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Blog - What is God doing?

"Behold, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" Isaiah 43:19
This blog seeks with the eyes of faith to perceive in prayer what God is doing in the youth of St. Patrick's.

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The Old and the New

It has now been two years since I've been here at Saint Patrick's and I've loved every moment of it!  Time certainly flies when you're having fun.  In my two years of being Patrick the youth minister from Saint Patrick's, I've received some very interesting feedback on different aspects of youth ministry.

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“See what love the Father has given us…”

Last summer I met with Father Cassian after a youth night where we offered confession.  Up until this point, we only had confession available strictly for our teens on retreats and at about 3 or 4 special youth nights during the year.  After this particular youth night, Father spoke well of the fruitfulness of the Sacrament of Confession in the life of the teens.  “They need it,” he repeated, “to be reconciled to the truth; they need to know the Lord’s love and to know His mercy.”

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Follow the law? On underage drinking and speeding

My 19 year old self is reading the title of this blog post, seeing the association with a youth group and already judging the outcome as narrow-minded, biased and giving me prideful reasons why I should write it off.  Yeah, if I met my 19 year old self, there would be quite a reckoning.

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Discipleship, Distance and Denial

He went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.  He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. (mark 3:13-15)

To be with or not to be with...

This passage,more than any other of recent, has dramatically shifted my relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Beyond my life, I would admit that it has radically altered the way I approach youth ministry at St Patrick's and is fast transforming the lives of our teens. Let's dive in. What blows me away is this: just like he called His first disciples, so too does Jesus call each of us by name.  The first and logically most important part of discipleship is the call that we should "be with Him." This summer I interviewed 20+ incredible teens for our peer ministry team and asked each one of them what it meant to be a disciple. Each and every teen responded with the works of a disciple...ie witnessing, evangelizing, serving, leading etc.  Before being enamored by this passage I would have responded with my favorite quotes on the missionary discipleship from Pope Francis and the great commission of Matthew 28. A discipleship defined by doing for Jesus without being with Jesus brutally misses the heart of discipleship. Discipleship is first about being rather than it is about doing.

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The Holy Spirit is not Tame

Today I want to share with you two powerful, two very connected events.  Yesterday (Aug 17) was our beloved Father Gregory Schnackenberg O.P.'s final Mass as parochial vicar at St. Patrick's.  For those of you who don't know, Father is being sent back to school at Oxford University with the Blackfriars in England.  During the Consecration at the epiclesis (action of priest calling down the Holy Spirit) right as Fr. Gregory raised his hands and called on the third person of the Holy Trinity, the thurible immediately started blazing.  The fire was over a foot high coming out of the thurifer.  On the left is a picture of the thurible I took after Mass.  On the right I photoshopped about how big the fire was.

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Saint John Paul the Great

This past Tuesday was our Pope Party to celebrate the canonization of Pope's John XXIII and John Paul II.  The end of the year, especially during May, its common to see a drop off in attendance at youth nights. That didn't happen last night. As many know I was blessed represent our parish and go on pilgrimage to celebrate the canonization Mass in Rome.  Last week my wife Emily, daughter Gianna and I had the amazing opportunity to attend the canonization Mass.  For Emily and I, the gift of the papacy and especially that of Pope John Paul II, has been one of the richest sources of grace, truth and love that we’ve received in our lives as young Catholics. 

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The Beauty of Silence

"He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb. There he came to a cave, where he took shelter. But the word of the LORD came to him: Why are you here, Elijah? He answered: “I have been most zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts, but the Israelites have forsaken your covenant. They have destroyed your altars and murdered your prophets by the sword. I alone remain, and they seek to take my life.”  Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19: 8-13)

Last night on April 15th was truly one of most incredible nights I've experienced here at St. Patrick's.

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