Tuesday, August 28, 2007


On a silent retreat till Thursday, pray for me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

plug and welcome

Peter Smith, Religion reporter for the Courier-Journal, picked up my article in a recent post on his faith blog at the paper's website. Thanks for the plug Peter... and welcome C-J online visitors!

My name is Matthew Hardesty and I'm a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Louisville. I have just entered 2nd Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, MD ("Roland Park"). This blog has been established as a way for friends and family to keep up with me, my discernment, and formation. I also like to share all things Marian and various events and moments in my life. Recently I've been covering the celebrations of and reflections on the 25 years of ministry of our former (wow..."former") Archbishop Thomas Kelly and the gear-up for and activities since our new Archbishop Joseph Kurtz's Installation.

order DVD of Archbishop Kurtz's Installation

In the latest issue of the Record, there's a little blurb about Channel 19 re-airing Archbishop Kurtz's Installation because of so many requests. There's also this bit of exciting info:

DVD copies of the installation service are also available through the Archdiocesan Communication Center for $14.95 plus $2 for shipping and handling. To order, send a check to the Archdiocese of Louisville Communications Center, 1200 S. Shelby St., Louisville, Ky. 40203, or call Jeanette Bond at 636-0296, ext. 1230.

I'm going to order a copy and then if I have gobs of time on my hands (!) I'm going to try to listen to it and transcribe the Archbishop's homily and post it here... it really should be saved and shared with all of the faithful in Louisville and beyond. I asked one of the M.C.'s if Archbishop Kurtz had a text of his homily and he said he saw it but it had notes written all over the margins, so what he delivered probably wasn't exactly what he had typed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

today's seminarians and tomorrow's priests

When I wrote about this summer's Presbyteral Assembly a couple months ago, I noted I wanted to share with you some of Fr. Knott's presentation which focused in one part on what today's seminarians "look like." Following is an article I wrote for The Record that satisfies this desire and also encourages our fellow laymen... er, laypeople... to promote vocations from a proper understanding of aforementioned seminarians.

A look at today’s seminarians and tomorrow’s priests
Matthew Hardesty
Matthew Hardesty attends St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore.

It was my honor recently to join the priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville for their annual presbyteral assembly. As a seminarian for the archdiocese, I was glad to have the opportunity to join their discussions, liturgies and fraternity. This year’s assembly centered on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ program for promoting a culture of vocations, “Fishers of Men.” (Mt. 4:19-20)

I was excited to see what the bishops’ program had to offer and how I could work with our priests to promote vocations in our archdiocese.

At the assembly, Father J. Ronald Knott — who is on the St. Meinrad School of Theology faculty — gave a presentation on “Caring for the Calls We Get,” which dealt with the “process of welcoming new priests into a presbyterate.” I have his permission to share with you some excerpts from that presentation that focused on what today’s seminarians “look like.”

As he said, “To reach them, you have to know and understand from where they are coming.”
Most of our priests have this information from Father Knott, but I would like to pass it on to you as well so that we laypeople can join them in this most important work. As our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, reminds us in his document on priestly formation, Pastores Dabo Vobis:

‘I hope that we
laypeople can
move forward to
promote vocations
using methods that
will inspire today’s
young men to discern
and follow the
call to priesthood.’

“The priestly vocation is a gift from God. … The church, therefore, is called to safeguard this gift, to esteem it and love it. She is responsible for the birth and development of priestly vocations. Consequently, the pastoral work of promoting vocations has as its active agents, as its protagonists… every part of the People of God.”

Before Father Knott began, he warned us that seminarians “do not all fit into one stereotype,” and “there are, of course, many atypical exceptions to the trend.” The presentation did not necessarily represent his personal opinions but rather the findings of two studies: one from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate and the other from the research of Father Paul Stanosz of Milwaukee.

That said, Father Knott explained that seminarians today “arrive with a radically different set of needs, presumptions and expectations than in the past,” and “for many of them, priesthood is definitely a counter-cultural lifestyle.”

