St. Vincent de Paul on the Priesthood

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul. He was influential in my faith formation through the service immersion trips I did in high school. It was there that I encountered Christ in the poor.

In addition to his love for the poor, he is known for his work forming priests. In that vain, I’d like to share a quote of his on the priesthood, which I have been reflecting upon today:

“We are chosen by God as instruments of his immense and fatherly love, which seeks to be established and to spread in souls…. Our vocation is therefore to go not to a parish, nor only to a bishopric, but to the whole world. To do what? To set peoples’ hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did, he who came to bring fire to the world, to set it ablaze with his love. So it is true that I am sent not only to love God, but also to make him loved. It is not enough for me to love God, if my neighbour does not love him”

Please join me in encouraging young men to respond to the call of the priesthood. It’s a beautiful life. Please pray that I, and all priests may do out best to live out these words of St. Vincent de Paul.

Source: Letter of the Holy Father John Paul II to Bishop Gaston Poulain for the 4th Centenary of the priestly ordination of St. Vincent de Paul.

7 Tips for a good confession

So you hear your priest preaching about confession all the time, but maybe you’re still nervous to go? You’re just not sure how? It’s been a while, so you don’t know what to do? You show up, but you don’t get a ton out of it and you think somehow it’s a waste of time.

While I’m no expert by any means, I’ve only been ordained less than two years, I thought I would share a few tips or suggestions that might make your experience more fruitful.

1. Prepare: Make an Examination of Conscience

When you’re a student, it’s always best to study BEFORE the exam. If not, we all know what can happen… If you’re an adult and you have a big job interview, do you prepare, or go in blind? If you want the job, it’s best to prepare. So just as it is with tests and interviews, so it is also true with confession. It is best to prepare before you walk into the confessional, this can be done best through an examination of conscience. This helps because it helps to make sure we don’t forget something.

2. Arrive Early

If your parish lists confession times from 4:30-5:15, then be sure to get there at 4:30. This will give you time to complete tip #1, if you haven’t already. It also guarantees that you’ll be able to go to confession. If you get there too late, the line might already be too long. If you try sneaking in at the end, you might feel forced to rush. In short, confessions are no different than life, “you snooze, you lose.”

3. Be Specific, but not Detailed

Let me tackle the two parts of this suggestion separately. First we must be specific. The Church asks us to confess our sins in both kind and number. This is where we must be specific. We must avoid being too general or vague. For instance, one might confess, “bad thoughts.” Well, did you think about killing someone? Eating an extra cookie last night? Lustful/impure thoughts? Robbing a bank? Punching someone? Distractions during prayer? Struggles with depression or suicidal thoughts? I am not trying to make light of any of those things, I’m merely trying to show how different they could all be, yet still just, “bad thoughts.” Another part of being specific is to say the number of times. Again, someone having too much to drink just once is different than someone who gets drunk several nights a week and struggles with alcoholism. It’s good for the priest to know if the particular sin is a fluke occurrence or habitual.

While it’s important to be specific, it’s not necessary to be overly detailed. God knows what happened, in confession he wants to hear you name the sin and express your sorrow. So take the following example, it isn’t necessary to say, “Well I stayed up late, so I was tired in the morning, then I was out of coffee, one kid was sick, then there was traffic on the way to my in-laws, then we got there another kid threw a fit, and my mother in-law’s cooking is terrible, so I barely ate, therefore I was hungry, and on the way home my husband wanted to listen to sports on the radio, so I yelled at him.” Just try, “I lost my patience and took it out on my husband.” Or another example, “well it was a beautiful day out, and my girlfriend just broke up with me and I was walking down the street on the sunny side, so the sun was shining on this woman perfectly and she as wearing a beautiful red dress, and red lipstick, and did you know, red is my favorite color, so I began to stare at her and think maybe she could be my girlfriend and have lustful thoughts about her.” Just try, “engaging in lustful thoughts, fantasies or impure thoughts.” This can help allow you to focus in on the sin to make it clear to you, the confessor and God, what your sin actually was in a given situation. Again, you still want to be specific, giving any important pertinent information (i.e. if you are married etc.), but it can be unhelpful and confusing to go into too many details.

