Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rum, Romanism, and Rasberry Ale

Certainly, when a group of Vocation Directors from across the country get together, trouble ensues.  We're just never sure of what kind of trouble.  Alas, let me explain..... (no, there is too much, let me sum up:)

Today found us gathered at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver for our morning of reflection.  I admit, Brad Watkins has an excellent bishop, as his ordinary (Bishop Burbige) gave the morning address and really challenged us to embrace the call that we have received from Christ as Vocation Directors, an even more specialized version of our call as priests.

Well, to prove that no good morning goes unpunished, there was a select group of us that selected for the Red Rock Park/Brewery Tour Excursion this afternoon.  For those from outside the greater Denver area, Red Rock Park is either a state or city park where they have turned a natural ampitheater into a pretty impressive outdoor performance hall, which so was dominate in the national awards for the journal that the award was name for the arena!

Well, after sending a short and pithy email with a pic from the phone to someone back in Ohio who was stuck in work, (this was from my kind and gentle side), we headed back into Denver for a short tour and sampling of 'Great Divide's product sampling.

Great Divide is one of many micro-brews in the area, as our planned trip to Coor's fell through.  (I have so far failed to see the drawback in this plan.....)  Well, let me paint this picture for you:

35 priests walk into a bar  (What is this, some kind of joke?!?!?!)  Great Divide has a wonderful selection of great beers, so we all proceed to sample a few.  (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!!!)  Their 'St. Brigid Porter' is not to be missed, commemorating St. Brigid's unique and unparalleled ability to turn water into BEER!  I, however, because of my anti-Irish sensibilities (ganz Deutsch, bin ich) turned rather to the Double IPA, WOW, what a nice selection.

The humor of tonight's story, not that there were not already many laughs, came as one of the last of our brothers ordered his selection.  Well, as we were heading on a Brewery Tour, most of us 'went civy' and replaced clerical attire with regular clothes.  Our brother from New Orleans was less fashion conscious, and stayed in clerical attire.  Remember, he was nearly the last of 35 to order his beer selection, and the waitress responds: 'Oh, I couldn't take money from a priest!'

HUH?!?!?!  She had just taken money from 30 some priests!!!!!!  I guess you win some, you lose some.  Bummer

Her story as to why she wouldn't take money from (one who was dress as a) priest was interesting.  She confessed (Theresa being her name) that she had recently finished the pilgrimage to Compestelo in Spain.  And not the short version, either, but rather started somewhere near Paris and walked all the way to the western tip of the Iberian Penisula.  Hmm, never know who you are gonna meet.

Luckily, Father Christman (DoV of Denver) was with us and could direct her to a good parish here in the home office.

The moral of the story, never be afraid to witness to your Catholic faith, even if it requires taking a big leap of faith, 'natch.

One more day of conference tomorrow, with a very early start!

You, Me, Radio

Tomorrow morning, I'll be appearing on Sacred Heart Radio live at 7:30 Cincinnati time, which for those keeping track at home is 5:30 here in the Mile High City!

As always, listen along at www.sacredheartradio.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Newsletters Available

The St. Michael Prayer Warriors page has been updated for 'post conference' status after last weekend's wildly successful event.  Find the October Newsletter, plus details from the conference, and assorted prayer materials here.

Updates from Denver

So, it seems like we've all made it to the National Convention for Diocesan Vocation Directors here in Denver, and the enjoyment level is already high.

I arrived on Saturday and crashed dinner with two priests and a layman.  Even though a 35 minute wait turned into 90, we still had a great time.  (Comp'ed appetizers helped!)

Sunday was a presentation on how to implement the new program for priestly formation into our work as vocation directors by the faculty and staff of St. John Vianney Seminary here in Denver.  They seem to have a pretty unique view on things, and really give their guys a challenge to embrace that call from Christ.  The unique nugget that I'll take from it: Don't ask general discernment questions, but ask 'Is Jesus callin you to the priesthood, or not?'  This question hones things in on the real issue, and can prevent the 'fence sitting.'

Last night was an address by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican's Nuncio as Permanent Observer to the UN.  He was supposed to give the keynote this morning, but was called before the General Assembly.  Somehow, they ranked higher than a group of 300 vocation directors.  The nerve!  His talk was excellent, but hard to summarize.  It was more along the lines of his personal reflections on being called to the priesthood and the encounter with Christ.  I think he stunned us all into silence, as there were no questions afterwards, a rarity for this group.  His talk reminded me of a story of Archbishop Sheen and Orson Wells being at the same party and both asked to read Psalm 24 (?) (The Lord is my Shepherd).  Wells went first and read it with power and prestige, and upon his finish, loud applause.  Archbishop Sheen read the Psalm with prayer and conviction, inspiring silence among his audience.  The host quipped: 'One knew the Psalm, and one knew the Shepherd.'  Archbishop Migliore knows the Shepherd, and what a privelige to hear him speak.

This morning was business meetings and another inspiring welcome by our president, Fr. Len P of Tampa/St. Pete.  As it seems is common everywhere right now, there was a lengthy discussion about dues, and an increase of dues.  Money makes the world go round, after all.

However, the best asset so far was a new 'Guide for Discernment' which is newly published by NCDVD.  'Formational' rather than 'informational,' it centers on 10 sections for prayer and discernment, and is truly a unique contribution to vocation work.  Fr. Tom Richter of Bismark is the primary author, and centered it around rules 3, 4, & 5 in St. Ignatius of Loyola's Discernment of Spirits.  I look forward to spending time with it, in addition to using it with potential candidates.

There are two potential developments that involve your humble scribe here, both are still in the works, so I'll post developments as I can.

All in all, things are great here.  Although, I did think Denver was in the Mountains, but they are still a good spot away.  I thought they were joking that the airport was in Kansas, but it's out there a ways.  The little part of the city I've seen so far is very beautiful.

Finally, a word about our host.  Fr. Jim is the DoV here in Denver and has been wonderfully gracious.  Well, he claims to be friends with a Kevin Knight of New Advent; if it's true, we'll see....

Keep up the prayers for our little gathering.  Still to come are regional meetings this afternoon before dinner out as a group.  Tomorrow brings a morning of reflection by Bishop Burbige of Raleigh, NC, at St. John Vianney Seminary here in Denver, before afternoon excursions.  (Real cultural ones, too, like a visit to a local brewery!)  (Speaking of Raleigh, Brad Watkins, who is their assitant Vocation Director, is here and we had the chance to have breakfast together.)

Wednesday is another keynote, this by Mr. Curtis Martin, founder of FOCUS, more business meetings, afternoon workshops, evening Mass with Archbishop Chaput, and our closing banquet.

Thursday morning will see my return to the Queen City of the Midwest for another evening banquet, this with Cardinal Foley in celebration of the 1st anniversary of the Son Rise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Saints and Blesseds, Answered

I have been remiss for not posting the answers.

For more great programs to promote vocations in your parish and home, see the Vocation Awareness Week page.

1. I once stood in front of my church and barred my king from attending Mass after he had ordered innocent men to be killed. St. William

2. At a young age, I convinced the citizens of Paris to stay, fast and pray when Attila the Hun was threatening to invade. He later changed course and I became the Patron Saint of Paris. St. Genevieve

3. I was a Roman soldier who was tortured to death after proclaiming my Christianity to my Emperor. I am often pictured killing a dragon. St. George

4. During the Early Church persecutions, I preached the good news of Christ in the land of Campania. I survived many forms of torture due to the help of angels and a static electric charge I produced when my torturers tried to use fire on my body. St. Erasmus

5. I was a young slave girl who was arrested for being Christian. I was put to death just three days after giving birth to my daughter. St. Felicity

6. I became a lay brother of the Dominican order after studying to become a barber. I had the ability to fly and to bi-locate. St. Martin de Porres

7. I was a pagan who converted to Christianity and took the place of the priest whom I had hid in my house when persecutors came. St. Alban

8. According to legend, I once reversed the flow of a river and saved a child from execution by controlling the winds which carried him to me. St. Agnus MacNisse

9. I was the Empress of Rome when I walked over pieces of red-hot iron without injury. My husband and I lived a celibate marriage. St. Cunegunda

10. I am known as the first bishop of Jerusalem and the author of the first Catholic epistle. I witnessed the Resurrection. St. James the Lesser

11. I was a missionary priest in Hawaii. I volunteered to work in the leper colony on Molokai and gave my life to make theirs better. Bl. Damien de Veuster

12. I participated in the 1st Crusade to the Holy Land after I was ordained a bishop. St. Peter of Anagni

13. I once hid in a cave with wild animals that came to me for cures. The Church has a special throat blessing on my feast day. St. Blase

14. I was beheaded when I refused the advances of a man. My head was later restored and a well sprang up where my head had fallen. St. Winifred

15. I was an acolyte who died while protecting the Eucharist; upon my death the Eucharist disappeared so my attackers could not touch it. St. Tarsicius

