Monday, July 28, 2008

Quck Update

I will be gone on a men's retreat for the next three days, which means no internet access, so I wanted to say a few things real quick before I left.

First, this month marks the two-year anniversary of my blog. Sweet! I never thought I'd be doing this that long, and I certainly never thought that I would actually attract a small but loyal readership! I thank you all for sticking with me.

Secondly, I see that only 9 people have voted in the poll so far. That's pretty pitiful, but it's probably my fault for not posting as much here recently. I'm going to keep the poll running for another week. I'm also going to try to manage my time better so that I can do what I need to do at work and still keep up this blog. Call me obsessed, but I'm just not ready to give up on it yet. I think it can still do a lot of good for people.

Finally, by way of a work update, things have been going pretty well. Everyone seems very excited that I'm here and very hopeful for the future. Religious Ed and RCIA start up in September, so planning has begun to get all of that in order. I'm excited to get started with those two HUGE facets of my work as a DRE! Please continue your prayers for me.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Poll-Release Monday #57

I know, I know, I forgot again. I barely have the time to blog anymore. It's starting to make me wonder if I should continue blogging or not. I really hate to give this up, but I also hate posting only once a week. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.

At any rate, here is this week's poll question:

True or False? The priest receives the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders.
Vote in the poll in my sidebar.

As for the previous poll, here are the results:
  • True or False?: The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful.
    • True: 21 (81%)
    • False: 5 (19%)
The correct answer is:
  • TRUE, cf. no. 1592: The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi).
Good for you if you got this one right. If you didn't get this one right, you may benefit from reading the following articles: I hope that helps.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Don't Stop Believin

Today's dose of inspiration:




Journey: The Greatest Band of All Time.

Period.

So Far So Good

Now that I am finally settled in a little bit, I have some time to blog. These last few days have been crazy, but good.

First off, I completely underestimated how long it would take me to pack up all of my stuff. I stayed up until SIX IN THE MORNING loading up the car. Then, I slept for an hour, got up, got ready, picked up Amy, and then drove 7 1/2 hrs. home to Owensboro. The car was so full that I couldn't even see out of my back window. That was fun. Finally, we made it home, safe and sound.

Of course, when I got home I couldn't just collapse on the couch. No, I had to rush to the courthouse with my dad and try to get the car transferred to my name before they closed. We made it there in time but we didn't have all the forms we needed. Bummer. When we got back home, I hopped in the car with my mom and we went to the bank. She had some stuff to do there, and I had to deposit a check so that my stupid account would quit bouncing. Then, when I got home from that, I had to take Amy to the minor emergency room because she had white blotches on her tonsils and she was afraid she might have something contagious. Of course, that took forever so I didn't finally get to sit down until dinner time.

What a day that was.

Thankfully, Saturday and Sunday were more chill. I went to Starbucks and had my first ever cappuccino. I know, you're probably freaking out, but you have to realize that I had never stepped foot in a Starbucks until I met Amy. I never drank coffee and never really had a desire to drink anything like it. Plus, the menu at Starbucks has always been a little intimidating to me. I never knew what half the words meant, and instead of exposing myself as the only moron in town, I just never bothered. But, Amy has been an excellent tutor and she is slowly introducing me to the coffee world. We'll see how that goes.

Btw, did you know that the word cappuccino comes from the resemblance of the drink's color to the hood of the Capuchin friars? Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, Sunday was bitter sweet. Fr. John gave an excellent homily on the fecundity of the Word and how we should strive to be open to the Word so that it will bear fruit in our lives. It was cool to open up the bulletin and read: "Nicholas Hardesty, Director of Religious Education." I guess that means I've finally arrived. Of course, the bitter part came after Mass, when I had to say goodbye to Amy. She came home with me for the weekend so that she could drive my car back to Steubenville. She still has a year of school left, and I didn't want to leave her without any transportation. Anyway, she was sad, I was sad, it was all sad...but I tried my best to cheer her up.

Monday, my first day of work, was filled with more packing and unpacking. I decided to take the former nurse's office, so I had to pack up all of her stuff and carry it up to the attic for storage. Then I had to move in two more bookshelves to add to the two that were already in there because I have so many books (haha!). Once I unpacked all of my stuff, then I had to go to the old DRE's office, pack up all of her stuff, and then move that into my office as well. Tuesday, I went through the nurse's and the DRE's filing cabinets, trying to make sense of years and years of STUFF. Today is Wednesday and I can say that I am more or less finally settled in.

The next step is to meet with Fr. John and work out a schedule for the year so that we can start preparing for RCIA, Religious Ed., and Sacramental Prep. I'm anxious to get some dates settled and get to work on those things. I anticipate a lot of work in my future and I want to start chipping away at it. Tonight is my first Parish Council meeting, and I anticipate that a lot of things will be settled then as well.

I guess that's all for now. I just wanted to fill everyone in since I haven't posted in a while. I missed Poll-Release Monday (again!), so the current poll will have to run for another week. I thank you all for hanging in there with me.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Monday, July 07, 2008

When the Rubber Meets the Road

All this week I will be working on packing up my stuff for the trip back to Owensboro. As such, I doubt I'll have time to post anything of theological significance until next week. So, everyone who is waiting for a defense or any answer from me will have to wait a little while longer. I'm sorry! If I don't get off this computer, I'll never get out of here!

