Sunday, December 25, 2011

un musicien parmi tant d'autres

The Mystery of the Incarnation:
The Birth of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ
"où est allé tout ce monde qui avait quelqu'chose à raconter
on a mit quelqu'un au monde on devrait peut-être l'écouter."
(HarmoniumUn Musicien Parmi Tant d'Autres, 1974)
je vous annonce une grande joie. aujourd'hui nous est né un Sauveur: c'est le Messie, le Seigneur!  words from the Christmas liturgy, celebrating the Nativity of the Lord.  the above quote comes from the group who helped me with my Movember series idea - that didn't go very far.  no worries.

rough translation reads as, "where has everyone one gone who had something to say?  we have brought someone into this world, maybe we should listen to him."  indeed, the People of God have filled the churches celebrating the birth of our Saviour, and we all have something to say.  He was born for us, let's listen to what He has to say in our lives.  à la Blaise Pascal (who inspired the title of this blog), the truth of the birth of  God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, is a mystery à découvrir, (to be entered into) vs. a problem to solve, or une vérité a imposer.

Merry Christmas, joyeux Noël, et bonne, heureuse + sainte année!  May God bless you in 2012 and Mary protect you!  que Dieu vous bénisse en 2012 et que Marie vous protège!  peace.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

let's get it started

"get started, get stupid, don't worry bout it people we'll walk you through it step by step, like if you're in for new kid inch by inch, with the new solution transmit hits, with no delusion the feelings irresistible and that's how we move it c'mon! everybody, (yeah) everybody, (yeah) let's get into it, (yeah) get stupid (come on) get started, (come on) get started, (yeah) get started let's get started in hah, let's get started in here let's get started in hah, let's get started in here let's get started in hah, let's get started in here let's get started in hah, let's get started in here" (Black Eyed Peas - Let's Get it Started, 2004)
so much for my Movember series, eh?  oh well, i'll plug along with new posts in 2012!  fonse, alphonse!  here we go, getting ready to party hard and pray harder!  about to celebrate The Nativity of the Lord.  Christmas Eve is always busy, and just finished talking with some of the volunteers from TVCogeco about their own Christmas traditions!  (our 8pm Family Mass will be broadcast live, featuring God in Our Lord Jesus Christ with me as his sidekick!)  of course, the French have always loved their parties, our Réveillons!  i remember going to Midnight Mass in Sept-Iles, but having to go to bed afterwards because we were too young.  soon after i loved staying up in Grand Falls, NB with family and friends.  after Midnight Mass, we would come home to a house just getting started with food, gifts, joy and laughter until 6am in the early morning!  great times.  Merry Christmas, + joyeux Noël!  party hard.  pray harder.  peace.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

tellement belle

"t'es tellement tellement tellement belle
un cadeau d’la mort un envoie du ciel"
enjoying my day off today i was moved by the first antiphon from Evening Prayer, "tu es belle ô Marie, et la tâche originelle n'est pas en toi."

today we celebrate The Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Indeed, she is beautiful, truly beautiful with no stain of sin. i was always struck by this day, December 8th. i'm not sure how to understand it, being a sinner myself. with those who know thyself, echoing King David, my sin is always before me. (Ps 51) i remember when Madonna's first greatest hits CD came out, Immaculate Collection. i never understood the title. not knowing too much of my faith then, i thought she was being original. then, many years later, i understood that she was only borrowing from her Catholic roots. this leads into another post about language, and how we forget about the sacredness + truth of our language - this is true in all languages, including the French language in particular. bad language in French is a vandalism of everything that is beautiful in the Church - Immaculate Conception. more on this later.

moved by the Holy Spirit tonight, i had to honour Mary by celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. afterall, she is always trying to help me know her Son better. today, she moved me to know her Son better in the Eucharist! therefore, as a sinner, knowing that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more, i celebrated Mass, and was moved by the liturgy - my first time using the new English Roman Missal.

the Preface (entitled The Mystery of Mary and the Church, in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary) was rather powerful for me today:

"It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For you preserved the most Blessed Virgin Mary from all stain of original sin, so that in her, endowed with the rich fullness of your grace, you might prepare a worthy Mother for your Son and signify the beginning of the Church, his beautiful Bride without spot or wrinkle.

She, the most pure Virgin, was to bring forth a Son, the innocent Lamb who would wipe away our offences; you placed her above all others to be for your people and advocate of grace and a model of holiness.

And so, in company with the choirs of Angels, we praise you, and with joy we proclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts ..."
Mary, is helping me today, to know, love and follow her Son. maybe i should revisit my first love, the Rosary. peace.

Monday, November 07, 2011

on bended knee

Norman Rockwell, Marriage Counsellor, 1960
"can we go back to the days our love was strong
can you tell me how a perfect love goes wrong
can somebody tell me how to get things back
the way they use to be
oh God give me a reason
i'm down on bended knee" (Boyz II Men - On Bended Knee, 1994)
(part of my Movember series)

"this is the body of Christ. this is the blood of Christ." at the words of consecration, God through the priest transforms mere bread and wine, into the body and blood of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. at each moment, the priest kneels in adoration.

this action has caused me great pain for almost two years, when my knee gave out. i was forced to stop, and simply, and humbly incline in front of my Lord and Saviour. after a while, the pain retreated and i was once again able to genuflect, kneel in adoration. however, since my surgery (part un, part deux) in august, i'm on bended knee for many things - including celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

praying for health doesn't mean much when all things are healthy. boom, my knee was out, and all of a sudden, i have a new found respect for health - of the body, of the soul. lately i'm back on the squash court - it's like i never left, playing badminton, and running once again. in fact, i think this weekend i may run my first 5k in over a year. these days i'm on bended knee, kneeling in adoration for many things, and many people who continue to support, encourage and pray for me in my ministry. thank you!
"gonna swallow my pride
say i'm sorry
stop pointing fingers the blame is on me
i want a new life
and i want it with You
if you feel the same
don't ever let it go
you gotta believe in the spirit of love
it can heal all things"
does anyone love this song as much as i? this Movember kick is bringing out songs that i had totally forgotten about. i'm loving it! you should too. i've been reading a lot of about preaching lately, in the news of all places. people are calling out priests - give us better preaching, [or else]. ok, i added the last part, but the reality is there. the scandals (the word used in the French liturgy, today's Gospel Luke 17:1-6), have caused many people to say "that's it, i'm out". there have been many scandals - abuses within Scouts, hockey teams, families, and unfortunately the Church as well. other scandals continue, changes in liturgies, translations, ministries. how often do people call me out on wearing the roman collar - it's a scandal to many. again, the scandal of having this type of flower in front of the altar caused some to say, "enough is enough." there will always be scandals, and a million reasons why one could leave Holy Mother Church. but as St. Peter would say, "Lord, to whom shall we go, you have the words of everlasting life." (Jn 6:68)

there are two remaining scandals, always at work in the world. the first, always at war within us, is our own sin. it is a scandal to know that i still have this sin. at one point, the point of no return, the point where we encounter God's love, peace, and joy, we will encounter everlasting life, the moment when we stop pointing the finger at others.
"for i know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. against you, you only, have i sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge." (Ps 51)
this merciful psalm is the favourite of many, including me. i want a new life, and i want it with You. what do our brothers and sisters do when they do not know about the fountain of life that comes through the Sacrament of Reconciliation? God is truly merciful on all of us! finally, the last and perpetual scandal - the scandal of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, and his passion and death on a cross. it is a scandal to many, but to us who are being saved, it is our salvation. (1 Cor 1:18)

back to preaching + scandals. apparently it was on the front cover of the Ottawa Citizen. a parishioner told me about it after mass today, which confirmed me greatly, since that is what i preached about. i have been the baby priest of the diocese (see new website!) for two years. today, of course, that honour belongs to Fr. Hezuk. therefore, today, i'm the toddler priest. and after learning to walk, the next step, of course, are words. having more and more confidence in what God is doing through and with me, i'm now working on preaching better, using words when i have too (à la St. Francis). peace.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

il faudra leur dire


"puisqu'on vit dans la même lumière (du Christ)
même s'il y a des couleurs qu'ils préfèrent
nous on voudrait leur dire
c'est comme des parfums
qu'on respire
juste un regard
facile à faire
un peu plus d'amour que d'ordinaire" (Francis Cabrel - Il leur faudra leur dire, 1986)
the first post of my Movember blogging.

someone forgot to give the other 5 girls the memo - don't leave home without a reserve of oil for your lamps. Sunday's Gospel (Mt 25:1-13) calls us to be ready, to stay awake because we know neither the hour nor the day. am i ready? not always, but i trust in God, and in His mercy. the light that shines comes from this oil, this personal relationship with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

i'm back into squash mode, and my body is feeling it! i have a friendly game this afternoon, and a house game Tuesday night. i'm part of the local gym's squash ladder - i'm working my way to the top! then, on friday?, another friendly rematch with a colleague. good times. add in there a little jogging, and i'll be back up to my 5k in no time. my goal:10k by next summer. peace.

this week is all about Sacramental prep - baptism, First Confession, First Communion and Confirmations. we are looking to build teams to help us - hint, hint, but meanwhile i'll be visiting classes discussing the Good News!

lastly, have you signed up for the next International Eucharistic Congress 2012, Dublin, Ireland? if not, please hurry, since there are only a couple weeks left to do so with the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

peace.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

pour un instant



"pour un instant, j'ai oublié mon nom
ça m'a permis enfin d'écrire cette chanson blog" (Harmonium - Pour un instant, 1974)
in Church, there used to be public confessions - people in line, standing in front of all confessing there sins ... now there are Movember pictures! i'm really quite amazed how this is really taking off. i used to laugh it off - literally laughing at all the moomoomoooustaches, but now i'm coming around.

a few days ago i'm having my morning coffee, getting my dose of sports highlights through the eyes of Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole from TSN (both of whom are participating, i think? yes, yes they are!) i'm loving ever minute of it - indeed, just yesterday those two were fiddling with each other's moomoomoooustaches. the new and improved word for moustache, or moomoomoooustaches, comes from Danny boy himself - i love it! while they are busy pointing out sports guys with moomoomoooustaches, i have something else in mind for Movember.

i've been away for a while, away from the blog that is. to kick it up a notch, i'm thinking dedidicating this coming month - November Movember, to posts with artists, singers that were "visionaries". they have had the much beloved moomoomoooustaches and for the remainder of this month - i will try to post more often, and i will go to them for inspiration. enjoy.

let's start with our Top 10 of singers/groups with moomoomoooustaches! this idea came to me while working on a homily - many hours went into preparing this particular post, however, i still find it difficult to narrow this list down. just when i think i have found another possibility, the moomoomoooustache connects to the chin, goatee, or worse - nose hair. there are strict rules indeed for who can participate, and how! and i believe at a certain time, these Top 10 had the now all too famous moomoomoooustache. the order of the list was difficult as well. if you think of others, please keep me posted! good times. let's move on already ...

