Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekend Update

He is Risen Indeed!

Hey Ya'll, hope this finds you well and rested.

Over the past week I have come across a number of things I would like to share with ya'll.

Here they are in no particular order:


As I shared last week, my little sister Chuck (aka Charlotte) has recently been accepted as a missionary by a group called "Heart's Home." Their motto is

To Love and Restore

Human Dignity to the

Most Wounded People
in the World

Starting sometime in October, she will be going to Peru to spend 18 months there as a missionary. This past week Heart's Home added a page about Chuck onto their website. Chuck is amazing! Check out the blurb is wrote about how she decided to do this program.

Also, if you haven't watched the video yet explaining Heart's Home, I really...really recommend it. Here it is again.


April 24, 1952 is an important date in relation to my existence. For on that day, my (maternal) grandparents, got married. Therefore, yesterday my grandparents celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary!!! Just want to say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you Ruth and Toad!

I love you and am so proud to be your grandson. You are one of the greatest examples in my life of Love and Commitment. May God Bless you both RICHLY this day and every day!

"Toad" is obviously my Granddad's nickname. Take a gander at his mugshot and you will understand why. Here are some pictures of them on their visit to visit Connor for the first time---their first GREAT-grandchild!!!


If you haven't realized by now, my family is more or less obsessed with nicknames. "Conn-Artist" is one of many nicknames Connor will be assigned throughout his life.

Here is a shot my sister sent me taken yesterday. It is too good not to share.


Building in the Spirit Campaign:
This is the name of the parish in Montgomery, AL where I grew up. My family became members there sometime when I was 6 and have been there ever since. I received my first Communion there, first Reconciliation, went to Bible School, Sunday School, Middle School Youth Group, High School Youth Group, went on Mission Trips, and Altar Served there. In summary, that was the primary place where I came to know and love Jesus Christ. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart.

It continues to grow and bring the Life of Christ to so many families in Montgomery.

Right now, they are working very hard to raise money for a big building project for the Church which they are calling the "Building in the Spirit Campaign." The main goal of this project is to build an elementary school on the parish grounds.

A girl that I grew up with at Holy Spirit now works for a local TV station. She helped the Fundraising committee come up with a "Commercial" to help advertise a big Raffle that has been set up to sell tickets. It is hilarious and impressive all at the same time.

I am amazed by the work the people in the parish are doing to raise the money for this school. They are even raffling off a KIA car as the top prize! So Check out the commercial...and if you are living in Montgomery...or anywhere within earshot...think about buying some tickets :)

To find out more information, check out our Parish's website: CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


Another group at my parish has been working hard to pray for and promote young people to consider becoming priests and religious. They too are doing a lot of amazing things at our parish which I am really proud of.

Despite the great shortage of young men entering seminary to study to become priests today, currently there are THREE guys from families at the Church of the Holy Spirit who are studying to be priests right now--Zach Greenwell and myself are studying for the Archdiocese of Mobile and Daniel Spotswood for the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in their NW Province in the United States.

This past week the committee make a video which they entitled "Where Do Priests Come From?" It is being shown at each Mass at my parish today and my pastor will be giving a homily (sermon) about the Priesthood. I will be honest, it was pretty emotional for me to watch. It really drew me into the mystery of our lives. How quickly we grow up. How mysteriously God moves and works throughout all of our lives. Somehow he got my attention and has drawn me to where I am today! Incredible.

Hope you enjoy this video:


Last week Pope Benedict XVI visited Malta. During his visit, he took some time to speak to the youth. I read an article summing up his comments. I really like it and want to share a snip of it with ya'll. I have bolded some parts I found especially inspiring.

"I appreciate your desire to seek and find the truth, and to know what you must do to attain the fullness of life", said the Pope, going on to recall how it was as a young man that St. Paul met with Jesus on the road to Damascus.

"Every personal encounter with Jesus is an overwhelming experience of love", he said. "For the rest of his life, Paul had a burning desire to carry the news of that love to the ends of the earth".

