Saturday, February 28, 2009

1st Sunday of Lent Year B - 2009

Have you ever been to the desert?

I was in a desert only once for a couple of days.
It is such a strange and foreign land for someone from the north east corner of the United States.

It is barren and vast.

Sometimes it seemed like there was an orchestra playing especially just before the sun came up when creation greets the day.

Other times in the heat of the day there is absolute silence a silence so deafening that you can even hear your heart beat.

The terrain of the desert is sharp and jagged because the smoothing power of water is hardly ever present.

It is difficult to find shelter in the desert.

On a clear night ,which many of them are, there are myriads and myriads of stars.

When you stand in the desert and look up our place in the universe becomes crystal clear.

The words we heard last Wednesday ring so true. “Remember Man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return. “

The dessert reminds that we are indeed like a speck of dust, our faith teaches us that we are specks of dust very much loved by God… but specks of dust we are indeed.

Quite, noisy, jagged, hard to find shelter, Vast, desolate these are just a few adjectives which bring to the reality of the desert.

Mark’s Gospel gives us the briefest account of Jesus’ time in the desert, his Lent if you will, we know a lot more from the other Gospels.

It was a time of struggle

It was a time of temptation

It was a time of consolation

Jesus struggled because desert is not a comfortable place to live and more importantly because he was trying to figure out his next step..

He was trying to figure out the best way to love us and to bring us home to God.

It was a time of temptation because Jesus had the power to do anything he wanted and the devil tried to convince him that providing for our physical comfort, our physical well being, would be much more effective than the selfless love that Jesus came to share.

It was a moment of consolation because towards the end of his struggles in the desert (tradition says he was there for 40 days) the angels were sent by God to comfort him.

Jesus went to the desert
Jesus was driven to the desert in fact because he needed to figure things out.

He needed to discern God’s will and the quiet vast desolation of the desert was the best place for him to do that.

How much is the desert a part of our life?
Why do we run so hard from the silence?
Why do people walk all around our campus with their music blaring in ears.

Why do they walk as if their iPods somehow give them the power to be invisible?

At other moments why are we so afraid to be alone?

Why do we often live as if we are the center of the universe when in reality the desert teaches us that we are but a speck of dust.

If Jesus needed the desert to put is life in perspective so do we.

And that is exactly what we as a Church should try to do in Lent.

Remove ourselves from our daily routine and practice dying to ourselves dying to our wants and our passions and our desires.

We need to practice love over and over again.

In the silence of our Lenten practices each of us is called to listen to our heart beat and try figure how God wants us to live our lives.

Are we up for it…. Will our Lent truly be different this year?

A very important question indeed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ash Wednesday

May the peace of Christ reign in our hearts…. Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday and it is a very important day in the life of the Church and in each of our lives…

All over the United States and the world for that matter churches are full and there are lots of places where the black smug of palm ashes is more common than not.

Why do so many people come to church ? Why do so many people want Palm Ashes on their forehead ?

Why will our chapels be filled to the brim at Catholic even though it is not a holy day of obligation ?

To understand why so many people feel it is important to come to Church on the first Wednesday of Lent each year we have to analyze the two phrases which the Church recommends we use as we place the ashes on our forehead.

The first is simple…

“Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.”

So often in life we simply go through the motions, So often in life we simply move to the next task… we do the next thing in our our day and in our life.

When we are finished with Grade School we go to High School, when we are finished with High School we go to college, when we are finished with college we get a job …. Along the way we expect to meet someone.. and it goes on and on and on.

All these things seem important at the time, very important but in reality quite often we fail to ask the most important questions in life… Where is all this taking me and is it really worth it.

Is our daily routine worth all the sacrifice, are my life’s plan getting me closer to my final goal my final destiny ?

We could have all the toys in the world, all the money in the world all the power in the world but Ash Wednesday reminds us .

Remember Man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.

People come to church on Ash Wednesday because like no other day it has the power to put our lives in perspective.

Ash Wednesday reminds us that we should be working for a treasure that lasts in heaven, because everything else even our bodies will turn to dust.

The second message of Ash Wednesday is found in the second phrase the that we can say when we place the ashes on our head

Repent and Believe the Gospel”

All of us know that we are not perfect. All of us have a lot to work on and all of us want to be a better person.

We come to Church on Ash Wednesday because it has become kind of like our annual spiritual check up.

On Ash Wednesday all of us dare to hope a little that we can be better, more generous, more loving, more like God longs for us to be.

Thank you for coming… and I mean that sincerely

Thank you for coming especially to those who I haven’t seen for a while. The Church did not fall down when you walked in. You are welcome here no matter how big you think your sins are, no matter how long its been since you came to church, no matter what you are welcome here.

Thank you for taking the time to examine  your lives.

Thank you for not giving up on yourself

God never will give up on you.

May we all try to become just a little less selfish this lent

May our Lenten practices help us all to try and love a little more.


Monday, February 23, 2009

My Day...

In the morning there were lots of meetings with good people. Jon Sawyer the Dean of Students and I spoke a while about how we want to to be a part of our students' lives, to advocate for them and challenge them. We both believe that love doesn't always mean saying "yes." Jeff Ossinger and I had a conference call with the Director of Camp St. Charles and discussed the retreat fees for next year. We spent almost the entire afternoon trying to choose the Student Ministers for next year. There were lots of good candidates and that's why it simply took so long. I am very grateful to everyone who took the time to apply.

In the evening Nick Berg the Resident Minister in Opus Hall (CUA's new Residence Hall) set up the very first room blessings. A number of students posted little notes on their doors asking to have their room blessed. We were very warmly recieved in every room we entered. When I finally finished I went over to see the kids in Spellman or Spellheaven as I call it. There are always fun to be with. I finally ended up at home.. along the way while blessing the rooms in Opus Hall I happened to notice a coffee table in one of the Rooms and it caught my eye.
Present on that table were lots of things that are important to young adults in college. I was happy that God's word was right in the middle of them. I asked the resident if I could take a picture and he said sure... (I trust the residents in the room were 21).... take a look for yourself.

Friday, February 20, 2009

7th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B - 2009

Could it have been this way ?

He couldn’t walk, he couldn't even stand. He was a paraplegic his legs no longer could bear his weight.

He probably had to drag himself from place to place. It must have been humiliating to do so.

Maybe he begged along the roads to support himself, whatever the case may be, he was dependent on others very dependent.

He desperately needed the assistance of friends and family to do even the most mundane of things, things that we all take for granted everyday.

His moods vacillated from quiet resign, to frustration, to guilt. “Was he or his family somehow responsible for his plight ?” he often wondered.

There were moments of hope and moments of despair. He seemed to move through them daily like so many who are burdened with a chronic illness or challenge.

However, he was not completely self absorbed or isolated by his illness or handicap or addiction.

He left room in his life for others.

He loved his family and he loved his friends they loved him. They loved him enough to desire to carry him.

When his family or friends, found out that the new Rabbi was home in town they, they went to their friend.

We want to take you to the Teacher,” they said,
”We’ve heard he has the power to heal.”

He knew It wouldn't be easy and that day maybe he just didn’t have the strength or the desire to try again. He had hoped so many times for a cure and none ever came.

They coaxed him and pleaded with him “This time it may be different” they said, “Maybe this Rabbi can really heal you. Please let us take you to him. Please!” they begged him.

Finally maybe more out of fatigue than faith he allowed them to put him a mat and carry him to Jesus.

Their hearts must have sank when the saw the crowd. “First we had to beg to bring him here, then we had to carry him, and now we can’t even get near to the Rabbi.” They said to themselves.

But just before anyone had the courage to say, ”let’s go home.” One of them dared to hope and said… “We can’t give up, let’s lower him through the roof. We can do it. I won’t be easy but we didn’t come all this way to turn back.”

And so two of them climbed up on the roof and began to remove the palm frans or boards. People started yelling at them to stop. “What are you doing taking apart the teachers house?” They yelled. The men were not deterred. They carefully lifted up their friend and lowered him down in the middle of the crowd next to Jesus. All eyes were on Him.

