Monday, December 31, 2012

heartbeat

see Official Rubik's Cube Website
"i wanted You to know
that i am ready to go, heartbeat
my heartbeat
i wanted You to know
whenever You aren't around, can't speak
i can't speak" (Childish Gambino - Heartbeat, 2011)

or in other words, à la Saint Peter, "Lord, You know everything, You know my heartbeat, You know that i love You."

do you remember the old commercial about "this is your brain" using a frying pan and eggs?!  it was about the war on drugs.  just say no.

well meet Mr. Rubik's Cube.  this is my life - sometimes a mess.  "this is your brain", in the year that was 2012.  a few months ago i was in awe of Ted Hurley, (well i usually am, he is one cool cat!) when we met to discuss a project.  i walked into his office and noticed the Rubik's cube!  it was a mess.  i challenged him.  and even before i could make another smart comment, he had it solved!  yep, he is one of those people who can solve it!  awkward, ... for me. :)

at the end of every year we tend to evaluate things, reflect, meditate on what was, what should be, how i could improve things.  and so, 2013 is the year of Fr. Blake.  2013 is the year of jonathan.  2013 is the year of Jo-Nathan.  2013 is the year of Jo-Nation!  we all want our lives perfect, like a Rubik's cube.  instead of chaos (a messed up Rubik's cube), we want perfection (a solved Rubik's cube).  but life is not like that.  in fact, we are all called to holiness (a mixture of both i think, highs + lows, heartbeat).

i have great memories of the Rubik's cube.  i fixed it once.  though i cheated (you know, change the stickers).  funny how you can't cheat your heart though.  you have to figure things out as you go.  after 37 years, maybe i can work one side only, or maybe possibly one line, or four corners!  during the Year of Faith, we are given time to fix things, to improve things, to heal things with the grace of God!  to solve the problem!  of course, we are not problems like the Rubik's cube, but we are mysteries.  a beautiful mystery.

all the colours remind me of what i need to work on this year - faith, hope and love!  these theological virtues  (see Catechism) help guide us on the spiritual journey.  if you haven't mastered them yet, then work on one of them at a time.  if all three seem impossible, one colour at a time is very possible!  i also will work on the evangelical counsels (see Catechism) - poverty, obedience, chastity!  again, if all three look impossible, then work on one colour at a time, one side at a time.

this year buy a Rubik's cube, and dive deeper into the Mystery of Faith, the joy of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

bonne + heureuse Sainte Année.  happy Holy New Year!  peace.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

personal jesus



reach out and touch faith
your own personal Jesus
someone to hear your prayers
someone who cares
your own personal Jesus
someone to hear your prayers
someone who's there (Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus, 1989)
what does the Holy Family have to say to us today?  the question raised by Fr. Thomas Rosica with his homily indicates that families today are having more and more difficulties in passing on the faith to the next generation.  i agree.  i see it everyday via the families i minister to in our Sacraments Preparation program for First Confession, First Communion.  we have lost the words, and language to share and discuss the faith with our children.  in fact, the same generation are lost when it comes to properly celebrating funerals as well.  we no longer know what to do, how to do it, and sometimes even lost as to who could help.  this Year of Faith, a year of falling in love with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ once again, let us find the words and language in order to evangelize, in order to be healed and made whole again, then allowing us to share the Good News to those knocking on heaven's door (searching) - to be a type of personal Jesus for others.
"what's wrong with the world today? - i am." (G.K. Chesterton)
preparing for all things Holy Family + Holy Mary Mother of God, i was happily surprised by CNN's preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, through Piers Morgan's (a Roman Catholic) interview of Pastor Rick Warren (an Evangelical).  i haven't heard of Rick until i heard him come to the defense of Angus T. Jones, who had strong words for the anything-but-Catholic show Two + a Half Men a few weeks back.  he had said something like, "whatever you do, do not watch that show!"  anywho, i thought Rick did a good job at tackling some of the issues Piers brought up.
"it is not about you.  it is about God in Our Lord Jesus Christ." - Pastor Rick Warren
the show, Pastor Rick Warren on CNN Religion in America, was not much of a dialogue, however.  but it does help us find the words and language to talk about our faith.  Piers brought up the Church, small communities, the Pope, authority of the Bible, his personal issue with the idea that we are all sinners, weight loss, condoms, sex, marriage, and same-sex attractions, not necessary in that order.  i thought Rick did a good job in talking about the joy that is our faith!

Seinfeld talking to Elaine,
... waiting for a talk show i think
at one point they made me think of a Seinfeld episode, the famous The Doll episode (the doll, Maestro, Oro-Dent electric toothbrush, etc.).  Rick + Piers were discussing faith, and materialism and how both don't always mix nicely.  we all want the good life.  but the reality is that it is never enough.  we want the better life.  that's where God in Jesus Christ comes in.  however, proposing Him to others is difficult.  it was like Seinfeld proposing his Oro-Dent electric toothbrush to Elaine, but she not being interested.  but it is a much better toothbrush, Seinfeld would insist.  again, Elaine is not interested.  Seinfeld is confused as why Elaine wouldn't want the better experience.  Rick proposes the joy of faith, the joy of Jesus Christ to Piers, but he ... was not ready.  Piers had too many questions to go through before the end of the show.  Rick proposes God in Our Lord Jesus Christ to all, not because you are going to die, but because you are going to live!  we who evangelize, who share the joy of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to be confused as to why others are not quick to experience true freedom.

they talked more on sex, marriage, family.  how divorce was not an option for Rick and his wife.  that love is not just an emotion, but a choice!  this lead into more discussion on same-sex attraction.  Rick talked about love of God, love of neighbour, and how we are called to love everyone.  but there was not enough time to really talk or debate this issue in more detail (see later post).  though Rick tried to address this issue, Piers had other topics in mind.

finally, the show ended with a final thought, which mirrored what abbé Francois Kibwenge (my pastor) preached on for Christmas.  that though we celebrate the baby Jesus, He in fact grows up!  we are all called to grow, and mature in Faith.  during this Year of Faith, let us find the words and language to know and experience the love of God in our lives.  through this experience, let us be prepared to boldly go where no man has gone before - in the hearts of those who have never heard of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.
"Space the human heart: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise Church. Its Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before." (see wikipedia.org)
peace.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

it's oh so quiet

Claude Théberge's Nuit de décembre
it's oh so quiet
it's oh so still
you're all alone
and so peaceful until ...
you fall in love (Björk - It's Oh So Quiet, 1995)
waking up this morning was difficult, after four Christmas Eve masses - 16h, 18h, 20h, 22h.  so before the day begins - it's oh so quiet - i pour myself a cup of coffee (à la ABp Fulton Sheen).  beautiful!  then, of course, it is Christmas, so i look forward in spreading the Good News once again!  this year, the Year of Faith, fall in love again (or, for the first time) with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  He will change everything.  Merry Noël, Joyeux Christmas!!!

and, the video:

"Zing boom
The sky up above
Zing boom
Is caving in
Wow bam
you've never been so nuts about a guy
You wanna laugh you wanna cry
You cross your heart and hope to die 
Til it's over and then
Its nice and quiet
But soon again
Starts a nother big riot!! 
You blow a fuse
Zing boom
the devil cut s loose
Zing boom
So what's the use
Wow bam
Of falling in love 
Its oh so quiet
Its oh so still
You're all alone
And so peaceful until ... 
You ring the bell
Bim ban
You shout and you yell
Hi ho ho
You broke the spell
Gee, this is swell you almost have a fit
This guy is "gorge" and I got hit
There's no mistake this is it
Til it's over and then ... 
Its nice and quiet
But soon again
Starts another big riot!! 
You blow a fuse
zing boom
The devil cuts loose
Zing boom
What's the use
Wow bam
Of falling in love
The sky caves in
The devil cuts loose
You blow blow blow blow blow your fuse
When You've fallen in love
Ssssshhhhhhhh ... "
genuis!  peace.

Monday, December 24, 2012

we're going to be friends

Mother + Child.
"tonight i'll dream while i'm in bed
when silly thoughts go through my head
about the bugs and alphbet
and when i wake tommorow i'll bet
that You and i will walk together again
cause i can tell that we're going to be friends."  (White Stripes - We're Going to be Friends, 2002)
thank you to one and all for your gift of friendship, through the ups and downs of following God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Lord knows i cannot do it by myself.  i know you have my back.  i have yours as well.  i am praying for you all, tonight at our Midnight Mass, .... which is the 10pm mass.  :)

i'm in awe of the Christmas joy flowing through the digital continent today, i found this from Fr. Michael Newman (a classmate) via facebook:
tonight and tomorrow we celebrate Christmas – the feast on which God in Jesus becomes one of us to set us free from all that chains and enslaves us and through his life and example to show us how to live as sons of God in the world. In his Christmas homily in 1620 Francis spoke of Jesus as “Love coming into the world to set us free.” This Love frees us from our past and leads us into the future of 2013. 
Or, as stated in the song “Sigh No More” by Mumford and Sons, this divine Love “will not betray you, dismay or enslave you; it will set you free. Be more like the man you were meant to be.”
and from me, Merry Christmas.  Joyeux Noël!  party hard.  pray harder.  May God bless you, and Mary protect you.  peace.

update:  the video:


Monday, December 17, 2012

all my friends

"and so it starts
you switch the engine on
we set controls for the heart of the sun
one of the ways we show our age" (LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends, 2007)

is this how holiness is suppose to be?  is this how we are meant to live our lives, ... by a metronome!?!  impossible!

today, as the song says, if you're worried about the weather then you picked the wrong place to stay - it was a snow day.  as one of the comments on this video mentions, this has to be one of the best songs, ever!  dude, seriously!  i spent all day inside praying, "ora pro snowbis", being serenaded by SiriusXM XMU, and heard this song once again.  can you be in a love with music?  with a song?  i remember good/bad memories learning to play the piano as a young junior higher playing with this metronome-thing-a-ma-gig!  who needs that when you got a keyboardist like this one in the song!  i had problems playing Mary Had a Little Lamb on tempo!  wow, amazing!!!

anywho, all that to say, life and holiness has its own tempo.  i've stopped making excuses about my blogging, or lack their of.  life has a got a hold of me, and sometimes i fall behind.  but, with all my friends, i continue to fight the good fight.  i thought about this while celebrating mass this morning for (me +) my peeps.  indeed, it was the genealogy of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 1:1-17).  this is no commentary on it.  but life continues, since we are all part of His family, rather those who do the will of the Father, "there is my mother, my brother, my sister." (Mt 12:46-50)

who helps me on this journey of holiness?  on this journey of Faith?  priests or laity?  indeed, that's the wrong question!  life is not about either/or, but both/and!  i need the example of both good priests and good faithful people loving life, loving God!  as a friend reminded me on facebook today:  do what they say, but not necessarily what they do.

ora pro snowbis, indeed!  with the overdue snow (i love winter), many things got cancelled today - schools, i was supposed to go practice for our Creche Vivante avec l'ESCRH (be there or be square this coming Wednesday night at the local Catholic High School in Hawkesbury).  i was supposed to have a Christmas party with Les Brebis des Jésus, a children's catechesis group in our parish.  i celebrated the Holy Sacrifce of the Mass with the peeps in the morning, and also for the funeral of Rollande Renauld, 92 years young this afternoon.

i also had extra time to do research.  i found many of our friends, our brothers and sisters in faith loving life, and loving God!  i was joyful when i found yet another blog by a priest(s), a classmate(s) to boot.  not only one, but two - Fr. Jeff + Fr. Brad.  good memories of them while in the seminary.  great competition while playing floor hockey!  i've add their links to these are the priests i know, i know, these are the priests i know section!

then someone sent me the conversion story of my sister, Holly.  check it out, yo!  added to that was the new evangelization website by my brothers the Companions of the Cross.  then, i've started getting pumped (spiritually) through the help of my sister Erin, youth director for the Archdiocese of Winnepeg - you go girl!  then, i sit back and chill with my brother Tim (Moncton High School classmate)'s 90 Days of Music Challenge!  extra coolio.  of course, last week i started following His Grace and the Holy Father through Twitter.  respect, yo!  and with the constant encouragement i get from all of you through this digital continent, though today was difficult at times, i was on a spiritual high through most of it!  no metronome needed here!  sometimes you have to reset things.  sometimes you have to wind them up again.  sometimes you don't have to worry at all.  thanks for looking out for me.  i got ur back as well.  all of this, of course, in this Year of Faith (year of joy!), is making its way in the next homily(ies)! union de prière.

thanks to all for the help on this journey!

peace.

ps.  hat tip to Joe C., for poking me into writing another blog post too.  grazie!

ps. x 2:  the video, of course:


Friday, November 30, 2012

new soul


"i'm a new soul
i came to this strange world
hoping i could learn a bit about how to give and take
but since i came here
felt the joy and the fear
finding myself making every possible mistake" (Yael Naïm - New Soul, 2008)
on this day, 30 november, in 1975, guess what?  chicken butt.  no really, ... it was the birthday of moi, a new soul, and i have been finding myself making every possible mistake since.  what can i say, ... i'm still learning, even after these many years.  as my grandfather told my mom, and as she keeps reminding me, "we don't all get the chance of growing old."  it is a grace given to us by God, and i am joyful knowing i am walking this walk with you all.

thank you + merci to all my peeps - in person, and across the digital continent - for the many beautiful birthday wishes + prayers!  i received hugs + love through facebook, twitter, email, + yes, even snail mail!  good times!  i celebrated mass (St. Andrew, pray for us!) at 9am with the faithful, and after the final blessing, a non-liturgical song for me erupted to my great surprise   bonne fête!!!  i'm still smiling.  the cake and coffee afterwards also came in handy.

i also had a surprise visit from my dad.  he dropped by last night, treated me to supper, and i humbled him in a few games of pool!  you can i say i have a few skillz, yo!  i'll challenge you in squash, badminton, and pool.  at the same time, too. :)

plus, on my birthday i don't have to worry about setting my alarm clock.  that's where my mom comes in!  every birthday since i left home she calls me earlier, and earlier - trying to beat her best time from the previous year, to be the first to wish me happy birthday!  good times! :)  this morning was her new best record:  3:43 AM.  ok, i'm exagerating a bit, as i always.  i love that about mom, merci maman!!!  however, around her birthday time, i always warn her that it is my turn to call! :)

as St. Andrew brought his brother, St. Peter, to Jesus, so my parents shared with me their gift of faith in God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  through them, i grew to love God, love Holy Mother Church, and found my strength in prayer.  i love mom.  i love dad!  merci!

once again, merci + thanks to all of you - family, friends, brothers and sisters!!!  you are always in my prayers too.

peace.

ps.  i'm now growing older (wiser).  maybe that's why i found a (as in one) gray hair today.  time for:





Monday, November 05, 2012

lonely boy

Paul Anka, b. 1941, Ottawa, ON
"i'm just a lonely boy
lonely and blue
i'm all alone
with nothin' to do 
i've got everything
you could think of
but all i want
is someone to love" (Paul Anka - Lonely Boy, 1959)
that's right, we all need God in Jesus Christ!  but sometimes we do feel lonely.  that's true of single people.  that's true of those married.  that's true of those who have made promises and vows of celibacy.  the good way of abiding in God's love is to find people who will show you that love.  as someone told me last week, in order to preach the Good News, you have to first experience the Good News.  that's why it is important to take time with family and friends.  how much more important then to take time with God.

this week, all the English priests - with His Grace - of the Archdiocese of Ottawa are going to be away on Study days, rekindling that love of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  as we begin to focus more and more on new evangelization, it is important for us who preach God, first experience God!  please pray for your parish priest!

we are going to spend 4 days in God's country - Mont Gabriel, Saint Adèle, Qc.  a few speakers are invited to speak on the theme of new evangelization.  1) Mr. Peter Herbeck is the Vice President and Director of Missions for Renewal Ministries, working to equip Catholic lay people to respond to the Holy Father's call for a new evangelization with the parish.  2) Dr. McNamara is Assitant Director and Faculty Member of the Liturgical Institute, University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein.  His Ph.D. is in Architectural History, University of Virginia.  How do our churches help serve an evangelizing role?

therefore, not much blogging for the next couple days.  however, i maybe Instragramming.  they are study days after all, not a silent retreat.  i'll be back here on Thursday, for another retreat day with all Region IV French priests of the Archdiocese, a meeting in Alfred, On (more on that later).  again, please pray for your parish priest(s).

peace.

ps.  the video:


Sunday, November 04, 2012

gangnam style

"oppan gangnam style, gangnam style
op op op op oppan gangnam style
gangnam style
op op op op oppan gangnam style" (PSY - Gangnam Style, 2012)

alleluia!  i am now a challenger!  what a beautiful, joy-filled weekend!  props to the Team, and to my new sisters and brothers who also made Challenge 158:  Your Love Never Fails this weekend!  i had no idea what to expect, and was blown away by the presence of the Holy Spirit!  have you ever done a Cursillo?  have you ever done a Challenge weekend?  i strongly encourage anyone, everyone who is looking for the joy of our faith - the joy of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, to look into this beautiful movement of the Church.

often times in my ministry i am surrounded by people who believe the faith to be serious, to be all about the Old Testament.  is that a good description - serious - about Christianity, Catholicism?  is our faith about walking the high-wire all the time, trying not to fall over?  as a brother mentioned today, we believe not out of fear, but rather because of love!  yes, sometimes things are serious - we cry with those who cry, and laugh with those who laugh.  but throughout our ups and downs, we should seek the peace and joy of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  we are not people of the Old Testament, of the Law, but rather of the New Testament, of Jesus Christ!  we go to Him not out of fear, but because of love.

these weekends (retreats, pastoral days, etc.) help me in my own faith because:
"while Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.  Someone told him, 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.'  He replied to him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?'  Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers.  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'" (Gospel of Mark 12:46-50)
we are built for community, and one cannot be Christian by oneself.  we need brothers and sisters, seeking, desiring, to do the will of the Father.  and though this might be challenging at times, it is a beautiful journey of joy!  the weekend was filled with joy - a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  i loved the talks, the prayer time, confessions, and mass, but most importantly the personal witness to the faith, to the relationship with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, by everyone, in every detail, in everything!

i also loved the skits, and the music too!  like i briefly mentioned last week, i didn't dress up like PSY, but i did put on a bow tie this weekend!  there are serious moments within our faith, questions that we absolutely must struggle with.  but there are times, like this weekend, when all you have to do is let go, and let God.  thank you to you all who made this weekend possible!

this year, the Year of Faith, will be a year of gangnam style!  :)  there is too much joy in Our Lord not to.  word.  peace out.

de colores.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

monster mash

"i was working in the lab late one night
when my eyes beheld an eerie sight
for my monster from his slab began to rise
and suddenly to my surprise
he did the mash
he did the monster mash [gangnam style] (Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Monster Mash, 1962)
today, i won't be dressing up as PSY - though i do like the all-black-look!  all he is missing is a collar, white that is.  anywho, tonight, while many are dressing up, dancing in the streets gangnam style, threatening "trick or treat", i have my last get together with the Ottawa Challenge, Cursillo for da youth!  i look forward to this mass + meeting, before the weekend retreat!  please pray for the youth of Ottawa who will be going deeper in the Mystery of Faith, in the knowledge and love of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ!  we have been working on this for months, and the time is here.  i helped out where i could, but i also look forward in experiencing my First Challenge Weekend.  after the weekend, the English priests will be away on Study days, so blogging will be, again, at a minimum.

peace.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

don't you worry child

St. Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us!
"there was a time, i used to look into my father's eyes
in a happy home, i was a king i had a gold throne
those days are gone, now the memories are on the wall
i hear the sounds from the places where i was born

up on the hill across the blue lake,
that's where i had my first heart break
i still remember how it all changed
my father said:  don't you worry, don't you worry child
see heaven's got a plan for you
don't you worry, don't you worry now!" (Swedish House Mafia - Don't You Worry Child, 2012)

St. Kateri, who we canonized last Sunday, had trouble seeing, not unlike Bartimaeus from today's Gospel.  she was somewhat blind due to small pox.  don't you worry child, 'cause Heaven's got a plan for you:  North America's first Aboriginal Saint!

more on my sister a bit later, since she is helping me understand my own identity.  last week i called my dad to share the good news!  you see i may not be aboriginal, but there is Metis in the family.  Dad (born in Mud Lake, near Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL) is about 25%, making me ... so that makes me ... ?  what am i?  i'm a mess, and a mystery!  Canadian, French, English, Bilingual, Quebecer, New Brunswicker, Ontario-er, Metis, ... and most important of all, Catholic.
"Jesus said to him in reply, 'What do you want me to do for you?' The blind man replied to him, 'Master, I want to see.'" (Marc 10:46-52)
however, back to Bartimaeus, the blind man who wanted to see God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, but was bullied by people who knew better.  don't you worry child, 'cause Heaven's got a plan for you!  on the spiritual journey, we are all born blind!  we see, once we know God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  many people today continue to be obstacles to those who want to see.  for example, children preparing for baptism, first confession, first communion, are often stopped by their parents, by schools, by parishes.  don't you worry child, 'cause Heaven's got a plan for you.  other faithful seek to know Christ, and too often throughout the history of the Church, priests, religious, brothers, sisters, have prevented them from coming closer to Him.  don't you worry child, 'cause Heaven's got a plan for you!  today, priests, religious, brothers, sisters, and all the faithful - the Church - seek conversion and new evangelization, but rumours, intimidation, etc. continue to bully us.  don't you worry child, 'cause Heaven's got a plan for you.  finally, this digital continent (see great webisode on Catholic Blogs, with Kris Dmytrenko + Rocco Palmo) they call the Internet, also has a right to see God in Jesus Christ, just as Bartimaeus did!  don't you worry child, 'cause Heaven's got a plan for you too.  let's keep proclaiming, sharing, evangelizing the Good News through all types of languages and media.  happy Sunday!  bon dimanche!

