Tuesday, January 29, 2008

walking/jogging/running log

I don't think walking with a 2 year old and a 4 year old to the library that's a 5 minute walk away from the house really counts, we did add a walk to bagel store which was probably about a ten minute walk at their speed. I was out for a good 30 minutes total, so at least I moved instead of sitting on my lazy butt. So tomorrow my goal is to walk for 2 30 minute sets aka an hour at a fast pace.

You are what you eat (it's a long one.)

Sometimes I feel like I should have lived years ago, but I know that I am called to something, I just wish I knew what it was. For over a year, more likely two years I have wanted to do a day of reflection on the Blessed Sacrament for the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist at my parish, but I honestly think I'm afraid to hear the answer be it yes or no from Msgr. George. I don't know why, I know I can handle running the day, and I've been "Eucharistly" ( I just make up a word and I don't care) orientated for most of my life, so coming up with a "talk" would be easy. Actually I found something I wrote two years ago, titled "You are what you eat"

I want to know where the me of 2 years ago went, where is the person that wrote this...

"We often hear the phrase “you are what you eat.” As a child my friends and I would wonder if we would turn into hot dogs or pizzas, but alas we didn’t, much to our dismay and delight we stayed human. You are what you eat can be taken literally when it comes to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Every week if not every day we have the opportunity to receive Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament and become what we eat. For by receiving Jesus via Communion that is what we do, we eat Him, we let Him enter into our inner beings, or shall I say He lets us let Him enter our inner beings. We become like Mary, a living tabernacle. As Mary was the first tabernacle, the first vessel to carry Jesus to others, we are called to do the same.

Elizabeth and John knew when Mary visited them that something special was inside of her. How many times do we push others out of the way to get to the doors of the Church or to say hi to the priest? Do we stop to think that we are carrying Jesus within us at that very moment? Most times we don’t, it’s usually I’ve got to get out of that parking lot before the traffic jam starts, or got to get over to confirmation class or to some other event. John jumped for joy inside Elizabeth when Mary greeted them, we jump out of the way of that speeding car in the parking lot."

I never finished it, I did start to write another version of it, speaking about the traditions of "yesteryear" , you know bells at the Consecration, silence before and after Mass, you know stuff like that.

Here's that one...

"Jesus said, “Eat my flesh and drink my blood,” and how quickly we forget that. We’re all about being “Christ like” but do we really believe that. We follow Jesus’ teaching, except when it comes to this one. As Catholics we have the opportunity to do as Jesus says everyday, but so many times we overlook it.

Jesus humbles Himself to be in a piece of bread that we eat. He lets us let Him enter into our inner being. So it still looks and tastes like bread, but it’s so much more. We are what we eat, we carry Jesus to other. It doesn’t stop at when we walk out the doors of the church, it continues on.

Jesus doesn’t hide in the “gold box”, it may be His house, and we won’t fit in it, hence why He comes out to us, but He invites us to visit Him everyday, to come and sit with Him, to talk to Him, to be with Him.

It’s funny how the traditions of “yesteryear” leave to bring new ones. Maybe it’s my vantage point, if you want to call it that, from the choir loft, or maybe it’s the “traditionalist” in me, but it seems the so many people forgot what happens at the Consecration. Not until it was mentioned, did I realize how important the bells at the Elevation of the Host and Chalice are/were. In a church looking for “Sacred Silence”, it forgets how sounds affect a person. The ringing of the bells reminds you that something important is happening. Something so important we often blow it off to look at a window or the person next to us. How quickly traditions fade away.

We go over protocol, which seems like common sense to me. Genuflect at the Tabernacle, duh, the King of Kings is there. Clothing, what happened to “Sunday best.” Please, I shouldn’t even breach this topic but I will any way. Being an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, what an honor, yet how often we forget that too. In a very special way we bring Jesus to others. Sometimes it takes a simple act of bowing and reverently receiving Communion to remind me of what I am holding and doing.

Why do I feel so young yet seem to know more about ritual than those double my age. I mean, nothing has changed since I was a child, minor things like no bells, have but nothing major. It really is amazing how a moment of silence only seconds longs broken by a ding will make you sit or kneel up more straight. But we don’t have bells any more, why because, “we don’t need them.”"

So many times while serving as an Extraordinary Minister I look to my fellow ministers and see them with no expressions on their faces, but the stoic look of don't mess with me. I remember as I was walking to distribute Communion to the choir someone saying to me "Smile, you're carrying Jesus." I laughed as I got to the steps to go up to the choir lot, and said it's true, I should be smiling. Now I can't help but stand there with a smile on my face, and you know people notice. Many times when I am standing there with a chalice watching people walk past me, I catch them smile because I am smiling. What's not to smile about, Jesus is entering into us so we can "go light the world."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Running Blog

So I'd like to set a goal of being able to run in the 5K race on May 17th. That's my goal, to run 3.16 miles by May. Thanks to Runner's World I have the 10 week plan all set. So I'm going to get my fat ass out and walking tomorrow and everyday until next Monday when the plan is to "run 2 minutes then walk 4 minutes" 5 times for a total of a 30 minute workout.

I plan on walking over to the high school track and attempting this there, at least there I can keep track (hahahaha) of how far I've run in those 2 minutes. I don't plan on thinking of running in terms of miles until I've reached week 10, but that is easier said than done, considering I was a long distance runner in high school.

I hope to blog my distances and whatnot. I wish my nike+ iPod sensor was actually working because then I would be able to chart more, but I'll have to wait for the "replacement" sensor to arrive for that to happen. So tomorrow's goal is to walk for 30, maybe 60 minutes.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My goal is to run in this...

from the Dennis P. McHugh foundation webpage "Save the Date The Fifth Annual Dennis P. McHugh "Run for Fun" Saturday, May 17, 2008 Flywheel Park, Piermont, NY"By chance I went to visit the webpage of the foundation as I saved it in my favorites. Dennis' dad grew up in Ireland with my dad, and they worked on the NYC buses together too, and Dennis was one of the 343 FDNY killed on Sept. 11th. I think this is a good "excuse" to get my butt in shape, and my ultimate goal will be helping an organization that helps others. Lord knows I will never forget Dennis' wake.

for more info check out http://www.dennispmchugh.org/

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Grad School

Since January of 2001 I have been giving thought to graduate school. Usually I'm pissed at the Catholic school I'm working at and want to jump ship and move to Ohio, or I'm just annoyed at where I'm working and want a change. This year brings the same thoughts, but I like my babysitting gig, I'm helping 2 families out and getting paid for it. Granted the only thing that sucks is the whole lack of health insurance and it being a non-taxable job. ;) Well that's not a bad thing, but when the what have you been doing question comes up in an interview, I get to say babysitting, and get the "what is wrong with you look."

I'm tired of the same shit, of getting a job I think will be great, having it suck and then me losing it, and I get screwed for having some fucking morals. I want to know why I was the only member of the religion faculty to go to the March for Life last year, seriously, I was hired to make religion fun for the students and when I did that, I was accused of not being loyal to the Church. Bite me, you can't get more loyal than I am. I was sure as shit teaching "Church teaching" the kids are just so damn tired of hearing the same shit year after year, they'd rather see you living it and being true to what you are saying than just spewing shit from a book, a monkey could do that.

I'm tired of being the black sheep of the family because I'm "republican" guess what I'm against the killing of innocent babies in the womb, that's why I'm not a democrat. I'm probably more of a democrat than a republican any way, but I can not support a party that says it's ok to kill the unborn, and I can't comprehend why so many "Catholics" are democrats and ok with the baby killing. My extended family and my own family looks at me like I'm crazy for being " a one issue voter" You know what I am a one issue voter, I can comprehend how parents get up and argue on a national debate of who's more pro-abortion. I do not want to see the work of the last 8 years get tossed down the shitter because we want "change" No matter whom we stick in that office, the economy is going to suck, and apparently live will to.

People need to stop living in the fantasy world of I need 2 cars to survive, and I need 2 bedrooms per child because I need the big ass house or apartment. Dude all you need is a mommy and daddy room, a girls room and a boys room. After a while if you're like my friends and I you'll need to upgrade simply because the house will be too small for your 10 kids. ;)

I don't get it. Looking back on the past few years, I feel like I'll never get out of this hell hole. I so planned on being out of the house by now, I can't stand being asking where I'm going and all those other questions. I'm freaking 28 years old, if I want to go out I'm going to go out.

Oh well, it's midnight and since I've up all day and letting the lack of sleep affect me, I should just go to bed.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I'll probably be using this as a place to get my thoughts out, you know the typical stuff you do on blogs.

10 years ago

This time 10 years ago I was getting ready to go on/to my first March for Life. It would be one of my encounters with the "minor seminarians" and their rector, Fr. Serratelli (at the time, now Bishop) and spiritual director, Fr. Bill, and my first trip, well technically my 2nd trip with Seton Hall United for Life (SHUFL), and I was slowly finding my way into the "trenches" of Campus Ministry. Having only spent one semester at SHU or 4 months as I figure, I was excited to get back, but college certainly wasn't what I thought it would be. Let's just say that first year wasn't easy.

