Showing posts from January, 2009

Active Discernment

Coming off the heals of the Jesuit Associate weekend that we hosted here at Ciszek, I'd like to call your attention to a helpful website maintained by the Jesuits of the Oregon Province. 
Active Discernment
The point of the website is to deepen one's understanding of the process of discernment. As We hear so often, young people today feel like they are presented with an excess of opportunities. I think this website will be a helpful tool in helping them to discover what is really animating them in their hearts, for it is through our deepest longings and desires that we encounter just what it is that God wants for us.

National Vocation Awareness Week

The great Rocco Palmo, from WhispersintheLoggia, reminds us that this week is vocation promotion week. I'm attaching a story I wrote three years ago on the topic of my own vocation. The only thing that I would add is this: If you are someone who bemoans that there aren't enough priests and religious out there, then what are you doing about it? If you are married, or do not feel called to the religious life, but you know someone who embodies the traits you would love to see in a priest or religious, then TELL THEM. 
My quick idea: Imagine saying, "Hey, I think you are a talented, faithful person. You really seem like you'd make a great and happy priest/brother/sister/nun." Now the worst thing the person can say is, "Thanks, but no thanks." On the flip side, someone may say, "Geez, I never thought of that before." Or, "You know, I have been wrestling with that" - in which case you are giving that person some confirmation that he/she is …

Couple of Musical Shots

This first picture is of me and Danny Gibney, a student at Fordham Prep (Class of 2010). A very talent young piano player!

Into the Breach Once More

Tomorrow begins another semester here at Fordham University. This is a bittersweet realization, as it will be my last semester before heading off to regency, that period of Jesuit formation where we are engaged actively in an apostolate of the Society of Jesus. Next year at this time I will be immersed in teaching high school students. This is something of a bittersweet realization: for while I love studies and will miss terribly the friends I have made here in New York, I am extremely excited to live the "big boy" life of a working Jesuit. Indeed, I recall how formative the young Jesuits were for me when I was in high school and I can't help but get excited about having a similar formational influence on other young people. 
The $1,000,000 question is, of course, "Where are you going to be next year?" There is still no decision on that, but be assured: as soon as I know, the world will know!
I spent some time the other day looking back at old blog posts. It does…

Feis Tales

Readers familiar with my blog know that one of the hats I wear is as a feis musician. A feis, for the un-initiated, is an Irish dancing competition. They range in size from 200 competitors to some that have over 2,000. Regardless of size, each feis must have live musicians to provide the music for the competitors. This is where my life as a rock-star accordion player took root and began to flourish.
As I've written many times, I love Irish dancing and I regard it as an honor and privilege to play for Irish dancers. I look at it as part of my ministry that, with every kid who walks out on the stage, I utter a quick prayer for that dancer that he or she may do his or her best at that moment. With hundreds of competitors and loads of competitions, a typical feis day seems like unremitting prayer. Indeed, I often feel as though it is during a feis that I respond best to Paul's injunction that we "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I pray and I play, and I love …

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has been off to a graced and peaceful New Year. For my part, we returned from Clarkston Michigan yesterday after the Tri-Province Formation gathering. This year's event drew together the men in formation of the Milwaukee, Detroit, and Chicago Provinces. Nearly 100 young Jesuits came together to get to know one another, rest, and pray over the course of three days. 
A reader challenged me the other day to talk more about Jesuit spirituality and to refer more to the formation that I am receiving. To a point, I can be sympathetic to this request: of late, I have been talking quite a bit about exercise and running...and, I suspect, for good reason: it's my blog and I tend to reflect on my experiences. 
Seriously, it seems to me that the 'physical' dimension of my life is not, nor can be, separated from the spiritual side. Just last night, I was reading Henri de Lubac's Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man. In the introduction of the text, de …