peace.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

anything could happen

"but now I've seen it through
and now I know the truth
that anything could happen
anything could happen
anything could happen
anything could happen
anything could happen
anything could happen
anything could ... " (Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen, 2012)
"i don't think i need You."  that seems to be the prayer of most people today, with respect to God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  they don't think, but maybe they are wrong?

i am officially hypnotized, mesmerized by this song.  last week, after Region IV Pastoral Meeting in Treadwell, i was headed home trying to wake myself up - late meeting, and i had 45min of driving.  so at 10pm at night i looked for one of my favourite SiriusXM channels, and of course got connected to BPM.  i heard Ellie a few times, and she started singing a song of songs.  i was moving, sick moves like Jagger, you should have seen me in da car! :)  good times.  i love this song, especially this particular remix.

anywho, i thought i'd pop by the blog, since it has been a while.  my video project for the Year of Faith is not over.  my goal is still one a week.  in fact, i think the diocese is now interested in helping this project idea!  however, even if i thought anything could happen with my ubercool phone, today, i am asking myself "why did i get a Google Nexus again"?  there's a system issue and it is now on its way back home to get looked at.  in the next few weeks i'll have a spare phone.  all this to say that my phone - primary video taker for my new cool idea - is now on the injured list.  stay tuned, though, since i think i have a video up my sleeve to share with you.

in the Year of Faith, anything could happen!  anything could happen, and everything will happen if you let God in Jesus Christ!  enjoy the ups and downs.  and never doubt in the one in whom we put our trust.
i know it's gonna be
i know it's gonna be
i know it's gonna be
i know it's gonna be
i know it's gonna be
i know it's gonna be
i know it's gonna be
i know it's gonna be [alright.]
peace.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

pump up the volume


"brothers and sisters
pump up the volume
we're gonna need you" (MARRS - Pump Up the Volume, 1987)

1, 2, 3, go!  the Year of Faith is underway!  as i've alluded to, i have a project in mind for this particular year.  videos on faith!

today is the start of the Year of Faith, as well as the Synod on the New Evangelization (how to proclaim the Gospel using new methods, ... technology for example).  a couple weeks ago i watched ABp Lacroix's conference on the subject.  i also watched a few more videos from the Archdiocese of Montreal.  a few months ago i was talking with my classmate, Fr. Craig Cruikshank, Director of Youth + Vocations for the Diocese of Peterborough.  he gave me a great idea, .. that of videos on faith!

over the next year, i plan to have monthly, weekly?, videos on faith!  on my own journey, i am always encouraged to hear the testimony of others on how they've met God in Our Lord Jesus Christ!  isn't that the goal this year? - to know Him better, to love Him more, to follow Him more closely?  therefore, i will try to talk to as many people as possible - French, English, bilingual, young and young at heart, single, married, ordained, brothers, sisters, and families!

i already have many people in mind - including you, :)!  you interested?  last night i had an executive meeting for Ottawa Challenge Cursillo, and someone already signed up for the project!  stay tuned!  also, before the meeting i was at the Cathedral's residence for supper with His Grace and the brothers!  i talked about my idea with everyone, and over the year i'm sure there will be a few more that volunteer!

today, the first that i volunteered, was Mgr Gilles Lavergne!  the Year of Faith also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.  Mgr Gilles lived through it, and has now celebrated 50years of priestly ordination!  he has been everywhere in the Archdiocese of Ottawa - Cumberland, secretary to ABp Plourde, St. Charles, St. Sebastien, Annunciation, and more!  it was great to talk to him today about his journey of faith.  everytime we talk, he is always joyful - striving to grow deeper in love with God, and neighbour!  it is contagious!  i am happy to share with you his testimony today.  if you have ideas for others in the future, please let me know!

often, when i see His Grace, he reminds me to keep the faith!  however, the only way to do that he adds, is to give it away, that is to share it with others!  i hope you enjoy the rollercoaster that will be the Year of Faith.

peace.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

so what'cha want

Regional Eucharistic Congress, 1942, my backyard!
"so what'cha what'cha what'cha want what'cha want
so what'cha what'cha what'cha want what'cha want
i said what'cha what'cha what'cha want what'cha want
i said what'cha what'cha what'cha want what'cha want
so what'cha want" (Beastie Boys - So What'cha Want, 1992)
calm down der boyz, i want God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, truly present in the Eucharist - body, blood, soul and divinity!  plain.  simple.

check it - pics!  i've written about this before (ArchOttawa, blog), and here we go!  we are in the middle of our celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Regional Eucharistic Congress of 1942 (26 - 30 August).  instead of underling this party in the middle of summertime, we decided to wait a bit, and celebrate it in style with Radio-Canada's Jour du Seigneur, live mass this coming Sunday, 10am!  don't forget to press record, and see if you can spot me! :)  here's the dealio this week:
Le dimanche 7 octobre 2012, à l’occasion du 70e anniversaire du Congrès Eucharistique Régional de Hawkesbury, nous avons le privilège, une fois de plus, d’accueillir chez nous à la Paroisse de Saint-Pierre-Apôtre, l’émission Le Jour du Seigneur de Radio-Canada. Cette présentation se concrétise grâce à la rencontre harmonieuse de la communauté chrétienne en prière, une équipe de la télévision, et les téléspectateurs. Votre participation est de très grande importance pour que cette émission soit des plus accueillante, pieuse, chaleureuse et inoubliable pour notre communauté. Il y a 70 ans que l’église Saint-Alphonse accueillait des chrétiens du diocèse de Hull et d’Ottawa pour célébrer ce Congrès eucharistique régional de chez nous. 
Afin d’assurer le succès de cette cérémonie, nous avons retenu le programme ci-dessus; lundi le 1 octobre Célébration eucharistique à 9h – Temps d’adoration de 9h30 à 16h;   mardi le 2 octobre Célébration eucharistique à 9h – Temps d’adoration de 19h à 20h; mercredi le 3 octobre Célébration eucharistique à 9h – Temps d’adoration de 19h à 20h; jeudi le 4 octobre Célébration eucharistique à 9h – Temps d’adoration de 19h à 20h; vendredi le 5 octobre Temps d’adoration (1 premier vendredi du mois) à 8h;   Suivi de la célébration eucharistique à 9h; samedi le 6 octobre Célébration eucharistique à 16h; dimanche le 7 octobre Célébration eucharistique à 8h; Célébration eucharistique à 10h, l’émission Le Jour du Seigneur de Radio-Canada. Suivie de Procession du Saint-Sacrement, et d’un court temps d’adoration.
last time Jour du Seigneur was here, i was in Dublin for IEC2012.  this time i will be here!  we have been praying for the success of our celebrations, including adoration and a Eucharistic Procession in the streets of Hawkesbury if the weather permits.  yesterday was a great success.  please continue to pray for us, our community, and that we all may enter more fully into the Mystery of the Eucharist.  peace.

