How Being in Band Impacted Me

The following is a prepared speech for the Thompson Junior High School Spring Concert on March 12, 2015. I could not attend the concert so it was read by Mr. Dan Harrison, Director of Bands. 

My name is Ryan Adorjan and I am a 2010 graduate of Oswego High School. I deeply regret that I cannot be with you tonight in person. I started playing the trombone in 2003 under the direction of Rachel Maxwell at Traughber Junior High (but please don’t hold that against me!). At Traughber I played my way through the levels of curricular band and was also a member of the pep band and the jazz band. When I started at OHS, I joined marching band, jazz band, and concert band. I played for three years in the Wind Symphony, the top curricular band, and I was a drum major for two years in the footsteps of my older brother. After graduation, I played in the North Central College Wind Ensemble for one year. For most of my time in high school, I considered going to college to become a high school band director. In 2011, I very reluctantly put my trombone away as I transferred to St. John Vianney College Seminary to pursue my life-long dream of becoming a Catholic priest (how’s that for a plot twist?).

There are so many things I could say about how being in band has impacted me and has affected nearly every aspect of my life. I would love to tell you about the many excellent band directors I have had, or the frustrating and rewarding moments of nearly 10 years of private lessons, or the feeling of pride and accomplishment when I saw my name on the OHS Wind Symphony roster my sophomore year. I can tell you about the incomparable feeling of standing on the drum major podium watching the sun go down over the practice field and of having my name announced as I strutted down the 50 yard line at Ken Pickerill stadium under those “Friday night lights.” From the trips to Chicago and Magic Waters in junior high, to trips to Cedar Point, New York City, and Disney World in high school, being in band has allowed me to see and experience things I may otherwise not have seen and done.

But underneath all of these external experiences, something else was at work. I remember a day at marching band during my sophomore year. It was fall which meant the season was well underway. The director of bands at the time was Mr. Glen Schneider. He mounted the podium before rehearsal one evening and explained a very simple concept that has stuck with me over the years. He said, “When you’re at band, your agenda is not your agenda. Band is your agenda.”

Friends, here’s the thing. Music education taught me a lot of things about the world and about myself. Yeah, it taught to me to read notes and to tap my foot and how to hide my cell phone behind my music during rehearsal. Being in band showed me that I was talented and that I had a place where my talent would not only be acknowledged and appreciated but nurtured so that it could would continue to grow. Band was my agenda not because Mr. Schneider wanted to rule my whole life, but because he saw then what I see now: band is bigger than me, music is bigger than me and there’s something both profoundly individual and yet utterly communal about playing with 100 of your classmates and friends in band. Everybody’s different voice and life story coming together to produce a single, beautiful sound through music. The same concept was the basis of the popular movie, Drumline: we are One Band, One Sound. By being a part of something bigger than myself, I was able to see that I have something very positive to offer. I was able to see that I really did belong somewhere, that I had a safe place to go where people (kids and adults alike) cared about me. My voice, though small, and my trombone, though often out of tune, were part of something much larger and much more powerful than just me on my own.

The lesson from Mr. Schneider’s speech is constantly on my mind as I continue my studies toward the priesthood. This calling requires me to lay down my life for the good of a huge group that is, in many ways, like a band. We are made up of so many different voices coming together to form one sound as we share the journey through life and the hope of heaven. From the very beginning, music has been a way in which I encounter God and encounter the deepest parts of myself. And you never know when band is going to come back into your life. This past school year, I picked up my trombone for the first time in nearly two years to join the seminary’s brass choir. I can’t believe how much I missed it.

Thank you very much for your support of music education in our schools. Most of your children will not go on to study music and become band directors but, because they were in band, your children will all go on to become deep thinkers and quick learners who will know what it means to really belong and to work for the common good of something much bigger than themselves.

Thank you.

Yeah, but would you die for it?

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A couple of months ago, I took advantage of Mundelein’s proximity to Lake Michigan (only about 9 miles) and decided to see the lake from somewhere besides the Chicago lakefront. So I got my act together and took ol’ Patsy the Sonata to Fort Sheridan and had a walk around by the lakefront, the historic fort, etc. It was an awesome day.

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On my way home, I thought I’d be adventurous and drive north on the famous Sheridan Road and gawk at big houses and stuff. Shortly after leaving Fort Sheridan, I noticed a gigantic crucifix monument thing and later saw it was part of Fort Sheridan cemetery (another place I’d never heard of).

Entrance to Fort Sheridan Cemetery. Monument to Father Edward Vattmann (1841-1919).
Entrance to Fort Sheridan Cemetery. Monument to Father Edward Vattmann (1841-1919).

As I walked around, I came across the grave of a guy named Irving Palmer who, from what I can gather, was stationed in the Philippines.

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Except when I looked closer at his headstone, I realized he wasn’t a guy, he was a kid; killed at only 21 years old. Then it dawned on me, “hey, that’s only a year younger than you!” The kid died for his country at the age of 21. You gotta be kidding me. That spurred a huge philosophical discussion in my head regarding for what and for whom I’d be willing to give my life.

It’s one thing to be like, “Oh my God, Janet, I’d literally DIE for a donut right now”, and completely another to be like, “Oh my, [God, country, family, best friend, etc], I’d literally lay my life down for you right now.”

The point is that I feel like we say we’d die for a lot of things and people in our lives and I certainly don’t question the authenticity of those claims. Maybe Irving Henry Palmer went into the service because he wanted to protect his country and knew that part of that was the risk of death. But I want to know what it was like for him at the moment of his death. That moment when it dawned on him that this was the moment he’d thought about but never supposed would actually come. “Lots of my friends came back safe. My father and his father came back safe. But now this moment is here.” I don’t know. I can’t really even imagine something like that. War seems so foreign to me.

Everyday, our brother and sister Christians in the Middle East are facing the moment they’d heard about and never supposed would actually come. Right now, if you asked, I would tell you that I would die for Christ and for his Church if the circumstances played out that way. But, like, in the actual moment, what would happen? Would I flake out? Would I be strong? Would I be a wimp?

And what if no one knew what I did? Would that still be ok with me?

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What if it happened before I felt it was “my turn”?

Children's section at Fort Sheridan Cemetery.
Children’s section at Fort Sheridan Cemetery.

This post has no point. Just my curiosity. We say we’ll die for lots of things, but in the end, at the moment…will we?

They say you die 3 times: first when your body dies, second when the last person stops mourning you, and third when the last time your name is ever mentioned. Here’s hoping the last 500 words contribute to the memory and the living-on of Irving Henry Palmer, a patriot and just a kid.

In Christ,
RA

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My 6 Seconds with Francis Cardinal George

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I’ve been in the presence of Cardinal George many times – at Masses, at dinners, etc. He came here to Mundelein Seminary a few times since I’ve been up here. My mom and I loved watching midnight Mass from Holy Name Cathedral on Christmas.

Last summer, as you know, I spent 10 weeks in Omaha praying and studying at the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University with 175 seminarians from around the country. Cardinal George came to the program to celebrate Mass for us and give us some words of encouragement.

As he was preparing to leave Creighton and go back to the airport, I had the opportunity to hold the door for him as he came into the lobby. He wasn’t using crutches yet but was obviously weak from his cancer.

I was wearing my Diocese of Joliet polo shirt that day and when the cardinal looked up to thank me for holding the door for him, he noticed my Joliet polo shirt and his face lit up. While he was the archbishop of Chicago, he was also the Metropolitan Archbishop for the whole Illinois province, Joliet included. He stopped walking, and said “Oh, Joliet! Wonderful.”

Then he grabbed my hand and said, “We need you. Don’t ever give up”, and kept walking on his way toward the car.

Nothing fancy, nothing exuberant; just humility and grace. He really was one of a kind who inspired so many people in so many ways. I’m sure gonna miss him.

Godspeed, Francis George.

In Christ,
RA

3.5 Years On: the 22 Year Old Professional Altar Server Speaks

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Happy Easter! The Lord is risen, he is risen indeed. Alleluia!

It occurs to me that I have been in the seminary for 3.5 years. For all you math majors out there, this means that on May 1, the last day of this semester (which thanks be to God Almighty is only 3 weeks away) I will have completed 4 of my 7 years of seminary.

As these four years come to a close, I used the time while I was serving 4 Mass in a row on Easter Sunday to take a look back at other things in my life that lasted four years in order to you, you know, put things in perspective. Well, in high school one of my greatest passions was marching band. That lasted four years. It could have continued (sort of) at North Central College, but “eh,” thought I, “I think I’ll try something else now.” Speech team in high school was a pretty good time (see here here here and here for a little narcissism). Another thing I could have continued and had scholarship money for at North Central but “eh,” thought I, “I’m tired of that…let’s try something else.” People, let me put this in perspective for you: speech and band and drama…these things were my entire life, they were the foundation of my identity……….but I mean, eh, everyone runs out of steam.

So there I sat in the same front pew as always at St. Anne’s and it occurred to me, “hey, the 4 year mark of seminary is coming up. It’s moving pretty slowly…do you have anything to show for it? Aren’t you just wasting your time?”

Sub-conscious Ryan had a point. All day I had stood in the narthex greeting high school classmates, some with their new significant others, and we’d chat about our lives. OHS Class of 2010, you’re looking great, by the way. Most of you seemed to have jobs or internships or were in graduate school doing the things you love. Then there’s silly Ryan, your “venerable” class president-turned Mr. Oswego, still playing altar boy all these years later. Somewhere around the end of the sprinkling rite when the deacon splashed me in the face with Holy Water did it dawn on me that I am not only well on my way to becoming this guy, but I’m already the 22 year old professional altar boy.

But the more I thought about it (while intently listening to Fr. John’s homily for the 4th time in a row, of course), I realized there was no need to be alarmed about the four year mark. I think I was genuinely tired of the things I used to do, but that’s totally natural. Here’s the kicker: I’m not tired of this life, of this call, of the future that lies in front of me God-willing as a priest. I am very tired of constant studies and I sometimes get frustrated with community life (both of which help prove my humanity should it ever be questioned), but I am not tired of the people and places and things with which this life has provided and will provide me through the generous and providential hand of almighty GOD.

Rather than shying away, or withering up, or tiring out after 4 years I am strengthened anew for whatever lies ahead of me. For I do not walk alone.

The tabernacle at St. Anne’s is inscribed with these words: Panis Angelorum, Factus Cibus Viatorum. The bread of angels becomes the food of pilgrims.

Panis Angelorum Factus Cibus Viatorum Adoremus in Aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum
Panis Angelorum Factus Cibus Viatorum
Adoremus in Aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum

I am pilgrim and you are a pilgrim and together, yes, as one, we are moving on our pilgrim way. This place, this earth, this state in life is not our final destination and every thing that has come before and everything that lies ahead drips with God’s grace and power and unending love.

And if the psalmist (Ps 110: 4) and whoever the heck wrote Hebrews are right (Heb 7:17), if I really will be a priest not just for this life but forever in the line of Melchizedek, then 4 years ain’t so bad….in fact, here’s to infinity more.

PS: 

In Christ,

RA

“HOLLA atcha, Mary,” said the angel, “you’re finna have a kid, tho”: The Solemnity of the Annunciation

℣. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae,
℟. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

℣. Ecce ancilla Domini.
℟. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

℣. Et Verbum caro factum est.
℟. Et habitavit in nobis.

The less crass and more reverent version of the title of this post might go something like this:

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae
et concepit de Spiritu Sancto. 

