The Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) was featured on EWTN show Sunday Night Live with host Father Benedict Groeschel. The guests were Father Richard Gabuzda (IPF director) and Father Joe Kelly (priest of New York & IPF faculty). They focused on the the mission of IPF and their efforts in building a Center for Priestly Spirituality. Some great discussions and live call-in questions. They spoke on the summer programs (that I took last summer) and how awesome the Holy Spirit has grown the mission of IPF. I hope they post some of the show on their website or YouTube. You can order it from EWTN, show #280.
Here is a short video about the mission of IPF that is on the IPF website and on YouTube (from 2 years ago):
In our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we reviewed God the Father (from last week) and focused on God the Son (chapter 5 in our book).
(A) Reviewed God the Father. Played the video clip from Martian Child (see last week’s summary). Reviewed homework assignment … think of an example of a movie clip demonstrating a “good dad.” From that, we brainstormed why our relationship with God the Father becomes so wounded that we stop trusting the unconditional love He has for us.
(B) Discussed prayer “Core Wounds.” In our diagram of the Christian Heart (body, mind, soul), our life experiences can develop “core wounds” that hurt our lives physically, psychologically and/or spiritually. They are shown as X’s on our diagram. These wounds are actually “LIES” that affect our future relationships, especially with our Heavenly Father. A common example, even shown in movies, is how our hurt relationships with our earthly father affect how we view the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father. Wounds can keep us from trusting His loving plan for our lives.
(C) Who is Jesus? We showed a movie clip from the 1996 Sylvester Stallone movie called Daylight. It’s the scene when the rescue worker (Stallone) first encounters the trapped people. Only getting 1 rescuer is not what the trapped people expected. This disappointed reaction is similar to the one Jesus received from people as they came to discover Him as the Messiah. The idea came from thesource4ym.com clip ideas. Click the link to get discussion questions.
Here is a trailer for the movie. The actual clip used is here (but it’s in a foreign language).
Good discussion as we imagined the roles of the people, the Messiah and what our reactions would be in their shoes.
Homework: (1) Chapter 5 assessment questions on the last page.
(2) handout “How the Bible describes Jesus” … look up passages
(3) bring textbook + Bible + journal
In our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we touched on God the Father (chapter 4 in our textbook). I finally got to bring in my laptop and play a few movie clips. Awesome topic. – I was really looking forward to today!
(A) Opening prayer song reflection was He is Yahweh by Dean Salyn.
(B) God the Father is always present & knows what’s best for us & forgiving. Showed a clip from Lion King (1994), when Simba takes Nala to the Elephant Graveyard after father Mufasa warns against and ends up saving them from the 3 Hyenas. The focus is the discussion between father and son at the end. [Idea from thesource4ym.com with discussion questions.]
(C) God the Father has unconditional love for me. Showed the movie trailer for the John Cusack movie Martian Child (2007) about a sci-fi writer wanting to adopt a child who thinks he’s a Martian sent to observe Earthling life. The focus clip is when the child breaks something and thinks he’s bad and will be sent away. The father assures him that “Nothing you can do will change the way I feel about you.” and then proceeds to break other “things” showing they don’t matter as much as him. Awesome clip! — I had to “pause” when leading the discussion … it easily resonated how I hear my Heavenly Father’s voice.
Discussion was great. [Idea from thesource4ym.com with questions.]
(1) Chapter 4 Assessment questions,
(2) Pray the Lord’s Prayer each day this week,
(3) Give an example of a movie clip with a “good dad.”
First time ever, the seminarians at St Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary in Boyton Beach, FL led a retreat open for young adult of the Palm Beach Diocese. I heard about it through my friends on FaceBook. It was a Spirit-filled retreat … simple schedule … 3 seminarian testimonies … deep small group discussion … Benediction & Adoration … and lots of social time.
Even though I couldn’t stay for the whole retreat, I’m grateful to have been invited and grateful to see by brother seminarians at their finest at “home.”
Hopefully, with their great turnout, they can do more events to not only reach out to the community, but keep vocations on everyone’s minds and prayers!
Here’s some pictures I took of their beautiful chapel on campus:
My sister got me interested in The Big Bang Theory, so I watched the first episode from this season 3.
There’s a scene when Sheldon goes back home to Texas and does a prayer before eating dinner that would have come in handy for Thanksgiving. Here is goes …
By His hand, we are all fed.
Give us Lord, our daily bread.
Please know that we are truly grateful,
For every cup and every plateful.
Attitude of Gratitude (prayer)
Dear Lord, we come to You today
With a humble attitude.
For all you give, our hearts are full
Of love and gratitude.Thank you for this special time
To offer our Thanksgiving.
Thank you for this food, and for
The blessed lives we’re living.
In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen
—By Joanna Fuchs
Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we REVIEWED all our previous classes to date.
