Thursday, March 31, 2005

easter and app

I'd been working on my essays for quite a while and scurried to get everything wrapped up before I went home for Easter weekend. The 'ol vocation director wanted everything turned in by Easter so that he could meet with his committee the following week to schedule interviews. Nick, my twin, was a huge help with proofreading despite his Bronchitis.
Next week I've got the first part of my psych evaluation on Monday and the second part on Thursday. That should be interesting, seriously, I'm looking forward to it. I've never really been probed psychologically before, only spiritually. Nothing should be too big of a surprise but I guess you never know...
I'm anxious to hear from my vocation director soon.

I went home for Easter and it was the first time I'd seen my family since the word spread around town that I was interested in the priesthood. Many of my aunts and uncles were in town and we all gathered at my aunt's house for the UK game. I was the center of attention but the spotlight was imposed, not requested...which always makes me feel weird. My mom's side of the family isn't Catholic, so there's not the same docility toward a calling to the priesthood that Catholics have. So I got the litany of questions like "Where did this come from? Don't you want a family? How could you be single all your life? etc etc etc" I tried to patiently answer everybody's questions, I can understand how foreign such a decision could be, especially in today's society were it's not really promoted in family life as a viable option anymore. I hope my answers were humble and honest. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide my responses. Thankfully, there wasn't any hostility toward my decision to discern the priesthood, just general confusion, and it was really just the general confusion most people feel when confronted with something so...different.

It was a great weekend, despite UK's painful loss :( It was great to spend time with my parents and extended family. My sweet little grandmother is already tucking away $50 a month (that my uncle is sneaking her) to support me in seminary and I haven't even been accepted yet! She's so excited :)

Mary, mother of vocations, pray for us!

Monday, March 28, 2005

spiritual direction

Spiritual Direction with Fr. Paul, the weekend of Palm Sunday, was awesome as ususal. It provides a monthly, much-needed weekend retreat from Louisville as his parish is an hour away. This particular weekend was a great blessing as Fr. Paul let me serve the Saturday Benediction so I knelt down beside him during the rite and evening prayer. When he went up to bless the congregation with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance I stayed kneeling, prepared the incense, and gave it a triple blessing...sweeet. Is there anything cooler than hearing that "ching" sound as the thurible hits the chain? I also wore a long black cassock and a surplice that matched father's. I was honored to assit Father in the Benediction.

I also served each of his Masses as his Master of Ceremonies. I got to stand next to him during the Eucharistic Prayer and turn the pages in the Sacramentary for him.

All of this kinda makes me feel like a little kid again. I was an altar server when I was really little but I never completely caught on. I remember one time in particular when I served my aunt and uncle's wedding and at one point went and got the gifts myself! I've been serving on the even dated Wednesdays at the Cathedral for several months now but the reverence Fr. Paul uses really envelopes me in the experience. It also allows me to spend more time around the altar studying the priest, learning the Sacramentary and the silent prayers, etc.

Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, pray for us!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

the school of Mary

"Hello world"...the quintessential and most fundamental exercise in programming. It's rather profound once you think about it. I think it's perfect for a first post on my first blog. I didn't want to do the cliche of cliche first-posts: "well, I'm not really sure why I'm doing this but here goes nothing!"
Anyway, the reason why I like it as a first-post is because it tells where I've been (and where I currently am) while the title says where I'm going...or rather, in what I hope to grow.
I'm a "computer guy", I've loved computers since Packard Bell was still around. That's defined who I am, how everyone knows me. I'm that guy aunts and uncles call when spyware has crippled their machines. (which I don't mind!) I currently develop web-based software applications for an investment firm, Invesco.
At the same time (and for some time now) I'm discerning the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Louisville. This is redefining me. I no longer feel like the "computer guy". I now feel like the young-adult-ministry-catholic-scripture-study-C4AMontly-discerning-the-priesthood guy :)
I decided to call this blog "the school of Mary" for a few reasons:
1. Ecclesia de Eucharistia devotes a chapter to this idea starting with:
53. If we wish to rediscover in all its richness the profound relationship between the Church and the Eucharist, we cannot neglect Mary, Mother and model of the Church. In my Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, I pointed to the Blessed Virgin Mary as our teacher in contemplating Christ's face, and among the mysteries of light I included the institution of the Eucharist. Mary can guide us towards this most holy sacrament, because she herself has a profound relationship with it.
2. I'm hoping that frequent use of this blog will remind me to grow in my devotion to our Blessed Mother
3. I have the secret desire (I guess it's not so secret anymore!) to go to St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, MD, one of the seminaries our Archdiocese uses. We currently have a seminarian there, and a priest from the Archdiocese teaches there, so it would be cool to grow a Louisville community and promote Louisville vocations at St. Mary's (hence the name "the school of Mary").

I'm in the application process right now, I haven't been accepted yet. But even if I don't go to St. Mary's I can still aspire, with God's grace, to excel in the school of Mary, the first and most devoted of our Lord's disciples.

More thoughts and updates on my discernment coming soon...

Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!

Hello world.

Hello world.