Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I never knew the book of Micah was so cool and had so many Bethlehem references until this past week and the readings for Mass. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Oh hey, looks like my dream has come true! It is 61 degrees in Fort Worth and 20 degrees in Eau Claire (although it says it feels like 12), and there is about a foot of snow here. Brr. According to the weather we are supposed to get a lot of snow this week! I'm so excited! Snow on Christmas eve/Christmas day is a wonderful gift... unless, of course, it keeps my mom and I from driving to my grandma's house out in rural Wisconsin on Christmas day.

One of the best parts about being home are the lazy days. Sleeping until 10am, not showering, and not caring about looking nice because I'm not going anywhere today! I hope to do some reading, praying, and writing today (and throughout break). I would like to blog more, hence my random post for today, and I haven't been writing poems lately, so we'll see what I can scrounge up over this break.

It is fantastic to be stress-free and not worry about homework or real work! Happy (last days of) Advent!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 4th Candle

Well, here it is, the fourth and last Sunday of Advent. I started a blog post reflecting on Advent a long time ago, but I never finished it so I never posted it! I have never experienced a more busy and stressful month, but amidst the hussle and bustle I praise God that we have the liturgical season of Advent to remind us all to slow down and prepare for Christmas. To wait with a purpose. Right now I'm waiting to go to Mass. Today I'm waiting to go home (I fly up to WI at 6pm this evening). And during this Advent season I am waiting to celebrate the birth of Christ, to rejoice with Mary and Joseph and to worship and adore like the shepherds and wise men.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who's on First

I've seen this played out before and ran across it on youtube. It's funny, so I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


On my drive home today I was thinking about a lot of things and one question that popped into my mind was: Can you love someone even when they don't love you back? Even if it's just a friend, is the relationship one sided? Well, after that question I immediately thought about God's love; He loves each and every one of us, but not everyone loves Him in return. Even when we strive to have a relationship with God we experience our failures and human nature. He is always there, waiting for us, but how much can we compare this divine relationship with our human relationships? When do we have to let go? Why don't we want to let go? Even when I get hurt I continue on, thinking things will be ok. I think I have too much faith and hope in humanity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fresh Poems

I have not been writing lately, but it turns out when I experience a lot of different emotions in a 24 hour period I get very inspired to write. Here are two poems I wrote last night before going to bed.

Hello Love

Hello Love,
Where have you been?
I must have missed you
on the street,
passing by.
I missed you at the store, too.
I thought you'd be stocking up
on batteries and
light bulbs.
I thought I would see you
at work today,
we had a meeting.
Wasn't I supposed to
meet you at church?
Wait, here you come,
touching my eyes,
so I never miss another
glimpse of you

That Dog

He chases shadows and bugs,
scaring away the nothingness
of the night with his bark.
He stalks the fence,
preventing dreams from
happening at the house next door.
He interrupts my thoughts,
keeping my tired mind awake
on my warm pillow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This Year in Ministry

I have only been back at my parish for just over two months now, but I feel as if I have learned and experienced what true ministry is in these months than I did in all of last year. It is probably due to my lack of ignorance and my increased responsibilities in my ministries.

Like any place of employment, there are issues with the staff. We all have our different personalities and ways of working. Some of them I absolutely love and I have been incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work with them. I do feel as if I've grown into the "family" of my staff and the parish. Some of us even go out for "Girls Night Out" - aka, Happy Hour. We play well together. :)

This morning I called a friend up, but I had young adult business things to talk to him about. I knew he wasn't going to exactly like what I had to say, but I was not expecting him to get so frustrated. He did not even understand me correctly! I had to explain myself a couple times, but I still did not appreciate hearing his anger and frustrations.

I have also been learning how to work (and deal) with catechists. They're only volunteers and sometimes I think we try to hold them to higher standards. Which...maybe we need to at times, so they take their work seriously. Sometimes it seems like a game, having to word e-mails just right to people do not get offended or misunderstand what you are trying to say. There is also fine line between micro- and macro-managing things. This fall has had it's ups and downs, challenges and joys, but overall I continue to love what I'm doing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Catholic Speaker Spotlight: Deacon Ralph Poyo

When I first heard Deacon Ralph Poyo speak at a Steubenville Youth Conference, he was in a gymnasium with approximately 1,000 girls. He read us a love letter from God, and from that moment on he became one of my favorite speakers. Through his words the Holy Spirit touched each and every one of our hearts. Deacon Ralph does not speak for himself, he is a spokesman for God.

In his talks, Deacon Ralph is energetic and humorous, calling himself a hobbit because of his short stature. More importantly, he is passionate about what he speaks on and his passion engages his audience. He has a deep love for Jesus and he wants to bring Jesus to the hearts of all those who hear his words. His message for everyone is how to be a follower of Christ and that we must be willing to die for him. Jesus loves us so much and gave his life up for us, and we, too, were created to love.

