Monday, December 27, 2010

St. Paul Inside the Walls

A while back I got an e-mail saying that the young adult group at St. Paul Inside the Walls, the Paterson Diocese's evangelization center, was planning a trip to Rome. I thought about not going for a few minutes and then said yes, and made a commitment to do more at the center.  Granted Fr. Geno who is running the center was the priest who started youth ministry at my parish and I've known and loved him for years, 17 to be exact, and that is kind of scary, but still.  So I decided to do more with the young adult group as it really was a petty reason why I wasn't down there. I opted for the young adult connection meetings as they fall on my day off and it's easier for me to get there on time for stuff.  Yesterday's discussion evolved around the Immaculate Conception/Mary, laughter, and on an odd note the whole abuse scandal.  On Sunday, the NJ Star Ledger, ran a story on the Archdiocese's so called handling of priests who have been accused.  I had read the Archdiocese response before I read the actual article. I went skimmed the Star Ledger article and some of the comments (I don't know why I read those either) and it was filled with the same story we hear all the time.  The church does moves them around, the church doesn't care.

Wrong Star Ledger, the Church does care and always has.  The Church is made up of humans of which we are all sinners and not perfect.  Priests are not perfect, I'm not perfect, humanity is not perfect, we just have to deal with it.  I want to know when the Star Ledger will do a cover story on the countless "good" priests out there, you know the ones running Evangelization centers, caring for the abuse victims, the man who helps a family mourn the loss of a loved one, helping/counseling those in need.  Yes the Church needs vocations, true vocations.  Most guys know what they are getting into when they enter the seminary or so I hope they do.

In my 31 years I have met with and dealt with many priests, some I've liked, some I've disliked and others I have loved.  Those that fall under the love category are those that have shown me what being a priest truly is.  It is the priest who is happy in his vocation, the one who can laugh and cry with you, all the while still being human and above all a friend.  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where have I been...

Seeing as it's been quite some time since I updated I might as well explain my absence.  Working a full time job from 9-6 actually takes away a lot of time for me to sit and just stare at the computer screen.  Considering our registers at work are computers, the last thing I really want to do when I come home is sit and type or play on the internet.  I also tend to blog about the homilies I heard but since Fr. Brian moved I really don't have anything to blog about.  I am taking on the task of co-directing the Women's Cornerstone retreat at the parish. I know I'm crazy, but it should be worth it.  I'm also going to spend the next few entries discussing my photography skills and pics from the Paterson Diocese's pilgrimage to the National Shrine in DC and from the dedication of St. Paul Inside the Walls The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard, the center is the first of it's kind and will hopefully be a wonderful investment and growth for Paterson Diocese.  For the most part I have spent my days working, evenings watching TV and sleeping, some nights are spent watching tv at a friend's apartment, and some others have me at meetings for Church.

Monday, June 21, 2010


So we got the news today that Fr. Brian is being promoted to pastor of St. Joseph's in Newton. It's a bittersweet promotion, for him and us. I fully understand why Bishop Serratelli would promote Fr. Brian as he is a great priest and is traditional and conservative, which is what a Catholic should be. I have yet to put into words what Fr. Brian has done for me over his 4 years at the parish.  His transfer did inspire me to write about those priests in my life that have really stood out and touched my life more so than just being the guy who says Mass.  I've often said there has been one priest in my life at certain times too see me through that time, and it does seem that way.  I'm privileged to know as many priests as I do and to be able to count on them for their prayers and ability to answer my wacky questions.  On that note I need to ask Fr. Brian a question about Women's Cornerstone as I've been asked a few times to run the darn thing.  I just don't if I'm up for it.  Oh well that question will have to wait until later today after the Extraordinary Minister Training meeting, oh I think I need to blog about those too.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Diocese of Paterson's Chrism Mass

I finally made it to the Diocese's Chrism Mass.  I borrowed a camera from work and got some pictures but most of them are fuzzy as either I or the priest was moving and the flash was off.  Oh well, it wasn't about taking pictures it was about the priesthood and good, holy priests.  The Mass was bilingual of course Bishop Serratelli preached in both Spanish and English, with the English portion getting the bulk of the homily, though I'm pretty sure that basically the same thing was said in either language.  As usual I don't remember much of what the Bishop said in his homily, but I do remember thinking as I sat way in the back of our Cathedral, "he's preaching to his priests."  He did not let his priests, himself or his people off the hook. He called all of us to be true to the Church, to not be afraid to be Catholic and to speak out.  He reminded his priests and his people, that the priests are called liked St. Peter and how much like St. Peter most begin their priesthood with enthusiasm and vigor and slowly they begin to ask questions, be it, where do I get the money for all our programs, our school, our buildings.  Bishop Serratelli went on to speak on how we need good holy men, like those there tonight and I couldn't help but think he's preaching to the choir, but our priests do need to hear thanks and good job because so often they are put down and ignored because they are speaking the truth.