So I made it through the March for Life and Fr. Serratelli let me back on my own bus (It was SHUFL's bus.) even though we might have been a few minutes late and was getting ready for the RCIA retreat that year. This is how Campus ministry sucked me in, they called and said "we need a sponsor in the RCIA program, do you want to do it?" I said, "sure." So I was going on my first RCIA retreat. It was a overnight retreat at St. Mary's in Sloatsburg, NY, and it was definitely an experience. We went Friday evening to Saturday evening so I was on campus on Sunday, which at that time was a strange occurrence for me.

Sunday, January 25, 1998 will be a day I never forget. I remember the phone ringing, and my roommate answered the phone and say yeah she's here. It was 9am, or around there, whatever time it was, it was early for a college student. I wondered what the phone call was about, Mom knew I was on retreat so she wouldn't be calling, and most of my friends wouldn't call that early,so I wasn't also wondering who it was.

"It's Jacqi (Jackie), I had bad news, Gary VanderVeer was killed in a car accident last night. Fr. Geno's having a prayer service tonight."

The conversation becomes blank in my mind at this point. I remember calling my friend Carol to let her know, and she called me back to make sure she was awake and wasn't dreaming. I then went out into the hallway so not to disturb my roommate to call my mom to let her know. I remember barely being able to get the words Gary died out before the tears came. Plans for made for Dad to come get me so I could be home for the prayer service and eventually the wake.

I remember walking up to St. Anthony's and just hugging classmates and friends from high school. Church was packed with teenagers, those from youth group of which Gary was part of for his 4 years of high school, and ones from our high school, you know the ones you never thought you'd see in church. I remember Fr. Geno telling us that we did anything stupid and died that he'd come up there and kick our asses. It got all of us to laugh, and that it was mattered at that point.

The days following are a blur, I remember returning to SHU that Sunday night for Mass, it was probably the 8pm, Fr. Bill's Mass and the RCIA Mass, but I don't remember. I remember not wanting to be at Seton Hall, but wanting to be at home. I remember returning home to go to the wake with my friend Carol, because no one really wants to go to a wake by themselves, especially for one of your friends.

Maybe all of these memories are coming back because I was just at Browning-Forshay for the wake of father of one of our youth group "kids." Actually, what happened there was strangely amusing. I had a liturgy committee meeting at St. Anthony's that night and I had offered to bake the cake for the evening so I went to St. A's dropped off the cake, got a Mass card and went on my way to the funeral home. Now this was stupid on my part for thinking it was be one of those run in and out deals, but I thought it would be. So I pull into the parking lot and see that no spots are open so I drive around and decide I'll park in the bank next door, I happened to see a spot on the street so I opted for that. I walked in the front door of the funeral home and my thought process wen like this; "wow, it's been a while since I've walked in this way" "oh man it's the same rooms are Gary's" "crap the line's long" "wow it's out the door, just like Gary's"

I make my way to the end of the line and the person standing there is Gary's mom aka Mrs. VanderVeer. Lynne and I know each other from me going to high school and youth group with her boys and from both of us helping out at St. Anthony's so one would think we'd have been able to have more of a conversation other than, "hi" Honestly, I'd say we were both thinking the same thing, and what do you say to someone when it's the 10th anniversary of her son's death.

I stood there and said to myself, "God you have sick sense of humor, as do you G." At least I was able to smile a little. Mr. Frega's wake really did send me back in time, I was reliving what I had done 10 years ago, only this time for an adult taken suddenly, not someone my age "taken too soon".

Little did I know how much Gary's death would affect me. My second semester at SHU saw me doing things one would have expected, spending more and more time in Campus Ministry, and doing things one would not have expected, join a sorority, think about switching majors, losing a scholarship.

In the last 10 years I have probably thought of Gary almost everyday, I know the last year and half I more than likely have because usually when I think of Fiona I think of Gary. Two lives taken before we wanted them to leave earth, but taken when God wanted them home.

I was asked to give a 3 minute testimony of Love in December of 2006 for the parish mission, and I actually had a hard time writing it, now for me retreat talks and testimonies are nothing to write, I've been doing it for well, 10 years now. I chose to write Fiona's death and how much her family means to me. Seeing as they call me "aunt" but I'm really just a good friend of the family, the gigantic family that they are. My mom asked me why I chose Fiona and I said probably because it was the closest thing to happen. I remember thinking I could talk about Gary's death, but I felt strange considering that I was at home and I had yet to talk about Gary in front of St. Anthony's, and his death finds it's way into my retreat talks all the time because it was such a major event in my life.

There have been no tears this year for this anniversary, but I'm sure it will hit me on Friday at Mass. On New Year's Day Gary's dad was the lector at Mass and at the end of Mass I turned to my mom and it's been 10 years.
10 years seem so far yet so close. 2 years after I buried Gary, the SHU fire happened and well that and the events that followed are another blog, but both events seem so close yet so far.