Monday, November 30, 2009


Today I am excited to introduce a guest blogger for today's post! The guest blogger is John Howard who is the Webmaster for "A Place to Explore Your Calling to Be A Catholic Priest" website! I so delighted when he asked me if I could post something of his! In this post John tells us about his day, and how he learns that God is always with him throughout the good and bad times. This is always something that we should remember. So sit back, relax and enjoy this fabulous story. :)

"Another day at school, but it wasn't my best. For some reason I hadn't slept
very well, waking up at 2.30am, 4.00am, 5.15 am. When the alarm clock struck at
7.00 am I was already shattered and exhausted from a poor night's rest. When I
arrived at school I counted the hours to going home. I was frightened by
everything before me, frustrated by the continuous demands of my teachers, angry
that my good work wasn't enough - they wanted more! I came very close to
shouting at my teachers. Just how insensitive could they be to the pressures on
me - and then they wanted me to do a charity assembly on Monday. Where do they
think I get the time? Stress is a dangerous condition and I recognized all the

At the end of the day, the journey home was not very good. It took longer than
usual and I arrived home wound-up, fragile and not the happiest creature on
God's earth. I had my evening meal as usual with my family and they all
commented that I looked tired, which is certainly accurate. By chance there was
a classical concert on TV (it was Bach's St John Passion) and I decided to watch
and listen. Almost at once the incredible tension of the day vanished like the
morning mist and I was filled with blessings and peace. Jesus who suffered on
the cross and died a horrible death already knew of my problems and
frustrations. At this moment He and I were united through some incredible music.
It was almost as if Jesus had personally said to me "I know John - I've been
there... don't worry".

All this brings me back to the foundation of our faith - Sacred Scripture. What
did the Bible have to offer me? Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all you who are weary
and burdened and I will give your rest". There are times when we leave our
issues to God and just rest. The God who created us will not allow us to be
crushed. Rest in Him!"

-John Howard (Webmaster)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Everyone! Since this is the first Sunday of Advent, I thought I might post this poem that I wrote when I was in seventh grade. I submitted it into a contest, but unfortunately I didn't win, but I did get my poem published in a book! Anyway here is my poem. Enjoy:)

The True Leader

I was walking in the woods one day,
one day to try to find, something about a legend, a legend I wished to find.
It was dark and very frightening, the day I picked to go,
but with my very eyes I saw a star so bright and low.
It gave me such a feeling, so warm, so calm, so healing.
It led into a very small town, a town named after bread,
there I saw a babe, with nothing more than hay to rest his head.
When I saw this simple resting place I felt a sense of shame.
I looked around at his mother and father and asked them for his name.
They kindly gave it to me with such confidence it shook the Earth.
“His name is Jesus!” they said. “A true born leader from his birth!”

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Believe Part 5 ( The Final Part of the long storyboard!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

As we waited in the doctors office the next day, I could help but feel nervous. The doctor's diagnosis would determine whether or not I would play the rest of the year. As the doctor came out after looking at an x-ray, he told me that my leg looked like it had never fully healed from the accident so long ago! He said that it was fractured. Shocked by this news, I asked him timidly if there was anyway I could continue to play the rest of the basketball season. Looking at me with sympathetic eyes told me that I would not be able to play anymore.

At this I became very sad. I was just starting to get into a rhythm during the middle of the season. Now it looked like I would not be able to play the remainder of the season. The doctor proceeded to say that he wanted me to wear a boot on my leg that reached from my foot all the way up to my knee. This would make it hard for me to walk and go upstairs. I would end up having to wear this boot for three months!After the three months were up the doctor had me go for an MRI at the local Children's hospital. After going for the MRI, they told me that they could not see any signs of the fracture anymore and that I should still continue to wear the boot for a couple weeks and then I would be fine.

After the final weeks of wearing my boot, I could slowly go back to my regular activities. My leg felt incredibly light as the weight of my boot was lifted! It felt so good to be able to feel the breeze and be able to run, jump and play! I was experiencing such joy! Even though basketball by this time, was already over I could not wait until next year to come back strong and fully healthy! This had been a crazy freshman year, but I was grateful for everything that had happened. I was grateful that I had not been critically injured during the accident. I was also grateful that I was able to make my high school's basketball team despite all that I had gone through! I was grateful for being able to play as long as I could with the team until my departure.

