Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sacred Heart - Bellevue

Tomorrow I will fly home, again, to give a talk at Sacred Heart in Bellevue, Washington. The archdiocese is beginning the "Annual Catholic Appeal," which funds the various programs throughout the Church in Western Washington. Since seminarian education is one area the appeal serves, some parishes that can afford it like to fly seminarians back to speak.

I spoke at this parish last year and was very well recieved by the parishoners. It is located in one of the wealthiest areas in Western Washington, and in fact, Bill Gates' wife is a registered parishoner there (although I'm not sure if she will be there or not).

I'm just going to tell them about how the year has gone. I'll tell them a couple of stories and then mention that we have our largest ordination class in about 30 years (Seven men will be ordained). It should go well.

So if any of you will be in the area, stop by!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

WOW!

A Notre Dame alum and rape victim expresses her thoughts on recent happenings at UND.

Wow!


As I became acquainted with most of the faculty and students involved with the production of "The Vagina Monologues," I quickly noticed a rather common trend. Despite being dedicated to the protection of women, most of the women I encountered who were directly involved with the production of "The Vagina Monologues" held a very limited and sometimes even warped understanding of a woman's true beauty and power. They simply equated sexual forcefulness with liberation and healing. In essence, they advocated a position that it is healthy for women to act in a similar manner to the men who had hurt them - domineering, insensitive and completely self-absorbed. It was hard for me to warm up to this idea.


Wow!

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Jubilarian Mass

We had the Jubilee Mass today at the Seminary, for priests ordained for 25, or 50 years.

It was pretty cool.

The Blogosphere's favorite Cardinal was there.

We ate good food afterwards.

Not much else to report. Sorry for the bore.

God or the Girl Finale

God or the Girl ended last night. I watched it at 11 along with a couple guys from my dorm who were still up. Again, overall I was impressed with the show and thought A&E did a great job with it, despite some minor things I've posted about. Some thoughts on each of the guys.

Joe - Joe decided not to become a priest. I thought it was a good choice. He seemed to have a very legalistic view of celibacy and human sexuality which I think may have led to a lot of his confusion. Still, he landed in a job that I would want if I wasn't still in seminary...Lay minister of a college campus. Joe mentioned that he was involved in some spiritual directing with some of his students, which I was a little weary of, since he was so indecisive in the show. I think Joe is in a good place and wish him the best.

Dan - The guy I thought was a sure thing didn't work out either. But I think it was a good decision. I wouldn't have wanted to leave college early for anything. He's doing good work for God and lives in a pretty cool place. If one or two of his roomates don't enter though, I'd be surprised. To bad I'll never find out if that happened or not. His girlfriend is awesome...was that Steubenville's campus in the background of her spots? Anyway, the guy is still The Man in my book.

Steven Horvath - At least one of the guys signed up. Oh, how I remember what it was like to be a brand new seminarian. It just seemed so easy back then. Like the tough part of the discernment is over and now you just cruise to ordination. Listen up Steve...You've got a battle in front of you. You WILL get frustrated. There WILL be days when you will want to leave. It WILL be a tough adjustment. But it looks like you've got a good head on your shoulders, and a good prayer life. Stick close to our Lady and our Lord, and you WILL become a priest.

I wonder if they'll do another season. If any of you are wondering, No, I would not want to have a reality show about me while I'm at seminary. That would be way way way too much to handle. But, I will watch the show again if they ever did it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Onto some sports stuff...

Because I actually haven't talked about it in a while, and I've been so busy writing papers lately that I have a lot of news to read myself.

First off, its official. Adam Morrison is going to the NBA. Yeah, it will be sad not seeing the guy sporting the Zag colors anymore, but it actually might be better for GU in the Long run. As always, Scott at La Revolucion has lots of hilarious commentary.

Also concerning the NBA draft, it seems as there's been a blow to UCLA and the Pac 10 since two of their stars have declared for the draft as well. Arron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar might not leave though, since neither of them have hired agents. I kind of think it might end up that Afflalo will leave and Farmar will stay. Some piece of my brain is telling me that as a fan of West Coast teams, I should be sad, but I'm definitely feeling happy about this. UCLA (and USC) are quickly becoming teams I hate. One reason for this is that they tend to beat my favorite teams in big games. The other is that they spur a bandwagon mentality so prevalent down here in LA. If the team is winning, everyone pretends like they're a fan. If they're losing, everyone pretends like their a fan of some other team...Awful. Nothing against Afflalo though. That guy actually seems pretty cool.

