Tuesday, May 30, 2006

If you are what you should be . . .

"Be a saint; be who you are," Margaret Adams, a local youth minister, told us yesterday during training. Though her talk focused on tips of how to talk to teens about Theology of the Body, this advice stuck with me the most.

There's a similar line used by Pope John Paul II, which I think originally came from St. Catherine of Siena: "If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze." Even six hundred years after her death, its simple formula still bowls me over.

Later in the afternoon, we were treated to ideas from Luke and Angela, an engaged couple just a bit older than us, on how to teach Theology of the Body through swing dancing. They talked about how swing dancing reflects the differences between male and female. Whether I’m initiating a spin or just keeping the rhythm, when I’m dancing, I as the man take the lead; at the same time, I can’t do whatever gyration strikes my fancy or I’ll totally throw my partner off track; it mimics how God has called me as a man to be a “receptive giver.” Likewise, the woman must follow my lead and receive it and respond to it; her swing dancing role mirrors God’s call to her to be an “active receiver.”

Even more, this “gift” that I offer and my partner receives could be thought of as bearing the fruit of “a joy of dancing.” It serves as an analogy for one of Theology of the Body’s major themes. The man offers; the woman receives; the “joy of dancing” is borne. God offers; Christ receives; the fruit of the Holy Spirit is borne. Christ offers; the Church receives; the fruit of baptized Christians is borne. Husband offers; wife receives; fruitfully, life is born.

(I’m not much of a song and dance guy, so after almost three hours, I’d had my fill. But Luke and Angela’s description the dance floor flair of Fr. Mike Scanlon – the seventy-some former president of Franciscan University – at a friend’s recent wedding made me chuckle. If he can swing dance, so can I.


Also, I've got to give our ladies credit for putting up with sweaty guys that didn't really know what they were doing.)

Beyond their dancing expertise, theological insights, and generosity with their time, Luke and Angela gave us a shining example of using their God-given abilities to work towards His glory. They took us back to St. Catherine of Siena. You could just imagine how if everyone incorporated their talents with their Faith so well, what amazing things could be done.

If you are who God intends for you to be, you will set the world ablaze. I think that there are few things as encouraging as seeing this in action.

Even Jesus lived this out. I nearly jumped out of my seat when I heard His address to His Father in this morning’s Gospel: “I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.”

“By accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.” The work given to Him to do. Jesus didn’t bring us salvation by following His own plan, but seeking out and living out what His Father had laid out for Him.

Within our group, we will need to key in to what talents God has given us. How can they contribute to the good of the group? How can they fit together? How can we nurture the humility to not jump to the limelight, nor shirk from responsibilities, but to seek out and live out what God has laid for us for this trip?

The Holy Spirit Exhausts Me ...

As orientation comes to a close, I feel that I am ready to take a nap. Fortunately though, the Holy Spirit enjoys giving us work to do and most important work at that. Our task is huge. More grand than words can explain and more humbling than I have ever known.

I am overwhelmed, but at the same time everyday renewed by those around me as we participate in the sacraments together. The grace that flows through this group is amazing and I could not be more blessed to be part of the mission of a lifetime. As tired as we are, there is continually an underlying fire that drives each of us to continue our work for God.

Monday, May 29, 2006

very briefly, from Joel

The depths we've reached in training and the things we've come to realize have truly shaped my understanding of our mission this summer. God has given us wonderful opportunities to serve Him, and provided immense grace that we may take advantage of those opportunities in the face of spiritual attack. All considered, our responsibility is huge. Pray for us that we may first realize fully this responsibility and that we may second be given the grace to be good stewards of all we've been blessed with.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Abortion's realities

Today I learned the real effects that abortion has on women. We watched a movie of interviews with post abortive women describing the realities of the situations they were in, and in essence the realities of what abortion truly is, and how it effects women not only in that moment but for the rest of their lives. Women spoke of the things that happened to them the day of the abortion and it was starteling to find out that their abortion still haunted them, and lived with them several years, and sometimes decades later. I hope that this summer all women will be able to realize the truth that these women had to so painfully discover for themselves so that no more women will have to experience the pain and heartache of an abortion.
On a much more positive note of experience we went to see Christopher West yesterday and to say he is absolutely wonderfully awesome would be a complete understatement his phenomenalness cannot be described it must be experienced by everyone listening to him and learning from him themselves. The truth about the church and the Bible is so prevalent and explained in the Bible I am just glad I can have such a better understanding of my faith, and my church and the Theology of the Body......JP II was the smartest man ever!!!!! and I'm not exaggerating at all he really is the smartest man ever! Love and God Bless, ~Megan Nappi

Orientation through Phil's eyes

As we discuss our themes more and more and how to explain them, I can almost feel the energy, the excitement, the joy , and the eagerness if our group increasing. The Theology of the Body, the gift of human life, and the gift of the Eucharist - three monumental realities - though they may seem separate are wonderfully, brilliantly entwined: What hope lies with life! How can we live life to the fullest but with an understanding of the Theology of the Body? And Who is the source of life but Jesus, giving us Himself for us to receive in the Eucharist?