Deacon Ralph is not afraid to share about his own life story in his talks. He came to accept and know Christ his senior year of high school, but that does not mean his life was picture perfect after that. He openly admits his addiction to pornography and the challenge of finding and living a life of purity after that experience. He also shares stories of his family; he is a father to five girls. He is, literally, the man of the house, asked to fix things and kill bugs. I can certainly relate to that: asking others to kill/get rid of insects for me. :)

Today Deacon Ralph Poyo continues to speak at many Steubenville conferences in the summer and he also runs New Evangelization Ministries, a parish program to renew evangelization and convert hearts. You can also listen to the deacon speak at different conferences and retreats on the Newsletter and Media link at the top of his website. He is definitely worth checking out!

Want to find out more about other Catholic speakers? Check out Fallible Blogma's Support a Catholic Speaker Month here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The 13th Day

This week I was able to see a screening for The 13th Day, a new movie about the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. To be honest I was a little skeptical and almost did not go to see it, but I am glad I did! I thought it would be a super long and boring film, but Catholic film makers finally know what they're doing! The 13th Day is very unique because most of the film is in black and white. With the lack of color they do a phenomenal job of using shadows and different lighting.

Many Catholics today have probably heard of "Fatima," and what The 13th Day does is make it come alive. There was a miracle in 1917 that 70,000 people witnessed, but we do not hear about it anymore. Have we lost our faith in miracles?

I think they played up the children, the three seers, and downplayed the messages Mary gave them. The secrets of Fatima have all been revealed, but I think people could see this movie and be confused on the messages. Of course, the main message is clear: Pray the rosary daily! I can't say that I do, but seeing this film made me think a little bit more on my devotion to our Blessed Mother and the importance she has in our lives.

The 13th Day film - available from Ignatius Press!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Who Are We?

I apologize for the length of this post. This afternoon I received some upsetting e-mails and this is my response and reflection to them:

As young American Catholics we need to ask ourselves “who are we?” in the broader context of the Church. What do we truly believe and how are we carrying out the gospel message? Today we are faced with many inculturation questions: in our personal lives, our work, and our parishes, and this is not just in Texas.

Two weekends ago my parish began to introduce a new Mass setting, “Misa Luna.” The bishop wants all parishes in the diocese to incorporate this into Sunday worship because this is the setting that will be used at diocesan-wide events. There is an option for doing it bilingual, and my parish has decided to use it. Most of the parts we sing are in English and only a couple we have sung in Spanish. They continue to introduce new parts week by week.

Today I, and many other staff members, received an e-mail from a young married woman. She said she is very sad today because her family is leaving the parish I work at. They have been here for 8+ years and it is where she went through RCIA. Her reason for leaving is the switch to singing bilingual Mass parts. She said she was sad, but her responses are what sadden my heart: “If you don't speak English, I think you should go to a Spanish-Speaking or Vietnamese-Speaking parish. We will drive farther and go out of our way to attend an entirely English-Speaking church because that's the language we speak.” And in a response to my e-mail she said:

“Why is it okay to have completely Spanish-Speaking Parishes, completely Vietnamese-Speaking Parishes but no completely English-Speaking parishes? Why do my children have to learn a language that is different from that of our Constitution, that which is printed on our Dollar Bill, that which our President delivers his national addresses in?”

I do not know why this woman has such strong feelings and perhaps she had a negative experience in the past. But isn’t this the American attitude that we need to fight against? Who are our neighbors? And if we cannot accept and welcome our neighbors into our lives and into our places of worship, then who are we as Christians? Paul fought against similar attitudes: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).

We cater our world to what we want. We fit things into our own boxes and make decisions and actions that are selfish and uncaring of others. Sure, communication would be easier if we all spoke English, but what about the beauty of inculturation. If we simply pass on the opportunity to learn about other cultures, the rich traditions they carry, and even their language, then we are rejecting our neighbor, our brother, our sister.

If we answer the question that Jesus asks us, “Who do you say that I am?” and proclaim him to be our Messiah, the Christ, and we profess to be followers of him, then we need to answer the question “Who am I?” in light of those responses.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Yesterday I had a phone conversation with the Associate Director for Echo; it was our fall "check-up," to see how things are going. We had a small discussion on mindfulness because I told her about my unwinding ritual of drinking tea every night. She brought up something she read on living mindfully...always being aware to the moment we are living in.

Well, ironically, today has been very unmindful. Oy. I completely forgot about my birthday lunch: some of the ladies from my parish wanted to take me out a day early. This morning I figured I wouldn't go into work until later since I'll be there late because of religious ed classes, so I did some homework at the house and hoped to get in to the office by 12. At 12:10 I was about 4 minutes away and my mentor called, wondering where I was. Oops. I was planning on getting to the office and finishing my homework, which I needed to post by 2pm. And then...lunch... Well, turns out I got my homework done in 15 minutes, though it can't be very good.