16. I suffered from a rare skin disease which disappeared upon my ordination to the priesthood. St. Francis Caracciolo

17. While my brother monks referred to me as “the gaper” due to my often blank stare, I am also known as the flying saint. St. Joseph of Cupertino

18. Though Henry VIII knew me as the “holiest woman in England,” he exiled me from his royal court when I opposed his marriage to Anne Boleyn. He later beheaded me after my son (a Cardinal) denied his Act of Supremacy. Bl. Margaret Pole

19. I founded the Redemptorist Congregation after many struggles. During the later part of my life I suffered greatly from rheumatism. St. Alphonsus Marie Ligouri

20. With the help of my many visions of Jesus, I established the feast of the Sacred Heart despite the opposition of my mother superior. St. Margaret Mary Alocoque

21. I was a Ugandan who converted to Christianity and helped to protect many young men from my chieftain who later killed us for our faith. St. Charles Lwanga

22. I had the ability to see guardian angels and I was known as “one of the most brilliant theological minds of [my] time.” St. Catherine of Siena

23. I lived in the desert and fasted for 80 years. St. Bengamin the Great of Nitra

24. I was a Vietnamese citizen who was arrested for being a Christian. I briefly gave up my faith, but regained it only to be flogged to death. Bl. Thomas Toan

25. I am said to have re-attached a child’s leg which fell off when the child kicked his mother in front of me. I often help people find things. St. Anthony of Padua

26. I was a spoiled rich kid who wanted to become a knight and ended up repairing the Church and living a life of complete simplicity. St. Francis of Assisi

27. I declined an invitation by the Pope to take charge of an order of nursing sisters but later started the Ursulines, a teaching order for girls. St. Angela Merici

28. I was a housekeeper for a wealthy family and used their resources to donate to the poor. I found real joy in my work. St. Zita

29. I married a wealthy man, but gave generously of our resources, even to the point of bathing the sick with my own hands. St. Zedislava of Lemberk

30. My mother taught me how to dedicate my life to God and built a monastery for me. I lived in holiness to be 118 years old. Bl. Gregory of Verucchio

Just a few short days

till Denver for the National Convention for Diocesan Vocation Directors.

Very much looking forward to it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thank God for Vestments

From a good idea gone horribly wrong.

Fr. V's gone and done it!


His 'Guest Blogger C' has given priests the 'list of what to preach on' which will take what, I think, 15 years to accomplish!
Basically, it is the list that priests think people know, but in reality most are clueless.
One favor to ask: if he starts hitting these and gets the flack, make sure you support him by writing to the Bishop and saying 'My, it is wonderful how Fr. X is really calling us all to conversion!'

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rest in Peace

Word comes that Fr. David Heinl of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati passed away this morning. He was ordained in 1957. Please keep him in your prayers.

Stunned, Absolutely Stunned!

So, we had our little event last night.

I had heard increasing buzz from different sectors leading up to the Call of the King Conference, and I was getting hopeful. Optimistically, I was thinking around 200 total for the event would be outstanding.

I was wrong. Way Wrong!

Finally tally was around 350-375!

As we started the Holy Hour at 6:00, there were maybe 40 in the Chapel at the Center. Ok, I thought, it is a start, we'll see how it goes.

I was kneeling in front of the Monstrance and leading the rosary, slowly the volume level started to build.

I gave a short reading from Hebrews and a reflection, we were approaching 80 by that point, I would say.

The Litany of Vocations started to build and build. I was starting to get very excited.

Finally, Benediction and replacing the monstrance in the Adoration Chapel. There were fifteen minutes before the event 'started' and the crowd was swelling.

My feet were off the floor!

I saw all of our speakers, made a quick connection with them. I found a few of the team members and they were beaming. The Chant started playing over the sound system, the chapel was mostly quiet.

7:00 hit, and I approached the pulpit and turned. STUNNED! The chapel was FULL!

In my wildest dreams, I expected this size of a crowd in three years, not now. I talked to one team member after the event, she was in full out panic mode (in a good way): more coffee! we're out of folders! SEATS for everyone!

Then the talk started by Fr. Brausch. Engaging, intellectual, solid, and applicable.

Two seminarians followed him up and drove the point home, exactly!

Finally, Anne approached and didn't hit a home run, not even a Grand Slam; she hit a Grand Slam while also pitching a perfect game!

To all those who attended, thank you very much.

For all those who prayed for the event, without you it wouldn't have happened in such a dramatic way.

The conference was recorded, so CDs will be available shortly.

This was all for ourLord, for His priests, and what a wonderful gathering it truly was.

WOW!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

As an added bonus...

