Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Monday, November 27, 2006


There are no classes. As you can see. . . we have snow. And it's still falling. Yippppeeeee... snow day!!!

For people out East who are thinking "that's not a lot of snow" keep in mind we don't know how to drive in the snow out here and we don't have snow plows.

Some people are brave. I have a friend and her sister who walked almost two hours one way in the snow in the dark to get to Mass last night because they couldn't get their car out of their drive way. Now that's dedication. I told them that there must be some sort of indulgence associated with that. They ended up sleeping over (I live close to the church) so that they didn't have to walk home after Mass last night and my housemate and I fed them bacon and pancakes for breakfast before sending them back out into the winter wonderland to walk home.

One of these two brave souls who walked through the snow to get to Mass wasn't too keen on the idea at first. She pointed out to her sister "If God sent us the snow it's His own fault that we can't get to Mass." You know what? I think I'd have to agree with her. I think He would have been understanding if they'd stayed home.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Spirit Day

Yesterday I spent the day with 1300 grade seven students. I was involved in "Spirit Day," an archdiocesan event put on by the Youth Ministry Office for grade seven students preparing for their confirmation. I helped out with this event earlier in the spring for last year's students and they decided to change it to the Fall for this year's students.

1300 kids is a lot of kids. I didn't even realize we have that many grade seven students in our archdiocese! (Apparently there's even more since not all of them were there. . .)

The day included various skits, testimonies, talks (including a brief talk by the Archbishop), live music, and Mass. I think it went well although the kids were somewhat silly and laughing and giggling at the wrong times etc. . . They're only kids though and I guess when you put over a thousand of them together in the same room they're bound to be silly.

Today the snow is falling. And lots of it. We have about 30 cm. of snow outside and it's still coming down pretty hard. I have a feeling classes may be cancelled for tomorrow. I know everyone from Eastern Canada will be laughing at this point, but keep in mind that us Vancouverites don't know how to drive in the snow.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

His Grace

Here is a picture of his Grace blessing the building site of the new parish hall at the parish I grew up in.

What are we searching for?

"The young are searching for God, they are searching for the meaning of life, they are searching for definitive answers: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Lk 10:25). In this search, they cannot help but encounter the Church. And the Church also cannot help but encounter the young. The only necessity is that the Church have a profound understanding of what it means to be young, of the importance that youth has for every person. It is also necessary that the young know the Church, that they perceive Christ in the Church, Christ who walks through the centuries alongside each generation, alongside every person. He walks alongside each person as a friend. An important day in a young person's life is the day on which he becomes convinced that this is the only friend who will not disappoint him, on whom he can always count.”

- Pope John Paul II (Crossing the Threshold of Hope)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Laptop is Dying

My laptop is dying. The screen is flashing funny neon green colours for no apparent reason. Pray that it will somehow last another few months until graduation in April.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Essay Season

Essay season is upon us and I've been busy.

What have I been up to?

The Metaphysics of Holy Orders: An ontological defense of male exclusive priesthood.

Contemporary Christianity:
Catholic Universalism and the Doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus
* Before I get a whole bunch of nasty e-mails, let me point out that in this essay I argue that orthodox Catholic universalism proposes that the means of salvation are extended to all but not that all necessarily will be saved. I also point out (as does JPII) that it must fundamentally be Christocentric. I chose to write on this topic in response to my professor for this course (who is a Baptist) who claims that the Catholic teaching of extra ecclesiam nulla salus and the declaration from Lumen Gentium that "they who without their own fault do not know the Gospel of Christ and His Church" can attain eternal salvation (no. 16) are incompatible.

JPII Theology:
The Primacy of the Marian Profile of the Church

A defence of Catholic teaching on Contraception from Natural Law

These are just a few of my favourite essays from this past semester. As you can tell I've been having fun.

Time Magazine

I know I'm a little late on the uptake and that this article has already circulated St. Blog's but I just wanted to point out the article on the Sisters of Life and other thriving religious orders in the United States that was printed in the November 20th edition of Time Magazine. The article fell under the category of "counter cultural." Yes. Indeed.

Corrections: They don't have a blog. Technically they're not 'nuns'. The reason they were a habit is not to say "I'm special. I gave this up." but rather to be a visible witness to the Gospel. Otherwise, for secular media the article is not that bad.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Blogging Hiatus

I'm withdrawing from blogging for the next week or two. Life is really busy these days. God willing I'll be back on the scene before too long.

I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite role models as a Catholic student:

"In this trying time that our country is going through we Catholics and especially we students, have a serious duty to fulfill: our self-formation. [...] We, who by the grace of God are Catholics... must steel ourselves for the battle we shall certainly have to fight to fulfill our program and give our country, in the not too distant future, happier days and a morally healthy society, but to achieve this we need constant prayer to obtain from God that grace without which all our prayers are useless; organization and discipline to be ready for action at the right time; and finally, the sacrifice of our passion and of ourselves, because without that we cannot achieve our aim."
- Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Story of the Day

Here's a story for today, from Pope John Paul I, about a cook:

"Outside the kitchen door the dogs were lying. John (the cook) slaughtered a calf and threw the entrails into the yard. The dogs fell on them, ate them, and said: "He's a good cook; he cooks well." Some time after that, John was shelling peas, peeling onions; he threw the husks into the yard. The dogs rushed over, sniffing scornfully, they said: "The cook is spoiled; he's worthless now." John, however, was not upset by this opinion, he said, "It is the master who must eat and enjoy my meals, not the dogs. The master's appreciation is enough for me."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Papal Quote

“Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. ... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching,' looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards.”
- Pope Benedict XVI

Reading Break

I'm on reading break but there is no break in sight. I have so many essays to write and so much reading to do. My parents are in town for a visit though so I'll try and take at least a day or two off this weekend to spend time with them.

I'm supposed to be having my graduation pictures taken today. I guess that means I'm graduating soon. Hopefully.

I chose my courses for next semester this past week. Nothing exciting unfortunately. I'm taking German 202, Latin 212, and a history course. Three courses and then I'm done! Yipeee. . . I guess. . . being almost done is also kind of scary.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


"Liturgy is not something we create, it is something which we receive."
- Fr. John Horgan

Monday, November 06, 2006

Upcoming Events

I just wanted to keep you all (or at least those of you who live in my neck of the woods) posted on some great upcoming events in the area not this weekend, but the next. . .

Summit. Eucharistic Adoration for young adults (well, technically, of course, anyone can come. . .) at Holy Cross in Burnaby on November 18th, 2006 at 7:00pm.

International Pro-life Conference. Healing the Culture: A New Beginning. November 16th - 18th, 2006.

Seminary of Christ the King Fall Public Lecture. "Liturgy and Catechesis" lecture by Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds. November 18th from 10:00am - 3:00pm. For more info call Westminster Abbey at 604-826-8975.

When You Wonder. . .

"When you wonder about the mystery of yourself, look to Christ, who gives you the meaning of life. When you wonder what it means to be a mature person, look to Christ, who is the fulfillness of humanity. And when you wonder about your role in the future of the world look to Christ."
- John Paul II

Friday, November 03, 2006

By Way of God's Love

I would like to share with you some words of wisdom I recently received from a dear friend of mine who happens to be a little old Benedictine priest. This precious monk is in his late eighties and walks bent over with age, yet despite his physical frailty whenever I see him his face seems to simply radiate the love of Christ.

"You can't be everything - except by way of God's love. And the world, and the Church, need us more than ever, by example first, even if quite hidden like me."

Female Ordination and Metaphysics

kI'm working on my paper for Metaphysics today.

We were given more or less free reign on essay topics so I chose to write on the metaphysics of Holy Orders, using metaphysics to explain why it is not possible for women to be ordained to the Order of the Presbyterate.