I feel very anxious right now. I've been thinking about a guy too much! But how do you get someone off of your mind!? I need to relax...breathe...and be mindful of this day.

Tomorrow is my birthday. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ugh, homework.

Here I am, back at it again. My last on-line class for my M.A. through Notre Dame. Praise the Lord! I'm working on my discussion post right now, which is supposed to be 300 words. I have 200 so far, not too shabby since I haven't finished it yet! The only thing is that we're studying Thomas Aquinas right now. I cannot wait to get to the other part of the course, but that will be in 5 more weeks... Thomas is great, but way too intellectual for my own good! I'm taking my sweet 'ol time working on this assignment. My Pandora station helps get me through it. An Echo friend suggested Joshua Radin and I love the music that comes with it! It's very chill and occasionally it plays more upbeat songs. It's a great station for work, besides the praise and worship stuff. :)

Ok, back to discussing what the reality is of the Eucharist.

A sacrament is so termed because it contains something sacred... the Eucharist contains something which is sacred absolutely, namely, Christ's own body...
ST III.73.1 ad 3

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tea Time

This year is going to be extremely busy. Not only do I have a bit more responsibilty at my parish but I am also the new co-coordinator for our Diocesan Young Adult Council. Oy! That means an extra meeting once a month and lots of extra emails: checking up on the teams I'm "in charge" of and communications with the Core Team. And of course I have my lovely class I'm taking and all other social young adult events. *Takes a deep breath*

With that being said, the past few nights I have taken to brewing myself a cup of tea and reading a bit from a book. I think I'll be making this a nightly ritual, it is such a great way to unwind! I think I'll be reading something different every night, but all the books are related in some way to spiritual reading.

I'm also trying to stay on top of keeping my room clean. As an ENFP I tend to neglect common household chores - oops! I have been trying my best to stay on top of my dirty dishes, and I must say, I have been doing quite well! I'm still in the process of cleaning my room, which wasn't very clean when I left for Notre Dame for the summer. Not only will I feel more at peace with life once it is clean, I'll be able to relax even more in my room since I won't have to worry about picking stuff up and/or sorting through junk in drawers. It's a process... but I'm working on it! I have a lack of storage space in my room, even though have a walkin closet.

I'm looking forward to a peaceful year and learning how to manage my time better. That is a lifelong process, I know, because it can change when life events change.

He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Mark 4:39

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to Texas

I find myself once again in Texas. So many things are changing, developing, evolving, and growing. I only have one year left at St. Andrew's and I'll be looking for jobs in Fort Worth soon. I was reminded today of a youth minister position that is open in Denton...I might have to get my resume finished quickly to get it to them!

I look forward to this upcoming year with great anticipation. I will have more responsibility at St. Andrew's, being in charge of high school religious ed and helping out with middle school R.E. as well, and I am the new co-coordinator for the diocesan Young Adult Council. Hopefully this will all be manageable! I'm also looking forward to developing all of my relationships more this year. I met a plethora of amazing people last year and I'm sure this year will provide many opportunities to get to know them more, plus even new people! There is one particular relationship that might be developing into something more... :)

I should continue to unpack...I'm really bad at this game of getting clothes from my suitcase(s) to the closet.

"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances..."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, April 27, 2009

Celebrity Awesomeness

Check out this news article on a celebrity who is speaking out on abortion:


Monday, March 23, 2009

Leaky Eyes

I don't know what it is about the movie Raise Your Voice but it never ceases to be able to make me cry. The story revolves around Terri's brother dying in a car accident. He had just graduated from high school while she is a couple years younger than him. It's extremely sad to see her (and their parents) struggle and learn to cope with Paul's death. It's also a story about self-discovery. The last time I watched it I came home from college - I'm not sure if it was for the summer or on a break - but that night I balled my eyes out! I guess I needed a good crying. At this point in time I think the brother/sister relationship gets to me. In a couple months my brother will be deporting for Iraq. I'm sure he'll be fine, but he'll also be gone for 9 months (or something like that). Christmas is going to be quite strange without him there. Things get difficult enough splitting holidays now that my parents have been divorced. It's approaching five years now, but time doesn't solve all problems.

Things continually change in life but we have to keep on living. The most difficult part can be just that, figuring out how to live with the changes. It took awhile to transition to living here in Fort Worth and sometimes I feel as if I'm still in that transition.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Simple Quote

Here I am, in my office on a Sunday afternoon, waiting to go to the 12:30 Mass. Between RCIA and Mass I decided to pick up a book I had briefly began a month or two ago called "The Sun and Moon Over Assisi." It is the story of one man's conversion sparked by the Franciscan way of life and he then writes on the lives of both St. Francis and Clare. In the book he quotes another man who wrote one of the many biographies on St. Francis.