Also, in reaching out to them, Father Knott said he has “worn more collars, attended more eucharistic holy hours and quoted Pope John Paul II more since I have come back to the seminary (as a professor and administrator) than I have since my ordination.” This gives us a glimpse into the sensibilities of today’s seminarians.

Father Knott noted that “many have been away from the church for years before having a conversion experience at a religious retreat or youth rally.”

I have found that this conversion often brings with it extensive reading and research, a zeal for apologetics, a love for the church and fraternity with other like-minded young adults. We should keep our eye on young adults who have these experiences and traits and not hesitate to invite them to the priesthood. All of these come together to grease the wheel of intellectual, spiritual, pastoral and human formation.

Upon ordination, today’s new priest “identifies strongly with Pope John Paul II, owns a cassock, has a strong devotion to Mary, never misses a papal youth rally, favors traditional piety and prides himself on his theological orthodoxy,” Father Knott said. The seminarian is also “drawn to theologies that exalt the status and distinctiveness of the clerical role and often consider the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a primary source for clear answers.”

They are also passionately pro-life and personally “healthy and open to learning.”

Who and what encouraged them to join the seminary?

  • Most were influenced by Web sites and EWTN rather than commercials, radio, billboards or other vocation advertising.
  • Most were encouraged by priests, friends, parishioners or mothers. Parish contacts gave more encouragement than family members. Personal invitation was very important.
  • Most were involved in parish ministries, especially as servers or lectors.
  • Among parish programs, retreats and devotions were most effective, followed by youth ministry, then Boy Scouts, Knights of Columbus, campus ministry and pro-life activities.

Father Knott concluded by saying, “Personally, I found most of them fascinating. This year’s class seemed to be outstanding in the eyes of the staff.”

On a personal note, I am thankful for Father Knott’s courage and excitement toward calling men to the priesthood. Armed with his example and the research, I hope that we laypeople can move forward to promote vocations using methods that will inspire today’s young men to discern and follow the call to priesthood.

Join us in promoting a culture of vocations by calling Father Jeff Shooner, associate vocation director for the archdiocese, at 636-0296. Please pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life and for our nine seminarians. In addition to myself, they are Michael Wimsatt, Stuart Priddy, David Carr, Chris Rhodes, Steve Henriksen, Chris Lubecke, Shayne Duvall and Nick Brown.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

articles still comin

Ugh... it's muggy and hot, 80 degrees overnight here in Baltimore... dang harbor.
But, we find relief from another wonderful article in The Record on Archbishop Kurtz. This time I post in full this piece on his pastoral visit to St. Joseph's Proto-Cathedral and Minor Basilica in Bardstown, KY - the place where it all began:

Archbishop celebrates Mass at historic St. Joseph
Marnie McAllister
Record Staff Writer
The new archbishop celebrates Mass in Bardstown, where the diocese first set its roots

BARDSTOWN, Ky. — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz celebrated his first public Mass since his installation last week in Bardstown, Ky., where the Catholic roots of Kentucky first took hold. The Aug. 18 celebration filled the Basilica of St. Joseph-Proto Cathedral with parishioners as well as members of other area Catholic churches.

Archbishop Kurtz told members of the congregation, “What a joy it is to be with you and to begin my service as your archbishop.”

It was his second visit to the area, he said. The first was in July 2001 when he traveled to Bardstown “to see St. Joseph and to visit the beautiful Holy Land of Kentucky, which enriches all of us through the whole United States.”

He added, with a touch of mirth, “I experienced the same warm weather then.”

Archbishop Kurtz also recognized and thanked the priests, deacons and laypeople who serve at St. Joseph and other rural area parishes.

He spent little time talking about his installation as the new leader of the Archdiocese of Louisville — a sign, perhaps, that the time for speeches has passed and that his pastoral work has begun.