Even throughout my hardships, I still maintained a positive attitude. I did not let things get me down even when the odds were against me! When I was injured from the accident, I did not let that stop me from going to school the day after and continuing my education. When I went out for my basketball team and was made fun of, I did not give up! I kept working hard and eventually made the team! When I was forced to quit the team due to my reoccurring injury due to the accident, I maintained a positive attitude because I knew I would over come it! I was grateful for my hardships, trials and sufferings because they made me strong! For St. Paul says, " The Lord uses the weak to lead the strong."

Epilogue: The story you have just read for the past weeks that began with my retelling of the car accident that I was in and led up to my being well enough to make the basketball team at my school, was in deed a true story. This happened last year. I assure you that I am fully healed now and am back to my normal life! I hope that I did not scare anyone into thinking that this was something that had just happened. I was just re-explaining the events of last year. Thank you all for your patience as I wrote each story with a "to be continued". I know how much the suspense was killing you!:) Thank you all for reading my stories of my past.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!:)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Believe Part 4

The first practices were brutal. We did so many drills that at the end of them, I just wanted to go home and go to bed! On top of the grueling practices were my teammates constant ragging on me. We were going over plays and I had no idea what was going on! I was so confused. I had never run anything like this before. My teammates, who had played on a summer league for my coach already knew the plays. They were not encouraging or helpful when we ran them. They wouldn't reach out to help me better understand them. Instead they would yell at me, make fun of me and ask if I was retarded because I couldn't get the hang of the plays. The coach did absolutely nothing to help me either. He could see that I was struggling, but he didn't reach out.

This is how most of practices that year went. I always thought that they would get better, but they never did. I began to grow scared of making a mistake, because I was scared of being yell at and humiliated in front of everyone. The coach rarely put me into practices. He didn't teach me, and I don't think he really cared. This was the same in games. I would sit on the bench for games and maybe get some playing time if we were winning and there was 6 minutes left. I tried to work hard and not give up in practice. I wanted to earn more playing time. I realized if I wanted to stay on this team, I had to continue to work hard and continue on fighting for my spot.

Slowing I began showing improvement. I began to run the plays to perfection. I was working hard to show that I could do what the coach wanted me to do. Slowly my teammates stopped ragging on me. I began to earn my coaches respect. He began to put me into practices more and I started to get more playing time! He decided to start me in some games! Every game I played in I wanted to make the most of them! I would score, pass, grab rebounds, and run fast during my playing times! I was doing the absolute best I could! I was showing my coach that I was not a waste, but that I could play!

Everything was going great for me. I was showing the true player I could be. One particular day, my coach decided to have an early morning practice. That meant that my mom had to drive me to school at 5:00 in the morning because practice started in an hour. This practice was something that changed my life forever. From the start of practice, I began to have sharp pain in my left shin. This was the shin that I got hit on by a car in an accident earlier on that year that had caused me to be in a wheelchair for a week.

After practice my shin was throbbing. I told my mom about it when I came out of school that afternoon, and we made a doctors appointment for the following day. I was nervous. I was wondering what the doctor would say. Is this something really serious? Am I just exaggerating? Was it growing pain or maybe even shin splints? Will I be able to play basketball anymore? All these thoughts and more ran through my mind. I had no idea what to except. I was completely at a loss for words.

(To Be Continued)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Believe Part Three

The second day of tryouts approached and I was geared up and ready to go! After school, I went down to the locker room and quickly got dressed. As I got dressed I prayed again for God to give me the grace to do my very best and realize that that was all that I could do. After praying I hurried up to the gym with renewed confidence. This second day of tryouts turned out great. I worked hard, hustling, shooting, jumping, diving, blocking shots and passing. Best of all the other kids trying out were leaving me alone! It felt good to play and not have anybody yelling at you and making fun of you. I was doing the best I could do!

After the tryouts were over, the coach came and told us that they will now be deciding who would make the team. The told us to go back down to the locker room and change. Then they would go into a room and call each one of us in to tell us if we made the team. I was so nervous. When I was waiting for my turn to go in to the room, I over heard some of the kids talking. They were telling each other that they wouldn't care if they didn't make the team because otherwise they would be having practice everyday after school. When it was my turn, I was still very nervous. It felt like I was going to confession because it was just me and the coach in the room. When I went in, the coach asked me what my name was. As I told him he looked down at his list. Then he looked up at me and told me that I had made the team. He told me that he and the other coaches liked what they saw from me. Then they gave me a list of what time practices were at. He shook my hand and congratulated me.