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit. (see Luke 1)

Today the Church celebrates the great solemnity of the Annunciation, calling to mind the sending of the Angel Gabriel to Mary announcing that she would conceive in her womb and bear a son, who would be the Messiah.

The image above is my all time favorite depiction of the Annunciation. A simple, humble, and completely pure Jewish girl alone in her room doing whatever it is simple, humble, and completely pure Jewish girls did in ancient Israel. She’s surrounded not by a chubby baby with wings or some great trumpet blaring bird-person, but a quiet and yet overwhelming beam of the purest light from on high. From this light, Mary received the most perplexing greeting: Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with you. (Lk 1:28) This, followed by the strangest news: “behold, you shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called son of the Most High.” (Lk 1:32)

Mary gives the almost-most perfect response: “How can this be?”

God barges into Mary’s life, indeed as the Incarnate Word he barged into the life of the entire world, and changed everything. All at once, the world and its apathetic inhabitants are shaken from the silence of their sinful slumber by the clamor of God’s own messenger proclaiming the dawn of the One to come, the One for whom all of Israel has waited. “For while all things were in quiet silence and the night was in the midst of her course, thy almighty word leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne into the doomed land.” (Wisdom 18:14-5)

Sometimes I feel guilty for having some encounter with the divine, or one that I at least believe to be divinely inspired, and instead of immediately saying, “yes, ok, God I believe it”, I often want to say, “but wait, how can this be?” Ours is a God of surprises. No one in ancient Israel would have guessed that the long-awaited Messiah would himself be God, or that this God exists as a trinity of persons, three-in-one, or that this being who is both fully God and fully man would himself become the expiation for our sins.

How can this be?

Our materialistic, utilitarian, purpose-driven world has trouble with divine things. We have trouble with things we can’t “wrap our minds around” by means of a microscope or lab test. We can’t quite get into things that seem to have no immediate purpose. We don’t like things that make reference to our jaded past, both as individuals and as a society, and we certainly don’t feel comfortable romping around in the wounds of that past for some glimpse, some key into our future health or healing or happiness.

So when we encounter divine things, maybe direct experiences of God or through messengers or through people or nature or whatever, we don’t always know what to do. In these moments, it’s not usually “how can this be”, and is instead “there’s no way this can be”, and we reject it.

This Lent, this Easter, this year, this life let’s make the decision not to let any good (and if you’re really brave, any bad) thing come into or out of our lives without asking that golden question: How can this be? How can it be that the God of the universe is here and wishes to make himself known to me? How can it be that despite everything I’ve said and done to him and against him that he is still here with me, pursuing me with the greatest fervor?

Ask that golden question so that eventually, with Mary, you can utter with confidence, clarity, and grace the platinum statement: Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum: “Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38)

May the words of Elizabeth to Mary be true also of us: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:45)

In Christ,

RA

The Angelus:

. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae,
. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

. Ecce ancilla Domini.
. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

. Et Verbum caro factum est.
. Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. * Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genetrix.
. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. ℟: Amen.

. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.* Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.* Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

. And the Word was made flesh.
. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.* Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
. That we might be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray,
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that, we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.

“My Life is Not my Own” and Some stuff I miss about college

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Greetings from just about halfway through Lent 2015? Are you feeling #blessed yet or are you still basic as ever?

Great news on the vocations front! My friend from the University of St.Thomas, Lizzy Schmitt, found out that she’s been accepted by the Sisters of Life and will be entering the convent in fall of 2015! Please take some time to read up on this relatively young order with an awesome mission.

Lots of Catholic-bashers might be surprised to know that the Church does not have unlimited funds to be spending on whatever it wants, and something that slows down a lot of vocations, especially to religious life, is existing debts that must be paid before a person can enter an order. Lizzy’s case is no exception. BUT! She’s turning this problem into a blessing and a way to spread not only her talent as a beautiful musician but to spread the love of God in other people’s lives. Lizzy along with a bunch of other great music peeps have put together an awesome CD, “Deep Longing” as a way to raise money. You can download the CD here and get more info about donating to help Lizzy pay off her student loan debt here.