Top 10 Moomoomoooustaches (of singers):
as i mentioned there are plenty more, however the rules of Movember disqualifies many. how about: Usher, God in Our Lord Jesus Christ (always a beard yes, but maybe he too experimented with facial hair at one point in his life?), Stampeders, Bee Gees (again, not quite?), country artists, maybe heavy metal?, ABBA could be in there too, Commodores, Kool and the Gang, Debarge, New Edition: boy band, is it ... could it be, yep, it's a moomoomoooustache! Bieber, nope, not yet, but maybe one day. Bobby Brown, Ja Rule, Nelly, Drake (again, too much connection), Timbaland, Kanye West, LL Cool J (definitely), Blackstreet, K-Ci & JoJo, Slash from GNR couldn't tell because of all the hair in his face, Kanye West (maybe?), Sean Paul, Shaggy, and finally tried country with Kenny Loggins but no go! (ps. i might use some of these as well in the next few weeks.)

cancer is a killer, and nothing like i've seen in the past two months. we've had funerals, and so many of our brothers and sisters wrestle and suffer with cancer. in the past two months, we've had several of our brothers and sisters who passed away battling cancer. this month of November Movember, we pray for all saints, and all souls. see you soon. let the analogies begin. peace.

ps. i don't actually have a moomoomoooustache myself. maybe one day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

beautiful people


"everywhere i go
everywhere that i’ve been
the only thing i see is
is beautiful people
beautiful people" (Chris Brown f/ Benny Benassi - Beautiful People, 2011)
last time i needed a doctor. now i'm recovering! however, that is easy when so many people are taking care of me! indeed, beautiful people! friends from Annunciation and St-Pierre-Apotre are continuing to show me the face of God! why does He love me so much? why does He love us so much?

many people have asked how was the operation?! it was great. i watched the whole thing on HDTV! here's a quick summary of the 20minute surgery on my left knee. i felt like the guy in the Operation game! as the doctor was about to start his turn, i remembered the old rules:
[...] if the tweezers touch the metal edge of the opening (i.e., closing the circuit) during the attempt, a buzzer sounds,
Sam's
(my) nose lights up red, and the player loses the turn. (see Gospel according to Wikipedia)
i spent the whole day at the hospital - 9:3oam to 4pm. the operation itself was only 20/30 minutes or so, but the prep time and post time really took me off guard. the whole day really was a positive experience - the doctors, nurses and all involved took care of me.

i arrived, and within minutes i was in a chair and they were about to shave my leg! i screamed, "WAIT! don't you need to give me general anesthetics, epidural or something? it took me thirty years to grow that hair! surely there is some other way!" the nurse continued with her job, and all of a sudden i feel like a professional swimmer. good times.

next, the dreaded IV. i must admit was not expecting this one, this came out of nowhere. after the nurse finished cutting the hair i had worked so hard to grow, she started looking around for a good vein on my left hand. i knew what that meant. again, i asked for the epidural but no such luck. i guess that wouldn't have helped anyways. i'm used to IVs, so that was no big deal.

then started the waiting game. i watched people come and go for day surgeries - more than i thought. the hour passed since i was prepared - i brought my breviary and a book. at about 11:30am i started the wheelchair ride over to the surgery table. the doctor had arrived and it was my turn.

now, up until this point, the question for the past 4months was a) general anesthetics, or b) epidural. the third option which was suggested later was c) natural. it was easy to dismiss the third. however, i was going back and forth for months on what to do. as the anesthetic doctor came to talk to me about my options, i said ... i don't know. he told me either or, it doesn't matter. at that point i recalled how it is easier to deal with the effects of an epidural, and so "b" it was! they gave me a nice
shrimp
cocktail to calm me down, and once on the actual operating table, i received the epidural - just like that. i never saw it coming, nor did i image that my whole lower half would actually be frozen like that! at one point i asked the doctor, "should my leg really do that?" he was moving me around like some flexible, stretchy gummi bear/worm!

i got to keep my glasses before going on the operating table! this of course allowed me to watch everything on the HDTV - two holes, one for the camera, one for the tweezers! they had a hard time finding whatever was the problem. they finally caught it, a piece of bone/cartilage, swimming around underneath my knee cap. apparently it is something that came off my femur at one point in my life. once they removed the piece i asked the doctor if i could keep it. after a few seconds of pause and reflection, he said no.

now came the fun part. un-thawing! it took me two hours before i could move my toes. after almost 24hours of fasting, i finally got a glass of gingerale and a muffin. it took another hour or so before i could start moving my legs, and finally stand and walk. good times, indeed! i was amazed that i was walking after all of this.

now it has been three weeks. the first week was rough. after a week i started walking with no visible limp. after two weeks i was taken the stairs - up and down, and even eventually got on the stationary bike at our local gym. after three weeks, i got on my 10-speed Peugeot for almost the first time in two years. i'm alive!

thanks for all of you, beautiful people, and for your wonderful prayers. within a week the doctor said i could start light jogging. and within two or three weeks i should be back on the squash court. competition, gotta love it!

peace.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

i need a doctor



"i'm about to lose my mind
You’ve been gone for so long
i’m running out of time
i need a doctor
call me a doctor
i need a doctor, doctor
to bring me back to life" (Dr. Dre ft. Eminem & Skylar Grey - I Need a Doctor, 2011)

a doctor can only do so much. i'm both body and soul. however,
i'm off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz
, er i mean i'm off to see the doctor at Montfort Hospital. the doctor can fix my body, but only a priest can absolve me of my sins. therefore, since i'll be in O.town, i'll be stopping into St-Pat's for my weekly check up, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

remember this? that's right, almost a year + half later, i'm due for my knee surgery (tomorrow) - left knee that is! my old squash/ping-pong injury has knocked the wind out of me but i'm not down for the count just yet! indeed, i just saw that there is a local gym here in my new neck of the woods, along with two squash courts! i look forward to my knee healing so that i can get back on track! pray for me tomorrow - that surgery goes well, that both body and soul can heal.

pray also for all pilgrims enjoying WYD2011 in Madrid, Spain! it brings back good memories of WYD2008 in Sydney, Australia! peace.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

wait til you see my smile

"when the wind is blowing in your face
sometimes in life you don't see straight
pray to Him, He will show ...
wait til you see my smile
wait til they see your smile" (Alicia Keys - Wait til You See My Smile, 2009)
today is the feast of St. John Vianney. i remember when i was in Ars with three of my brother seminarians - now priests in T.Dot, PEIsland, and Rome. we stopped by the famous statue of where St. John Vianney got lost + asked for directions! "you showed me the way to Ars, and i'll show you the way to Heaven", he said to the boy shepherding sheep. today, lost in a different way, i echo his words, "you showed me the way to Hawkesbury, and i'll show you the way to Heaven."

