Vocations – that tug in your heart?

The following video is one of the more intriguing vocation videos I have seen. And it is from an interesting source. The video also illustrates well the general theme of this blog that the longings we experience are ultimately about God, whatever our vocation. Sister calls her longing that “tug in her heart.”

A Day in the Life– Reaching Out to Young Adults

As the Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Washington, I wanted to respond to this comment we received from a 30-something: “I must admit I have some concern that the Church is missing the mark in reaching out to people my age and younger.”

 

Your concern is very valid. Some dioceses don’t have a young adult minister, and the majority have a minister serving Youth and Young Adults. Can you image trying to focus on a ministry that includes 10-year-olds and 33-year-olds? I can’t! Sadly, in dioceses like that, the young adults are usually the ones who get the short end of the stick. However, the Archdiocese of Washington is very fortunate to have someone on staff dedicated to full-time ministry to young adults, yours truly.

 

What do I do all day? Well let me give you a snap shot of one 48 hour period last week to show how the Archdiocese is reaching out to young adults!

 

On Wednesday morning I had a meeting with the Coordinators of Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Arlington and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We discussed our successes, our struggles, and future collaboration on a regional young adult conference. It was a little work, a little fun, and a wonderful time for fellowship with my colleagues!

 

On Wednesday afternoon, I prepared the young adult announcements for publishing in the weekly Office of Young Adult Ministry E-newsletter. (To subscribe, email [email protected]) This email lists all the archdiocesan and parish young adult events including spiritual, social, service, and educational opportunities. It’s easy to browse and pretty comprehensive. Great for young adults who are new to the area or are looking for a parish to join.

 

On Thursday morning, I prepared the song sheet for Christ in the City which took place on Thursday evening. Christ in the City is an opportunity to establish a relationship with Christ truly present in the Holy Eucharist. The service includes recitation of the Rosary, Adoration of the Eucharist, Praise and Worship, Confession, and a scriptural reflection by a priest. The song sheet includes all the prayers traditionally sung during Adoration as well as some popular praise and worship songs. This allows people to participate and follow along especially if it is their first time to Christ in the City. There are usually anywhere from 75 to 150 young adults at this prayer service.

 

I also worked on the Annual Seven Church Walk which is coming up on March 28th. (Check the main page for a blog devoted to this event.) During this day-long event we visit and pray at seven churches in downtown Washington, DC. It’s my job to choose the churches, contact the pastors at those churches, create a schedule for the day, and coordinate a team of volunteers to help during the event. Everything is coming together nicely!

 

On Thursday at noon, I attended the Mass at Central Pastoral Administration (a fancy name for our offices). Why is this important? Because I want to let you know that we are all praying for you! We have Mass every day in our building, and we can also stop in the chapel any time during the day to talk to, listen to, or vent to God. He’s always there in the tabernacle!  

 

That afternoon, I did some serious spring cleaning…that’s biblical right? Leviticus? 🙂

 

I also worked with a young adult on establishing a Young Adult Ministry Softball Team this spring! We’re looking at the DC CityBall League with games on Sundays at West Potomac Park. Check the e-newsletter for details!

 

Thursday evening, as I mentioned, I prayed and worshipped and adored at Christ in the City!

 

Friday morning, I had a planning meeting for our Ad Gentes – Young Adult Mission Trip to Squaw Lake, Minnesota this June. We placed a deposit on the condominiums we’ll be renting there, and our next step is to work with a travel agent to block our plane tickets for the group. We’ll be offer Vacation Bible School to the children of the Boys and Girls Club of Squaw Lake. Along with our missionary activities, we’ll be enjoying the outdoors in Chippewa National Forest and Leech Lake and coming together in community for Mass and Liturgy of the Hours.   

 

So that’s how I’ve been reaching out to young adults. More importantly, that’s how I’ve been creating opportunities for young adults to reach out to Christ! If you have suggestions for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] God bless!

 

40 Reasons to Come Home – Reason # 19 – Pilgrimages – Annual Seven Church Walk for Young Adults

Like many world religions, Catholicism maintains the practice of making pilgrimages to sacred sites or shrines. In his time, Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595), Patron of Rome, would lead excursions to the four Major and three Minor basilicas of Rome. The day included music, catechetical instruction, and a picnic along the way.

 

The Pilgrimage to the Seven Churches of Rome included:

San Pietro in Vaticano

San Paolo fuori le Mura

San Giovanni in Laterano

Santa Maria Maggiore

Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

San Lorenzo fuori le Mura

San Sebastiano fuori le Mura

 

Here in the Archdiocese of Washington we have our own Seven Church Walk! The Seven Church Walk serves as a spiritual preparation for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday and is a unique way to see our historic city and its architectural diversity.

 

This year, the pilgrimage will be held on Saturday March 28 from 9:30am – 4:00pm. The day will begin with 9:30am Mass at St. Patrick’s Church (619 Tenth Street NW) and will include the Litany to St. Joseph, Stations of the Cross, Rosary, a meditation, prayers for Pope and Bishops, Divine Mercy, and Eucharistic Adoration.

 

The sites for the Seven Church Walk include:

St. Patrick

Immaculate Conception

St. Aloysius

St. Joseph

St. Peter

Holy Rosary

Mary Mother of God

 

Join more than a hundred young adults from across the Archdiocese as we visit and pray at these seven churches in downtown Washington, DC. Please bring water, a bag lunch (or money for lunch), a rosary, and a contemplative spirit. You must wear good walking shoes because we will be walking about 6.5 miles!

 

RSVP to [email protected] 

 

 

40 Reasons to Come Home – Reason # 17 – Jesus is Here Right Now

Reason # 17- Jesus is Here Right Now. If I were to credibly announce to the Washington DC area that Jesus Christ was going to come down from heaven and appear in my Parish Church of Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian, the place would be packed! Media Satellite trucks would line the block. Crowds in the hundreds of thousands might well gather; all to see Jesus. But the truth is, Jesus IS here, right now. He presides as High Priest at every liturgy we celebrate. He remains present in our tabernacle. He’s here! He preaches the sermon, stands at our altar and feeds us with his Body and Blood.

 The Choir in my Church often sings the Gospel song “Jesus Is Here Right Now.”  while we receive Holy Communion. Are you looking for Jesus? Here’s here, right now! A great reason to come home.

Here are two powerful videos that celebrate the True Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament: “God in the Streets of New York.”  Behold how Jesus walks the streets of New York and see the remarkable reactions of many people in the video. Some glance shyly, others reash out to touch, others cry out from a distance, one man throws open his window and cries “Glory.” The second video is actually the same footage, but a musical version, a remix or sorts.

Custody of the Eyes and Ears

One of the difficulties of living in the modern world is that we can easily come under the influence of philosophies and errors that can mislead us. There are also many sinful influences that can corrupt our moral life. There is a traditional concept in the moral life known as “Custody of the Eyes” wherein a person is very careful as to what he allows himself to see. (cf Job 31:1; Mat 5:28; Psalm 119:37, etc.) And these days, in a world in which sound has a very profound influence, we also need to be very careful as to what we allow ourselves to hear.  We must be careful to avoid evil, erroneous, and tempting influences. To put it more positively, we must actively seek constructive and truthful influence. We do this by keeping careful company, attending to the daily reading of Scripture and the study of the faith, and intentionally exposing ourselves to what is good, true, and beautiful.

Paradoxically, the modern world with all its problematic influences also provides us with many opportunities to craft our world and its influences. There are many options today insofar as how we choose to get our information and what we will allow to influence us. In the past we were stuck with just three networks and a few newspapers and magazines. Now there are endless possibilities available through the Internet, cable TV, and individual devices such as iPods.

I seldom watch television anymore. When I do, it is carefully selected: usually DVD-based viewing. I spend alot of time with instructive and helpful websites and blogs to get my information. I also spend a lot of time walking and driving with my iPod loaded “Catholic.”

There are many wonderful podcasts out there today that can both entertain, edify, and instruct you in the faith and in wholesome matters. Why don’t we start sharing what some of those sites and podcasts are so that we can help each other in the “custody” of our eyes and ears?

Let’s be clear, the sites and podcast you suggest should be orthodox, edifying, and instructive in the true faith. Let me get started by suggesting a few podcasts and sites I find helpful. Use the comments section to make your own suggestions.

EWTN has some great podcasts of its shows here: EWTN PODCASTS. I especially like the “Open-Line” call-in shows during which listeners to EWTN Radio call with questions about the faith.

EWTN and Catholic Answers also offer a huge number of talks, debates, and classes as mp3 downloads here: Catholic Talks and Teaching

I Podcast my own sermons, talks, and Bible Studies here: Sermons by Msgr. Pope

Lots of varied Catholic podcasts and other media formats are available here: SQPN

Patrick Madrid, a Catholic teacher and apologist, has a lot of material (some free, some for purchase) available here: Patrick Madrid

John Martignoni,, another Catholic teacher and apologist, offers a lot of free mp3 downloads here: Bible Christian Society

A 12-part Series by Scott Hahn on Mary is here: Hail Holy Queen

I know there are countless others but that’s a start. Please suggest others.

So here it is. Custody of the eyes and ears does not mean just shuttering your world and living with your head in the sand. It means directing your gaze in the proper direction and listening to what really helps. Load your iPod and get started. Before you know it, your mind and heart will begin to change, and little by little, you will acquire the mind and heart of Christ. Load those iPods with something Catholic and start walking (it’s a great way to lose weight too)!

,

A New Look

Written by: Laura Cramer

When you think of the Catholic Church, what do you picture?

Something you might not picture is a 20-something young professional female. What’s my point? My point is that the Catholic Church may be very different from the picture you have in your mind. In reality, it’s more universal, more diverse, and more relevant than it has ever been.

You are welcome in this community! The Church is full of people like you as well as people who aren’t like you at all. And that’s the beauty of it!

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10

Now let’s go back to your picture of the Catholic Church. In your mind, does the Church proclaim “good news of great joy”? Do you question doctrines, beliefs, and practices that seem like less than good news to you?

This is the place to ask those questions and get authentic answers. The Catholic Church is chock-full of good new of great joy, and hopefully that will become apparent to you through this blog.

So post your comments and open your mind to a new way of seeing the Catholic Church!