Sunday, September 30, 2007

Quote of the Day

By Dad29 in Milwaukee while discussing litugical abuses in a parish there:

"Better to go to Mass and thank God afterwards than to go and think about ways to strangle puppies..."


Another reason I'm a Catholic Priest

One of the joys, as I mentioned earlier, of attending the NCDVD conference each year is connection with my brother priests from across the country.

One such is Fr. Chad Z, who works as the Air Force recruiter for chaplains. His sorta psuedo boss, the guy who is responsible for priest personnel in the Military was also there, but I cannot remember his name. He does work in the Pentagon, tho!

During the social hour at the end of the day Tuesday, he was telling some stories of his experience in the military as a priest. I share one story he related here:

While he was in Chaplain Training School, which is sort of a basic training for the chaplains, he related that a Marine General (or a 'Higher Up,' I don't remember the ranks) came towards the end of the program to give them a pep talk and an introduction into life in the military. One of the Protestant Chaplains raised his hand to ask a question during the open forum portion: "Sir, what is your advice as to what we should do during open combat?"

The General, in a moment of political incorretness, asked the 25 or so new chaplains if there were any priests among them, four (including my storyteller) raised their hands. (One man raised his hand and said: "I'm an Episcopalian priest." He responded back: "No, I meant a Real Priest!"

The General looked at the gathered crowd and told them: "If you are in a combat situation, you stay the Hell out of these four men's way! They have something to do, they have something to offer which you do not have. Let them do their job!"

The priest who was telling the story went on to elaborate: During War Games, the soldiers that get marked as injured insist on being Anointed, they even insist that their buddies, who are not Catholic, get Anointed. They recognize that there is something real there, and that only the Catholic Priest has that and gives it to them!

Pray for our priest chaplains!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Human Experience

The same production company that brought Fishers of Men and God in the Streets of New York has a new effort out: The Human Experience. Watch the trailer and get some background info at Grassroots Films.

Jesus vs. Satan

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job."

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.
They moused.
They faxed.
They e-mailed.
They e-mailed with attachments.
They downloaded.
They did spreadsheets!
They wrote reports.
They created labels and cards.
They created charts and graphs.
They did some genealogy reports.
They did every job known to man.
Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off.

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.
Jesus just sighed.

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming: "It's gone! It's all GONE! I lost everything when the power went out!"

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.
Satan observed this and became irate."Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"

God just shrugged and said,

Saturday Updates

After a busy/crazy week, I'm back in the Nati and trying to get caught up on any number of things.

Events coming up for me include the Catholic Young Adult Conference at Good Shepherd Parish next Saturday. I am leading the retreat portion of the event.

There are a number of discernment events happening at the two seminaries we patronize with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. If interested, register at the Vocation Office page.

Theology on Tap Cincinnati is planning a Fall Refresher Beer Tasting towards the end of October. (It is not yet up on the website, but should be there soon. Anyway, register for email updates!)

To go along with that, I found a great new blog at Catholic Beer Review. I want to get in to home brewing, but have not the time nor expertise. Perhaps soon...

A Thorn in the Pew could use some extra prayers at the miscarriage of her child.

Oh, and a wedding this evening.

And I need to get out to see my brother sometime soon so Kayla doesn't forget what I look like!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Updates from 32,000 feet

Typed on my notebook computer while in the air.

It is 6:50 AM and we’re already in the air heading back to the Queen City of the Midwest. The shuttle van picked us up at 4:00 this morning, so I am quite groggy as I type this. Why did I book the early flight, again?

First off, Brad Watkins has some updates and pictures from the NCDVD conference posted over on his blog, so please check that out. To prove that I actually exist, there is a picture of me, Brad, and Fr. Benedict Groeschel posted. It was great to meet Brad and to share some initial stories on how things are going between our two dioceses. I wish we had more time to connect, but there is always next year!

In comparison to last year’s conference in Minneapolis, this one seemed much busier. They schlepped us all over the state of Maryland, it seemed like, as we visited both seminaries: St. Mary’s in Roland Park and Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, which is not to be confused with the Mount St. Mary’s in Cincinnati, my alma mater. I believe it was (Arch)Bishop Purcell who attended the Mount in Emmitsburg and renamed the seminary in Cinci after his alma mater, so there is a connection.

Highlights of the week included hearing Cardinal McCarrick twice, as he delivered the opening keynote, in which he gave a list of about ten things for bishops to do to promote vocations (I’ll have to make an appointment with the Archbishop). The retiring Cardinal also presided and preached at the closing Mass last night at the renovated Basilica, which is gorgeous! He gave a short synopsis of the history of the building and why it was built in the style that it was: Neo-Classical. Much like Cincinnati’s famed Cathedral (well, at least famed to me!) it was built in a particularly American style of architecture to show that we Catholics belonged in the new found Republic.