When Jesus saw them he was not worried about the hole in the roof. He was impressed, and deeply touched by the love that these men had for their friend.

He was also touched that the paralytic after so many disappointments had allowed himself to hope again even just a little.

And so moved was Jesus that he simply said “Your sins are forgiven… take up your mat and walk” and the man was healed.

His friends who were probably still looking down from the hole in the roof were filled with joy.

They too had dared to hope. They too had dared to believe.

For those of us who are wounded or sick or afraid or addicted or handicapped or depressed or whatever… This Gospel should challenge us to hope and to keep hoping. It should challenge us to hold on to even the tiniest hope.

We can never allow ourselves to forget that God loves us and when we place our complete trust in Him He will always act in our best interest.

Sometimes that means carrying the cross of suffering or illness, sometimes it means that God will heal us both in body and soul. Whatever the case may be God loves us.

For the rest of us each and everyone of us is surrounded by people who are sick, or lonely or need some kind of healing.

None of us can say that we don’t know people who are addicted or depressed or afraid or burdened with illness.

They are the people we live with and work with. They are the people we love, people we’ve met, people we’ve encountered along life’s journey.

This Gospel should challenge us to ask ourselves.

Do we have enough love to do what those four men did for their friend?

Do we have enough faith?

Or when there are obstacles in our path like the crowd around Jesus do we simply give up and go home?

Today the Gospel presents us with a very beautiful example of friendship.

Friendships or relationships are very important on every college campus and throughout our lives.

The Gospel today challenges us to ask ourselves, do our friendships make us better people?

Do our friendships help us be healed from our burdens?

Are our friends better people because of our relationship with them?

Why or why not ?

I guess you could sum up the reflection and this Gospel with a couple simple questions.

Have I ever allowed myself to be carried?

Have we ever carried someone to Christ?
Who have we dared to carry to Jesis
Who have we carried ?


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our Franciscan Campus Ministries

Today the friars and staff members from the campus ministries at Syracuse University, Western Connecticut State University, The Catholic University of America and Wake Forest University along with our provincial administrations will gather to compare notes, share best practices and discuss how our ministries are unique opportunities to share the charism of St. Francis. The meeting has been a long time in coming but we are excited to finally be praying together and gathering together. Please keep us in your prayers...

Friday, February 13, 2009

6th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B 2009

During the time of Jesus leprosy was a terrifying disease.

There was no cure. It killed very slowly.

As it progressed it horribly disfigured a person and perhaps it most terrifying consequence was that those who suffered it were forced to carry its terrible burdens alone.

Those who were afflicted with leprosy were isolated from the community, they were forced to live apart from those who loved them.

They were force to rend their garments and appearance so that they could be easily recognized and avoided
and if anyone should them approach they were to identify themselves and yell unclean unclean.

And if a loved one or any person moved by compassion touched a leper he or she would also then bear the same isolation the same consequences.

Because of the terror and fear that leprosy produced ever rash every blemish was looked upon with suspicion. Many times people who didn’t even have leprosy were treated as if they did.

They were humiliated and isolated for no reason but fear.

The only way to be re-admitted to the community was to present oneself to the priest in the temple. He was the ultimate arbiter and decided who had leprosy and who didn’t who was healed and who was not.

Put in a nutshell people afflicted with this terrible disease were no longer considered people, human beings, it robbed them of their humanity.

All of what I’ve said makes the Gospel account we read to day so amazing.

The man approached Jesus… his trust was so great his desire to be made whole so strong that he took a great risk and went right up to Jesus.

His words were not words of lament or woe is me.

He didn’t ask Jesus why me?
Why do I have to suffer this horrible disease, Rather he simply made a profession of faith.

He trusted Jesus.
he trusted God so much that he even let Jesus decide if it was in his best interest to be healed.

If you want to you can heal me. He said

Jesus’ response was immediate.
I do want to heal you he said be clean.

The leper was a man of faith a man who had worked through all of the suffering and isolation he had and still believed.

Even terrible disease of leprosy could not deprive him of his faith of his ability to hope.

Jesus was compassionate.
Without hesitation he touched the man.
He cared not that if he had been seen he also would have been declared unclean.
He was willing to get involved in a messy situation.

His compassion, his pity immediately moved him to action.

It did not remain a feeling but was incarnated, it took flesh and became a living saving response.

When he was healed the man could not contain himself as Jesus requested. He told everyone.

And because of this Jesus could no longer enter any town or village because as word spread crowds of people would simply swamp him with their needs.

Jesus did not come to be the world’s best Doctor or the world’s best social worker or world’s best problem solver.
He could have been all those things and more
But to do so would have placed to much attention on this world and not enough on the next.

He came instead to proclaim the good news of salvation, He came show the way to eternal life.

As I read the Gospel this week I asked myself who do we treat as lepers these days,

Is there anyone that frightens us so much or disgusts us or bothers us so much or inconveniences us so much that that we allow ourselves to treat them as non-people.

Sadly if you think about it the answer is still yes.

The inconveniences of an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy allow us to deny the humanity of child.

And those who suffer from addictions are often so isolated from the community that they find not hope or reason to even try to be free of their addictions.

And what about those born into poverty. Sometimes we worry so much about our own comfort and well being that we are only willing to give to them from our excess, from our leftovers, even when their lives are so much more desperate than our own.

We allow ourselves to treat them as second class citizens and somehow convince ourselves that we have more rights to the goods of this world then they.

How many people have we as a nation just locked up and thrown away the key without any real attempt to work with them and rehabilitate them.

There are still so many people we isolate today… you know they are the ones we pass on the street and avoid making eye contact with, they are the ones whose calls we never take, they are the ones we just are not willing to touch or become involved with

The leper’s example also is important for us to consider.

He didn’t let his circumstances take away his ability to hope or his ability to believe.

As much as he suffered he still was able to trust in God’s love and God’s mercy for him.

He did not allow self pity to take away his ability to hope.

Sometimes when life throws us the slightest curve ball we question and we doubt.

If that had been the response of the Leper he never would have been healed because he never would have asked.

He trusted that God knew what was best for him and in this case it was that he be healed maybe sometimes it is not in our best interest to be healed or get what we want.

I for one am most grateful that I have not received everything I’ve prayed for.

“If you want to you can heal me… the leper said”

How often do we just demand what we think we need from God rather than trust His divine providence.

At great risk Jesus put his compassion into action. He touched the man and he healed him.

The Gospel called us to examine ourselves.

How often does our compassion, our pity simply remain just a feeling, How often do we continue down the road of life and fail to touch the lives of people who need us and whatever we have to offer them.

Jesus could not enter the town or villages because people looked to him to solve their material needs.

They wanted Him to heal them to feed them, to solve their disputes etc.

They were in the very presence of God and all they were worried about was food or health or whatever, when God could offer them so much more.

Do we look to God for our simple comforts now or do we see in Jesus the way home to eternal life with him.

Something to think about.


"” If you want to you can heal me he said”

Monday, February 09, 2009

Long Day...

Protect us Lord while we stay awake
Watch over us as we sleep
That awake we may keep watch with Christ
And asleep rest in His peace.

Lord now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled
My own eyes have seen the salvation
that you have prepared in the sight of every people
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Protect us Lord as we stay awake;
watch over us as we sleep,
that awake we may keep watch with Christ
and asleep rest in his peace

Friday, February 06, 2009

From the Arlington Catholic Paper

The Arlington Catholic recently did an article on our Chastity Outreach Group here it is...

Celibacy ? What ? How ? Why?

I was out to dinner with a dear friend tonight who asked wanted to talk about priestly celibacy. We spoke a little but I promised to send her something I wrote last summer on my 25th Anniversary of Priesthood on my call to celibacy so here are my thoughts on celibacy.

We are Catholic Welcome Home...

