Getting Ready for Confession?

If you’re preparing for the Sacrament of Confession (which you ought to celebrate sometime during Lent) here is a litany of Repentance. What is good about this approach is that it lists many attitudes and drives that are sinful and thus helps us to look a little deeper, beyond our external behaviors to the deeper dirve that give rise to sin. I have put the Litany in pdf form and you can get it hereLitany of Penance and Reparation

There is also an Examination of Conscience that is pretty good and is available here: Examen

Conversations on Atheism

Posted Comment: “Many young people I know are practical atheists, God and the Church aren’t even on their radar.”

 

Practical atheists? Yes. Not on their radar? I disagree. I think that God and the Church are very much on young people’s radar. The problem is that there are so few opportunities to actually discuss God and the Church in our society which continues to become more secular.

 

Most young people are at least aware that there may be a God and are also aware that the Church has much to say about the fact that there may be a God. Not only that, but our everyday lives remind us of this possibility. Birth, death, sadness, sexuality, science, love, loneliness…all these experiences are opportunities for us to explore the possibility of God and the viewpoint of the Church. Sadly, we often push through that sense of inquiry because it’s not effective and won’t help us pay the rent.

 

Do you want to explore the questions you have about God and the Church? The Office of Young Adult Ministry will be hosting three Conversations at Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Streets NW in April and May. The format for the evening is pure Q&A, and we will have two panelists who will discuss whatever questions the audience. The three topics for this spring are science and faith, sex and contraception, and the GLBTQ community.

 

“[Young adults] said that they need a forum not only where misgivings and doubts can be expressed but also where the teachings of the Church can be clearly articulated in response…much of what young adults feel regarding the institutional Church arises from a misunderstanding of what the Church actually teaches.”

-Sons and Daughters of the Light, USCCB

 

Join us for this unique opportunity!

 

For complete information on Conversations, visit our News and Events page. This event is open to the public.

 

 

40 Reasons for Coming Home – Reason # 20 – The Final Wish of a Dying Friend

Reason # 20 – The Final Wish of a Dying Friend – Consider the following scenario. You are crossing the street with a friend and suddenly as if out of nowhere a large truck is bearing down on you both. Your friend sees it coming and pushes you out of the way but takes the full force of the hit himself. Coming to your senses you run to your friend who lies dying in the road. In grief you lament his imminent death and thank him for saving your life. You say, “What can I ever do to thank you for what you have done?!”  And he says, with his dying breath, “Please go to Church and remember me at the altar every Sunday.”  ….Would you do it? …..Of course you would! This is the final wish of a dying friend who saved your life. 

Well, isn’t this what Jesus did? Just before he died for us he left us a last request: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Do what? you might say. Here is Jesus request in context:  The setting is the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples on the last evening before he died. As he sat at table with them he said,  “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover  with you before I suffer…” Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.  So here is what we are to do in memory of Him: celebrate the Holy Mass, receive Holy Communion! It seems so little and yet so many have drifted away from this last request. It must have been important to Jesus since it was his final request.

So here is a powerful reason to come home, to fulfill the final wish of a dying friend, a dying Savior and Lord who saved your life, who died in your place: “Do this in memory of me.”  The Book of Psalms also says it so well: “What return (what thanks) can I ever give the Lord for all the good he has done for me?! The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call on the name of the Lord.” (Ps 116:13) What a beautiful line to remember as you see the priest lift up the Chalice at every mass and remember the final wish of a dying friend.

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.”

Stem Cell Research – the Catholic Teaching

Because of the hype surrounding Stem Cell Research, Catholic teaching on this matter is often misunderstood and misrepresented. The basic facts on Catholic teaching are these:

  1. The Catholic Church does not oppose all stem cell research. We oppose embryonic stem cell research but we support adult stem cell research.
  2. We oppose embryonic stem cell research because it involves the killing of a human being. Some may say it is only an embryo but,  raise your hand if YOU started out as an embryo. The truth is that human life proceeds in stages from conception to natural death. No one of these stages is more or less sacred than another. At the moment of conception a unique human person is created. Everything we will physically ever be is present at the moment of conception. The truth is that every human person goes through stages. I spent time in my mother’s womb. When I was in my 20s I was young , tan and trim, lately I am more old, white and fat. I currently am 47, balding, graying, and carrying a bit more weight than I should. Before you know it I’ll be getting my AARP invitation. Before I least expect I will become a senior citizen and head into  the autumn of my life. Every stage is sacred. We can’t just say, “Well,  certain stages of human development are not deserving of our respect.
  3. Adult stem cell research is a promising field and should be encouraged. In it we use our own stem cells which is safer and means that someone else doesn’t have to die to improve my life. Many cures already exist that have come from adult stem cell research.
  4. Embryonic stem cell research has produced no cures. The body tissue produced through this procedure is unstable and tends to produce tumors. Further, and most importantly, another human being has to die so that I can possibly be cured.

Well, enough from me. I encourage you view the following videos when you have time. They set forth the basic Catholic teaching that we share with many other Christian denominations and others in the Scientific field.

This first video is six minutes in length and explains the opposition to embryonic stem cell research:

This second video (12 minutes in length) is produced by the Michigan Catholic Conference and expands on the first video

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] 

 

 

Saint Patrick’s Day

On March 17th we celebrate the feast of Saint Patrick.  Since I reside in the Church of St. Patrick and count both Flinn’s and Murphy’s in my lineage I always look forward to celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.  While we may raise a glass to St. Patrick (hopefully not too many) we cannot forget that he is best known for raising his heart to the Trinity, and I am sure he would beseech us to do the same.  We should offer a prayer tomorrow that the faith in Ireland will deepen, and that our own lives may emulate an undying dedication to evangelization like St. Patrick. 

Below is portion of St. Patrick’s famous and beautiful prayer known as “St Patrick’s Breast-Plate.”  A full version of the prayer can be found at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11554a.htm along with a short biography.  Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

 

I bind to myself today

The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:

I believe the Trinity in the Unity

The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today

God’s Power to guide me, God’s Might to uphold me,

God’s Wisdom to teach me, God’s Eye to watch over me,

God’s Ear to hear me, God’s Word to give me speech,

God’s Hand to guide me, God’s Way to lie before me,

God’s Shield to shelter me, God’s Host to secure me.

Christ with me, Christ before me,

Christ behind me, Christ within me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ at my right, Christ at my left.

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,

Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.