Interestingly, as he talked about the renovation of the nation’s first cathedral, he mentioned his primary purpose was to restore the place to the original architect’s plans. (The original architect was Latrobe, who designed the Capitol Building in DC.) He mentioned that to fully accomplish the task, they had to know what the author of the building intended. He made the very easy connection that in the field of Vocation work, we have to also know what our Author (God) intends, not just personally, but also with those we direct. He is a very inspiring man and has given his life in dedication to the One he loves. What more could we ask of leader?
Wednesday afternoon is taken up with two smaller workshop presentations, from which I chose the session on ministry to youth and young adults and a workshop on pornography and seminarians. The young adult ministry session highlighted the need to have good, solid, catechetically sound priests at campus ministries. If they do their job, vocations will flourish. (Cardinal McCarrick quipped that when he first arrived in Baltimore, he asked a university chaplain how many vocations he had from the college. When the answer came back ‘none,’ the Cardinal challenged him to get some or he would be in a new position shortly!) I don’t have my notes in front of me, but the priest who gave the workshop really pulled no punches in going after those who on highlight one vocation, or denigrate another. The church needs ALL vocations, how do we promote them all as complimentary to one another?

The workshop on pornography was rapid fire, as the psychologist was trying to turn an 8 hour workshop into 75 minutes. While it was all good, it was too much too quick (ever try to get a drink from a full on fire hose?) I hope they bring her back to Denver next year to do a pre-convention workshop.

A few final thoughts as the plane starts the approach into CVG (Which was very rough with the morning thunderstorms, I think the plane bounced once after landing!). I had quite a few of the fellows say that they read this little blog endeavor of mine. It is humbling for them to actually comment on what I write, which I still contend isn’t my strongest suit. (I like preaching better.) So, to the other Directors of Vocations out there, it doesn’t take a whole lot to start one of these things, and the software is free (music to our ears!) Start your own!

It was great to see guys that I connected with last year, as well as to meet new guys this year. Good luck to our new officers, and see you all in Denver!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Dangers of Flying

lurk most in the 'seat companion,' ie: who's flying next to you.

Wearing clerics, you automatically open up new avenues for conversation, sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Luckily, on my flight to Baltimore from CVG, I had a very sweet old lady next to me, and it was a joy to speak with her. She was celebrating her 92! birthday, and with three of her nieces, she was returning home after a week's cruise on the American Queen, originating in Chatanooga and sailing down the Tenneesee River before coming up the Ohio to Cincinnati. She said she had a wonderful time, and I hope I am in as good of shape at 80 as she is at 92!

As she sat down, she asked me if I was 'clergy,' which I obviously agreed to. She admitted that she was a life long Methodist (I didn't hold it against her ;) ) God Bless her, and keep her in good health.

Greatings from Baltimore

Made it into Baltimore early this afternoon, and the accommodations for the conference look absolutely fabulous. I've already run into a few of the guys that I met last year, and will try to make some more connections shortly.

More to come as possible.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Blogging around a campfire

So, sitting here at the Burke's house, having a beer or two and sitting around the campfire. Since Mike works for Microsoft, wireless home network, and four laptops running at the same time.

Can anyone say: "Geek Alert!"

Friday, September 21, 2007


I've got the song "Table of Plenty" stuck in my head and can't get it out of my head!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Week Ahead

is going to be crazy, at best.

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I just got back from the funeral home. Which means, yep you guessed it, funeral tomorrow. The deceased is the grandfather of a former student, and I met him a few times at Elder football games. When you are in a non-parochial assignment such as I am, it is an honor to be asked. I don't do many funerals, so I have to bone up on the ritual.

After that, heading over to the Purple Palace myself for Mass with the Golf Team. The purple is hard to get out of the blood, it is a family after all. (For all those out of town, Elder is an all boys Catholic, inter parochial school. In the heart of Price Hill, it is still the life blood of the blue collar neighborhood. I was privileged to teach there for two years as a priest, and I'll write more on it at some point.)

After the golf team Mass, it is the two hour jaunt to the north part of the Diocese, to spend the evening with mom and dad. I have a workshop presentation for the Northern Area Religious Education Congress, entitled Creating a Culture of Vocations in the Parish, Saturday morning. I finished my talk this afternoon, and will eventually post it here, along with some new developments.

Right after the Congress, it's hit the car and make the mad dash back to the Hamilton, Ohio, area where I am covering Mass for a priest buddy who has a wedding downtown. After Mass, dinner at a friends house, and recovery of a pullover that's been hanging in their closet since last spring!

Sunday morning, leaving on a jet plane to Baltimore for the National Convention for Diocesan Vocation Directors, through next Thursday. It is a good time, well this is only my second trip, ut I am looking forward to meeting Brad of Roman Catholic Vocations and reconnecting with Fr. Todd Petersen of Vocation Views, whom I met last year.