I'll definitely be glad when all of this packing and moving and unpacking is finally over. I can't think of too many things that are more of a pain then moving. But, I can't put it off forever. After all, the "real world" is calling and I need to answer. I've been going to school for 20 years now (with a year-long stint in the "real world" between my two Master's degrees):
  • 12 yrs. for grade school thru high school
  • 4 yrs. for my B.A.
  • 2 yrs. for my M.Ed.
  • 2 yrs. for my M.A.
That's a LONG time . . . . and A LOT of debt!! It's time to do something about it.

It's also time to stop preparing and start acting. It's time to step up to the plate, time to rise to the occasion, time to see what I'm made of, time to use cliches for "delivering." It's a little intimidating. Lately I've been asking myself, "Do I have what it takes?" Sometimes I'm not so sure . . . . but I can't be afraid to find out.

When you're not sure if you can do something, sometimes you just have to do it anyway, pretend like you know what you're doing until you actually know what you're doing. I'm not sure if I'll be a good DRE, but by God, I'm gonna show up anyway. Put on a smile. Be confident. Never let them see me sweat. Even though I'm freaking out on the inside.

This may seem incongruous, but the alternative is to hem and haw and second guess myself at every turn, and that never got anybody anywhere. Plus, I think God wants more for me than that. So, it's time to stand up. Time to be a man. Time to move on with my life. We'll see how it goes.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Poll-Release Monday #56

We are finished with the section on Anointing of the Sick. The next sacrament is Holy Orders. Here is this week's poll question:

True or False?: The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful.
What do you think? Is there an essential difference between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood? Vote in the poll in my sidebar.

Here are the results from last week's poll:
  • True or False? The effect of physical healing depends on the intensity of the prayers for the sick person.
    • True: 3 (17%)
    • False: 15 (83%)
The correct answer is:
  • False, cf. CCC no. 1508: The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing (Cf. 1 Cor 12:9, 28, 30) so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses. Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that "in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church" (2 Cor 12:9; Col 1:24).
Does this mean prayer doesn't work? No, it just means that we don't always pray as we ought. In an earlier post, I outlined the conditions that Scripture provides as necessary for a prayer to be answered:
  • We must ask in faith, without doubting.
  • We must not make a request that is rooted in the desires of sinful passions.
  • We must ask out of a pure heart.
  • We must be striving to keep His commandments and to do what pleases Him.
  • Our request must be in accordance with His will.
I think if the last condition is met then the other ones will fall into place as well. Of course, it's not always easy to discern God's will in a particular situation. That is why we have to approach God in prayer with humility, and a readiness to accept the outcome --even if it is not the outcome we wanted.

For more on prayer, see the Prayer, Devotion, and Spirituality topical index page.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It Is Official

Children from the 4-6 Campus gather with a Lent banner in front of the altar of Blessed Mother ParishI didn't want to say anything until all the details had been ironed out, but now I can safely say that I am the new Director of Religious Education for Blessed Mother Parish in Owensboro, KY. I grew up in this parish, and my family has been going to Blessed Mother (and the school attached to it) since it first opened in 1948. It is truly a blessing and an honor to be able to come back home and give back to the church that has given so much to me.

When I came to FUS and decided to specialize in catechetics, I also began preparing myself for having to go wherever the Lord lead me, wherever the best job was located, even if that meant traveling across the country and far from home. It's usually very rare to be able to go back to your hometown and find a position waiting for you. Then, once Amy and I got engaged, I began preparing myself for having to stick around in Steubenville while she finished school and then find that job far, far away. Well, God foiled me two times over when he created a home for me back in Owensboro.

I am so very thankful for this opportunity to do what I love, surrounded by the people I love, at a parish that has always been a part of my life. I look forward to utilizing everything that I've learned, and also to learning from everyone at Blessed Mother who has been teaching and leading for years. I also look forward to working with the new pastor, Fr. John Meredith, and to growing under his guidance.

This is an exciting time for both me and the parish, and I can't wait to get started. First day is July 11 or 12th. Wish me luck!!

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Poll-Release Monday #55

Let's just pretend that I posted this on Monday like I was supposed to. Here is this week's new poll question:

True or false?: The effect of physical healing depends on the intensity of the prayers for the sick person.
What do you think? Vote in the poll in my sidebar.

As for the previous poll, here are the results:
  • True or false?: The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, when administered to a person at the point of death, is called Viaticum.
    • True: 13 (46%)
    • False: 15 (54%)
The correct answer is:
  • FALSE, cf. CCC 1517: Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal celebration (Cf. SC 27), whether it takes place in the family home, a hospital or church, for a single sick person or a whole group of sick persons. It is very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist, the memorial of the Lord's Passover. If circumstances suggest it, the celebration of the sacrament can be preceded by the sacrament of Penance and followed by the sacrament of the Eucharist. As the sacrament of Christ's Passover the Eucharist should always be the last sacrament of the earthly journey, the "viaticum" for "passing over" to eternal life.
The word "viaticum" is Latin; it means "a journey" or, in classical Latin, "provisions for a journey." It is the reception of Holy Communion when there is probable danger of death. Viaticum actually has its own rite, separate from the rite for Anointing of the Sick. However, since viaticum usually comes after the Anointing, people often mistakenly perceive the two as parts of a single rite. This probably explains why a lot of you all got this one wrong. Something else that a lot of people don't know is that viaticum is required of all the faithful who have reached the age of discretion.

Please Lord, if I am near death, may time permit me to receive your provisions for my journey from this life to the next!

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
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