Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Coolest thing....

The Archbishop is asking everyone to fast on Wednesdays during Advent for peace. I got a text message from one of my youth today saying "Val it's (teen name here). if ur fasting can u have bread?" !!! Yay!!! My teens are observing the fast requested by the Archbishop!! Well, at least one of them is! Ehem....these teens are so cool. Thanks for the rad job God.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sleep patterns....

I don't know if any of you are used to experiencing sleep interruptions, but lately they seem to be coming on a lot for me. The last week or so I've been waking up at 6:30am for no reason. I can't figure it out, I mean it's not like I'm going to sleep early. Right at the beginning of the advent season I made a comment to Jon about needing to up my prayer life and getting up super early to say my morning office. I wonder if this is God's way of saying "yeah do that!"

Things are going to get really busy really quick. Two big meetings this week, an RCIA function on Wednesday, Advent dinner and guest speaker Friday, Jon's graduation on Saturday and the last life night before Christmas break on Sunday. That should be really neat. We're going to do Eucharistic Adoration and have a talk on putting Christ back into Christmas.

Next week is more of the same. A trip to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Pac. Sci., the Lights of Christmas, Parish Christmas Party, Soup Kitchen and Youth Group Christmas Party, then My Christmas Party. Crazy stuff. Going home is going to be so nice. I can't wait to go home to the parents and pretend I'm a kid that needs taking care of again. No more of this independant solitary adult stuff. Too much work.

Tomorrow is the feast day of Our Lady of Gua
dalupe, Patroness of the Americas and the Unborn.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.


Sunday, December 10, 2006


So here's a tip, if you're baking a pie. Don't use frozen fruit. Or if you do make sure you defrost and drain as much as humanly possible, 'cuz if not your pie will come out like fruit soup with some crust bits in it. Oh the joys of trial and error. Anyone want some Strawberry Soup?
Anywhoo.....I went and saw the Nativity Story with my youth group on Friday. A definite must see for the HOLY - Days.... I echo Bryan Ochs' views on the movie. They did a really great job of building the relationship of Mary and Joseph in the movie. My favorite scene....trying to find room in Bethlehem. I did have teeny little beefs with Mary's behavior in one scene, but hey, it's Hollywood, this is as good as it's going to get right now. Let's just pray for more awesome Catholic films to come out. Personally I think they need to make a movie about Padre Pio. How cool would that be? I mean how many other people that have lived in the last century do we know that have had stigmata, bilocation, and the odor of sanctity? Wait, did he levitate too? Hmm...looks like I'm going on a tangent.
This week's topic for the high school kids.....Original Sin and Suffering. Such a cool topic. Happy 2nd week of Advent!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fern and Bamboo

My mom forwarded this to me. Of course we biologists know that bamboo doesn't grow naturally in this biogeoclimatic zone, but just imagine you're in asia and everything should reconcile in your head. Anyways...
This is a good message for this time of year when people forget about God and sink into despair and depression.
God Bless your Advent, that it might be joyful and fruitful.

The Fern and the Bamboo

One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality.... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?" His answer surprised me.
"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
"Yes", I replied.
"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.
The same in year four.
Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle. Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you.
Don't compare yourself to others." He said.
"The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come", God said to me. "You will rise high"
"How high should I rise?" I asked.
"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.
"As high as it can?" I questioned
"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."
I left the forest, realizing that God will never give up on me. And He will never give up on you.

Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you happiness; bad days give you experiences; both are essential to life.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Weirdo dream.

Okay so I had a freaky weird dream last night.
I had a dream that my computer screen blacked out and came back with a staticky interview with Satan. I kept trying to turn the computer off, but it wouldn't shut down and I couldn't get Satan off my computer screen.

Then the scene switched (my dreams are like movies) and I was standing outside of some building with my 3 best friends. Well, best friends in my dream. I have no idea who these people are, all I know is that in my dream we were good friends and they were really holy. All of a sudden Satan drove up in a really nice car. He looked really futuristic. He had a gun with him. He walked up to my friends and I and pointed the gun at my friend. We all started praying really hard, I don't think we were praying out loud, but I was praying and I knew my friends were. He pulled the trigger and the gun clicked but didn't fire. He pointed it again at another friend and it didn't fire either. He looked irritated and said "you're concentrating too hard". Then he pointed the gun at my head and smiled. I remember being terrified thinking "oh crap, what if I'm not praying hard enough". Then he pulled the trigger, but my dream ended. I don't know what happened.

I wonder if God is trying to tell me something....

Well here's a little video to start off Advent. I'm not usually a fan of this song, but this version isn't too terrible. I just wanted an Advent video to put up. This is part of the first reading from the 1st Sunday of Advent 2006.

Oh don't forget to go to mass this Friday everyone. It's the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Yep that's Mary's conception, not Jesus'. Happy Holy Day!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Poverty. in America

When I was in Calcutta the Missionaries of Charity always referred to Mother Teresa saying something about there being great poverty in America that cannot merely be fixed by giving people food. It is loneliness, people being neglected, people not giving compassion to others and caring for each other. A much deeper hunger that is much more difficult to fill when it is caused.

My friend (who will someday, I believe, be a Missionary of Charity) told me when we're judged at the end of our life we're judged on "how we responded to Christ's need for us in the poor". I believe that these poor extend to more than just the hungry and the dying and those poor that Mother Teresa talks about in America. It extends to those who have been cheated and hurt; those who have this marred vision of what God is like and what the Church is like.

To be completely honest, it breaks my heart more to see how people have been hurt by vessels of the Church (teachers, priests, religious, anyone who represents the Catholic Church and extends herself to the members of her body) than it is to see people starving and dying every day. What a challenge it must be to be a priest and see this every day and know that it is your duty to love and bring spiritual health back to these people. What a mission of Christian love, of charity we have in front of us!

Monday, November 27, 2006


There's snow. There's a lot of snow!

Yesterday Jon brought me home from Sammamish. I spent the whole Thanksgiving weekend with him and his family, and it was awesome. We had a great thanksgiving meal, went to check out old town Snohomish and all the antique shops the day after Thanksgiving, went swimming with Jon, went to see a few movies (don't see "The Fountain", do see "Deja Vu"), spent some time relaxing, and did a little shopping for the family at Fry's. All in all a very cool weekend. Since Canada has a different Thanksgiving, it didn't matter to my family that I wasn't home. We already had ours! My sister was in Costa Rica anyways, so my parents were babysitting the munchkins.

Anywhoo....yesterday we were in the car leaving Sammamish and it was raining a little, then it started raining harder, and by the time we got around Everett it looked like Blizzard conditions. There were cars in the ditch left and right between I-5 and the highway to my parish. Most of them were SUVs. So sad. While I was practicing music in the Church (since our Choir Director and entire Choir were trapped at home from the snow) Jon was putting chains on the car. We went to mass with about 12 people and then made our way out to the Mexican restaurant for dinner, where surprizingly there were tons of people. Weird.

When we left the restaurant the roads looked like they'd been plowed a little, so getting back to my house on the island wasn't a problem. My apartment however, had no power. Ack! Good thing I had some candles and one of those nifty-no-batteries-needed-flashlights. Jon ended up leaving, thinking that the roads would be totally fine, around 9pm. Thank God he made it home okay amidst the nastiness of I-5. My apartment didn't have power all night.

Amazingly, my coworkers got to my apartment in the morning to pick me up for work this morning. But when we got to the church it didn't have power either!! It came back on around 11:00am. We left work early because it was still snowing and we wanted to be able to get home. I took some firewood from the padres rectory in case the power hadn't come back on yet at my basement apt. Thank God, when I got home the power was on and running. Still running, though it went out for about a second an hour a go. Let's hope that doesn't happen again.

I think it's still snowing......I don't think I'm making it in to work tomorrow. It's absolutely beautiful outside. I hope the power stays on....... Hope you're all safe and warm!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Last weekend

I had a fabulous weekend. It was Jon's 24th birthday last Wednesday so I decided to do a little surprizing. So Friday we went to Lonsdale Quay and hung out there for a bit, wandered around shops, ate a Beaver tail (you Americans know them as Elephant Ears), bought some tea, tried some fudge, checked out the view of Vancouver. Then off a little further north, we had a little bit of time to kill so we went to the Fish Hatchery....ha ha! I know, but the river was cool, and we saw a few fish swimming around. But the final destination of the night....tada!!
Surprize dinner at the Observatory on Grouse Mountain!
We got up to Grouse Mountain 3 hours early and wandered around in the Snow a bit, saw the Grizzly Bears in the sanctuary up there, played chess in the chalet, Watched a short film in their Theatre in the Sky and had an amazing dinner at their Observatory fine dining restaurant.

After dinner we headed to Prospect Point at Stanley Park and were lucky enough to catch a bit of dry sky to appreciate the fabulous view of the Lions Gate Bridge and North and West Vancouver. Only one scary thing about this....we were stalked by racoons. I don't know if these were the rabid racoons that you're warned about in the signs around Stanley Park, but they sure were friendly/scary. They came right up to the car when we pulled into the parking space and were sitting right beside the car door looking at me through my window making their racoon noises. We sat in the car not knowing what to do for a few minutes, freaked out 'cuz they could be rabid. They left when another car came. We got out and wandered over to the lookout and they snuck up on us again, and another time after that! Freaky!!! So anyways, after catching some awesome views, eating the best food ever, and being chased around by animals we called it a night.

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's been so long...

It's been a long time since I updated this blog. I've been really busy constantly updating the Youth Group one, but I thought this was worthy of a of 2 Thursdays ago (October 19th) I officially got my driver's license!! Woohoo!! I can drive now! Too bad I don't have that car yet. Ack! Soon, please God, soon!!! Yep, so watch out people, I'm on the road now and if Jon doesn't give me any more lessons on stick then you'll know I'm coming by the screeching and grinding of the clutch whenever I get this car :) Ha ha ha!! In other news, yesterday Jon and I had our 3 month anniversary. Yes I know, I'm a dork for counting the months like that, but whatever. Crazy how quickly 3 months can go by. It's so weird to think about what life will be like a year from now.

Last Friday Jon and I went to Fright Night at Playland. I don't know what it is that's so scary, but I was screaming all over the place. There were lots of Playland employees walking around in costume and in black and a couple of them thought it would be fun to sneak up behind me and start growling or just shout at me, so naturally I screamed. Let's just say my voice was pretty hoarse at the end of the night. We went to get some of the best Chinese food in Vancouver afterwards and got home way late, but it was a lot of fun.

Tomorrow for Halloween I'll be trick-or-treating with Jon and some people from the Parish. That should be lots of fun, I haven't done that since I was in 9th or 10th grade I think. This will be really funny, especially when we get to other parishoner's houses. Ha ha ha! Just in case they weren't worried enough that they hired an immature little girl, I'm going to go trick-or-treating. I had a crazy idea the other day that I should make up some flyers for the Church or something to hand out while I was trick-or-treating. I might try to make those up tomorrow, that could be really cool. We'll see what happens. I'll talk to Father about the idea.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Why am I Catholic?

This is such a cool video. Definite throwbacks to World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne. Here's to the WYD Crew.

Drama Queen

I must apologize, that was a bit drama queen in that last post there. Like Jon says, I need to let stuff go and not let it bother me. Like in the Bible quote that I put up....I don't need to worry. Christ's got it. I think I need to remind myself of Calcutta in times like those. Not to compare sorrows, but to remember how uplifting that place was in the midst of Chaos.

Anyways, I had a fabulous thanksgiving. Jon and I went to the Abbey for 6:30am mass and got to spend some quality time with Fr. Abbot. I was telling him a little bit about my new job and got to ask him some questions about things I didn't really understand and hadn't ever been exposed to. The Seattle Archdiocese sure is exciting....But anyways, it was really cool to be able to talk to him with Jon. I think I was more nervous bringing Jon to see him than I was to my own parents, of course my parents had met Jon before under different circumstances, so it was different. In any case it was a lovely visit.

We ate a lot of ...well let's face it, I was at home. We ate a lot of everything. My aunts and uncles came over with the kids. I got to spend lots of quality time with the niece and nephew.

Sunday before that, the life night was awesome. The teens seemed to really be getting into it. We had so much stuff to cover we had to cut it short and we'll be continuing on this Sunday. The next XLT is also coming up, excited for that. The feedback from some of the teens....great stuff, but they want some silence! That's awesome! Teens want silence, it's so much of what they need too.

I put up another blog so they can look back at the topics we've covered in the past weeks. So far I've only got up last Sunday's stuff, but there's more to come.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sparring match....

"Blessings 1, 2, and 3, meet Frustrations 1, 2, and 3.....
bow to your opponent
let the fight begin."

For some reason, good happenings and bad happenings just can't seem to get along together in my life so they come in waves. Good things in threes, bad things in threes. This week's last layer of bad things just iced the cake. I thought....after 7 long years of not having a license for various reasons I'd be able to take my scheduled road test today and be done with it. My dad drove down from Canada in my sister's car, picked me up from work, we went to the DOL, the examiner started checking my stop response, hand signals, signal lights, break lights......yep. STUPID RIGHT REAR BREAK LIGHT WAS OUT!!!!!!! ARGH! BAH! Lame. I had to reschedule for two weeks from now (earliest slot open). How many times have I been to this DOL since I moved down here? This is the fourth...let's hope the fifth time is the last time I'll have to see that place for a long time. On top of that, some miscommunication put a wrench in getting the car this month. So it's not going to happen until November now. I would mention the other frustration, but that's of a confidential nature, so sorry, but I can't tell you all everything that happens in my life :)

You want to know why it's all happening in the same week? I think I figured it out. This Sunday's Life Night is on the Mass and the Eucharist. What better time to put the Youth Minister in a crappy mood, but the one week that we're talking about the single most important part of the Catholic Faith right? You suck Satan. Sunday is going to rock. These teens are going to love Jesus. You lose in the end devil. Grrr..... Kick his butt guardian angel!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Taize and Cars

Kyrie, Kyrie eleison
Kyrie, Kyrie eleison

Ubi caritas, et amor
Ubi caritas, Deus ibi est

The Lord is my light, my light and salvation,
in God I trust, in God I trust

Stay with me, remain here with me,
watch and pray
watch and pray

I get to take the group to Taize on Friday. Kinda excited! I haven't been to the Cathedral for Taize in a really long time.