So, first, how did I miss this yesterday when I knew it was going to be in the paper?

Renewed and refreshed - that is the prayer a group of Cincinnatians are wishing on their priests.

The new group, the St. Michael Prayer Warriors, will begin their prayer movement on Sunday with a "Call of the King" conference from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, 5440 Moeller Ave., Norwood.

"People will be praying for their parish and diocesan priests - for his holiness, for his renewal and for his energy," said the Rev. Kyle Schnippel, director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Schnippel said the new ministry chose St. Michael because of his image as the leader of God's army.

"We wanted an identity of people coming together to fight for the faith - in big ways and in small ways," he said. "We believe prayer with intention to support priests and more vocations to the priesthood and religious life can have an impact."

Those interested in participating in this lay ministry can attend the free conference on Sunday. Visitwww.cincinnativocations.org for more information.

I mean, I was interviewed for the article and everything?  D'oh

Thanks to Rich for posting it yesterday.

An the added bonus?  Let's just say you might get the chance to talk to someone (or two) who have known me since before I was born.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Radio Goo Goo

I'll be visiting the palatial estates of Sacred Heart Radio, 740 AM, on Thursday morning at 8:40 am. Listen online at www.sacredheartradio.com

We'll be discussing the event for this weekend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Less than a Week

before the first Call of the King Conference at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center!

Hard to fathom

If you caught highlights (or, more aptly, lowlights) of yesterday's game in which the Titans pasted the Bengals; you noticed it was a bit windy in these parts, with the result that nearly 90% of the area experienced at least some power outages. (Luckily, my home at the Cathedral was not affected, not even the alarm clock was blinking.)

I was driving home from Iowa and was behind the storm (the remnants of Ike), and missed much of the excitement, thankfully. It was only after stopping in Indianapolis for a quick bite to eat that I started to see leaves and trees toppled over in the fields, including one interstate 74 exit sign somewhere near Batesville, Indiana.

However, looking around at the war zone that is Cincinnati today; I can't help but wonder what it is like to experience the full hurricane rather than just the remnants. We had sustained winds of 50 mph, with gusts to 75 mph, for around three hours Sunday afternoon. Houston and Galveston had 110 mph for how long, a day and a half?

I used to always joke that we didn't have to worry about hurricanes here in the mid-west, I gues I have to change that now!

Certainly offering prayers up for those who were harder hit than we were. It is bad enough here, I can hardly fathom what it is like along the coast in Texas and Louisianna.

Friday, September 12, 2008

To hold you over...

I'm out in Iowa for the weekend for the Baptism of my niece, so to hold you over check out this 'blog, which my sister pointed out to me: My Little Saint.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Saints and Blesseds Quiz

Ladies and gentlemen, pull out the pad of paper and get ready for a pop quiz!

1. I once stood in front of my church and barred my king from attending Mass after he had ordered innocent men to be killed. _______

2. At a young age, I convinced the citizens of Paris to stay, fast and pray when Attila the Hun was threatening to invade. He later changed course and I became the Patron Saint of Paris. _______

3. I was a Roman soldier who was tortured to death after proclaiming my Christianity to my Emperor. I am often pictured killing a dragon. _______

4. During the Early Church persecutions, I preached the good news of Christ in the land of Campania. I survived many forms of torture due to the help of angels and a static electric charge I produced when my torturers tried to use fire on my body. _______

5. I was a young slave girl who was arrested for being Christian. I was put to death just three days after giving birth to my daughter. _______

6. I became a lay brother of the Dominican order after studying to become a barber. I had the ability to fly and to bi-locate. _______

7. I was a pagan who converted to Christianity and took the place of the priest whom I had hid in my house when persecutors came. _______

8. According to legend, I once reversed the flow of a river and saved a child from execution by controlling the winds which carried him to me._______

9. I was the Empress of Rome when I walked over pieces of red-hot iron without injury. My husband and I lived a celibate marriage. _______

10. I am known as the first bishop of Jerusalem and the author of the first Catholic epistle. I witnessed the Resurrection. _______

11. I was a missionary priest in Hawaii. I volunteered to work in the leper colony on Molokai and gave my life to make theirs better. _______

12. I participated in the 1st Crusade to the Holy Land after I was ordained a bishop. _______

13. I once hid in a cave with wild animals that came to me for cures. The Church has a special throat blessing on my feast day. _______

14. I was beheaded when I refused the advances of a man. My head was later restored and a well sprang up where my head had fallen. _______

15. I was an acolyte who died while protecting the Eucharist; upon my death the Eucharist disappeared so my attackers could not touch it. _______

16. I suffered from a rare skin disease which disappeared upon my ordination to the priesthood. _______

17. While my brother monks referred to me as “the gaper” due to my often blank stare, I am also known as the flying saint. _______

18. Though Henry VIII knew me as the “holiest woman in England,” he exiled me from his royal court when I opposed his marriage to Anne Boleyn. He later beheaded me after my son (a Cardinal) denied his Act of Supremacy. _______

19. I founded the Redemptorist Congregation after many struggles. During the later part of my life I suffered greatly from rheumatism. _______

20. With the help of my many visions of Jesus, I established the feast of the Sacred Heart despite the opposition of my mother superior. _______

21. I was a Ugandan who converted to Christianity and helped to protect many young men from my chieftain who later killed us for our faith. _______

22. I had the ability to see guardian angels and I was known as “one of the most brilliant theological minds of [my] time.”_______

23. I lived in the desert and fasted for 80 years. _______

24. I was a Vietnamese citizen who was arrested for being a Christian. I briefly gave up my faith, but regained it only to be flogged to death. _______

25. I am said to have re-attached a child’s leg which fell off when the child kicked his mother in front of me. I often help people find things. _______

26. I was a spoiled rich kid who wanted to become a knight and ended up repairing the Church and living a life of complete simplicity. _______

27. I declined an invitation by the Pope to take charge of an order of nursing sisters but later started the Ursulines, a teaching order for girls. _______

28. I was a housekeeper for a wealthy family and used their resources to donate to the poor. I found real joy in my work. _______

29. I married a wealthy man, but gave generously of our resources, even to the point of bathing the sick with my own hands. _______

30. My mother taught me how to dedicate my life to God and built a monastery for me. I lived in holiness to be 118 years old. _______

CHOICES:
1. St. Tarsicius
2. St. Alban
3. St. Peter of Anagni
4. St. Francis of Assisi
5. St. Felicity
6. Blessed Thomas Toan
7. St. Thomas More
8. St. William
9. St. Zita
10. St. Charles Lwanga
11. St. George
12. St. Angus MacNisse
13. St. Erasmus
14. St. Genevieve
15. St. Zdislava of Lemberk
16. Blessed Margaret Pole
17. St. Angela Merici
18. St. Cunegundus
19. St. Francis Caracciolo
20. St. Blaise
21. St. Martin de Porres
22. St. Catharine of Siena
23. St. Anthony of Padua
24. Blessed Gregory of Verucchio
25. St. Benjamin the Great of Nitra
26. St. Joseph of Cupertino
27. Blessed Damien de Veuster
28. St. Alphonsus Marie Ligouri
29. St. Winifred
30. St. Margaret Mary Alocoque
31. St. James the Lesser

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Trip to the Beach?

Not for the faint of heart.

All were ok.

For Weather Geeks

I could waste hours.

Other upcoming events

As noted on pages 4-5 in Clergy Communications:

VOCATION OFFICE
Please continue to publicize the following events in your parish bulletins and websites; bulletin announcements are included on the “bulletin announcement sheets” with this edition of Clergy Communications. Also, keep in mind that a personal invitation from the pastor continues to be the most effective tool in the recruitment of new seminarians.
The Call of the King Conference, September 21, at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center
Discernment Retreat, October 3-4, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
Frohlich Farm Event, October 5, Frohlich Farm, Lebanon
Fall Live-In, October 9-11, Pontifical College Josephinum
Vocation Night (formerly Ministry Evening), October 15, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary
Cast Your Nets, Dayton, October 25, St. Luke’s Beavercreek

CAST YOUR NETS 2008
Once again, the Vocation Office and the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry have teamed up to host an exciting youth event called Cast Your Nets 2008 at St. Luke Parish in Beavercreek. At this event, through the reception of the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation and with the help of live music and dynamic speakers, youth will be challenged to live their Catholic faith anew. The event will take place on Sunday, October 26 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. All priests in the Dayton Area are asked to publicize this event within youth ministry programs and are invited to concelebrate the Mass and/or hear confessions that evening. Please contact Fr. Kyle Schnippel at 513.421.3131 and let him know that you are able to attend.

NATIONAL VOCATION AWARENESS WEEK 2009
The Vocation Office has worked to develop a packet of materials for National Vocation Awareness Week 2009, which is being held from January 11-17, 2009. The materials should be available by September 5, 2008, at www.cincinnativocations.org/vaw.shtml. This year, the focus for the program is living a life of virtue and centers around Galatians 2:20: “Now it is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me.” The program has been expanded to include adult faith formation and family formation programs. Please distribute these materials as widely as possible in your parish or institution. As a further note, over the last two years (since we have been publishing them “in house”) the Vocation Office has received numerous calls from dioceses across the country asking for permission to use these materials as “they are simply the best available.” Please support this effort in your parish or institution to turn the tide of the vocations shortage.

“CATHOLIC KNIGHTS OF OUR LADY” The Vocation Office, in conjunction with St. Jude and Our Lady of Victory Parishes are introducing “Catholic Knights of Our Lady” to Cincinnati’s West Side. Modeled after the successful program at St. Peter’s Church in Huber Heights, this program is designed to be both a discernment program for grade school and high school boys and girls, as well as an opportunity to meet youths from other parishes. Groups will be divided by age and gender, with evenings featuring catechetical and recreational components, while concluding with prayer and snacks. Pastors on Cincinnati’s West Side are encouraged to invite youth from their parish to attend, beginning October 12, 2008, and the second Sunday of each successive month, besides December. For more information, call Fr. Kyle Schnippel in the Vocation Office at 513.421.3131 x2890 or Fr. Eric Bowman, pastor of St. Jude’s, at 513.574.1230.

BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CINCINNATI:
ST. MICHAEL PRAYER WARRIORS (Please run until September 21)
Looking for something proactive that you can do to support the priesthood and vocations? The Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is hosting the inaugural Call of the King Conference on September 21, 2008, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, 5440 Moeller Ave in Norwood, Ohio. The conference introduces the St. Michael Prayer Warriors movement and features Fr. Anthony Brausch, faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, speaking on personal holiness as an avenue of renewal in the Church. Please visithttp://www.cincinnativocations.org/stmichaelprayerwarriors.php or call the Vocation Office at 513.421.3131x2890 to register, or for more information.

MEN’S DISCERNMENT RETREAT (Please run until September 28)
On October 3 and 4, 2008 Mount St. Mary’s Seminary on Beechmont Avenue in Cincinnati hosts a Discernment Retreat for men, college age and older, who are exploring a call to the priesthood or religious life. The retreat offers an opportunity to step away from the demands of daily life to be immersed in the quiet of prayer at a seminary. The retreat is free. It runs from 7:00 p.m. Friday through 7:00 p.m. Saturday and provides a chance to meet one-on-one with our current seminarians, as an aid in discernment. To register, call the Vocation Office at 513.421.3131 or online at http://www.cincinnativocations.org/frm100308.php.

FROHLICH FARM EVENT (Please run until September 28)
The Vocation Office is pleased to once again host an event at Frohlich Farm outside of Lebanon, Ohio, on October 5, from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The day of activities is geared towards high school men, with their fathers, to come together to learn more about being a strong Catholic man in the world today and how the priesthood fulfills the fullness of that call in our world today. Sunday Mass will be offered, along with a variety of recreation events and talks by Michael Walsh and Joe Luken. To register, call the Vocation Office at 513.421.3131, or online at http://www.cincinnativocations.org/frm100508.php.

FALL LIVE-IN (Please run until October 5)
The Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio once again opens her doors to high school juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing the priesthood through college seminary formation during the Fall Live-In from October 9-11, 2008. Attendees have the opportunity to pray with the college seminary community, attend classes, and meet with our current college seminarians. To register, please call the Vocation Office at 513.421.313, or visit http://www.cincinnativocations.org/frm100908.php.

VOCATION NIGHT (Please run until October 12)
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary on Beechmont Avenue in Cincinnati hosts the first Vocation Night of the year on Wednesday, October 15, from 5:15 – 8:00 p.m. Beginning with the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the evening presents an opportunity to pray with our current seminarians and includes a short presentation on one aspect of seminary life. Formal dress is requested for those attending. To register, call the please visit http://www.cincinnativocations.org/frm101508.php or call the Vocation Office at 513.421.3131.

CAST YOUR NETS (Please run until October 19)
The exciting new youth rally that challenges youth to BE BOLD and live their Catholic faith with courage, is coming to St. Luke Parish in Beavercreek. The event will take place on October 26, 2008 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. and will include Sunday Mass, live music, a keynote address from Nick Cardilino, snacks and the opportunity for Confession. All people from 9th grade on up are invited and are encouraged to register with their youth group at www.catholiccincinnati.org/youthmin/CYN. There is no cost for the event, but there will be a free will offering at Mass and event t-shirts will be on sale.

If you wonder why I've had that frazzled look on my face recently, I think this post pretty much sums up the reason.

