Monday, April 30, 2012

Rumblings

Probably one of the weirdest and coolest thing to experience as a newly ordained priest is the process of the moves. By the moves I am referring to when a priest receives his next assignment...his next parish.

What basically happens? Well, it all depends on the bishop. Basically, decisions are made as to who goes where. The bishop may have a group of consulters (normally priests) or not...it just depends on his Bishop-ing style I suppose.

What is considered? Well, a lot is considered. The bishop has the WHOLE diocese to consider (that means he is thinking about all the parishes he is in charge of). He sees needs that not everyone sees. He knows how parishes are struggling and tries to assess what  kind of pastor can guide it accordingly; he looks at the region that he is in charge of and tries to assign priests to meet the needs of the people...Sometimes he may send a priest to allow a parish to grow in some way (and sometimes he'll send a priest to a parish so that THAT priest can grow in some way). He takes into account the gifts and talents of a priest and assigns him to where he can be the most efficient in ministry. He looks into the personalities of the priests and tries to make sure he can assign men that can work together. There are a lot of factors that go into moving priests around in a diocese. Not an easy task, that's for sure.

I remember growing up we would see a priest come and go. Our parish would even write a petition to the bishop to keep someone at a parish. Now, as a priest, I say to myself, "If I knew then what I know now, I would pray for the priest and his future parishioners. Maybe the next place needs him more than we do. The bishop sees something that I don't and with the help of the Holy Spirit he thinks it is best to take him away from us and place him somewhere else."

And so now...the RUMBLINGS are starting to take place. Priests are regular guys too, so naturally, they begin to talk. LOL! "Hey, I think I'm going to another parish" "Really? Who do you think is replacing you?" "Well, I think it's..." Priests are getting phone calls. The bishop, with the grace of the Spirit and the help his group of counselors, sees it fit to contact certain men to take them somewhere different for their ministry as priests.

And it is cool to be in the midst of that. The question is asked: Will you move, Fr Chris? I can't say yes and I can't say no. Every priest is subject to be moved. All we can do is wait to find out. There is no way of knowing until the official letter is received. Anything can change between now and then. ANYTHING can happen that can change the current plan. And so we all wait...we wait until all the men who are meant to move officially get a letter declaring when and where they go. And so until then, we wait, and the RUMBLINGS continue... :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Relax and Take it In

You know there are days that we feel just completely defeated. We are tired and worn out and we just don't feel like doing too much. I hear ya, friends. There's nothing wrong with realizing that you just need to take a breather and relax.
Danbo Danboard, even after defeating/eating
a Chocolate Easter Bunny felt defeated...
God made us all unique and we all get our rest somehow, but if possible, try to get outside. Put the phone, iPad, or whatever away. Look, the BIG GUY upstairs first made us human to enjoy life and interact with people. Staring at a screen may help a little but it doesn't engage that true human aspect in us all.


Go walk, meet a friend, and I dare you not to use your phone. I mean really, is that person that much more boring that you have to entertain yourself some other way? Look, God made this great world. When was the last time you actually paid attention to world around you rather than what someone posts on Facebook or what word was played on Words with Friends? 


Don't get me wrong. These are fun sites and apps, just don't forget to be truly human by relaxing and taking in the world around you.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Danbo Danboard questions us...

Danbo: Priest, explain to me why your race, the human race, hates the smallest of your kind.

Me: Danbo, it's a complicated issue. There are various reasons why there is an attack on the smallest of our kind. A majority of our kind do love these little ones, though.

Danbo: But Priest, your race does all it can to protect animals and natural things like trees...it goes as far as to protect the life of things in it's smallest forms; there are organizations that have a recognition that even unborn creatures have to be protected...and yet your kind refuses to accept these little ones. They refuse to acknowledge them as one of their own. That is not logical. Don't the "bearers" of these little ones desire to protect them?

Me: I know, Danbo, I know. But there is a contingent whom are "bearers" of these little ones that refuse to accept the responsibility of these little ones for various reasons. They range from very serious grave situations to simply not desiring the responsibility. They rather focus on their "individuality" in a way. It manifests itself differently.

Danbo: Priest, are these little ones not special until they are thought special?

Me: Danbo, you raise good questions...we can talk more later. Suffice it to say for the time being that every creature of our race is special at every stage in it's life and development, but there are some that don't agree with that.

Danbo: Priest, your race sounds confused. A race that protects, at every level and stage of life, that which is not of it's own kind, yet does little protect its own species .

Me: Yes, and it is part of my life to teach my kind about the truth of what it means to be human.

Danbo: Priest, you have an impossible task.

Me: Danbo, nothing is impossible. Difficult? Yes, but not impossible.

https://apps.facebook.com/wpsocialreader/me/channels/trending/content/2XkKo?fb_action_ids=3433768997514&fb_action_types=news.reads&fb_source=other_multiline

Friday, April 6, 2012

a Weird Good Friday

Okay, so I know it's Good Friday...and this morning has been totally weird...

I mean, it's cloudy and gloomy and wet outside....Just yesterday it was warm, sunny, and even a little cool in the evening. It was just beautiful....And now, everything seems to have a downcast kind of a feel...I mean, I know there are weather fronts that come in and out of our area because we are right here by the ocean...still....

It just seems like nature, for us here in Savannah, has decided to really enter into a day of fasting and mourning for the death of her Creator and God...

interesting, huh?