4. Remember it’s a confessional, not a counseling office.

It’s important to remember that confession is a sacrament, it’s a place to experience God’s powerful, healing and merciful love. It is in the sacrament that we receive God’s grace, that should be our purpose or intent in participating in the sacrament, to be forgiven by God’s grace. Yes, the priest might offer a few words of counsel, but that’s not the purpose per se of the sacrament. If you come out of confession saying, “well the priest’s advice was terrible, I got nothing out of that confession, I don’t know why I should even bother going anymore,” then there’s a problem. That’s like walking out of the butcher shop saying, “the lettuce was terrible there, I’m never going back.” If you need counseling, make an appointment with the priest, if you want God’s healing grace, go to confession.

5. You don’t have to be a theologian, just a contrite sinner

When confessing your sins, you only have to mention the sins, it’s not necessary to then explain the theology behind why that something is a sin. First of all the priest already knows. Secondly, just like the confessional is not a counseling office, it is also not an oral exam to prove how much theology you know. Going into these kind of details can get distracting and take one away from the point of confessing one’s sins. If there is a question, the priest will ask. Now, if you are not certain if something is a sin, then by all means, ask away, better to be safe rather than sorry. Just don’t try to get into a theological debate with the priest when you don’t like his answer. If you are still confused or went to learn more, then make an appointment outside of the sacrament.

6. Go regularly…once a month

The more often one goes to confession, the more they will grow in self-awareness and in their relationship with God. He has a great gift, his mercy, that he wants to share with us. Why do we reject that gift? Furthermore, just as you regularly go see the doctor, or clean your house, or take a shower etc., why not regularly take care of your soul?

7. Be not afraid!

We come up with a lot of excuses not to go to confession. We need to get over our excuses, and be not afraid of receiving God’s merciful love. Why would we not want that love? One of the big ones I hear is a fear that the priest will remember your sins. Firstly, the priest doesn’t desire to remember your sins. Secondly, ask yourself this question, “Do I remember how my favorite baseball team got the third out of the 4th inning last April 19th? Or even last night? Was it a pop up, strikeout, or a groundout?” A baseball game has 27 outs (ok, sometimes 24 for the home team), multiply that by 162 games and you get well over 4,000 outs in a year. Priests hear lots of confessions, so just like you don’t remember the third out of the 4th inning last April 19th, they don’t remember your sins.

Again the point of this list is not to be exhaustive or a guaranteed recipe for the perfect confession. Rather, just some practices that might lead to a deeper experience of God’s healing grace in this most wonderful of sacraments.

 

Daily Reflection: 6 April 2017

Today’s readings can be found here.

At the ordination of priests the Psalm typically sung at the Mass is Psalm 110, which reminds us, “You are a priest forever in the manner of Melchizedek.” That is to say that we believe that once a man is ordained, he remains a priest forever, for eternity. The Catechism, citing the Council of Trent and Vatican II, reminds us that the sacrament of Holy Orders, leaves an, “indelible spiritual character and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily.” (CCC 1582).

While one’s ordination is eternal, every year, throughout the entire world, priests gather with their bishop to celebrate the Chrism Mass, in which they publicly renew their priestly commitment to serve to the people of God. It is in this way that the priests can particularly live out the command found in today’s first reading, “On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

In our diocese, the Diocese of Jefferson City, the Chrism Mass is tonight at 5:30 at the Cathedral, all are invited to come and join us. If you live elsewhere, “check your local listings.”

Wherever you may be, please pray for us priests, God knows we need all the help and support we can get. Thank you for all that you do.

 

You’re Invited to the Chrism Mass

This coming Thursday April 6th at 5:30 pm in the Cathedral, the Diocese of Jefferson City will host it’s annual “Chrism Mass.” Bishop John R. Gaydos will be the celebrant, joined by all the priests serving in the diocese. The Chrism Mass is held in every diocese around the world in the days leading up to the Triduum. Traditionally it is done on Thursday morning of Holy Week. While this works well in urban dioceses, in large, spread-out, rural dioceses such as ours, it is not practical. Some of our priests live over 3 hours away from the Cathedral and could never make it back in time for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday evening.

The Chrism Mass serves two important purposes. 

The first is that the priests renew their commitment and promises to service of God’s people. Certainly, our vows or promises made at ordination are life-long, but it’s good to gather and publicly renew that commitment every year. This is done at the Chrism Mass because, it is associated with Holy Thursday, which is considered to be the day that Christ instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper. If you’ve never been to a Chrism Mass or an Ordination, it can be pretty impressive to see 70+ priests gathered together.

