Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Dubuque Colts Cadets

Yesterday morning, I awoke a little later than usual. I knew I was going to Cedar Rapids for spiritual direction and had been throwing around the idea of also going to Dubuque for a drum and bugle corps competition taking place there last night. I have tried to make this competition for the last several years and have probably only really been successful every other year. I debated all day long about it and finally decided, while in C.R. that I would go.

Boy am I glad I did! The show was fantastic. And, personally, the real highlight was the Colt Cadets. The Colts had a tremencous show and were improved from last year (which was an improvement from the year before, which was an improvement from the year before) But the cadets are the "minor leagues" of drum and bugle corps, the younger kids that still need a lot of practice. But, this was by far the best that I've heard them. I heard a show all based on snoopy one year and, last year, it was all about video games. Both of those shows were cute and I was constantly afraid that the entire thing was going to fall apart because the kids just weren't good enough to keep it going. This year, the sound was PHENOMENAL! They took things seriously and had a top notch routine. It reminded me of something. I imaine that those other two years, which were both building years in terms of numbers of kids involved, the director figured she had to do something the kids would think is fun. I hope she's learned this year that the most fulfilling things in life involve doing something well that's difficult and being able to take pride in that. I imagine the kids thought it was fun to play the theme to frogger while someone pretended to be playing that game on the field with a giant inflatable frog. But, these kids can look at this routine and be proud that they had a tight sound and looked just as good as the older corps.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Religious Leaders in Moscow

Undoubtedly at least partially influenced by Pope John Paul II's unprecidented way of reaching out to other religions (E.G. Assisi prayer service), the leaders of many major religions met to discuss what they have in common and, in general, the importance of religion. You can find the text at www.zenit.org/english under the link"message from world summitt of religious leaders."

Here's a great quote, " The human being is the supreme creation of the Almighty. Therefore human rights -- their protection and respect at the national, regional and international level -- are an important concern for us. Nevertheless, our experience also shows that without an ethical core, without understanding our duties, no society or country is exempt from conflict and collapse."

It also dicusses the importance of moral formation and denounces terrorism. It's a good start. Let's hope we all take seriously the need for further dialogue.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Weird busy-ness

I complain sometimes about being busy and, usually, I'm greatly over exaggerating. But, I truly feel like there's a list of things that I should be doing. I'm not complaining because it's keeping me out of trouble. (haha) I'm missing the opportunity to get out in the sun but that's okay.

Part of the problem is that the pastor is gone. He's on vacation somewhere with an organization of priest pilots. We haven't had our PIG (Pastor Is Gone) party yet. I'm totally slacking!

Today's the feast day of Saint Maria Goretti, a girl who stood up for what is right in this world, who refused to be raped by her neighbor. We pray for the young women of the world who are abused and ask her intercession this day on their behalf.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The quiet of July

It's 79 degrees outside with summer sun beginning its descent. I love summer! Even though it's 5:15, I know we still have about four hours until the sun goes down. And, even though I know I have a lot of things to do this month, I know that I'm going to go camping a few more times before the students get back.

Now, having said that, I will formally admit somthing here. I officially miss the students. I want to start preparing for programs and help students get involved but there are only so many things I can do without the suggestions of students. Let me list a few of them:

1. Priesthood Discernment group
2. STA prayer book
3. Busy Person's retreat
4. Liturgy Team
5. Social Team

I could keep going but those are the top five. I know that July will fly by and then we'll be starting the school year. I feel so much better right now than I did a year ago.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Patriarch of the Maronite Church

Here is a link to an article from the the maronite patriarch. He's right on target about how important that part of the world is for world peace. I'm really scared about the last few days of violence and how Israel seems, in my own opinion, to be responding to a bad situation like a brute. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Benedict as Pope and Abbot

An article in a recent America Magazine compared the present pope with the father of western monasticism, Benedict of Nursia. The article is INCREDIBLY weak and shows an incredible Jesuit bias (Jesuits, especially the Jesuits who run America magazine, believe that the only true form of the church is in the likeness of the Jesuits).

So, I'm hoping to do something that is a little different with my Wednesday posts for the next few weeks. I'm hoping to point out the legitimate ways of seeing the intersection of pope Benedict and Abbot Benedict. For obvious reasons, I won't use it as a platform to articulate a unreflective social platform nor to criticize the pope as stringently holding outmoded sexual mores. It's up to you wheather you agree or disagree with my assessment.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Time with the Georges

It's too hard to explain my connection to this family. Truth be told, there are too many connections to tell. But, this Saturday was really incredible because I got to be invited into a family that means a lot to me. Most of my connection comes from the "Stein" side of the George family but not all. It was incredible to celebrate mass for this family and be invited to be part of it for a while.

I was also overjoyed to celebrate mass Sunday at my little rural parish, Sts. Peter and Paul in Gilbert. I love that parish. With last Thursday being the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, I talked about those Sts. without turning it into the focus of the celebration. I used the line from the first reading "God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living" to talk about a correct understanding of Christian martyrdom. I concluded mass with the blessing from the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Then, I went to visit a friend with this incredible lake front cabin in Minnesota. It was so nice to relax , enjoy the sigts and get some vitamin D. Now it's back to the perverbial grindstone, though slightly refreshed and ready to get prepared for the beginning of the school year. I can't believe that it's really only a month and some change away! Yikes.