Monday, September 17, 2012

All things to all men...

Well, this was another deeply satisfying and pretty exhausting weekend.  I am not really sure what God is up to with either University Catholic or with St. Mary's, but He is up to SOMETHING.  At times, I get freaked out living in the uncertainty.  Of course, I need to chill and be at peace.  All I need to do is to do what I need to do.  And I pretty much know what I need to do.  Each day there is a new challenge that presents itself.  Right now, I need to respond to the help that is being offered at St. Mary's and to make some decisions about supporting religious education in the parish.  With the university students, I need to be more intentional individually with some some of the young men.  I noticed at Mass last night how many young men were at Mass, which is a very good thing, but I was challenged to think of how to get some of them to make the next step as Christian disciples.  Of course, I need to "meet the people." 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why Isn't Anyone Blogging Anymore?

OK -- I admit that I have not been the world's best blogger of late, but I think that I have come up with a few good posts here or here recently.  But how about the rest of you?  What's up?  I know that you are busy, but do you think that we don't care anymore?

If Kristi Bentley can keep up such quality blogging with three little boys on her hands, I am sure that the rest of us can do better!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Another fun and funny weekend

I have two random assignments as a priest.  An old, historic but not very lively parish downtown and the Catholic students at Vanderbilt (and Belmont and...) who are certainly lively but need formation as they grow into Christian maturity.  This weekend was a great example of both.

Friday night we had a great party to close our Roman Rush outreach to freshmen students.  It is a constant effort to remind (most of) the student leaders to live and lead for others.  This is the secret of evangelization: to live Jesus.  More than anything else that means to serve rather than to be served.  This party was the first weekend night that the freshmen were not programmed by the university so you can imagine what that would mean for very many of them: social encounters of the not-so-good kind.  So we have a party of the good kind, but a party takes work and it takes hospitality.  That is the way to live for others socially and humanly.  Servant leadership involves more than showing up and having a good time yourself.  It means being at the party primarily for others.  That is what the Christian life is always about: living primarily for others.  That is the joy of it!  Very counter cultural!

On Saturday night, I had another social engagement, this time at St. Mary's.  As I have said, the parish is beautiful but not very lively.  Some of the young adults decided to do something about this simply keeping our doors open to what was already happening around us.  On the first Saturday of the month, the cluster of art galleries in the Arcade and on 5th Avenue (we are at 5th and Charlotte) host an art gallery crawl.  We decided to invite in an artist to display his paintings in the crypt and to leave the front doors open after the Saturday evening Mass.  Well, interesting things happened.  In the first place, parishioners stayed after Mass to see what was happening downstairs.  It was sort of like coffee and doughnuts, except with wine and cheese!  Then after a while and a little prompting from the young adults, people started coming in from the other galleries -- sometimes very timidly.  They came for the paintings and reception but most saw the church as well.  And it was an interesting crowd!  The new evangelization, indeed!

And yesterday, we settled into our Sunday routine: Sunday supper, holy hour, and Mass.  It was great: natural and supernatural hospitality.  The lesson for me is to live for the students, especially for the leaders, by taking the time to offer them good formation and witness (yikes!) of living for others.  We are on the way.

UCat Dominicans -- not the one in the middle!

Newly named Br. Cyprian and newly professed Br. Pachomius, O.P. at St. Gertrude's, Cincinnati, Ohio, August 15, 2017

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