After coming out of the room, I was so filled with joy. All of the hardships that I endured with the other kids trying out and the car accident earlier in the year didn't matter now! I had overcome them! I was so happy! Now that I had made the team, I was ready to help the team out in any way that I could. This was one of the best days ever during my Freshman year. I had worked so hard to make the team, now I had to continue to work hard to find my place on it. This was my time to shine! :)

(To Be Continued)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Believe-Part 2

"The moment has come," I thought as I made my way through the locker room after school. As I came to my locker, I tried to calm my nerves. I took out my basketball shoes and put them on. As I did this, I began to pray. Actually it was more like stuttering then praying, because of my nervousness. I prayed to God that I would do the very best I could and to not be afraid. I made my way through the locker room again and went upstairs to the gym. All of the others boys that were trying out were already there. The coach then entered and told us all to gather around.

" This isn't grade school basketball anymore," he said. "This isn't you and your buddies going out and playing in the backyard. This is high school basketball. Everything is different. The players are bigger, faster, stronger and better. So, your going to have to work and play faster, stronger and harder. Now lets get started with layups."

As we got started, I couldn't help not feeling a little intimidated. I had never had a coach like this before. This was going to be very new to me. As layup drills ended, we started on other shooting drills. These drills were extremely hard! I had never done these before an they were so complicating. I was struggling to keep up with the rest of the guys who were trying out. There were 32 of us all trying out. Each one of us knew that the coach could only take 17 kids. Many of these kids who were trying out were already on the coach's summer league team, so there was no doubt that they would make the team since they already knew the offense. I felt like I was at a big disadvantage. I didn't know the coach, the offense and now the drills.

On top of this, the kids were not nice at all. Whenever I did something wrong, they would all gang up on me. They would shout out insults at me and the coach did not say or do anything about it. This went on the whole practice! These kids would throw me bad passes when we were doing passing drills and then yell at me why I couldn't catch the ball! After practice was over, I felt terrible. I felt like nothing. I just wanted to give up and quit.

I told my mom in car ride home about what had happened. She reminded me of what I had told her weeks before tryouts, " I don't care if I don't play much, I just want to make the team." She then said that I should just use everything that had been said to me as motivation to make the team. She told me to give it all I had to make the team. She was right. I couldn't let my dream of making this team be ruined by these kids. I had to continue on. I had to fight to make it, and that is what I was going to do. I was going to fight for a position on this team. When we came home, I felt much better. I felt my confidence coming back again. I knew I could make it if I worked hard at it and didn't let the other kids get me down. I was ready now to give it all I had. I was ready for one of the toughest fights of my life.

(To be continued)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pardon the Commercial Interruption!

Taking a step back from my freshman story telling, I decided to add on the Chocolate Heart's Meme "Praise", by sharing my day!

Today started off with me singing with my church choir at 11 o'clock Mass and then going to watch the Packer game after. I am very sorry to report that they lost.:(
After a quick lunch, my family then headed off to Holy Hour at the Seminary. Holy Hour consists of the reciting of the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Prayer for Vocations, and Adoration! It was simply beautiful!

After the Holy Hour, my mom then drove my friend Jerry, my brother Justin and myself to one of the greatest places I have ever been to, The Barn! My friends who were at the Seminary camp for those who are thinking of the priesthood the past two years with me, invited us to come to their house and their Barn! The Barn is a gigantic homemade play place right inside an actual barn! It has foam pits, trampolines, basketball hoops, dirt bikes( which I rode by the way), ATVS, mats and swinging ropes. On top of that, the Barn is built on a huge piece of land! It has to be almost 10 football fields long! That being said, of course we ended up playing a football game! After the game, my friends Deacon Matt Widder and Fr. Sean O'Connell came to have some fun too!

One of the most memorable parts of the night however was not all of the playing, but it was what we did after we played. After getting all nice and sweaty, Deacon Matt took all of us aside talked with us. The topic that we talked about was Celibacy. He talked to us about how we as priests will be called to be celibate. He told us that it was very hard for him when he was growing up, to tell people that he wanted to be a priest. When he told people about this desire, the common response was, " Well that means you won't be getting married." And that was very hard for him because at some points in his life he felted strongly about being a priest and about being celibate, and at others he felted weak about these thoughts. It hurt him to know that his friends would be married and have children and he wouldn't be able to do those things.

As Deacon Matt began to grow up though, he began to realize that celibacy is true sacrifice! You are giving up the chance to have a family! He realized that this sacrifice would be hard and it would hurt, but if sacrificing something does not hurt or is not hard, then it is not a true sacrifice at all! Look at Jesus on the Cross when he died for our sins. He was sacrificing His life for us, and it hurt Him so much! However He was strong enough to go through with the sacrifice.