Tomorrow is my road test. Dear God please let me pass. Please, please, please. It's time for me to get my license. I just hope I can finally get this car too.....

Prayers please.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

1st Life Night

For those of you wondering...our first Life Night was great! Now the problem the heck am I going to follow that up?! Ack?! Well, I've got this week all planned out. With the High School we're talking about the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and how blessed we are to be Catholics. The middle school is going to delve into who they are and why they're worth more than just their image. Should be good. I was so surprized that they were actually interacting and listening and not falling asleep last week. It was cool. Apparently, my being young has something to do with keeping teens attention. Anywhoo, they're a fabulous bunch and I haven't passed out from nervousness so far. So things are good! Thank God! I set up and appointment to get the car next week. Now I've just got to pass my test tomorrow. I hope I can actually take the road test tomorrow, I hope it's not raining!!! yikes! I'm supposed to learn how to drive a stick shift.......oh geez. This is going to be funny, if not dangerous! Watch out drivers, here comes Val.

I love this...

Matthew 6:25-34

16 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.
18 If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?'
All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness,
19 and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

God provides!!!

Okay, time to take a break from the madness. So this Sunday coming up is my first Youth Group night. CRAZY!! It also just so happens that I have a bazillion meetings this week, but it's cool. No sweat. I've got God. I mean honestly check this out...
Here's just a little more evidence of God being incredible in my life.
So I've been needing a car for the last month or so. It's been kinda crazy asking for rides when I'm in a job like this. So my super sweet/angelic/replacement grandma of a landlady and her nice friends have been praying really hard that someone will just give me a car. So anyways....about two weeks ago my priest/boss tells me that some woman wanted to talk to me about the car ad that was in our Church bulletin. So I called her and we played phone tag back and forth for a bit. I finally got a chance to talk to her on Sunday and here's what the conversation went like:
Lady x "So what exactly are you looking for?"
me "something within my price range, no more than $3000 and something that I can drive, not a stick shift."
Lady x "Oh well, this is a stick."
me "Oh that's okay, thanks for calling me anyways"
Lady x "well wait just a sec, will you listen to what I have to tell you first?"
me "sure of course."
Lady x "It's a 1995 volkswagen jetta, 111 000 miles, it just got a tune up, it runs great, just a broken windshield washer motor, which will probably cost around $400 to fix."
me "Sounds like a good car, what are you asking for it?"
Lady x "well that's the thing, I was going to give it to you."
Yeah....pretty much. So God found me a car. I'm just going to have to learn stick shift now. But seriously, how awesome is that? Yeesh! Honestly, I'm constantly humbled, because there's no way I deserve to be blessed like this. God is so amazing. So here I am, I'm working for the Church. God provided me with a fabulous place to live an hour before I left for St. Walburga's which was exactly what I could afford at the time. He's given me an amazing working environment full of generous God-fearing and really lovable people, I have found the love of my life, and now I have a free car. Seriously? I must be dreaming. I'd better keep praying because this is just ridiculous. Anywhoo, thought I'd share that story with you. Any prayers for my youth group which is starting up this week would be greatly appreciated. Looks like it's going to be a fabulous year. Lots of apologetics and lots of fun!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The weekend...dun,dun,dun..... this weekend I get to meet the parents....the three brothers.......and some other friends of the family. Yikes!!! Actually, it should be a pretty awesome weekend starting Thursday night. My family is going to be down here for birthday dinner with Dad and my old roommie Annie and Jon are coming for dinner. Friday we're going to do some praying down at the abortion clinic as well as scope out some cars that I could possibly buy before skipping off to my friend's Muslim wedding in Oly. Saturday will be a fun filled day of amusement parks, nerve wracking family dinner's at the boyfriend's house and gameworks.
Thank God for Sunday being a day of rest.
Funny, someone made a comment on the last blog saying that my story was like "The Notebook". I have no idea what that movie was about, but I'm assuming it had some drama in it, or else it wouldn't have made a good movie. Hopefully all the drama with discernment is over. So this may turn into the most boring blog ever, but we'll see. The spiritual life shouldn't ever get boring. I guess this blog won't be so much focusing on discernment anymore 'cuz I'm pretty much done with that, but I can always seek to improve my spiritual life. Speaking of which...I need to get back into the habit of daily lectio divina and look up how to be an Oblate :) Still love those Benedictines. Ooh I just found out too that my new boss/PAFF at my parish is a Benedictine fan as well. Man, God just goes alll out sometimes. I don't get it, definately not worthy, but hecka thankful!

Monday, August 21, 2006


'How my life changed directions in the last month....condensed.

To those of you who were praying for my vocation....Thank you. Things have taken a crazy turn in the last month. So here's what really happened at St. Walburga's......

Getting there was nuts. My plane got pulled off the runway twice. We boarded the plane late and we were sitting at the gate at Seatac for around 20 minutes when I started thinking "Okay, I'm nervous as all heck, but it's going to be a great week. The only thing the devil can do now to stop me from having a great experience at St. Walburga's is break the plane." This was about 5 minutes before we started taxiing down the runway. We stopped halfway down the runway because the pilot said there was a warning light on the dash and they didn't know what it was for. At this point I'm saying to myself "No way! Stupid me, I had to go and invite him to break the plane". So we went back to the gate and waited for around 30 minutes. At this point the pilot says, "There's good news and bad news folks. The bad news is that we still don't know what's wrong with the plane. This is a new plane and it shouldn't be having any problems. It could possibly take a very long time to fix. The good news is that we're getting a new plane." Yikes. So we got off the plane, they transferred the luggage, they reassigned some seats because it was a different type of plane and we boarded again 2.5 hours after our flight was scheduled to leave.
We're sitting on the plane and at this point I'm confident that we're going to get off the ground and I'm on my way to Colorado. We started taxiing down the runway and we stopped. The pilot comes on again and says "You won't believe this folks, but we need to taxi back in. Alaska Airlines needs to do another head count. There was some sort of mixup with boarding." So we went back in. 4 hours after our original flight time we take off. Third time's a charm....or a blessing 'cuz we're Catholic. I got into Denver International at around 7 and to Fort Collins on the Shuttle just before 9pm. At this point I can't make it to the Abbey because it'd be another hour and a half drive and the sisters would be asleep. So I was fortunate enough to stay with two wonderful Benedictine oblates. David and Laura. Something really got me excited when they told me about the life of an oblate. David (aka Br. Boniface) was so cool. He's an environmental scientist :) I mean you can't get any cooler than that. A Benedictine and an environmentalist? Awesome.

I got to the Abbey the next day on Sunday and basically spent the day by myself in prayer because the sisters rest a lot on Sundays. That first day was really difficult. I kept wondering "what the heck am I doing here?" It was really strange. I had a terrible nightmare that first night too. I woke up several times only to return to the nightmare when I fell back asleep. I prayed so hard that night that God might grant me the grace to discern that week without distraction. The next morning at mass God answered my prayers. With the processional hymn that morning, I felt such a sense of peace about the week. I had a great time working with the sisters, pitching hay, collecting eggs, herding cows, cleaning etc. Practicing lectio divina was really fruitful. I loved chanting the divine office with the sisters. I didn't even mind getting up at 4:20 in the morning. The whole time at St. Walburga's was peaceful...but in some way not completely fulfilling. I kept on thinking to myself, "I could do this. I could enter and just learn to be at peace with this for the rest of my life....but I don't know that I would really be fulfilled. There's something missing." I wasn't really sure what that was. I had a few ideas....but I wasn't completely sure. So I prayed, and I prayed, and prayed some more. God started showing me some things. He kept on bringing someone into my prayers and showing me passages of scripture that would only remind me of one person. My best friend Jon.
When I got back, I told Jon everything that happened that week while we were in the car on the way back up from Seatac. I told him I was really confused and that I wanted to speak to my spiritual director about everything. He said he didn't want to say anything to me until I had spoken to my spiritual director. So I went to my spiritual director the day after I got back and he suggested that I take some time away from Jon and discern this friendship. So I took some time away, after 2 weeks I didn't really have any doubts and what I was hearing in prayer was pretty clear.....

Jon and I talked and ended up starting our relationship in front of the Blessed Sacrament on July 28th. I can't believe what the Lord has done. This relationship is so amazing, and the best part is that it's Christ centered. I'm constantly in awe of God since my relationship with Jon started and I feel like I'm being drawn closer to Christ constantly because of it. It's really like that "Be Satisfied" thing that St. Anthony wrote. When you tell God you're ready to do whatever he asks, He blesses you with happiness you could never have imagined.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Hey! I finally got the wireless card to work! So here I am again. I started my new job. It's great, the parish is sooo warm and my staff are fun to work with. The youth are apparently crying for education rather than just silliness and games.....yep. That I can definately do. Apologetics here we come! Woohoo!! Of course, there's going to be some fun. I can't bore the poor teens to death. The mass choir is amazing, they are such a talented group of people. I got to go to their choir picnic today and we had a great time. I got to show them some cool new music. We had a ball.
Last friday I got my learner's permit, checked out the state park, and went to see Lady in the Water. I thought it was a cool movie. Camano Island State Park is pretty nice, what we saw of it. I learned that I am terrible at skipping rocks and amusing to watch when I try to skip rocks. It's more like me getting excited and then just throwing rocks in the ocean....sad. I promise your, I used to be able to do it as a child, but have somehow lost it. Ha ha! Now the movie......It definately wasn't as serious as the rest of M. Night Shaymalan's movies, but it was still worth checking out. I definately jumped a lot in the movie. Fun story, kinda scary, gets a thumbs up in my book. Next on the list, either "Pulse" or "Monster House".
As for my vocation.....the reason I have this blog. Not confused anymore, and that's all I have to say :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Culture Shock

I'm back from Colorado. It was a wonderful experience. Basically I don't feel like blogging. I don't feel like being around outside here. This is however, not really saying anything conclusive about me going to St. Walburga's for the long haul. In truth, I'm more confused right now than I've ever been. Lots of things happened, the Lord spoke to me on lots of different levels, he brought a lot to my attention and illuminated some parts of my life I thought I could hide was an intense week and I need a lot of time to process and discern. I start my new job on Tuesday and I'm in the middle of taking a break (yes at 3am!) of packing up all that belongs to me in my parents house to move down to the USA later today. Insane, just insane. I had some wondeful spiritual direction today(yesterday morning) for the first time, thank God. This is definately a gear shift in my discernment, I need to start praying and thinking specifically right now and that's difficult because it feels more real when I do that. I'm sure I'll write more about the week after I get over the shock of being thrown back into the world, the shock of the week itself, and the shock of moving my life and starting a new job. I hope you're all doing well.
Peace be with you.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

I hope the American Independence Day is fabulous for all my American friends. Received a really cool birthday present in the mail today from a close friend. For the next 5 years I'm enrolled in the Association of Marian Helpers which is a Spiritual Benefit Society of The Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception . I get to share in the spiritual benefits of the prayers and good works of the Marians, which are:
  • a daily mass offered
  • a special mass offered on First Fridays and First Saturdays and on Feast Days of Our Lord and Our Lady
  • A remembrance in the daily Masses, prayers, and rosaries of all Marian priests and brothers
  • A remembrance in the continuous Novena to The Divine Mercy and in the daily prayers offered by workers at the Marian Helpers Center

Pretty cool huh? This Saturday is quickly approaching.....I'd better make sure I'm in tip top shape. I can't believe I'm finally going to do a Come and See! I'll be in Colorado from the 8th to the 14th.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006


So I'm assuming all of today's events are a sign that something good is about to happen with my visit to St. Walburga's and the start of my new job shortly after that.

First "argh!" moment today occurred when the ticket I was trying to reserve (the bargain priced one) disappeared while I was reserving it. I had to go for the slightly higher priced one for a flight later in the day. While I was booking that one, my mastercard was declined, twice! Yep. Had to use my mom's card. The good news is that I'm booked now! Concrete, I will be going to St. Walurga's I have the itinerary and confirmation.

Second, after coming home from a wonderful evening at my sister's spent with my super cute niece and nephew I went to check the mail and got my bank statement. I checked my bank statement to find that $200 had been stolen from my account. It was stolen the day after I got back from the West Coast Trail on Father's day. I apparently made a $200 withdrawal from an ATM in Vancouver that day......that's pretty hard to do when all I recall doing is going to a Father's day picnic, sleeping, and going to adoration and mass. Argh....

So let's hope that the bank has some hopeful news for me tomorrow. I wonder what other sorts of trials are coming my way....heh. St. Michael the Archangel.......

Thinking about it now, this could have been a lot worse. I mean I had so much grace over the weekend, what with confession and mass and the blessings from the 2 new priests and Jacob's baptism and all the praying that went on this weekend. Not to mention the fatty benedictine crucifix I'm wearing. I mean I think I'm pretty well guarded, so this could have been a lot worse. My friend was also saying that this could have been a result of all of that grace. You know, spiritual attacks to help me lose that grace. So I suppose I should be thankful to God for the trials and thankful that it isn't worse than it is. Hmm....patience and trust in Divine Providence right?


Monday, June 26, 2006


"Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self"
-St. Francis of Assisi

"When You have loved Him, You are chaste; when you have touched Him, You become more pure; when you have accepted Him, You are a virgin."
-St. Clare of Assisi

"Listen carefully, my son, to the Master's instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice. The labor of obedience will bring you back to him from whom you had drifted through the sloth of disobedience. This message of mine is for all, and armed with the strong and noble weapons of obedience to do battle for the true king, Christ the Lord."
-St. Benedict

"I asked a favor of you," Scholastica replied simply, "and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it!"
-St. Scholastica
Ha ha ha!! She's great!

Countdown to adulthood....

Had another driving lesson, things were much smoother this time. My instructor was not distracting and pretty helpful. Waiting on word about my ticket to Denver.....I'm not sure how this is going to work out, I guess I just need to do that praying and trusting thing again. St. Walburga's I'm coming....I've just got to get to you. It's time to see what's going on. This is the real deal now. My friend Kristine is out there right now, I hope things are going well.
I start work officially on the 17th of July, but I don't know where I'm going to live yet. No available 1bdrm apartments in Stanwood.....Here we go, yay I'm an adult. Ha ha ha! You'd think I would have figured that out back when I was 18. But I really wasn't an adult then. I'm still unsure of my adulthood now, but I'm sure that will feel really concrete once I start work. Adulthood, what does that mean? It means I have to trust God more :)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

What a Weekend!

