Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Ah the holiest night of nights, Christmas Eve, the birth of out Lord Jesus is here! The days leading up to it were busy ones, filled with Christmas shopping, cooking and baking delicious treats to suit the season and cleaning the house. Obviously there is a lot of preparing and work that goes into the holiday season.

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season we do so much preparing and getting ready, that we seem to lose what is most important. We prepare the house, prepare foods and treats, we prepare the Christmas tree with presents and toys. These are all very good, but amidst these preparations, we all seem to forget about one very important preparation that needs to be made.

We need to prepare our hearts for the Lord’s coming. We read it in books. We hear it preached in church on Sunday. We also hear John the Baptist’s message, “Prepare the Way of the Lord!” Now at the time it may seem like an easy task, but soon it gets overlooked by the many other preparations that we begin to make.

Preparing our hearts for Jesus’ coming is not an easy task. Maybe we could start by taking time out of our lives to sit in silence and ask Jesus to prepare us for his birth. Make a morning offer! In this way we will be able to appreciate our Lord’s coming and love Him each day more and more.

A Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This Saturday my city of West Allis was blessed with our first snowfall of the winter season! To tell you the truth, I was pretty excited. My brothers and sister and I couldn't wait to get outside, have a massive snowball fight, which I'm sorry to say I lost, and build a snowman throughout the afternoon.

I love the snow, but sadly there are some that do not. For some people, snow is only seen as work, as just another thing that needs to get done. To them, snow is a hassle, but to me it is a blessing. People may say, "Snow is an annoyance. What good can it come from it? Its wet and cold and dangerous to drive on." They're only seeing one side of this though.

In my mind, snow brings people together! Think of all the things you can do with it and with others. You can have snowball fights, build snowmen or forts or igloos. These are just some of the things that you can do in the snow with others. Doing these brings people closer together and makes them appreciate each others company. Even shoveling, a dreaded job during the winter season, can become enjoyable when you do it in the company of others!

So no matter how cold or annoying snow may seem, it really does bring people together for the holiday season. Thanks be to God!

A Blessed Advent Everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town!

This past weekend I took a trip along with two of my friends from the summer seminary camps to go to visit St. Joseph's Seminary College on the Loyola University campus. The idea was for high school students to take a trip down to see how college seminary life is down in Chicago, staying over night, shadowing students in their Theology, History and Psychology classes and just generally getting to know other men who are discerning God's call and have made the decision to go from high school to a seminary college preparing students for the diocesan priesthood. Some of the men were from our Archdiocese of Milwaukee. It was fun getting to know them and spend time with them.

What me and friends realized was that these men were very normal, typical college students only a few years older then myself! It was fun playing games with them, going out to dinner at Giordano's restaurant (which I must say has the best "Chicago style" deep-dish pizza ever!) and seeing them goofing off together and enjoying themselves.

After spending two and a half days there touring Chicago, visiting the beautiful Madonna Della Strada Chapel(see above picture) and going to classes to get a taste of college life, it was time to say goodbye. Our departure started off by taking the Chicago metro, which is basically a subway above the ground that runs back and forth from various parts of Chicago to downtown. We had to take the metro downtown and then walk 6 blocks to the Union Station in order to board the Amtrak Hiawatha #333 train headed to Milwaukee. After purchasing our tickets, our train left at 10:20 AM. Prior to this trip, I had never been on a train except for the kiddie train at the Milwaukee County Zoo, so this was a fantastic new experience for me and my friends.

The train ride was super fast. It only took us an hour and fifteen minutes! It literally felt like we were floating on air, it was so fast and yet so quiet. The vocation director at St. Francis De Sales Seminary Father Peter Berger, who had arranged this trip for us, was there at the train stop to pick us up. Father Peter then took us back to the seminary where our parents were there to pick us up.

The trip to Chicago was one the most exciting experiences I have ever had. It has really helped me to get a feel for how college life is and the many responsibilities that come with it. As this year goes by and as the next quickly comes I will be looking at a number of colleges and see which one would really benefit me and my education. Visiting St. Josephs has really giving me a new aspect on college life is. I would like to thank Father Peter Berger for inviting me to checkout St. Josephs to see how life in the college seminary is down in Chicago. I would also like to thank all of the young men and staff for their warm hospitality and welcome towards us. These young men may someday God willing, become the world's next generation of priests and I will keep them close to my heart in prayer. Thanks again for everything. It was a blast!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movie Night with Father Matthew Widder

This past Friday, my good friend and Confirmation sponsor Father Matthew Widder asked to me to come with a youth group from his church to go and see a movie entitled "The Human Experience". The movie was made by Grassroots Films, the same company that made "Fishers of Men" and "Finding Jesus in the Streets of New York City". Since the movie was being shown in Whitewater, we did have a long drive to go. So with Father Matthew's trusty GPS, good friends and food, the ride seemed to pass by fast.