The Mariners look pretty bad...but not all the time. I am actually kind of excited about them this year. They are fun to watch. They are running the bases pretty aggressively, which is cool, and their defense is pretty solid. Still, that bullpen has got to shape up, or they need to ship some of these guys out now. Anybody remember the later-middler nineties when the M's had everything minus a bullpen. I remember watching games when they'd be up 5 or 6 runs only to hand it to Bobby Ayala and Norm Norm Charleton before the sad losery ride home. Ugh. And yet the M's still made the playoffs in '97 only to deal promising young talent Jose Cruz for some serious mediocrity (Mike Timlin, Paul Spoljarek - sp?) Seriously though...This wasn't even the worst deal. The Worst Deal in Mariners history? Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for (worst mariner ever?) Heathcliff Slocumb. All of this was due to the terrible bullpen! Should the mariners young'ns keep up the decent play, and should the expensive veterans play the way they are supposed to, we got a decent squad. But if the team stays in contention I don't want to see guys like Reed or Betancourt or Lopez or Rivera mentioned in Trade Rumors. So my plea to Mr. Bavasi...Please get us some help..NOW!

I don't buy that the Sonics will be leaving Seattle.

Shaun...Please tell me what happened to the Canucks.

Can't wait for the World Cup. I have a feeling this blog is going to turn into a World Cup/ mariners Blog over the summer. I'm kicking around some ideas of gimmicks to keep up, sort of like all the awesomeness at La revolucion. Hopefully with more time on my hands I can actually write some coherent posts that aren't loaded with grammatical and spelling errors.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Discernment Info

The amount of Blogging on God or the Girl has expanded into the evangelical blogs as well. I've left some comments on some, and since most of those people will probably be visiting me now, I think its worthwhile to share some of my thoughts on discernment and parts of the show as well.

First of all, I must say that I am greatful to the people at A&E for making this show. Still, A&E is a televisions station, and thus makes money by attracting people to watch the show, and the advertisements. In order to keep ratings up, it has made it seem as though there are some absolutes that don't really exist. The first one, is that it is Either God, or 'the Girl and not God.' Having the distinction might lead some to the belief that Catholics somehow see marriage as being less committed to God. This is not true. Holiness, complete commitment to God, is the Goal of Christians, whether married, or single, or consecrated to celibacy. In fact, it was revealed on Larry King Live that the original title for the show was "The Holy Journey." Obviously that doesn't sell, but it is more truthful. Our vocation is part of our journey to holiness, not its beginning or end.

Onto some comments on the show. Somewhere out there (unfortunately I can't find the page anymore) someone wrote that they didn't like the position the girls were put into. I must say I agree. A good friend of mine was dating a guy who was discerning the priesthood, and it was almost as if it turned into a battle between her and God for this guy's life. That wasn't cool at all, and both my friends regret having the relationship. You should never discern two vocations at a time. I would have liked to have seen Mike pick one thing to focus his attention and prayer life on. Some college seminary programs allow their guys to date, and while I'm sure their vocation directors know best, I think this would be way too confusing for college seminarians to handle. I think Dan did it right on the show. Him and Amber (at least I think it was Amber), in realizing their Christian call to holiness, took time off to discern. Amber had the best line of the show when she told Dan that she wanted to see him in heaven! That is what its all about! That is the meaning of Vocation!

The discernment process seemed very complicated and absolute on the show. None of the guys are making an absolute decision to date, or go to seminary. Here at my seminary, I can leave whenever I want. In fact, about 5 guys have already left this year. The seminary is merely a place of more intense, more focused discernment, where not only you discern the priesthood, but where the Church discerns whether or not it wants you as a priest. So far, that element has been left out. I believe this guy said this as well. Also, just because one of these guys might decide on "the girl" doesn't mean he could later reconsider and go to seminary.

One Evangelical blog made a statement about the Tension, Terror, and Triumph that was brought up on the show. This, I feel was fueled again by the TV ratings factor. Alliteration just makes things more exciting, and those are strong words. Sure there is tension in answering our vocation, just as the apostles felt tension with the world they were in. And sure, when I started visiting the idea of priesthood I was a little scared (just as my friends have had 'cold feet' on their wedding day. Have I triumphed? Well...I'm going to go with no, although I'm happy where I am right now. These words however, to the non-discerner, may make the discernment process a little more intimidating than it actually is.

I might add more to this later, but I feel I've typed enough. Any questions about discernment can be left in the comment box, or emailed to me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Back to work

After a Blessed Easter with family and friends I'm back at Seminary to study hard for the last 5 weeks of the year. I still have a couple papers hanging over my head, but I was fairly productive over the week.

Some highlights from my week:

- Going to Mass on Western Washington University's campus for the first time this year.

- The Triduum (Holy Thurs, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) and all the good liturgies that go along with it.

- Hanging out with Nick and Adam and Brandon in Bellvue. We went to a new place called The Parlor, which has a ton of pool tables. We played pool for a couple hours and caught up on everything going on.