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B 2009

The Book of Job, the story of Job’s life, is an Old Testament treatise on the question of evil and suffering.

In a nutshell in the beginning of the story Job was happy. When things were going well he was prosperous and he was faithful.

When he lost what he had, when his fortunes were reversed he became sullen and self absorbed.

Is not man's life on earth a drudgery?

I have been assigned months of misery…

I shall not see happiness again.

Job laments sadly…

Most of his thoughts begin with or contain the pronouns I or me.

This formerly generous and faithful man gets lost in his own suffering and becomes more and more a man misery.

In the Gospel we get a snapshot into the life of Jesus and from the beginning it becomes clear that people in need come to him, they seek him out.

As we read in the Gospel as soon as he entered Peter’s house they immediately told him about his sick mother-in-law. He approached her, he helped her up, and he healed her. Immediately she waited on them.

I think it is important to notice a couple of things in the Gospel.

First Jesus doesn’t simply heal her but he raises her up. He raises her up he raises her beyond her own self interests, her own preoccupations about her health and her illness. She doesn’t get stuck there telling everyone how much she suffered or how sick she was.

One of the commentaries I read pointed out that the verb which was used for “waited on” meant more than just women’s work or serving meals.

From the verb “diakoneo”, we understand that she did not just serve them meals rather she ministered to them, she took care of them.

Once Jesus heals Simon Peter’s mother-in-law and news spreads he has no rest. Many people bring their loved ones to Jesus and he heals them.

Moved by his great compassion he heals them.

When the day is finished he leaves all the excitement and we find him alone and in prayer with the Father.

The disciples are excited when they find him…

because they believe that He and they by association, are a great success “everyone is looking for you”

Jesus understands that he has to refocus his mission for them.

He calls them to move on.

By doing so he tries to help them understand that He did not come to be a doctor or a healer, rather he came to proclaim the Gospel… to found the kingdom of God on earth and to save souls.

What do these two readings teach us. What can we learn from them? How can they touch our lives?

The first thing that pops into my mind is this..

The difference between Job and Simon Peter’s Mother-in-Law is noteworthy.

Job is lost in himself. He seems so overcome with his own suffering and misfortune that he can’t escape it. Why me ?Why me ? Why me is his lament.

Yes, he will eventually get it right but in today’s brief passage he is completely self absorbed, lost in himself.

On the other hand once she was healed Peter’s Mother-in-law did not dwell on her sickness, or pain, or suffering she got up and she focused on others, she ministered to them.

How often do we get stuck in the challenges of life?How often do we give our problem and worries and the misfortunes that come our way too much power over us?

How often do they draw us into ourselves.

This is particularly important now in these difficult economic times.

These days the news is filled with stories of people who tragically get lost in their problems and give into despair or people who never loose hope.

They are the Jobs and they are the Mothers-in-law of Peter in our time.

Which one will we be?

Which one do we want to be?

We have the power to face life as we so choose.

Will we put aside our struggles and serve others or will we drown in self pity?

The right answer seems so obvious but frankly many of us choose the wrong one over and over again.

The second point which comes to mind is this.

How do we judge success?

Obviously the apostles and Jesus judged it differently.

Jesus healed those who were sick because he was moved by compassion for them.

He knew they would become sick again and he knew that they would face death. The healing he gave them was but a respite, a moment of peace and well being.

It was not the most precious gift he had to offer them and he knew it.

Jesus never forgot that success of his mission meant salvation not just a moment of physical well being for those he loved for those he served.

Because of his fame and the benefits they saw they could receive being associated with Him, the apostles appear willing to settle.

Thoughts like,We’ve made it, we’ve arrived must have popped into their head.

Jesus knew that his primary mission was not to heal the body but save the soul.

He knew that things like fame and fortune played a very limited role in these noble tasks.

When do we consider ourselves a success?

When do we consider our friends a success?

When would we consider our children a success

and what do we teach them about success?

Is it when everyone is looking for us?

Is it when we or they have power or prestige or influence or money

Or is it when we/they have served others, or been of God’s instrument in the lives of another?