Demonstrating that he is already invested in the day-to-day life of the Archdiocese of Louisville, the archbishop noted that Father Joseph Batcheldor, a retired priest who resides at St. Joseph, was celebrating his golden jubilee as a priest. He also recognized the first anniversary of Father Pablo Hernandez’s ordination. Father Hernandez is associate pastor at St. Joseph.

Then, he began his homily, urging the faithful to “pray for the gift of fire in our lives.”

Quoting a Jesuit martyr, Archbishop Kurtz noted that for people, “Bread is important. Freedom is more important. But most important of them all is unbroken fidelity and faithful admiration” of the Lord.

People spend most of their time getting “bread,” he said. “Even deeper than any material possessions we have is freedom — freedom to say yes to God. But even deeper is that fire that allows you and us to be unbroken in our fidelity to God and faithful in our admiration.

“We need fire in order to do that,” he said, denoting three purposes of fire.

First, fire purifies, enabling one to live virtuously.

Fire also gives people the zeal to “live our faith perfectly.” And finally, “the fire Jesus spoke about in the Gospel is Pentecost — the fire that gives us energy. How can I do the things God asks me? The gift of baptism gives us energy.”

In closing, he said, “God calls us to renew the face of the earth and to start with ourselves.”

Before Mass ended, Father William Hammer, pastor of St. Joseph, presented Archbishop Kurtz a portrait of Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget, the diocese’s first bishop. It was a birthday gift for Archbishop Kurtz who turned 61 on Aug. 18. The choir led the congregation in singing “Happy Birthday.”

Father Hammer also presented the archbishop a few other “gifts” to help him adapt to life in Kentucky. He counseled that “three syllable words are contracted to two syllables, such as Luh-vall, Naz-reth and Leb-nan.”

He gave the archbishop a map of Kentucky that has both blue areas and red areas, and depending upon where he is, he should say either, “How ’bout them Cats” or “How ’bout them Cards.”

He also presented him with a set of keys. The set included a key to the church, the bell tower, the school and keys to the city, county and My Old Kentucky Home, Father Hammer quipped.

“And here,” he said, “the biggest key of all is the key to our hearts.”

Archbishop Kurtz said he plans to celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. Fifth St., this Sunday, Aug. 26, at 9:30 a.m. He also plans to celebrate Masses at the Little Sisters of the Poor, 15 Audobon Plaza Drive, Aug. 30 at 10:30 a.m.; St. James Church, Edenside Avenue and Bardstown Road, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m.; and Our Lady Help of Christians, 13512Dixie Highway, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Archbishop Kurtz, the retreat, etc.

Can't type much...gotta pack... leaving for the 10 hour drive to Baltimore with the three guys that are joining me there (!) at 6am tomorrow.

The C-J had two more articles on Archbishop Kurtz when I was on the end-of-summer retreat for seminarians. We have 6 new guys for the Fall, which puts us at 9. That's cause for much joy!

An opinion piece: A new archbishop
Sit-down with Peter Smith: City's new archbishop sees few big changes in first year
A recent entry from Peter's blog: Archbishop hopes for long stay gives more excerpts from his interview with His Excellency than the above article could include.
Reminder: Check out Peter Smith's blog for several recent entries on Archbishop Kurtz.

The retreat was awesome, the best one I've been too so far (this is my third). It was a great opportunity to get to know the other seminarians better. We prayed morning and evening prayer together and had daily Mass. And the priests on the "Vocation Team" gave talks which were helpful, encouraging, and supportive. In our free time we played Cornhole and "Hillbilly Golf" which was a blast. Oh... and we watched Becket one night... gotta love that excommunication scene!

Archbishop Kurtz spent the last day of the retreat with us. We all had breakfast together and he talked with us for about an hour before celebrating Mass. I was again impressed by his kindness and zeal. He even informed me that someone had referred him to my blog! That's OK :) I admit that the links I provide in the sidebar give a wide-open indication of my preferences on things and where I'm coming from... nonetheless, I hope he approves. I really do carefully consider each post before I click "Publish Post" because I know my vocation director checks in on me here from time to time as well. Plus, seminarians at St. Mary's who have blogs have to submit the address to the administration. I would act appropriately if any of the above expressed concern over this blog.

