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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2

Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ski Retreat on the North Shore!

New claim to fame - I have survived a weekend with 29 teenagers (from 4 metro parishes!), 11 chaperones, a priest, and Baby Lucy (26 days old when we arrived, 28 days old when we left :), in subzero temperatures on a "ski retreat" along the shores of Lake Superior! What a weekend! If you've never been to the North Shore of Minnesota... I'm sorry. The North Shore has got to be one of my all-time favorite places on God's earth - He really knew what He was doing up there!

So, this was a great trip, and yeah, I've got lots of pictures - just click the pic above to see them.

Interesting thing #1 - This was, I realized late in the day on Sunday, the first time that three of my "worlds" collided. A) My work world, as in, bringing a group of teens from my parish. B) My school world, as in, once again having Gwen (we were in Rome together last spring) as a housemate! C) My social world, as in, three of the other chaperones on the trip were people that I have delighted in calling friends for the last few years already - Jen, Padre, and Will.

Interesting thing #2 - It was only upon emerging from my cabin on Saturday morning (after arriving in the dark and collapsing from exhaustion immediately on Friday night) and seeing the view that I got a dejavu feeling... and as my eyes glanced from the cabin across the way from us, down to the lodge, and then on down to the view of Lake Superior across the highway it suddenly came to me that I had been here before - and that my family had stayed in that same cabin across the way, #6! I had to laugh, as the last time I was at this place I was a kid myself, and my nephews and I had delighted in being contrary about staying there! (Bryan & Adam - remember "the shifty eyed lady"?) As it happens, on Saturday I ended up having a very nice conversation with the daughter of the former owners (her parents had been there when my family had stayed there last), apparently they sold the place a few years ago and she chosen to stay on and work for the new owners because she loves the place and the lake so much. So now I must revise my previous childish impression and thank God once again that He has such a sense of humor!

Anyway, we made it back home again, and it's back to work again for me - tonight I had the first parent/child First Communion preparation meeting, Wednesday we've got Confirmation again, Saturday morning I have a cateists' workshop, Saturday evening we have our parish Youth/Family Mass, and Saturday evening we have both a Winter Party (for the little kids) and a snow tubing outing (for the big little kids :). All of which I have loads to do to plan for. Say a prayer, please!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

MCCL March for Life 2007

UPDATE: You've gotta watch this great video made at the big March for Life in DC yesterday - March for Life 2007

Yesterday I was proud to participate in the annual March for Life in St. Paul, I'd never been able to go before because of work or classes - but now, conveniently, that is no longer a problem. One of the perks of working in the Church. :)

The turnout was pretty good, all things considered - it being a workday and all. I don't know how many people actually were there, but I'd say at least a thousand or so. There were reports of pro-choice people counter protesting, but I didn't see a single one of them myself. I do wish I would have seen more of our priests - I only saw one that I knew, and he was from New Ulm diocese! Granted, the cold weather meant we were all pretty bundled up, so it's not like the Roman collars were that visible anyway. And the only religious I saw were some of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace (half their group was in Washington) and a few of the Sisters of St. Peter Claver.

One thing that was pretty neat to see was the representation of all the different towns of Minnesota - there was a sign available for every town that had a Catholic church. It was kind of confusing though, because if you didn't come with a group and your town sign was already missing, it was a challenge to find it among the zillions of other ones!

Also, there were tons of youth groups! All I could think of was, "silly me, why didn't you try to get our youth group organized??" Next year. Actually, next year I'd love to get our youth group together on a bus with the Franciscan Brothers of Peace and head to Washington DC ourselves. Unfortunately, the day falls on a Tuesday I think so that may not work very well - but, I'll keep it under consideration!

The mass media has, of course, completely misrepresented the whole event. I was surprised it even made the papers, honestly. But then I realized that the focal point of every story was Governer Pawlenty's fragment of his speech where he referenced that it SEEMED that the pro-life movement had taken a hit this year in the elections - of course, the rest of his speech was to demonstrate how the "defeat" wasn't nearly what the opponents claimed it to be. The point he was making was that it WASN'T really an awful defeat. Of course every single news story I saw clipped his one line out and spun it how they wanted everyone to think - and then added a lot of "commentary" for emphasis on how the poor pro-life movement has been so hurt this year but is still at it anyway ("ah, aren't those silly pro-life people, so out of touch with progress, sweet in their foolishness?") For example, saying that Planned Parenthood is being so kind for not kicking the dog when it's down, by focusing on "family planning" instead of abortion in its legislative efforts this year. Oh yeah, so kind of them.

Growl. Must. Pray. For. Them.

I have posted a few photos I took during the March - enjoy!

Fra Angelico's Annunciation