Monday, October 01, 2012

i think we're alone now

"i think we're alone now
there doesn't seem to be anyone around
i think we're alone now
the beating of our hearts is the only sound" (Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now, 1987)

i'm back from my retreat, refreshed through prayer.  last week the French priests of the Archdiocese of Ottawa gathered at Notre-Dame-du-Cap for our annual retreat.  it was preached by Jacques Gauthier, a man of prayer.  the theme, of course, was just that, prayer!  we all need help with our prayer life, because, as scripture puts it, we do not know how to pray (Romans 8:26).

Jacques Gauthier is well known.  he has written many books (many translated in several different languages) from theology, saints, and poetry.  i enjoyed the retreat for many reasons - from his examples using his love of running, quoting songs, love of the Saints (he's an expert on St. Thérèse who we celebrate today), and also his love of poetry and play on language.  it was great retreat (see pics).  of course, he was there not necessarily to teach us to pray, but rather to inspire us to pray more.

he quoted several things from several books, but one that jumped out at me was a type of theology of prayer using the example of The Little Prince.  le Petit Prince (FR, EN), by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, has always been one of my favourties because of its simplicity, and now it continues to climb the ladder of awesomeness!

priests spend their time helping others pray.  but do they pray?  do i?  the dialogue that Jacques quoted last week is from Chapter 21, and begins with the Little Prince and the fox (translation from the original French into English, by moi!):
"fox:  Bonjour.
(Whasss'up!
Petit Prince:  Bonjour, répondit poliment le petit prince, qui se retourna mais ne vit rien.
(Yo yo ma, says he in reply, turning around seeing nothing.
fox:  Je suis là, dit la voix, sous le pommier ...
(dude, I am right here, under the apple tree
Petit Prince:  Qui es-tu?  Tu es bien joli ...
(wtf(ox)? who are you, says the little prince.  you are neat-o!
fox: Je suis un renard.
(dude, I am a fox.
Petit Prince:  Viens jouer avec moi, lui proposa le petit prince.  Je suis tellement triste ...
(let's chill, eh? suggests the little prince.  i'm so freakin' like Charlie Brown - walkin' around all depressed!) 
fox:  Je ne puis pas jouer avec toi, dit le renard.  Je ne suis pas apprivoisé.
(no can do.  you have to get to know me first.)"
extracting from this short diaologue, ... the theology of The Little Prince, i see God playing the part of the humble fox, while i, playing the Little Prince.  Jacques Gauthier continued using the book to describe our prayer life with God.  before following Him, we need to love Him.  before loving Him, we need to know Him.  and this journey takes time.  often times people say that nothing happens during prayer.  something always happens at prayer, it is just that we might not be aware of it.

i remember a priest once preaching about his ministry.  he started off addressing God, reflecting on what He was hearing through prayer:  "you used to love me.  now, you just work for me."  ouch!  he was describing his own relationship with God - after all these years, we stop spending time with the fox, and we wonder why we are lonely.  ministry is important, leading people to Christ is important, but i have to take that same time for myself too.  these annual retreats help me with that initial spark, that encounter with God in Jesus Christ.  we always have to get to know God better.  we pray for those searching, that they may find Him.  and that those who have found Him, continue to search for Him.

"i think we're alone now
there doesn't seem to be anyone around
i think we're alone now
the beating of our hearts is the only sound" (Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now, 1987)
these words sounds like St. John Vianney's.  he went into the Church one day to pray and was surprised to see one of his parishionners.  he asked him want he was doing.  the man replied, "i am watching Him, and He is watching me."  that seems to be the start of prayer.  just to be present.  we then begin to realize that we too need to be tamed, as the fox reminds us.  anywho, today, we have all day adoration.  i will pray for you, and your intentions.  please pray for me too, as together we walk this journey of Faith.  peace out.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

in the air

don't close that door, don't walk away
don't shut your eyes, you can hear me say
i love you now more than everyday

i'm feeling it, i'm feeling a change
i'm feeling it, i'm feeling a change
in the air (Morgan Page w. Sultan & Ned Shepard & BT ft. Angela McCluskeyIn the Air, 2012)
welcome!  today is the first day of Autumn, and there is definitely a change in the air!  i love it.  this is my favourite season!  and we are off ... the pastoral year has begun - helping out with teams for preparing our children for their sacraments - Confession, Eucharist, Confirmation -, helping out with baptismal prep team, pastorale jeunesse is in full swing with new projects on the horizon, finalizing everything 70th Anniversary of the Regional Eucharistic Congress of 1942 Hawkesbury, homilies, etc ... that was just this morning!  ouch!