i felt truly lost twice in my life. first, when i moved to Pittsburgh, PA for work. second, this week on Monday. in the first, i had a great time driving the UHaul with Dad across provinces and states from NB. it was difficult saying good bye to mom at the border in Woodstock/NB:Houlton/Ma. when my dad left me there, by myself for the first time at 21, it was a rough month. saying good bye to my family at AOLP last Sunday was difficult, indeed, one of the hardest things i had to do. then, Monday morning i drove myself to my new parish, and just like that, a new beginning on this journey of holiness.
"There is a difference between 'aloneness' and loneliness. God didn’t intend man to be alone. Loneliness acts like a divine sticky note that says, 'Don’t forget for whom you were made.'” (All About Him by Steve Dewitt)
last Sunday, saying good bye's to everyone was one of the hardest days of my life. i have been part of you for two years, and you were my family. it seems kind of silly to send a two-year old on their way ... indeed, as a two-year old baby priest, i have still much to learn. after finishing mass, standing in front of the altar, preparing for the recessional hymn, i was focusing everything i had on the crucifix! in the middle of such a difficult experience, my prayer was, "God, why do You love me so much?"

as difficult as the road is sometimes, the journey with God in JC is beautiful! i echo St. John Vianney once again, pointing to the Eucharist, he said often, "He is there! there is nothing greater than the Eucharist!" thank you to all those who prayed for me at AOLP. of course, this is not good bye, but see you later alligator, after a while crocodile, and my new favourite saying, tootalou kangaroo!

it's official - the diocese update the pastors for St-Pierr-Apôtre in Hawkesbury! merci pour tous ceux qui m'ont accueilli mardi matin! j'ai hâte a vous connaitre/aimer, et de me laisser connaitre/aimer par vous, sur ce chemin vers Dieu en Jésus! comme le Curé d'Ars, je dis, "vous m'avez montrez le chemin d'Hawkesbury, je vous montrerai le chemin du Ciel."

now, i'm off - yet again, to be faithful to the coffee ministry at Tim Horton's! peace.

Friday, July 29, 2011

get closer


"darlin' if you want Me to be closer to you, get closer to Me.darlin' if you want Me to be closer to you, get closer to Me.
darlin' if you want
Me to love, love only you, then love only Me.
darlin' if you want
Me to see, see only you, then see only Me." (Seals & Crofts - Get Closer, 1976)

this past week we've been looking at the Kingdom of God, and how Our Lord Jesus Christ describes it. the Kingdom is like a hidden treasure. the Kingdom is like a pearl of great value. as in the first, i found my vocation by accident - suddenly, everything made sense, and i understood that i must answer God's call in serving Him in the priesthood. i must sell everything and follow Him. of course, as the parable continues, first God found us, now we are invited to find him. like the man searching and selling all he has to buy the pearl of great value, God in JC continues to invite me, us, to find Him each and every day!

why is this so hard sometimes? why is He so good at playing hide-and-go-seek?! just when enough is enough, i find Him (of course, He finds me - all is grace). i want You to be closer to me, and so i must make that move of looking once again for the pearl of great value.

i find Him in:
Fr. jsb, over and out. peace!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

fantastic voyage


"come along and ride on a fantastic voyage
slide, slide, slippity slide" (Coolio - Fantastic Voyage, 1994)
unlike Coolio, i did have a car and went touring the Maritimes - 4102kms later i'm back home. it was the best of times, it was the worst of time. it is always good to be with family - sometimes, though, things can get heated. there are deep wounds in all families, and just when you think things are healing, we all get together to reopen those scabs and the fireworks begin. unfortunately, my sister and i had an argument. i don't like it. i thought our wounds were healed, only to realize we both have conversion to do. i don't like that we fought in the past. i would like things to be perfect - but of course, that is not possible. God in Jesus Christ does not call us to be perfect, but to be holy. pray for my conversion, that i continue this journey faithful to the call i have received from Our Lord, who made heaven and earth!

speaking of fantastic voyages, journeys of holiness, i'm getting ready for a whole new rollercoaster! my bags are packed, and most of my stuff is now in my new home for a couple years: St-Pierre-Apôtre Parish, Hawkesbury. in the past two weeks i celebrated a baptism, Madden, two beautiful weddings - Alex/Theresa, Tim/Janine (i'm still waiting for pictures by the way), a week with almost 50 children for our Vacation/Vocation Bible Camp, while trying to move things forward in all things IEC2012 (stay tuned for an up-to-date information page). however, after the masses this Sunday, many not so much good-byes as see-you-laters, i leave for my new parish community. of course, i'm sad to leave my family here at Annunciation, but i know God has in store for me a new family at St-Peter, the rock! pray for me that i continue to be faithful in preaching the mysteries of God, proclaiming the Good News in Our Lord Jesus Christ. peace.


Monday, June 27, 2011

vacation


"a week without You
thought i'd forget
two weeks without You and i
still haven't gotten over You yet" (The Go Go's - Vacation, 1982)
i'm off on vacation (almost two weeks). not to get away from Him, but to be closer to God in Our Lord Jesus Christ. i'm starting off with a personal retreat at Villa Madonna, Saint John, NB. then on to a St-Amand Family reunion in Grand Falls, NB. finally, a week in beautiful PEIsland with mom, dad, sister, and nieces! have a great two weeks and see you very soon. peace.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

nobody told me


"nobody told me there'd be days like these
strange days indeed -- strange days indeed" (John Lennon - Nobody Told Me, 1984)
after two years of priesthood, no one ever told me there'd be days like these! the NHL just had their draft last night. the rookies got a shirt + hat. i remember when i got my stole and chasuble - my ordination day was beautiful, filled with joy, a great and terrible day! i recently bought a new ball cap, as seen here, ... "P" for priest/prêtre! of course, this is a Pittsburgh Pirates ball cap, and having lived there for 1.5years, i have some feelings toward the team. of course, "P" could also stand for "pharisee", "pretender", or "pharisien". either way, we are called not to focus on issues, obstacles, or sin, but on our relationship with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

