Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Here we go.
It's the competition of the Young Adult Groups!

Monday, January 08, 2007


January is Poverty Awareness Month

Last night I taught the middle schoolers about poverty. Kolkata came up. I started looking for videos on YouTube to put on the youth group blog when I came across this. The trip to Calcutta, India changed my life. There are a few really familiar shots in this video.
1. Hotel Modern Lodge. This hostel was just off Sudder Street where most of the volunteers to the Missionaries of Charity found their lodging. It wasn't really modern, but it gave us security, a place to sleep, showers, and squat toilets. More than most have in Calcutta.

2. JoJo's restaurant. We ate at this place every day for the first two weeks (we got more adventurous after that). We ate there so much that the owner gave us t-shirts. The waiters there are cool, and they had air conditioning which was a big plus. Good prices, awesome lassis, and it was right beside the Hotel Modern Lodge.

Take a look at Calcutta. I want to go back, but next time I'll take a steroid inhaler and different Malaria medication. Darned side-effects.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ah to be....

To be a Catholic. Thank you God.

It's fun to sometimes stop and count your blessings. I did that tonight after griping about how someone at the Archdiocesan office keeps forgetting to put me on the Youth Minister e-mail list so I find out about the important professional events super late. I stopped right afterwards and realized....Thank God I even have the Archdiocese! I began to remember a conversation I had early on in September with a Lutheran YM about how she had no structure, she didn't know what to teach, she didn't have any support from a larger organization, there was no organization, etc etc... To top it off they had just gotten a new pastor and were beginning to re-evaluate what they believed as a church and how they worshipped.

I could not imagine what it would be like to try to do this job without the structure, tradition, magisterium, and 2000 years of unchanged truth that this Church holds. Thank God for the Catholic Church. Thank you God for blessing me with this faith to begin with. Yay God! Yay Parents! Yay Catholic School teachers who did things right!

If you're Catholic, celebrate. There's a lot to be greatful for and lots of richness to share with our separated (hopefully for not too long) brethren.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Holy Days

Merry Christmas!
Happy Feast day of the Holy Family!
Happy New Year/Feast of Mary the Mother of God
and Happy Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. many awesome Holy Days packed into such a short amount of time.

Some highlights of last week....

-seeing Kia and Jacob
-seeing my Great Aunt
-having Jon come up and spend time with my family during the Holidays
-Accidentally stumbling upon the Archbishop's Mass at the Holy Rosary Cathedral for Pro-Life intentions on the feast of the Holy Innocents
-receiving the Eucharist kneeling down at Mass
-going to vespers and adoration at 11:00 on New Year's Eve
-listening to an Ave Maria/ Still Still Still remix by the awesome choir at St. Luke's at Midnight Mass
-shopping with mom
-watching Dad open his presents
-showing Jon random bits of Vancouver like Robson St. and Ikea
-having friends over for my "Party for Jesus" at my apartment

So much Joy it's hard to believe.
Speaking of Joy, I came to really enjoy something amazing today at daily Mass. I had no idea when I walked upstairs to daily mass today at work that it was the feast day of the Holy Name of Jesus. I suppose I didn't really understand what the feast day was for. But as I waited for Fr. Matthew to get ready to say Mass I read the little blurb in my Magnificat for January and it made some amazing connections in my brain very quickly. I love when that happens. It feels the same way when I do lectio the Lord is whispering something just for you and then smiling at you saying "you got it! Good!" Well maybe it will happen for you if you read it too. I might be breaking some copyright law or something....but it's okay if I attribute it to Magnificat magazine right? ....

The Lord Jesus promised, "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do" (Jn 14:13). For "the name 'Jesus' contains all... His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies" (CCC 2666). "You have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 6:11). For there is no "other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved" (Acts 4:12). This memorial (p.55) provides us the chance to live with special attentiveness before the Holy Name. "If you think the name 'Jesus' continually, it purges your sin and kindles your heart; it clarifies your soul, it removes anger and does away with slowness. It wounds in love and fulfills charity. It chases the devil and puts out dread. It opens heaven and makes you a contemplative. It puts all vices and phantoms out from the lover" (Richard Rolle)

This blurb in the Magnificat about the Wednesday before Epiphany had such a huge effect on me this morning. I decided after finishing it that I'd try thinking 'Jesus' over and over continuously. I think I've done it before, or continuously thought something like "Jesus Christ Son of the Living God have mercy on me a sinner", but God must have given me some extra graces this morning (Thanks for fasting Jon and E5 guys!) to help me understand some things. For some reason thinking 'Jesus' over and over magnified the readings and made things come alive this morning. It was like breathing Holy Spirit filled air or something.

As I approached in the line to receive the Eucharist I heard a friend of mine sigh a huge sigh while in line that implied a sentiment of awe and excitement to receive the Eucharist. It was almost a sigh that said in itself "incredible". At that moment I thought..."how true. It's so difficult to really believe that Jesus is that piece of bread, yet when you believe amazing! How incredible that our Lord loves us that much." I was overwhelmed with this burst of faith and gratitude to Our Lord for loving us so simply, with such complexity, and with an unfailing desire for us. It brought confidence and faith to other loves that I'm greatful for and sometimes can't believe I've been graced with..... All in all a wonderful day of simple graces found merely in repeating
the name that contains all. The name that contains the presence it signifies. What profound words.

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:10-11