Running the race of life

Running the race of life

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Week in the Life of a Franciscan Deacon

I've just completed my first week as a deacon. Wow, I could write so much but I'll just share a bit.

I believe the Lord blessed me deeply in the days leading up to Ordination. A vacation with good friends and a few days of retreat with my spiritual director were wonderful gifts in preparing to offer myself as fully as possible to the Lord.

Ordination day was graced and I simply tried to offer myself to the Lord. I truly sensed the gift of the Holy Spirit as the Bishop laid hands on my head. Perhaps the most moving part was witnessing the brother priests in attendance laying hands upon my friar brother who was ordained a priest.

The week was spent learning my new liturgical role and included making some funny mishaps- my microphone falling off my belt-clip as I reached for the Book of the Gospels! A second deacon came to my rescue!

This weekend I was honored to serve the Lord as a deacon at all of the Pentecost Masses at Holy Rosary Parish in Steubenville. Since I'll be working there this summer, they wanted me to be at all the Masses. It was spiritually energizing and also exhausting.

Thanks again for all the prayers. I ask for your continued prayers to simply keep my eyes on the Lord because thats what its all about!


I love Pentecost!

Its just my absolute favorite celebration in the life of the Church! I've always had a deep devotion to the Holy Spirit and felt the amazing richness of the third person of the Trinity.

In fact, if it was up to me (and thank goodness its not! :), I think I'd at least make it an octave in the Church calendar. Certainly, we spend much time preparing for it and thats a great gift. There's just too much to Pentecost for it to be over so quick.

Thank goodness that everyday is a day of receiving more fully of the Holy Spirit. May you and I continue to grow in the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I'm a Deacon by the Grace of God!

Yesterday, I was ordained a transitional deacon!

There's so much to tell but the bottom line is that I'm grateful to the Lord for the grace of this call! My Franciscan brother Sean and I put our hands in the Bishops and pledged obedience to him and the people of God.

It was a great privilege to be ordained as our friar brother Timothy was ordained to the Priesthood.

Pictures are coming!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Should I read the Davinci Code?

I'm thinking about reading the Davinci Code. I'm fairly sure its deserved at least some of the criticism its received but I think its only fair to read it first.

The title of this post reveals the deeper question I think we all wrestle with in terms of being a Christian and engaging culture:

"How do we determine when its right/useful to read/see something within the culture or when it is not appropriate/helpful? How do we negotiate this tension?"

I'm not sure if that makes sense, and I know there isn't easy answers. I don't think we can be ostriches with our heads in the sand because the Church is in the world and our faith is ever so incarnational.

On the other hand, we also have a responsibility to guard our senses and our minds and to be renewed in the Gospel.

If you have any thoughts I'd appreciate it.

Settling in at Steubenville

I've been slowly transitioning to my new assignment at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Its a familiar place which I love since I graduated from here. Franciscan University is very unique in many ways, its fair to say its been blessed!

I appreciate the prayers for the transition. Its funny to be coming in as so many students are leaving!

I've been so aware of how our lives are passing one another in transition. It is mysterious to me how God leads us from one place to another. I'm taking solace in the words preached at Mass the day I left D.C.: "The same Lord who has been with you goes with you wherever you go!"

Monday, May 08, 2006

Transition time again

Tonight I sleep in an empty room (well almost)!

Tommorrow, I'm moving to Steubenville, Ohio to live at our friary on the campus of the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

After a few weeks of settling, a little vacation and a little thing called deaconate ordination I'll be serving as a deacon in a local parish.

I've got to admit, transitions are emotionally tough for me. I need to pray more and keep my eyes on the Good Shepherd. Please pray for me in the transition and for so many who are making life changes right now.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Preparing to be a Deacon

I haven't written much about it because its always seemed far away, but now its starting to really hit me, "I'm going to be ordained at the end of this month!"

I'm excited to be ordained a deacon on May 27th in Loretto, Pennsylvania. I truly feel this is a privilege and a call that will continue to unfold. I am excited to serve the Church and continue to grow into my vocation.

Please pray for my brother friars who will be ordained as well (One friar to priesthood and two of us to the transitional diaconate).

A Movie worth seeing

I saw a good movie this weekend: An Unfinished Life.

Basically, its a drama with two great actors and an up and coming actress. Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman are two Wyoming ranchers tied together by fate and trying to deal with their own losses in life. Redford's character is struggling to accept the death of his son and meeting and getting to know his granddaughter effects a conversion.

I liked the movie because it was very real and was about redemption. Its worth a look.

Friday, April 28, 2006

International Prayer for Peace

I had the opportunity to attend the International Prayer for Peace sponsored by the Community of Sant' Egidio yesterday at Georgetown University. It was a very good experience.

I attended panel sessions on Pluralism and Faith; Media: War, Peace and Religion; and Solving the crisis of HIV/AIDS. As I listened to the panelists, my heart felt heavier and heavier in considering the brokenness, injustice and suffering in the world.

As we came together to pray at the end of the day (the Christians assembled in the local Catholic Church and other faiths to other areas), I was lightened by the hope of the Gospel. At first I was annoyed because we kept singing the Gospel acclamation, "Alleluia" after every reading and meditation. Then I realized, thats what its all about. The Risen Christ is the hope that trumps every darkness!

There was a moving closing ceremony where religious leaders from different faiths signed a common declaration for peace. I know peace has to go beyond signatures on a paper but just being together you could sense the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Free Ice Cream today!

Today is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's!

Hope you can slip away for a treat! Its Easter, have some extra calories!