Archive

Archive for the ‘Apostalic Work’ Category

young adult retreat @ St Vincent DePaul Seminary

January 30, 2010 1 comment

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!

See the Florida Catholic article that promoted the events.

Here’s some pictures I took of their beautiful chapel on campus:

MIAMI HERALD article on Bryan Garcia at SJVCS !!!

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

This morning, I saw Bryan Garcia, Javier & Chuck on the FRONT page of the Miami Herald and I thought I was dreaming.  After realizing I wasn’t, I started reading the article titled, “Answering the Call” that continued to TWO FULL PAGES inside.  WOW!!!

The article spoke on the high enrollment at St John Vianney College Seminary (SJVCS) and the discernment process of seminarians, specifically profiling Bryan Garcia, my fellow brother seminarian.

The rector, Msgr Michael Carruthers, has some great quotes as well.  “What they [seminarians] want most is help in knowing the Lord.  If that leads to priesthood, great.”  And is the section about struggling in discernment, he said, “If you don’t struggle, you’re not discerning.”

The article closed with one of my favorite passage, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

There is also a SECOND ARTICLE on “Priesthood of today is much smaller than a decade ago.”

There is also an AUDIO SLIDESHOW with Bryan sharing his experience in seminary at SJVCS.  CHECK IT ALL OUT!!!


CCD 7th: Intro + prayer “sweet spot”

September 20, 2009 Leave a comment

YES "4 Winds Blow"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. 🙂

Doxology prayer by Nicole Nordeman

September 20, 2009 1 comment

In our religious education class today, we used this short Doxology prayer for reflection.  Short, simple, glorifying God, and powerful!

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.
Amen.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) reflections

I was looking for blog posts about experiences in hospital Pastoral Care.  I found some great reflections by someone who did volunteer work in a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program.  Although we didn’t get much formal training in my hospital work this past summer at IPF in Omaha, NE, some of these reflections could have been helpful:

1.  The nature of loss

2.  Agendas and the chaplaincy

3.  When someone asks “Why?”

4.  Assessing spiritual needs

5.  The needs of the dying

6.  Questions in pastoral care

being a summer chaplain with poverty

August 17, 2009 2 comments

I found an article in the Florida Catholic about Jim Grebe, a 3rd year Theologian seminarian at St Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary, whose summer assignment was a chaplain at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola.  It reminded me of my own experience over this past summer at IPF as a volunteer chaplain 2 afternoon each week at Alegent Health Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, NE.

090228_IPF-Hospital-Pastoral-group-1As a strong introvert, my assignment at a hospital was a welcomed challenge that transformed any “preparations” that I could have made into simple “presence and prayer” that I had to rest in to make it through fruitfully.  My general progression was from Post-Intensive Care (PINS), Physical Rehab, Cancer, ICU and then Behavioral Health (mostly adults).  Each unit, as well as each individual room, brought their own challenges and blessings.  Going into rooms “cold” without much knowledge of condition or spiritualities left me at the mercy of Christ dependent on Him and allow the Holy Spirit to work without having to “try so hard” under my own abilities.

In identifying the poverty in those I ministered to, I came to recognize my own poverty that brings empathy with the poverty of Christ.  As I was stepping out in faith “giving” ministry unselfishly, I identified with the “heart of Christ” — then, in reflection, the receiving became more pure and made me more receptive to pure desires with greater confidence in the Spirit.  I found that praying within my own poverty opened opportunities in intimate relationship with God both in private prayer and with those ministered to.

On strong example was my first experience with a patient in ICU on a respirator, unable to speak a response to the open-ended questions I was trained to ask.  I quickly retreated in fear to my superior Josh, who help adjust my approach and engagement.  I returned to the patient with slightly more confidence in myself while becoming growingly dependent on the Holy Spirit to fill my poverty in encountering the non-verbal Christ with my “heart of Christ” in a distinct moment of Presence in my presence.  Using simple words of encouragement to comfort, taking time to ask important yes/no questions, and listening to the feeling of a hand-squeeze for an answer was a moment of fullness of grace.  Taking the experience to prayer and spiritual direction was easily seen as a growing echo to listen less to the words of my thoughts and more to the feelings of my heart when discerning with perseverance to God’s voice to me.

Thank you to all that ministered to me in the experience … Hospital staff, Pastoral Ministry staff, IPF staff and the Archdiocese of Miami for sending me on assignment.  I was truly blessed and I prayer all that I touched were indeed “touched” as I was.

Dominic & Dan in DR

August 16, 2009 1 comment

I saw an article today in the Florida Catholic with 2 of my seminarian brothers.  Dominic Buckley (Diocese of Orlando) and Dan Martin (Miami) had a picture of them with some kids in the Dominican Republic over this summer.  The article was mainly about Dominic’s experience.  St Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary usually sends seminarians after their first year as Theologians for a Spanish immersion program.  It’s nice to see more on vocations in the Florida Catholic.