The homily was geared towards the priests but that doesn't mean the lay person can't take anything away from it, as basically the priest is called to teach and defend Church Teaching as are the faithful members of the Church and Bishop Serratelli said as much.  At the end of the Mass we got the short "second homily" as Fr. Brian calls it or as most others would call it the comments before the close of Mass.  In this short but forceful commentary the good Bishop reminded the people that it was our duty to pray for and defend Church teaching especially now as the Freedom of religion is being challenged and how laws are against what we teach.  I remember actually saying "Rock on Serratelli!" as I stood at the back after Communion so I could position myself to take pictures of the priests and deacons walking out.

The Chrism Mass is one of those that is often said to be the priests' Mass as they are renewing their commitment to the priesthood and to the Diocese as is the Bishop.  One of my favorite parts of any con-celebrated Mass is when the priests all chant the "through Him, with Him and in Him" at the end of the Eucharistic prayer.  I don't know why but I have always liked that.  I also remember at the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer and I'm sure it's actually in the prayer but it was nice to hear "Holy Mother Church", and to have the Church referred to in the feminine pronouns.  

What also strikes me is how happy the priests are, I knew a good few of the men there, but the ones I know personally and with whom I still keep in contact with, Fathers Brando, Brian, Martin, George, Kevin, Geno and of course the Bishop all had smiles on their face.  Fr. George had his classic ear to ear grin on. Fr. Kevin was very happy to see me and actually waved to me which was odd, but Fr. Kevin actually me recently.  Fr. Brian and Fr. Martin see me all the time as they are my parish priests.  Fr. Geno was in classic Fr. Geno mode of just happy.  Fr. Brando was typical of himself, a huge smile to greet me along with the classic you look great comment, he will always be one of my favorites just for that.  ;)

I don't know if my parish priests saw me or not, but when I went to Mass on Tuesday Fr. Martin came back into the Church and said "Mary nice to see you" and gave me the usual kiss greeting. While not overly out of the ordinary it was not at all how he normally greets me, makes me wonder if either he's finally gotten used to the parish or if he actually saw me at the Chrism Mass but opted to not say anything.

Anyway Bishop Serratelli gave a wonderful homily and reminded us that we need to pray for and defend the Church now more than ever and that we need to give our children to the Church for vocations.  I've often said to myself and God, "you can have all my sons, just give me a good holy Catholic man to have some with."  God can have the girls too, but I've always felt like the sons should I have any would be priests.  Oh well, that's not happening anytime soon.

As usual the Chrism Mass was beautiful and a great way to start Holy Week.  Hopefully I can participate fully in the Triddumm this year and not just Friday and Saturday, but that's up to the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lent workout

I finally started on my "giving up being lazy" thing for Lent. I've used my treadmill 2 times which is more than I have used it in quite sometime. The first time I used it was for 15 minutes and my right knee, which happens to the one with a repaired ACL was sore as Hell. I did go out for a walk on Sunday as I borrowed a camera from work to take pictures of the snow. I figured I did not need to use the treadmill as I was out for 2.5 hours. Tonight I opted, after watching Biggest Loser, to get my ass on the treadmill for a total of 17 minutes of which 5 total were running and the rest were walking, in total I ran over a 1/4 mile which was nice. Now the plan is to improve from there otherwise known as get back to what I used to be able to run and one day run the Disney Marathon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Somethings I'm thinking of for Lent...

Give up being lazy when it comes to the treadmill as if it's for Lent I have a better shot at actually doing something.

Daily Mass which is more like weekly Mass as I can only go on Tuesdays.

Maybe a weekly Rosary for the unborn.

I do like Fr. Philip's idea of a holy hour and reminded us that it doesn't have to be adoration, but just simply sitting in the Church... I remember Bishop Serratelli saying that at one point.

that's a good start, lol.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

blogging from me phone

Seeing how easy difficult it is to blog from my new droid eris. so far it does not seem too bad, but there is a lag in the touch keyboard.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Walk to Run take 2; day 1

Since I finally got that treadmill I've been asking for it's about time I make use of it. As I have mentioned before I have an iPod which I got for one simple reason to use with the Nike+ stuff. I am fully aware that Nike supports Planned Parenthood, but so do a lot of companies and while it annoys me that some of my money goes to PP, I know there are other ways to help the unborn.

Anyway, I have once again started the Nike+ coach plan titled walk to run, and I figure that if I have to upload the info to their page that I also might as well blog about it as it hold me accountable to whomever might actually read this. So day one, which was today went wall, then again walking 15mins isn't that bad.