We're embarking on this venture in hopes that our summer-long commitment will be a sign to all we meet of the importance and magnificence of these gifts.

Today I saw...that abortion hurts women.

So much going on, so much to write. I'll start with the abortion.

This afternoon the whole crew went over to adoration that was in the actual space of a crisis pregnancy center (CPC). The CPC was located in a large office building complex and shares a wall with an abortion mill. As everyone went to travel to adoration, Nicole and I broke away from the group in order to go back to the house we're staying at. (Her laundry was "drying" outside, but there were two down pours, so we went back to put the clothes in the dryer.) Anyway, Nicole and I got on the road to go to adoration, took a wrong turn, and eventually arrived.

We went up the stairs to the address of the CPC. As we turned a corner, a girl, no older than 17, limped by us, clutching with one hand the shoulder of who seemed to be her mother, her other hand lay limp over her abdomen. Nicole and I let her by.

Her walk. The soft crying and moaning. The hunched over shoulders and look of defeat on her face. Nicole and I knew. We'd seen it last year in California. Women walk a certain way after an abortion. Every step belies the physical pain left from the intrusion of the vacuum. The emptiness of their womb is reflected in the emptiness in their eyes.

Once you've seen a woman walk after her abortion (if it can be called that), you automatically understand that the phrase "Abortion Hurts Women."

The girl was about to turn the corner. What could I say? What could I do? I had less than 1 second. She had her whole life ahead of her. I said in the most compassionate and earnest way, "Are you okay?"

There was a pause. She looked at me. I wanted to tell her she'd be alright, but didn't know how the mother would react. She whispered, "Yeah" and then was gone.

Nicole and I looked at each other, paralyzed in the hallway.

Her baby was just vacuumed out of her. She was so young.

We knocked on the doors of the CPC. No one answered.

I went downstairs to the doorway to gain cell phone reception. After I came back upstairs, Nicole reported, "I saw her. In the hallway. She was going from one room to another. She had the scrubs on, a face mask. The metal scrapping instruments in her hand. She stopped in the hall and we starred at each other."

"Oh my gosh..." I covered my mouth.

"They are doing them right now."

Nicole and I sat on the stairs and prayed the Rosary. Friday. Abortion. The Sorrowful Mysteries. Agony in the Garden. Scourging at the Pillar. Crowning of Thorns. Carrying of the Cross. The Crucifixion.

After we prayed Nicole noted, "If there were a two year old being dismembered in there, there would be outrage. But the unborn? It's legal. We can't do a thing. Well...we can pray."

Just then the doors opened and a priest came out of the CPC. Adoration was over. We went inside. I grabbed every spanish language pamphlet they had. I'm the official spanish speaker on the trip. It's an intimidating responsibility based on the fact that I barely know Spanish. Though I know enough to teach myself more. I will learn.

These past two days I've contemplated how much I can put into this summer in regards to pro-life work. I need to find a job. I need to find an apartment where I get a job. I need to...hmmm...okay those two things are about it. Pray for me.

That is all. Pray for all the girls who had an abortion today. Pray for abortionists.

Thanks,
Elizabeth

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Introduction for Maeve O'Doherty

Hello! I do believe I have not formally introduced myself thus I have come to share with you a little about my background. This fall I will be a junior philosophy major attending the Catholic University of America. I am pretty much obsessed with Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and Augustine. I pretty much despise the philosophy of Hume and all of skepiticism. My birthday is one the feast day ofone of my favorite saints and my confirmation saint, St. Therese of Liseux. I love the Redskins and playing soccer though not in the same way as I love my friends and my God (*please see Pope Benedict's first encyclical Deus Caritas Est). I am also starting to get into a little bit of Ultimate frisbee.

Now to get to the good stuff. So I was reading some of the blogs and I thought to myself well my story isn't as amazing as a lot of the other missionaries. I was baptized Catholic, raised Catholic, have been Catholic and will always be Catholic. However after further contemplation I realized how blessed I really am. The very gift of my life is a testament to God's power and love and on top of that He has graced me with the beautiful faith of Catholicism! When I reflect on the various circumstances of my life that have led me to where I am now I am awe-stricken as to how much God has given me. One of these life changing experiences came with my decision to go to the Catholic University. I always knew in my heart that this is where I was supposed to be but it took a bit for me to accept it. Since then God has done wondrous things for me. Then was my decision to go on a retreat given by Msgr. Reilly. Again I knew God was calling me to go but it took until two days before we were to leave for me to accept His grace. This was pretty much one of the greatest turning points in my life. With regards to the pro-life movement I had been living a life of notional knowledge. I knew that abortion is wrong but I was doing little about it. During the retreat Msgr. Reilly inspired me to be filled with what he calls experiential knowledge- actively fighting against the culture of death and defending the gospel of life. I realize that we are all called to take part in this struggle as best we can. After that retreat I became a passionate pro-lifer. Through my participation in pro-life activities, such as praying outside of the abortion mills, God has not only been able to work through me but He has also helped me to grow immensly in my faith. Let my soul sing His praises! There are so many other blessings and experiences God has bestowed upon me but it would pretty much take forever for me to tell you, I could pretty much go on forever. One of His most recent gifts is allowing me to serve Him on this mission. So please pray that He will work through me if He so desires, to spread the message of love and life! May He shower His blessings upon you and draw you into closer union with Him.