In looking into the arguments proposed by those who advocate female ordination I came across the website for "Women Priests". I must admit that I had a hard time not laughing at the absurdity of their statement when I read their front page which made the following claim:

"We are Roman Catholic theologians who firmly believe that the discussion on women priests should be left open. We love our family, the Catholic Church. We fully accept the authority of the Pope. We respect his personal integrity as an outstanding spiritual leader. But we are convinced that the Pope and his advisors in Rome are making a serious mistake by dismissing women as priests. We feel obliged in conscience to make our carefully considered reasons known."

If you want a more accurate and engaging read on the issue of female ordination I'd recommend Justice in the Church: Gender and Participation by Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P.

Here's an excerpt of what he has to say:

"Because in our culture we are used to the free manipulation of images to sell products and create reputations, we suppose that the church must be free to change its symbols to meet the mood of our times. But the pastors of the church know they cannot validate a sacrament simply by an act of human power. The performance of a sacrament in an abusive manner contrary to its divinely given purpose would only result in an invalid and indeed sacrilegious travesty. To ordain a women to priesthood, if this is contrary to the divinely designated and essential symbolism of ordination, would not make her a priest, even if she were "ordained" by the pope."

And furthermore:

"The concept of male "headship" realistically recognizes that, because of the natural phsyical and psychological differentiation of the sexes and their relations to their offspring, some differentiation in their roles in the service of family unity must be acknowledged. Thus maleness is esseential to Jesus as New Adam, head and father of redeemed humanity, and therefore to the priest who symbolizes him."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

If you hear rumours that I'm pregnant, it's not true.

I dressed up as a pregnant St. Gianna Molla for an All Saints Day party I threw for my grade two catechism class this evening.

Apparently my costume was a little too believable. I had parents coming up to me asking me after class when I was due and whether someone else would be taking over my class after my baby was born! I was tempted to explain that unfortunately I would die one week after my baby was born (I decided that it might not be prudent to say this since they really did think I was pregnant). I'm amazed that some of the moms actually thought I was pregnant! (The costume looked like I was nine months pregnant. . . you can't go from looking not pregnant to looking nine months pregnant in a week!)

All in all, our All Saints Day party went really well! It was awesome! I even put together a Litany of the Saints, we prayed at the end of class, using the names of children in the class who have saint names, the patrons of First Communicants, the patrons of children, the patrons of Canada, and our parish patron.

They even got goody bags with holy cards of saints in them! :-)

Good times were had by all.

Pope John Paul II - All Saints Day

“We celebrate today the solemnity of All Saints. This invites us to turn our gaze to the immense multitude of those who have already reached the blessed land, and points us on the path that will lead us to that destination.”

- Pope John Paul II (November 1st, 2003)

All Saints Day Meme

"If you were invited to a Halloween/ All Saints Day Costume Party, which saint would you dress up as and why? (The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, is not an option.)

St. Gianna Molla (I AM dressing up as St. Gianna Molla this evening for an All Saints Day party I'm throwing for my Catechism class!!!)

"Which saint or other person would accompany you to the party?"

Blessed Pier Giorgio because he's the other young Italian 'saint' of the twentieth century that I'd love to meet. I have a feeling St. Gianna and he would get along.

"What famous quote would help others identify you?"

"I shall accept whatever they will do to me provided they save the child."

Describe your costume.

My costume consists of a fifties style dress, a fake pregnant belly, a stethascope, a pressure cuff, and a white lab coat.

Which movie or film best depicts the life of this saint?

Salt & Light Television (a Catholic TV station in Canada) prepared the documentary of St. Gianna Molla's life that was presented the night before her canonization in Rome in 2004. I haven't seen it myself but I assume it's well done.

What is your favorite book written about this saint or that he or she has written?

To be honest, I haven't read any books about her but I have read a lot online. One of her children wrote a book though that I'd like to read. It's called "Saint Gianna Molla - Wife, Mother, Doctor" and it's by her son Pietro Molla. Imagine having a canonized saint as your mom!!! Talk about intercession!