The Walk to Run program is a 12 week program that is supposed to bring me from walking to running 30 minutes straight or 1.86 miles. My goal is to run in 2 races this coming Spring and Fall. The first one is the Dennis P. McHugh 5k walk/run in May. Though if it is on a Saturday, like I think it will be, I may not be able to participate as I usually work on Saturdays, but it's a goal none the less. My dad went to school with and worked with Dennis' (who was one of the 393 firefighters killed on Sept. 11th) father, so it would be nice to run in it for that reason alone. The second race I would like to partake in is the "Tunnel to Towers Run" This run retraces the steps of Firefighter Steven Siller who literally ran with his equipment on his back from the Brooklyn tunnel to the Twin Towers, who also is numbered in the 393. This race is on a Sunday, so it's doable. It's also in September so I have plenty of time to "train" for it.

So thus begins my journey to get my lazy ass running again. It's also a good excuse to start losing weight. Here's hoping I can stick with it this time around, being able to run and or walk inside the house will help alot with that.

Anyway, day 1 went well and we'll see what the rest of the program will bring with it. According to I was supposed to walk .62 miles and I walked .83 miles, so I'm already ahead of their target for me. For those who care this the info as the iPod gives it:

Distance: 0.83 mi
Time: 15:13
Pace: 18:15 min/mile
Calories: 111

and the big number aka my weight is somewhere around 175lbs, I know I can't believe I actually admitted how much I weigh as well, lol.

There are slight discrepancies between the treadmill and the iPod, I'm following the iPod as it spells it out for me.

All Saints and All Souls (another late one)

I went to type and blog about this at the actual feasts of All Saints and All Souls, you know back in November, but for one reason or another I managed to forgot about it and am now revisiting it. I'm not editing it to fix the grammar to fit today's date, so I'm just going with what I have written.

Seeing as I wanted to blog about Fr. Brian's All Saints homily yesterday, and since we had our Mass of Remembrance tonight for All Souls I figured why not just blog about both. I look at All Saints as the celebration feast and All souls has the more somber remembrance feast. That being said I do like both celebrations but do realize that they are different yet very similar.

I was Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at the 6pm Mass so I got to hear Fr. Brian's homily. It was a good homily filled with correct theology, as in he told us point blank many times during Mass that we are all to be saints and to live like the Saints. It is refreshing to hear someone say you'll be a saint and not oh you'll be an angel. No angels are creatures created by God to worship Him and praise Him.  Saints are awesome people who have gone before us and show us the way to get to Heaven.

So Fr. Brian's homily if I remember correctly has a few pointer in how to live like the Saints. He listed off ways to be a saint or things that the Saints have in common and those are joy, radiate the Light of God, being sinners, listening.  He went on to elaborate on each point, but I'm going to put my own spin on it as I don't remember fully what he said.  Fr. Brian spoke of how each saint is to have joy, that there are rules of engagement and that there's no cheating, I no longer remember what he was talking about; oops, but that is what happens when you let 2 months pass by without blogging.  He did speak about radiating the Light of God as in a happy marriage leads to a happy family or being a happy priests.  He spoke about how the saints are sinners, that they were not perfect and I think that most people forget that and stick Saints on a pedestal and expect them to be perfect, fact is that the Saints were human just like us and that means they were sinners just like us and made mistakes just like us too.  The only sinless people are Jesus and Mary, and I mean really how can anyone expect to be perfect.  ;)  I made a note on here that listening was mentioned twice, which means that was probably the point I needed to hear. The saints listened to God and tried to live out what He had planned for them, no matter what it cost them.

All Saints Day reminds us that we are all called to be saints, not angels or some other being, but a saint, who spends the rest of time with God in Heaven.

On All Souls day we had our annual Mass of Remembrance and I remember Fr. Martin, our pastor who normally isn't very fast with Mass. Which amuses me as in Ireland, where Fr. Martin is from, Mass is beyond fast.  Fr. Martin was very deliberate and slow with Mass, nothing was rushed, which is not to say that is what he normally does, it was just slower that his usual Masses.

I happened to serve as Extraordinary Minister as they needed more as we got a bigger crowd that expected, I was there as a member of the Hospitality Committee, as in I stood at a door and welcomed the people as they walked in; we also distributed the "Mass books" as in the handouts explaining what was going on . I don't remember much from the homily, but what I do remember was him saying the fest of All Souls is a happy occasion and the whole Mass at the graveyard and the blessing of the graves back in Ireland.  I found this strange as my mom earlier that morning that mentioned that as well.  Fr. Martin and my parents are from roughly the same part/section of Ireland, different counties but same area.  What has mainly stuck with me is that I could see the tears on his face when I went up as EMHC.  I didn't expect that as while our priests are allowed to show their emotions like most men (and some women) it's rare to actually see it.

Both feasts All Saints and All Souls are celebrations of life, life with God.  The saints are all (hopefully) where we hope to be; in Heaven with God. While the aspect of death can be scary it's nice to have something to look forward too.