In Christ through Mary.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Orientation Through Leslee's Eyes

The environment here is so amazing. Just to be around a group of incredibly Catholic people really enhances my faith life. It is one thing to pray alone, it is quite another to be supported in prayer by a whole group of other people. How wonderful it is to have that support, to know that there are other people out there praying for and with you, other people who truly care about the world and want to see God's will accomplished. I know that someday the God's kingdom will come to reign on the earth and it is for this that we pray, we pray for the world to be held close to the heart of God and wrapped in His love and I know that our prayers will be heard.

Orientation Through Elizabeth's Eyes

Hey Hey!

It's Elizabeth. Yep, was convinced I was traveling to D.C. on Monday to go to a baseball game...and here I am, two days later with a blue Missionaries sweatshirt on, gearing up for a summer of bringing the Theology of the Body to the streets.

Let me back this bus up a second...Know that all this past year I declared that I'd needed to spend the summer finding a job and the like. When I came here to D.C. for the baseball game (Astros v. Nationals, Astros kicked you-know-what), I met everyone who's part of the Missionaries and was just so immediately impressed with the whole crew. It's like God's dream team of young adults. I found myself thinking, "It would be so much fun to travel with these people this summer..."

I'm not sure how it's all going to work out though. I do need to find a job for September (pray for me!) Since I'm from New England, I have in mind to just bop around to interviews and then bop back to the Missionaries. This would be a great time to be able to bi-locate! I am at so much peace with this group of people though. I know that if it weren't right to do this at this time in my life, God wouldn't allow me to have such peace.

* * * Today we covered so much ground. After having a great training session amongst ourselves, we headed out to downtown D.C. to evangelize on the street as well as allow for some professional pictures to be taken. There were several people who affirmed our message while waiting in their cars at red lights (we held signs that has slogans such as "Self control NOT Birth Control".) As well, I met three guys from Boston who were really intriqued by what we were doing. Basically, these guys walked by us all and gave us this super strange look. I noticed though that one was wearing a Boston Red Socks cap and another a Boston t-shirt with a green shamrock on the front. I called out to them, "Hey are you from Massachusetts?!" The rest was history. A few of us Missionaries and the three guys chatted for quite some time. Turns out they are pro-life, practicing Catholics. They've promised to pray for us!

After such a positive interaction, it was startling to meet a man who was quite angry with us. He screamed at us about how we were personally very horrible for staging our opinions in public. I pointed out that we have the right to peacefully assemble as well as the right to free speech. He acknowledged this, but also, without hesitating, screamed that we were pushing our morality on him. Calmly, we pointed out that he too, was pushing his morality on us. This confrontation escalated quite quickly from this point. He looked at a sign and mocked, "Lust kills, love fulfills?! Lust doesn't kill! AIDS kills!" We pointed out that the act that spreads AIDS must be addressed for AIDS to even begin to receed. Quite emotionally, he confessed some personal information about himself. As he stuck the earpieces to his IPOD back into his ears, he yelled to us that he'd pray for us. We reciprocated in earnest that we would pray for him as well.

I LOVE BEING CATHOLIC! Ahhh! I feel at home with these people. It's like vacation. Except that people tell you off on the street. It's just such an authentic life experience to be 100% engaged, day in an day out, in doing your best spiritually, intellectually, and physically, to change the cultural and moral make-up of the country. I find myself realizing, "I have the best life ever."

On that note, I am in absolute disbelief over tomorrow's agenda. We are going to be trained by Christopher West! This is a man who has broken down the Wednesday audiences of Pope John Paul II's, that occured between 1979-1984. The talks have culminated in what is now known as the "Theology of the Body." In West's words, "The Theology of the Body is the antidote to the Culture of Death, and the theological foundation for the new evangelization." Now, I know that sounds like craziness. In future blogs, hopefully I'll be able to exolain more about this. All I know now is that West's ability to break down these teachings has greatly influenced so many people who are very close to me. As well, it has really be integral to my own understanding of God and sexuality.