We usually, I guess, have a morning of reflection, this year hosted by Fr. Benedict Groeschel. Cardinal McCarrick is giving the opening Keynote, with Fr. Louis Cameli giving the closing address. In between, excursions are planned for St. Mary's Seminary, Mount St. Mary's Seminary, the Basilica of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, to the restored Basilica, and to the Basilica that Cal Ripken, Jr. built: Camden Field.

Please pray for all of us lowly vocation directors.

I've got a 6:30 AM flight (!!!!) on Thursday so that I can get back for a recruitment committee meeting at the seminary to plan the upcoming Ministry Evening and Discernment retreat.

Which should put me back here at my desk at home in a week's time, exhausted, but full of new ideas.

Korean Martyrs versus American Ease

Today, as is posted on various Catholic blogs, is the feast of the martyrs of the Church in Korea. Pontentially, this is an incomplete list, with the events and attitudes of the northern part of the pennisula, but I digress.

From the time I started seminary, up through the completion of my formation, I amazed at the variety of things I was able to do simply because I was in seminary. I spent a summer in Germany studying the language, a summer in San Antonio studying Spanish to work with Migrant workers, and various trips and opportunities that were open to me because of what I was studying.

Fr. Martin Fox had his own set of travels and travails, but one that he shared with his brother seminarians sticks out for me today. You see, he spent one summer in Korea teaching English. Yes, I know, I feel sorry for his students as well, but that's how it goes. One of the things he mentioned upon his return to the Big House on Beechmont was something unexpected, especially to American ears.

There were certain guys in the seminary there that had a little more respect, a badge of honor, so to speak, that the other fellas didn't: they could trace their family roots back to one of the martyrs of Korea, and they were proud to extol that fact. It was a plus for them, and inspired them to become more.

I hear that, and reflect on my own situation, here in the Church in Ohio. I was recently talking to someone about another priest, a priest I esteem and respect, one of the good guys. He was talking to a young man, I think a teen, about the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. His father jumped in and said something along the lines of: "But I want him to make something of his life. I want him to do something important, be a doctor, a lawyer, etc."

The priest looked at the father and said: "You know, you just insulted me."

"Oh, I didn't mean any disrespect to you, Father, I just want something more for him."

Now, this was not me, which is lucky for that father, as he might have had a busted lip shortly after this conversation exchange, but I have been in similar conversations, heard enough stories like this that it is certainly believable.

I look at the contrast. In one community, the priests are esteemed, held up, respected, and they live to a model given them by martyrs. And in the other community, "I want him to make something of his life."

Having just come from a funeral home, and meeting and talking to many people that used to be my spiritual children, I can testify that the priesthood is 'something,' and can have a huge and dramatic impact on people's lives.

We often pray for vocations in a general way, but do we pray that my son or daughter has a vocation?

Catholic La La Land

of the good variety.

In a post over at Intentional Disciples on declining attendance at Mass in Milwaukee, Fr. Philip Powell, OP, contributed the following in a combox:

Truly, I am living in some sort of Catholic La-La Land here at the University of Dallas. We have two daily Masses--pretty full, a Sunday vigil Mass--full, three Sunday Massess--all full to overflowing, then we have the Dominican priory daily Mass, the Cistercian abbey daily Mass, five to six hours of confession a week--we never see the end of the line, adoration, and overflowing service projects. I have a project this weekend to paint a house and we already have close to fifty volunteers signed up! Last week I had almost forty for the same house...

Preach Christ, his Church, the truth of the apostolic faith, and do so with some...errrmmm...guts and style and young people will come. Programs, studies, surveys, plans, mission statements, questioning sessions are all (excuse me for saying this but...) crap, little more than control-freak, Baby Boomer techniques for getting folks to tell them what they want to hear. Get food, fellowship, charitable work, solid preaching/teaching, faithful liturgy, and leaders (lay and ordained) who know their place and let the Spirit do his fiery work.Fr. Philip, OP

All I can say is: "Amen, Father!" (oh, and that's where vocations flourish.)

Hitting the Airwaves

In the usual Friday morning slot, Seminarian Matthew Robben will be interviewed by Brian Patrick on Sacred Heart Radio, at 6:20 AM (!!!). Of course, you can listen online at

Matt is currently in Theology I at Mount St. Mary's Seminary. After graduating from Elder High School (so you know he is a great guy!), he worked in the food industry before applying to the seminary.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My last two days

For the first four years after ordination here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, we have an overnight gathering for the new priests. Twice a year, we spend an afternoon, evening and next morning going over how life is going in our respective ministries. (It often turns into a gripe session, but we won't mention that!)

The best part about it is connecting with the guys that we spent a few years with in the seminary. Who says you can't turn back the clock? Within the first five minutes, we were cutting on each other just as we had done in the seminary! Ah, fraternal support, what a great thing!

The truth of the matter, though, is that there are certain things that you can only talk about with other priests, things like how you deal with a pastor who is making life tough, how to adjust to a new parish, prayer and spirituality, finding time off versus 'time on.'

A new twist was the timing of this session. Over the last few years, our summer session was held at the seminary, but not during the academic year. Obviously, that wasn't the case this year, as the guys had started the year a few weeks back. It was a great opportunity for the guys who had been out for a few years to meet the 'new men' at the seminary. It gives us all a connection over about ten years of seminary time.

Tomorrow, it's back to the Big House on Beechmont for the Archdiocesan Central Offices Day of Reflection.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tell 10 to tell 10

I recieved the following email, and thought I would post it here for my ten readers to pass on to ten friends:

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today!
The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman.

It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing.

Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

St. Robert Bellarmine

Today marks the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, Secondary Patron of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Admittedly, I do not know much about this revolutionary (as in Catholic Counter Reformation) 17th Century Jesuit, besides that he was a Cardinal Archbishop. I do know that he adorns a window and the central position in the Raredos at the Chapel of St. Gregory the Great at the seminary here in Cincinnati. But, through the magic of the internet, comes more details on his story from the Ignatius Insight blog:

Shortly after his defection from Rome, Johann Döllinger bitterly reproached the First Vatican Council with "doing nothing but defining the private opinions of a single man—Cardinal Robert Bellarmine." The accusation is false but suggestive, because it leads us to investigate the teaching of St. Robert on the organization of the Catholic Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. Most of the Council's business had to deal with the origin and nature of the one true Church. Moreover, Bellarmine's ecclesiology was the main source from which the Fathers of the Council drew their decrees and definitions. Consequently, with the current interest even among non-Catholics in the Church of Christ as the Mystical Body, we should not overlook what St. Robert Bellarmine has to say about a subject in which the Church herself considers him the outstanding authority.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A mortal blow has been dealt

to that voracious monster that lives below my coffee table! YEAH!

I had a light Sunday in terms of Mass obligations so I took advantage and gave that monster that lives under my coffee table and feeds off of little scraps of paper, overdue bills and crumbs from Great Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies a severe and hopefully mortal wound!

At least that was more productive than watching the return of Bunguls to the National Football League!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Week in the Life of a Vocation Director

Fr. Martin E. Fox relates that his most popular posts are his "Day in the Life of a Pastor" posts. His life must be much more exciting than mine, so I have to relate a whole week instead of just a day.

Sunday was morning Mass at St. Leo's in North Fairmount. Fr. Jim Schutte is the pastor there as of last July 1st, but he has been on Sabbatical studying Spanish to minister to the Guatamalen community that gathers there on Saturday evenings. Unfortunately, there is not a great crowd that attends the Sunday Mass, mainly residents of the neighborhood. Plus, no A/C, a good reminder of wanting a cool place in the life to come!
After Mass, a friend was coming over to help finish up the old Sister's dining room here at the Cathedral. A few weeks ago, we had spent the weekend painting over a very ugly lavender color with a bold gold hue. Jackie had made some 'window treatments,' as they say on HGTV (what we used to call curtains, but I guess that term is no longer in vogue, eh?) as well as a table runner that were in a nice burgundy color. I think the poor sisters were getting older before they moved out, because there were a number of stains on the carpet. (Oh, they had moved out at least 7 years ago, but the room was still LAVENDER!) We pulled up the carpet, polished the floor as much as possible and got the room looking pretty good. The Pastor even complimented our efforts!

Monday was a rather tedious day spent in the office. A fire had blown up over the weekend, so there was a fair amount of damage control and extinguishing that had to be done. Monday evening, instead of enjoying the entirity of the great Bengals' victory, I drove up to Dayton for a Serra Club meeting. I presented how we were doing as far as numbers of seminarians we currently have for the Archdiocese (33), right now up one from the end of last year. I also shared a few things that we have upcoming with the Vocation Office and a few things that I have been asked to present in the near future. I'll try to post things as I can.

Tuesday was a little more exciting. Before lunch, I met with a prospective candidate for next year. He has been on the radar screen for a while, and seems to be getting about ready to make that transition into the seminary. Lunch was a Cincinnati Serra club meeting here at the Cathedral. A major topic of conversation was the upcoming boat ride, plus some other club details that needed to be covered. As I had the late Mass that day at the Cathedral, I returned to the office to work on my version of The Pile, before it takes over my entire office. (It is getting close!) After confessions and Mass, I had a dinner group get together, where a group of about 8 or so friends gathering at a different restaraunt once a month. This month, we dined at a favourite of mine: The Pub at Rookwood Commons.