Here are links to previous classes:
- (day 8 — Nov 8) Jeopardy Questions + Heaven + Hell + Purgatory
- (day 7 — Nov 1) Like Jesus + Holy + All Saints
- (day 6 — Oct 25) Incarnation + Chapter 1 + God Proofs
- (day 5 — Oct 18) Hats + 3 Birthdays + Vocations
- (day 4 — Oct 11) Prayer Quiz + Lies + Prayerful Heart
- (day 3 — Oct 4) Prayer Share + A.R.R.R.
- (day 2 — Sept 27) P.R.A.Y.S. + Angels + Yom Kippur
- (day 1 — Sept 20) 4 Winds Blow + Doxology + Sweet Spots
All these links are indexed on my Uth + CCD tab (at the top of this blog) for all classes.
- bring parents next class,
- bring Bible, if you have one already,
- review notes with parents in preparation for playing Jeopardy!
Here is the “Lord’s Prayer” (Our Father) in Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke.
[story] “Father + Son + ant hill”
Incarnation = “God becoming man (flesh)”
- We bow & genuflect for the incarnation
- – in front of tabernacle or alter @ Mass
- –@ the name of Jesus in prayers
- –during Nicene Creed @ Mass
- –@ transubstantiation @ Mass
- –before receiving Communion
(p12) How do I experience God? As a parent? Loving Heavenly Father? A powerful & limitless presence? As a close friend? Jesus? my own specific way?
(p13) Aristotle’s 5 Proofs of God
- Prime Mover … nothing moves on their own
- First Cause … everything is caused by?
- Necessary Being … why do things exist?
- Ultimate beauty, goodness & truth … what standard sets good/bad, true/false, etc.
- Great Designer … mind, eyes, creation?
Blaise Pascal, 17th century French math + scientist said, “There is a God-shaped hole in the human heart that nothing else can fill.”
- finish reading textbook Chapter 1 (The Source of All Life),
- do “Pop Quiz” handout with parents,
- pray over 3 events in your life where you felt God present + journal a letter to God after each.
Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we discussed our unique identities, our stages in life, vocations, marriage and closed with the story of St Agatha. Lots of interaction and discussion, full of the Lord’s blessings!
–3 BIRTHDAYS … each begins a new life
- –Physical B-day … start earthly life
- –Baptism B-day … start Christian spiritual life
- –Death B-day … start our heavenly life
Who Am I? (back page of journal)
- –Birth name, Nick names, “Hats” (our roles)
- –Spiritual names? What does God call you?
- (we’ll find out as we try different prayers)
VOCATION = “a call” by God to holiness
- ”Primary” Vocation …
- –“to be a beloved child to our heavenly Father”
- “State of Life” Vocation … which one?
- –Single, Consecrated Single
- –Married (husband/father, wife/mother)
- –Religious sister or brother
- –Priesthood (clergy, deacon)
- “Service” Vocation … career, ministry, etc.
Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …
- –Pro-create (open to children),
- –Educate (evangelize your Catholic children)
- –Holy Mate (get your spouse to heaven!)
St Agatha (3rd century virgin martyr) a beautiful young girl who consecrated herself to Jesus and resisted the advances of a nobleman. He imprisoned & tortured her (even cut off her breasts), but she stayed faithful to God. Died in prison. Feast on Feb 5. Patron of breast, nurses, (bell-makers & bakers – due to statue plater).
Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we had a Prayer Quiz #1 (Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Apostle’s Creed, Act of Contrition, & other)
Then we played an “get-to-know you” game called “2 Truths / 1 Lie”
We reviewed A.R.R.R.
We spoke on VIRTUES: Faith + Hope + Love
- Even demons believe in God, but don’t have LOVE (the greatest virtue)
From virtues, we discussed DISCERNING Spirits in prayer as we look at the “Big 3” (thoughts + feelings + desires)
- 3 SPIRITS: God’s Spirit — My Spirit — Evil Spirit
- if GOD … we GROW in faith + hope + love
- if EVIL … any virtue DROPS
– CHRISTIAN HEART (levels of my personhood) — I kept this a lot simpler in class (they are still 7th graders)
- BODY, (surface, 5 senses, Level 1)
- –easily affected by weather, sleep, food, tone
- MIND, (psychological, attitudes, Level 2)
- –affected by family, culture, DNA, prejudices, life experiences (Pleasure /Pain Principle)
- SPIRIT, (spiritual, the “deep Big 3”, Level 3)
- –thoughts + feelings + desires + imagination
- –the place the Holy Spirit dwells in us
- –Consolation … peace, loved, joy, hope, zeal, trust, courage, contentment, sadness for sin.
- –Desolation … anxiety, loneliness, sadness, boredom, fear, discourage, restlessness, etc.
