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Showing posts from January, 2012

No Senior Slump Here!

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I am acutely aware, having taught and worked with high school seniors for these three years, that one of the niggling issues students face is the temptation of the "senior slump." Having been accepted to college and feeling the tassel of the graduation cap within his grasp, the student is apt to coast through the semester. Entering my sixth and final semester of regency, I am aware of such a temptation.

I am doing everything within my power to fight it.

First, we had a great dinner on Saturday night for the parents who bought the "Dinner with Mr. Duns and the Student Senate Officers." Beginning at 10:00 am and finishing with the dishes at 11:40 pm, it was a long and tiring day. In case you're curious, here's the menu:

Appetizers: Prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe; Apricot-Pecan Baked Brie; BruschettaMain Course: Tomato-Basil Soup with Pancetta; Winter Salad with Belgian Endive and a Walnut-Dijon dressing; Grilled Polenta; Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells in a…

Recharging

I apologize for the lag in posting over the last week. The tragedy of two weeks ago is still fresh in my own heart and, each time I have sat down to do some writing, I just can't bring myself to do it. It's not depression, I'm sure, but it is a sense that in the wake of unthinkable evil it is hard to reclaim ones voice. If last week I found my voice in re-articulating Father Kiser's message of hope, the intervening days have found me somewhat quiet and pensive.

This post, I hope, will lead to a thaw and allow the juices to flow once again.

There's not much new happening on my front. Last week occasioned the visit of our provincial and then, on Friday, a trip to the Detroit Automotive Show. This week I have to plan a rally (Friday) and a dinner for parents who purchased a dinner with "Mr. Duns and the Senate Officers" to be hosted here. Fortunately, these are parents I know pretty well and I know that the fastest way to their stomachs...is through a bottle…

Where is the light in the midst of Tragedy?

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Our first semester ended yesterday, not with great fanfare, but as an eery mirror to the way it began: in prayer. Back in August, we began the 2011-12 academic year with a festive Mass of the Holy Spirit. Yesterday, after the second exam, our students gathered in the Chapel of the North American Martyrs to pray for one of our students whose parents had died two nights earlier in a tragic murder-suicide. 
Father Karl Kiser, the President and CPO (Chief Pastoral Officer - my title for him), led the assembly in a prayer service. We sang, we prayed two psalms, we listened to Scripture. Yet it was when Father Kiser spoke, it was when he addressed the community, that I beheld the true power of prayer and the grace of God. 
Father Kiser began by saying, "There are no answers to this tragedy." He drew a parallel with Job, who demanded that God account for the tragedies that had befallen him and his family, and God responded. Out of the depths of the whirlwind God responds:
Who is thi…

The Lamenting Wall

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I'm not really a techie guy - I have an iPhone, a Kindle Fire, and a computer. Sure, I do have some experience with YouTube and with blogging but, in general, I've little knowledge of computers and technology. I'm glad it's there, I'm glad when it is working, but I haven't the foggiest clue as to how it works.

I wish I did.

In addition to www.parishconnect.com, my proposal for a multi-platform site to help women and men interested in finding a 'right fit' parish, I have another idea. Near as I can tell, it will remain only an idea as I haven't the skill to put it into action. Hence my blogging about it: if it is a good idea, viable and helpful to souls, perhaps someone else will pick up on it.

There is a practice, at the "Wailing Wall" of Jerusalem, for pilgrims to place prayer notes into the crevices. I even learned on Wikipedia that one can now email prayers that will be printed and put into the wall. There's something beautiful abou…

To Assist in the Progress of Souls...A Website Idea

As a vowed member of the Society of Jesus, I take seriously the mission of the Jesuits, expressed succinctly in the apostolic letters Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae and Exposcit Debitum:
...He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive especially for the defense and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching, lectures, and any other ministration whatsoever of the word of God, and further by means of the Spiritual Exercises, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity, and the spiritual consolation of Christ's faithful through hearing confessions and administering the other sacraments. Over the last few years, I have become acutely aware that many Catholics in the United States are not being fed. That is to say, they are coming to the celebration of the Eucharist and leaving hungry. Bad music, inaccessible preaching, unwelcoming communities: each of these is commonl…

When Prayer is a Blow to the Ego

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.  To you, Lord, I return it. 
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.  Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.  ~Saint Ignatius of Loyola
I can speak only for myself, but this prayer scares the hell out of me. In my experience, this is a prayer of radical trust and tremendous risk. It is, ultimately, the prayer that led me to profess vows within the Society of Jesus...it is the prayer I fear I will never fully live into because of my own lack of courage. 
The first time I really prayed this prayer was when I was as a novice making the 30-Day Spiritual Exercises in 2005. Throughout the retreat, my heart had been moved by God's unimaginable grace and I wanted...and continue to want...to offer my whole self to the service of God's Kingdom as a Companion of Jesus. 
Now, this prayer (fortunately or unfortunately) does not