In a flash we were there at the University of Whitewater Wisconsin ready to see a great movie about what life is all about and how we should live it daily. I give it two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good movie to watch on a Friday night.

It was a great night out but the thing that stuck out to me was not the movie, but the time spent with Father Matthew, getting a chance to talk about things going on in my life. Father Matthew is a very good listener and gives the best advice. Before I left his car to go inside my house, Father asked me to pray with him. This was one of the most memorable moments I have ever experienced, just being able to talk and pray with a priest, it was just exciting.

Overall it was a great night! I am so grateful to be able to meet new people and continue to spend time with Father Matthew. It was a night I will never forget.

Friday, October 29, 2010

When will the Catholic Herald become Catholic?

I am an avid reader of the local paper in Milwaukee called the Catholic Herald, but this past week I saw something that bothered me. In the October 21st edition an ad for Senator Russ Feingold was printed. Senator Feingold is pro-choice. Above the ad was a notice saying that if they accept ads from any political candidate, then they must accept ads from all candidates. I didn't accept that no-endorsement statement as being enough to allow the Catholic Herald to print the ad for a Senator whose beliefs are far from Catholic, so I wrote the following letter to the editor of the Catholic Herald:

Regarding the Russ Feingold Campaign Ad in the Catholic Herald-

I am an active Catholic teen at St. Matthias Parish and I am not even old enough to vote yet, but I am very upset over the posting of the Russ Feingold ad in the Catholic Herald. The day the Catholic Herald arrives in the mail, I read it cover to cover. This is the first time that I have been incensed by what I found in it. Russ Feingold is openly for abortion and has consistently supported abortion rights. What kind of Catholic community are we when we support political candidates who oppose Catholic beliefs? Who would vote for him anyway?

I remember reading an article by Archbishop Listecki's a couple of weeks ago talking about Pro-Life. This political ad for Russ Feingold totally contradicts the Archbishop! What do you think he is thinking right now as he looks at this ad that has been printed in the paper that he publishes!

While watching the debate between Russ Feingold and his pro-life opponent, Ron Johnson, a few days ago, I couldn't help but notice that Senator Feingold showed no respect or courtesy for anyone else. He wouldn't even let Ron Johnson speak, because he continued to cut him off and interrupt him, smirk at him and laugh at him. Why should the Catholic Herald show respect for a man by printing his ad, when he shows no respect for anyone else?

And here is his response:

Dear John:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding our publication of the Russ Feingold ad.

The Catholic Herald has accepted political advertising for decades. One of the conditions for doing so is that if we solicit ads from one candidate for a political office, we must solicit (and accept) ads from all candidates for that office – even if his or her opponents choose not to advertise. This is not a self-imposed condition but rather one imposed upon us by the Internal Revenue Service. Here is how the legal department of the U.S. bishops explained it in 2007:

“Paid Political Advertising. A Catholic organization may not provide political advertising to a candidate, political party or PAC free, at a reduced rate, or on a selective basis. IRS has stated that acceptance of paid political ads in exempt organization newspapers, periodicals, and other publications generally will not violate the political campaign prohibition, provided: (a) the organization accepts political advertising on the same basis as other non-political advertising; (b) political advertising is identified as paid political advertising; (c) the organization expressly states that it does not endorse any candidate; and (d) advertising is available to all candidates on an equal basis. IRS places particular emphasis on the manner in which political advertising is solicited. One identified negative factor is solicitation of ads from certain candidates that support an organization’s views, but mere acceptance (without solicitation) of ads from other candidates. It is important to emphasize that once a Catholic organization accepts one paid political advertisement, it cannot selectively decline to accept others. [See: Election Year Issues at 384.]

“Factors to be considered in determining whether the provision of paid political advertising constitutes political campaign intervention include: (a) whether advertising is available to candidates in the same election on an equal basis; (b) whether advertising is available only to candidates and not to the general public; (c) whether the fees charged to candidates for advertising are the customary and usual fees; and whether the advertising activity is an ongoing activity or whether it is conducted only for a particular candidate. [See: Rev. Rul. 2007-41 at 1425.]”

In the case of the U.S. Senate race, advertising was sought from the Johnson campaign; thus it had to be sought from the Feingold campaign. The Johnson campaign expressed no interest in reaching Catholic Herald readers; the Feingold campaign did. Thus, the reason his ad appeared.

Be assured, John, that prior to the 2012 election, we will be evaluating our practice of accepting political advertising. It will not be an easy decision, so I ask that you keep the Catholic Press Apostolate in your prayers.

Again, thank you for taking time to write, and for expressing yourself in a Christian, civil manner.

Brian T. Olszewski
General Manager
Catholic Herald

For more on the subject visit Badger Catholic and Imprisoned in my Bones.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Well this past Sunday was my birthday! I just turned 17. This means that I am now one year away from adulthood. When we are younger, it seems like the only thing we want is to grow up. It seems to us that when we get older there are more privileges for us to take part in. However as the years go by, we sometimes wish we were still little children again, without a care in the world, playing, laughing, just generally enjoying the gift of life from God. Sometimes life has its up and downs, times when we wish we were still little kids, with no worries, but these ups and downs make us who we are and help us gain a more clear knowledge of God's presence and love in our lives.

