Friday, May 25, 2012

Pink Nuns!!

They are rose colored,
not pink :)
Yes this is a nun...and yes, she is wearing a pink habit. No this is not a religious order gone crazy. This is actually a legit religious order that started off in Holland in 1896. Where are these sisters? Lincoln, Nebraska. Why am I here? Oh, I came for a friend's priestly ordination. I am really excited for him and I am super excited to be in the MidWest once again...I miss it, here. The families and the local church is just incredible. Hardworking people, hardworking priests...a different kind of life is lived here...
           I snagged a picture while no one was looking

Ever since I can remember, the guys at the seminary from the Diocese of Lincoln would always bring up the "Pink Sisters". I was like, "Say what?!" I wasn't sure what to think of nuns in pink...I mean, it sounds kinda odd, doesn't it? So today I decided to pay them a little visit after hearing so many good things about them. After lunch with one of my classmates from the seminary, I went over to see them. These nuns are known as the Servant-Sisters of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration.

There's Jesus! What a stud!
8 sisters

I found my way into their chapel of perpetual Adoration. These sisters devote their whole lives to perpetual adoration of Our Divine Lord, Jesus. Each sister "begs forgiveness for the world's coldness and indifference to this great Sacrament of love; she offers prayers of thanksgiving in behalf of all; she implores divine blessings and merciful forgiveness for all mankind. Every intention and need, every distress and hardship in the world find a place in her intercessory prayer. Payer and sacrifice for priests and the sanctification of the priesthood is a cherished duty."

Okay, so I had to nonchalantly get close to
snag a picture! hahaha...
"Don't mind the conspicuous-looking priest
 with his camera phone!"
Intense...I, from what their pamphlet says, there are 4 cities here in the US that these sisters are located: Philadelphia, St. Louis, Corpus Christi, and Lincoln. They are also in Germany, Poland, Slovakia, the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India, Indonesia, and Africa. Dang, these sisters are all over the place!

Ladies, if you ever thought about being a nun, but were convinced that your love for the color pink could never allow you to become a nun, well think again! The Lord may be calling you to be one of his "Brides" in this religious order!
I had turned around to look at something and when I turned back I saw TWO sisters!!!
So I took a shot before she left.
It was kinda like the "changing of the guards"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Got Your Back

So the other day...uh...yesterday actually, I get a random text from another priest in our diocese whom I am just now getting to know. Fun dude, even though he is like 1,000 years older than me! Haha, just kidding. Dude, if your reading this, you know I'm just joshing you. Anyways, the text read, "I will be celebrating this next Mass for your intentions." I then commenced in teasing and bantering him....but after that, I decided to rally all my thoughts and prayers for those people and situations that I care about and pray for regularly. Then after a few minutes I was satisfied that this would suffice as my intention list for the time being.

Sure we hear about the need to pray for each other, but growing up, I don't know if I ever heard of priests praying for each other...maybe I was never around or maybe at the very least I heard of prayers offered for priests in a general manner, but I never heard a priest say to another priest, "What do you want prayers for?" or "I will say my next Mass for you." Don't get me wrong, we do pray for each other...I pray for my brother priests, especially those closest to me.

Yet my inclination to do so has always kind of been an extension of my own spiritual background where want to pray for others. It made sense for me to do as a priest what I have always been doing as a practicing Christian-Catholic.  I don't know if growing up I actually heard a priest say to another that they will be praying for them. I never had that example. When I talk to my classmates from seminary, it's a little different (at least for me) because these are guys I knew before being a priest...

This was a first experience for actually hear a priest say to me that he would be offering Mass for my intentions...that...that just really made my put it into a cool perspective for me:

I, a priest, care about you as a brother priest enough to want to pray for you.

This was perhaps a great little reminder that as priests we pray for each other because we are in this together. The priesthood isn't game, it demands all of you. A good fraternity is always helpful when you are in this life. It's good to know that I got some brother priests who can say I GOT YOUR BACK by simply letting me know that they are praying for me...

Thanks a lot friend :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Scary Night

So tonight was a bit scary. I was having dinner with a couple I knew. A very nice, solid, Catholic couple. We were out at a restaurant. The little newborn cooing away as we talked about their lives and my life as a new priest...and then the husband looked distracted as he looked above and past me...

He said, "I think she's choking." I turned around and saw an older woman standing up putting a cloth napkin to her mouth. A gentleman from her table was behind her giving her the heimlich maneuver. I was stunned. "What...?" I thought to myself. Then a woman from her table got up to take up the process in relieving this woman. "She can't breathe," said a third person from her group. Younger and bigger waiters began to come up and assist. A few people began to get up from their tables to come over to help out. The husband got up to join the group.

"Call 911!" someone shouted. A waitress from the back shouted out, "They are on their way!" The poor woman started to lose color in her face. Push after push against her diaphragm you could hear a slight gasp for air as her throat opened up just enough to allow for a little bit of air to come in around the lodge piece of morsel.

Everyone in the restaurant began move their attention to this moment. People began to watch in horror as the morsel of food remained unmoved.

I thought to myself, "What...can...I do? There are so many people gathering around, I can't do anything else." I sat there stunned as I watched the foreseeable outcome approaching. My lips began to move in instinct, "Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee..." The prayer to our Blessed Mother was really a plea for her to hear my intention: Help her out, Mother! Pray to God to save her, please!

Then...everyone stopped...the poor woman stumbled a little. The waiter behind her moved aside. The woman stood erect and leaned against the waiter that had dislodged the piece of food. "Praise God! What a blessing," said the young man who had left our table.

After that moment I started to think more seriously about life. "We really don't know what it will be that takes us from this life, do we? Hmmm...will we be ready when it is our time?"

What a scary night...but what a tremendous blessing this woman had in being able to have the morsel dislodged. As we got ready to leave, I walked over to the group of four. In my clerics, I turned to the woman and said, "Are you okay?" She was...a little shooken-up but thankful. "I heard your friend say 'what a blessing.' This truly was a blessing." I offered words of empathy and mentioned that I would pray for her this evening. They were very thankful.