The Holy Father went on: "Maybe some of you will say to me, St. Paul is often severe in his writings. How can I say that he was spreading a message of love? My answer is this. God loves every one of us with a depth and intensity that we can hardly begin to imagine. And He knows us intimately, He knows all our strengths and all our faults. Because He loves us so much, He wants to purify us of our faults and build up our virtues so that we can have life in abundance. When He challenges us because something in our lives is displeasing to Him, He is not rejecting us, but He is asking us to change and become more perfect. That is what He asked of St. Paul on the road to Damascus. God rejects no-one. And the Church rejects no one. Yet in His great love, God challenges all of us to change and to become more perfect.

"St. John tells us that perfect love casts out fear", the Holy Father added, and he called on the young people who wish to bring the Gospel to the world not to be afraid. "You may well encounter opposition to the Gospel message. Today's culture, like every culture, promotes ideas and values that are sometimes at variance with those lived and preached by our Lord Jesus Christ. Often they are presented with great persuasive power, reinforced by the media and by social pressure from groups hostile to the Christian faith.

"It is easy, when we are young and impressionable, to be swayed by our peers to accept ideas and values that we know are not what the Lord truly wants for us. That is why I say to you: do not be afraid, but rejoice in His love for you; trust Him, answer His call to discipleship, and find nourishment and spiritual healing in the Sacraments of the Church".

Pope Benedict continued: "Here in Malta, you live in a society that is steeped in Christian faith and values. You should be proud that your country both defends the unborn and promotes stable family life ... for a healthy society. ... In the context of European society, Gospel values are once again becoming counter-cultural, just as they were at the time of St. Paul".

"As Christians", he concluded, "we are called to manifest God's all-inclusive love; ... we should have a special care for those who are in distress, ... we should be attentive to the needs of immigrants and asylum seekers in our midst; we should extend the hand of friendship to members of all faiths and none. That is the noble vocation of love and service that we have all received. Let it inspire you to dedicate your lives to following Christ".

May we all be inspired by these words. May we pray this week and God is calling each of us to DEDICATE our life MORE to Christ and his Gospel!


We beat the French College yesterday 1-0! Jimmy Morrison of Mobile, AL scored our only goal. This gave us a sure place in the play-offs as the number 2 seed. Not bad!

The Quarter Finals will be played May 8th. I will be sure to keep you all updated.


John 13:31-33a, 34-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said,

“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

If God is glorified in him,

God will also glorify him in himself,

and God will glorify him at once.

My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.

I give you a new commandment: love one another.

As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.

This is how all will know that you are my disciples,

if you have love for one another.”


Let's pray for one another this week!

Again, if you ever have a prayer request, please let me know.

Anticipating next Sunday, let's take time each day and meditate on the words Christ speaks to us "As I have loved you, so you should love one another."

May Christ give us the grace to realize how total....complete...radical...selfless..uncomplicated...and passionate is HIS LOVE for us.

Also, our love be transformed more and more by HIS.




Saturday, April 17, 2010

Back on Blog

Happy Easter Everyone!

“He is Risen!


This is actually the most ancient Christian greeting. It is how the earliest Christians would daily greet one another. What a testament to the power...and excitement of this event!

Still today, many countries still use this greeting at Easter time. My buddy Edmond (I posted about him just before Lent got rolling) is from Syria. He tells me that this greeting is still practiced by everyone on Easter Day. He says that the power of these words is incredible. When hearing some greet you with the words “He is Risen!” (but in Syrian of course), he says that the most intense feeling wells up within a Syrian. “You feel as if you are about to burst,” Edmond explained to me. He went on, “You cannot help but to shout as loudly as you can back at them ‘HE IS RISEN INDEED!’” On that day, people shoot fireworks, run through the streets shouting for joy, shoot guns in the air, and celebrate all day long.

What intense JOY Christ gives us! What great HOPE Christ gives us! That in the end, Life triumphs over death...Good over evil....Light over darkness...Truth over lies.....Love over hate. We all long so deeply for these things to be true...and in Christ Alone are we SHOWN that it is, INDEED TRUE! Nice.