Anyway...after the retreat we had an annual luncheon with the Serra Club which provided further support and comraderie. Then off to St. Louis Bertrand for our group and individual photos. Beautiful setting... I was glad we had them taken there.

All-in-all an awesome week and I'm excited to return to St. Mary's with new diocesan brothers. Oh...wait... I think I owe you all (many?) my impression of the Installation. Here's a brief comment... I really gotta pack!

Archbishop Kurtz's homily was the highlight for me. It was beautiful. It is not very often that you hear a homily that comments on the second Mark of the Church (holiness), and that quotes the Catechism, Deus Caritas Est, Sacramentum Caritatis, and the first verse of the Magnificat in Latin to boot. He even honored our beloved Bishop Maloney and the history of our Archdiocese. It made a lasting impression.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Archbishop Kurtz!

Today, Saturday, August 18th is Archbishop Kurtz's 61st birthday! Happy Birthday, Archbishop Kurtz!

With filial respect and humble gratitude, in our Savior I am Your Excellency’s devoted son,
Matthew Hardesty

**oooh, gotta like the sound of that!** ;)

Friday, August 17, 2007

First Letter from the Archbishop

Not counting his statement (here and here, with analysis here) on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum - which was actually issued to the faithful in Knoxville but published in The Record as well (acting as Louisville's official statement) - here is Archbishop Kurtz's first letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Louisville:

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

This weekend we will take up the annual Peter’s Pence Collection in support of the works of our Holy Father. The proceeds from this collection fund emergency relief assistance to those who suffer from war, oppression, disease and natural disasters. Through works of charity, Catholics provide a powerful witness of love and deeds to empower the weak, the defenseless and the voiceless, and to sustain those who suffer.

The theme for this year’s collection — “Let us make sure that none of God’s children ever feels alone” — is based upon a September 2006 homily given by Pope Benedict XVI in which he discusses the solidarity of the baptized. As we participate in this special appeal, we join more than 1 billion Catholics worldwide in a loving expression of solidarity. We share in the concern of the successor of Peter for the many different needs of the universal Church and for the relief of those most in need around the globe.

I ask you to consider contributing to the collection this year, and I am grateful for your generosity. Together let us ask the Lord to bless our Holy Father, as well as those in need through-out the world.

Sincerely yours in Our Lord,

Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville

Archbishop Kurtz article round-up

As I mentioned, here are the latest articles on Archbishop Kurtz's Installation from the online edition of The Record. These have been out for a couple days but... this cold's been killin me.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz installed as fourth Archbishop of Louisville
But he offered special thanks to his predecessor, Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly.

“To you, Archbishop Kelly, who for the past almost eight years has called me friend and indeed been a father, you have been so good and gracious in welcoming me to your home of 25 years,” Archbishop Kurtz said. And he noted that his installation was taking place on the 30th anniversary of Archbishop Kelly’s ordination as a bishop.

It was a moment that produced prolonged applause from the congregation. The new archbishop also delivered remarks in Spanish, and had thanks and praise for the late Bishop Charles Maloney, calling him “a lover of all, especially the most poor.”

“I pray that he will be remembered on this occasion,” he said, “and God willing, will be interceding to the Lord for all of us.”
Friends of new archbishop flock to ceremony from afar
Archbishop Kurtz’s sisters, Theresa Bakos and Patricia Cameli, described their brother as studious and holy. But Cameli added, “Of course, he’s silly as heck, too. He has a wonderful sense of humor.”

When it comes to family and friends, his sisters said, he’s no less dedicated than he is to his pastoral duties.

“He’s never missed a baptism in the family,” said Bakos. “He’s such a good brother and uncle.”
Archbishop: prayer ‘draws us together’
The new archbishop told the priests, bishops and deacons and their spouses that it was fitting that their first meeting would be a gathering for prayer.

“To pray the Liturgy of the Hours reminds us not only of our call to pray for all the faithful, but to pray for the world,” Archbishop Kurtz said. “And so there is not a more deeply symbolic gesture of gathering, save for the Holy Eucharist itself, that draws us together.”
The new archbishop — the fourth in the history of the archdiocese and its ninth ordinary — also pleased those gathered to hear him by properly pronouncing the name of his new city of residence.

“Lou-a-vull,” he said. “Did I say that right? I just say it the way they do in Tennessee. I know there’s a T-shirt available that has all the right and wrong ways to say it.”

But the applause from his audience said Archbishop Kurtz had no need of the shirt.
Family, youth among archbishop’s greeters
Lauren Hemker, also a member of the youth board and a senior at Sacred Heart, said before the installation ceremony that she was looking forward to telling Archbishop Kurtz “what a great Catholic school system we have” in the archdiocese.

“I’d like for him to get to know the Catholic grade schools and high schools in the archdiocese,” said Hemker, a member of Holy Trinity Church. “Catholic education is really important to me. I really appreciate how much my parents spent on my education.”
Choir represented about 50 parishes
Shortly after he was named Archbishop of Louisville in June, Archbishop Kurtz received a congratulatory telephone call from Father Ben Brown, who called from aboard the USS Bataan. The ship was on duty in the Adriatic Sea at the time, and Father Brown, a chaplain in the U.S. Navy, said he would guess that his call was the “longest long-distance call” the new archbishop received from a priest of the archdiocese.

Father Brown, who is a commander in the Navy, was awarded the Bronze Star in 2006 for “meritorious achievement as chaplain” in Iraq the previous year.
And one more from the C-J, where Peter Smith does an uncharacteristic dip into the negativity that the C-J loves to pour on the Church:

Kelly looks to the future
"My primary and only priority is to enter the life of prayer" with his fellow Dominicans, Kelly said. "It's a house I know well, where I'm pretty comfortable. Life is pretty austere. I hope I can get through that all right."

They get up early and spend hours each day in prayer on stiff benches, he said.

"I thought of many actions -- palm trees, the Amalfi Coast (in Italy), but this is what I would rather do more than anything in the world," he said.
Kelly said he's encouraged by a recent trend in which nine young men are now in seminary.

"I'm enamored of the quality of the vocations we're getting, and the numbers are now looking more hopeful," he said.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

P.O.D. Shot of the Week

Ladies and gentlemen, as I try to pick my P.O.D. Shot of the Week from a current event, this week's selection seems most appropriate:

Here, Archbishop Kurtz - rockin' the purple episcopal cassock with fascia and zuchetto - blesses a rosary of one of the hundreds of faithful gathered at his post-Installation reception.

biretta tip to Matt Stone, C-J photographer. See more photos here.

oh...and...have I said, "check out that crozier!" yet? hehe :) That's a "thing of beauty" as Fr. Paul would say...or better yet... "that's Primo del Rey!"

Kurtz gallery

The Gallery I mentioned can be accessed here. You can also access it from the C-J's homepage or the "More Galleries" page (for now). Enjoy!

Kurtz's new Kentucky home

My reaction later (I've got a terrible cold...), but for now, here's the C-J on the Installation of Archbishop Kurtz yesterday.

Louisville welcomes new archbishop

Oh, and check out that crozier! ;)

Also coming soon: more pics (the C-J's slideshow that is associated with the article seems to not be working, if the pics show up for you, let me know) and articles from The Record when they're published online. You can also check out Peter Smith's blog. He's the Religion Reporter for the Courier-Journal. He's got about six posts on the Installation (look under "Previous Posts" on the right-hand side).

One more thing, here's a Q&A the C-J published in case you're wondering, "What's an installation? Will Kelly still be an archbishop? etc.

