Sunday, October 26, 2014

Archbishop Listecki Entrusts Archdiocese of Milwaukee to Mary at Hearts United 2014

For three days, October 5th, 6th, and 7th, hundreds of Catholics from all over the Archdiocese attended Hearts United 2014 at Christ King parish in Wauwatosa hosted by the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate. The three day mission featured dynamic speakers in Bishop Donald Hying, Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Fr. Jim Kubicki the National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer, Fr. Peter Ryan, Executive Director of the Office of Doctrine for the USCCB and Janis Clarke, a Lay Evangelist.  Confession, Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction were part of the mission which concluded with a beautiful Entrustment of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Listecki during Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

As a young adult Catholic, I can honestly say that it was so inspiring to attend this powerful and spiritual event and see so many members of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee come together to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was very encouraging to see so many evangelical groups such as Roses For Our Lady, Arise Milwaukee, Safe Teen Zone, Catholic Memorial High School and many large families lead the church in each decade of the Rosary, and St. Sebastian Parish Choir lead us in song. It is events like these that give the young people of the local church in Milwaukee hope, seeing the church so alive, faithfully placing our trust in the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our prayer,with Mary as our guide, is that we continue to do the work of the Lord with zeal and vigor, assisting others on their journey to Heaven.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

For more information about the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate and the other awesome events that they host and plan, please visit

(All photos courtesy of Terry Boldin)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nothing Stops the Power of God's Love

                                                        (Photo Courtesy of

I've been reading an excellent book lately by Ronald Rolheiser. Rolheiser is a priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a specialist in spirituality and systematic theology, an accomplished author and frequent columnist for the Catholic Herald. In Forgotten Among The Lilies; Learning to Love Beyond Our Fears, Fr. Rolheiser explores some of the intense obsessions that dominate our lives and offers down-to-earth guidance for learning how to leave our fears and anxieties behind. In my opinion, this is easily his best book.

In the chapter God Overcomes Scrambled Eggs, he inspires the reader to trust in our Heavenly Father. Fr. Rolheiser commences the chapter by relaying a conversation he had with a young man. The young man confides in him that he had an affair with a young woman who then became pregnant. For a series of reasons, marriage was out of the question. The pregnancy would interrupt both of their lives, and also the child to be born. Sadly, the young man ends the conversation on a note of hopelessness and despair saying, "There is no way I'll ever live normally again, beyond this. Even God can't unscramble an egg."

Fr. Rolheiser goes how to say that he, "has gathered that everyone has some type of skeleton in the closet. Some people may be extremely scarred from a broken marriage, an abortion, a religious commitment that did not work out, a pregnancy outside of marriage, a betrayed trust, a broken relationship, an affair or another serious mistake, sometimes even without sin. Some of these things may cause some people to feel like they have put a mark on themselves like that of Cain. They may feel so horribly that they believe that even  God would not be able to forgive them."

Those who know me personally know that I was in college seminary for a semester. The past few years following my brief stay in the seminary have been challenging as I continue to sort out and discern God's plan for my life. I occasionally feel the guilt of not being strong enough to fully commit to seminary. It can be painful and sometimes disheartening not knowing or understanding what God's intentions are for my life.  It's because of this that I can relate with others who feel scarred from the difficulties of making decisions in their lives.

In times like these we should strive to remind ourselves of the old adage, "God closes one door, and opens another." We as a Christian community need to remember that God is not a hard-handed Ruler, but an extremely forgiving Creator, and He never wants us to feel that He is incapable of doing good with messy situations. It is through our dark experiences that God can do the most wondrous healing and miracle working.  God will continue to bless us with beautiful supporting families, great friends and continuous opportunities for growth in faith and in love despite the hardships that we may have faced. To put it in Fr. Rolheiser's words, "Let God's grace let you live happily and with renewed innocence far beyond any egg that we may have scrambled."

God will never abandon you. Take heart. God loves you and will never cease to stop.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Real Friendship

                                                         (Photo Courtesy of

"It's necessary that you get the energy-drainers out of your life; people who don't want anything, people who are not striving, people who are not challenging themselves, people who aren't growing and who have stopped dreaming. It is necessary that you align yourself with others who are hungry, are unstoppable and are unreasonable and refuse to leave life just as it is and who want more."
                                                                                                 - Les Brown, Motivational Speaker

It's a phrase used countless times today by people my age. "I need people in my life right now that are there for me no matter what.  I need people who have my back in any situation." It is a powerful feeling to have this overwhelming support, knowing that someone will always by right by your side, but its questionable whether or not we as a generation know what a real person in their corner looks like.

We don't like opposition. We love to be right and love to surround ourselves with people who tell us that we are solid in our decision making and that we have no faults whatsoever. In turn, we cut ourselves off from friends and family who tell us differently. We strive so much to please everybody that I think we lose sight of what it means to be a real friend.

A lot of us have friends who will always agree with us, coddling us into a feeling of self-righteousness. How can that do any good if you and I are actually wrong in handling a situation or terrible when it comes to common sense and decision making?

A good example of this may be taken from watching the show, American Idol Every season we watch as people with no musical talent whatsoever enter the competition with aspirations of being the next American Idol. After the judges tell the participant that he or she should stick to their day job and give up singing as a career move, the camera usually swings back outside to the waiting room where the parents and friends of the Idol-wannabe vehemently complain that their son or daughter has an exceptional voice and the judges criticism is not valid.

When people talk about having the right people in their lives, how can it be a good thing to be told that you are always right and that you are never wrong. A real friend will always be able to point you in the right direction instead of helping you to dig a deeper hole for yourself with  no consequences and giving you a false sense of security. Whether it stemmed from school decisions, to bad relationships, I've always been grateful for the people who never been afraid to be brutally honest with me.  If I am wrong, tell me that I'm wrong. Sugar-coating does no good at all.

I learned in my short life so far that a good friend genuinely cares about your soul and will stop at nothing to help you get to heaven, even if that means hurting our pride in the process.  Let us pray for our friends and for the grace to be a true friend to all those we come in contact with, that we bring them closer to our heavenly Father.