There were several points this past year that I would sit back and think, "Ya know, it would just be so great to be trained by Christopher West. That would be the life." I would even wake up early and grab one of his books, take it out to the porch of my apartment with a cup of tea, and read it, despite other academic obligations. So today when I realized that TOMORROW I'M GOING TO CHRISTOPHER WEST'S HOUSE, it became so clear that God really does know me. I never even prayed, "God, I want to meet West." It was more of just wishful thinking.

Well, my eyes are shutting and it's not even 11pm. Who know's what tomorrow may bring. I am so excited!

Elizabeth

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Orientation through Megan's Eyes

This is day 2 of orientation for Missionaries of the Eucharist and it's real amazing! Today we went to the Dominican House of Study in D.C for morning prayer and mass and we got to have a tour which was really awesome. We are all also currently on day two of our consecration to Mary, and that is really exciting, side note, yesterday two sisters of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara came to help with the introduction to the consecration of the Blessed Mother, and they are practically experts because they take a fourth vow to Mary.
So orientation is really awesome so far, the people are really great and oo yea we are learning all this really great stuff too. Today we read between the lines of the DaVinci code and discovered the truth behind stem cell research and cloning. I feel these days have been very productive and we still have lots more fun ahead. WOOT WOOT!!!

Orientation through Maeve's Eyes

Well hmm I am pretty much in love with orientation. I have been here for only 2 1/2 days and I already have been able to experience God's abundant blessings. The group is filled with holy people that give witness to God's strength and glory. God's graces and love is visible within each of His instruments who He fills with a burning desire to spread His Truth and Love.

It is beautful how we pray throughout the day for we are completely dependent on the Lord if the mission is to bear fruit. Each person's total trust in God, no matter what the situation is inspiring; it is impossible to fail with Christ as our advocate. The leaders have done wonderful work in preparation for orientation thus far, filling the days with prayer and informative sessions. My experience has already surpassed my expectations. I praise and thank God for bringing me here and allowing me to be His instrument. I pray that Christ's loving Mother will watch over and protect our mission and that the Lord will continue to guide us and use us as He so desires.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Be a missionary for the Catholic Church, Theology of the Body,
and the culture of life!

Hi everyone! My name is Vicki, and I am recruiting for the Missionaries of the Eucharist summer walk. There are a couple spots open for this summer, and I am looking to see if anyone's interested in becoming a missionary.



The Missionaries last summer with Theology of the Body speaker and author, Christopher West!


Who are the Missionaries of the Eucharist?


We are a pro-life, Catholic organization whose goal is to spread Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body teachings about God's BEAUTIFUL plan for human sexuality.


Endorsements:


We are endorsed by Christopher West, the C.F.R. friars (Franciscan Friars of the Renewal), as well as many members of Catholic Church clergy throughout the country. Click here to see what a few of them have said about our mission:
http://www.missionariesoftheeucharist.org/endorsements.htm


Who can join?


We are looking for young Catholics who have a great love for Jesus and our Mother Church, and who have a passion for uploading the teachings of the faith. You need to be compassionate to all those affected by abortion, and be opposed to birth control, pre-marital sex, and other moral evils. You need to already have an understanding of the Theology of the Body teachings, or be open to learn about those teachings.

The Missionaries of the Eucharist summer walk extends from May 30th (training) until August 10th. If interested, you have to be willing to give up your entire summer and put all your energy into walking across the Northeast U.S. to help spread the Gospel message. I've done the walk, and let me assure you, it is well worth it. It is also an amazing learning experience, and a lot of fun! But it is also a sacrifice.

If you feel God is calling you to do something more with your summer, PRAY about it, discern well, and fill out the application on our website: http://missionariesoftheeucharist.org/application.htm

God bless you and please pray for our mission this summer!



Websites of interest:


http://www.missionariesoftheeucharist.org
http://missionariesoftheeucharist.blogspot.com/
http://www.theologyofthebody.com
http://www.theologyofthebody.net

Questions? Email Vicki: strongenough27 [at] yahoo dot com

re-introduction for J. Haubenreich


My name is Joel Haubenreich, and for the first 20 or so years of my life I was a Protestant, but due to the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and my dear Angel Guardian, I made my way into the True Church. As a priest I know likes to say, “Protestants don’t need to convert; they merely need to return to the faith of their ancestors!” I was confirmed this past Easter.

I thought I knew what I was called to, but it turns out I was mostly confused. Then I realised that I’m called to holiness. What better way to spend a summer, then, than to propagate the Law of God; to dedicate ourselves wholly to the betterment of those born, to the protection of those unborn; to sacrifice our feet, our breath, our comfort, for the sake of the Kingdom? May the Almighty Lord bless our endeavors with an outpouring of Grace and suffering. May our angels go before us, and our patrons stand behind us.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Intro for Joshua Guenther

My name is Joshua Guenther. I just finished my sophomore year at the University of Maryland, so I suppose that I am currently a Junior. I am a revert to true Catholicism I guess you would say. I spent High School telling my parents that going to Mass was stupid and that it was ridiculous that they make me go. I suppose I thought that I was an "atheist" or an "agnostic", I don't know...but I thought I was really smart.

