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Welcome! I'm Father Greg. This site is a forum for St. Andrew parishioners to ask ANY (appropriate) questions about the Catholic faith, related or unrelated to my posts. All comments have to meet my approval before they are posted. I'm sorry for the approval process and subsequent delays, and I thank you for your patience and understanding. This is a site for positive and inspiring comments that will benefit people. Thanks, and may you know the peace of Christ!
When I was young, I worked as a rectory aide at my parish, Our Lady of Lourdes in Bethesda. For four hours every Thursday, I answered the phones, answered the door, and locked the Church. It was a pretty good gig: I made $7 cash plus two Cokes! The highlight was whenever the priest would come to visit me or check in. I was at the far end of the rectory, so I would always hear the priest coming. This gave me time to straighten myself up, turn off the TV, and look holy or something. One night during the summer, I heard a priest coming to see me. I got myself in order and then he popped in. He was wearing a t-shirt, swimming trunks, a funny hat, and had a towel draped over his shoulder. He said, “Hi, I’m Father Wells, the new priest”. “Hi”, I said. “I’m going to a pool party. You wanna go?”, he asked. “I have to answer the phones”, I replied, kind of mystified that he would even ask. “Ok, see ya later”, he said. Then, he was gone. I was thinking to myself, ‘what just happened? Who was that?’
Is there any difference between Communion that is offered at a Catholic Mass and Communion that is offered at a Protestant service? I’ve heard many people, including Catholics, say no, there is no difference. A good friend of mine, Ken, would answer differently. Ken was a Protestant who came to RCIA when I was leading it in my last parish. On the first night when everyone introduced themselves to the group, Ken made it very clear that he had no intention of becoming Catholic. Married to a Catholic with two kids in a Catholic school, he said that he simply wanted to go deeper in his study of the Bible; he had studied the Bible extensively before RCIA.
I've been getting thoughtful emails and notes from former parishioners and friends, asking how things are going here at the Newman Center. A few of them have made the comment that it's probably quiet here now, with the students away on summer break. Sha! I understand their thinking, but there has been much going on here this summer. We've undertaken many projects to fix up the Newman Center; most to address structural problems in this 100 year-old home and some to improve things aesthetically.
Next week, the Archdiocese is hosting a retreat for high school young men, "Quo Vadis Days". This retreat has been held in other dioceses, with 100 boys attending in at least two dioceses. Currently, there are less than 30 signed up to go next week. We need more guys going! It will be a GREAT experience for the boys to enjoy some fraternity and grow in holiness. Please encourage any high school boys who you think may be interested to go...and bring their friends!
“Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life”. This teaching from our Lord reminds me of a friend of mine. When I met her a few years ago, she basically admitted that her life was all about food that perishes, it was all about this world. She was living a secular lifestyle and pursuing a secular career. It wasn’t all bad, but she wasn’t happy. At the same time, she wanted to go deeper in her Catholic faith. It was so cool to see her go deeper during those weeks and months and begin to work for food that endures for eternal life. It didn’t surprise me, then, when she called me sometime later to let me know that she was entering religious life as a sister. Very cool stuff! It is so amazing to see young people go deeper in their faith, be open to God’s Call, and then follow it. Now, we don’t need to enter religious life to live out this teaching of Christ’s, but my friend is a great example to us. We should all look at our lives and see if they are just about this world only or if they point to something else: eternal life.
The following is a news release from the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) dated July 30, 2009 regarding the health care reform bill that is now before Congress. Please pray and fast that the introduced bill - which is pro-abortion as Cardinal Rigali makes clear in his letter - does not pass.
I wrote a while back about one of the best Marian devotions that I have found, “Total Consecration” by St. Louis de Montfort. Pope John Paul II once called this devotion “ a turning point in my life”. I would echo that sentiment! “Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary” is a 33 day prayer that is renewed each year. I began my consecration in 1999 and am now renewing it for the 10th year. God has given me so many amazing graces in being able to answer His Call to be a faithful priest during these years; I am convinced that the consecration has played a huge role in obtaining these graces. Just as there are so many graces when Jesus comes to us through Mary (e.g., Incarnation), so there are many graces when we go to Jesus through Mary (e.g., Consecration).
When I was growing up, my family and I would go down to the beach every August. We were able to use a house of a friend of my Dad’s in Bethany Beach for two weeks. It was the highlight of every summer! When school finished in June, we couldn’t wait to get to the beach. During the days, we went to the beach and enjoyed time in the ocean or went to the pool. At night, we played board games – lots of board games! – or went to the boardwalk or something fun. It was such a great time! It was good, quiet, family time. Of course, there were a few disagreements here and there, maybe some arguments; I didn’t have anything to do with them…ok, so I did. Overall, though, I look back on those vacations with such fond memories because they were some of our best moments as a family.
A friend sent me the following story about a courageous and inspiring prayer that was given by a minister in Kansas. Some powerful stuff!
1) Someone recently sent me the link to the video that the Washington Times produced during the DC ‘Hood (basketball team of priests and seminarians of Washington) game at Verizon Center ’08. It is very well done! Many thanks to the Times, especially the videographer, Barbara Salisbury. Please check out the video by clicking on today's title.
Years ago as a seminarian, I was privileged to spend a few weeks in Calcutta, India with the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa’s sisters. It was an incredible experience being able to be with the sisters and serve the poorest of the poor. One image that stands out from that trip is the day that two of the sisters were sent off to different countries to do mission work. They were only allowed to take one box of things. One, little box! I moved here 10 days ago and had a whole lot more than one box (Msgr. Filardi said that I had more stuff than he did…but, he came back for another load in the afternoon, so he might have had more!). These sisters definitely live the simple, detached life that our Lord calls us to live in today’s Gospel.
Keeping things light from time to time is strongly encouraged on our sites! Here is a list of puns that a friend sent me. Hope you enjoy these “puns of fun”: