Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let the waters...

And God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Beauty Will Rise

We come across tragedy in every corner of the world. One that involved the family of singer Steven Curtis Chapman. They've been in the news over the past couple of years specifically regarding the tragic loss of their 5-year-old daughter Maria, their youngest adopted daughter, who had been accidentally struck in the family's driveway by one of her brothers returning home in his truck.

Chapman's new album, entitled "Beauty Will Rise," became his personal testament to Maria's life and the overwhelming assurance that they will be together again one day. It must be nothing short of a miracle to attempt to find and somehow discover redemptive words for such pain. I ache for his ache... and am humbly silent at his praise. He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:7-8)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Real Deal

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow will appear in a 30-second commercial paid for by Focus on the Family. The ad will be seen by 100 million individuals and cost a little over 2 million dollars.

Steven Ertelt at LifeNews explains how pro-abortion groups and so-called women’s organizations are trying to get the ad pulled by CBS.

Over the next couple weeks you will hear lots of reasons why various organizations and individuals want CBS to do this. It is obvious there is only one real reason: these figures do not want a hundred million Americans to be exposed to a powerful pro-life message.

After all, Jim Geraghty writes “We’ve seen GoDaddy and endless crass Super Bowl ads, but isn’t it great Tim Tebow wasn’t aborted crosses a line, apparently.”

And Peggy Nance of Concerned Women for America says she “can’t remember NOW [the pro-abortion National Organization for Women] complaining about misogynistic ads” which have appeared over the years during the Super Bowl.

Pro-abortion and “women’s organizations” have squandered their moral capital, and their “outrage” over the airing of this ad is laughable. If they truly wanted to uplift the dignity of women they would not oppose an ad which only affirms the dignity of a mother choosing life for her child.

Isn't it great to see that CBS is realizing that times are changing fast. America is finally becoming more and more open to the message of life.

Last year CatholicVote’s Imagine spot was rejected by both CNN and NBC. It went on to become an internet hit. Over two million viewers have seen the one below on YouTube:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Bono lead singer of U2 says this about discovering Grace…
"You see, at the center of many religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics — every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace…Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff."

And that is the wonderful thing about grace and about our God! He interrupts our lives with His love. He takes our sin, our failings and our mistakes and He removes them from us. It is no longer about what we deserve or even about us earning forgiveness. It is about a God who so loves us that He interrupts our lives with the sacrifice of His Son, and gives us uninterrupted access to Himself. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Personally, I'd chose grace over karma any day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Follow the Call

Here's a story you don't hear about everyday,

"Grant Desme entered the 2009 season with an injury-prone past.

The A's prized prospect exited the season with a head-turning presence, accompanied by a bat that produced 31 home runs and a speedy 6-foot-2 frame that stole 40 bases in Class A ball -- making him the only player in Minor League Baseball to enjoy a 30-30 campaign.

An exceptional performance and MVP honors in the Arizona Fall League followed, so surely Desme was close to getting a call, most assumed -- if not for a trip to The Show, then at least for an invitation to Spring Training.

Yet, Desme insists he'd already received the call long before his final at-bat in the fall came and went -- the one that would take him to bigger and better places.

It just so happens it wasn't what the A's organization -- or anyone else, for that matter -- had in mind.

The call, Desme announced Friday, came in the form of a vocation in the Catholic church.

"Last year before the season started, I really had a strong feeling of a calling and a real strong desire to follow it," the 23-year-old said. "I just fought it."

Thus, Desme chose to play out the season as a test of sorts, "just hoping and praying about it."
"As the year went on," he said, "God blessed me. I had a better year than I could have imagined, but that reconfirmed my desire because I wasn't at peace with where I was at. I love the game, but I aspire to higher things.

"I thought, I'm doing well in baseball, but I really had to get down to the bottom of things -- what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life. And I felt that while baseball is a good thing and I love playing, I thought it was selfish of me to be doing that when I really felt that God was calling me more, which took me awhile in my life to really trust and open up to it and aim full steam toward Him."

The telling result: A phone call on Thursday to relay his life-changing choice to A's general manager Billy Beane, who chose Desme as the club's second-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Beane's reaction to the news was "great," says Desme, who claimed to be even more taken aback than the team's head honcho during the conversation.

"I was surprised [Thursday] when I called Billy to inform him about my decision," Desme says. "I was interested to see how I was going to react, knowing that when that phone call was over I'd be done with baseball most likely for the rest of my life. I was able to experience a great amount of peace because of it."

"I want to give my life completely to God out of love because of everything He's done for me. Something like this is even very little compared to what He's done for me."
-- Grant Desme

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday hang out

Hey! – How many times have you heard that if you really want to improve your prayer life you have to start making a Holy Hour? It’s advice that I both get and have received. There is rarely ever an explanation as to why. Why a Holy Hour?

It's not magic! It is common sense and you probably know the answer already. What is the purpose of prayer? Is it in order to get things? Well, not alone. We pray for the same reason we tweet, text, email, call, and "hang out" with our friends. It's how you get to know somebody. When you want to get married you discover that desire by spending time with that person. You come to know them and what's important to them. When time is short due to a busy schedule we make time for them. They knew through this that you loved them, you knew it, and so did everyone else. “Sorry, I’m spending time with my ladyfriend today.”

Holy Hours are not much different. You're spending quality time with God. It's not a quick text message, “God, get me through this test,” or “God, get me through this and I swear I won’t do it again.” Who wants to be the friend that only makes contact when you need something and makes that contact at all time minimum at that?

Wasting time with God is anything but a waste of time. That is what we do with the ones we love. It also gives us the opportunity to just be quiet and listen. This type of prayer does not mean that all our prayers will be answered in the way we want them but carrying on this conversation with God may help us understand how God has decided to answer our prayer.

For some people an hour is way too difficult. So, start with a holy half hour. Start with a holy 15 minutes!

On Mondays our high schools sponsor adoration from after school to early evening. You can do it! You have done it to have some time with the one you love. Now do it with God.

You may not notice a difference after a day, a week, or maybe even a month. But one day everything will be different and you will look back and wonder at how things have changed.

But you have to start.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let's March for Life

More than ever, it is important to let our elected leaders know what we think about the important issues of our day — especially the paramount issue of our age, life. The politicians now are listening. Agreeing? Maybe not. But we are making progress, otherwise, how to explain the difficulties in passing such anti-life legislation such as the health care bill? Stay vigilant. Pray, then put your prayers into action.

Marianist high school students marched for life on Friday.

Our Bishop William Murphy leads us in pray at St. Joseph's Church on Capital Hill.

Bishop William Murphy takes a moment to pause with students prior to the prayer service.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When the Saints Come Marchin' In

Each year on January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Americans rally in Washington D.C. and exercise their freedoms of speech and petition. Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court decision decided in 1973 making abortion legal in the United States. The issue of abortion and a woman’s right to choose has remained controversial and politically charged ever since.
Over 150 students from our Marianist high schools travelled with the Brothers to the D.C. area for the 2010 Youth Rally and the 37th March for Life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Celebrate Blessed Chaminade

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
April 8, 1761 - January 22, 1850
O Lord, You bestowed your Spirit on
William Joseph Chaminade
a faithful Servant of Mary,
to found the Marianists
dedicated to the work of education.
We pray through his intercession
that you us signs
of your grace in this world.
May the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit
be glorified in all places
through the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Marianist Community!

As a consequence of our religious profession, we enter a new family, our religious community. In this reliogious community, we assume new relationships and responsibilities toward God, our Brothers in community, and the People of God.
By our profession in the Society of Mary, we commit ourselves to grow in holiness and to help our confreres become more Christ-like.

Because we profess public vows in the Church, we understand that we have the responsibility for giving public witness to God's saving presence in the world and to the aspiration of Blessed Chaminade that man will realize that the Gospel is just as practicable as it was in the early Church.
As a result of our membership in a religious congregation of the active life, we devote ourselves with energy and enthusiasm to the apostolic work of our communities. We devote ourselves, fully convinced that Jesus addresses us just as He commanded the Apostles to go forth and teach all nations.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marianist Founder's Mission

From the origins in France, Marianist education spread to Switzerland (1839), Austria (1857), and Italy (1888). In 1849, a year before Blessed Chaminade’s death, Marianists came to the United States. Today, the Society of Mary serves in thirty countries on five continents. They minister in over 100 schools in the world, including twenty-four secondary and middle schools and three universities (the University of Dayton, St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii) in the United States. Marianists also conduct parishes, retreat centers, and works in developing nations.
Locally, the Marianists operate three schools and retreat houses in the New York area. The schools are: Chaminade High School (Mineola), Kellenberg Memorial High School (Uniondale), and St. Martin DePorres Marianist School (Uniondale). The retreat houses are: Meribah (Muttontown), Emmanuel (Uniondale) and Founder's Hollow (Accord).

As with the first ministry of Blessed Chaminade, Marianists continue the vision of their founder by carrying out Mary’s mission of bringing persons to Christ, her son.

The Feast day of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade is Friday, January 22nd.

Pray for Vocations!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Marianist Founder's Schools

Eventually, lay Christian communities expressed the desire to follow Christ as vowed religious. In 1816, Blessed Chaminade, in collaboration with Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon, founded the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (Marianist Sisters). In 1817, he founded the Society of Mary (Marianists.) He saw in these two religious orders the means to maintain, inspire, and extend the network of communities and works founded through his inspiration. Blessed Chaminade continued the work of developing lay Christian communities. Simultaneously, he directed the Marianist religious into schools that they might become Christian communities of learning. During his lifetime, he founded over forty schools, including three teacher-training institutions. Chaminade perceived these schools as having the mission of enculturation of an essentially religious worldview.

The essential purpose of his schools was to form persons in religious faith. The teacher worked toward the moral development of the student when teaching. In contrast to the “teaching practitioner” of his time, Chaminade desired educators in the Marianist tradition to give a “Christian lesson by every word, by every gesture, by every look.” He counseled teachers to form the heart and not reject as bad what is not absolutely good in a student. It sufficed for every person to be as God wills him or her to be.

The feastday of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade is Friday, January 22.

Pray for vocations!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Marianist Founder's Vision

Our founder Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850) lived during the years of the French Revolution. In his ministry following the upheavals of the revolution, he encountered an ignorance of religious faith, indifference, abandonment of Christian life, and the structural ruin of the Church. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit he realized that new institutions and new methods were necessary to revive the religious spirit of his native France.

Blessed Chaminade always sought inspiration in Mary, at whose sanctuary of Our Lady of the Pillar in Saragossa, Spain, he prayed while in exile during the Revolution. He saw Mary as the one who received the word of the Lord and pondered it in her heart, the woman who gave Christ to the world, the Mother who cooperates with the Holy Spirit in the formation of believers. Mary embodied all the attitudes of the Gospel. Chaminade committed himself to assisting Mary in the mission of bringing persons to become more like her son Jesus. With this vision of Mary’s role, he sought to re-Christianize France.

. . . the development of community life in the spirit of the Gospel

Central to Chaminade’s means was the development of community life in the spirit of the Gospel and the practice of the early Church. Such a community could be a witness of a people of saints, showing that the Gospel still could be lived in all times and places. A Christian community could attract others to follow Christ. Thus, Chaminade founded communities of lay men and women as a means of re-Christianizing France.

Prayer of Dedication to Mary

Together with our Blessed Founder
and the many holy Marianists who have gone before us,
let us renew our dedication to Mary and her Mission.

we embrace the religious life in your name.
All that we have, all that we are,
we dedicate to continuing your mission
of bringing Jesus into our world.
Holy Mother,
stay with us this day
and teach us to
“Do whatever he tells us.” Amen.
The Feastday of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade is Friday, January 22nd.
Pray for vocations!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Marianists Brothers in Haiti


Thanks to several SM messages, we know that all our Brothers are in good health, but the situation in Port-au-Prince is very difficult. The Prenovitiate house is totally destroyed and the Novitiate uninhabitable. They must sleep outdoors. The aftershocks continue. Emergency services are being organized, but with great difficulty.

After careful discernment, our Brothers decided to send the pre-novices, the novices and the two Haitian temporary professed in the country (Bros. Eddy and Chevalier) home to their families. In their families there are several injured and even some dead.

The formators are returning to their own countries for a time of rest: Father Florian Royer-Chabot to Canada, Brothers Stanislas Limdeyou to France and then to Togo (if he can get there) and Hervé Guillo du Bodan to France. The two latter should be in Paris on Saturday by the end of the day. Father Gustave Lamontagne, who had gone for a two-month stay in Haiti, is remaining at St-Louis-du-Sud where he was at the time of the earthquake.

Let us pray for our Brothers, for our candidates, for the future of our foundation in Haiti, and let us be thankful for the protection they have already received. Let us pray also, of course, for the people of Haiti and invite the generosity of others to help them recover. Let us put that intention foremost in our prayers at this time of celebration of our Founders, especially on January 22, the feast of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.
The Feast day of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade is Friday, January 22nd.
Pray for vocations!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Adoration & Dodgeball

Over thirty students from our Marianist high schools just returned home after an evening at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington. We gathered in the Chapel for Praise and Worship to be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. During Adoration, Marianist Father James spoke of "the courage to follow Christ."
Blessed Willliam Joseph Chaminade was offered as the "man of courage." After the outbreak of the French Revolution, he encouraged his sodalists to join together for the re-Christianization of France. While he managed to evade the authorities with costume and disguise, he founded the Society of Mary. His first members, who would later be called Marianists, were members of the Marian Sodalities, men and women who wished to respond to the Lord with a more radical commitment, an extension of their baptismal consecration and of their devotion to the Virgin Mary. In those days they cared for souls. But their work required courage for the Lord. Coming out on Friday evening to worship in a standing room only Chapel requires courage in today's world. And afterwards, standing on the court in a game of volleyball takes some courage too.
The Feast day of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade is Friday, January 22nd.
Pray for vocations!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Marianist Spirit in Apostolic Works

The Marianist Brothers see in those entrusted to our care the face of Christ, and to seek to serve without despising those whom others have abandoned. We endeavor to lead those with whom we work to an increased sense of solidarity with all men. Through our educational efforts we seek to remove the prejudice and pride which lead to individualism and self-righteousness.

This week is National Vocation Awareness week. Pray for vocations!
We see its sense of unity and community as a sign to others that men can live together in peace and love and can lose themselves for the good of others.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Marianist: The Spirit of Mary

We can find no better model of consecration or of a stable identity despite challenge and confusion than the Virgin Mary.
By her life of humble service and constant faithfulness, Mary provides a spendid example of what it means to dedicate one's self entirely to God. As Marianists we find in our response to God an echo of Mary's fiat: "Be it done to me according to your word." Like Mary, we stand receptive and willing before the mystery of God, eager and ready to offer whatever is asked of us. Especially in Mary we find a model for our own service to others.
Truly, this is the meaning of conscrated life: to serve others as Mary did, with an eager and unselfish love; to minister to human suffering in disregard of personal suffering; and to labor tirelessly for the spread of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, both in our own hearts and in the hearts of all men.
This week is National Vocation Awareness Week. Pray for vocations!
"There have always been in the Church many men and women who, prompted by the action of the Holy Spirit, choose to live the Gospel in a radical way, professing the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. This multitude of men and women religious, belonging to innumerable Institutes of contemplative and active life, still plays “the main role in the evangelisation of the world” Benedict XVI

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You touched me!

One of the old standby hymns is "How Great Thou Art"

I heard Susan Boyle sing it:

Well sung, Ms. Boyle! Thank you for giving me an appreciation of this beautifully moving hymn.

This week is National Vocation Awareness Week. Pray for Vocations!

Saint Augustine
"You called, you cried, you shattered my deafness. You sparkled, you blazed, you drove away my blindness. You shed your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for you. I tasted and I now hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I now burn with longing for you."

That is what an encounter with God is all about - He touches our lives that we long for Him even more. Let God sparkle and blaze His way into your hearts today, this week, this year! As you go about your business, your daily lives - He is there walking alongside you ready for you to see and encounter Him!Let your hearts burn for Him!

"Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road" (Luke 24:32)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

You are my beloved: with you I am well pleased...

The father in this short film is the Father of us all - it is never too late to receive his blessing: we are his beloved; he delights in us; in each of us he is well pleased...

This week is National Vocation Awareness Week. Pray for vocations!

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
"They [religious] live more purely, they fall more rarely, they rise more speedily, they are aided more powerfully, they live more peacefully, they die more securely, and they are rewarded more abundantly."

Lord Jesus,
please grant to me the grace to know my true vocation.
In Baptism I was signed in your name
and have grown to share in the work of bringing the Father's love to our world.
May I respond to the special life's work to which You are calling me.

I ask that many will hear the particular call to serve in the Church
as priests, religious and consecrated lay people.
To whatever You ask of me,
may I freely, courageously and lovingly respond.

Monday, January 11, 2010


To Know One's Vocation

Lord, my God and my loving Father,
You have made me to know You, to love You, to serve You,
and thereby to find and to fulfill myself.
I know that You are in all things,
and that every path can lead me to You.
But of them all, there is one especially
by which You want me to come to You.
Since I will do what You want of me,
I pray You, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind,
to show me what You want of me; into my heart,
to give me the determination to do it,
and to do it with all my love, with all my mind,
and with all my strength right to the end.

This week is National Vocation Awareness Week. Pray for vocations!

"The Lord has his plan for each of us, he calls each one of us by name. Our task is to be listeners, capable of perceiving his call, to be courageous and faithful, so that we may follow him, and in the end, be found as trustworthy servants who have used well the gifts entrusted to us." Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Do not be afraid!"

In the Sacrament of Baptism we are claimed by God and forever marked as Christ's own. We are adopted into the body of Christ and given our true identity. Our call and vocation is to love and serve the Lord in all we say and in all we do. Our response — the response to the grace that God has shown us in Baptism — is to live a life worthy of our calling.

When we live into our baptismal identity, we live out our vocation. That is to say, whatever we do, whether it is as a professional, laborer, merchant, serviceperson, civil servant, we do to the glory of God.

For some, discernment of call involves a church vocation, like priest or Christian educator. For others, discernment involves a vocation to the consecrated life.

Today we begin National Vocation Awareness Week
"The entire People of God is responsible for promoting vocations, and does so chiefly by persistent and humble prayer for vocations." Pope John Paul II

Prayer to Follow the Call of Christ
Lord, I thank You for the gifts You have given me,
especially for life, love, family and friends.
Help me to know myself better and to know my talents,
as I pray, study and decide on my life's work.
Help me to see and understand the path You open for me.
Help me choose a life's work which will be in response
to my potential and your love for me.
If I am being invited to follow You as a priest, brother, sister,
give me a generous heart to respond to your challenging call
and the strength to follow You wherever You lead me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Not a Vocation Video, or is it?

This a clip from the movie "Facing the Giants." Somehow the message seems so appropriate to all vocations in our culture today...

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Fruit of the Spirit

By JOHN TIERNEY NYT/December 29, 2008
If I’m serious about keeping my New Year’s resolutions in 2009, should I add another one? Should the to-do list include, “Start going to church”?

This is an awkward question for a heathen to contemplate, but I felt obliged to raise it with Michael McCullough after reading his report in the upcoming issue of the Psychological Bulletin. He and a fellow psychologist at the University of Miami, Brian Willoughby, have reviewed eight decades of research and concluded that religious belief and piety promote self-control.

This sounded to me uncomfortably similar to the conclusion of the nuns who taught me in grade school, but Dr. McCullough has no evangelical motives. He confesses to not being much of a devotee himself. “When it comes to religion,” he said, “professionally, I’m a fan, but personally, I don’t get down on the field much.”

His professional interest arose from a desire to understand why religion evolved and why it seems to help so many people. Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that devoutly religious people tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages and be generally happier....

“We simply asked if there was good evidence that people who are more religious have more self-control,” Dr. McCullough. “For a long time it wasn’t cool for social scientists to study religion, but some researchers were quietly chugging along for decades. When you add it all up, it turns out there are remarkably consistent findings that religiosity correlates with higher self-control.”

As early as the 1920s, researchers found that students who spent more time in Sunday school did better at laboratory tests measuring their self-discipline. Subsequent studies showed that religiously devout children were rated relatively low in impulsiveness by both parents and teachers, and that religiosity repeatedly correlated with higher self-control among adults. Devout people were found to be more likely than others to wear seat belts, go to the dentist and take vitamins....

“Brain-scan studies have shown that when people pray or meditate, there’s a lot of activity in two parts of brain that are important for self-regulation and control of attention and emotion,” he said. “The rituals that religions have been encouraging for thousands of years seem to be a kind of anaerobic workout for self-control"...

In one personality study, strongly religious people were compared with people who subscribed to more general spiritual notions, like the idea that their lives were “directed by a spiritual force greater than any human being” or that they felt “a spiritual connection to other people.” The religious people scored relatively high in conscientiousness and self-control, whereas the spiritual people tended to score relatively low.

“Thinking about the oneness of humanity and the unity of nature doesn’t seem to be related to self-control,” Dr. McCullough said. “The self-control effect seems to come from being engaged in religious institutions and behaviors.”Does this mean that nonbelievers like me should start going to church? Even if you don’t believe in a supernatural god, you could try improving your self-control by at least going along with the rituals of organized religion.

But that probably wouldn’t work either, Dr. McCullough told me, because personality studies have identified a difference between true believers and others who attend services for extrinsic reasons, like wanting to impress people or make social connections. The intrinsically religious people have higher self-control, but the extrinsically religious do not.

So what’s a heathen to do in 2009? Dr. McCullough’s advice is to try replicating some of the religious mechanisms that seem to improve self-control, like private meditation or public involvement with an organization that has strong ideals.

Religious people, he said, are self-controlled not simply because they fear God’s wrath, but because they’ve absorbed the ideals of their religion into their own system of values, and have thereby given their personal goals an aura of sacredness. He suggested that nonbelievers try a secular version of that strategy.

“People can have sacred values that aren’t religious values,” he said. “Self-reliance might be a sacred value to you that’s relevant to saving money. Concern for others might be a sacred value that’s relevant to taking time to do volunteer work. You can spend time thinking about what values are sacred to you and making New Year’s resolutions that are consistent with them.”Of course, it requires some self-control to carry out that exercise — and maybe more effort than it takes to go to church...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Focus on God

Consecrated men and women held several vocation panels at the National FOCUS Conference

The main celebrant Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando Florida and Bishop Victor Galeone from St. Augustine begin the procession to the altar
Thousands kneel at the beginning of the evening of Adoration.

Last week two of our Brothers travelled to the National FOCUS Convention to evangelize and discuss Marianist religious consecration. Over 4,000 college students attended the Convention which featured Matt Maher, Tim Hawkins, Matthew West, Matthew Kelly, Jeff Cavins, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, and Curtis Martin.
The FOCUS website describes itself as:

FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, is a national campus outreach that meets college students where they are and invites them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. Through large group outreach, Bible studies and one on one mentoring, FOCUS staff are equipped to introduce college students to the Person of Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith, empowering them to share His love with the world.

Since our founding in 1998, FOCUS currently has 45 missionary teams on over 45 college and university campuses in 25 states – from large state universities like the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Vermont, to elite private institutions like Vanderbilt, and Catholic Colleges like Seton Hall and the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX.

FOCUS brings the fullness of truth found in Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church to college students and prepares them to share the good news with the world around them. FOCUS missionary teams inspire students by living out their faith on campus and by presenting a dynamic, culturally-relevant message of the good news; they also challenge and teach students that growth in virtue is necessary to facilitate continuing personal and spiritual growth.

By so doing, FOCUS has also helped
to nurture and develop vocations for the Church. Over the past ten years, 215 participants in FOCUS activities have gone on to enter seminaries or religious orders. Just beginning our second decade, FOCUS now has over 200 full-time staff members serving on 45 campus teams across the country.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Home By Another Way

Check out this link to hear James Taylor's Home By Another Way. A great Epiphany song. The lyrics are posted below.

Those magic men the Magi
Some people call them wise
Or Oriental, even kings
Well anyway, those guys
They visited with Jesus
They sure enjoyed their stay
Then warned in a dream of King Herod's scheme
They went home by another way

Yes they went home by another way
Home by another way
Maybe me and you can be wise guys too
And go home by another way
We can make it another way
Safe home as they used to say
Keep a weather eye to the chart on high
And go home another way

Steer clear of royal welcomes
Avoid a big to-do
A king who would slaughter the innocents
Will not cut a deal for you
He really, really wants those presents
He'll comb your camel's fur
Until his boys announce they've found trace amounts
Of your frankincense, gold and myrrh

Time to go home by another way
Home by another way
You have to figure the Gods saying play the odds
and go home by another way
We can make it another way
Safe home as they used to say
Keep a weather eye to the chart on high

And go home another way
Home is where they want you now
You can more or less assume that you'll be welcome in the end
Mustn't let King Herod haunt you so
Or fantasize his features when you're looking at a friend

Well it pleasures me to be here
And to sing this song tonight
They tell me that life is a miracle
And I figured that they're right
But Herod's always out there
He's got our cards on file
It's a lead pipe cinch, if we give an inch
Old Herod likes to take a mile

It's best to go home by another way
Home by another way
We got this far to a lucky star
But tomorrow is another day
We can make it another way
Safe home as they used to say
Keep a weather eye to the chart on high
And go home another way
Pray for those on the Collegiate Retreat at Founder's Hollow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Epiphany - May Christ bless the house

It is traditional to bless your house for the Epiphany.

Over the doorway to the home would be written the Epiphany Inscription:
20 + C + M + B + 10

The letters have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat. May Christ bless the house.

The letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing.
The crosses represent the protection of the Blood of Christ, whose Name we invoke, and also the holiness of the Three Magi sanctified by their adoration of the Infant Christ.

The inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God's blessing.

The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Men's Retreat for College Age Alumni

College age alumni of Chaminade High School and Kellenberg Memorial High School are invited to a men's retreat at Founder's Hollow from noon on Monday, January 4 until 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, January 6.

For furter information contact Fr. Garrett at Chaminade High School or Bro. Kenneth at Kellenberg Memorial

Mary, Mother of God

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Mary, the Mother of God.

When did Mary begin to recognize and understand who her son was?
When did she begin to understand the angel's message to her?
How did Mary come to understand that she was the Mother of the Son of God?

Perhaps she began to see more clearly the relationship she shared with Jesus at Cana.
When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us...