Correction: Gallery working here

welcome Whispers visitors

Welcome, all you visitors from Whispers in the Loggia! And thanks Rocco for the link. My name is Matthew Hardesty and I'm a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Louisville. I'll be entering 2nd Theology in a couple weeks at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, MD ("Roland Park"). This blog has been established as a way for friends and family to keep up with me, my discernment, and formation. I also like to share all things Marian and various events and moments in my life. Recently I've been covering the celebrations of the 25 years of ministry of our former (wow..."former") Archbishop Thomas Kelly and the gear-up for our new Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. His Installation yesterday really was amazing in many ways. I'll post my own reflection with pics and articles soon.

In Jesu, per Mariam,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

more on the Vespers service

The Courier-Journal was present last night, covering the Vespers service with Archbishop Kelly and Archbishop Kurtz that I mentioned here.

New archbishop meets with priests.

Be sure you read the article to get a glimpse of his character. His homily and the Cathedral choir's performance made it one of the most beautiful services I've ever been too in our Cathedral.

See a photo slideshow here.


Speaking on the day's Scripture reading, he called on priests to live out their gifts "in a way that calls for unity in truth, and in charity."

"In truth," he continued, "that we will always embrace the gifts of our Catholic faith and teach and proclaim those gifts with accuracy and devotion. And in charity, that we will not be tempted to simply gather with people with whom we are initially comfortable, but rather we will always reach out to each of those with whom we serve."

moving days at the archdiocese

article from the C-J here

tomorrow's the big day

Well, tomorrow's the big day, the Installation of Archbishop Kurtz as the 4th archbishop and 9th bishop of Louisville. After meeting him last night at the Vespers service at the Cathedral, I'm looking even more forward to getting to know him better at our seminarians' end-of-summer retreat. He is a very personable and attentive man. It was a real joy to speak with him for about 15 minutes or so with the other seminarians that were there.

For info on times, directions, and parking for the Installation click here and here

An excerpt from the latter link that is well worth noting:

For those who can’t attend the ceremony, it will be shown from 8 to 10 p.m. Aug. 15 on Channel 19 and repeated Aug. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m.

It also will be available through live streaming on the Internet from WHAS-TV at the station’s Web site: whas11.com. The streaming will begin at 2 p.m. and run until the installation ceremony and Mass end.

Monday, August 13, 2007

more gear-up

As I mentioned, The Record's online edition has just posted some of the recent articles on Archbishop Kurtz, again, as a part of the continued gear-up for his Excellency's Installation on Wed Aug 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here they are:

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will be installed on Aug 15
Archbishop, bishops focus on marriage, family
What kind of followers will we be?
Singers, musicians will help make Gardens a sacred place

There has also been much focus on his attention to vocations. Peter Smith, who for the most part has been pretty fair to the Church, interviewed us 9 seminarians at a recent gathering. Here is his article in the Courier-Journal (I've got a little blurb in it):

Archbishop hopes to attract new priests

The Associated Press got a hold of the article and ran it too, only in a somewhat abbreviated form. The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (my hometown) picked it up. I'll post it below as you must pay to read it online ($1 for one-time article). But, read it in its fuller version above first.
Men being sought to enter priesthood


Louisville archdiocese has roughly one-third the priests it had in 1970

Associated Press

LOUISVILLE -- When Joseph E. Kurtz takes over as archbishop of Louisville on Wednesday, he'll face the challenge of finding more people wanting to take up the priesthood.

Kurtz is stepping into an archdiocese that, for the second time in two years, has ordained no priests. For the last 10 years, the archdiocese has ordained an average of less than two priests per year, even though the Catholic population has grown 7 percent.

The archdiocese has 88 active (full-time) priests, roughly one-third the number in 1970. And the average age of all priests -- including retirees, some of whom continue to work part time -- is 63. The archdiocese has merged 17 parishes and told dozens of others to share priests because of those numbers and population shifts.

Louisville's problems are echoed nationwide, with the United States seeing a 30 percent drop in priests since 1965. But locally, the news is not all bad. Six men in the Archdiocese of Louisville, most in their 20s, are starting seminary this fall.

Three others are working their way through seminary, and several others have been meeting in support groups formed in recent years to help men explore their interest in the priesthood.

