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Catholic? Bon Jovi concert

April 18, 2010 21 comments

We to the Bon Jovi concert (Circle Tour) at the (Bank Atlantic?) Sunrise Arena.  Opened with one of my favorite songs, Blood on Blood.  Also closed with an encore of Runaway, Wanted (Dead or Alive) and Livin on a Prayer.  Show was great!  Our nosebleed seats were eye level with the lighting catwalk, which may be why the audio was vocal audio was so hard to hear, but, otherwise, and great show!  I think their show last time in 2008 was better even through we were behind the stage.

Their newer songs seem to be more focused on social justice.  I know Bon Jovi is a big campaigner for Democrats (Gore, Kerry and Obama), but I was wondering if he’s still Catholic, especially since he sang Hallelujah solo for 5 minutes.

I found a quote from Parade magazine in 2007:

On his Catholic upbringing:
“I went to Catholic school in and out. I’m what you call a recovering Catholic. I have many major issues with the church.”Jon Bon Jovi

I know that was 3 years ago, but I hope and pray that his search for truth brings him back home to a faithful Catholic identity.  I also noticed Richie Sambora was wearing a St Benedict rosary around his neck.  I hope it wasn’t just a fashion statement.  I couldn’t find much about his faith background.

Another favorite Bon Jovi song is Keep the Faith.

My favorite part (usually cut off the radio version) is the part after the guitar solo (about 4 minutes) where he says:

I’ve been walking in the footsteps of society’s lies
I don’t like what I see no more
Sometimes I wish that I was blind
Sometimes I wait forever
To stand out in the rain
So no one sees me cryin’
Trying to wash away the pain

Mother father
There’s things I’ve done I can’t erase
Every night we fall from grace
It’s hard with the world in yours face
Trying to hold on, trying to hold on

Leeland songs + poverty

February 14, 2008 Leave a comment

I stumbled upon some great videos by a newer Christian group called Leeland.  They’re very deep, passionate and “present.”  I also saw them in concert last year at an Aquire the Fire youth conference.  I fresh and renewing sound to the Christian mainstream.

The first video/song is Leeland’s “Tears of the Saints with a collage of today’s poverty [dedicated to Karl Marx, spokesman for the poor, & Contemporary Philosophy class].  The video (and included lyrics) was put together by a Baptist minister.  There are others on YouTube, but I like this one.

The second video/song is Leeland’s “Sound of Melodiessimply a great sound.

This last video is Leeland in concert with a moment of Scripture & “How Great Thou Art.”  — indeed.

Covenant House

Covenant House logoI finally filled out the volunteer application for Covenant House, a Catholic shelter for homeless teens (under age 21) on Ft. Lauderdale beach.  They’ve been looking to fill a “Pastoral Minister” position for years, but only recently found someone for the last couple of months.  They organize spiritual activities like prayer services, council, Bible study, and take kids to church (of various faiths).  It sounds like a difficult, but very necessary service for these teens.

After last months YES Retreat, which had a speaker from Covenant House, I decided to see if I could volunteer some time on the weekends, especially since our youth group is no longer active.  While trying to get to the place today, the police had 2 blocks around the building blocked off — I thought it was a hostage standoff.  Apparently, a dump truck driver knocked over some electrical poles and cause a major power outage.  Of all days that I pick to go!

Just to top things off, I found out the new “Pastoral Minister” is leaving in a couple of weeks.  — These kids just can’t get a break!    

I’m back from Y.E.S.

The 5 day Y.E.S. service retreat ended today with a Mass at noon. When I offered to help chaperone and videotape, I didn’t think I’d get much footage since I didn’t know the kids and some teens feel nervous being videotaped. Well I don’t know where those “shy” kids are, because these teens could be great candidate for a whole season of “Big Brother.” They were so photogenic, that I have over 5 hours of raw video footage. Since I just let the camera run at time (like football & evening recaps) hoping to get a few usable clips, it’ll probably get cut down to an hour and maybe a short music video and/or individual profiles (collage of clips for each teen). It’s gonna be a lot of work, but it’s gonna be fun. — But first, let me get some sleep. (–“Sleepy”)

Pope, drugs & Brazil

Pope in Brazil (May 2007)I read an article in the Miami Herald today on Pope Benedict XVI in Brazil saying “Drug dealers face God’s wrath”on the front page.  Americans (especially non-believers) must see that (like I did) and say “Duh! — the Pope just discovered drugs are bad?”  I think it’s because most Americans forget how many Latin American countries have government officials so influenced by drug dealers (like special interests in our country), that they’ve been numbed to any promises of changes.  A fresh outside voice may jump-start the hard work that needs to be done to bring healing.  With nearly half of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics in Latin America, the churches are experiencing an “exodus” of the faithful, like in Europe:

”People only go to church to ask for a favor, and when they get it, they go away.” …”People don’t know what church they belong to anymore, and they’re trying out everything.”

Surveys show that although Brazil remains the world’s largest Roman Catholic country, Catholics are now only 64% of the population, down from 89% in 1980. Those calling themselves evangelical Protestants rose to 15% from 7%.

What’s going on?  I can’t say I’m surprised about the numbers.  What’s always surprised me is how most Latin Americans can be Catholic in the first place.  They have such an extremely patriarchal culture, where woman are expected to ignore “modesty” and ignore their men’s extra-extramarital affairs as a by-product of being over-sexualized.  I understand that our response to our Catholic faith differs dependent on our culture, but this kind of culture make Catholicism so superficial that it justify the exodus.  I hope and pray that the Latin American and Caribbean bishops’ conference finds some practical ways to awaken a “purified” fruitful response, and not just a paper mission statement.  If they don’t, ministry to Latin Americans, especially in south Florida, will continue to be an uphill battle that the church can’t ignore.

Kermit?  Anyone?