Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Journey of Faith at Joint Base Charleston

I am really excited for today's Journey of Faith event at Joint Base Charleston, SC.  From the saints that will be portrayed for the children, to the teens that are eager to serve, I can feel a sense of community and longing for God within many who I have spoken to about this.  Now, all we need is for families to show up! 

What is the Journey of Faith?

The Journey of Faith is intended to foster community involvement in a Christ-centered, Catholic environment aimed at family catechesis with community support.
Using Passports and Stamps, Families will be able to go through 5 stations to learn of Saints' lives and how they were able to put Christ as the center of their lives. Everyone in the parish will fit into one of three roles;

Travelers (children) - those who are on their journey and are learning as they go
Chaperones (parents) - those who have been on the journey and are now responsible for others' journeys
Tour Guides - those in the community who may not be directly responsible for a traveler but will still be there to guide them as needed

The children must look to their chaperones and tour guides within the community for the transmittal of faith. Each chaperone and tour guide has a saint pamphlet and can introduce the child to the saint, explain how they can relate to the child today, and how to look to the Communion of Saints for Intercession in our daily lives.

If you are here reading this after attending the event, I hope you enjoyed yourself and learned of Saints' lives. Here are the links that were available on the pamphlet and more! (provider of all artwork for stations)

Until next time, May God Bless You and enjoy spreading the Gospel!

Please leave feedback on the Journey of Faith, comments on the articles or anything else you want to say in the comments section below!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Populating Heaven, One Soul at a Time

Imagine if we could populate heaven... What an amazing grace that would be!  St. Therese of Lisieux said that she would spend her heaven doing good on earth!  What if we spent a few moments of our lives helping others to be like St. Therese?  

"During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff." 

If our love for Christ urges us to MAKE time to offer an indulgence for a soul, we would be allowing one more soul into the Glory of the Kingdom of Heaven, another patron in the communion of saints to be praising God for His Immense Glory while praying and interceding for us who simply wanted to populate heaven.

Be fruitful and multiply(GEN 1:28).  Let's bear fruit during this Year of Faith and pray for our beloved in purgatory so that we may assist the Body of Christ in multiplying in faith and fervor through the Plenary Indulgences for Souls in Purgatory.  

St. Therese, Pray for Us!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Why? To Reflect God's Love, that's Why!

Why?  That is a common question in our lives.  Why me?  Why us?  Why should I get married?  Why should I go to Church?  Why have a World Meeting of Families in the first place?  Why do you want to go?  Why go through the hassle of bringing 5 small children to a foreign country?  Why?  The answer was simple for us since the beginning:  To meet Jesus Christ.  Jesus is present in our lives in 3 significant ways:  

  • When two or more are gathered in His name
  • In His Word
  • In His Most Precious Body and Blood in the Eucharist. 
Jesus, as I have been blessed to find out, WAS not a biblical or historical figure that served as a model of good behavior and morality.  He is alive!  He IS a man that was innocently subjected to brutal punishment and suffering.  He IS a man that died on a cross AFTER forgiving those who persecuted Him.  He IS a man that broke the chains of death and rose again.  He IS a man who IS in Heaven, seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.  But, Did You Know that He IS also intimately concerned with every aspect of our lives and cares about each of us as individuals?  He wants us to know that he desires us to call on Him for help in our jobs, seek His guidance in our education, ask Him for forgiveness and mercy in our shortcomings, but also to call on Him to guide our relationships whether we are discerning a new relationship or we've been married for decades.  Jesus wants to be part of our lives as Men; Brothers, Coworkers, Friends, Teammates, but let us not forget our most important roles; Husbands, and Fathers.  For those of us who have been called to the daunting task of being a Husband, and/or Father, Jesus wants to give us the strength to introduce our families to His Divine Mercy and lead them to His kingdom for all eternity!

We wanted to meet this caring Jesus, the Jesus  that since the beginning, was the Word and knew he would one day be proclaimed to a million families in Milan, the Jesus present in the Eucharist during Mass with the Holy Father, and the Jesus very present when all the families from across the world gathered together in His name with the Successor of Peter, the Rock on whom he built His Church to share the trials and hardships of raising families, keeping marriages together, paying for healthcare, losing jobs and all the other crosses we may come to bear with Families in today's world. 

As a man, I like to have strength, I like to be part of a team, I like to know I can DO something.  Never did I feel more solidarity and strength, more empowered than when I was around other families, watching other men love their wives, nurture their children and love our God.  Then the Holy Father commissioned us: Go Out and Change the World!  How? With God's Love.  One family at a time.  If we raise our children to know the immense mercy and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, then they may grow up, fully aware of their dignity as a creation in the image of God and simply be a mirror that reflects God's love to the world.  
In the words Blessed John Paul II frequently spoke, Do Not Be Afraid!  My fellow Husbands and Fathers, although the task is a daunting one, we need not fret for we do not have to be the source of light and love for our families as God has already provided that for us.  All we have to do is not be DE-flectors, but rather RE-flectors of God's love and point it to our families, who are in need of us more than we may ever know.

No One Eats Lunch With the Pope

Lunch with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI after the VII World Meeting of Families.

Over One Million people were estimated to be in attendance at the Holy Mass presided by the Pope in Milan on June 3rd, 2012, and after that, no one ate lunch with the Pope.  I was the "no one" that ate lunch with the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of Peter!

We had no idea -back in August of 2011- that we would be sitting down with the Holy Father for lunch, representing America in receiving the next World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.  I was up late, reminiscing the good 'ol days of World Youth Day in Rome with Blessed John Paul II when I came across a link for The website was only in Italian at that time, but I copied and pasted its contents into Google Translator until I found out that the next WMF was in Milan in June of 2012.  I woke my wife (it was around 1a.m.) and told her, "God's calling us to Milan!  We are going for the World Meeting of Families with Pope Benedict XVI!"  We received the call at that time, said our "Yes" to the Holy Spirit and it certainly was done unto us according to His will!

I took my wife and five children on my back and on Faith, we headed out with little luggage, many diapers and a whole lot of Prayer. (There will be Graces waiting in Milan, and if God wills that we receive some of them, then we will make it there, if not, so be it.)   Eventually, despite the financial and logistical challenges and setbacks along the way, we made it to the Mass and More!  We asked for an inch and God provided a mile!  Thank you, Father in Heaven for your Providence. Thank you, Jesus, for your love and mercy in our lives.  Thank you, Holy Spirit for being our advocate, our guide and our strength as we made this miracle-filled journey!

Saint Padre Pio, Pray for Us!