Paul Sabatier, in his introduction to his Life of St. Francis of Assisi, writes: "One must not ask too much of history. The more beautiful a sunrise is, the more difficult it is to describe it."

I found that last sentence to be rather profound and full of truth. It's also touching to me because two weeks ago I saw two of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in awhile, they were simply breathtaking and I did not want to turn my gaze away. Unfortunately, one of the evenings I was driving, so I had to pay attention to the road! But in those moments I reflected on the beauty of God and how he wants to romance us in such little ways.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March Storm

The clouds roll in
kissing the wings of birds in flight.
Branches swaying at its whisper,
the shadow from sun a delight.

Rain dances down
soaking into the worn grass.
Puddles forming at its touch,
the mirror image broken like glass.

Thunder storms in
breaking the silence of night.
Dreams cowering under covers,
the wait is long for the light.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Linking Posts

It turns out that I never finished my thoughts on gratitude... I think things got quite busy that day. Today I spent the most time and energy on a blog post in awhile and it has the length to prove it! I thought I'd link to it from this blog. So here it is:


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In Gratitude

As we move through our daily actions we can forget, so easily, of the many things to be thankful for. This morning I was reflecting on my Echo community and how many of us have faced, or are facing, some struggles in our lives, whether it be due to death of family, medical situations of others, or depression in loved ones. These situations affect us and our lives, but we have too much to be grateful for. My grandfather passed away last Thursday, but I am very grateful that he lived such a long life (90 years) and that he had such a peaceful death.

I am especially thankful for my friends and the different communities I have, whether they are from college, Echo, or new friendships here in Fort Worth. I am extremely blessed to have such wonderful support and I feel so loved by everyone!

to be continued... (got caught up in my day)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Texan love grows...

Thinking back to my anger and horror about finding out that I would be in Texas for two years is kind of funny now. Who would have thought I'd love it this much!? God has some amazing plans for us that we discredit too easily. I do not know what my future holds...but maybe it involves Texas...

Before I went back to Wisconsin for Christmas break I thought about the prospect of living in Texas for a year or two after Echo. I've found such a wonderful community of friends, plus who can complain about the weather!? When I went home, though, I changed my mind. I didn't care for having to travel by plane to go home for the holidays, plus there was a sense of peace when I was in Peoria; I do enjoy that city!

Now I feel torn about where I'll be after Echo! At this current moment I'm leaning more towards Fort Worth. It just seems so weird to think about living here! Reflecting on it, my thoughts are these: even if I were to live up "north," such as Illinois, how often would I see my parents there? Of course, certainly more than I would see them living down here, but it wouldn't be all the time. Most of my friends from college are spread throughout several states, so it's not like we'd ever be together again as a whole. I have an amazing group of friends down here and I continue to meet new people! I know I would make new friends if what ever city I live in, but this group is almost irreplaceable! Friends become your family and I know I can depend on these people. And I sure do love the weather!

I shouldn't be worrying about this right now, I have a year before I have to start looking for jobs. It has been on my mind though. Right now I simply need to enjoy the present moments and the blessings God continues to shower upon me!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Retreat Reflections

Last weekend I went on our Echo Winter Retreat up in Indiana. It was amazing to spend time with our communtiy at large and to laugh and share stories with one another as we did in the summer. The theme was "The Beloved Waiting in the Heart of Darkness." Deep, huh? In all seriousness, I loved it. While at Adoration I wrote a small reflection, which I'll share now. The second is a small poem also written on the weekend, and the third is a reflection I wrote during our end-of-summer retreat.

"In Mary's Mantle"

I cling tightly to her cloak, covering my eyes in fear of the unknown. I wish to hide myself behind her, cowering from the world. She seeks out my hand in gentle compassion, but I put it in my pocket. "My child," she softly whispers, "come out to the world. I will protect you in the midst of trial and terror. Let me hold you in my arms and wrap you in my mantle. I only ask you to come out from hiding so you can live life fully and experience love as God intends for you." I took her hand and she uncovered my eyes as my heart filled with joy and a tear fell from my cheek.


Darkness, a true offering,
though not one of despair.
A hope for love, a hope for peace.
The flood of tears that filled the night
brought comfort to the solitude.
A longing to love and to be loved,
only fulfilled in the One
whose name is Love.
A soul faced with its deepest desires.

Reflection from Isaiah

I am a daughter of God, one of His beloved, and He has given me a name. He calls to me to chase His will and follow His heart. I can't do much except obey. And where else is the safest place but in the arms of my Father? In them I am also wrapped in Mary's mantle, with her loving gaze looking upon me. And in Adoration I can gaze lovingly upon the Lord - but it is such a mystery!