Are we willing to leave the glamour of worldly success behind and be about the business of working for the salvation of those we love, those we know, or those whose path we cross?

Jesus avoided the worldly temptation of success and fame by moving on He chose love over power influence and success.

Do we?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A heartfelt message to our Student Minister Candidates

I’ve never held a meeting like this before.
In 11 years I’ve been here I never thought of asking for one.

I asked you to come here because
I just couldn’t let the interview process continue without taking an opportunity to talk to you.

I want to start off by telling you a little about yourselves.

There are some Eagle Scouts here
There are a number of you, a lot of you, who were members of the National Honor Society in High School.

There are some very athletic people here.

I was amazed at how many of you were involved in youth ministry not only in leadership roles in your parishes but also in leadership roles on a diocesan level.

Some of you are really smart.
Others succeed academically by plugging along but you still succeed.
Some of you are members of the give me a C and set me free crowd.

A lot of you have been involved in all kinds of community service.
One of you even postponed college to do a year of service in another country.

So many of you were involved in the Kairos retreat programs in High School
A number of you served as rectors on these important retreats.

Many of you are willing to give up things very important to you for a chance to serve as a student minister on our campus.

A number of you expressed your willingness to serve wherever you were needed in whatever building we placed you.
You placed no conditions on your willingness to serve.

Many of you have had a special moment of faith which you can point to which changed your life.
Maybe this was an encounter with God.
Some of you spoke about these special moments in very moving terms.

Some of you can’t point to one moment like that but you still have this intense desire for more.
It is clear from your applications that you want to know, serve and love God more.

Lots of you come from large families
Some of you are home schooled

Some of you have looked addictions in the eye and are living sober lives.

A lot of you just want to help and you wrote things like…..

“I really want to make a difference in someone’s life.”
“I’m no saint but I want to share what I have.”

Some of you expressed concern about being able to balance all of the demands a year of ministry would make on your time and relationships.

But the vast majority of you said you were willing to try and make any necessary sacrifices.

Several of you seem to have musical talent and one of you even served the Cathedral in your diocese in this capacity.

A number of you were really honest about being scared or intimidated about being a student minister or even applying but what amazed me was that even with your fear I still had your application in my hands.

I could go on and on and on about your applications and what you wrote but then I wouldn’t have time to talk about your references.

So many of you are considered “exceptional rare finds” by the people who wrote references for you.

There was not one negative comment from past employers.

You worked in Pet stores and beauty salons
I think one of you bar backed

One boss called one of you up and tried her hardest to push you to the limit by posing as an obnoxious client and you never lost your cool “that’s great customer service”

A number of you cut grass in the summer or should I say provided lawn care.

There are a myriad of waitresses and waiters in this room.

A lot of you worked in your parishes answering the phones, cleaning the church etc.
Your priests love you.

Your employers rave about you

One of you after learning that your teacher had a huge project at home to work on during the weekend showed up to help him out without expecting anything in return.
Your teacher was so touched by that.

Perhaps the most moving of all the references were the peer reviews.

So many of you are good friends, caring friends, loving friends
So many of you go the extra mile over and over again
Many of your friends look up to you and hold you up as an example.

One wrote: ”She was the only person I could count on, the only person I could trust in the whole world” WOW

There are sixty of you and if we had the funding and the resources
I would hire all of you.
Truth be told we have 18 or 19 spots maybe less.

Roughly, two thirds of you will not be hired as student ministers.
You knew this and you still applied.. Thank you.

This year I couldn’t let you go through the process without telling you how proud I was of you.

I couldn’t let you go through the process without making sure you knew how grateful I (we) were for your willingness to serve your peers on campus as a student minister.

s you know ours is not a short application process and your willingness to submit yourself to a long application with three references and a 2 stage interview process speaks to your generous hearts.

Sometimes people take not being hired as a rejection.

Once I was walking across campus and there was one of the student ministers crying in McMahon parking lot because she was not given another year to serve.