My plan was totally not to find Christ at college, but nonetheless, I went off to college at Penn State and I somehow fell in with the Catholic crowd (Praise God!) and had a serious conversion. I got involved with the Pro-life group and experienced probably the truest and most meaningful frindships I had ever had. For financial reasons, I transferred to UMD this year (PSU was out of state). The first semester I didn't get involved with the Catholic community, which was very challenging. But the second semester, through the infinite mercy of God, I got involved with the Catholic Students' Center, met great people, and recommitted myself to the Eucharist and confession.

At the urgings of Jess and others, I was asked if I wanted to walk. I considered it, and decided not to, and was fairly confident in my decision, but God has others plans (Praise God!). Amazingly, the Lord has given me the grace to desire to follow Him this summer and the privilege to spread such and amazing, joyful message! I have not been on a walk such as this, but man am I excited!!

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” --St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Introduction for Phil Koshute

My name is Phil Koshute. I've just returned home after finishing "17th grade" at NC State in Raleigh. Besides this first year of grad school, I spent four years in Cleveland at Case Western Reserve University for a math degree. Home is Beaver, PA, on the sunny shores of the Ohio River, thirty miles north of downtown Pittsburgh. Siblings include Maria (20), Gina (17), Nick (13), and Missy (8). Frisbee, ping pong, and jigsaw puzzles are good to keep me busy. Without a TV in my apartment, I've found the radio to be a suitable substitute for the World Series, NCAA tournament, and Steeler games. Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati is a growing patron for me - him being an engineer may have led me to pick NCSU over UNC - but my Confirmation saint, John Bosco, has been hard to shake. One of my biggest frights comes when I realize I don't have a scapular around my neck or a Rosary in my pocket. Though the 2004 NE Crusade for Life was the only other time I've done something like this, this was the fourth consecutive summer where I hadn't decided until mid-May to decide what I'd be doing. Last summer, me and St. Therese had a good time celebrating the simple joys as I plugged away amidst a cubicle jungle. My prayer for the Mission is that God might bless others through our humility.

Intro for TJ Lee


Well I don’t really have much to say, so I will just present the basics to you. My name is TJ, I am from Nebraska, I go to school at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, studying civil engineering and theology. I did the walk last year, loved it. I am Cradle catholic and love it. Trying to deepen my faith and to understanding it in everyway possible. I love to learn about all stages of life, love, relationships, and marriage… why I have not figured out yet. Yeah, that’s about it I guess you will learn more later.

God Bless. Esto Vir!

TJ

Loving
Infants
For
Ever

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Intro for Leslee Simms

Hi Everyone,

I'm Leslee Simms and like most of the rest of the group I am also a convert to Catholicism. However, my story is not quite so interesting as some of the rest. My mother was raised Catholic but then left the Church around the time I was born, so I was basically raised without much religion. My family and I started to go to Church when I was in middle school and I fell in love immediately. My home church, Sacred Heart, is absolutly amazing.

Then when I was a junior in high school I went to World Youth Day and get to see Pope John Paul II, who I am convinced is now a saint. That was the most amazing experience of my life and I came away fairly well convinced that I was called to become a sister.

So, I decided to go to a Catholic college, the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota (by the way I am from Silt, Colorado). I had an amazing freshmen year and while I was at school I become involved with the pro-life group on campus. I guess I had always been pro-life in spirit but had never really done much about it in principle. But once I saw some of the pictures of aborted fetuses and spent some time praying outside a clinic I knew I had to do something. Then I saw a flyer for the Crusade, so I signed up and had the most amazing and spirtually enriching summer of my life.

After spending so much time last summer praying at clinics and seeing the pain and horror that goes on there, I knew that I had to keep working in this battle. I know that if we pray enough somehow, someday, by the grace of God our culture will be one of life and not death. So, I am trying to do my part this summer and I pray that God will use me as He see fits.

I look forward to meeting/ re-meeting all of you. Until then you are in my prayers.

Peace,

Leslee

Friday, May 12, 2006

Intro for Patrick Joseph Matthew Yungwirth


Unlike almost everyone else who has posted their bio so far (including Joel and Leslee after me, and excluding Jess since she reverted), I am not a convert to Catholicism. I was raised Catholic, went to a Catholic youth group in middle school, a LifeTeen group in high school (which I can proudly say does not go up around the altar at the consecration anymore and does not use the weird farewell at the conclusion of Mass). But, unlike Leslee, I didn't go to Catholic college. After spending 12 years in the Catholic education system, I decided to break away and go secular, at least as far as schooling is concerned. I ended up at the University of Maryland, where I will graduate from on May 22, 2006!

My freshman year of college found me coming to the fullness of the Truth and loving it. By the second semester, I was attending daily Mass twice or thrice a week, and I was trying to go to Confession once a month. Furthermore, I was slowing opening up to really loving the Catholic faith.

By sophomore year, my girlfriend from high school and freshman year of college was also coming to UMD and she was actually converting to Catholicism, not due to me though (see Lacy Meredith Francis Howard's bio below). It was at this point that we saw GAP for the first time and decided that we couldn't stand for that. A month later we were broken up, but she remained in RCIA, and we both grew in holiness singularly.

During my sophomore year, I started to go to daily Mass 5 to 6 days a week (plus Sunday Mass of course), and it was here that my devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament was fostered. I studied more and more about the faith and came to realize, just as did Cardinal John Henry Newman, that to love history is to find your way back to Rome. I soaked up pro-life stuff and Catholic stuff, and here I am now.

I am the walk leader this year after having walked from Maine to DC once and after having led a walk from Maine to DC the following year. Some might say that I am an expert in this route by now, but I'd just like to say that if it weren't for a whole lot of grace last year, then we wouldn't have made it. Luckily, I've got a whole bunch of experts coming with this year so all I need to do is make sure that we get from A to B each year.

Blessed Jordan of Saxony...pray for us.

Intro for Lacy Meredith Francis Howard


Pat is posting Lacy's bio so here it is.



Just so the whole world knows:

His Excellency Martin D. Holley is my BFF (Best Friend Forever). It's official.

Next to Bishop Holley, Cardinal Arinze is the BFF Numero Dos. I'll get in to that in a minute. But for my bio, here goes...

My name is Lacy; I'm a convert! I used to be Lutheran, but then the Lord opened my eyes, and I came to the light. Praise God!!! So jibbily! I can count to three. During my time at the Catholic Student Center, I decided to go ahead become Catholic listening to the will of the Lord. And so here I am a Catholic! So sweet!

Well, during my first year of being Catholic, I got really involved in the pro-life movement, really involved in the Catholic Student Center and found solace in front of the Blessed Sacrament. So goes my life. After the conclusion of my sophomore year, I decided to take things to the next step and live the life of a martyr if the Lord would only give it to me. Maybe He will like St. Maximillian Kolbe, both spiritual and physical martyrdom.

Last summer, I walked from San Diego to Sacramento for the pro-life movement, and this summer, I hope to spend my summer spreading the message of the Theology of the Body and the Gospel of Life. God willing, this summer will be as awesome as last.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Intro for Jessica Newman



My name is Jessica Newman and I am a Philosophy major at the University of Maryland at College Park. Edith Stein once said that "the nation doesn't simply need what we have. It needs what we are." I believe that this mentality sums up the Missionaries spirituality. To radiate the joy and the peace of the Risen Lord, we must first fall deeply in love with He who shed blood for our sake. We must take jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to the streets, to people who have never know the love found on the altar.

My story is about the opposite of most people. Where most people go to college and lose there faith, I had to go there to find it. My first year at Maryland was a rough one but untold graces abounded in my life, especially after returning to confession. [I highly recommend it to EVERYONE] In my first semester, i was searching for something to do with my life and unknown to me I was actually searching for Christ and His Church. In October 2004, I stumbled across pictures of aborted babies and was appaled. In fifteen minutes I had decided that ending abortion would be my life's work and little did I know it would lead me back to Rome. As they say, the pro-life movement is the gateway drug to Catholicism.

Over the next seven months, God grace abounded and I returned to confession, daily Mass, the Roasary and most importantly THE ANGELUS! I participated in a pro-life missionary walk from San Diego to Sacramento and made a pilgrimage to Rome to see the Holy Father. These short months transformed my life forever and I became even more dedicated to spreading the glories of the Church.

It happens in every generation ... God calls average men and women to holiness. And they fall in love, over and over, generation after generation. We are just average college students that have been called, fallen in love with Jesus in the Blessed sacrament and feel that this love must be shared. Drawn in by the Mass, by Our Lady, by the sixth commandment, by incense, by the Scriptures and by the claim that we belong to the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Faith preached by Jesus Himself. I have been priveledged to be called to such a holy group of men and women and I pray that I will not let Our Lord down.

So in conclusion, I am the behind the scenes coordinator type of person. I do all that stuff that needs to get finished but doesn't always have a description. Mary is my role model and I like to keep it that way. Pray for us to Our Lady of Sorrows, because she's got the hook-ups with Our Savior. Pax.

Intro for David Dufresne


Hello all! I am David Dufresne. As Divine Providence would have it, I will not be on the road this summer- as much as that pains me. This will actually be the first of three summers that I will not spend out in the streets doing what I love to do.