Another thing Deacon Matt realized as he was growing up was that even though you can not get married, as a priest you are technically married to the Church and the congregation are your children. So in a sense, you do have a family and you are married!

This gave all of us a lot the think about. We have learned so much from my friend Deacon Matt. He has helped us throughout our discernment process. I am so grateful to him.

Please keep Deacon Matt in your prayers as he will be ordained a priest this May

This was one of the greatest days of my life, and I wouldn't change a minute of it.
Thank you for letting me share my day with you!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Believe Part Three of A Day I Will Never Forget

My week in a wheelchair passed so quickly! When I felt ready, I could begin doing regular activities again! It felt so good to be outside and active! The first thing that I wanted to do when I was able to go outside was go out and play basketball!
I am a die-hard basketball fan and player.I played it all throughout grade school and I absolutely loved it. Now, after homework is done, you can bet that I will be outside shooting around in my backyard.

During my 8th grade year, schools had two kinds of teams. One, the A team, which is like the varsity team for grade school, and the other was the B team, the team that everyone else who didn't make the A team would be on. I was on the B team both my 7th and 8th grade years. Not once didn't I make the A team.

Last year( my freshman year), I was determined to change all of that! I was willing to work very hard in order to make the team. Every night after school I would be shooting around at our families' homemade basketball hoop. I was certain that was going to make it.

However as the months progressed leading up to tryouts, my hopes and dreams were nearly trashed. Kids at school were telling me that I would not be able to make it. They told me that I was not good enough to make it and that I should just save myself the embarrassment and just not tryout. On top of this, I was still regaining my strength in my leg after that terrible car accident. One time at a youth group meeting, I told all of my friends that I was trying out for my high school's team. A junior from my school who was in the youth group too, interrupted me while I was expressing my dream and told me that I was never going to make it and that I should just give up. Again my dream was shattered. I was completely heart broken. I began doubting myself, wondering if I should even try out at all. I began forgetting to practice every night after homework. I began to feel depressed. I began to lose all hope.

The week before tryouts however, I began to somehow gain back my confidence. I realized that I had a good enough chance as anyone to make the team. Throughout the week, I frantically tried to get back into shape in time for tryouts. I knew that if I planned to make the team, I would have to give all that I had. I knew that I could hold nothing back. I knew that nobody could take my dreams away from me. I had to take my dreams and run. I had to take my dreams and turn them into reality.

- To be continued

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Day I Will Never Forget- Part Two

The ambulance arrived at the hospital and I was immediately wheeled into a room. There the doctor looked quickly at my leg and told me that they were going to do a quick x-ray. I was then wheeled down the hallway and into the ex-ray room. The two nurses that would be conducting the x-ray were not very kind and helpful. They did not try to help me onto the big table that I was supposed to lie on for the x-ray, so it was extremely difficult for me to make it from the stretcher that I was on. After lying there for sometime during the x-rays, the nurses helped me back onto the stretcher and then wheeled me back to my room.

My mom was also in the room with me and was calling all of our family members to gather together for an emergency rosary for me. My mom and I waited in the room for hours. We both did not know what to expect.

Finally the doctor came back in and told me that it was just a severely bruised bone and that nothing was broken. What a relief! I have had so many broken bones in the past! The doctor then proceeded to say that I should stay home from school tomorrow and that I should be in a wheelchair for a week so that I wouldn't have to put pressure on it.

After stating this news, the doctor left and an nurse came in with some pain medicine. Then she asked me if I had enough strength to see if I could walk a little bit on the leg. As I stood on the floor and tried to walk on my leg, excruciating pain came! After about five minutes, I was back on the hospital bed almost out of breath. The nurse then repeated what the doctor had said and told me that I would be out for a day of school and them I would be able to go back the following day and use a wheelchair if I needed it. I was relieved that I did not have to stay over night in the hospital! I was so glad to be going home. On top of that, I was glad that the nurse said I didn't have to go to school!

Then I was helped out of the hospital bed and into a wheelchair to be wheeled out to go home. When I got home my brothers and sister were worried about me huddled around and asked if I was okay and if I needed anything. They all were very kind to me.