but that is what hurts - sometimes we let these issues get in the way and ignore the only one that matters - life with God in JC! i've been listening to the recent journey of my brother priest, Fr. John Corapi, now simply John Corapi, on XM Radio Catholic Channel - Willit's morning show, Lino Rulli - the Catholic Guy show. after 20 years, Corapi has left active ministry, but apparently not the priesthood. i wonder how those hockey players feel when after the honeymoon? once friends on the same team, some become enemies because they now play on different teams. once friends due to playing on the same team, can't remember the guy's name because he has left the team. friendship is such a peculiar thing, and yet there is nothing more beautiful than when you have found a good friend. after ordination i lost touch with some of my classmates. indeed, long distance relationships are difficult, eh? however, these issues are nothing compared to the hurt that one feels when a brother priest leaves active ministry and priesthood - after 5, 10, 15, 25, even 50 years of priestly ordination! nobody told me there would be days like these. strange days indeed.

these strange events, our brothers remind us to keep our eyes not on man but on God in Our Lord Jesus Christ! let us pray for Corapi, and all of us as we continue our journey of holiness, our journey to know, love, and follow God in JC!. as we celebrated la St-Jean yesterday, the Solemnity of St-John-the-Baptist, patron for all French Canadians, we echo his words of wisdom, "He must increase, i must decrease."

peace.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

just can't get enough


"oh baby i can't come down so please come help me out
You got me feelin' high and i can't step off the cloud
and i just can't get enough" (Black Eyed Peas - Just Can't Get Enough, 2011)

happy birthday to us, happy birthday to the Church! Pentecost is the birth of the Church, and through our Baptism, we are part of beautiful Holy Mother Church! indeed, Our Lord Jesus Christ sends us his peace and the Holy Spirit (Gospel of John 20:19-23), and i just can't get enough! happy birthday! as Bl. JPII would say, "love for Jesus and His Church should be the passion of our lives."

Thursday, June 02, 2011

hello

"i could stick around and get along with You
hello oh-oh-oh-oh
it doesn't really mean that i'm into You
hello oh-oh-oh-oh" (Martin Solveig fr. Dragonette - Hello, 2010)
the following picture is hand written code which results in printing "Hello World" - the first test of all programmers! i've forgotten how many times i've done this through DOS, Basic, QBasic, VBScript, JavaScript, VisualBasic, Java, C++, and my then favourites HTML, XML and ASP. i've forgotten most of it now, but the above song reminded me of my coding days. i still dabble in HTML through this very website, and when Blogger doesn't do what i want it to do, i add my on tags, for example the delete tag. however, God, the Father, had different plans for me, He loved me too much to leave me where i was. i knew of Him, and said hello, and it didn't mean that i want't a full time relationship. who was i kidding though, only myself! He seduced me, and i let myself be seduced! today i continue to seek Him in the Word - Scripture, Eucharist. after two years i continue to go deeper in the reality of being a priest for you, and a Christian with you.

however, sometimes i, along with with my brother priests, focus too much on being a priest and not enough time on being Christian - we too need the Sacraments, we too need the Eucharist, Scripture, we too need prayer and love. therefore, things were once again being stirred up in my heart when last week i started attending CCO's Courageous Catholic conference/talks.

every Tuesday night, with CCO Canada and my brothers and sisters, at the Diocesan Centre, we go deeper in the Ultimate Relationship! i love it. the question: who am i? what is our deepest identity as Christians, as Catholics? - not only individually, but as community too! the talks and sharing goes to heart of what we are as Christians, that is children of God, in a relationship with His Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

my journey to the Father began like this song. i never wanted to get too close - God was a stranger to me. however, of course, He had other plans for me. then, i began knowing him better, and suddenly He was part of my life. one day, everything changed. God, in Jesus Christ, became the source, center and summit of my life. He seduced me, and i let myself be seduced. He is at the center of my life, and every day i try to understand what that really means, while striving to make Him known and loved by all.

this course brought an image to mind that i got from watching The Bourne Identity Trilogy. the first part was my favourite, and our lives are similar to Jason Bourne. we are citizens of heaven (Phil 3:20), yet find ourselves in this world and we do not know what's going on, what's going to happen, or why we are searching - but we have to know. our whole searching, our longing to know, finds it answer in Jesus Christ. that is the piece of the puzzle that frustrates us, but when He is part of our life, at the center of our life, everything changes!

there are many quotes from the movie that i enjoy, however, one of the top 3 is from Clive Owen's character, who is trying to take out Matt Damon's character. Matt's search for truth prevails, and Clive is going down, about to die, alone, in a field. "look at what they make you give," he says. look at what the world makes you give, makes me give! we forget so easily that we are beloved children of the Father, sons and daughters! look at what they make you give. Our relationship with Jesus Christ changes everything. if you know Him, there's nothing more i need to say. if you do not know Him, there's nothing i can say. however, we preach the Risen Crucified Christ, a stumbling block for the Jews, and folly to Gentiles (1 Cor 1:23). for those who are called, He is our salvation. peace.

ps: for those who are searching for me on Facebook, i'll explain later - indeed, i cut the cord, so please email me or call me.

pss: apparently the nominations are out. definitely more on this, since it will be affecting the rest of my life.