- Hanging out with Scott in Bellingham. Pretty typical. Just sitting around, talking. Making fun of each other.

- Hanging out with Dan at some of my favorite places (The Beav and Boundary Bay) in Bellingham. I love Boundary. Wish I had a scotch Ale right now as a matter of fact.

- Eating Deer with my dad. Venison is tasty stuff. If you haven't tried it, you're missing out.

Just a few things I got to do. I'll be back in Seattle in a few weeks. Please let me know if you'll be around. Also, the A&E show "God or the Girl" is pretty good. For those of you who were wondering, my discernment was not that difficult, although I'm sure its not as difficult for all of these guys as A&E is making it look. I just felt an urge to be a priest, and responded. I'm not saying it was an easy decision (heck my mind and heart aren't even made up yet), but I didn't have any obstacles stopping me like some of these guys have. In conclusion, I would have been a boring candidate for the show.

Take it easy and enjoy the remaining days of Easter.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Larry King Transcript

Larry King recently did a show on the A&E show "God or the Girl." Thanks to Val for the tip.

Read the Transcript here.

I'm reading through the transcript right now. It is quite good, but very very typical. You have a couple priests, a former priest, a bible quoting anti-catholic evangelical, and Dan the Man. I decided to nickname Dan "the man" for obvious reasons. Read his responses to find out.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Please Watch This...

The Catholic blogs have been reporting on this for a week or so now. Its a reality show about guys thinking of signing up for the priesthood. American Papist has the goods here. The show, called God or the Girl will be shown on A&E on Easter. The official website here.

I heard its supposed to be really good. The reviews by Catholics has been very very positive. I'm not sure what more secular audiences think of it. The guys they picked seem pretty cool though.

Things are going well back home. I got to serve at Holy Thursday Mass yesterday, and look forward to the rest of the Triduum.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Holy Week

Back in the Ham for Holy week and I'm having a great time. Can't wait to serve at my home parish this weekend. I have some homework, so I've been going back to Wilson Library at WWU to study a bit. Its fun to pretend like I'm in college again. I miss my buddies though.

Come back

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Now THIS is worth mentioning

SIMPSONS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously. Check it out.

Some Evangelical Christians remember the date they were "saved." I, being a good Catholic, remember the date I became a Simpsons fan. Well, not really, but I do remember what episode I was watching when I accepted Homer as my personal funniest thing on TV. The Kamp Krusty episode from Season 4. After that it was all down hill. Until season 11 came, and it got so bad that I stopped watching. Then it was back uphill. Now I'm in the seminary studying to be a priest. Funny how things work out.

Hopefully they'll have the writers who wrote season 7, which is hands down the best season ever.

Thanks to Thomas at American Papist for posting this.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

John Paul II

I wasn't going to write some big reflection on the death of John Paul the Great, now that it has been one year since his death. Yet, after watching the CNN special on the man's last days I'll just say a few words.

I miss him. Nobody influenced my Vocation to the priesthood more than him. I want to be the best seminarian I can be, so I can be the best Priest I can be, for him.

Thanks again Holy Father

Oh yeah...

Theres a spider on your head...


April Fools.

Slowing Down

I've been able to blog a lot lately due to excessive amounts of time. Unfortunately, its caught up to me. I probably won't be blogging a lot for the next couple of weeks, due to school and Holy Week happenings. Here is an update of what I'll be doing...

Theology - At the behest of my professor, I will be writing a paper on the eschatology (the study of the Last things; death, heaven, hell, apocalypse) of Johann Baptist Metz. It will have to be 5 pages, which isn't too bad. If anyones interested, I can post the paper at a later date.

Greek - Our professor is mad at my class because we haven't been keeping up on our vocabulary. So I'll be working on vocabulary this weekend.

New Testament - My exegesis on Luke 4 1-13 needs to get done soon. These verses make up Luke's account of the Temptation of Christ. I also have to do a summary on the types of criticism one of our textbooks lay out. Each of these is about 5 pages.

Theology - Have a mock debate on Vatican 1 to prepare for. I represent the Old Catholics who weren't too down with infalibility.

Spanish - Not much to do here.

Philosophy - Not much to do here either. We've been reading Gabriel Marcel lately. If you don't know who he is, I'd recomend reading his stuff. Its really good.

Holy Week - I get to go home!!! Most of the week I will be serving at my home parish, Church of the Assumption, in Bellingham WA. Hopefully I will also get a chance to help out at the Campus Ministry at Western Washington University. Of course, I will have some free time to hit up some of my favorite spots and hang out with some friends. If you happen to be one of these friends and are reading this, please let me know if you'll be around.

Looking forward to Baseball season...Hopefully the Mariners can surprise some people (myself included).

Have a good week or two... If I see anything interesting I'll post a link or something.