This was the most fun I've had in one weekend in a really long time.

On Friday my friend Jon arrived from Bellingham, we got fed a lot by my mom and we headed out to Richmond for the last ordination mass in the Vancouver Archdiocese. We met some of my friends from my home parish there. Luckily, they saved us seats in the third row!!! It was really crowded! In Vancouver the ordinations are done separately and each one is done at the seminarian's home parish. It's done like that for the seminarians and as a vocations promotion tool to revive and keep up the parish's good work. It was a great mass. I think the coolest part of the whole mass was right after Fr. Henry was made a priest when the Archbishop said something like "there are special graces associated with blessings from a new priest, and no one needs it more than I do," then he took a knee to the new priest and received a blessing from him. Talk about being a servant, for the Archbishop to kneel in front of the newest priest to get blessed by!! After the mass we got to eat more and wandered around and talked to some of the priests we knew and got blessings from the newly ordained priests and one of the other priests ordained that week. We also got to chat with some sisters who were there, we saw the missionaries of charity wandering around, and asked a few priests in cool habits questions about their orders etc. I was also introduced to a few seminarians because apparently my friend Kristine knows them all! From a vocations standpoint it was sooooo wonderful to see a man become a priest. It's so beautiful to see God inspire and work through people. I can't describe how amazing it was to watch him say his first words of consecration and the feeling in my heart to know that there are two more hands that can bring Christ in the flesh out to our starving world. It was amazing. Yay for Fr. Henry Yeung!! It was so wonderful seeing all the priests and the sisters and seminarians there. It really felt like a family affair, sisters and brothers coming together with God as our heavenly Father. So awesome!!! It was also the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, what a great day to be ordained!!
Since we were already in Richmond we headed out to the night market. We got a little lost so we only had about an hour there, but it was really fun. Donne and Jon had never been to anything like it before. Jon ended up buying this cool looking decorative dagger thing, it's not sharp so hopefully he won't have any troubles getting it across the border. I almost thought he was going to buy a samurai sword, but he opted out of it. That was an adventure, the night market is always fun. We ended up getting home around...1am I think.

Saturday morning we went to confession and headed out to playland. We got there around 12:00 and started the day off with the Hellevator. If you don't know what that is....well it's basically a ride where you sit back and are harnassed in and you get shot up about 12 storeys into the air and get dropped again. That was crazy!! It was really fun though. We met up with my church friends again around 1:00. We went on a lot of rides. I went on a lot of rides I wouldn't normally go on, but Jon is a persuasive guy and so I got suckered into going onto rides like "The Scrambler"....yeah you can imagine. My favorite is always the classic wooden roller coaster from the 50's that gets up to 90km/hr. Yep, it's crazy and you feel like you're going to fall out of it. Halfway through our day at Playland we took a trip to Holy Rosary Cathedral in downtown Vancouver. It's such a beautiful Cathedral. Beautiful stained glass and gothic architecture. Jon saw his first communion rail, but got a little confused at Communion time and got into the regular standing reception line instead of the line for the rail. Oh well, maybe next time. I love mass at the Cathedral, it's so great. We headed back to Playland to get our money's worth and went into the Haunted House, did the Coaster and the Hellevator again and went on the log ride where my friend's cousins proceeded to soak us by splashing after the actual ride down the splashy hill. We came off looking like we jumped into a swimming pool. That was crazy, but it was really fun. The Haunted house was hilarious and actually pretty scary. I know I screamed a lot... more than I was expecting to. The actors in it did a great job of growling and sneaking up on you, it was creepy. My friend's cousin Liya was screaming like she was getting stabbed or something she was so scared! Ha ha ha!
After saying goodbye to Playland and getting some much needed cotton candy we headed out to Robson Sushi, an all-you-can-eat sushi place in downtown Vancouver. It was great. A fun experience for Jon who didn't even know these types of places existed. We ate waaaay too much but had a ball of a time. Unbeknownst to me this was supposed to be a belated birthday celebration day o' fun for me, so my meal was paid for and my group of friends sung an incredibly loud and embarassing "Happy Birthday" in the restaurant. That was really funny, I guess it was so loud that other people in the restaurant were singing and the cooks were clapping in the back. Ha ha! After sushi, my parish friends took off for home and Jon and I decided to snag some Gelato on Denman and check out English Bay. It's been a while since I've had Gelato from that place, it's almost as good as Florence.....almost.

Today was wonderful. We went to Saint Clare's for my nephew's baptism, which is a beautiful parish. Right now everything is done in the parish hall, but it's prettier than many parishes I've seen in Canada and the States. Fr. Craig Scott did an amazing baptism service and spoke about the continuity of baptismal promises throughout a person's life. It was great. He's such a cool priest. After the celebration at St. Clare's we headed to my sis' place for the reception. Lots and lots and lots of guessed it....eating!! It was a fun gathering with the family and Joy and Peter's friends. As always I love seeing the babies.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Okay here's the game, when I say something crappy you say "Boooooooo" when I say something fun and cool you say "Yay!!!!!"'s something we used to do at camp......

Well I didn't get to go to the Abbey today with the girls 'cuz I had a driving lesson in the middle of the day....let's say I need a lot of work with my turns. I don't turn fast enough on the right turns and I turn too fast on the left I'm always going into the wrong lane of traffic. My instructor was pretty nice, but she talked a lot and turned on the radio...very, very distracting!! "Boooo....."

On the "Yay!!!" side, last night was a really fun bbq/birthday party deal with the family and friends. It's always fun getting to catch up with people after wandering for a while. It was definately a different birthday than my one in Calcutta last year. No monsoon for this birthday, just friends, family, lots of food, and tiki torches in the backyard. It's weird thinking about Calcutta and that it's been a year since I was there. I wonder if I'll ever go back....

The rest of the week is beginning to look pretty busy. Tomorrow me and the parents hit up B'ham and Stanwood to run errands, sign contracts, scout out apartments etc...On Friday I get to see an ordination in this Archdiocese, which I've never seen before. Should be really cool. Saturday one of my friends is planning a day o' fun around Vancouver...complete with a trip to Playland!! Yay 100 year old roller coaster!! Sunday is Jacob's baptism!!! Fun week. God is good. I'm in a bit of a laziness rut with the prayers, hopefully I'll climb out of it soon. I'm pulling a St. Teresa of Avila and blaming not praying on physical tiredness....yikes!!! Okay...focus, focus....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pictures from the Trail....

Picture commentary below....

The West Coast Trail

On June 9th I finished at camp. Lots of cleaning, lots of tired staff members, but we had a fun season. I went up to Bellingham that night, got up the next morning and ran lots of errands, got lots of stuff from REI went to confession, adoration, and mass and then set out for Port Angeles with Jon and Corina. We got there at around....midnight? Let's just say it took Jon a little too long to pack all his stuff. I think we can also safely say that Jon brought too much stuff :) We all met at Chris' cabin in Port Angeles and had a pre-trip bonfire while we mused over how insane this trip would be. The next morning we drove all the cars to Chris' parent's place and hopped in the big brown van. This wasn't just any van, this was a striped, shaggy, huge, decked out hilarious Van. We hopped the Ferry to Victoria. When we were getting questioned by the customs guy on the other side we were asked "How much alcohol are you bringing on the trail? Do you have any bear mace? Do you have any tobacco?" ha ha ha!!! Bear Mace...Alcohol? Ha ha ha! Ehem...anyways we took a short trip to the Real Canadian Superstore to get some lunch and some last minute items, which for me thankfully meant jerky. The beef jerky which would be a crucial part of staying happy on the trip. (Little known fact: I love beef jerky).

