Friday, March 23, 2007


Every prospective student should to Marquette University should read this article and know who is on your faculty.

Three questions that come to mind....

1. What is wrong with Jesuits? It just seems like all the do is dissent.
2. Is this guy serious that he thinks any position a catholic takes is a legitimate expression of catholic doctrine?
3. Why doesn't Marquette just fire this guy and let some episcopal school pick him up?

But, as I said at the beginning, there won't be an answer to those questions as long as people still go to Marquette University. If you feed the bull, don't be upset when he sticks you with his horns.

Fish Bake

Two weeks ago, my parish was hosting a fish fry. We had everything planned out to a T before one of the worst snow/ice storms decided to visit central Iowa. We met the night before and thought about canceling since it would be extremely hazardous to have hot, boiling oil outside in strong winds expecting that it could cook fish. But, then someone suggested we bake the fish instead of frying it. Well, to make a long story short, we put on a fish bake the next day that turned out to be a huge success. We bought pre-made fish and made baked potatoes and green beans and pasta and sauce...and it was a good turn out consider it was in the middle of a blizzard. We think we fed around 160 people.

So, move the clocks ahead two weeks tonight and we did it all again. Only this time we had 260 people attend. It was kind of raucous at points in the room with a high level of conversation and frivolity. I was glad that it's growing and hope we can continue on for next year. We've already started to think of the things that we need to purchase for next year to make it a success including an industrial size can opener. My personal favorite experience happens when people look in the kitchen and see me running around cleaning and cooking. They're all shocked that a priest does that stuff. Not all priests do it. I just love to do that, though. People are fed and it's an accomplishable goal. So little of what I do is actually ever done so that I don't have to worry about it anymore. When mass is over, I have to start preparing next Sunday's homily. When I do a wedding there's always a list of 15 more that I have to do. And on and on... When I finish tonight, the kitchen is clean, the food is put away, and I know a good activity is complete. That makes me happy.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I was reading an article entitled I Want to Serve the Lord--But Not Serve on a Parish Committee at I found a couple of paragraphs to be very funny and things that I hear from some students.

" trying to get people to be more outreach-y, we also have to remember that the Catholic Church is the universal church. That means, there's room for everybody--sourpusses included.

Conversion doesn't necessarily mean converting from introvert to extrovert. If you're not a glad-handing sort of person in everyday life, why should anyone expect you to turn magically into a glad-hander the second you step through the door of your parish church? And if you do, who's to say that everybody else who comes through that door wants to meet you or get involved with you on any more than a passerby level?"


(Regarding holding hands at the Our Father)
"With all those hands, including mine, up in the air, I got immediately distracted from the Mass. I found it a very inward sort of outward gesture. It seemed too unique to that parish and too unfamiliar to anyone who had stopped by simply to be present at the Holy Sacrifice. As an outsider, I felt I was intruding on a very personal moment. I should add, to be fair, that I'm sure the locals didn't think I was."
(emphasis mine)

We don't often think about how changes in the mass can make people feel unwelcome because it makes it overly personal. We don't think that, by making everyone in the parish forced to be involved in some kind of committee, we may be driving out Catholics who want no more than to "pray, pay, and obey." I'm all in favor of people getting involved in church. But, are we starting to put more emphasis on committee involvement than we are on Sunday attendance? If they come on Sunday, do they need to do more for the church? Can't people really just go in peace?

Professor Miller

Not really but, for today, it was kind of like that. I was asked by one of the professors at Iowa State to come to his class and introduce Christianity to his students. I talked for about 50 minutes, though it felt to me more like 30 and took questions for the remaining half hour. It was great. But, I was so nervous this morning that I was afraid I'd get sick. I've taught in different forums and given a ton of presentations but teaching at Iowa State University was not something I thought I'd ever get to do. It was awesome. I was approached by a couple of Iowa State students who were catholic to talk about how they could get more involved and such. But, being able to interract with a professor in a professional manner was absolutely wonderful. I hope I get invited back next year. I probably won't be quite so nervous and will try to do a little more preparation.