We were planning on it, but the Lord made it pretty clear that our goals were too ambitious. Several months ago we had to cancel the planned West Coast project. I suppose you simply cannot get all this together in under four months with no money! Praise God.

That being said, I will not be inactive. All that energy has to go somewhere! I will be working tirelessly behind the scenes to help the Missionaries walk in the Northeast. Emailing press releases, making sure they have a place to stay, getting gas cards, keeping the books, coordinating meetings... All of work needs to get done. Normally people on the road are able to do most of it, but if at all possible the they focus on their mission: evangelizing. So, although it is not my preference to be tied behind a computer and phone this summer, I can see the hand of the Lord in this decision and embrace that cross.

So that is a little bit about what I will be doing, and now for a little on who I am. Well, lets just say if I were able to do it all over again, I would be in the Swiss Guard!

I am a convert, 23 years old. My conversion came about through a crisis pregnancy when I was 17. I wanted to pressure the mother into an abortion. Praise God she was strong enough to keep the child, who is now 5 living in the mid-west with lovely adoptive parents. Needless to say, I was not living a good lifestyle then. In fact, at that point, I was a "devout" communist and athiest. It was through experiencing the miracle of life that I noticed that there was a God and I was not Him. After that, the rest of the way was long, but in the end, easy. It was only the Catholic Church that cliamed to have the fullness of Truth. It was only the Catholic Church that has unchanging teachings. It was only the Catholic Church that claims to be the one true Church. So that was that, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I am a founding memeber of the Missionaries of the Eucharist, whose birthday was December 8th, the fest of the Immaculate Conception! I am also the director of youth ministries at my local parish.

More to come. This should be good for now. I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone at orientation better. It should be a rockin good time! Three cheers for everyone who is busting their tail to make it happen!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Orientation

With 13 days to go before orientation begins, crunch time has begun and life has gotten even more hectic. If you live in the DC area please consider donating some of your time to prepare our Missionaries a meal during orientation. Our scheduled dates are May 22nd - June 1st.

Keep praying for us as well ... we need it!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Crusade Day Litany

Today is the Dies Cruciatus. For more information, read here.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us.
Our Lady, Help of Christians,
Our Lady, Exterminatrix of Heresies,
Our Lady of Guadalupe, protectress of the preborn,
Our Lady of Sorrows, example of suffering,
Our Lady of the Most Holy Eucharist, tabernacle of the Lord,
St. Joseph, protector of Christ,
St. Ignatius, guardian of the Truth,
St. Drogo, patron of the despised and unwanted,
St. Robert Bellarmine, guide for morals in legislators,
Sts. Anthony and Bernard, hammers of heretics,
St. Peter, rock upon whom the Church is built,
St. Paul, Apostle of Truth,
St. John the Baptist, forerunner of the Good News,
Holy Innocents, slaughtered by King Herod,
St. Stephen, the protomartyr,
The Theban Legion, martyred for defending the innocent,
Sts. Agnes, Maria Goretti, and Philomena, patrons of purity,
Sts. Aloysius Gonzaga and Catherine of Siena, models of chastity,
Sts. Mary Magdalene and Pelagia, converted hearts,
St. Lawrence Justinian, helping us to desire the vision of God,
St. Juliana, example of love for the Most Blessed Sacrament,
St. Thomas Aquinas, defender of the Eucharist,
St. Clare, always with the Eucharist,
St. Francis, lover of poverty,
St. Gemma Galgani, sufferer for precious souls,
St. Helena, lover of the Cross of Christ and the instruments of His passion,
St. Catherine of Genoa, example of sacrificial love,
St. Louis the King, model of fatherhood,
St. Margaret, patron of expectant mothers,
St. Gerard Majella, patron of difficult births,
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, patron of the culture of life,
St. Monica, guide to unceasing prayer,
St. Dominic, propagator of the Most Holy Rosary,
St. Louis Marie de Montfort, champion of Mariology,
Servant of God John Paul the Great, preacher of the theology of the body,
St. Gabriel, God’s messenger,
St. Raphael, God’s love,
St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Host,
All our guardian angels, our daily protectors,
All apostles upon whom the Church is built,
All holy martyrs who gladly gave their lives to proclaim the Gospel,
All holy men and women of God, continuously proclaiming the love of Christ,

In reparation for every sin committed against human dignity, Lord, have mercy.
In reparation for the sin of contraception,
In reparation for the sin of abortion,
In reparation for the sin of infanticide,
In reparation for the sin of euthanasia,
In reparation for the sin of adultery,
In reparation for the sin of prostitution,
In reparation for the sin of rape,
In reparation for all sins against chastity,

For all children killed by abortion and contraception, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all women hurt by abortion and contraception,
For all men hurt by abortion and contraception,
For all doctors who perform abortions and distribute contraceptives,
For all men and women who support the culture of death,
For all those who do not understand the Church,
For courage for those in the pro-life movement,
For a greater understanding of the dignity of man,
In thanksgiving for those who work to bring about a culture of life,
In thanksgiving for the clergy who fight to evils of the world,
In thanksgiving for the gift of the saints and angels,
In thanksgiving for the gift of life,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

By Your passion, death, and resurrection, You have set us free, You are the Savior of the world.