Monday, May 02, 2011

wavin' flag


"when i get older, when i get older
i will be stronger just like a wavin' flag" (K'naan - Wavin' Flag, 2009)

it's not my birthday - yet (but it is Lauren's, happy birthday: party hard, pray harder!) -, but it is my two year anniversary of presbyteral ordination! does this milestone come with special gifts? at 50years, gold; at 25years, silver; at 15years, crystal, and at two years, cotton, paper or China, apparently! two years ago i jumped right in. today, i find myself echoing those same words:

"hmmm, say what? excuse me? here i am, two months years into the priesthood and i feel - how do i say "holy crap" in a pastoral way. i've barely begun my ministry and i can't help but feel grateful for this wonderful gift. however, i also see the great responsibility that comes with it." (me, in 2009)
hmmm, sounds like a quote from Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility! i feel the weight of those words everyday. as the words of St. Augustine indicates, i am a priest for you, but as a Christian, i know i am encouraged and supported by each and everyone of you! thank you for your ongoing prayers! pray for my daily conversion. for years i spent time trying to know and love Our Lord Jesus Christ. today, with all of you as well, i try to follow Him more closely. you are all in my prayers. peace.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

groovy kind of love

"when i'm feeling blue
all i have to do
is take a look at You
then i'm not so blue" (Phil Collins - Groovy Kind of Love, 1988)
Christ is Risen, truly He is Risen, Alleluia! my to-do list today, and this week:
clean:
enjoy the Easter Octave! i'm going to rest up from the one of the busiest weeks of my life! good times, indeed! peace.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

party rock anthem


"party rock is in the house tonight
everybody just have a good time
and we're gonna make you lose your mind
everybody just have a good time" (LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem, 2011)

happy Easter! every day we will be shuffling, at least for the next 50 days! party hard, Our Lord Jesus Christ is Risen - truly He is Risen! Alleluia! peace.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

light show


"it's a new day!
are you ready to handle this, ...
.. most cannot.
you ready for the light show?" (Pigeon Hole feat. d-sisive - Light Show, 2011)
good times! enjoy! peace.

"O truly blessed Night, sings the Exsultet of the Easter Vigil, which alone deserved to know the time and the hour when Christ rose from the realm of the dead! But no one was an eyewitness to Christ's Resurrection and no evangelist describes it. No one can say how it came about physically. Still less was its innermost essence, his passing over to another life, perceptible to the senses. Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the apostles' encounters with the risen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith as something that transcends and surpasses history. This is why the risen Christ does not reveal himself to the world, but to his disciples, 'to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.'" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #647)

Friday, April 22, 2011

losing my religion


"that's me
in the corner
on the cross
that's me in the spotlight,
I'm losing my religion" (R.E.M. - Losing My Religion, 1991)

my God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Psalm 22) today, Good Friday, we celebrate the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. the liturgies were powerful, and i have just returned from our Stations of the Cross à la JPII. there were songs, praise, testimonies - oh my, indeed, these are some of my favourite things. however, i really do enjoy the traditional Stations. i have always loved praying the Way of the Cross - since kindergarten, when i had a class project to do. it has remained my favourite devotion, and every year during Lent, i pray for the grace and courage to follow Our Lord daily through the Stations. here's a quick version using my own thoughts, coupled with prayers from the 2006 Way of the Cross led by Our Holy Father:

Station I: Jesus is condemned to death.

Station II: Jesus is given his cross.
(The Band - The Weight, 1968)

Station III: Jesus falls the first time.
(GNR - Patience, 1989)

Station IV: Jesus meets His Mother.

Station V: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross.

Station VI: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

Station VII: Jesus falls the second time.

Station VIII: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.

Station IX: Jesus falls the third time.

Station X: Jesus is stripped of His garments.

Station XI: Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross.

Station XII: Jesus dies on the cross

Station XIII: Jesus' body is removed from the cross.

Station XIV: Jesus is laid in the tomb.
please let me know if you think other songs could fit in this praying with the Stations through music. see y'all soon, ya hear! peace.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

grenade


"gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
you tossed it in the trash, you did
to give me all your love is all I ever asked
'cause what you don't understand is ...

I would go through all this pain
yes, I would die for you, ...
but you won't do the same." (Bruno Mars - Grenade, 2010)
the hour has begun, and tonight, at The Mass of the Lord's Supper, Lent is officially over and the Easter Triduum has begun. we continue to walk the Way of the Cross, praying to know and love Him more, seeking the courage and grace to following Jesus to the end.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

everybody


"
backstreet's back
Palm Sunday's back, alright!
now throw your hands [+ palm branches] up in the air
and wave 'em around like you just don't care
if you wanna party let me hear you yell
'cause we've got it goin' on again"

in the opening Gospel today, the crowds ask, "Who is this?" many people continue to question the identity of Jesus Christ. however, this week, the most important week of the Christian year, we will walk the Way of the Cross, invited to know, love and follow God in Our Lord Jesus Christ. it'll be a busy week indeed. hopefully i will see you, but if not, have a great holy week, and Easter! here's my schedule for the next week:
have a blessed Holy Week. peace.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the music of the night



"let your mind start a journey through a strange, new world!
leave all thoughts of the world you knew before!
let your soul take you where you long to be!
only then can you belong to Me ..." (Andrew Lloyd Webber - The Music of the Night, 1988)
turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel! how's your Lent going? i'm a few weeks late posting on this, however, it was excellent, so i must comment! i finally saw the Phantom of the Opera! it was performed by St. Peter's Catholic High School, the first in Canada to get rights to do this, and i loved every second, and every note! i've always loved the music, and it also set the tone for me to enter in Lent.
"in the musical, this song is sung after the Phantom lures Christine (main character) down to his lair beneath the Opera House. he seduces Christine with 'his music' of the night, his voice putting her into a type of trance. he sings of his unspoken love for her and urges her to forget the world and life she knew before." (see Wikipedia.org)
turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel! could this be a reminder of the love poem that is the Song of Songs? Lent, and the refrain turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel, is a reminder that we belong not to the Phantom but to God, and this great + Holy season of Lent allows us time to know Him better, love Him more, and to follow Him more closely.

