyous nonetheless.

Friday, June 8, 2007

WordPress and Spammers!

Over at the Seminary blog, we've been massively spammed!

So, if anyone out there uses WordPress, how do you deal with the spammers?

Right now, if someone has an already approved comment on the blog, they can post, otherwise the comment is held in moderation until either I or Wayne approve it. Is there any easier way?

(Generally, I like WordPress better than Blogger, as it seems to have been functionality except for the lack of a word verification feature.)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ordination to the Priesthood

Appearing in this week’s edition of the Catholic Telegraph:

As I mentioned in my last article, the Ordination of Priests is a unique and special event in the life of a diocese. As a priest, and now as Vocation Director, it is an even more unique event as men that I have worked with are presented before the Archbishop to take a unique role of service and leadership in the Church. While the entire ceremony is of special value, I want to focus on three sections of the Ordination Mass: the calling of the candidates, the Litany of Saints, and the Laying on of Hands.

Before a candidate is ordained, he is called forward by the deacon and presented to the Archbishop by the rector of the seminary. At priesthood ordination, he sits in the sanctuary of the Cathedral before this call. The better version of this actually happens at the Ordination of Deacons, where the candidates sit with their families up to this section, which immediately follows the Proclamation of the Gospel. By doing so, the Church shows that formation for the priesthood begins long before a candidate even enters the seminary. He is shaped by the experiences he had growing up in a loving Christian family, where God was already molding this candidate. By sitting with his family, the candidate also says thanks for the gifts that he has received from them. He is still a part of that family, but now he will be part of much larger family as well.

After the candidate is called forward and questioned by the ordaining bishop; this larger family comes to the forefront during the Litany of the Saints. The men being ordained submit themselves and lay prostrate before the altar of God in a profound sign of humility. Before they lay down, they are just other men; when they rise, they are priests. They have left their own ambitions at the foot of the altar and have taken on the mantle of Christ. If they were doing this on their own, it would be impossible. But as we hear these many saints, men and women who have gone before us and earned the Crown of Victory, we realize that there are many paths to holiness. We realize that many before us have walked this road, and they are still present to be a guide and model for us today. Whenever I talk to someone immediately after their first time attending an Ordination Mass, this is nearly always the most profound aspect of their experience. It helps us all to realize that we are never alone. The saints are present here as our guides and teachers.

A further sign of the connection that a new priest has in the community comes with the Laying on of Hands. This is the ancient symbol used to confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders, as is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. In the Ordination of Priests, it is not just the ordaining bishop who lays his hands on the newly formed priests, all the priests present also confer this sign to their new brothers. As I stood watching my brother priests conferring this wonderful sign on our new brothers, I was struck by how each priest passes on a unique gift, a unique aspect of the priesthood to the newly ordained: a gift of healing, a gift of preaching, a gift for administration, one for compassion, etc. Priests are not homogenized, ‘one size fits all’ units, each priest has his own way of showing Christ’s presence in the world.

Looking back on the three men just ordained, and looking forward to many more in the coming years, I truly feel that the Mass of Ordination of Priests is something that every Catholic should experience at least once in their life. In the life of a diocese, this Mass is a unique sign of hope in the future, a sign of the vitality of the local church, and most of all a ceremony that is rife with joy, as we send three new priests into the vineyards of the Lord.

For more information on the priesthood and seminary, please visit Vocation Office Webpage.

Monday, June 4, 2007

More Catholic than the Pope?

You scored as Roman Catholic, You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic

96%

Neo orthodox

79%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

79%

Emergent/Postmodern

39%

Modern Liberal

29%

Reformed Evangelical

29%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

29%

Fundamentalist

25%

Classical Liberal

21%

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com


While not 100%. pretty close

Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Friend sent this along...

Memorial Day in the Pentagon
By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
McClatchy Newspapers

It's that time of year again. Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of summer fun for most Americans, and as I've done before in this space, I want to pause to take note of the real reason there is a Memorial Day.It's meant to honor and pay our respects to those Americans who've given their lives in service to our nation, who stand in an unbroken line from Lexington's rude bridge to Cemetery Ridge to the Argonne Forest to the beaches of Normandy to the frozen Chosin Reservoir to the Ia Drang Valley to the sands of Kuwait to the streets of Baghdad.Over the last 12 months, 1,042 soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel have given their lives in the terrible duty that is war. Thousands more have come home on stretchers, horribly wounded and facing months or years in military hospitals.This week, I'm turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman , who recently completed a year long tour of duty in Iraq and is now back at the Pentagon.Here's Lt. Col. Bateman's account of a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Weblog of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Web site.It is 110 yards from the "E" ring to the "A" ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and somecivilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here. This hallway, more than any other, is the `Army' hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew. Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area. The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares.10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down thelength of the hallway.A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class. Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden ... yet.Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier's chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel. Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.11:00 hours: Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. `My hands hurt.' Christ. Shut up and clap. For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway - 20, 25, 30. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30solid hearts.They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals. Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly.There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband's wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son's behalf. No man in that hallway, walkingor clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years." Did you know that? The media hasn't told the story

Last night (Saturday), I stopped by the house of some friends (yes, I do have some!) whose oldest son is in the Marine Corps Reserves.

They told me of another family that they knew. The oldest son (of at least three) was burned fairly severely in an IED in Iraq, as a Marine. The second son had already signed up and was in Basic (with the host family's oldest). The third son of his particular family wanted to be a Marine like his father and older brothers.

Thinking that they would help to dissuade him, they took him to visit his oldest brother suffering from injuries in Texas (at least I think it was Texas.)