As night fell, I was finally able to relax and go to sleep. I began dreaming about the accident. As I dreamed I began to start worrying about my leg. Would my pain go away? What will the kids at my school say when I come in a wheelchair? Will I ever be able to do the things that I love? Will I ever be the same? Finally, exhausted from worry, I drifted off into a deep and pain-filled sleep. As I slept my doubts faded away. I knew that I was okay and that my leg would heal soon. It seemed that all my problems and troubles had disappeared. However, I had no idea that they were just beginning.

( To be continued )

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Day I will never forget

( A true story that happened to me last year)
"Hey Justin, wait for me!" I panted as I rode my bike up one of the biggest hills I had ever been on.

My brother Justin and I were riding to a friend's house. I saw that Justin was almost a block ahead of me, as I attempted to cross a busy street. As I began to cross the street there was not a thought in my mind that this ride would change my life forever.

As I saw the green light in front of me, I began to proceed towards the crosswalk. I was about a foot off of the curb, when all of a sudden, "Bam!" A car coming to the corner to a right turn on red, smashed into my leg! I flew through the air and landed onto the cool concrete in the middle of the street. My already throbbing leg that was hit, now fell onto my bike which landed on the ground on top of me.

Immediately, I started to panic! I was in shock, but then again who wouldn't be? In terrific pain, I tried frantically to get up and pick up my bike. A middle aged woman who had witnessed everything, got out of her car and told me to stay down. She then told me that she was going to call "911" and my parents to tell them what happened.

As soon as she said this, I heard by brother's voice, "John! Are you okay?!" Then the woman began to ask my brother what our phone number was. As my brother began telling her, she began punching the number into her cell phone and started telling my mom what had happened. Just then a young girl who had been driving the car got out and rushed over to see if I was ok. Having seen that I was badly hurt, she went over to the side of the road, and with her mother, they cried together.

In a flash, a police car arrived on the scene. The police officer began making his way across the crosswalk toward the frightened and bewildered teen driver. Almost out of nowhere I heard a voice frantically call out my name, "John! Oh No! John I'm here!" It was my mom, just getting out of the car with my younger siblings. When she got near, she told me to re-tell the whole incident. With every detail that I could remember, I saw my mom's facial expressions change. After she had heard my story, my mom expressed to me, how deeply sorry she was for what had happened. After a short while, my mom made her way over to the young girl who had been driving the car, to assure her that everything would be okay, and that we were sure that it was an accident. My mom also added that we would be praying for her.

At that moment, the blaring siren of an ambulance pierced the silence, as it seemed to descend upon us. The men inside rushed out to ask me what happened, where I was hurting, and also to warn me that they were getting the stretcher ready for me to climb aboard. Being in a great deal of pain, I could barely slide over to meet the stretcher on my side. When the men began to put me into the ambulance, they asked my mom if she wanted to accompany me. Without hesitation, my mom answered yes. Once she got into the gigantic trunk, we took off for the hospital. It would definitely be a ride I would never forget.

As we sped down the street, a multitude of thoughts passed through my mind. I began wondering if I would be able to walk properly again. I also was wondering what the doctor would say about my injury and how serious it was. Lastly, I began contemplating how my friends would react when they would hear about the accident. The drivers of the ambulance said it did not look to serious, but none of us really knew how this incident would truly change my life.

(To be continued)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Prayer for All Saints Day!!!!:)

Since All Saints Day is today, I thought that I should post the Litany of the Saints, a beautiful prayer that asks the saints in heaven to pray for all of us here on Earth. Please pray with me.:)

Litany of the Saints

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Saint Michael,
Saint Gabriel,
Saint Raphael,
All ye holy angels and archangels,
All ye holy orders of blessed spirits,
Saint John the Baptist,
Saint Joseph,
All ye holy patriarchs and prophets,
Saint Peter,
Saint Paul,
Saint Andrew,
Saint James,
Saint John,
Saint Thomas,
Saint James,
Saint Philip,
Saint Bartholomew,
Saint Matthew,
Saint Simon,
Saint Thaddeus,
Saint Matthias,
Saint Barnabas,
Saint Luke,
Saint Mark,
All ye holy apostles and evangelists,
All ye holy disciples of the Lord,

We sinners, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst spare us,
That Thou wouldst pardon us,
That Thou wouldst bring us to true penance,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy holy Church,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate and all orders of the Church in holy religion,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of holy Church,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring back to the unity of the Church all those who have strayed away, and lead to the light of the Gospel all unbelievers,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service,
That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires,
That Thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors,
That Thou wouldst deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, relatives, and benefactors from eternal damnation,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us,
Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.