With that, it is good to be “Back on Blog” with a Sunday evening post. I hope ya’ll enjoyed walking around Rome with us throughout Lent to the various Station Churches. It was a really rich experience here in Rome, and we were happy to share it with ya’ll in some small way. I continue to be happy and eager to take any prayer requests ya’ll may have. Also, know I am always praying for whoever may read this Blog. Also, I am thankful for all of your prayers and give me no greater gift.

Special thanks again to Fr. Rust, Francis, Andrew, Colin, Doug, and Dave for Collaborating on the Lent posts. I really enjoyed bloggin with ya’ll (hahaha....never thought I would ever use that phrase in life) and appreciate ya’lls gift of time, writing, reflection, and creativity. Here are links to their pages on more time for ya’ll to enjoy.


ANDREW HART, Little Rock, AR

COLIN WEN, Sacrament, CA


DAVID NERBUN, Charleston, SC

DOUG MARCOTTE, Indianapolis, Indiana

So much has happened since Lent then Easter came and went. I thought I would dedicate this post to a couple events of interest since then.


Speaking of “Happy Easter!”, these photos of my nephew are nothing but “Happy!”

Connor is now just over 4 months old and is weighing in at just over 13lbs. Considering he was born just over 5lbs, that is a mind boggling stat. Can you imagine doubling in body weight in 4 months??!!! That would be either really incredible or disturbing I would imagine...hahaha.

My sister Courtney (Connor’s Mom) and Jeremy (Connor's Dad) asked me and my younger sister Charlotte (aka Chuck) to be Connor’s godparents. Needless to say, I am pretty pumped. I am pretty sure I am going to be his favorite person on that is something to be excited about as well. haha

Courtney feeding Connor


I mentioned this earlier, but my Archbishop came to visit Rome March 5-9. He came with Fr. Michael Farmer, our Chancellor, and Fr. Alex Valladares, our Vocations Director. Other than visiting with the 7 Mobile Seminarians studying here in Rome, Archbishop Rodi came to install Philip Haladay, Pat Arensberg, and I as “Acolytes.”

An “Acolyte” is the second-to-last step to becoming a Priest. The only thing that lies between the two is “Deacon.” Becoming an “Acolyte,” we received a special commission by the Church to serve at the Altar of the Lord. We now are able to serve at any Mass, anywhere in the world with a special commission by the Church. We too are specially charged to be devoted to the Eucharist and to lead others in the like.

It is hard to believe that I have already been in Rome almost 2 years and in seminary formation almost 4. It is even more surreal to consider that in about 2 years I will be a Priest....God willing.

It was a real blessing to have Arcbishop Rodi, Fr. Farmer, and Fr. Alex in town. We spent a lot of time together and rarely did we stop laughing or story-telling.

Archbishop Thomas Rodi is originally a priest of New Orleans. He served as the Bishop of Biloxi for about 7 years and has been our Archbishop for about 2 years now. We are really blessed in Southern Alabama to have a Bishop like Thomas Rodi.

Archbishop Rodi received his law degree from Georgetown University in D.C. before entering seminary. He received his Masters in Theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and then received his Canon Law Degree from Catholic University of American in D.C.

One morning, Archbishop Rodi celebrated Mass at the Station Church for that day. All of the servers were from Mobile and New Orleans which was special for us. Here is a picture after the Mass.

And one during the Mass.....

Archbishop Rodi is seated in the middled, vested in purple. I am above him setting the altar.

The last night, all of the Mobile and Louisiana seminarians teamed up to cook dinner for our guests in our student kitchen. It really was a blast, and a great night for us to realize how deeply we have been blessed with the godly men the Lord has placed in our lives. Here are a couple pictures from the night.

Here the Archbishop is helping me do the dishes! A glimpse of how blessed we are....


The Clericus Cup is in Full Swing. We are playing well and look good to make it to the play-offs with our record of 4-2.