I have a friend at school who told me that she doesn't celebrate her birthday. When I asked her why, she began to tell me the story of how when she and her friend were eight years old, they went to the store to get some candy. As they were crossing the street, a truck was coming down the road. My friend was about to be hit by the truck when her friend saved her life by pushing her out of the way only to be hit instead and died. Because she felt that her friend died because of her, my friend hasn't celebrated her birthday in over 8 years. She feels that she doesn't deserve to live.

Even though this happened so many years ago, it has totally changed her life and made it more difficult to spend time with her loved ones to celebrate her birthday Trying to comfort her, I told her how sorry I was that that had happened. I know what it is like to lose someone, but never like that. Still I told my friend that even though she doesn't celebrate her birthday anymore, she should still try to celebrate it because it is a celebration that she is alive. I told her that her friend saved her life and she would probably want her to continue to live her life.
Jesus died for our lives, but he doesn't want us to mourn his death, but celebrate his triumph over death and the new life he gave us.

My friend was comforted by my words and because she shared this difficult memory with me, we are now closer friends than ever before. I am grateful that she was willing to open up to me, and I am grateful that I was able to offer her some solace. Friendships that offer us opportunities to share our sorrows and joys are truly a gift from God.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Faith, Fellowship and Fun at Holy Hill!

This past Saturday my family and I had a great opportunity to go to 11th annual St. John Bosco Youth Day held at The National Shine of Mary Help of Christians Basilica at Holy Hill in Hubertus, WI. My mom, my brothers and I went along with our friends. We had such a great time listening to speakers talk about ways in which we can become closer to God and bring others closer to him.

One particular speaker was a brave young woman by the name of Lila Rose. This woman has, since she was 18, worked as a pro-life activist and is the founder of the pro-life group Live Action. She goes into Planned-Parenthood clinics undercover and catches what the nurses and doctors say on tape. She showed us some of the videos and they were very shocking. It is also very shocking that she is brave enough to do this. I don't think that I could be that brave. What she is doing is truly great and I truly support her and her mission. We should all pray for her and woman like her that are working for God and trying to teach people about the wrongs of abortion and that there are more loving alternatives such as adoption, instead of aborting innocent children. She was very inspiring and uplifting.

The rest of the day consisted of Mass, Adoration, Confession, a chance to climb the huge tower of the Basilica and of course time for fun and games. This was a great experience for my family and friends and was a great way to meet many other people who also have the same love for God as we do! A great time was had by us all, and we can't wait to go again next year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Very Special Cousin

A few weeks ago I had a chance to spend a weekend at my Aunt and Uncle's in their small village of Whitelaw, a town of about 750 people within Manitowoc County. When my family and I arrived, my cousin, their grandson, was so excited to see us. He took my brothers and I on a tour of the town showing us everything from the meat market to the Co-op, to St. Michael's church, which is the same church that our grandpa walked many miles to reach for school when he was a young boy.

My cousin Dom is very special to our family. He is only a few years younger than me and, although he is autistic, he is super smart. He loves electronics, lawn mowers, computers, drills and cars. He is interested in a lot of things but he is mostly into mowing the lawn and comparing it to the lawn at the local bank. Sometimes Dom can be seen taking a broom out and sweeping the lawn so it makes a special pattern just like the one at the bank. When someone at school asked him what his favorite sport was, he said it was mowing the lawn!

Dom is very thoughtful and creative. He was so excited about us coming that he wanted to share the backyard tent with me and my brother Justin. By the time night fell though, the temperature had quickly dropped to the low 40's so my aunt suggested that we all sleep inside while the rest of our family slept in a comfortable heated camper. Dom was just so excited to be with us that he would sleep anywhere as long as we were there with him. Before falling asleep, he reminded us to say our prayers, and then he prayed a perfect Act of Contrition. I was surprised that he knew this prayer so well as it was one that I struggled to memorize.

In the morning, we had breakfast and then my cousin Dom led my family in a procession up the 2 blocks to St. Michael's for 11 o'clock Mass. After Mass the Deacon, who knows Dom very personally, said that he noticed Dom leading a whole gang of people to church this morning and asked him to introduce us. Dom gladly went down the line of our family pointing us all out. He was so proud of us!

Then we went back to the house and watched the football game for a while and played a quick game of volleyball before we had to head back home to Milwaukee. Our aunt, uncle and cousin were sad to see us go, but we promised them that we would come back soon and that we had an excellent time with them. I am so lucky to have such great and loving relatives who agreed to share their home with us. We had a wonderful time! I am blessed to have such a special cousin who treats me so well and who loves me so much, knowing that I love him just as much in return.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time to get back to work!

Well after a wonderful three months away from writing papers, studying for tests and taking the dreaded final exams, its time to go back to work! Today is my first day of school! I'm actually pretty excited because I'm beginning the new school year at a brand new school. I transferred from St. Thomas More to Nathan Hale High School. Starting off at a new school is always challenging but at least I have a couple of friends that I know that go there. That always makes things easier. I'm actually looking forward to school this year, especially having my two younger brothers there with me!

This summer I had a chance to work at my home parish as a summer maintenance helper. I had to clean all the classrooms in the school, clean the church and the entire area surrounding it. It was hard work! It wasn't easy waking up early during the summer to go to work Monday through Friday from six in the morning until two in the afternoon. I learned a lot from this experience though. I learned that taking care of the church is hard work!

A priest could be considered a maintenance worker for the Church. He looks after it, cares for it, rebuilds it when it starts becoming run down. He fixes the places that are broken and weathered. A priest loves the church and would do anything to keep it running smooth so that others can come to it and love it just as he does. I learned that this is how we all should be. The Church needs strong men and women to become like maintenance workers to fix it, love it and nurture it.

This summer taught me a lot of lessons that I will need in my life and I am so glad that I learned them when I did. So as I begin this new school year, I ask for your prayers that I maybe continue to love the Lord and grow closer to Him as well as bringing others closer to Him. I pray that I may become a friend to the friendless, show mercy to those who are not shown mercy and to show love to those who do not feel loved. Please keep me and all children in your prayers as we journey through this new school year.

God Bless!:)


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Story of Forgiveness and True Love

A man who had come home late from work decided to give his girlfriend a call just to ask how her day was and to make plans to see each other the following day. When she picked up the phone, though, she was crying. The man asked her what was wrong but he could barely make out anything that she was saying. The woman asked the man to come over so that she could tell him what happened. The man was very kind and caring and agreed to come over. He stepped out into the frigid winter air and trudged 3 miles through the snow to her house.

When he arrived at her house, she invited him inside and they talked for a couple of hours. The woman told her boyfriend that she had something to tell him but that she was too afraid to explain it. The man who was full of gentleness and love took her in his arms as she started to cry and shake. "I'm so ashamed," she said as she lifted her head from her hands. "I just don't think you'll understand. You will never look at me the same way again if you knew what I did." The man, after a period of silence asked her to just please tell her what happened.

The woman's tears fell softly on her nightgown as she told the man everything. She poured out to him every little secret that nobody else had known. The man said nothing but continued to hold her tightly in his arms and rock her gently back and forth.

It was nearly four o'clock in the morning when she had finished explaining everything to him. She felt apprehensive, wondering what he was thinking, how he was going to react, would he still love her, would he ever look at her the same way again?

Again after a long silence the man spoke. "My dear," he said. "I love you and care about you deeply. You poured out your entire heart and soul to me. You told me things that no one else knew about yourself. You trusted me completely. You held nothing back from me. I have never loved you more than I do right now, even though I know what you did and I forgive you. Never be afraid to come to me with anything. I am always here for you whenever you need to talk. I will hold you in my arms until your tears are dried from your eyes and your heart is light. I love you and will never leave your side."

Afterward the man left and trudged back through the now freshly fallen snow. He walked into his house, placed his coat and hat on the coat hanger, walked upstairs and went to bed to sleep the day away.

To me this man in the story is Christ in the flesh. He willing left his own comfortable warm home to walk through the snow just to be with his girlfriend who was going through a rough time. He comforted her, listened to her tell everything that she was ashamed of and forgave her for every bad thing that she had said she had done. This man truly loved this woman. This story is a reminder that we shouldn't be afraid to come to Christ and one another with our problems. We should be confident in each others' love and mercy.

This story is also a reminder of how we should be to one another. We should be just like the man in this story. We should be Christ to one another, listening intently to one anothers shortcomings and failures and then still love them and forgive them for everything they had done against us. We are called to be Christ to one another and to be open to each other, to share in each others' sorrow and joy and most of all to love one another wholeheartedly, holding nothing back and not being afraid to forgive.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Light to Guide My Path

Lord I am a boat lost at sea in a storm, rocking back and forth uncontrollably. When I am out of control and am sailing away from You, You anchor me down and steer me in your direction. You keep me from harm and look out for me always.

When I am sailing blindly into the treacherous rocks of temptation and sin, you are a lighthouse to shed light so I do not wash up on shore and you light the way in which I should go.

And when I am broken and have washed up on the shore, you build me up again, you repair me and make me new.

You are my God and I love you. You never let me go. Let me never to be separated from you. You are my life and my God forever.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Writer's Prayer

Lord, you are my true inspiration. You inspire me with Your great love so much that I feel compelled to write about You.

As I write today may the words I write reflect how much I love you. Use my words to bring others closer to You, to comfort those who are suffering and to offer peace to those who are restless. Show your immense love for the world through my simple words.