The second purpose is the blessing of Holy Oils, hence the term, “Chrism Mass.” The Holy Oils: the Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens, and Sacred Chrism will all be blessed by the bishop during a special ritual. These oils are then to be used throughout the diocese in all of the parishes for the next year. After they are blessed at the Chrism Mass, they will be presented to our parishes during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.

So when one of you or a loved one is sick and/or dying and receives anointing in the next year, the oil used by the priest will have been blessed at this Chrism Mass. When one of your children is baptized, they will be anointed with the Oil of Catechumens and Sacred Chrism blessed at the Chrism Mass. When RCIA candidates receive the sacraments at the Easter Vigil, they will anointed with these same oils. When the Bishop travels around the diocese to give some of our young people the sacrament of Confirmation, they will be anointed with the Sacred Chrism.

While we as priests will be in Jefferson City all day for a Day of Recollection with our brother priests, all of the faithful are invited and encouraged to attend this important Mass. So let this be your invitation to join us in this beautiful celebration of our Catholic and sacramental faith at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Jefferson City at 5:30 PM on Thursday April 6, 2017.

N.B – If you’re reading this and you don’t live in the Diocese of Jefferson City, then I highly encourage you check your local diocesan web site to find out the details of their Chrism Mass.

Everyone’s invited to the Chrism Mass

Here’s my article for this weekend’s (March 12-13, 2016) bulletin.

This coming Thursday March 17th at 5:30 pm in the Cathedral, the Diocese of Jefferson City will host it’s annual “Chrism Mass.” Bishop John R. Gaydos will be the celebrant, joined by all the priests serving in the diocese. The Chrism Mass is held in every diocese around the world in the days leading up to the Triduum. Traditionally it is done on Thursday morning of Holy Week. While this works well in urban dioceses, in large, spread-out, rural dioceses such as ours, it is not practical. Some of our priests live over 3 hours away from the Cathedral and could never make it back in time for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday evening.

The Chrism Mass serves two important purposes. 

The first is that the priests renew their commitment and promises to service of God’s people. Certainly, our vows or promises made at ordination are life-long, but it’s good to gather and publicly renew that commitment every year. This is done at the Chrism Mass because, it is associated with Holy Thursday, which is considered to be the day that Christ instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper. If you’ve never been to a Chrism Mass or an Ordination, it can be pretty impressive to see 70+ priests gathered together.

The second purpose is the blessing of Holy Oils, hence the term, “Chrism Mass.” The Holy Oils: the Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens, and Sacred Chrism will all be blessed by the bishop during a special ritual. These oils are then to be used throughout the diocese in all of the parishes for the next year. After they are blessed at the Chrism Mass, they will be presented to our parishes during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.

So when one of you or a loved one here is sick and or dying and receives anointing in the next year, the oil used by Fr. Mark or myself will have been blessed at this Chrism Mass. When one of your children is baptized, they will be anointed with the Oil of Catechumens and Sacred Chrism blessed at the Chrism Mass. When our RCIA candidates receive the sacraments at the Easter Vigil, they will anointed with these same oils. In April, the Bishop will come here to give some of our young people the sacrament of confirmation, and they will be anointed with the Sacred Chrism.

While we as priests will be in Jefferson City all day for a Day of Recollection with our brother priests, all of the faithful are invited and encouraged to attend this important Mass. So let this be your invitation to join us in this beautiful celebration of our Catholic and sacramental faith at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Jefferson City at 5:30 PM on Thursday March 17.

Where are the vocations?

My first full weekend as a priest I had the pleasure of returning to one of the parishes where I had been assigned as a seminarian. Here’s what I had to say to them.

How wonderful it is for me to return here to Owensville on my first full weekend as a priest!

I have so many great memories and stories from my time here in Owensville and Belle.

Whether it was playing softball on Wednesday nights, participating the the county BBQ contest at the last minute, while borrowing the rectory grill,  getting covered in mud at the demolition derby, helping out in the ice cream stand at the fair and so many other wonderful memories. I am so grateful you all were so welcoming and allowed me to do “normal” things and have a lot of fun too.

You could have rejected me as some sort of stranger who lives in Rome, with parents from New Jersey. Instead you welcomed me into your homes and lives.

In a sense you didn’t struggle like the disciples in today’s gospel.

When Jesus got up to speak, they were confused because they remember him as the little boy, the one who played in town, worked in the carpentry shop, no maybe not softball and BBQ, but the “normal” stuff for folks in his time and place.

They are shocked by his “normalness.” Maybe some of you were too, as I remember that I was one of the first, if not only seminarian ever to come here. However, you all got over that pretty quickly in order to welcome me so graciously.

If nothing else, one of the lessons I hope you all took away from my last visit here, it’s that priests can be somewhat normal too.

Even more, that means that before they were priests, they came from everyday families who did everyday things.

So when we start asking ourselves? Where will we find new priests? The answer is not that they come in a nice box, or they don’t fall down out of the sky. No we grow up in families, we have our struggles and failures, but through all of that God still calls.

The task for all of you, your homework if you will, is to be attentive, to be courageous, and to be open.

Be attentive to the community around you. Do you notice any young men who you think might be good priests? Or women who might make good sisters? They don’t have to be perfect, look for those who are joyful, enjoy helping others, seem to be interested in the Church and their faith.

Be courageous. Once you identify someone, don’t just keep it to yourself, be courageous and ask them if they’ve considered being a priest of nun? I remember when I was in high school, a priest was visiting, I was serving the Mass. Before Mass he asked me, “So what are you going to do when you get bigger?” I responded, “Hit harder. Block better.” He asked again, so I responded, “Be a better football player.” Again, “Maybe start this year?” Finally, he said, “what about being a priest?” I laughed at him and walked away. But look at me now. I bet you he’s laughing even more. So if you are courageous and you do ask, don’t be discouraged if the person you ask doesn’t start jumping for joy. These things take time, you never know what will happen if you plant a seed.

Be open. I’d like to address this last one to two groups separately. First to the parents, be open to the idea of your child being a priest or nun. You might have reservations and worries about what will happen to your child, or not having grandchildren. Those are normal concerns, but when you get past them, you will see all the blessings bestowed on your life because of your openness. When I first entered, it wasn’t always easy for my parents. Yet, I can’t tell you how many times I watched my mother cry tears of joye this last week.

Secondly, To the young people in the young people here today, many of you I met a few years ago. Be open too. Be open to whatever it is that God has planned for your life. Many of you are probably thinking right now, he’s not talking to me? He can’t be? I’ve got this or that problem or weakness? In today’s second reading Paul says that when we are weak we are strong. You probably think, “I’m not worthy.” There’s someone else who is better. Here’s a news flash, neither am I. It is only God who calls us and makes us worthy, he gives us all the graces we need. Not too long ago, I was in your shoes, sitting right there in the pew, I never could have imagined I’d be up here a priest one day. But it happened. So I ask, that if the thought comes to your mind, “What if I’m called to be a priest or nun?” Or, if someone else asks you, don’t laugh at them, be open and think and pray about what God is calling you to do.

Since I said yes, and entered seminary I’ve been blessed to meet so many wonderful people, go lots of places and have such joyful experiences, people like all of you, places like this wonderful town and well, you know the experiences. Thank you for helping me on my journey. As you continue on yours I only ask that you continue to be attentive, be courageous, and be open.

Why bother going to confession?

Here’s another homily from over the summer. One I gave to a parish I was visiting for the weekend while the pastor was away on vacation.

As a young priest, I frequently get asked many questions about why I became a priest, as well as many general questions about the faith. Sometimes these questions come from someone who wants to start a debate, sometimes from someone who is just plain curious.

One of the questions I’ve been asked a lot, is why do Catholics have to go to confession to a priest? I mean can’t we just go to confession straight to God? Why does a priest have to be present? What’s the point of confessing anyway? Why even bother? Can we really sin anymore?

Thankfully today’s readings give us answers to a lot of these questions.

Though first we must recall the image that St. Paul uses to explain the Church if we are to understand what he is saying in today’s readings. We as individuals, the members of the Church make up the Body of Christ. As a body we are meant to be united, not separated. Nor are we meant to be a static, lazy body that kind of just stands around, no, like Christ we are to return to the Father.

However, as we all know too well with our own bodies, sometimes something gets out of whack? Needs fixing. And if you’ve got one problem, it can drag the whole body down too.

The reason for reconciliation is not just that it gives us the opportunity to confess our sins to God but also repair our relationship with those whom we have offended. To restore our relationship to the whole, the Church.

