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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Turning From Politics to The Beauty That Soothes

Looking for beauty in these contentious, pre-election days....

And in taking comfort in quiet reading of meditations and Scripture, I found this quote in the book Tea Time With God.

A prominent British scientist said he would give more to the enjoyment of things that are beautiful: "If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the part of my brain now atrophied would have been kept active through use.  The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature."

Grateful for the sharing of beauty from friends. Blooms of colorful beauty and the poetry of God's Word soothe....

Flowers...Fall...and most importantly, FAITH I choose to elect these to my eyes and mind.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. - Phillipians 4:8

Monday, October 3, 2016

If You Were God - Fr. Donald Calloway Speaks on The Blessed Mother, Mary (Talk Notes & Photos)

Fr. Donald Calloway - Franciscan University - October 1st, 2016
"I've been 'mercified,' he said.  "I pay attention to Mary because Jesus does."

Fr. Donald Calloway spoke at Franciscan University on the topic of The Blessed Mother.  His conversion story is like no other and he attributes coming to Jesus through The Blessed Mother, Mary.

Here are my talk notes and photos from the hour he gave the crowd filling the Christ The King Chapel on campus. On 10/1/16, he spoke about how he felt about his own mother and how that relates to how God feels about Mary
Fr. Donald Calloway - Franciscan University - October 1st, 2016
Fr. Calloway's mother joins him on some of the pilgrimages he leads to Holy sites.  Often people will come up to him and tell him how much they like her.  He said that if someone brought a gift to his mom....his response would be, "You! Front of the bus!

Conversely, if someone were to say to him, while also on the pilgrimage trip, that they thought he was "cool" but his mother is a problem in their relationship he'd likely reply, "You! Back of the bus!"

After Fr. Donald Calloway's talk - Franciscan University - Christ The King Chapel - October 1st, 2016
God became Man...with a mother.  Jesus is the God/Man and he has a mom. He loves her VERY much.  He said the 2 best books on the topic are : 

(1) True Devotion by St. Louis de Montfort
(2) Archbishop Fulton Sheen's The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God

Fr. Calloway supposed that if he were God and was able to make his mother....would he make flaws? NO.  He'd hold nothing back and give her every superlative, every virtue.  She'd be a masterpiece.  And when He spoke, as God, from high upon a Cross... to the world that would know of those words for generations...He said, "Behold, YOUR mother," and He meant it.  In the privilege of bringing us into His family, His mother would ,of course, become our mother.

Nuns and students - Franciscan University - October 1st, 2016
Created by God from all time for His most special purpose, Mary is the mold of sanctity. Her dainty foot will crush the head of the serpent....and the serpent knows this! Satan has angelic intelligence.  Saints tell us to seek refuge under her mantle and so for 2000 years Satan has been trying to DISMANTLE  and strip the Blessed Mother. 

Franciscan University - October 1st, 2016
Her words, "Fiat," are the perfect words God wants us to say as well. Wise men STILL find Him WITH His Mother. Most of what we know about Him came from His Mother, who has the greatest knowledge of Him.  

JC - Franciscan University - October 1st, 2016
Born again?  In Scripture Nicodemus responds to Jesus by asking if a man can re-enter his mother's womb? Because Nicodemus understood what being born again means... there is a Mother involved in birth...

(It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun.  Jesus came through Mary and we too can come to Jesus through Mary as no one loves her more than He did.)

Fr. Donald Calloway speaking with Franciscan University students after his October 1st, 2016 Marian talk
For more beautiful words about our faith and God's gift of The Blessed Mother to Fr. Calloway's book, 

Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest 

and his new book is a perfect read for the month of October, dedicated to the rosary - Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon.

Rosary Circle - Franciscan University - October 1st, 2016
Looking for more book recommendations?  
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Monday, September 26, 2016

First Latin Mass of the 2016-2017 School Year - Franciscan University

The first Extraordinary Form, Latin Mass of the 2016-2017 school year was held at Franciscan University of Steubenville on Sunday, September 25th.

Father Gregory Plow, TOR, gave an inspiring homily on how it's often not the bad things, but even good things that can distract you from attending the Wedding Feast ... a reminder about priorities.

I regret not finding a way to record and share the Schola, as they sang beautifully!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Say This Prayer for Vocations

There is beauty in the habit. Praying for vocations.
St. Damien Parish - St. Francis Cabrini Church - Ocean City, NJ

WHO wills that all men be saved
And come to the knowledge of YOUR Truth:
We beg you to send
Laborers into YOUR harvest,
And grant them grace to speak YOUR Word
With all boldness; so that YOUR Word
May spread and be glorified,
And all nations may know YOU,
The only GOD, and HIM WHOM YOU have sent,


St. Damien Parish - St. Francis Cabrini Church - Ocean City, NJ

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Prayer for My Daughter on Her 12th Birthday

Dear God,

I pray for my daughter to see the beauty in this world and the goodness in people. 

Show her how to raise her head in confidence, 
yet lower it with humility before You. 

Help her to be a life-long learner. May she always gain knowledge, grow in understanding, and find wisdom. 

Please God, help her to close her eyes in restful slumber and open them in appreciation of Your glorious morning light.

 I offer this prayer for my daughter that she will hear the small still voice inside. Your Voice, the one that brings calm, encourages good choices. 

I pray for my daughter to speak carefully: To raise her voice in defense of the weak. To speak soothingly to those in need. To use words that are productive and kind. Be inside and beside her, dear Lord.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fr. Mark Rutherford - A Conversion Story & Teen Talk - IHM National Conference Notes

Every emotion...

I think I went through them all listening to Fr. Mark Rutherford's talk, The Most Important Talk You Will Never Hear: Cultural Issues Facing Teens at IHM National.

Laughs, tears, chills.

Again, I wish this talk was on video so you could see this beautiful priest's face as it lit up the room with his joy and passion. ALL the talks were influential and formative for my teen/tween, but this one especially is one I bet they'll remember...we'll ALL remember.  So grateful, thank you Seton/IHM.

IHM National Conference - TEEN TALK - 2016
This dynamic, young priest lived a hard life before coming to his faith. He spoke about having too many "mushroom pizzas, " a code word to protect the  younger ears in the audience. He fell into a bad crowd, but he had grandparents who prayed the rosary for him and his brothers every day.  

His grandfather had a vision, in a dream, that he must send the boys to a Steubenville retreat.  He had no idea what this was and looked it up.  By the grace of God they went and there 13 year old Father Rutherford had a "life changing, heart flipping" experience.

When the youth conference priest entered for the end-of-retreat adoration ceremony, lifting high the monstrance in the darkened auditorium and the spotlight illuminated the Blessed Sacrament surrounded by was better than was the weight of glory that brought him to his knees! 

As Jesus passed He flooded this troubled boy's soul. Fr. Rutherford described himself as reduced to a 10-pound diaper of baby and boogers and tears, bawling on the floor. That's how the Youth Conference met him where he was and transformed him.  Later, in confession, he would hear his first call to the priesthood.

He came home, left the school and left behind the bad influences and started homeschooling with Seton! 

Here are some bullet notes from his talk:

*  The words spoken at the Steubenville Youth Conference had reality attached to them.

*  Superheroes in movies, comics and TV fail in relationships.  They fail to use their powers even though the have powers.  They can't carry the world, they are not the Savior of the world.

*  A word that does not build up your heart, bringing peace and calm, is not from God.

*  Recommended the book, Leisure, the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper.

*  His conversion found him in love with Truth and recommitted to studying, no longer failing at school. Currently in classes for a Canon Law degree, his 5th degree.

*  To parents - primary responsibility is to transmit Jesus through scripture and tradition, to educate, to be teachers of the faith.

*  Be the stream, the current, model to your children.  Let them see you weak and how much you need Jesus.

*  Jesus is the Truth

*  Father's Conversion YouTube Video 

 To hear this talk in its entirety, on and after August 1st  you can find  audio of it HERE, along with other talks from this 2-day Catholic homeschooling/parenting conference.

I hope IHM Conference organizers will consider starting a YouTube channel and creating and sharing videos of their speakers.  I believe it is the next step in reaching out and leading souls to the Catholic faith and homeschooling. 

Fr. Mark Rutherford was born and raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and later in Ann Arbor. Fr. Mark grew up in a Catholic home with three brothers. He first heard and discerned a call to the priesthood at age 13 while participating in a Franciscan University of Steubenville Youth Conference in 1997. Growing up he attended both Catholic and public schools, and was homeschooled. He and his three brothers loved and played hockey for a large part of their lives, which for Fr. Mark gave way to sports like wrestling, boxing, and Tae Kwon Do.

From 2001-2005, Fr. Mark attended Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan, majoring in both Theology and Philosophy, with a minor in classical languages. He was accepted as a seminarian of the Diocese of Lansing in the summer of 2005, and attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary from 2005-2009, earning the M. Div., S.T.B., and beginning the S.T.L. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Earl Boyea on June 13th, 2009, the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua.

He was then assigned as Parochial Vicar of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Brighton from 2009-2012. In 2012, he was assigned as Parochial Vicar of Church of the Resurrection in Lansing from 2012-2014. In 2014, he is was assigned as Administrator of St. Mary Catholic Church and school in Williamston, and to study for the J.C.L. in Canon Law at Catholic University of America during the summers. He is currently Pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church and school, serves on the Diocese of Lansing Education Board, and in his third year of studies in Canon Law. Hobbies: working out, boxing, mixed martial arts, and movies.

Fr. Shannon Collins - Purgatory, the Perfecting Fire - IHM National Conference Notes

"It's hard to live as a Catholic, but it's better to die as one," quoted Fr. Shannon Collins during his 2nd talk at the IHM National Conference.

His talk was entitled,  Homeschooling: Doing Your Purgatory on Earth
Here are some bullet notes from that talk.  To hear it in its entirety, on and after August 1st  you can find  audio of it HERE, along with other talks from this 2-day Catholic homeschooling/parenting conference.  

*  Jews and Christians have always prayed for the dead, so there must be a place where they benefit from the prayers.  Hell is a choice that can not be changed once chosen and in the perfection of heaven, prayers are not needed. Purgatory is that place where those who have died and need purification are assured of heaven.

*  Those in purgatory can not pray for themselves, but they can pray for us. 

*  The modern world has lost its sense of sin and denies it exists. The need for reparation is completely rejected. But we are called to "take up our cross" and offer up in atonement for our sins.  When we accept our sufferings they become of use, beneficial.

*  There is a hell.  Jesus made many mentions of it... especially mentioning, in Matthew, the sins against the Holy Ghost that can not be forgiven.

*  Only the purest of pure see God in heaven...stain and sin can not be in heaven and so for those with certain offenses and damage to repair from those sins, a purifying fire is needed.

*  Moses failed in one area and was not allowed into the Holy Land. That's imagery of purgatory.

*  We have seasons of penance, Advent and Lent and priests give us penance for our confessed sins.

*  The temporary prison, the Lord tells us to settle our debts now.  

*  The God who told us to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect wants to make us perfect.  Not a vengeful God, but a merciful and just one.

*  We deal with transforming ourselves on earth where our suffering is beneficial, profitable.

* If a target is well off in the distance, we must aim high.

* Offering up here has value to the souls in purgatory, they are at the final door. They are at the highest level before heaven. They are our models as they hunger and desire after God.

Fr. Shannon Collins was born in 1964 and is a native of Cohasset, MA. After undergraduate and graduate work in history and education, he taught in Catholic schools for a number of years. Having completed his seminary training at St. Philip Neri Seminary in Toronto, Ontario, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 2000.

Father has been a very strong proponent of Catholic homeschooling and, over the years, a very popular speaker at numerous Catholic homeschooling conferences across the United States. He has appeared on EWTN and had previously served as chaplain for the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama. Father is currently a traditional religious priest under Bishop Roger Foys of Covington, Kentucky.