And Kurtz, as bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville since 1999, has garnered a reputation for recruiting a relatively high percentage of priests for that diocese's Catholic population. The diocese, one-quarter the size of Louisville's, has ordained about 10 priests in the last four years.

"For our size, that's a very great number," Kurtz said.

The current group of seminarians from Louisville said Kurtz will need patience in bringing more men to the priesthood.

"A lot of times, the culture and our society present obstacles where it's hard to hear that call," said Matthew Hardesty, 27, an Owensboro native who is studying at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. "Sometimes it does take that direct invitation" from the church, he said. "We need to be not afraid to make that invitation."

Hardesty decided on the priesthood after a Protestant girlfriend quizzed him about the Catholic faith while they were in college. Hardesty found himself unable to answer the questions, began studying and became captivated by his newfound knowledge.

Lastly, still on the topic of vocations, The Record ran an article about a vocation program I planned at St. Rita's in the south end of the Archdiocese:

Nun, seminarian share their stories with youth

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ignite Your Torch in The Record

Here is an article I just found on the Ignite Your Torch conference that I wrote about here.


I've updated the links in my sidebar to include other blogs I visit often. It's basically a Who's Who of the 2007 Catholic Blog Awards. Fr. Z at WDTPRS has been a recent favorite. New links are marked by the "New Link" icon which now actually does indicate new links. I'll retire that icon in a month or so.

gear up for installation

In gearing up the Archdiocese for the Installation of our new Archbishop, The Record has been publishing a series of articles on Archbishop Kelly and Archbishop Kurtz. I'll try to collect them here. The search function on The Record's website has been hard to use, but never fear, Google Advance Search to the rescue.

For your future reference here are two links you can click on to automatically use Google's Advance Search to search The Record online for articles concerning Archbishop Kelly and Archbishop Kurtz.

On Archbishop Kelly:
Archbishop Kelly honored for his service
Editorial: Archbishop: servant of faith
Issues related to the Gospel, church teaching addressed
A range of subjects, issues have been addressed
Local church is 'healthy spiritually, materially'

On Archbishop Kurtz:
Editorial: welcoming new archbishop
Family, hometown helped shape an archbishop
Family life and service to poor shaped ministry
New Archbishop called 'kind and compassionate'

I've posted some earlier articles here.
More new ones coming soon as the web version updates to include today's new print issue.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

P.O.D. Shot of the Week

I'm working on a post to explain what exactly P.O.D. (pious and overly devotional) really means, with some pics as examples for what it is and isn't. Meanwhile, here ladies and gentlemen is your P.O.D. shot of the week, thanks to Fr. Z:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ignite Your Torch, part 2

... for part 1, go here...

The workshops were academic lessons that the youth could choose from at different times. The topics were:

"Healing and the Holy Spirit,"
"Parts of the Eucharistic Prayer and How to Pray during Mass,"
"Prayer 101: The Basics,"
"Eucharistic Adoration Will Change the World,"
"The Mass: Why We Say What We Say and Do What We Do,"
"A Woman's Way of Prayer,"
"The Mass and the Meaning of Life,"
"The Living Eucharist: The Place of Encounter with Jesus Christ,"
"The Eucharist as the Revelation of True Love,"
"Security for Purity: Counting the Cost,"
"Examination of Conscience,"
"Why Do I Have to Confess My Sins Out Loud?"
"Unforgiveness: The Devil's Stronghold,"
"The Road of Abraham,"
"The Action-Packed Life of [Blessed] Pier Giorgio Frassati,"
"Imaging the Divine,"
"How to Talk to a Hostile Culture,"
"How to Answer Protestant Objections to the Mass,"
"Sola Scriptura,"
"The Rich Gift of Love: Good Families and Dysfunctional Families," and
"When They Say... You Say...: Pro-Life Apologetics."
The clergy present were from the Dominicans, the Fathers of Mercy, and two diocesan priests, Fr. Whelan and Fr. Bromwich. The religious sisters were from the Sisters of Life, the "Nashville Dominicans," the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker, and the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They all inspired so much zeal and love in the youth.