I’ve been listening to the CD for the last couple of days and I’m just so amazed at the quality of the music, duh, but the way it is touching my soul and leading me into prayer is incredible. One of her songs, “My Life is Not My Own”, has a refrain that pretty much sums up what its like to choose a state of life that requires pretty much total renunciation of the world’s plans and expectations (and certainly, sometimes, your own plans and expectations) so that a person can live in total conformity with the plan of God. Lizzy takes the famous words of St. Kateri Tekakwitha: “My life is not my own / I have given myself to Jesus” and turns them into a beautifully contemplative song….the kind that refocuses even the most distracted, impatient, balding seminarian (*ahem*) on what really matters: Jesus.

And this song got me thinking: I really miss college.

(Ryan, what does that have to do with anything?)

Internet, I’m glad you asked. Each of us has the capacity to say those words: My life is not my own, I have given myself to Jesus. But what it means for you will be different than what it means for me. Even if, for example, you’re another seminarian who’s given his life to Jesus to serve him and his Church as a priest, our vocations will not, nor should they, be totally identical….mainly because we are not, nor should we be, totally identical. In other words, that phrase…that statement of your commitment to Jesus says one thing: This is my journey with and in and toward and for and through and because of Christ; my life is not my own, I’m on a journey with the Lord. 

Out for a stroll, UST May 2014
Out for a stroll, UST May 2014

When stuff got boring or old at St. John Vianney (which obviously never happened #LOL), I could leave the seminary and walk through campus and run into people from every place and walk of life. And it was those walks and experiences on campus that led me to meet Lizzy and so many others like her who are also on their journey. And I miss hearing about them and their lives. I miss chatting with people in the student center about how the Lord is working in their lives, about how the test went, about how their new business is coming along, or even about the weather and the creepy devil worshipers who hung out at the end of Summit Avenue. Mundelein is great and I love major seminary, but it’s pretty much just us: 210 dudes studying the same stuff all day.

studying all day (and writing about doorknobs, of course: https://cocacolaman.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/the-cross-on-the-doorknob/)
studying all day (and writing about doorknobs, of course: https://cocacolaman.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/the-cross-on-the-doorknob/)

I love to learn and am glad to do it. Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying as “school is dumb, major seminary should be different, I can’t wait to blow this Popsicle stand and get out there in the real world where stuff really matters”….’cuz I’m not saying that.  But more than anything, I long for pastoral service. I yearn (as our ol’ pal Frank has asked of us) to have the smell of my sheep. To know their stories, and not just to hear about their journey, but to be a part of it; to walk with my people as they, and I, encounter God in our midst.

So with that, please pray for me BUT especially pray for Lizzy and other young women and men who are discerning God’s call in their lives. May God bring to fruitful completion what, on the day of our baptism, was so wondrously begun in us.

All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.
All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.

In Christ,

RA

Click the pic below to download the CD

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Week in Review and What I’m Doing for Lent

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Hello everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve really written about what’s happening in my life, so I thought I’d give you a brief synopsis:

In case you missed it living under your rock, I’m currently in my first year (of four) studying theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake – Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, IL. It’s the theological school and major seminary for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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It’s a nice place, yeah?

Fast forward a little bit. Had a very successful fall semester here and am knee deep in the new spring semester with a full load of classes:

  • Christology and Soteriology (study of who Christ is and how He saves us)
  • Doctrine of God (taught by Father Robert Barron; aptly nicknamed “Doctrine of Bob”)
  • American Church History
  • Medical Ethics and Suffering (a neat, neat class)
  • Ecclesiastical Latin (yay…)
  • Principles of Sacred Liturgy
  • Liturgical Chant
  • Theological Reflection
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Now you know why the Theology Classroom building looks like a haunted house

This week, we just finished up our “spring” break. It was a great opportunity to get away and rest awhile, but as usual I ignored the opportunity and stayed pretty busy.