Wednesday continued the same themes of previous days. I had the noon Mass at the Cathedral, plus an afternoon Mass with the first Kairos Retreat for Elder at Marydale Retreat Center in Erlanger. I admit that I enjoy these Masses, as the current crop attending the retreats are my former students. I get to catch up with some of them, and harrass some of them as well! I changed part of the theme of the homily for this one. Instead of asking "Who is Christ to you?" which gave a lot of them the chance to say: "I don't know." I asked them: "What gift and/or talent has God given you?" and "How is God asking you to share those gifts in building up the Church and the World?" There were a few good answers, but most just passed the buck. Oh well, hopefully they will keep thinking about those questions.
After leaving the retreat, I headed to Loveland for a dinner meeting to discuss some plans for the upcoming Theology on Tap Cincinnati season. We are having a Fall Refresher in a few weeks, again details forth coming.

Thursday morning was more of the office work, and starting the next article for the Telegraph. The afternoon wasn't too bad, tho. Fr. Eric Bowman, a classmate from the Seminary, had an extra ticket for the Reds Game, so no complaints there! (Great seats, too!) I made it back to the Cathedral in time for the afternoon set of confessions and Mass, and thankfully no evening meetings that night!

Friday, in theory, is my 'day off.' As a fellow Father said: "Yeah, and 'in theory' Communism works, too!" Here at the Mother Church, Day Off=7AM Mass, so it is up early, with confessions following. However, the Serra Boat Ride finally dawned with a late lunch and a three hour tour of the Ohio River. There were roughly 100 people on board, between seminarians, retired priests, and Serra members. Read about the trip over at the Seminary Blog.
After the trip, it was a return to the Cathedral, where we were celebrating the birthday of the Deacon. Dinner was good, as always.

This morning brought a planning meeting for this coming April's Cincinnati 2000, an offshoot of Youth 2000. This was mostly logistics, so not much to report yet about theme and/or speakers. Leaving early, I made it back for the 11:30 Mass here at the Cathedral and confessions until 1:30. After a quick bite to eat and watching some college football, I am heading over to St. Joseph, North Bend for more confessions and evening Mass. I expect I will see a number of my former flock from that neck of the woods.

So, that's my week. Not the ugliest week I've had, but it is also no wonder that the desk monster I keep at the office is dang near a whole 'Living Room Monster' here at the Cathedral. I think tomorrow I am going to try to wound this monster mortally. But it seems he has more lives than Morris the cat!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Applause or Silence?

Prompted by a conversation at Orthometer, I posted the following:

Comment by a Deacon:
"And let's not even get into clapping after the homily."

There is a story that I heard once.

Fulton Sheen and Orson Wells were both at a gathering. Both being great orators, they were asked by the host to read Psalm 23, the Lord is My Shepherd.

Orson Wells went first, read it beautifully, and at the end, roaring applause.

Fulton Sheen read the Psalm prayerfully, quietly, reverently. At the end, there was silence.

The host quipped: one knew the psalm, one knew the shepherd.

I would think that the latter is more important.


Posts from around St. Blog's Parish that I found interesting:

Brad Watkins has a short snippet about the importance of promoting vocations. A question: We often pray for vocations, do I pray that my son or daughter have a vocation?

Want good Psalm settings for Sunday liturgies? Check out the Chabanel Psalm Project, which has set all the Sunday Psalms to adaptations of Gregorian chants.

I just found the Islam and Christianity blog, "written by a Christian living in the Middle East." Abu Daoud has a good post about how Moslems view Christian Scripture.

Other than that, not much happening.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


As a priest (and one who was not directly affected by the tragedies of that fateful day), this is still the most enduring image of 9/11: firefighters and medics carrying the body of their spiritual father, Fr. Micheal Judge, out of the rubble. They carried him to a nearby church and laid him on the altar, an image of Christ on such a hatefilled day.

Seeing this image, hearing the stories of the martyrs that gave their lives, I always wonder if I would have the strength to follow them, to pay the ultimate price, as they did. I guess you never know until you face that situation.

I blatantly ripped the photo from Rocco's Whispers in the Loggia.

For another priest's reaction to the events of that day, see Fr. Jay's thoughts from just across the state line in NJ.

For another priest who gave his life, and whose cause for canonization has been introduced, see those lovable neaderthals at Catholic Cavemen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mother Teresa, Prophetess

Posts about Mother Teresa have been flourishing lately, both in praise and in detraction. I fall into the former of those categories, obviously. Fr. Benedict Groeschel is one who knew her about as well as anyone besides her spiritual directors, as she would often stay with his little community when she would visit New York. He defends her against her detractors in a recent post at First Things. I found this paragraph near the end to be particularly enlightening:

In the midst of all the ill-advised and stupid analyses done of Mother Teresa by her critics, who know little or nothing about the spiritual life, my own conviction, after watching her carefully for three decades, was that Mother Teresa was not only a saint but also a prophetess, pointing the Church in a new and right direction in the difficult and puzzling age that dawns on us. It seems to me that she was like Catherine of Siena, who prepared the Church for the Renaissance, and Teresa of Avila, who pulled the Church out of the doldrums as the turbulence of the Reformation period broke over it. Should we be surprised that a prophetess receives such bad treatment? By no means. There are many examples in Sacred Scripture of exactly the same thing. In fact, Mother Teresa, who sought to emulate Jesus in so many ways, now does it by encountering vicious calumny and detraction.

Monday, September 10, 2007

So, what are you doing this evening?

This town is buzzing. 12 Million pairs of eyes will be focused 6 blocks south of the Cathedral. I've been waiting for this day....

and I will be at a Serra Club of Dayton meeting.

Bad timing :(

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Homily for St. Leo's, last evening

Al principio, tienen que disculparme por mi falta de español. Espero que un día pueda hablar con fluidez. Soy Padre Kyle Schnippel y soy el director de vocaciones de la Arquidiócesis de Cincinnati, y tengo la responsabilidad de ayudar a los hombres que tienen ganas de estudiar para el sacerdocio en el seminario y quiero compartir consigo algunos pensamientos sobre el clero.

Primero, el padre está el cabeza de la comunidad en lugar de Cristo, todo lo que hace, lo realiza con la autoridad de Jesús, no por si mismo. Él es un modelo para los demás a seguir. Él da su vida a los demás para que puedan tener vida. Eso es parte de la razón del célibe del clero.

Segundo, como católicos, nosotros necesitamos los sacramentos, especialmente la Eucaristía. Recibiendo a Cristo en la Eucaristía es la que nos permite crecer bien en el mundo y a llevarle con nosotros mientras estamos viajamos por la vida, a vivir el desafío de hacerlo conocido. Sin padres en la Iglesia, esto cambiaria dramáticamente.

Tercero, como saben, necesitamos más padres que hablan español con fluidez y porque de esta forma pueden cuidar de los miembros latinoamericanos con más eficacia. Yo sé que soy un sustituto horrible. Necesitamos su apoyo, oraciones, y animar a sus hijos a pensar en el sacerdocio y a sus hijas en la vida religiosa. Ellos pueden hacer saber las necesidades y preocupaciones de esta comunidad, hasta la comunidad católica más grande, y a la ciudad entera.

La vida de un cura está llena de alegría inmensa, es una vida en donde puede compartir el amor de Cristo de una manera única. Si sientes el llamado a esta vida de alegría, por favor no tengan miedo a explorar esta opción, en cualquier lugar, aquí o en su patria. Todos nosotros necesitamos curas, y sin ellos, todos sufrimos.

Tenemos treinta y cuatro hombres que están estudiando para clero aquí en la Arquidiócesis de Cincinnati. Todos son hombres buenos y santos. Por favor, oren por ellos, ya que muchos de ellos están estudiando español con fuerza para poder a cuidar de ustedes en el futuro.

Ustedes están en mis oraciones y les pido con humildad a orar por mí también, por que quisiera tener a lo menos setenta hombres en formación para el clero. Solamente podemos obtener esta meta con todas sus oraciones.

Yep, you read that right. Spanish. I don't really speak Spanish, so it was a bit of a challenge! A big thanks to Debbie for the translation, 'cause I would've been absolutely lost. The folks there were very kind and said that they could understand what I said, even if I couldn't fully understand it!

Oh, and the number of very young families was impressive. The Hispanic community at St. Leo's is most Guatamalans.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Yeah, post 200!

And I'll take advantage to answer a few things and highlight some of my favorites from the past.

Brookville, Batesville, really, what's the difference? (Sorry, my mistake in the previous post.)

For pictures of the event, I don't know where to go. I didn't have a camera, put I heard quite a few shutter clicks and a number of flashbulbs. I am sure they are somewhere, I'll look around.

Adoro, that's exactly what needs to happen in every parish: have a culture of vocations in which the idea keeps coming up, in various ways, with things to put in the hands of the youngsters. We have somethings working in the vocation office that will come to light in due time. For other ideas, see this post.

So, who has the number to the chancery in Honolulu?

Matt, I heard Deacon Bedel on the radio Friday morning as I was getting ready for Mass. I thought he did really well. Is that going to be the normal time that this segment runs?

I spoke with Eric's father after morning Mass on Thursday. He seems to be doing well, and came through the surgery ok. He begins radiation treatments this coming week, so he is still in great need of prayers. I stopped by his house on Thursday afternoon, but alas, he was sleeping and his mother was down the street. He is a great kid, and is a facing a very difficult situation with much grace. Keep it going, kiddo!

My mother called this morning to let me know that my cousin Matt and his wife Stacey had their twins (gifts from God!) yesterday. Both babies (boy and girl) are doing well, but Stacey had some difficulty during the delivery and had some serious blood loss. She's in ICU right now, but hopefully will be back on the Maternity ward shortly.

For a longer article on why there is a male clergy in the Catholic Church, see here.

A day that will always stick in my brain, and in my prayers see these two posts.