Instead of the desired effect, it only served to strengthen the youngest son's resolve to want to be a Marine. His brother's life meant something, and he wanted to be a part of it.

It struck me while listening to the story that this was much the same thing that attracted me, and many others, to the priesthood: it means something. We give our lives for a greater cause, much beyond ourselves.

Our young people of today are hungry for that challenge, don't short change them!

New Resident at the Cathedral

Today, we welcome Mr. Thomas Kim, a seminarian for the Diocese of Gaylord to residence at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. Tom is doing his CPE (Clinical Pastoral Educations, aka Sensitivity Training) at the VA Hospital in Northern Kentucky. (From what I hear, that is one of the better programs around for CPE, i.e. not too much of the wishy washy 'how did that make you feel?' crap.)

If you see him around, please come up and say hi!

Holy Trinity Homily

This is a rough draft of things that were said at the weekend Masses at St. John the Evangelist in West Chester, Ohio, this weekend.


This is always one of the hardest Sundays to preach on. In fact, the quip is that more heresy is preached this weekend in the Church than in all the other Sundays combined! Why? Because the Trinity is such a hard concept to understand, it is such a hard concept for us to get our minds around, that we invariably fall short of the actual mark. There’s the story of St. Augustine on the beach trying to understand the Trinity. He meets a child who is taking a small pail and going back and forth from the sea to a hole he has dug in the sand. Augustine asks him what he is doing. When the child responds that he is trying to pour the sea into the hole he has dug, Augustine replies: “You can’t do that, it’s impossible!” The child looks back at him and says: “Neither can you fully understand the Trinity!” and disappears.

Now, did that actually happen, who knows, but what it does show for us today is that even though we know what the Trinity is, at least somewhat, we can never fully grasp at the mystery of God; for God is a ‘supra-rational’ mystery, something beyond our ability to understand.

So, how do we discuss it then? What is our entrance point?

For me, I think this is my ‘in’ to discuss the priesthood today. One of the foundational aspects of God as Trinity is that is relationship/community. There is an interchange and interplay within the mystery of God, that we know as Father, Son and Spirit. This is how God has chosen to reveal Himself to the world, through the coming of His Son, Jesus, and the outpouring of the Spirit. This is not a concept that we, as human beings, could come up with on our own.

So, now what, what does that have to do with us? And even more specifically, what does that have to do with me as Vocation Director, i.e. the recruiter of priests?

Well, interestingly, I think, the priest becomes the agent through whom God draws the rest of His people deeper into the mystery of that inner-relationship which is the Triune God. How do we become members of this community? Through Baptism, by the priest or deacon; we are nourished for our journey by the Eucharist, which Christ gives to us through the action of the priest; we are healed through the two great Sacraments of Anointing and Confession, again not by the priest or by his own authority, but by Christ working through the actions and prayers of the priest. So, the priesthood is a necessary and constitutive part of what Jesus left for us who come after him. Why, so we can be drawn deeper in relationship with him.

So, in fact the priesthood gives structure and order to the community established by Christ, launched at the great feast of Pentecost that we celebrated last week, and continually shaped and guided by the Holy Spirit. As he says: “I will not leave you orphans, I will not leave you stranded, I will be with you until the end of time.”

Now, does that mean it is always easy to be a priest: absolutely not. As a priest, I am often put into situations way beyond my capability to deal with them, but somehow God gives me the words to say, the things to do. If it was entirely up to me, I would have fallen long ago!

However, it is a tremendous joy to be a priest, even during those tough days. I found it interesting that a recent study of job satisfaction and overall happiness in life was headed by clergy! We get to bring people closer to Christ, could there be anything greater than that? I don’t think so.

By the way, I say 'rough draft,' because as I was delivering it the first time, I didn't really like it went extemporaneous.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Spirit of Vatican 2

If you haven't yet seen the SOV2 blog, please do yourself a favor and take a stroll on over. It is absolutely hilarious!

(Please keep in mind the following disclaimer: it is a PARODY! Keep the sense of humor intact, and have a good belly laugh!)

UPDATE: Make sure you check out the comments.

Another Great Video

This one a bit more serious than the last one.



(Again, I one I saw a while ago (B.B.> Before Blogger). A friend sent it to me as a reminder, so I thought I would put it up here.)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Putting Miles on the Mazda

For a day off, it wasn't very relaxing!

Wayne Topp, the Associate Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese, spent a year at the Josephinum back in the day. From that year, he is still friends with a now transitional deacon for the Diocese of Columbus. As they were chatting recently, Wayne mentioned his desire to get something new going for the promotion of vocations here in Cincinnati, and the topic of Jesus Jams came up.

What, do you ask, are 'Jesus Jams'? Simply put, it is an evening of Mass, Praise and Worship, Testimony, Cathecism, and witness (is that the same as testimony?) for high schoolers in Columbus. I have to say, after spending three hours with the guys who help to organize it at lunch today, it sounds like an awesome program! It always has a vocational aspect to it, as well as some fun and games and music. They have been getting around 500 teens once a month to gather!

So, the big question: how do we do it here in Cincinnati? That is my pondering for the evening. We have several great events already, how do we keep the spirit of those events going and build upon them to reach out to the teens of today? Hmm, time to put my thinking cap on. Or, better yet, take the thinking cap off and put on the praying cap. Put into the deep, indeed.

A New Marketing Technique?

I've seen it before, but it still brings a smile...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMSAMUd7Hq4

A swing of the thurible to Carl Olson.