On Sunday, I gave my favorite talk of the year to the high school teens and their leaders and my awesome home parish of St. Anne’s in Oswego. I talked a little bit about what Oswego means to me and how it was the stage for my meeting God.

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But first…

Then, on Wednesday I served at all five Ash Wednesday Masses. Totally pooped by the end of it but it was certainly worth the work! There are two forms that are allowed to be used when applying the ashes:

  • Repent and believe in the Gospel
  • Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return

I always go with the latter option. I can remember having someone say that to me when I was in the RE program. The phrase and its implications have always stuck with me. It was really something to have a line of people all coming forward to receive ashes. You can learn a lot about a person by their forehead, you know. The young people had smooth, worry-less brows while the older people had mostly furrowed brows, wrinkly and worn out foreheads, foreheads that had seen the wear and tear of a life well lived.

There was a woman who came up, walking slowly and cautiously, accompanied by her daughter, and was using an oxygen tank. She looked to be in her 80’s. When I put the ash cross on her forehead and said those words, she sighed a bit as if to say “yes, I know, and I am ready.” She glanced up at the crucifix and continued on her way. I was so moved by that. Later on in the same line, a young mother came down the aisle holding her smiley newborn in her arms. I put the ashes on each of them with the same line as before, but ever more cognizant of the beauty of life and the importance to live well the one we’ve been given…we only get one chance.

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Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.

Then Friday I spent the day at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox speaking to the seniors about vocations and the Church. It was so much fun! The students were awesome and very receptive. These visits always serve as a good reminder that, contrary to popular opinion, there are a lot of young people who love the Lord and want to do his will in their lives. So much fun.

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Not to mention the awesome swag!

Later Friday night, I went back to St. Anne’s to serve the Lenten Stations of the Cross service which included adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and benediction. Three charcoals in that thurible!! Talk about Holy Smoke! One of my favorite things to do. There was no cantor, so I had to lead all of the singing as well which was really cool. It was humbling when people came up afterwards and thanked me for helping to make the service beautiful. A very moving evening.

Saturday, I went with my brother to visit my dad at his house in Stevensville, Michigan. My family has been vacationing in this part of Michigan since my mom was 5 years old; the area means so much to my brother and me. It was neat to see our favorite town, St. Joseph, covered in snow and ice instead of sandy beaches and tourists!

This morning we had Mass at the seminary and then I went to St. James parish in Highwood, IL to teach 8th grade confirmation prep as I do each Sunday. Love it!

And now here we are on Sunday evening. I’m back in Mundyville ready for the next leg of the semester. I have a big presentation on Thursday and will be speaking to the confirmation students at St. James in Glen Ellyn on Saturday. The Joliet Vocations director, Fr. Burke Masters, will be at Mundelein on Wednesday to lead our Morning of Prayer. Busy, busy around here but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And now, some small things I’m doing for Lent. If you’re still in the market for some ideas, maybe try a few of these?

  • Turn off LTE on my phone, only use 4G
  • Heroic minute: no snooze button…up and outta bed in under a minute!
  • Only one episode of Blue Bloods on Netflix per day, no binge watching!
  • No soda during the week
  • Delete Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone
  • No checking texts, Instagram, or Snapchat before saying Morning Prayer
  • No checking my phone once in bed (sadly, this includes Temple Run :[ )
  • Eating healthier; less carbs, more fruits and veggies.

These are all very little things, but they can add up to a lot! They save time, center me, and help to focus on what’s important in life (and don’t steal all of my time away from homework!). Hopefully something on that list will help you, too!

Know of my prayers for a blessed Lent!!!!!!!!! Please pray for me.

Over and out,

RA