As I continue to write, let my heart continue to chase after Yours, so that I may burst with love and share my thoughts and feelings for you with others so they may also know Your love.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Three Favorite Prayers

Last week my mom, Anne from Imprisoned in my Bones tagged me in a prayer MEME. I finally have it done, so here are some of my favorite prayers since I love so many. Thanks mom for tagging me! Here are the rules:

"Name your three favourite prayers, and explain why they're your favourites.
Then tag five bloggers - give them a link, and then go and tell them they have been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you've completed the meme. The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. I'm more interested in people's favourite devotional prayers."

Act of Love to the Sacred Heart
Written by Merry Cardinal Del Val, secretary of state under Pope Saint Pius X

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine; the pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart and will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all my wrongdoing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity.


During the school year both my mom and my dad work so I have to take a school bus to school. The bus stop that I wait at is at a Catholic Church called "St. Gregory the Great." In the front of the church parking lot there is a statue of Jesus pointing to his Sacred Heart overlooking the busy street. While I would wait for the bus to take me to school every morning, I would pray the inscription on the statue which read, " Lord Jesus, just as your Sacred Heart burns with love for the world, make mine also be on fire with love for you." This prayer really stuck with me and I have a fierce love for Jesus and His Sacred Heart.

Prayer by Padre Pio

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You. Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak, and I need Your strength that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You I am in darkness. Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You. Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much and to be in Your company always.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You. Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love. Amen.

St. Padre Pio as been one of my favorite saints for as long as I can remember. I loved reading the story of his life and the lives of those that he touched and inspired. I also loved the prayers that he would read and write and this is one of them.

Prayer to Our Lady of the Angels

Mary Most Pure with the angels in heaven, I sing of your glory and of your holiness before God. Through the angels who guard me, may the petitions of my heart be brought to you. Protect and guide me as my Queen and Mother all the days of my life.


Pray for us, O holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Simple yet wonderful prayer. Mary is our Mother and just as a toddler speaks to his or her mother using small and plain words, so we also speak to Mary plainly asking her to protect us and guide us in the ways of her Son.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Farewell Bishop Callahan

Yesterday my parish St. Matthias Church in Milwaukee, had a farewell Mass for one of our Auxiliary Bishops William Callahan, as he prepares to leave to become Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse. He had celebrated at many Masses over the past four years at my parish, including Christmas and the Easter Vigil. We loved having him at our parish and invited him back. He said that he felt that St. Matthias was "very welcoming and felt like home to him."

At the end of the Mass, my pastor brought forth two gifts for Bishop Callahan. One of the gifts was a picture of our church's main stain-glass window which we give to members of our parish who are leaving and have made a difference in our lives. Bishop Callahan sure made a big impression on each and everyone of us.

At a reception after the Mass, my family and I got a chance to say goodbye to him. We had met him many times before and he was very friendly and easy to talk to. When my friend and I approached him, he placed his hands on our shoulders and said loudly, "Now this is the next generation of priests!" That made me feel very happy and excited because Bishop Callahan was someone that I looked up too. His gentleness, humor, and love for God and His people truly inspired me. May he continue to inspire other young men to become priests and to love God where ever he goes.

Bishop Callahan as you leave for La Crosse, may God bless you, hold you and keep you in His care. May God's mercy shine on you, guide your work, guard your resting and keep your faith forever new.

Farewell Bishop Callahan! We shall miss you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fantastic Day with Father Matthew Widder

My family and I always invite priests to have dinner with us. Last night we had my friend Father Matthew Widder, a priest who had just been ordained this May! He was at the seminary camps that I attended each of the past three years. I consider him a very good friend, because we still kept in contact during the years after the summer camps. Father Matthew had dinner with us, joined us in a tremendous battle of basketball, and even gave a special blessing upon our new guinea pig Daisy!
Father Matthew is an inspiration to me, and is one of the reasons that I am discerning a call to become a priest too! Thank you Father Matthew for spending time with us and may God bless you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


One of Jesus’ most profound and important parts of His ministry was His choosing the twelve apostles. During this time, many people followed Him. He had many people travel with Him to towns and cities where He would preach. They all wanted to be his followers.

However, Jesus once again surprised them all. Jesus decided to choose outsiders, the lowest of the low, people who were cast out from the rest of society. He chose fisherman and tax collectors. He chose them to serve and teach the rest of the world about His Father.

Today we live in a world based on popularity, what kind of clothes you wear, what sports you play and what kind of cell phones you have. Those who seemingly are not up to par or do not meet the requirements that are need to live in our society are considered outsiders, the lowest of the low, considered not good enough to be successful in life. It is the same case with religion. The world is not concerned with religion. Our world does not base itself on religion and God, because it does not seem “cool” or the “in thing” to be religious, to go to Mass or receive the Sacraments. It does not consider those who want to help bring others closer to God cool or popular.

However, Christ is the person who does! Just as He chose the unpopular and the poorest of people to serve Him as the twelve apostles, so He also chooses us! The world needs good men and women to teach others about Christ. It needs us to show others what really should be first and foremost in our minds, and that is Christ! The world generally needs to become closer to God.

Christ is calling us to be outsiders. He does not want us to worry about popularity, about what we do and do not have. He wants us to only work on our relationship with Him, to love Him and to serve Him. Jesus told the apostles, “Take nothing with you. Don’t even carry a duffle bag with extra clothes or shoes or even a walking stick.” He is telling us that when He sends us out to teach others about Himself, we should not take anything with us except our love for Him and our eagerness to serve.

Jesus is calling us to be outsiders, castaway from the world and what it deems important. When we become outsiders, non-conformers to the world, then nothing can hold us back from Christ’s love. The question is, “Are we up to this challenge?”

Monday, July 12, 2010

Morning Offering

Lord today I offer You all of my triumphs and my shortcomings. I offer You my joys and my sorrows, my laughter and my tears.

Lord Jesus you are active and alive in the world. I offer You this day so that I may remain close to Your Sacred Heart and fall head over heels in love with You. During this day, I open my own heart; small, weak and frail, in hope that You will enter in and transform my heart into a heart like Yours. Let my heart become filled with burning love and desire for Your people everywhere. Let me be filled with the same compassion and peace that is in Your Sacred Heart.Let me show love to those who are not loved, become a friend to those who are friendless, and show mercy to those who are merciless. Lord Jesus, during this day may I be You for others who do not know You. Let me be Your servant by serving others. Please help me to become like you, perfect and holy, loving and compassionate, full of forgiveness and mercy.

Be with me during this day and grant me a peaceful rest in the night so that when the first rays of dawn shine forth, I may rise to greet you, refreshed and ready for a brand new day in which to serve you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Check Out This Blog!

Here is a blog that is very worth while to check out! Every time I visit it I feel totally inspired. This blog is titled " Seeking a Vocation" and is published by a girl named Sadie who is around my age and is discerning a call to become a nun. Her posts are simply astounding and help me get my day off to a great start in the morning. Although she will not be continuing to post anymore after tomorrow, you can still check out her archives and read some of her older posts. Please keep Sadie in your prayers as well as all those that are discerning God's call, whatever it may be.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

OOOH!........... AAAH! (A Favorite from my Archives)

I can't think of a better way to spend Independence day than with the ones you love, while watching an amazing display of fireworks! To me, Independence day is a great chance to celebrate our country's becoming it's own nation, and also gives us a chance to reflect on the many blessings that God has given us throughout the years, following the great signing of the Declaration of Independence.

I think that we have a lot to learn from our founding fathers too! Just as they stood up for their beliefs and rights, we should do the same! Although we are not standing up to King George, we are standing up to someone even more difficult to defeat! We are fighting off the devil who is constantly trying to "rule" over our lives and forget our belief in God, just as the colonists fought off King George!

Throughout the revolution one thing was clear. Despite all of the hardships, trials, struggles and disappointments, the Americans still continued to fight and to not give up and eventually purchased for us our freedom! This is also how we should be in battle against the devil! We should remember to finish the race and never give up and trust in God! We should also remember that no matter what, God is always with us and he never will make us fight alone! He will give us the victory!

A blessed Independence Day Everyone! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Favorite Song!

Just thought I would post the link to a favorite new song of mine called "Forgiven" by a band named Sanctus Real. At the time that I first heard the song, I felt like it was what I really needed to hear. The song talks about how a person often feels bad about his/her past. It talks about how a person can be so broken down over their sins that they had committed, that they leave no room for God's forgiveness to enter into their hearts.

This song showed me that God is extremely merciful and wants to be in an intimate relationship with us. He wants this so badly that he will forgive us of our sins and give us a clean heart and conscience. God is a loving and caring God. He does not want us to dwell on our sins so that our relationship with Him becomes complicated. God loves us and He wants us to love Him back.

This song really inspired me. I hope you find it just a inspiring. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Vocation

We all are called to a vocation in life. Some are called to be doctors. Others are called to be police officers or firefighters. Still others are called to a deeper relationship with God by feeling a call to become a priest, brother, sister or nun.

At the Seminary Camp that I attended, this was the topic of one of Fr. Peter Berger's spiritual talks. Fr. Peter is the associate vocation director at the Seminary of St. Francis De Sales. " We all feel called to a certain vocation," he said. "However we get so wrapped up in thinking and discerning our call to that future vocation that we lose sight of the vocation God is calling us to right now at this very moment. At this moment, God is calling us each to a vocation. This vocation is really very simple. God wants us at this moment, not to worry about the future or our possible future vocation. Rather, God wants us to focus on our vocation to be a good son/daughter to our parents, obeying them and there directions. He wants us to be a good example for our siblings to look up to. He wants us to comfort our brothers/sisters when they are broken and down. God wants to fulfill our vocations that we have been called to right now and then in the near future continue discerning our other vocation."

Today, my little sister Mary was heartbroken when we learned that her pet guinea pig "Benny" had died. My family had a little memorial service for him and we all when around the room and shared stories and good memories that we had of Benny. My sister loved him so much and was very sad. My brothers and I tried very hard to comfort her and make her feel better. As Christians, we are called to comfort and support one another even when they are sad and broken. This is what our vocation is right now. Our vocation is to support one another, to build each other by being a friend to the friendless, bring hope to the hopeless, and joy to those who are sad. My little sister will be getting a new guinea pig tomorrow and we will take extra special care of it. I can't wait to see her heart filled with joy and happiness!

Our vocation is simple. We are being called right now to be a light in the dark. We are called to be a comforter, a shoulder to cry on to our siblings and those around us. We are called as Christians to live our lives for others.

Please pray for my little sister Mary and please pray for anyone who is discerning a vocation in life.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We are called to be Real Men for Christ

Just this past week I attended a Seminary Summer Camp at St. Francis De Sales Seminary. The camp was for teenagers thinking about the possibility of priesthood. I have attended this camp for the past two years and every time I come back home feeling totally refreshed and renewed! This year’s camp consisted of praying the Liturgy of Hours and celebrating Holy Mass. There was also time for games, recreation, prayer, adoration and benediction, and I really appreciate the excellent food!

The camp included talks on spirituality and advice to help us in our discernment process toward the priesthood. One of the talks was given by our assistant vocation director for the Seminary, Fr. Peter Berger, who was ordained just 5 years ago. He spoke about a frequent theme in current movies: “In some movies these days, men usually have the following characteristics; they are disrespectful towards women, dishonest, selfish, violent, totally oblivious to the problems of the world, and have no concern for or thought of God. These days so many men are not respectful and honest, yet other young men look up to them saying “This guy is the man!”

Although these men seem to have everything going for them and are looked up to by men and children all over the world, they are the exact opposite of what Christ wants us to be. When we look closely at Christ’s characteristics we see that He treated women with dignity and respect, sacrificed His life for others, and was full of compassion towards the poor and the broken. Christ loved the world and wanted to save it, even if it meant losing His own life. Christ is the true man to look up too. He was such a great man that even Pontius Pilate recognized this when he uttered the words, “Ecce Homo,” which means “Behold the Man.” Jesus Christ was such a great man that even Pilate recognized He was a man who we should follow. Jesus is calling us to been men just like Him. We are called to been men that others can look up to.

As priests we will be called to serve others by sacrificing our own lives. We are called to be real men like Christ. This is what young men are supposed to be looking up to. Christ asks us to follow Him and conform our lives to Him. Please follow Him and become “real men of Christ.” Please pray for all young men who are discerning a call to the priesthood and are called to be real men for Christ.

* This post is also posted on the website under the prayer page.

Friday, March 5, 2010

To My Dear Friends

To my dear friends who have been faithful followers of this blog:

I know that many of you are wondering why it is that I have not posted anything new to this blog in such a long time, and I thank you for your kind words of concern and your prayers.

As you know, life as a teen can be extremely busy. I play basketball, sing in two church choirs, lector at Mass and serve as an acolyte and am now serving on my parish's Vocations Committee in addition to participating in special events at my local seminary.

With all of this going on, I have found that I can't give my all to the blog as I would like. I have also found that at this time, I need to focus on my studies and life with family and friends and can't commit quite so much time to preparing for my future vocation, whatever that may be. So I have decided to let the blog go for now.

However, I still do have a presence on the internet and am still committed to listening to God's call in my life if He truly would be calling me to the priesthood. So, I would encourage you to please become a regular visitor to "A Vocation to be a Priest" in which I am now helping as an advisory editor. You may find some prayers and editorials of mine there from time to time. I would also ask that you please support this website by linking to it on your blogs if you feel compelled to do so.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. It means so much to me.

God bless you!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Holy Hour!!!!!

The other day I was asked to serve at a Holy Hour for Life at my parish. The presider of this Holy Hour was our deacon. Deacon Dave is unique compared other deacons in our Archdiocese because he is deaf. This would be his first ever Holy Hour in which he would be presiding. The day of this service, I was asked to serve at it with Deacon Dave. Being unprepared, I was extremely nervous. To make matters worse, when I got to the church our Director of Liturgy told me that I would need to keep on top of Deacon so that he would know what to do and not get confused. This would mean that I would have to sort of be in charge of the Holy Hour making sure Deacon Dave knew what to say and do. Because of this added pressure I began to get even more nervous. I prayed to God to calm my nerves and to give me the strength to lead Deacon Dave in the right direction.

As the service began, I calmly held the Sacramentary for Deacon Dave and pointed to the opening prayer, but for some reason, Deacon Dave began pointing out a totally different prayer! I still continued to point to the opening prayer until finally Deacon Dave started to recite in sign language, the prayer. After this the rest of the service went smoothly but I was still very nervous. It was hard work helping Deacon Dave during this because I could not truly communicate with him and this made things difficult for me when I was trying to tell him something. Maybe this is a sign that I should learn sign language.

When the Holy Hour ended, I was so relieved. Deacon Dave thanked me over and over for helping him stay on track throughout the service as did the Director of Liturgy. I was very happy that I had done a good job even though I did it on such short notice. It feels good knowing that I had helped someone out. I helped our Director of Liturgy by coming to serve on short notice and I helped Deacon Dave lead a beautiful Holy Hour! Jesus was my source of calm during this service. He seemed to flood me with His peace and I am so glad that He did. I could not have done this without Him.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prayer for Haiti

I'm sure that we have all heard by now, about the terrible tragedy that occurred in Haiti. An earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday January 12th. It affected over 3 million people and an estimated 45,000–50,000 deaths were announced by the American Red Cross. Because of all this that has happened, I have decided to post a prayer that I wrote asking God to heal all those who are injured, give comfort to those who are dealing with losses, to bless all of those who have sent money or food and those who have come to Haiti's aid. May God keep all of them close to His heart. Please join me in prayer.

Prayer for Haiti

Loving God,

You are the source of all life. You created us all. You love us and you care for us. Look kindly on the people of Haiti. Let them know that you are near them during this dark hour. Let them feel your comfort and your love. Help them to know that help is on the way, that they are not alone. Give comfort to all those that are injured. Please heal them quickly Lord. Show love to all those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. Hold them close to Your heart. Let them know that You are with them always.

We ask this in Your Name.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

True Happiness:)

Just recently I had watched a TV program on the subject of happiness. During the program, people on the streets were asked about what made them happy? The most popular answer given was that money was something that gave people true happiness. However some people don't realize that money can not make you truly happy and you can not buy happiness.

Sometimes when you think you are truly happy you become restless. You slowly begin to realize that what you thought would make you happy really makes you not happy at all. You begin to wonder what makes you really happy? Only one person has the best answer. The person is God. God knows what can truly make us happy. Sometimes we think we need more and more things in order to be happy, but we fail to realize that God has already given us everything we need to give us happiness! He has provided us all with a wonderful family, a warm house, friends, His unconditional love and a place with Him in Heaven! What more could we ask for? Sometimes we should just be thankful for what we have.

A great song that deals with this subject of happiness and satisfaction is the song Satisfy by the band Tenth Avenue North. In it the singer is talking to God asking Him to satisfy him with His loving care. He is asking for help. This is a good reminder for us to pray for those who do not have a warm house, a wonderful family or friends. We must pray for God to satisfy them with His love.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome Archbishop Listecki!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today was a wonderful day! Milwaukee installed Archbishop Jerome Listecki our 11th Archbishop in the history of our Archdiocese! The installation took place this afternoon at 1:00 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

Last night was also special day because we had the honor of celebrating solemn vespers at the Cathedral in order to pray for Archbishop Listecki. My family and I had the privilege to attend these vespers. I was extremely lucky to be able to sing in the choir for it too!

The service was absolutely beautiful. I just wished I could have been there for the installation today. Unfortunately I was in school.

Something exciting that I wanted to share with you was my brief meeting with Bishop Morlino, the Bishop of Madison, WI. I'm sure that all of you that are reading this have already visited my Mom's blog as she has also posted the same story.

As I was waiting with my brothers and sister Mary, a man came up to me and asked me if I was a seminarian. I had no idea who he was at first. I told him that I was not a seminarian yet but I was thinking about the priesthood. The Cathedral's rector and our long time family friend Fr. Carl Last came from behind me and said to the Bishop, "Well he should be a seminarian for goodness sake, his name is John Paul!"

At this Bishop Morlino promptly shook my hand and then proceeded to ask my brother Justin if he was thinking about the priesthood too! After questioning him, Bishop Morlino took his hat off of his head and stuck it on me so that he could go to the bathroom. I made sure to take a picture of me with the hat on my head. I didn't want to forget that moment.

When Bishop Morlino came back out he told me that he would let me keep the hat but its cold outside and he needed it to keep him warm because he didn't have my thick hair! Then he introduced himself to my mom, my brothers and myself. We were so surprised! This was an exciting moment to meet this great man!

Another exciting thing that happened that night was that my mom was interviewed by several television stations asking for her thoughts on the new archbishop. When they approached her, my Mom was bewildered because they shone bright lights in her face when they asked her the questions. Nevertheless, my Mom asked each question to the best of her ability.

When we got home we watched the news to see if she was on TV. Sure enough she was! She answered every questions professionally. I was so proud of her! I was equally proud of Archbishop Listecki! I am so excited to meet and talk with him in the future.

Below is the Youtube video with my mom on WISN TV. It is the news story of the vespers service at the Cathedral. My mom is with my sister Mary who is standing beside my her and my brothers Justin (the taller one with black hair) and Jack (the shorter boy with the red jacket on) are standing in the background. They come on the screen at about 1:37 into the video. Enjoy:)