but now, i've got a new badge!  that's right, there's a new sheriff in town!  i'm now the official chaplain to the Ottawa Challenge Movement!  what do all these ministries have in common?  to make God in Our Lord Jesus Christ known and loved by all!
The Church “exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.” (Pope Paul VI, #14 Evangelii Nuntiandi)
i've read, heard, prayed this many times.  but i cannot put into practice enough!  in fact, now there are new ways to proclaim the Gospel, à la blog, websites, Internet, etc.  however, i can't be on the computer all the time, because the ministry is still one-on-one, relational by nature!  i need you to be me.  so, back to Ottawa Challenge Movement!  why, how, when, etc.
"The mission of Challenge is to bring young adults aged 18 to 25 into communion with Christ and His Church through Challenge Weekend retreats, and to give them ongoing support and encouragement to live out their Christian lives. To that end, we help participants to grow in holiness, to evangelize other young adults, and to contribute to the parish life of the Church." (Bp. Dowd, Montreal Challenge Movement, Cursillo Movement)
Ottawa Challenge Movement is the Cursillo Movement for youth!  i have my first meeting with the team tomorrow afternoon.  and the retreat for the youth is scheduled for the first weekend of Novemenber.  if you know any youth that maybe interested, please keep me posted, and i will help them get in touch with our team!  or, sign-up right now, at ottawachallenge.com!

proclaiming God in Jesus Christ is my life!  however, i need to know Him better too, if i'm going to love Him more, follow and imitate Him!  in fact, on this journey of faith, you can't walk along with Jesus.  we need others to encourage us.  after all, we are a family, and we need one another.
"Having been sent and evangelized, the Church herself sends out evangelizers. She puts on their lips the saving Word, she explains to them the message of which she herself is the depositary, she gives them the mandate which she herself has received and she sends them out to preach. To preach not their own selves or their personal ideas, but a Gospel of which neither she nor they are the absolute masters and owners, to dispose of it as they wish, but a Gospel of which they are the ministers, in order to pass it on with complete fidelity."  (Pope Paul VI, #37 Evangelii Nuntiandi)
again, the emphasis this year - Year of Faith -, will be on new evangelization.  i preach the Good News, because i heard it, experience it, struggle with it!  as the document reminds me, i need, we all need to be re-evangelized, this journey is one of ongoing conversion!  pray for the French priests this week, as we prepare to find that much needed balance in life.  (Code of Canon Law 719 #1).   preparing for life, + the pastorale jeunesse at - ESCRH, Paul VI, + SMB, i came across the conversion story of my brother abbé Jean-François Morin (now in Rockland).  he found God through music!  very good.  and also, the story of Brother Eric, ofm. always imresses me, now with the Franciscans.  this leads me to a new possible project:  how about weekly, or monthly videos on our conversion stories, and how we live Faith?!

see you in a week.  peace out.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

ice cream

"Your love is better than ice cream
better than anything else that i've tried." (Sarah McLachlan - Ice Cream, 1999)

i'm sick.  i've got a man cold again, that is ... a serious cold (une grippe d'homme).  what is a young priest to do?  God's love is the best, indeed, but ice cream helps in this situation.  please pray that i survive.

the last few days, weeks, there has been a change in the weather.  and, my allergies have started acting up, exponentially.  all these factors have exploded into a full blown man cold.  i will struggle with the bad, in order to do the good, à la St. Paul.

taking it easy today, i reflected more on the Eucharist - the theme for the past month.  i remember hearing someone talking about the centrality that it deserves in our lives.  when a man refuses to eat, we conclude that he is sick, that there is something wrong.  similarly then, when a man refuses to go to Mass, to the Eucharist, to be with the community, should we not conclude that there is something spiritually wrong?  as we enter the Year of Faith, let us pray, "increase our faith!"

peace.

ps.  i may not eat food, but ice cream somehow always works - at least at some levels.  what else should i do to rid my body + soul of this man cold?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

come dancing


"why not come dancing
it's only natural" (The Kinks - Come Dancing, 1982)
how can i not show the video for this classic song!  it is beautiful, awesome, ... outstanding!  please, enjoy the song, then come back to read my homiletical disaster!  and what better English group, from North London, to introduce my Olympic post.

i'm currently on my 80s kick.  not jetlag, but just good memories!  some music transcend time and space.  and this has to be one of those songs, it must, it has to!

come dancing, it's only natural!  almost eleven thousand athletes (population of Hawkesbury) have come to dance in 26 sports in the Olympics, London 2012!  there is twenty-one thousand media peeps in the house, with over 1.1 million tickets in play.  that's a lot of dancing to the big bands!  good times.  [Olympics fun facts]  all this dancing reminds me of God, in the Holy Trinity.

they too, dance, in other words, perichoresis!  the love that exists between God, in the Holy Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has often been described as a dance of love among the three Persons of the Trinity.  i remember this from "Trinity 101" in the seminary - and it has always stuck with me.  i may not fully understand this mystery, but i do indeed love it!  come dancing, it's only natural!  (see Cardinal Marc Ouellet and his book, Divine Likeness for more info)

i too have started dancing!  no, not swing dancing, but ultimate frisbee!  i have rekindled my love for layouts, the hammer, the flic (forehand, à la français), and best of all, fellowship.  with the help of M. Lauzon (Philippe), we started a informal ultimate frisbee league, dance, in Hawkesbury, every Monday night for students of l'École secondaire catholique régionale de Hawkesbury!  i must stay we have a great time, and it has lead me to meditate more on the Theology of Sports.