In today’s reading from Paul he exerts that both those who far off and those who are near need to make peace both with God and the one body of Christ. This is why the last thing we do before we receive Christ in the Eucharist is what? The Sign of Peace.

So ok that’s great, we confess our sins to God so we can have peace with God and be united with our brothers and sisters in Christ. But why the sacrament? Why so formal? Why the priest?

First the priest acts in persona Christi that is, in the person of Christ. So above all the person is still confessing their sins to God. Secondly, he acts as a representative of the Church, that body of Christ, aiding those who have fallen away, or are struggling to be reunited with the whole body, the Church.

To really understand the question of why a priest? Why the sacrament, we can turn to today’s Gospel reading, for Christ laments that the people were a sheep without a shepherd. The priest isn’t in the confessional to judge someone, rather to shepherd them back to the flock, to guide and assist them. If we were to just do it on our own, us and God, we would be like sheep without a shepherd.

Ok you say, fine father. But do we really need the sacrament? Do we really need to confess our sins? My life’s pretty good as it is…

When I was in Albania doing missionary work, I worked with some sisters in a health clinic. Our goal there was to provide whatever care we could for whoever showed up at our door. The health system there, as you can imagine is terrible and underdeveloped.

Here in the USA, we are blessed. Take for instance something like diabetes, we see commercials all the time advertising machines to test our blood sugar, then we take shots and other medicines to keep it under control.

That’s not the case in Albania. I met multiple people there who suffered from diabetes. They didn’t have machines to check their score, nor medicines to help them control things. Instead effectively have to play a guessing game with their diet, or come into the health clinic on occasion to get tested.

More often than not, that’s not enough, and over time, they start to suffer complications. That’s when they would come to us. The side effect that was most common, a loss of circulation to their feet. So by the time people would come see us, their feet were literally rotting away, decaying. Awful images in my mind. Then they couldn’t walk, they became totally debilitated, bedridden, and then death.

So you ask me, why bother going to confession? Everything’s alright? So as it is with diabetes it is with our spiritual lives. We think everything’s fine. Or we know life’s difficult, but we just keep playing that guessing game, trying to figure things out on our own, like sheep without the shepherd. If we keep coasting, operating on our own, things get worse, then it’s seemingly too late and we don’t know what to do, we’re overwhelmed, dare I say, debilitated.

In the sacrament of reconciliation the Church provides that care you need, the spiritual insulin if you will. By confessing one’s sins to God, you can let go of those things which lead you away from God, away from the community, make sense out of the confusion and hurt, find healing.

When we find that healing, when we’re able to let go, that’s when we find peace, that’s when we are brought near to the blood of Christ, who nourishes and strengthens us. For united as one body of Christ, in peace, through the sacrifice of the Son, we have access in One Spirit to the Father.

A Mizzou Homecoming in August

On August 30th I returned to Mizzou to celebrate the student Mass at the Newman Center. Here’s the homily I prepared for that special occasion.

Sr. Sarah Graves

Mark Mackey

(Br.) Benjamin Keller

JP Regan

Dan Everson

(Br. ) Joseph Albin

(Sr.) Elizabeth Doyle

(Deacon) Josh Duncan

Ashley Viola – Sr. Caterina

Fr. Geoffrey Brooke

For those of you who, like me, aren’t math majors, that was 10. 10 names I read. 10 young men and women who have entered religious life or the seminary in the last 6 years. Which one of you is next? I know most of you are saying, it can’t be me, I’m nothing like those people. You know what all of those people have in common, we all went to Mizzou. Oh yeah, but father, Mizzou is really big, there’s lots of students and those students were never in my situation. Oh yeah. Here’s something else you have in common with those 10 people, you’re sitting in their same seats. I sat over there, Sr. Elizabeth over there, JP over there, Sarah over there, Br. Joseph over here, Deacon Josh, where did you sit?

Not only did we sit in the same physical seats as you all, we too went through the same experiences that have had and will have during your time at Mizzou. From the joys of living on campus with a stranger you’ve never met, er, I mean, roommate. the difficulty of making new friendships and finding your way in a seeming sea of students with so many activities and things to choose from, for me, outside of the Newman Center, I was on the Mizzou BBQ team, I bet you a bunch of you didn’t even know we have a BBQ team. The difficulty and frustrations with school work. Tailgating and going to sporting events, homecoming, the list goes on and on. College is a busy and exciting time when you’re being pulled in many directions, that was true for all of us 10 as well.

