Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Last night was the first Eucharistic Adoration event of the season for Arise Milwaukee. The event was held at St. Dominic Parish in Brookfield and was wonderfully attended by nearly 1,000 people. I had the privilege of being one of the altar servers for the evening.
Fr. Luke Strand, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and spiritual advisor for Arise, presided. In a completely darkened church, Fr. Luke processed in with a spotlight shining on the monstrance while the congregation sang O, Salutaris. Placing our Lord upon the altar, he began this intimate encounter with Lectio Divina on Psalm 139.
These beautiful words from the opening chapters of the psalm remind us that God is always in our midst and desires to enter into our hearts if we allow him. We are often in dire need of affirmation of God's presence. We often fall into the trap of believing that God is closer to us when our lives are blessed with high points of prestige or high honors, and is distant from our lives when we face significant challenges and become discouraged. King David definitely shared some of these same thoughts as he penned out psalms of God's faithfulness and unending mercy.
At Arise tonight, one of the speakers recalled a story told to him about St. John Vianney. The story goes that St. John Vianney questioned a young peasant about why he seemed to have a saintly glow after he had finished adoring Christ in the Holy Eucharist, to which the peasant replied, "I look at Jesus and He looks at me."
In a world that does not know, or chooses not to know Christ, we must always remind ourselves that God is always present and that he will never forsake us. He knows us through and through and desperately wants to envelop us in His great love more and more.
I encourage you to attend Arise Milwaukee Missions and Eucharistic Adoration throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee whenever you find an opportunity. It is most important to allow ourselves time with the Lord Jesus especially when we feel alone or discouraged. Allow the Lord to gaze upon you and fill you with his deep love and reaffirm your understanding that He has never left your side.
The next Arise Milwaukee Mission will be on December 13th at St. Jerome Parish in Oconomowoc from 7pm-9pm. For more information please visit www.arisemissions.org
Friday, September 12, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
"Passion For The Gospel & Service To Others": Recap of A Morning Reflection on Charity & Justice With Bishop Donald Hying
Recently I attended a wonderful morning reflection on the issues of charity and justice with Bishop Donald Hying. Over 200 people from around the Archdiocese of Milwaukee gathered at St. James Parish in Menomonee Falls for the second installment of workshops put together by the Social Justice Ministry of the Archdioceses and neighboring parishes.
Leading off the morning of formation, Bishop Hying made a point of emphasizing that as Catholics we must have a burning passion for the Gospel and answer the call to bring the Good News to others. Quoting the 1971 Synod of Bishops, Bishop Hying recalled that, "working for peace and justice is constitutive (meaning that it is an integral part) of the Gospel." This should be the mission that everyone should work towards.
There were so many interesting workshops to attend during the morning that it was hard to decide which one I should sit in on especially since they were all going on at the same time.
Workshop A: St. Vincent DePaul "Coming Together to Get Ahead"
Workshop B: Recruiting Volunteers
Workshop C: Starting a Human Concerns Committee
Workshop D: Inspiring People in Your Parish With Catholic Social Teaching
Workshop E: JustFaith- Helping Individuals Experience Conversion
Workshop F: Moving From Charity to Justice
Workshop G: Faithful Citizenship in Polarized Times
Workshop H: Youth on/in Mission
One of the things I had been bring to prayer long before attending this event was having an interest in mission work or going on mission trips. Naturally I wanted to attend the Youth on/in Mission workshop hosted by Directors of Youth Ministry, Claire Hoffmeyer and Bryan Ramsey at St. James, St. John Vianney and Good Shepherd parishes.
Both directors were on fire for the faith and genuinely wanted to make a difference in young people's lives by giving them opportunities for building up communities, volunteering time and service and designing and developing mission trips for faith growth. Both Claire and Bryan explained some of the encouraging aspects of their work with youth as well as some of the challenges that come with it.
I ask that you please keep Claire, Bryan, all youth ministers and young adult coordinators in your prayers as they continue to work hard to further instill the faith in our young people.
The next Morning of Formation for Charity and Justice with Bishop Hying will be held in Fond du Lac with more details to follow on the finalized date to follow.
If you wish to contact Claire and/or Bryan with questions, information or a desire to help them in their mission please see below.
Bryan Ramsey Director of Youth Ministry: St James & Good Shepherd Parishes Menomonee Falls
email@example.com or 262-253-2238
Associate Director of Youth Minstry
St. John Vianney Parish Brookfield, WI
262-796-3944 or firstname.lastname@example.org