In a theme from the Archbishop, I am grateful for the wonderful people in my life who give me some much needed guidance and support for the vocation office. I am especially grateful for the priests who helped me to realize my vocation.

I think that should keep everyone busy! GO BUCKS!

Friday, September 7, 2007

I wasn't there last night...

(at least if anyone asks) but the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter had the dedication and blessing of Sts. Philomena and Cecelia Catholic Church in Oak Forrest, Indiana. (Oak Forrest is 6 miles outside of Batesville, which is almost as bad as using Botkins, Ohio, as a landmark!)

As is usual, the crowd attending was NOT old timers reliving their youth. It was primarily young families, lots of children, and happy moms and dads. It was an inspiring sight to see.

The Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis did the blessing before the Solemn High Mass began. We processed around the outside of the Church first, dousing the place with holy water. After we made our way inside, the interior got a good shot of it as well. The cantor and schola did a marvelous job intoning the psalms and litany of saints.

Fr. Gerard Saguto, FSSP, was the main celebrant for the Mass, as he is administrator of the parish. (He was in the seminary in Cincinnati for a short time before joining the order, hence my connection and invitation.) He certainly knows the Rite well and performed it with all due reverence. I admit, I had to work to follow along. His associate and an FSSP priest down from Indianapolis served as Deacon and Subdeacon.

The homily was delivered by a professor of Fr. Saguto's from Christendom College. He clearly, and scholarly, laid out a strong ecclesiology. I should've been taking notes! (My ecclesiology professor happened to be in attendance as well, oh wait, he wasn't there either!)

My congratulations to Fr. Saguto and the people of Southeast Indiana. It was a very dignified and solemn celebration, but one marked with extreme joy. I was glad to attend.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What Vocation Crisis, take 42?

From Zenit, comes the report of the recent youth conference in Loretto, Italy.

During the conference, there was the traditional 'Catholic Altar Call,' calling forward those young people who might be interested in a vocation to the priesthood and/or religious life. As is always the case, it wasn't one or two that came forward, but 2,000 young men and 1,200 young women!

Again, living the truth and proclaiming Christ completely will attract vocations. Do we support those who might be feeling that call in our prayers, and in our words? Do we speak positively of priests and religious? Do we encourage our young people to consider the call?

I am convinced that they are out there, they need the support to recognize that this is a viable and fruitful way of life, because the world ridicules what it does not understand.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Did you know?

(Snarky comments by the author in red)

ALABAMA ... Was the first place to have 9-1-1, started in 1968.
ALASKA ... One out of every 64 people has a pilot's license.
ARIZONA ... Is the only state in the continental U.S. that doesn't follow Daylight Savings time.
ARKANSAS ... Has the only active diamond mine in the U.S. Do they have an Ice Road, too?
CALIFORNIA ... Its economy is so large that if it were a country, it would rank seventh in the entire world. If only...
COLORADO ... In 1976 it became the only state to turn down the Olympics.
CONNECTICUT ... The Frisbee was invented here at Yale University.
DELAWARE ... Has more scientists and engineers than any other state. ugh, boring!
FLORIDA ... At 759 square miles, Jacksonville is the U.S.'S largest city.
GEORGIA ... It was here, in 1886, that pharmacist John Pemberton made the first vat of Coca-Cola.
HAWAII ... Hawaiians live, on average, five years longer than residents in any other state. Do they need priests there?
IDAHO ... TV was invented in Rigby, Idaho, in 1922.
ILLINOIS ... The Chicago River is dyed green every St. Patrick's Day. So why not blue the rest of the year?
INDIANA ... Home to Santa Claus, Indiana, which get a half million letter to Santa every year. Raise your hand if you've been there! (Raises hand)
IOWA ... Winnebagos get their name from Winnebago County. Also it is the only state that begins with two vowels. Iowa, what a corny state!
KANSAS ... Liberal, Kansas, has an exact replica of the house in The Wizard of Oz.
KENTUCKY ... Has more than $6 billion in gold underneath Fort Knox.
LOUISIANA ... Has parishes instead of counties because they were originally Spanish church units. Wasn't it French?
MAINE ... It's so big, it covers as many square miles as the other five New England states combined.
MARYLAND ... The Oujia board was created in Baltimore in 1892. not good!
MASSACHUSETTS ... The Fig Newton is named after Newton, Massachusetts.
MICHIGAN .. Fremont, home to Gerber, is the baby food capital of the world. Ann Arbor, home to the team with the biggest loss ever in Division IA football! (I will NEVER tire of that one!)
MINNESOTA ... Bloomington's Mall of America is so big, if you spent 10 minutes in each store, you'd be there nearly four days. (which is about how long it takes to get on the roller coasters, too.)
MISSISSIPPI ... President Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear here ... that's how the teddy bear got its name.
MISSOURI ... Is the birthplace of the ice cream cone.
MONTANA .. A sapphire from Montana is the Crown Jewels of England.
NEBRASKA ... More triplets are born here than in any other state. Inbreeding? (HEY, there's a fine line between pure breeding and inbreeding!)
NEVADA ... Has more hotel rooms than any other place in the world.
NEW HAMPSHIRE ... Birthplace of Tupperware invented in 1938 by Earl Tupper.
NEW JERSEY ... Has the most shopping malls in one area in the world. YIKES!
NEW MEXICO ... Smokey the Bear was rescued from a 1950 forest fire here.
NEW YORK ... Is home to the nation's oldest cattle ranch, started in 1747 in Montauk.
NORTH CAROLINA . Home of the first Krispy Kreme doughnut. Now that's something to be known for!
NORTH DAKOTA .. Rugby, North Dakota, is the exact geographic center of North America.
OHIO .. The hot dog was invented here in 1900. All the good things Ohioans have done, and this is the best they could come up with?
OKLAHOMA ... The grounds of the state capital are covered by operating oil wells.
OREGON ... Has the most ghost towns in the country.
PENNSYLVANIA ... The smiley, :) was first used in 1980 by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.
RHODE ISLAND . The nation's oldest bar, the White Horse Tavern, opened here in 1673. Road trip?
SOUTH CAROLINA ... Sumter County is home to the world's largest gingko farm.
SOUTH DAKOTA ... Is the only state that's never had an earthquake.
TENNESSEE ... Nashville's Grand Ole Opry is the longest running live radio show in the world.
TEXAS... Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco back in 1885. WACO=We Aint Coming Out!
UTAH ... The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant opened here in 1952. and home to America's most powerful wackos!
VERMONT... Montpelier is the only state capital without a McDonald's. and the last state in the Union to get a Wal Mart
VIRGINIA ... Home of the world's largest office building ... The Pentagon. with its own subway station.
WASHINGTON . Seattle has twice as many college graduates as any other state. all high on caffine
WASHINGTON D.C. ... Was the first planned capital in the world. That's planned? scary
WEST VIRGINIA ... Had the world's first brick paved street, Summers Street, laid in Charleston in 1870. Who said West Virginia was backwards?
WISCONSIN . The ice cream sundae was invented here in 1881 to get around Blue Laws prohibiting ice cream from being sold on Sundays.
WYOMING... Was the first state to allow women to vote.