Some people walk the other way when they see someone from the professional staff coming their way after they receive the word that they were not hired because they feel angry or embarrassed or disappointed.

Once in a while people just stop being involved.
I have to say I am always very sad when that happens.

For a while, we used to write little notes in the letters of the students not hired encouraging them to get involved in this or that activity based on the skills we saw in the interview.

Many told us as soon as they read they weren’t hired they didn’t read the rest of the letter they just crumpled it up and threw it away so that didn’t work.

I don’t’ have a clue who will be hired. I won’t even be at the interviews

However, I want you to write this on your heart
There is a place for ALL OF YOU EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU in the life of the Church on this campus.

There is a place for everyone to serve
There is a desperate need for everyone to serve.
There are unlimited opportunities to serve your classmates and friends and God in profound holy and generous ways at CUA

Our little ministry needs 200 student leaders just to do what we normally do.

We need…
Community Service Site Leaders
Retreat Leaders
Renew Group Leaders
Renew Core Team Leaders
DC Reads Site Leaders
Esto Vir and Gratia Plena and Students for Life Officers
CAC Officers
Pro-life Hospitality leaders and volunteers
Mission trip leaders
Liturgical Minster Team leaders for our lectors, servers, Ems of Holy Communion, Musicians and Hospitality greeters
RCIA team leaders
Confirmation Team leaders
Social Justice Committee Team leaders
Work Study Student Staff
University Chapel Sacristans.

All of these tasks are noble and holy and sacrificial and essential ways to serve Christ and your peers on our campus.

If for whatever reason you are not hired I would beg you to serve in one of these important initiatives at CUA. Or find another way to serve.

Any member of our professional staff is very willing to sit with you and work with you to find your place in the life of the church on campus.

I don’t have the power to take away the disappointment you may feel in not being hired.

And even if I did it wouldn’t be good for me to do so because in life will always be disappointments and all of us have to deal with them and not let them discourage us or defeat us.
That’s just part of adult life.

Remember I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I called you here because I was moved by your generosity.
I called you here because I (we) are grateful for your willingness to serve.
I called you here to make sure you knew that I (we) believe in you even if you are not hired.
I called you here because there is still so much to be done for the life of the Church on Campus.

Let’s place all of the applicants and this process the hands of Our Lady.

Let’s pray for a successful search to replace Erin Craine so that she can be the full time Mom she longs to be.

Please pray that I get rid of this cold and feel better

Let’s pray for each other.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Home sick but not alone....

I have a real bad cold with lots of aches and pains so I spent most of my time today home resting. But, I didn't spend the day alone. I spent it with one of the 4 inch thick student staff candidate binders. These binders contain the applications, ministry involvement reports, and letters of recommendation for all or most of our 60 student minister applicants. There are presently 18 positions available.

I have to say I am in awe of some of the stuff these kids have done in their lives, and I am also so grateful for their willingness to serve their peers on our campus. One student took a year off after High School to work with a community in Mexico and build a chapel. Two of our students were involved in the diocesan leadership programs for their youth and young adult ministries. Once students was very involved in her youth groups in Milan Italy. Many were in their National Honor Societies. Lots of them were very involved in their parishes and schools. Most have incredible references. I was particularly touched by the peer references that were submitted on their behalf. Many of our applicants are proud of their big families and so very grateful for their numerous siblings. Some have applied several times. They keep coming back because they believe that it is what God is calling them to do. The list of their accomplishments goes on and on and on.

Some of you who read this blog look to it for little snapshots of our life here at Catholic U. Anyone who wants to know about what makes our campus ministry program tick here at CUA should start by looking at our Student Ministers. They are truly the the hands and feet and mouths of Christ on our campus. This program expanded (doubled) under Fr. O'Connell's tenure at CUA, has been in existence for over 35 years. It works because, thanks be to God, there seems to be a never ending source of generous CUA students who are willing to step up and in addition to all of their other responsibilities as college students, share their lives and their faith with their peers.

We are so blessed indeed.... that's my two cents for the day. Now I'm taking two aspirins and drinking lots of water and going to bed.