Lent has two major themes: recalling/preparing for Baptism + spirit of penance. and, the three pillars of Lent continue to be (see these videos, these guys are geniuses!):
however, no matter what we do, it should always helps grow in our love of God, and our love of neighbour! as we enter into Holy Week, i try again to be faithful to my own Lenten Observances - to fast from activism, and to walk daily the Stations of the Cross, to name only a couple. enjoy Holy Week! peace.
"Night-time sharpens, heightens each sensation, … Darkness stirs and wakes imagination, Silently the senses abandon their defenses."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

safety dance



"we can dance if we want to
we can leave your friends behind
'cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance
well they're no friends of mine"
(Men Without Hats - Safety Dance, 1982)
so you think you can dance Canada, is on again tonight - the English debate showdown will be taking place. of course, i have better things to do - tonight we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Confession in our parish. i would vote, if there were any leaders to vote for! indeed, why will no one discuss the issues of life? why does everything seem to revolve around the budget? everyone is talking, but nothing is being said. hmm, ... maybe i'm being a little harsh. i have to be careful, since clergy - and i - sometimes do the same thing. we preach, but there's no message. i'm working on it, really i am. our leaders help me realize the promises i did upon ordination:
"believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practise what you teach." (example)
of course, i will vote, and encourage all to do so, but please vote wisely (1, 2). so, don't forget to dance, and go vote May 2, 2011. peace.

update: psst, juste pour rire is on tonight (April 13, 2011) too - the French debate showdown.

Friday, April 08, 2011

we belong together



"i didn't mean it
when i said i didn't love you, so
i should have held on tight
i never shoulda let you go
i didn't know nothing
i was stupid, i was foolish
i was lying to myself
i could not fathom that i would ever
be without your love
never imagined i'd be
sitting here beside myself
cause i didn't know you
cause i didn't know me
but i thought i knew everything" (We Belong Together - Mariah Carey, 2005)
there's no place like Home, in the love and mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Sacrament of Joy, in the Sacrament of Confession. struggling with sin is difficult, but we don't have to do it alone. God offers us His grace to persevere, to struggle with the bad in order to do the good! go to confession this Easter, and if you like, come to our Penitential Celebration this coming Tuesday night, @ 7pm. peace.



Monday, March 28, 2011

imma be


"imma be, imma be, imma be, imma be
imma be, imma be, imma be, imma be
imma be, imma be, imma be, ...
imma be [a priest]" (Black Eyed Peas - Imma Be, 2010)
Lent, hope yours is going well?! on Saturday i was wearing my vocations hat. the vocations committee held a day retreat for men discerning the priesthood - we had almost 20 guys in attendance, and it was a great day, indeed! His Grace was there, presided and preached at the Eucharist - on the prodigal son, elder son and Good Father -, we had a couple talks, good discussions, and adoration - all at Ste-Famille, downtown. it was a great day. i know many of you continue to discern whether God is calling you to the priesthood. call me at the parish, and maybe you can attend our next Quo Vadis? peace out.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

i'm a believer


"then i saw her face, now i'm a believer
not a trace of doubt in my mind.
i'm in love, i'm a believer!
i couldn't leave her if i tried." (The Monkees - I'm a Believer, 1966)
you may like this song - as i do-, or possibly you prefer the version by Smash Mouth (with Eddie Murphy as "Donkey" in Shrek) in 2001. i like both, indeed, especially when Donkey starts going crazy at the end - a little scit scat! i am a believer - i believe in God, the Father, God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, God, the Holy Spirit. this picture another fab four seems to be asking a question: "are you a believer?" or, are they asking some other question, as in "are you a
believer Belieber"?

did you hear? - Justin Beiber cut his hair. what the what? here's another story of long hair:
"In the Old Testament, Nazirites would go for long periods of time without cutting their hair to show devotion to God. Samson is one example (Judges 13-16); his strength depended upon his refraining from cutting his hair." (wikipedia.org on long hair)
is there a link between the two? Delilah tricked Samson, and proceeded to cut his hair, but has Beiber been tricked? does Bieber's strength depend upon his hair? time will tell! meanwhile he is busy with a new movie - which comes highly recommended by our youth group (hat tip: Danielle + Lauren). i probably won't go see it though, i'll just take their word for it.

back to Donkey's scit scatting i'm a believer! indeed, there's no doubt in my mind, i'm in love, when i saw her face i became a believer too! i love the Church, Holy Mother Church! i've given my life to God and to Her! this is the journey of a lifetime - always good times, ups and downs - of course - but there's nothing like knowing Jesus Christ! remember what Our Lord said to Peter, and to us, this past week on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter:
"you are Peter, the rock on which i will build my Church; the gates of hell will not hold out against it." (Gospel of Matthew 16:13-19)
this week i've been busy working on vocations work (both EN + FR), a day-retreat for men discerning the priesthood (March 26), and we are trying to get mavocation.ca up and running. hopefully next week i'll be able to give you an update. interesting Pastoral Days also at the diocese this week - again, both in French and English, on the Mission of the Church, and Old Testament Reflections for Lent, respectively. Ash Wednesday is right around the corner (see ABp's Lenten letter), and i'm already preparing for Easter Liturgies at Annunciation and at the Cathedral (as MC) as well. another thing to keep on the horizon is the International Eucharistic Congress 2012 in Dublin, Ireland - more to come on this later. have a great week. peace out!

Monday, February 21, 2011

under pressure


"and love dares you to care for
the people on the edge of the night
and love dares you to change our way of
caring about ourselves" (Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure, 1981)

as once described by Hildebrand, one must be careful of science fetishism - the thought that science can answer all our problems. science and religion can get along, indeed, they are part of the same axis - where one ends the other begins, however, at all times being intertwined as DNA.

i'm back from my week vacation in the winter desert of Moncton, NB. 2.5 meters of snow have fell, and it is still falling! people were shovelling not the driveways but their roofs because of the weight of the snow! under pressure! ee da de da de (a little scat for ya - something i first learned from Mel Tormé, through Night Court, of course). but i like the idea of the desert - that's where one goes to find oneself. it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. indeed, it was great to see family, but after returning from PE-Island, i was sick for the whole week. i'm still recovering now. good times, de day da ee day da - that's o.k.
"we groan in pain as we await the redemption of our bodies." (Office of Reading Antiphon, Wednesday Week II)
i'm sure scientist have felt this, and religious know this truth as well. however, science focuses only on the body. you wouldn't ask philosophy to answer a scientific question, but why then ask science to answer philosophical questions? Christians, Catholics, know that we are both body and soul - one cannot ignore either! some scientists emphasize one, claiming the other does not exist. some heretical theologians would also emphasize the soul, hoping to forget about the body. one needs to take care of both if one wants to be healthy. why is that so difficult?

last week, because my lack of health was persisting, i decided to go to the doctor. i had no choice, my mom told me to do it! and so, very reluctantly, i called the doctor, made an appointment, showed up, waited, saw him and told him of my woes. while in the waiting room, i prayed the Office of Reading, where i have quoted the first Antiphon that punched me in the face! i realized then and there, that i really do have take care of my body. it was a revelation! i have been emphasizing too much my soul, while neglecting my body. no more! i also realized how some people felt about the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

who's want to go to the priest and tell him our sins - they are ugly, and we don't feel good about it. we'd rather be able to take care of ourselves, indeed, we'd like to be independent always. similarly, why would i want to call the doctor? i don't want him to see my runny nose, or my hurts and pains - let me take care of myself already, i'll be fine. it doesn't work like that, does it - in either case! out of humility, i realize i need the help of others. i go to the doctor, so he can help me be healthy in body. i go to the priest, so he can help me be healthy in soul. one is a doctor of the body, another is a doctor of mercy. one is a teacher of healthy living, another is a teacher of truth. being dependant on others is not childish, but a sign of maturity.

peace, de dat de dat da da!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

who can it be now


"who can it be knocking at my door?
go 'way, don't come 'round here no more.
can't you see that it's late at night?
i'm very tired, and i'm not feeling right.
all i wish is to be alone;
stay away, don't you invade my home.
best off if you hang outside,
don't come in - i'll only run and hide.
who can it be now?" (Men At Work - Who Can It Be Now, 1981)
a little ditty hinting at the effects of sin in one's life. when Our Lord Jesus Christ comes knocking, we may say we feel tired, we are not feeling right. indeed, if we were, we'd let him into our hearts no questions asked! as i was leaving the confessional today - as the penitent - i was asking myself who can it be now? - of course, it is JC who gives me peace and joy! there's no other.

this leads me into another thought on running. i have recently mentioned how i started running. i enjoy the parallel ideas that pop into my head regarding the spiritual life. one of these, which i have already preached and talked about has to do with the talk test:
"the Talk Test is the best way to monitor yourself while jogging/running. if you are not able to talk to someone while running then you are exercising too quickly. slow down to a talk."
as the above quote reminds us, if i'm too busy for God in my life, slow down, take care of what's important, and return to the relationship with God in Jesus Christ. this talk test applies to many things:
  • if i'm too busy to email a friend, ...
  • if i'm too busy to smile, ...
  • if i'm rude on the telephone, ...
  • if i can't take time to see family and friends, ...
  • if i'm too busy to pray, ...
indeed, these may be signs that we continue the struggle with sin, and it is time to slow down. let me add another one in there:
  • if i'm too busy to feed my fish, ...
then, you know there's a problem. i had supper with friends last night who continue to coach me on how to take care of a birthday present [four fishy's] i got two months ago. i had fish, now i have a fish. once there were four, now there is one - Number One, as i liked to call him. however, after the same friends found me this great childhood book, my fish is now called Otto. as the book begins:
"'this little fish',
i said to Mr. Carp [man behind counter selling this awe-inspiring fish],
'i want him. i like him.
and he likes me.
i will call him Otto.'" - (p.3)
hopefully Otto will live long and prosper. i'm sure this little fishy will find his way into one of my homilies one day. i'll keep you posted. i have this book, and now will surprise my two nieces with it as well. i'm sure they will love it, just as i did when i was a wee young pup.

it has been a hectic few weeks, and i'm trying to wrap up a few things before i go away on a week to rest in beautiful sunny Moncton, NB. i'm off see my mom, sister, nieces, i know dad will be there too, and i look forward in seeing a couple friends as well. i'm getting ready for a couple baptisms this weekend, busy interviewing couples for wedding preparations, not to mention our new sacramental journey preparation for our children preparing for First Confession and First Communion. i'm also involved in the vocations committee here in the diocese, and we are preparing in revamping mavocation.ca. if you have any comments/concerns please keep me posted.

one last thing. i cannot not comment on the Super Bowl, eh? Pittsburgh, of course [since i did live there for a year and a half]! i'll be getting in Moncton just in time for the game on Sunday. anywho, what's caught my attention is a post over at Fr. Z's blog. somebody, a priest in Green Bay - the team that will lose vs. Pittsburgh - has apparently cancelled Sunday night mass because of this football game.

i disagree often with what Fr. Z says and writes on his website, but i must admit it makes me grow in my own spirituality, and love for the Church. this time, however, i think i agree with him:
"Solution to the Mass cancellation? Go to Church in the morning. Can’t do that? Go Saturday night. Can’t do that? Go to another parish. Can’t do that? Your are relieved of your obligation. The priest who canceled the Mass can sort things out with God."
i'm pretty sure that Coach Lombardi - one of the greatest coaches of all time, then head coach for the Green Bay Packers, after whom the Super Bowl Trophy is named - would not approve of a priest putting a sign on the front door of a Church saying there is no mass. almost sounds like Luther [Catholic priest, started Reformation]'s 95 theses in 1517, where the resulting reaction was overreaction. anywho, i've written about Lombardi before. he believed, and practiced his faith, deriving his strength from daily mass and communion. after all football is just a game, but life is forever. as Fr. Gallagher [chaplain for the Colts, who by the way lost vs. Saints last year] mentioned:
"[...] that paramount in the Colts’ spiritual preparation for the Super Bowl is the realization that when all is said and done football is a game, and win or lose, life is going to continue with its higher challenges and expectations."
peace out. see you all in a week!