Our seminarians at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West have started a youtube page, menofthemount1. If you have some free time and you want to be entertained, I suggest you check their videos out here: . They are funny, inspirational, prayerful, faithful and joyful.
A couple days ago, my wife and I were recapping what was a very long and frustrating day at our house. You see, along with our five children and dog, my wife’s grandmother lives in our house. She has dementia and is 85 years old. Her feet often develop sores and she often loses her balance when walking (though most of the time she is good about utilizing her walker). Grandma, also is used to life on her own (even though she hasn’t lived on her own in more than 2 years, each day can be like her first day “visiting” relatives and expecting to go home at the end of the day). Thus, when my wife or I help her to the bathroom or help her with her meal, we aren’t always met with gratitude and a pleasing demeanor. To her, we are invading her autonomy and quite frankly, she doesn’t like that. Not. One. Little. Bit. On the day of this particular conversation, my wife had spent the entire day with the “ungrateful” side of grandma.
While I tried to allow her just to vent, I was also piously peppering in reminders to find a bit of God’s grace in these moments, reminding her that these times of being yelled at or hit could be great opportunities for offering up those who need our prayers, I wasn’t prepared for what she said next.
“The truth is”, she said, “I keep trying to remind myself that Jesus would have died on the cross just to save the soldier who nailed him there.”
I had just returned from a fantastic workshop in which we were asked to come up with our 30 second recount of the kerygma, the story of salvation in a couple sentences, and I was so happy to share mine with her. I told her, “Jesus loved ME and died for ME so that I could be with Him in heaven for all eternity.” Those who were brought up with the Baltimore Catechism could have said it even more eloquently, but the thought my wife hit me with that evening blew me away! He would have died on the cross just for the soldier who nailed him there. He would have DIED just for the people who spat on him, who struck him with reeds, who celebrated his scourging at the pillar, who wove the crown of thorns and pressed it down onto his head and mocked his kingship.
“And,” she continued, “if He would have endured all that for the very people who were persecuting Him, who am I to expect anything more?” And you know what? She’s absolutely right. The Church’s history is filled with men and women who followed Jesus’ example. They prayed daily for those who were persecuting them and the stories of the martyrs are filled with people praying for the salvation of those who were about to kill them.
My wife and I are not martyrs, but we are trying to be saints, and if we are going to work with God’s grace to get to heaven, we must die to ourselves and show her Christ by treating her with every dignity he showed the very soldiers who led him to and nailed him to the cross.
Who is the Roman soldier in your life? How can you die for that person today?
A fantastic opportunity for Catholic young adults is once again coming to the University of Cincinnati! On February 23, 2015 the Frassati Speakers Series presented by the UC Society of St. Paul will continue with an engaging presentation by renowned speaker Matthew Leonard. Author of two books, Louder than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic and Prayer Works! Getting a Grip on Catholic Spirituality, Leonard will be presenting on the topic Love Hurts: The Truth Behind Redemptive Suffering. The talk will take place in the Tangeman University Center Great Hall and will go from 7-8:30 pm. You don’t want to miss this great opportunity to grow in love with your faith and be inspired to transform your lives into lives of prayer.
Sometimes a vocation comes as a quiet nudge that needs a boost.
Now there’s online help coming in Lent for women between the ages of 20-40 interested in exploring this nudge, according to Sr. Marilyn Kerber, SNDdeN, Archdiocesan Director of the Office of Religious.
She welcomes these women to consider making the Online Discernment Retreat sponsored by Communities of Women Religious in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Covington. Those exploring a vocation can meet with a director via Skype, email or phone during Lent 2015.
Sr. Marilyn said she read about the online retreat developed by the
Federation of Charity Vocation Directors in E-Voc, an online newsletter by the Cincinnati Charities for 20-something and 30-something women.
Taken with the idea, Sr. Marilyn investigated the site. With the help of Sr. Ruth Lubber, SND, she was able to develop a more generic online retreat.
The Greater Cincinnati Area Vocation Ministers were very supportive of the idea and reviewed the work that Sr. Marilyn and Sr. Ruth had undertaken. To complete the package, the Vocation Ministers have supplied names of their spiritual directors who would be willing to facilitate a woman wishing to make this Online Retreat.
Sr. Marilyn said she hopes younger women, more comfortable with online activities and interactive media, would find this helpful in their efforts to discern a vocation.
To register or get more information contact Sr. Cathy Bauer, OSB email@example.com; via text message 859-468-6040 or phone 859-331-6324.
I would like to invite any college man or older to the Ministry Night at Mt. S. Mary’s Seminary of the West. The event takes place on Wednesday, January 28th and begins with registration at 4:30pm. Mass is at 5:15pm followed by dinner, talks and a tour. If you are interested in attending, please give me a call at 513-421-3131 ext. 2890 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 8: Holy Hour for Vocations
Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, 5440 Moeller Ave., Norwood, OH 45212
Join the Children of Mary at a Holy Hour on Tuesday, January 8, from 8-9PM, in the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, OH where Our Lord is enthroned on the altar and wrapped with a stole around the monstrance that extends beneath the altar so that adorers can take hold of the stole and feel the grace that comes from Our Eucharistic Lord. All are welcome and encouraged to come.
Come join our seminarians in a Holy Hour for vocations to the priesthood in the Chapel of St. Gregory the Great Chapel at the Athenaeum/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. For more information call: 513-231-2223 or visit: www.athenaeum.edu.
January 18: Coffee and Conversation Sunday
Following 10:00 am Mass
St. Clare Chapel, 60 Compton Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45215
The Franciscan Sisters of the Poor welcome you for Coffee and Conversation Sunday, January 18 after the 10 am Mass at St. Clare Chapel. This is also a great opportunity for those discerning a religious vocation. Sr. Jo-Ann at 513-761-9040 x 156. www.sfp-vocations.org. Save the date- – Sunday, February 8th for an Open House and Tour of St. Clare Convent and campus.
January 28: Ministry Evening
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, 6616 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45230
The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West is hosting a Ministry Evening on Wednesday, January 28th for all men college age and older who are interested in learning more about seminary life and the formal discernment process that leads to ordination to the Priesthood. Men will join in prayer and dinner with seminarians and hear informative talks by seminarian faculty. There is no charge for the evening. All interested are asked to contact the Vocation Office at 513-421-3131 x.2891.
The numbers are in and the prayers are sent! Last Wednesday and Thursday, during National Vocation Awareness Week, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati participated in its first ever Archdiocesan Holy Hour for Vocations during which more than 25 locations participated in an hour of Eucharistic Adoration during which they prayed for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life and a revitalization of the need for all of us to seek and follow the will of God in our lives. The night was a huge success!
One parish in Cincinnati, Christ the King, had 8th grade students lead a living rosary during which they lit one another’s candles as they said one “Hail Mary” after another. Other parishes offered prayers written by Pope Benedict XVI, more prayed a litany of vocations and still others added prayers written by St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests. All parishes offered individuals the opportunity to pray silently before our Eucharistic Lord and undoubtedly the Spirit was alive and moving across the Archdiocese! More than 400 people in all prayed before the Altar of God and many more were encouraged to join the invisible monastery of their homes.
In addition to these, the other 5 dioceses in Ohio participated in their own Diocesan Holy Hour so that throughout much of the day, the Lord heard the pleading of thousands across this state for more courageous young men and women who are willing to generously answer the call to the consecrated life as priests or religious.
It is expected that this newly created event will become a regular occurrence each year during Vocation Awareness Week. The second annual happening will likely be on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. Mark your calendars now and in the meantime, continue to pray for an increase in religious vocations and for God to reveal to you the purpose for which He created you.