On Confession with the Morning Air Show

Yesterday I was interviewed on the Morning Air Show on Relevant Radio to discuss the Sacrament of Penance, or confession, or reconciliation. It was a follow up of sorts to my recent column with Catholic News Service, “Regular trips to the confessional wash away the build-up of sin.”

Here’s the link to the radio program. You have to go to the 24:30 mark of the audio player for my interview.


Interview with the Sedalia Democrat

During the Pope’s visit to the United States, I was interviewed by many different newspapers, radio and television stations.

One of these was a sit down interview with a reporter from my new local newspaper, The Sedalia Democrat.

It was a great opportunity to get to know a local reporter and share some of my thoughts and experiences of Pope Francis.

Here’s a link to the article.

Another article in The Catholic Missourian

Last month I linked to a story in the Jefferson City News Tribune, telling the story of a young couple from Jeff City that I met here in Rome. Now the local Catholic newspaper, the Catholic Missourian, has also run a story on their encounter with Pope Francis. That story can be read by clicking here. It retells the couple’s experience in even greater detail.

Sorry for the lack of posts, I hope to get some updates up soon. I’ve been deaconing a lot, but without giving any homilies.

News Tribune article

In the last few days I have received a few messages about an article that was published in the Jefferson City News Tribune.

I am mentioned in the article for having helped a young couple from the diocese to get tickets to attend a papal audience with Pope Francis as newlyweds and thus meet the Holy Father. Thankfully it was a successful venture and seemed to have a great impact on the faith of the couple.

What a joy it was for me to get to meet them, take them on a tour of St. Peter’s and to help them have a wonderful experience in Rome.

Here’s a link to the article:

Local newlyweds get blessing from the pope

Catholic Missourian Profile

In anticipation of ordination our diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Missourian, publishes a profile piece on every ordinand to the diaconate and priesthood.

Given that this week is the week I will be ordained to the diaconate, they ran a profile on me in their most recent issue.

For those that don’t live in the diocese and get the paper edition, I thought I’d pass on the link to the story on the diocesan website. 

Look for more posts later in the week as the big day approaches.

Appearance on “The Catholic Guy” with Lino Rulli

Last Tuesday I sat down for a half-hour interview with Lino Rulli of “The Catholic Guy” radio show on SiriusXM’s Catholic Channel 129. All week-long Rulli stayed at the NAC while interviewing seminarians about our lives. In the pre-interivew meeting he said he didn’t want to necessarily sit around and talk about theology and Church issues, but rather about us and our lives as seminarians and our lives before entering seminary to show that we are in many respects just regular guys trying to live out our vocation, which just might be the priesthood.

My interview touched on quite a few topics from my life. As in the past, it was a little different being the one being questioned as opposed to the one asking questions. My experience in journalism was one of the things we discussed, in addition to Albania, seminary life, and of course, BBQ!

Since SiriusXM is a subscription service it is hard to find the interview, if you’re already a subscriber you can go to the SiriusXM web site and go through the on-line player to find the show from May 8, 2014. It is also possible to sign up for a free trial in order to hear the piece as well, at least, that’s what I had to do.

For more on some of the topics discussed in the interview see the following posts. If you can’t listen, reading these posts will in some instances give much more detail than in the half-hour interview.

Reaction to the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

By now everyone should have received the Catholic Missourian dated March 1, 2013. In that issue there is an article containing the reaction from Rev. Mr. Jason Doke and myself to Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign.

I was asked by the editor of the paper to e-mail some of my gut reactions to the announcement. When he wrote the e-mail I was traveling during our break after finals. Nonetheless, I wanted to send in some thoughts. The editor then worked my some of my comments into a wonderful piece about the reactions of both myself, and Rev. Mr. Doke. Below you can read the entirety of my reaction.

By no means was this a complete set of thoughts, nor do I feel that they fully expressed my emotions at the time. Please excuse any grammatical errors or incompleteness, as I mentioned these were sent in a somewhat rushed fashion.

Ever since the Holy Father announced his resignation last Monday I have constantly been reflecting and praying about my own emotions and reactions to such news, as well as those emotions and reactions of the whole Church. Obviously, the emotions have been many and varied. But in short I can summarize them with two words, sadness, yes, but also gratitude and hope.

Ever since arriving here in Rome in July 2011, I have attended many Papal Masses, audiences, Angelus’ etc. I remember most especially during our orientation when we attended an Angelus at Castel Gandolfo, and the Holy Father spoke directly to us, the New Men at the Pontifical North American College in the middle of his address.

The past few weeks have been our “exam period” and this past week I was done with exams and enjoying a little bit of a break. Thus, I was able to attend both the Wednesday Audience and Ash Wednesday Mass. The audience was the Holy Father’s first public appearance after the announcement of his intention to resign. The Mass, later in the evening, was his last public Mass.

At the audience when the Holy Father entered the Paul VI Audience Hall, everyone erupted with applause. Later when he began to speak we all began to clap once again, to thank him for his many years of love and service to the Church. Hearing him speak of his resignation from his own mouth really solidified the reality of what was undoubtedly a somewhat surprising announcement.

Later in the day, I attended Mass for Ash Wednesday. The Mass was moved to St. Peter’s Basilica to accommodate the crowds. I arrived even earlier than usual, the line was much longer than usual. Thankfully, I was able to get in and get a seat. As I waited in line I reflected a lot on all the other times I had waited in line for other events, and now, this was the last one. I felt a certain amount of sadness, but also gratitude that I would have the opportunity to see him celebrate Mass one last time. At the end of Mass, Cardinal Bertone got up to thank the Holy Father on behalf of the College of Cardinals and the whole Church. After his words, everyone broke out in applause. An applause that seemed to last forever, the moment was one again, of sadness and gratitude. After Mass, after a long day I ran into some nuns who are my friends and we all just kind of stood there. They asked how I was and I just kind of smiled without saying many words, when I asked them, they did the same. We didn’t have a lot to say because it had been such a powerful, emotional day, yet we were able to smile because of our gratitude and our hope that the Church continues under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

This is just the first week of what will undoubtedly be a strange few weeks, first there will be the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, then the excitement of the Conclave, followed by the joy and gratitude of a new Holy Father. Whoever the new Pope will be I look forward to getting to “know” him by going to many more Masses and prayers with him. Though I will never forget the impact of Pope Benedict XVI on these first two years of my time in Rome. While many priests of the last few decades might refer to themselves as “JPII Priests,” I am a part of an even younger generation. While active in the faith my whole life, it was not until after JPII that I began to really get more into my faith. Thus for the entirety of my more mature faith life, Pope Benedict has been the leader of the Church, and as a student of theology, he is a man whom I admire quite a bit. It is for this reason I feel more sadness now, but I also have gratitude for his gift to the Church and great hope in the future of the Church, a hope which he has embodied and taught me as well.

Original text composed on February 16, 2013