Maybe you’re still thinking, ok father, so maybe you’re right, you all did go through the same stuff as us, but, I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough, I’ve got too many problems, to many faults. There’s no way God could be calling me. Guess what? You’re right! None of the 10 of us were or are or ever will be “worthy.” It’s God who makes us worthy. He gives us the strength and grace to be able to respond and do whatever we have to do as priests and nuns. So get over yourself and your weaknesses. Let God take control.

So ok fine, you’ll accept that God can make you worthy, but how do you know? The only way for you to know is if you are willing to cultivate a relationship with Christ. That’s where you are very lucky here at Mizzou, because you already have a whole host of people here at the Newman center who want to help you grow in your relationship with Christ. Meet Angelle and JoAnn, as well as the interns focus missionaries and the Dominican Priests. They work tirelessly to organize many events and programs throughout the year all to help you grow in that relationship with Christ, which will help you to learn if you are called to the priesthood or religious life.

Let me tell you about one of those activities that had a major impact on my vocation. Raise your hands if you’ve heard about the small group bible studies? Ok great. Now I want you all to raise your hands because you’ve all heard about them now.

Well you see when I was here as a student, and I’m not that old, remember it was just 6 years ago that I was in those seats. There weren’t small group bible studies, there was just small group bible study. My first year I was the pretty much the lone freshman along with a bunch of upperclassmen. A group by the way which included Sarah Graves, who just entered the Religious Sisters of Alma Michigan last month, and Br. Joseph Albin a member of the Dominicans. So my second year, Angelle asked me to take on leadership of the group. The first month or so we had a small group, but for whatever reason, scheduling etc., that group suddenly dwindled down to two, myself, a sophomore and a freshman girl.

Then one day she walked in and said, “Geoff, Geoff, I’ve got something to tell you, last night I had this experience during Mass, and I think I might be called to be a nun!” I was in shock, because two weeks prior, I had my own experience in prayer which led me to think about the priesthood, and so I replied to her, “well to be honest this morning I just asked for the seminary application.” So then, while the bible study continued the rest of the year, few people ever came, but the two of us would get together and support each other in our process of discernment. Fast forward to this summer, on June 27th I was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City, and just 5 weeks later on August 1st, Sr. Elizabeth professed her first vows with the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Ok yeah, get the awws out, because as awesome as that story is, it’s not why I share it with you tonight. You see, think about it, Angelle and JoAnn, they could have seen that bible study as a flop, only 2 of us going, one sophomore, one freshman. They could have easily decided to cancel that bible study, decide to come up with something different. Instead they saw the bigger picture, and let the bible study continue that year and beyond, the bigger picture is 200 students participating in small group bible studies last year! Think about that, from 2 to 200.So when I said that Angelle, JoAnn, and the whole staff here will support you in getting to grow in a relationship with Christ, I mean it! How many will sign up this year? 250? 300? These small groups will help you to grow in your relationship with Christ and to discern your vocation. No, I’m not saying that if you sign up for bible study you will become a priest or a nun, although 2 for 2 was pretty good that year. What I am saying is that the small groups will help you grow in your relationship with Christ.

There’s another reason I tell you about my small group bible study. Remember when I said how blessed you were to be at Mizzou because you have this great staff that’s so willing to help you grow in a relationship with Christ. Now I want you to look at the person next to you, in front of you and behind you. You all have your fellow students to help you grow in your relationship with Christ. In the small groups you will be able to help support each other and build a strong sense of community.

A long time…

It’s been a terribly long time since I’ve posted, and a lot has happened since then. Most importantly, I’ve been ordained a priest.

Furthermore, I’ve also been named associate pastor of the Catholic Community of Pettis County. This includes Sacred Heart and St. Patrick’s Parishes in Sedalia, MO, as well as St. John’s in Bahner, MO. Additionally, we have a K-12 school, and I am responsible for hispanic ministry.

Lots of fun. Not sure how much I’ll post updates. But some have been asking for my homilies.

In general, I give my homilies without any notes. I do however type them up word for word in advance and (attempt) to memorize them. Thus the final product is often a little different than the prepared text, however the ideas and concepts are the same.

Some weeks, I don’t get around to typing out the homily word for word, in which case I won’t have anything to share on here.

I’ll quickly post some from the summer and fall.