HOMEWORK: After 3 times of personal prayer, journal a letter to God after each.
Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we opened with some personal journaling time while listening the the Doxology prayer sung 2 different ways.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
First, (soft) “Doxology” by Nicole Nordeman
Then (rock) “Doxology” by David Crowder Band
After prayer, we took turns sharing our decorated binder covers with a collage of “ME” … likes, interests, family, pictures, sports, hobbies, etc.
Then we took turn sharing our experiences with praying the Doxology prayer over the past couple of weeks. Some great stories!
[PRAYER] When your spending time in personal prayer with the Lord, here’s a good outline to follow . . . .
- ACKNOWLEDGE –- How’s my life right now? Pay attention to your thought + feelings + desires (“the Big 3”).
- RELATE -– Tell God about ALL “3” honestly.
- RECEIVE -– Quiet your mind, focus on God, & listen to “the Big 3.” (Discern spirits)
- RESPOND -– do what you NEED to do
–When you have something to talk to the Lord about, process your “Big 3” with this model.
(1) study 5 Catholc Prayers for written Prayer Quiz:
Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we handed out journals & wrote on inside cover …
In my BAPTISM, I …
- PRAISE = God for who He is … God
- REPENT = confess + rec forgiveness + change
- ASK = for me + other (“5 finger prayer”)
- YIELD = be open to God’s voice
- SHARE = my faith with others
In my CLASS, I …
- PRAISE = encourage others
- REPENT = take responsibility for wrongs
- ASK = learn by asking questions
- YIELD = respect speaker + listen
- SHARE = contribute + respect privacy
Difference between angels + humans?
- Angels = pure spiritual beings
- Humans = body + spiritual beings
–Yom Kippur = Jewish “day of atonement”
- fast, no work, pray, make reparations for sins
- “scapegoat” takes sins of the people = Jesus
(1) Decorate Binder Cover with “ME” … on a sheet of paper, make a collage of you, your hobbies, likes, etc.
(2) do the “Doxology” prayer exercise from last week if you haven’t done it yet.
Today, at St John Vianney College Seminary, was the highly anticipated dedication of the new mosaic of Mary, the New Eve and Star of the Sea in the one of the chapel gardens around St Raphael Chapel. Orlando Bishop Wenski celebrated Mass and the blessing and dedication of the new mosaic. Artist (and seminarian) Peter Dionne (SJVCS class of 2008) was present along with friend, family and supporters of SJVCS.
[these pictures taken by Cliff Whitty, a SJVCS seminarian]
For the last couple of years, Msgr Michael Carruthers (rector of SJVCS) and Peter Dionne (artist & seminarian, SJVCS class of 2008) have been working on a new mosaic to our Blessed Mother for the chapel gardens. With today’s dedication of the new mosaic to Mary, the New Eve and Star of the Sea, here are some pictures posted by Fr Michael from mosaic conception through completion.
– Wow! Beautiful! Surely our Lady is happy.
Today is day 1 of Religious Education (CCD) at my parish. I’m a catechist for 7th grade Pre-Confirmation class with my aide Donny. We had 13 of our 17 kids today, with apparently more signing up late as we speak. A very diverse group from “quiet” to “super-animated.”
We played a classic “get-to-know-you” icebreaker game called “Four Winds Blow.” It’s like musical chairs sitting in a circle. The person in the middle says 3 things about themselves. Then they say “Four winds blow to anyone …” (wearing jeans, wearing gym shoes, with blue eyes, wearing glasses, with ears, etc.) Then everyone that fits the profile needs to get up and get another seat (at least 2 seats over) while the person in the middle tries to get a seat as well. If you get stuck in the middle 3 time, you need to sing a song of your choice. The “Alphabet Song” and a Spongebob song were sang. Lots of fun for all.
I also gave a brief into to the curriculum and talked about finding our “prayer sweet spot” this year. Using a tennis racket and baseball bat, the kids taught me about finding the “sweet spot” to get the best result out of their uses … although similar for many, everyone has their own sweet spot in the way they play sports. Well, our prayer life is very similar. We need to each find what works best for our own individual prayer experience in order to grow. Some like Scripture, some the Rosary, some praise & worship, some music, some poetry, some adoration, some quiet meditation, etc. This year, we’ll have different prayer experience in order to help find our own prayer “sweet spot.”
We wrote down the simple Doxology prayer on index cards and will use it this week as a homework prayer experience. Everyone needs to try praying it at different time, days and ways this week. Next Sunday, we’ll share what worked and what didn’t.
As we discussed the Doxology prayer, we asked the questions like “What is a creature? Can a rock praise God? What’s the difference between angels & humans? What’s a Holy Ghost?” — a very vocal and curious group … we’re blessed to be journeying in our faith together!
– I prayed the Doxology during this post.