Radio Goo Goo

Today marked the inaugural broadcast of The Son Also Rises, the new local morning show on Sacred Heart Radio, 740 AM, with a stellar line up today that included both local bishops: Bishop Roger Foys of Covington and Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati. Tomorrow, the guest list drops down a bit as they have invited me to speak with Brian Patrick on priesthood, specifically on celibacy and how it relates to the scandals over the last five years. I will be on between 7:30 and 8:00 AM, and you should be able to listen online at

Right now, this is not scheduled to be a 'call in' period, but I am sure I will be back on fairly regularly, during some periods I am sure we will take calls.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

On discernment

by Fr. V. of Adam's Ale

People want burning bushes. Burning bushes are rare. What is it that God wants you to do to build up humanity and give glory to Him? You have thousands of clues in your life already. Maybe part of your discernment of God’s will in your life is finding out the gifts with which He has blessed you.

It's gonna be a good day, Tator!

A review of my Saturday:

I had the eight am Mass at Holy Name, Mt. Auburn, before the rosary procession down to Planned (un)Parenthood. (For an example of PP supporters, see Sally in the comments of this post.) I do the first Saturday of the month, and this was the largest crowd that I have seen at this Mass. It is a great witness and prayer support, for the Mt. Auburn abortion mill actually does perform this atrocity on these Saturdays. (A side note, Helpers of God's Precious Infants now has Mass at Holy Name on the first four Saturdays a month, 8 AM, with a rotating schedule of priests.)

Instead of leading the rosary, I stayed back to hear confessions and let Deacon Jason Bedel (to be ordained a priest this coming May) lead the rosary. I was busy with confessions during the entire 20 decade rosary and up through Benediction. I had to cut it off so that I could get back downtown for Mass at the Cathedral! (Who says this is a dying Sacrament?!??!)

The 11:30 Mass was a little sparsely attended (they all went to the earlier Mass?) and the confession schedule was light here at the Cathedral, (my shift is from noon to 1:30) as usually happens when there is a 1:30 wedding. So I got some reading done and nearly finished another string rosary.

After confessions were over, I made my way back upstairs to watch a little college football. At the half, OSU was up big, and other games were going well. As it turns out, the scores were all great!:

OSU 38, Youngstown State 6
Evil Empire 32, Appalachian State 34!!!
Georgia Tech 33, Notre Dame 3!
Akron 22, Army 14 (sorry, Jackie)
Purdue 52, Toledo 24

And then I open the paper this morning, and Elder gets a big win in the Herbstriet Ohio vs. USA challenge!

What a perfect Saturday!