Holy Fritz! I can’t believe I have let almost a whole month go by since I posted last.
Well a lot has happened since I posted last, I will try and bring you up to date. As best as I can. But first of all, let us not forget to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines who have been devastated by the typhoon, and also let us heed the words of our Holy Father to respond with concrete help as well.
Also, Congratulations to the newly ordained Rev. Mr. Eric Flores! Dcn. Eric was ordained on Nov 9 and God willing will be ordained a priest in the early summer of 2014. Keep him and his classmates in your prayers.
Our joy at Dcn. Eric’s ordination was also mixed with sorrow as we have lost three priests of our diocese, Fr Jack Fomer, Fr Steven Foppiano, and more recently Fr Terry Fulton. Fr Bill Dohnam, a priest of the Bosie Diocese who was residing in our diocese passed away as well. Please pray for the happy repose of their souls.
Last Friday I was visited by Fr Paul Peri, Director of Pastoral Formation at Mt Angel Seminary and Fr Francisco, our diocesan Vocations’ Director. Their visit was to check on my transition and to see how the pastoral year is going for me. It was a visit and we all agreed things are moving along well here.
I am in the middle of two of my bigger projects, one of which is coordinating a new parish directory and the other is altar server training. Both are proving to be very interesting. I am also preparing two presentations. One for the Adult Faith Formation here at the parish and one for a deanery wide formation program. Suffice it to say there is no shortage of work! Thank the good Lord despite it all I am able to keep my life in pretty good order.
This article will give you some good advice on discernment as well, I saw it on Facebook via our very own Fr Colin Wen.
I know that isn’t much for nearly a month’s absence but rather than bombard you with things I will try and catch up in other posts. In the mean time I leave you with this quote which I pilfered from the Western Dominican Vocation’s Facebook page, Consider it! Consider Priesthood!
“If the life of the believer is entirely a search for God, every day of life becomes a continual learning of how to listen to his voice in order to do his will.”
Faciem tuam, Domine, requiram, #29
Well kinda…I’m at my parent’s house.
This week in the Diocese of Sacramento we had the annual Priests’ Study Days. Pastoral Year seminarians join as well. It is a good opportunity for us to meet many priests of our diocese and to get a little academic formation as well. This week’s topics included a program to help people heal from sexual struggles, the program is called Reclaim. Then we had several sessions on family and marriage and then Fr Michael Sweeney gave talks on the role of the lay faithful in the world. It was all very good information. There was plenty of time to pray and socialize with our future brothers as well. Here we are in the celebration of Mass.
Br Gabriel Mosher wrote a blog on discernment, its pretty good and really speaks to an often neglected part of discernment, check it out here!
In other news the Holy Father gave his first address in English. It’s worth a listen. Stephen Colbert gave the keynote address of the Al Smith Dinner which is a fundraiser for needy children. It was one of the funniest things I have heard all week!
On a much more uninteresting note my car broke down last night. I was giving a friend and classmate a ride home. I make mention of it because I got lots of help from both Brian (my classamate) and the priests from the parish where he is on pastoral year. We often talk about fraternity in this vocation and make reference to fun times but it also means giving a helping hand. To Brain, Fr Freddy and Fr Humberto many thanks!
Here’s a good video on the priesthood. Consider it! Consider Priesthood!
While only the ordained are allowed to preach, some bishops allow their seminarians, with permission of the pastor, to give reflections. I am fortunate that this is the case in my diocese. It helps in keeping the skills I learned in homelitics sharp and also practice for preaching to a real community rather than your classmates in seminary. My first one was about stewards of grace and recognizing God’s grace. I often suspect that what I reflect has a meaning for me as well as the people who will listen to me. In this instance nothing could be more true! Since I gave that reflection a few Sundays ago I have noticed how many times I have let little graces slip by and the many graces God gives me.
Discernment, especially in the beginning, can often feel like a roller coaster ride and it should! If we feel only one way during our discernment its either a great grace (we are so in tune with God’s will there’s no struggle) or it is a sad sign ( we are seeking our own will or actively rejecting God’s will) but to sort through the highs and lows of it all the good Lord gives us many graces but can we see them?
In discernment part of the process should be a review of the recent days or week and seeing in what small ways have we been encouraged to go forward, what has held has back, who has said something that might seem small but spoke loudly to us? These little things are often missed,but they abound! There are tons of little graces everywhere that help moves us from point to point in every aspect of life. Very rarely are these things great blinding lights, rather they are small and gentle dependent upon us to be effective.
The point of this reflection is to encourage you to pause and look for these graces. There is more than enough grace for us to do all that is pleasing to God, we have to receive it and cooperate with it. God bless.
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