Just kinda makes you think how sometimes God may be using nature to get our attention to help us dive deeper into the mysteries he has given us

Holy Thursday Homily 2012

Written on Holy Thursday. Wracking my brains to figure out what to say. Wanting to touch on the themes of Priesthood, Eucharist, and fraternal charity. Praying to the Holy Spirit to guide me. And this is what he gave me:


Before Jesus Christ, we did not have the promise of heaven...the promise of the Resurrection. It was his love for humanity drove him to the painful out pouring of himself. His love for humanity drove him to consumate his love for us on the instrument of death.

But before that, he loved us so much that he desired to remain with us forever...And so he instituted the priesthood and the Eucharist


It was years ago that a young man began to have personal experiences with the Blessed Sacrament/the Eucharist. It was the true Presence of Christ that spoke to him. It was the true Presence of Christ that called that man to a deeper relationship of love. It was the fruit from that relationship with God that the young man heard the call to priesthood.


Scripture tonight speaks of Christ washing the feet of his Apostles/Disciples. Moses washed Aaron and his sons so they can be consecrated to the priesthood. Jesus likewise washed the feet of these men because he was preparing these men for the priesthood. Whereas Aaron and his sons received a portion of the Lord AND were MEDIATORS between God and Mankind, the Disciples received a part of Christ; they were not just mediators between God and man but they actually WERE IN  the Person of Christ, THE God-man...so that one truly encountered Christ when one met one of these men.


And the young man desiring nothing but true intimacy with God learned later that his call to priesthood was the fulfillment of that intimate desire


And Jesus Christ, desiring nothing more than to stay with us forever left us himself within the priesthood, AND... he also left us himself within the Eucharist. His True BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, & DIVINITY .... under the veil of what looks like Bread...
      The humility of God. To entrust himself to man under this form in great vulnerability
      The humility of God. To entrust his very person, Jesus Christ, to weak & God-desiring men
AND yet, the Eucharist could not exists without the Priesthood...Nor would the priesthood exist without the Eucharist
You cannot have one without the other
And the desire of Christ was to draw people to himself out of love for them. And so...Jesus Christ uses the priest to draw men and women to himself, for in the sacraments we encounter Christ. And...Jesus Christ moves the hearts of those who are willing to listen when they come before the Eucharist...when they consume the Eucharist.

And through those two institutions we are filled up to proclaim the love of God...to show it at all times...to serve each other in love...to serve our brothers and sisters...to be charged by the love that is granted to us by God

And that young man could not have imagined any...better...way to live his life than as a Priest of Jesus Christ; a priest bringing Christ wherever he goes by his presence, bringing Christ in the Eucharist to those in need, bringing Christ in the Sacraments to those in need, and serving his brothers and sisters in the love of Christ

Pray for your priests... Love the Eucharist...for without one we could not have the other...
And without them it would be difficult to encounter the REAL Presence of Christ
it would be difficult to be transformed by the love of Jesus
And we would have a greater difficulty in revealing the love of Jesus to our brothers and sisters in our every day lives

Pray for your priests. Love the Eucharist. And live out the love granted to you by Jesus Christ.


I tried to convey my delivery via font styles. I may do a recording of it later... maybe :p

Thursday, April 5, 2012

NET Team 2

Okay, so I was part of a traveling youth ministry called NET Ministries. What did I do? Well, when I had just graduated from high school and I joined this ministry. I was put on a team with 10 other people. We traveled around the US hauling a trailer with our stuff and we put on retreats 6 out of 7 days of the week for 6th through 12th graders. And the commitment is for 9 months. Let me tell you, when you are put in a van with 10 other strangers who are NOT people with similar likes or interests, you really get to learn and understand what it means to love...even when you don't want to...talk about an intense ride.
Yes, this is a NET van with the trailer
There was a lot I learned while on the road. I learned about myself. I learned about my lack of charity, I learned about my insecurities...but most of all, I learned what it meant to be a son of God. I learned that I was good and that God had endowed me with a dignity that I could not take away or add on to (sure we can commit good or bad actions but perhaps THAT is understood more as actualizing our goodness or rejecting/neglecting it). I learned to get outside of my comfort zone. That the devil owns the comfort zone. Gosh, there was so much I learned about myself and my relationship with God...and because of that, I was able to grow as a Christian man of God...I was ultimately able to utilize all I learned in my vocation as a priest.

NET Team 2 is a team that is passing through Savannah. They did a couple retreats in our Diocese (Columbus, GA), and they are on their way to Florida to spend their Easter there. I was their contact and it was weird being on the contact-side of things rather than on the team-member-side of things.

I gave them a talk or two to help re-focus them, to exhort them, and to guide them on their walk for the rest of the year. That was yesterday. I also let them have Team Prayer in the Cathedral. The doors were closed, they had the place to themselves to express with their bodies and with music the desire of their souls and hearts, which is God. I exposed the Blessed Sacrament as well; an hour of Adoration and Worship and Praying in the Spirit. It was the most Charismatic prayer I have done in so long....I loved it...and yes, this is legit. Don't hate.

After which we went out to eat. The food was incredible. I told them to take pictures. I know they felt out of place, but they deserved it...especially after going through the diocese of Milwaukee...oi, I went through there and let me tell you, that is one HEAVY diocese to go do retreats for. Why? It's mainly the constant going and traveling that one does every single day! I gots to tells ya, if you go on NET and go to Milwaukee, you deserve all the props you can get! And NET has a special place in my heart, so I wanted to honor the team for the great work they do...I wanted to show them that the gift of this year is a very special blessing...so I fed them well!

It was a little sad to see them go, but as a priest, I still have work to do...and the team has work to do too. After prayer this morning, we said our good byes and I prayed that they keep the focus and finish strong. May the Lord guide this team and all other NET teams, especially as they go through the Easter Season together....