O Happy Day!

A while back, I mentioned that we were laboring under a few big projects within the Vocation Office.  Well, I am glad to say that one has finally come to fruition!


By the way, Vocation Awareness Week is scheduled this year from January 11-17.

Wayne Topp (who has the unfortunate distinction of working for me in the Vocation Office) and I have been writing and editing the program since early June in order to get all the materials ready for as close to the start of the school year as possible.  (We only missed it by a few weeks, much better than last year!)

New sections for this year include programs for adult faith formation, young adult, and family formation programs, making the materials even more comprehensive than previous years.

This year, we centered on living a life of virtue, guided by Galatians 2:20: 'Now it is no longer I, but Christ who lives within me.'

Please feel free to share and use these materials as widely as possible.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Google Chrome

Has anyone else made the switch to Google Chrome, their new web browser?

Care to share thoughts?

So far, the biggest boom was being able to import bookmarks and history from Internet Explorer.  I have found Chrome to be faster, but getting to the history file is a little more cumbersome, so if you browse without bookmarks, it might take some getting used to.

A nice feature so far is being able to keep bookmarks in a row under the address bar, either under file folders or as seperate buttons, making going back to regularly visited sites much quicker.

There are apparently some security risks, but I haven't had a problem so far. (two days into trial)

Although, in my first round of posting here, some of the key strokes are different and will take some getting used to.  For example, 'tab' in the text box doesn't advance to the 'labels for post' entry form as it did in IE, and when typing in labels, got to hit 'enter' instead of 'tab.'  A matter of retraining fingers, is all, and actually having to use a mouse, oh the horror!

Something for priests to think about

Not to denigrate the laity, but something particularly for priests to be concerned with ocurred to me during the First Reading today at Mass:

Ezekiel 33:7-9
Thus says the LORD:
You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel;
when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.
If I tell the wicked, “O wicked one, you shall surely die, ”
and you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way,
the wicked shall die for his guilt,
but I will hold you responsible for his death.
But if you warn the wicked,
trying to turn him from his way,
and he refuses to turn from his way,
he shall die for his guilt,
but you shall save yourself.

Notice, if the prophet fails to instruct the wayward, and that wayward person stays in his/her sins, the prophet is held responsible.  HOWEVER, if the prophet instructs, but the wayward person is obstinate in his/her sins, then the prophet is no longer held responsible.

As priests, I think we all need to get back to this, the identity that my path to salvation, to heaven, necessarily involves helping others to get there first!  If, especially as a diocesan priest, I am just concerned with my own things, I will be held responsible for the waywardness of the souls in my care.

I recently heard a quote from Fr. Corapi: "I'm not going to Hell because of your ignorance!  You may desire to stay in your ignorance or obstinance, but it isn't because I haven't told you!"

Pray for your priests that they have the courage of Ezekiel, help him to have that courage by supporting him when he drops a tough homily on the crowd.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What Where When Meme

Stolen from a Quiet Catholic, who inturn stole it from Orthometer.

1. President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963
Um, my parents were in GRADE SCHOOL, so I wasn't even close to being around yet.

2. England's World Cup Semi Final v Germany - 4 July 1990
I was in grade school by this point and hadn't made the leap to international soccer matches, open wheel racing was still relevant.

3. Margaret Thatcher's resignation - 22 November 1990
See previous, still oblivious (some things never change)

4. Princess Diana's death - 31 August 1997
I was just starting my second year of seminary (college junior) and we had just come back from dinner and turned on the television in someone's room; I left shortly thereafter and went to the Chapel as I had been in a pretty serious car accident the year before (thankfully no one killed!)and a lot of memories came back.

5. Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001
Interning at St. John's Dry Ridge during seminary, was having a relaxing morning, as Tuesday was my 'day off' (when I still got those....) and flipped on the TV right about as it all started to hit the fan.

6. The election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy - 19 April 2005
On a two day parish staff overnight (me as parochial vicar), getting ready to leave and return to the city when we by chance flipped on the tele (luck by my side again), to check if the next ballot had come. As we turn on the TV, smoke starts emerging from the chimney, and the thought in my head: 'OMG! There's only one person whom they could have possibly voted in this quickly......' My joy was hightened, but it was not shared by everyone in the room.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The gods we worship

I must've had extra ammo from the last round of sporting clays, as the gun's still loaded. My next article ran in this week's Telegraph:

“I am the LORD your God, you shall have no other gods before me.” When this first commandment was given to Moses, the Israelites clearly understood whom God meant by ‘other gods.’ They had just left the clutches of Egypt, with their pantheon of gods, including Pharaoh. They were preparing to enter the land of Canaan, who were also pantheists, primarily worshiping Ba’al, a fertility goddess. There were temples and shrines to these false gods surrounding God’s Chosen People as they journeyed through the wilderness.
That is not so today. Even though there is a rise in religious pluralism in this country, most Catholics are not tempted to offer worship as our ancestors did. However, there is a subversive form of ‘false gods’ that have crept into our daily lives; gods whose existence we may not even be aware but whose presence in our lives comes before our worship of the LORD God.
Take, for example, this family: a single mom is raising two children moving into their teen years. She desires for them to be the best they can be, which is certainly noble, but it is focused entirely in one sport, a sport which does not get huge national prominence at that. (There is little hope for a multi-million dollar, multi-year career.) When asked how much she spends on this sport annually for her two children, I thought five thousand dollars was a high estimate. Turns out, it is closer to thirty thousand dollars a year, nearly double what I paid for my car! As great as this sport is in teaching children cooperation and fair play, I do not think that it will help these two children in their pathway to heaven. In fact, I would argue she is hurting their pursuit of eternal life, which is the primary thing parents should be encouraging in their children.
How easy it is to fall into these traps! We stay at the superficial level of content: discussing the Olympics, cars or the minutia of the rule book; yet we never bring up the core matters of the faith. For example, can you explain the off sides rule in soccer better than the five precepts of the Church? (It took me until my seminary years before I could!)
Jesus reminds us that ‘where our treasure is, there also is our heart.’ So often in our modern world, we see treasure solely as our financial assets and our charitable giving. Yet, in our world today, we can easily break down ‘treasure’ into three general criteria: money, time and knowledge, and each of these could be pathways into the worship of false gods.
Money is an easy call, as ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ seems to be the American pastime. We run our children from this practice to that event. The family gets pulled in so many different directions, that we never stop to eat a meal together. The back of the van is filled with little stickers that tell the world what we are into, with the result that we are too tired to go to Mass on Sundays.
Today, more than ever, time is money. There is only so much that can be committed to, while other enjoyable pursuits are left behind. Still, we waste away three hours on a Sunday afternoon to watch the Bengals flounder through another season, and complain when Mass takes more than an hour. Which of these two helps us grow closer to the Kingdom of Heaven?
Finally, knowledge is perhaps the hardest to pin down, yet offers the most pitfalls. Polite society says that we are not to talk religion or politics in public, for fear of offending. I argue, what could be more important! This past week, three days were spent debating the merits of Chris Henry re-signing with the Bengals, yet the Holy Day of Obligation passed by unnoticed. We can dissect the merits of the ‘spread offense’ versus ‘the power I,’ yet cannot name three patron saints.
As we begin another school year, perhaps it is time to consider: “What gods do I worship in life, and how do they interfere with my worship of the One True God in Heaven?”

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Name Meme

Lillian Marie got me some time ago for this one.

Use the 3rd letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real places, names, things, nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same initial.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?.....................................Kyle Schnippel
4 LETTER Word:..................................................Long
VEHICLE:..............................................................Lambo
TV SHOW:.............................................................Lost
CITY:.......................................................................Lexington, OH
SAINT'S NAME (BOY):........................................Lawrence
SAINT'S NAME (GIRL).........................................Lydia
OCCUPATION:.....................................................Logger
SOMETHING YOU WEAR:..................................Laces
SOMETHING FOUND IN A CHURCH................Lights
FOOD:....................................................................Limes
SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM...........Lint
REASON FOR BEING LATE:.............................Lane closure
SOMETHING YOU SHOUT:................................Lookout!
SPORT:..................................................................Lacrosse
CURRENCY:.........................................................Lupal
ANIMAL:................................................................Lark
WORD TO DESCRIBE YOU:..............................Lanky
SOMETHING AT THE LAST SUPPER:.............Linens
CHRISTMAS CAROL:..........................................Lo, how a rose
PART OF A SNOWMAN:....................................Long carrot
HYMN:....................................................................Love divine

God Speed!

Prayers are requested for AMS, who is leaving Cincinnati this weekend to join the Sisters of Life. I've known her since I started as Vocation Director, wish her all the best, God Speed! Pray for us as we pray for you.

Behold the Priest

Word comes from Fr. Rob Jack, priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and faculty at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, of a new project 'Ecce Sacerdos: Confraternity of Priestly Renewal.' Knowing Fr. Jack as a former student of his, this will be solid, Catholic, and engaging.

Stop on over, bookmark and add it to the reader account!