Let us pray:
Eternal Father, we offer the Most Precious Blood of Christ from all the Masses said throughout the world today in atonement for our sins. Convert our hearts and the hearts of all sinners. Bring them to an understanding of the importance of life in all its stages, especially that of eternal life. We beg you to bring about a greater understanding of the dignity of man and his role in your plan of salvation. Heal the broken hearts of those who do not understand your full truth, so that they may understand the joy of life and the pain of sin. Help us fly to the Blessed Sacrament to find strength to remain pure and holy in this life so that we may experience your eternal presence, in the Beatific Vision. We offer all this through the intercession of our Lady of the Most Holy Eucharist, that she, as the first tabernacle, may give us the prime example of bringing Christ into the world. Amen.

Footnote 54 of St. Faustina’s Diary: “Every month, each novice spent one day, appointed by the Sister Directress, as the so-called day of the crusade. On that day she was obliged to practice greater recollection and union with the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist, ask the Sister Directress for some additional mortification, and offer all her work, payer and sufferings to the Lord Jesus in atonement for sinners. Some sisters continued this practice even after leaving the novitiate."

Novena Continues

The novena is the same for all 9 days. Read the post below for the Novena Prayer.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And so it begins...

Things now seem to be falling in place. We're confirming housing for the summer. We're setting up speaking engagments. We're fine tuning our training. We're solidifying the last of the walkers. We're experiencing huge challenges that can be nothing less than the work of the devil. Through it all, we know that we're doing what the Lord is calling us to at this point.

The good and the bad...all have helped us to see that the Lord is rejoicing at our mission and that Pope Servant of God John Paul the Great and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta are smiling down upon us. And all the while the evil one wants to make sure that we fail. Making things go to the last minute, making our van almost break down the day we flew into Denver to pick it up.

But, through it all we keep praying. Feel free to join us in our Novena to the Infant of Prague as we continue to prepare for the walk and pray for tax exempt status to come before the walk begins. The Novena starts today, and I'll be sure to post the prayers each day (unless it's the same each day, and then I'll be sure to let the world know). Some days, they might not be posted until the evening. If you'd like to get them by e-mail, go to www.ServantsoftheSorrowfulMother.org, and pledge your prayers. That way they can be e-mailed to you daily.

Here's day 1:

O Jesus, Who hast said,
ask and you shall receive,
seek and you shall find,
knock and it shall be opened to you,
through the intercession of Mary,
Thy Most Holy Mother,
I knock, I seek,
I ask that my prayer be granted.

(Make your request - that we may get tax exempt status before the walk begins)

O Jesus, Who hast said,
all that you ask of the Father in My Name,
He will grant you through the intercession of Mary.
Thy Most Holy Mother.
I humbly and urgently ask Thy Father
in Thy Name that my prayer be granted.

(Make your request - that we may get tax exempt status before the walk begins)

O Jesus, Who hast said,
"Heaven and earth shall pass away
but My word shall not pass",
through the intercession of Mary,
Thy Most Holy Mother,
I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.

(Make your request - that we may get tax exempt status before the walk begins)

Monday, May 01, 2006

TOBIA Conferencing

Our trip to the TOBIA conference in Chicago was quite sucessful and very refreshing. After driving through the night on Thursday, we arrived about a half an hour before the conference to set up our booth and speak with the organizer of the conference, Anastasia. Throughout the day, many people stopped to talk and discuss our mission. All of the feedback was well founded, explained and quite useful. Because we were able to split up during lunch we were able to talk to a diverse group of people over the course of the weekend.

That evening we stayed to speak with some people who had stayed in the vendors' room a little longer and then headed to Blue Island to sleep for the night. A big thank you to Patrick for keeping me awake by singing and hitting me with a palm branch repeatedly.

As Saturday rolled around we make the trek back to Mundeleine to the University of St. Mary of the Lake and were able to get some school-work done while the participants listened to more talks. Praise God for wireless internet and multi-taking abilities! With a crowd double the size from the day before, we spoke with many, many more people who gave some amazing feedback and encouragement. The excitement in the eyes of those who came to talk with us was enough to keep us going through the night as we drove back home to DC.

Hopefully we will continue to be invited to the Windy City to participate in the great pro-life activities they always seem to have going on there.

Who we are?

Every summer we, the Missionaries of the Eucharist, are walking from Lewiston, Maine to Washington, DC to proclaim the beauty of the Catholic faith to everyone we meet, specifically through the Theology of the Body.

Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.

We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.