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......