So we get to Port Renfrew which is the southern trailhead and go through a slideshow orientation and general hazard warning session of the WCT. Let's just say the Ranger lady didn't seem to have much confidence in us finishing the trail...:) When we started there were 18 people who had been rescue/evacuated since May 1st of this year. After that good scare and purchasing a couple of maps we headed out for Bamfield, where the northern trailhead was. It was only supposed to take 3 hours.....we got horribly, horribly, lost and it ended up taking more like 5 hours. Up and down logging roads bouncing around in the brown van, and man was it hot. I'm surprized I didn't hurl, but I was sleeping most of the time. We finally got there at around 6pm to find the ranger station closed and a big "no Camping" sign on the porch which was in front of this big flat grassy area. We had no choice!! We couldn't go on the trail yet because we didn't have our park passes and our big brown van had left with Chris' brother John driving it away. We walked out to the beach with all our gear, made our dinner out there and then slept on the ranger's porch. We got up early to get our passes and head out at 9am on Monday morning.

We decided that we needed to hike extra far the first day to make up for the time we had lost on that meant we hiked 25km!!!! On the first day!!!! The trail is 75km long!! I was thinking we'd go for 7 days and finish on Saturday night(originally without losing the Sunday)....ha ha ha we're insane. We did it in 4.5 days and finished at around 1pm on Friday. As for the middle bits of the trail, let's just say that it was painful, beautiful, and totally random. The pictures will do more talking, but here's some highlights.....saying the 15 decade rosary on the beach at night, swimming and sitting under tsusiat falls, going across rivers on cable cars that the boys pulled across for us, ladders upon ladders, the nice breaks at the lighthouse stations, drinking beers after the boat crossing, watching the boys spend $45 for 3 fresh crabs, eating huge and amazing hamburgers in the middle of the trail at a shack on the beach, seeing bald eagles, whales, sea lions, sea otters and lots of tidepools, listening to funny sounds we all made when falling into mud pits, and listening to Oooyip oooyip ooyip (aka coyotes on the Grizzly Man soundtrack in the van on the ride home). It was insane, I'm quite bruised, but it was so incredibly beautiful and now I can say that I've hiked one of the most difficult trails in the world. Thank you God for keeping me alive!!!

Oh yeah and on the Ferry ride back from Victoria I accepted the Youth Ministry position at St. Cecilia's parish!! I'm a YM!! I have a job!!! Oh no..this means I have to act like an adult now. Oh well, I turned 23 yesterday, I suppose it's time :) UIOGD. Going to visit the Abbey tomorrow after a driving lesson!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Yet another interview....

So I've had a pretty awesome weekend so far. It's really amazing how God's been taking care of me. I had no idea how I was going to get to my interview, where I was going to stay, where I was going afterwards and it all worked out in a matter of minutes. I got a ride from a coworker, the parish put me up at a nice hotel nearby, I took a cab to the interview (also paid for) got to spend some time with Beth, and I'm now spending time with Janet.

So Friday I got to the hotel, took a bubble bath, relaxed a bit, had great Val pampering time. This morning I got up early, packed up, and took a cab to St. Monica's. My cab driver was really nice and he was telling me all about how Vancouver is his favorite city. I got to St. Monica's and I found the adoration chapel right away, it was the first door I tried. I thought it was the entrance to the church, but it was the entrance to the adoration chapel and as soon as I opened the door I was greeted by Jesus! Yeah I hat about 40 minutes to spend with Jesus saying rosary and doing the St. Bridgets before my interview. It was time well spent. I think the interview went pretty well. It is a solid solid parish. MI, Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary, Friends of the Needy, Respect for Life group, NFP etc...the list goes on. It was pretty darned exciting. I'm praying for all these parishes.

After that I was picked up by my friend Beth and we went to the Qwest field expo for Rite Aid and picked up cool samples of all sorts of health and beauty stuff for 3 hours. It was fun.

I then transferred to Janet in Seattle. We hung out at a friend's house who was having a Pentecost party, ate some great food. Then off to Island County for a few margaritas at Applebees.

Tomorrow....bbq and last mass of the year up at NCCM. Woohoo!


Monday, May 29, 2006

Bye Bye Oly.

It was a great weekend in Olympia. Mass at the Abbey was cool. The building itself was kinda weird but it was just great to go to mass with the OSBs again. Spending time with Nausheen's family and getting to see the capital city was really fun. Not much else to tell from this end. Back on site now, another exciting week of campers are coming in tomorrow! Only 2 weeks left! Crazy.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Ooh ooh! I get to go to St. Martin's Abbey Church for Mass tomorrow. Yay Benedictines. I hope it's as cool as Christ the King. More to report tomorrow....

Friday, May 26, 2006

Val the nomad tells stories of the haunted chapel.

This weekend I'm in Olympia. Man that was a creepy Greyhound ride. The Seattle Greyhound station was scary, the Tacoma one was scary too, and the Olympia one wouldn't have been so scary except that I was there at 10:30ish. But now I'm at Nausheen's house for the weekend. It's been a long time since we've hung out so I'm excited to be here for the long weekend! This afternoon I'm going to the mosque with her to see what their Friday prayers are like, should be interesting. It's so great to be around her family, I love hearing that Indian accent!

Now for my own spiritual stuff. It is soooo difficult to do night prayers. I guess the fatigue is beginning to catch up with me. I've been really thankful these past few weeks for some spiritual support on staff. Just having that one extra staff member out there who is a solid Catholic has made a huge difference. This however is a big deal in the spiritual realm. Ie-Satan does not like what is going on at this Catholic Camp! Soo...yay and watch out! We've been having some very strange things happen outside around the chapel. By very strange I mean frightening and unholy. I usually go up to the Chapel on site for night prayers around 10:30 or 11:00pm. This chapel is a beautiful building. There are lots of windows, it's in the middle of the forest. Just beautiful, but scary as all heck at night in the dark. Actually, the chapel itself is not scary in the dark, whatever is outside is scary. There's something that circles the chapel when you're in there and something that definately does not want devout prayers to go on inside. So yeah...that's all I can really describe without getting into too many details. This however just strengthens my resolve to go pray there more! Stupid demons. I should ask Fr. Abbot to come down and do an exorcism on the chapel. I talked to a friend about what might be going on and he said to look for strange things around the chapel. You know, like weirdo pagan stuff like pictures of idols or symbols or something. I didn't really find anything, but there's this one thing that I want to check out. Anyone heard of a labyrinth before? Yeah there's one of those in front. I'm going to have to do some internet research.


Sunday, May 14, 2006


Okay, so applying for jobs requires a lot of trust in God. I'm so greatful for friends that give good advice and friends who are incredibly honest with me. Thanks guys. This week at work we got a new staff member Amy. Amy is solid, very cool, a God-send literally. Some other interesting things have been happening and are a very nice answer to prayer. Thank you Jesus!
During the week with the kids we do an activity called Serendipity. The activity is designed to calm them down, build some trust, and learn new things about themselves or teammates before going on a night hike in total darkness. Last week I did an activity with them called "questions from a bag". The basic idea is that you pick a question from the bag and answer it for the group. Whoop dee doo right? Some of the questions are :
"If you were on a deserted island what 2 things would you want with you?"
"What do you think heaven will be like?"
" What makes you feel better on a sad day"
my personal favorite is
"What's one thing you want people to know about you?"
I know what the shape of this card is so I intentionally pick this one....(I know it's cheating..)
But anyways I pick this one to tell the kids about my vocation. So I told them "well, this may shock you, but in a few years I'm probably going to go into a convent and become a nun". Now, I usually get very surprized looks from my students and chaperones, but this week was hilarious. One of my girls said "there are still nuns?" the rest of the group shouted "WHAT?!" and looked at eachother in disbelief while still others shot questions out like machine-gun fire. It was an interesting experience, but wonderful. This isn't exactly a good example of me being humble, but it was such a great feeling to be a witness to those kids in a very defined way. So I answered some questions they had about why I wanted to do it and general questions about sisters and the things they do and we moved on to the rest of our night hike. I'm not exactly sure what happened after that, but I think me being incredibly open with those kids helped them trust me more. So I guess it helped serve the purpose of the activity! We actually got to have mass this week!! Thank goodness! I also got the opportunity to do the last night prayer for the week again and despite my lost voice it went pretty well. It was a pretty fun week. It looks like the weather is going to be wonderfully steamy tomorrow and I hope that continues through this week. I've gotten super dark from working outside all day long, I look like I've been vacationing in Mexico or something....but alas no vacation yet.
Now I'm just up to my ears in applications and phone calls and trying to arrange interviews etc... I've got one lined up for this Friday that I'm really excited about, so if you've got some extra prayers you could spare I'd really appreciate them.
I've basically been running around like a chicken with my head cut off this weekend. I went to see a dance performance of a co-worker's on Friday night, skipped up to B'ham, helped organize my friend's engagement party, went to it and celebrated all day, then hopped on a Greyhound this morning, took the bus from the station home (got a little lost on the way), and then finally got to see my mom for mother's day and spend a little time with the babies. They're like drugs. They're so darn cute and fun to hang out with you don't want to leave. My niece was on a sugar rush this evening before bathtime and was incredibly hyper and giggly. She was basically running around the house in only her diaper laughing, it was really cute. I miss them. This is ridiculous, I need to get my license. Back on the Greyhound and down to Monroe tomorrow........Thank God for God.

Monday, May 08, 2006

St. Olaf's

Well I went and interviewed for my first youth ministry position this weekend. Let me tell you....St. Olaf's is a really cool parish. They've got 101 ministries at the parish, you can tell they're doing something right. What's that you ask? Oh yes, they have perpetual exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. That's right. Oh and they have a seminarian from there too. Yep, vocations come from the parishes with Adoration. So yeah, good interview. Cool people, I should find out in a couple of days about the job. It was funny interviewing with Annie (my roommate for the last 2 years of college). It was nice to have the support going to that first one though. I hope there are more coming soon. There's really only one thing about St. Olaf's that I'm worried about, that's how far it is. It's way out on the Penninsula. But it's a cool little town nonetheless and it's close to Bremerton which is where another friend of mine lives. Eh, I should stop worrying, it's all in God's hands anyways.
I also watched three movies this weekend. Here are my reviews!
"Tristan and Isolde"....uh too many sex scenes, too gushy, too much feeling like I want to slap the characters in the back of the head and say "what the heck are you doing?".
"Pride and Prejudice" very cool. Now there's a more realistic love story. People getting annoyed, real misunderstandings, a family that you love but get irritated with at times. Great closing scene. Aw....I actually liked a romantic movie! Wow!
"Crash" not exactly what you would call uplifting, but an important film. It makes you think, it brings uncomfortable issues up in your face, it's real life in the harshest way. An important film to see. Great cast. I'm so glad this won best film instead of "Brokeback Mountain" ugh.
I also heard this really cool song last week called "Whisper of Angels" by Amici Forever. Check it out, it's beatiful. Thanks for the song Amy!
Yep. Hope you're having a good week! Don't forget that Sunday is Mother's Day. Love your moms. The biological one and the spiritual one!

Monday, May 01, 2006

lingering questions....

So did the Pope sign that document about tridentine masses? Hmm...So what happens when the Pope puts out that new apostolic exhortation about the liturgy that says some instruments like guitars are inappropriate for mass? Will parishes everywhere just go back to organs?'s a difficult position. On one hand, I love gregorian chant and I think it would be neat if all the parishes could start filtering out some of the crap music people are playing....but I know that there's some really nice and prayerful contemporary stuff out there which can lead people closer to God if it's done in a humble and appropriate way. I have also definately heard music at some parishes done with the organ that can only make people cringe and pray for it to stop instead of making them focus in on the Eucharist. So what now? Swift changes to happen this fall? Rumor has it this next document from Pope Benedict is due out in October of this year. If you're wondering where all these questions came from....I'm at home this weekend and went to mass at my home parish. We did straight up praise and worship was nice to sing to, but c'mon guys it's Easter! Do some Easter songs! Ehem...sorry for that. I guess deep down I'm still a control freak about mass music. I know.....humility....humility.....humility......

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jacob Donovan

Here he is! My new nephew! 6 pounds 11 ounces. April 25th!! What a cutie. Thank the Lord for Life.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Home for the Weekend

I went straight from the Greyhound station to Joy's house! My new nephew Jacob Donovan was born on Tuesday!!! He's sooooo adorable. I arrived late in the evening, so he was asleep. I can't wait to see him tomorrow when he's awake. They say he's a whiner. Ha ha!
This week was challening because it was really exhausting. I really began to see the fruits of the Divine Mercy Novena when I got back on site last Sunday though. Wowee, the Holy Spirit can work so quickly. I also had a fun experience with my own vanity this week. It's so strange....all you have to do is let your guard down for a second and give in to vanity or pride and you leave yourself open to attack, to a flood of doubts, to self-pity, and feelings of abandonment or loneliness which can only be relieved with humility and faith. Sometimes it seems as though the most difficult thing you can do in the world is turn your eyes to God. When you're overwhelmed, to focus and put blinders on to the world is like putting a hat on in a windstorm. We're so stupid sometimes as people that we forget that all we have to do is step under the shelter of the Lord. Lord, please laugh at my feebleness and have mercy on me.
Today after we had communion service at camp I got to deal with the altar cloths and cleanup of the vessels. I accidentally volunteered for it. It was either that or they'd have to call this lady to drive out to do it because we didn't have a priest with us. I've never even been an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist before! I've just watched closely and listened to my friends who have been sacristans before. As far as I know (I called people and checked too) I did everything right. Sorry if I messed up Jesus, have mercy on my ignorance....Ecclesia Sufficit?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Short, but cool and hilarious weekend.

So this weekend was pretty fun. It's shorter than my usual 3 day weekends (yes I'm at camp right now and we start tomorrow) but it was chillax and fun. Brett (my world youth day travelling/college campus ministry buddy) picked me up from camp on Friday evening and we drove over to his dad's cabin/mansion/rustic german looking house in Lake Stevens and had a (George Foreman) BBQ with a couple friends of his. His dad was away for the weekend and mom was a little overwhelmed with stuff so he thought it best we stay there. Let me just tell you that this place was incredible. I'm not talking like ritzy and fancy or anything like that, but it's just one of those places you read about in kids books. There's this huge german looking house that his dad built in the woods that has 5 acres surrounding it. There's random rope swings everywhere, a greenhouse, a garden, a firepit with benches, an orchard, a stream with this cool bridge over it, a little cabin that's powered by solar panels, there's a great deck overlooking it all....ah. It was pretty sweet. Basically I want to buy this place from Brett's dad and start a Benedictine Abbey for women there..... So yeah, had a bbq and a few chill drinks on Friday night, woke up to an amazing sunny warm day on Saturday. Went down to the stream and did lauds and just breathed in heavy and deep. It's amazing what doing lauds has done for my morning personality. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a night owl and am a complete zombie in the mornings, but after doing lauds I feel light as air and alert. It's so great. Nothing like a little God to start your day. We had breakfast on the deck in the sunshine, Brett took me on a full tour of the house and property, and then we headed out to see Michael Gunn.
Went to confession, went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, went to the Five Point in downtown Seattle and caught up with Michael G. and Colleen, and watched a ridiculous Canadian movie starring David Hasselhoff as a former cowboy who lives in Calgary (it was ridiculous, I fell asleep at the end). This morning we went to mass at OLPH which was Brett's home parish growing up and then went out to lunch with his mom. She was really cute. Just chatty and really bubbly and open, I can see where Brett's personality comes from. Anywhoo, after that we went to the Divine Mercy prayers and a bit of adoration at OLPH before he took me back to camp. All in all a refreshing, random, and absolutely hilarious weekend hanging out with Brett and Michael Gunn. Thanks guys.
Tomorrow we start the long string of max capacity sessions. We're going to have over 100 students every week from now until June. Crazy! It should be really fun though. I've decided to start actively placing God in my lessons and in all of my language while teaching all this ecology stuff. It's weird, I always wanted to while I worked at Evans Lake, but it was a secular camp so I couldn't. I volunteered and worked there for 8 years and just got stuck leaving God out. These first few weeks at CYO I've just been teaching the stuff like I always do until my Assistant Director asked me if I had been putting God into my lesson which I answered with a surprize "No actually." It was sort of a "Duh! You can do that now!" moment for me. So woohoo!! God and the Environment out in full force! Yesss!!
Also, I've been checked out, I'm not a wacko and can come to visit St. Walburga's for sure. The sisters have given me the best dates to come and told me to start checking travel plans. Woohoo!!! So exciting!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Real Art

This beautiful painting was sent to me by my friend Jon. It's of young Mary. I don't know what the title of the painting is, but it's so beautiful. I hope the artist (who I also don't know) doesn't mind me sharing her with you all.
"Oh most pure and loving heart,
of My Mother and My Queen
Grant that I may love thee,
love thee daily more and more.
Grant that I may love thee,
love thee daily more and more."

Sunday, April 16, 2006


+The Lord is risen, alleluia.
+The splendor of Christ risen from the dead has shone on the people redeemed by his blood, alleluia.
+Our Redeemer has risen from the tomb; let us sing a hymn of praise to the Lord our God, alleluia.
+Alleluia, the Lord is risen as he promised, alleluia.
+This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia.
+Very early on the morning after the Sabbath, when the sun had just risen, they came to the tomb, alleluia.
+Christ has risen from the dead and will never die again, alleluia.
+He was handed over to death for our sins;he was raised to life to justify us, alleluia.
+Since you have been raised to life with Christ, seek the things that are above, alleluia.
+Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the Lord's tomb, alleluia.
+Come and see the place where the Lord was buried, alleluia.
+Jesus said: Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see me, alleluia.
+This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia

God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son
you conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today
raise us up and renew our lives
by the Spirit that is within us.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Happy Easter!! God Bless!

Easter Sunday Antiphons from Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours

Saturday, April 15, 2006


(image from

Plans are underway. I've made contact. After I send them some info on myself to make sure I'm not a wacko, I can sign up to visit. They're expecting a visit in July. It's only $287.00 to fly from Seattle to Denver. Now getting from Denver to Virginia Dale is the problem. Ooh dang I'm excited. Check these ladies out, they're really cool.
It was kind of a weird thing to do late at night/ in the morning on Good Friday, but I was compelled, what can I say?

On another note, Father did a wonderful job with the Good Friday service today. It took almost 2 and a half hours!! Incredible.

"Behold, behold the wood of the cross on which is hung our salvation. Oh come, let us adore....."
We look forward to your ressurection Lord.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Randomly turning on CNN

Okay, I was at Joy's house today and before digging into our ordered sushi my dad turned the tv to CNN (because he's addicted to the news) and guess what was on? Larry King was interviewing 2 Catholic Priests, 2 Evangelical Pastors, and a guy that's going to be on this new reality tv show called "God or the Girl". They segment was described in the little reader window at the bottom of the screen as " a debate on celibacy and the priesthood and the new controversial show God or the Girl." Something like that anyways. So this show is going to be pretty much amazing. It's on A&E starting Easter Sunday evening. It follows the lives of 4 guys (who I feel like I know, 'cuz a bunch of my friends have lived what they're doing) who are discerning the Catholic priesthood, or married life. I guess at the end of the show some of the will probably end up in seminary. It's pretty sweet. It's funny the guy from the show that was being interviewed on Larry King lives in a house at his College with 9 Catholic guys and they call it "Fort Zion". Something tells me it's probably not too different than the Xavier house. But anyways that's really cool and if you want more info on it you can check out the website for the show.

I also went to Holy Thursday mass today at my home parish. Gosh I love St. Luke's . We received the Eucharist under both species by intinction today, no spoon, just Fr. dipping the host, but still cool, and really cool that we could receive kneeling. After mass Father processed the Eucharist to the Altar of Repose ( I can't remember if that's the proper name) and then we started adoration which would continue until midnight. Pretty sweet.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pencil to Paper

I was talking to a friend of mine and for some reason we got on the topic of drawing spontaneously. Here's what happens when I put my pencil to the paper and just go without any conscious thought. I don't know who the man is or why he is crying. I don't know what's in the middle of the cross. I'm assuming this woman is Mary. I did the man and the cross 2 or 3 years ago, Mary I drew about an hour ago.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Fr. Benedict did you laugh?

Yesterday I got a chance to sit outside in downtown and read up on the Rule of St. Benedict. I actually got through around 6 chapters. It was kinda crazy to just plow through like that. It usually takes me a while to digest it all before I can understand what he's mind has to slow down into reflection mode. But if you read yesterday's blog you'd see I was in some weird post-Chrism mass ultra-focused state. The rule is great, but I'm just wondering why St. Benedict didn't like laughing.

"54. Not to speak useless words or words that move to laughter.

55. Not to love much or boisterous laughter."

I suppose it just goes along with the spirit of silence. Someone once talked to me about laughing and said that most of the time laughter is at the expense of someone else.....sort of. I don't know, I know monks that laugh.