The latter order, the Oblate Sisters have an amazing charism that I'd never heard of. They are "a group of women who strive to attain union with God by offering their lives for the diocesan priesthood. The Sisters are called first of all to pray for priestly holiness and to offer the joys and sorrows of their lives for the good of priests. Ministerially the sisters care for retired and convalescent priests and collaborate with priests in parish ministry." They exist in the U.S. in the diocese of Youngstown, OH. I would certainly want them in my parish as a priest!

My final thought is on Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. The director of the U.S. "wing" of his cause, Christine Wohar, gave an excellent, dynamic presentation on the life of this young adult saint. I have a devotion to him through my involvement with the Frassati Society in Carmel, IN. They, second to probably the Young Adult Ministry office of the Archdiocese of Chicago, have one of the best young adult ministries in the country. Please pray with me the Prayer for the Canonization of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925):

O merciful God, Who through the perils of the world deigned to preserve by Thy grace Thy servant Pier Giorgio Frassati pure of heart and ardent of charity, listen, we ask Thee, to our prayers, and, if it is in Thy designs that he be glorified by the Church, show us Thy will, granting us the graces we ask of Thee through his intercession, by the merits of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

"Verso l'alto" -- To the top!

Ignite Your Torch

Last weekend was awesome as I participated in the Ignite Your Torch annual Catholic youth conference in Louisville. The faith, commitment, and zeal of the youth never cease to inspire me.

Watch a video of last year's conference here. This year's video here. See a slideshow of pics from this year's conference here.

The four day event had a steady schedule but here's the highlights:
Thursday: Mass, a General Assembly by Br. James Brent, O.P. "Prayer: How to Meet Jesus Christ for Yourself", and a Rosary candlelight procession through the campus of Bellarmine.

Friday: Morning Prayer, Workshops, Mass, General Assembly by Fr. Crotty (of the Fathers of Mercy) "Dangers of Superstition, Magic, and the Occult," another General Assembly by Tom Grenchik (executive director of the secretariat for pro-life activities for the USCCB) "Radical Solidarity," and Holy Hour and Benediction with Confession

Saturday: Rosary at the Abortion Clinic, Mass at St. Louis Bertrand, General Assembly by Sr. Antoniana Maria, SV, Workshops, another General Assembly by Fr. Bill Garrott, O.P. "On Fire with Mary and the Eucharist", and Holy Hour with Benediction.

Sunday: General Assembly by Fr. Dan Whelan "The Future: Following Christ," Mass, and Crowning of Mary and consecration.

The whole conference had an excellent balance of prayer, study, fun, and silence. Over 200 youth were there, some from as far away as Texas. And the amazing thing...which really isn't all that amazing... is that they were eating it up. They loved it. They love the Church and all She has to offer. They love the devotions, the Mass, and Church Teachings. They were excited about the workshops - some quite academic - and the opportunity to spend time with the Lord in Adoration. They all knelt reverently on pads on the floor for the Holy -Two- Hours. And they couragously, all 200, prayed the Rosary in front of the abortion clinic downtown. We provided the option of praying from a distance in the pregnancy resource center across the street if the anxiety of the event proved to be too much. But none, to my knowledge, took us up on it. You should have heard them speaking with conviction about modesty, virginity, and sacrifice. These were high-schoolers, folks, and college kids. And those not as far along in their faith or who had some doubts were met with charitable, well-informed responses from their own peers.

Before anyone underestimates the moral capacity of our youth, come to Ignite Your Torch. When we bring them up in sound Catholic teaching and environment they always exceed our expectations. While other attemps at youth ministry and retreats less faithful to Church teaching or less willing to be "Fully" Catholic are struggling for "numbers," events like this attract youth from all over the country. The youth in the Archdiocese of Louisville would be well served by wide publication of this excellent conference.

...to be continued...
[Thanks to Mr. Albert Cesare for the pics]