Our Lady and Sheen


Tonight we celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation in our parish with the Bishop. This was the first time that we’ve also had a baptism during the same liturgy, so we sang the litany of the saints.

Last summer, as I was preparing for my pilgrimage I read a book about St. Martin of Tours and discovered he was the first non-martyr included in the Roman Calendar. He also was included in the litany of saints that we sang. The more I discover my Catholic faith, I learn that St. Martin of Tours was possibly the most awesome choice I could have made for a patron at my Confirmation. In addition I hear my given names in the litany which is always very nice!

This year, in addition to instructing the high school students in the faith, I was able to sponsor one of them. We had many deep discussions about choosing a name, the meaning of confirmation, and what it meant to stand up and be Catholic in a world in which we are hated for the message of love we preach. This young man impressed me, because once he decided on Jerome, we had a last class in which I admonished the students to pray for the gifts of the Spirit and the courage to live them out. When we were working on re-finishing a dresser (wood working seemed appropriate right after the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker) he volunteered that he was really hitting spiritual bootcamp with St. Jerome. I don’t know if I’ve been more proud of a student in a long while.

Its days like these that make all the work feel worth it!


May 7, 2011 Posted by | Sacramental Saturday | , , , | Leave a comment

New Auxiliary Bishop in San Francisco

There is a new bishop in San Francisco, read about it here.

For those of you who have no time, or don’t have enough involvement with San Francisco, here is an excerpt:

SAN FRANCISCO, California, JULY 6, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI named Monsignor Robert McElroy of the San Francisco Archdiocese as an auxiliary bishop.

The Vatican announced today that bishop-elect McElroy, 56, will serve under Archbishop George Niederauer, 74, along with Auxiliary Bishop William Justice, 68.

And of course, San Francisco is one of the many, many places in California named for its Catholic and Franciscan heritage, specifically: St. Francis of Assisi!

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Missed opportunity in Assisi

This past Sunday, I had the great fortune to assist at Mass in Assisi, in the Chapel of Peace, one of the oldest parts of the Franciscan Convent there.

The LORD said to Elijah: “You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, as prophet to succeed you.”

Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.” Elijah answered, “Go back! Have I done anything to you?” Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant. – 1Kgs 19:16b, 19-21

In the place not too far from where Bishop Guido threw his cloak around St. Francis as he returned all his worldly possessions to his father, this was the first reading for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The coincidence was incredible and amazing, yet the Franciscan priest did not even hit upon this.  Rightly so, he spoke of vocation.  First to Holiness, then to religious, priestly, married or single life.

I would just like to express a few thoughts I had on the matter.

Moments before Mass I was looking at the frescoes of the Life of St. Francis by Giotto di Bondone, and was most excited to see the fresco of the “Renunciation of Worldly Goods.”  In it Francis has just returned all of his clothing to his father, who, after finding out Francis had sold a significant amount of goods (that belonged to his father) and given the money away,  demanding in front of the bishop an accounting for all that belonged to Francis and all that belonged to his father.  Francis removes his cloak, because it was from his father, and then continued until he was completely naked.  At this, in the fresco, the bishop wraps his cloak around the scandalously clad man, and Pietro di Bernardone, Francis’s father has his right hand restrained from hauling off and hitting Francis.

All of this fresh in my mind, and not coming to any conclusions that have not been come up with before, I find that the wrapping of the cloak around Francis becomes the call to Francis to truly become a prophet for his time.  Francis heralds a return to simple living in an age where the Church is the most powerful agent in the secular world.  A simple man, dressed in a simple tunic with his simple cord, cries out for repentance amongst the nations, and charity throughout the world.

July 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Trip Itinerary

I am going on a pilgrimage to Europe, beginning this Thursday.  For those of you who are interested, here is my scheduled itinerary:

June 18: Arrive in Amsterdam

June 19: Leuven and Arriving in Lisieux

June 20: Mass in Lisieux, arriving in Tours to venerate the tomb of St. Martin

June 21: Mass in Tours (I hope); Lunch and bordeaux in Bordeaux; Arrive in Lourdes

June 22: Lourdes

June 23: Arrive in Ars (Hopefully in time for Adoration, Rosary, and Mass) and to venerate the Holy Curé d’Ars, St. Jean Marie Vianney

June 24: Go through Luxembourg to Trier, and then on to my sister’s house in Germany

June 25: Back to Amsterdam

June 26: Flight to Rome

June 27: Day trip to Assisi for Mass and veneration of St. Francis

June 28: Mass early at St. Peter’s, visiting the Stational Churches, and hopefully First Vespers with Pope Benedict at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls

June 29: Hopefully Pallium Mass with Pope Benedict for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, fly back to Amsterdam

June 30: Depart Amsterdam for home

Pray that my pilgrimage is a success please.

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment