For the first time in a number of years, Catholic men of the Greater Cincinnati area once again have the opportunity to gather and be ignited in their faith at this year’s E6 Catholic Men’s Conference happening on Saturday, March 5, 2016 from 8am-3:30pm at East Central High School in St. Leon, IN. Drawing from the scripture passage from Ephesians 6: 11-17 in which St. Paul tells believers to “put on the armor of God,” this year’s conference aims to strengthen men in their resolve to be men of faith and disciples of Jesus Christ.
There are many great reasons why you should attend this year’s conference, not the least of which is that we will be there! To learn more about E6, check out this short write up by The Catholic Beat and then go to www.e6catholicmensconference.com to register and watch a couple of fantastic videos that give you a glimpse into what you expect at the conference. Finally, if you are able, please help spread the word in your parish about the conference by making copies of the 2016 E6 Men’s Conference Flyer.
See you there!
The month of March is National Women’s History Month and two years ago a group of women religious had the fantastic idea to take some of that month to highlight the great history and influence of consecrated women in the history of our nation and of the Church! This year, on March 8-14, 2016, please celebrate with us and your parish National Catholic Sisters Week!
At www.nationalcatholicsistersweek.org you will find the history and purpose of the week, you will find resources to help you get involved in the week, and links to events that are happening across the nation to honor religious sisters.
For more inspiration and bulletin materials, go to www.sisterstories.org. There you can share your own note of gratitude for a religious woman who impacted your life, you can read the vocation stories of several women who have found their joy in following God’s will to give everything as a religious woman, or you can read more about sisters who have had great influence over the years.
If you are a young man who has lately (or for a very long time) felt a tugging at your heart toward the vocation of the Holy Priesthood, then it is well worth your time to check out the opportunites that are fast approaching to visit a seminary or religious community for a weekend with no strings attached. These opportunities cost nothing but time and your own travel expenses and give you unmeasurable benefits: a small taste of seminary life, interaction with seminarians (with whom you may one day be studying), discussions on discernment and practical tips on how to discern your vocation, and answers to all the practical questions you might have. Check out the details and flyers below and plan to attend.
Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, 2016: Welcome Weekend at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West – This weekend takes place at the seminary of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West is currently housing the highest number of seminarians it has seen in more than 35 years and is looking to increase that number with the help of God’s grace. Fr. Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh, Rector and Fr. Anthony Brausch, Vice Rector along with Frs. Earl Fernandes, David Endres, Paul Ruwe and Tom McQuillen provide the leadership for the seminary and set the tone for both a rigorous and pastoral formation environment in which all seminarians become better men while being formed to be holy priests.
Thursday-Saturday, March 10-12, 2016: College Live-in at Pontifical College Josephinum – This extended weekend takes place at the only Pontifical Seminary outside of Italy. The Josephinum has a long proud history of forming men to become great priests and the tradition has continued under the leadership of Rector Msgr. Christopher Schreck and College Vice-rector Fr. John Rozembajgier. In addition to the typical visit to a seminary which always includes the daily horarium of prayer, this visit also gives guests the opportunity to sit in on seminary classes to get a feel for the level of education our seminarians undergo. Register for the Live-in here.
Friday-Sunday, March 18-20, 2016: Come Away weekend at New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, Iowa. From the informational brochure: Would you like to learn more about religious life? Do you have questions about discerning your vocation? You are invited to share in our monastic celebration of the Liturgy of Hours, joining with us to pray together in the simplicity and beauty of our church. There will be time to talk about your personal story and to hear how we discerned our vocations. You will be able to share with others participating in the weekend, your experiences, hopes, and concerns about making life decisions. “Come Away” is offered as a retreat experience for single Catholic men between the ages of 23 and 45 who are discerning the possibility of a call to monastic life.
All three of these opportunities provide much for a person who is discerning a call to the consecrated life! Please prayerfully consider attending and giving God the opportunity to speak more clearly to your heart in a place where He is currently forming the hearts of men to be more united to His.
Today we added to our website a new resource for all parish vocation ministries across the Archdiocese. Initiated by a group of women from Immaculate Heart of Mary in Anderson Township and passed along to our office, the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests prayer apostolate.
This movement comes out of a recommendation by the Congregration for the Clergy when they published a document back in 2007 entitled Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity. In this document we read, “Pope St. Pius X rightfully confirms his experience that, ‘Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it goes through the heart of a mother!'” And in this statement he does not mean to limit motherhood to those who are physical mothers, but, along with Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, he extends that meaning to all women who commit their lives to holiness and to prayer for priests. Children, mothers, widows, religious sisters, all can be spiritual mothers and the world needs them to become just that!
Please, take the time to read the documents found on our resource page, be inspired by the power of a mother’s prayers, look into the other great information on Spiritual Motherhood and pray about becoming a spiritual mother yourself and bringing a Spiritual Motherhood Sodality to your parish.
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.
In this is love brought to perfection among us,
that we have confidence on the day of judgment
because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. 1 John 4: 17-18
Yesterday, the first reading at mass ended with these beautiful and challenging words. God is love. What a beautiful thought and yet, it is easy for us to think of so many times in our lives when we don’t let love in our hearts. We choose to let anger and bitterness and resentment dwell there. We choose to let fear dwell there. We choose to let perfectionism and perhaps even legalism dwell there. Instead, this brief passage, and the opening verses from today’s mass (go here to read that right now) are challenging us to let only Love dwell there and to act from that FIRST.
Our perfect following of God’s holy will will only happen when we truly learn to love and to hold onto Love in all situations. When we seem to be lost in our vocation, when we seem to be stuttering on how to respond to difficult situations in our lives, we must turn to God and beg for the grace to love and to remember how gracious God is in giving us the most perfect example of Love. Our response to that is our love for those we can see and interact with on a daily basis. We show our love for God by showing love for our neighbors and our brothers. If we cannot do that, we cannot love God.
As we seek perfection, as we seek God’s will, as we seek refuge from our fears, let us do so by courageously examining how well we love one another. It is through this constant seeking to love and be the Love of God in this world that we will be transformed and become the person God has created us to be.
Nearly 10 days ago, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was pleased to accept the candidacy of 4 new men for holy orders. This ceremony, which occurred on December 8th, is the first step in a process that, with God’s grace, will ultimately lead them to the Catholic Priesthood. Candidacy does not mean that the men are definitely going to be priests nor does it mean that they have taken any vows that would keep them from leaving formation if they discern it is God’s will to do so. This means that the Church formally recognizes that these men are worthy of being ordained with the expectation that he then will fulfill all the requirements to prepare him for the priesthood. Along the journey to the priesthood, these men will also be instituted as lectors and acolytes. These “minor orders” are conferred upon the seminarians and designate them as special ministers of the Word and of the Holy Eucharist respectively.
We congratulate the four men studying for the Archdiocese (Andrew Reckers, Jeremy Stubbs, Benson Lotiang’a, and Chris Komoroski) as well as their four classmates of other dioceses (Tim Fernandez, Tulsa; Robert Healy, Tulsa; David Casal, Tula; Bryan Furlong, Youngstown).
Expect to see yellow!
This coming Saturday, November 7th, the annual Pro-Life Saver 5K will be run out in Anderson Township and given the fervor for the pro-life movement that can so often be found in our seminaries these days, it may not be a surprise that many men from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West will be joining in the race whose proceeds go to the Cincinnati Right to Life.
You might be surprised, though, to hear that nearly 20 of the seminarians will be either running or walking in the 5K and all of them will be spreading the message about vocations, too! All of the men will be sporting the Run for the Call team shirts and reminding everyone that, not only are all of us formed in God’s image and deserve the chance at a life of dignity, we are made by God for some definite purpose and our response is to run headlong towards the will of God.
May we all continue to strive for the day when every person is allowed to keep the life and dignity granted him by his Creator and each of us has the courage to seek out and enthusiastically fulfill the purpose for which we are created!
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