you can learn a lot about a person on how they play team sports.  are they interested?  are they part of the huddle?  do they exagerate, competitive, etc.?  the above picture is of the Olympic dude playing ping pong, a reminder for me that i have a match scheduled against Fr. Titus, neighbouring pastor over at St. Jude's!  i'm a bit nervous at my chances at winning.  what if i said that i would not play, if i could not win?!  what if all athletes thought the same way?  what if all Christians, Catholics, thought that way?  come dancing, it's only natural!  there is much to learn from the Theology of Sports, so more on this later!

the good news according to one of the greatest coaches of all time, Vince Lombardi, is that sports are just a game.  somebody wins, somebody loses.  however, life continues with its higher expectations and challenges. (Fr. Gallagher, chaplain to Indiana Colts).  but - à la Lombardi - , sports do teach us about perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.  enjoy the dance, the games, and please continue to pray for the ongoing success of the ultimate frisbee dance in Hawkesbury.  peace.

ps.  maybe a small prayer too for my win in ping pong!  over and out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

where everybody knows your name

making your way in the world todaytakes everything you got
taking a break from all your worriessure would help a lotwouldn’t you like to get away ...
where everybody knows your name!
(Gary Portnoy - Where Everybody Knows Your Name, 1982)
the Gospel (Mc 12:46-50) today reminded me, and moved me to write this entry, of my conversion in 2002-2003 (and everyday)!  everything change for me then - (merci Famille Myriam Bethleem, conversion) - not only when i realized God loved me, personally, but when i realized i had a family in the Church.  in Her, i found my salvation.  today, i continue to pray - à la Dominicans - for the mercy of God, and yours.

but like all families, sometimes we grow apart.  we have difficulty in talking with those we love most.  some are angry.  some are awkward.  some are indifferent.  thankfully, many are still joyful.  welcome to family life.  welcome to the Church.  why should She be so different?  we are the Family of God, afterall, and we all play different parts.  as James Joyce once wrote of the Catholic Church, "here comes everybody"  indeed, everyone should feel welcome at home, in their home, all the time, and anytime!
"But he replied to the man who told him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.'" (Mc 12:48-50)
of course, Our Lord is not implying that our natural families are not important. but rather, the Family of God, built on listening to the will of the Father, being attentive to the Holy Spirit, is more important!  do you remember that six degress of separation thing?  me neither.  end of post.

yes i do, ... as well as the always fun game six degrees of Kevin Bacon.  when visiting anywhere, someone always asks, "hey do you know Joe, from downtown Canada?"  but of course!  anywho, the world is getting smaller and smaller and people really are getting to know everyone's names.  facebook, twitter, social media has put the focus on removing a few of those degrees of separation!


but in the Church, in my family, everybody knows your name!  that's why i love Her!  after a week+ in Dublin for the IEC2012, surrounded by tens of thousands of people, everyday i wound naturally bump into someone i know, or someone who actually knew Joe from downtown Canada!  it's a small world, afterall!  in the Church, in the family, everybody knows your name!


anywho, enough of reminiscing of my conversion.  i do have a few things to do this week, including contemplating the meaning of death while preparing three funeral liturgies!  let us pray for the Church that we continue to joyfully preach God in Jesus Christ!  She maybe old, but i love Her!  peace out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

la danse des canards

tournez c'est la fête
bras dessus-dessous
comm' des girouettes
c'est super chouette
c'est extra-fou ... (Werner Thomas - La Danse des Canards, 1950s)

hello.  my name is Fr. jonathan.  and, [awkward pause] i've danced to this song before.  i can still see Nathalie Simard singing (video) this diddy, and me bustin' a move.  good times?  i'm not sure, but everyone danced to this, right?


today, ce n'est pas la danse des canards, mais la danse des vacances!  everyone is away on vacation - the ABp, parishioners, the secretary, soon-to-be the pastor (tangent:  how does the expression go again?  something about away and a cat, and mice that play or pray?)  things slow down in the summer time - but our vacation is not from the Lord, but with Him.  indeed, the mission always continues!
"We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden (cf. Mt 5:13-16). The people of today can still experience the need to go to the well, like the Samaritan woman, in order to hear Jesus, who invites us to believe in him and to draw upon the source of living water welling up within him (cf. Jn 4:14). We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples (cf. Jn 6:51). Indeed, the teaching of Jesus still resounds in our day with the same power: “Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life” (Jn 6:27). The question posed by his listeners is the same that we ask today: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (Jn 6:28). We know Jesus’ reply: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (Jn 6:29). Belief in Jesus Christ, then, is the way to arrive definitively at salvation."  (Year of Faith's Apostolic Letter, Portei Fidei, #3)
i've started reading this letter, while whistling this happy tune - you realize it made it into Sunday's homily - and continue to experience that truth is one.  we all need vacation time, indeed, that is today's, Sunday's, Gospel (Mc 6:30-34).  our Lord sent them out two by two last week, and now they are back for a much needed rest!  we all need to make time, to take time from the busyness of life, and to draw upon the source of living water:  God in Jesus Christ.


of course, this is not just two weeks a year thing-a-ma-gig, but how about a weekend a month, one day a week, or an hour a day!  make time, to take time.  i like this letter so far, and look forward in implementing a few ideas for the fall.  what strikes me today, from the Gospel, is that even though the apostles have been called back to rest, there is no time.  there is still more to be done.  others continue to thirst for the life giving waters!  during la danse des vacances, let us continue to seek the source, in order to feed the crowds!  happy vacationing to all.  peace.