The routine of prayer at mass…

So, I often talk about travelling and I figured I would give you a small idea on how big this archdiocese actually is. This year we have hit rock bottom and are using every single penny… mapofdiocese-smlwait a minute… pennies don’t exist anymore…. we are using every single nickel to survive and to serve our different communities. Even though we are going through this, we are receiving many graces. Graces that we wouldn’t receive if we weren’t so deep in the hole money wise. We are finding much joy with the little we have. We are finding new ways to work with the communities.

There are 46 communities and only 14 priests (and apparently two more on the way). That being said we are having more and more lay services. At first I wasn’t too keen on attending lay services but the more I went to them the more I saw the beauty in them. A lay service isn’t a mass but it’s gathering as a community to pray.

How often do we go to mass and not pray? It’s too easy to get into the motions and say the prayers that we just learned by heart. I’m guilty of that and I would think that many of are as well. But having a lay service breaks that routine because I’ll admit, it’s very different. But different in a good way because it really encourages the parishioners to get involved. Lay services can’t happen if people don’t volunteer their time.  This is important because it gets people involved and the more people who are involved the better is goes.

I would imagine that most people reading this have never been to a lay service and that’s ok but just don’t makes the same mistake as I did. Please don’t condemn them, this is a necessity in some communities.

We live in a world of first impressions. Don’t let that get in the way of living a holy life. When is the last time  you condemned something without getting to know about it?

-My Catholic Living

Priests are people too

Ever since I started work as coordinator of youth ministry I work closer with the priests of the archdiocese. This was a good reminder that priests are people just like you and I. When I visit the different communities I usually stay at the rectory which means that I actually get to know the priests. The best way to get to know a person is get into there homes because that is the place where they are most comfortable.

Last week I was visiting and meeting many people from a community. At first I was supposed to stay with a couple but she was having health problems so I didn’t want to bother her. So last minute I stayed with the priest at the rectory.

It was nice because this priest got to know me and I got to know him. We talked about our struggles, we talked about our life growing up and we talked about our goals in the future. It was nice to have that deep conversation. I can’t stand the everyday chit chat. So this conversation gave me insights but it also reminded me that regardless the busy schedule of a priest they have the same every day struggles that we have.

I’m glad I got to stay with him because he really inspired me in my work and I think now he has a better understanding of what youth ministry actually is.

Could you please keep Flora in your prayers. She has hip problems and a hard time breathing. And yet she is still helping out as much as she can in the school.

My Catholic Living

Blessing in disguise, maybe?

We are living in hard times. Over 30 religious communities have been attacked and robbed in Haiti in the last 3 months. They even burned down a mission house earlier this week. Haitians don’t realize how much the religious communities have helped Haiti move up in the world. Most schools are run by religious religious people, brothers, sisters, priests and deacons. And they do it for free, they don’t want to get paid.

We now have to take extra extra precautions whenever we go out. The attacks are always at night and we know that all the attackers are men.

Yesterday all the religious orders met up and walked to the Cathedral to let the world know what’s been going on. After the walk we had mass all together, lay people and religious. I have to say that it was one of the most beautiful mass I ever attended. The Cathedral was packed full of people. In pews that we regular sit 5 or 6 people we were 10. And there were many people who stood up for the whole mass because they had no place to sit. It was an awesome atmosphere. I loved seeing so many people there praying all at once. And during consecration it was quiet, I could of heard a pin drop from the other side of the cathedral. All in all, it was an event which reminded me that there is good in every situation whether or not we see it.

Please if you have a minute or two pray for these men, that they have a change of heart. And that God may penetrate their hearts to show them that they are loved.

-my catholic living