Here is a picture of me someone took at one of the games. It makes me understand a bit more why my Mom and her friends used to love to come to my soccer games in high school and laugh and laugh as my 5 ft legs bumbled down the field. As you can see, my coordination has not improved much over the years. hahaha

Despite my “smooth moves” on the field, many people are following our ups and downs this year from around Rome and the world.

Here is a picture of our fans at one of the games....they are really taking “fanship” to another level here in Rome---

Also below, I am posting a link of an article that was written on an online sports journal called “US Soccer Players.” A Journalist contacted me by email with some questions and then came out with an article. It is cool to have this kind of article in a normal, secular journal. Check it out.



I have been blessed to make 3 Montgomery Connections in recent months.

First, I’d like to give a shout out to Colleen and Tyler Murphy as well as Linda Fain and her son Matthew Sutter. I love’d having ya’ll come and visit. It was a real blessing to catch up with you and be able to show you around Rome a bit. Linda was one of my fourth grade teachers at St. James! So it was a bit surreal for me to be in a position showing HER around. Hahaha. How time flies....

Secondly, a big shout out to the COLVINS from St. Peter’s Parish in Montgomery. We met officially for the first time here in Rome. Again, I loved to meet ya’ll and host you here in Rome. It was great filling up St. Peter’s Square with Alabama accents, shouting, and laughter. It was more than refreshing for me all the whole Mobile crew here in Rome.

Thirdly, a big “CIAO Ya’ll!” to Helma, Ludovico, Leonardo, and Frederico! I know...this deserves some explanation.

A couple months ago I visited a half German-half American family’s home for dinner one night. I met them through my ministry with the Missionaries of Charity at the Vatican. I go there once a week and help out in a soup kitchen/home for women. When I arrived, to my surprise there was another family there that was half Italian-half German.

The German Mother, whom I have never met in my life, greeted me saying, “Ooooo Victor Ingalls!” Confronting my dumbfounded look she continued, “Yes, from Montgomery! Holy Spirit Parish! Yes Fr. Troncale has told me all about you!”

“WHAT?!!??” was the best response I could come up with. I quickly decided that the other seminarians I was with were somehow playing a prank on me. But...there was no joke to be found....just crazy “coincidence”...Providence if you will.

Helma’s husband is Italian and part of the Italian Airforce. He was went to Maxwell Air Force base to be trained at the War College back in 2005. Maxwell Air Force is located guessed it...Montgomery, AL. While living there for a year, they became members at my HOME PARISH---Church of the Holy Spirit. They really loved there time there and still keep in touch with a handful of friends from the of which is my pastor Fr. Troncale!!!!

What a small small small world we live in.

When moving to Rome, they joined Rome’s American Parish named Santa Susanna. There they befriended the family that I met through the Missionaries of Charity. And at there house, we all made the connection!

Pretty absurd hunh?!!!

Since then we have kept in touch. Helma and her kids came to the College once for Sunday Mass and Brunch, and just yesterday they came and watched our soccer game...riding the team bus and everything.

When they came to visit for Mass and Brunch, I got all of the Mobile guys to sit at the same table with them. During Brunch, Helma was telling me how much her youngest son loved Batman. He knew everything about him. He has one Batman DVD which he has memorized completely, even coming up with different voices for each character. He even draws his own Batman comics!

As Helma was explaining this, I looked over to Steven Vrazel who was also listening in and our eyes met in agreement.

Recently, the Boost Club for the Soccer team had went out and bought Batman and Robin costumes for our fans to wear to the games! So as we finished eating, Vraz secretly got two guys to go get dressed up as Batman and Robin and suprise us on the roof of the College as we showed them the view.

I wish ya’ll could have seen Ludovico’s face as Batman and Robin came sprinting up the terrace to greet him and “save him from danger!!!!!!” It was hilarious and priceless all at once. Here is a picture we all took together that day:

Leonardo, Helma, Me, Frederico, Batman, Ludovico, Robin, Phil, Travis, & Steven


My younger sister was named “Charlotte” by my parents but renamed “Chuck” by me and my friends in Middle School. haha. She is a Senior at the University of Alabama. She went to the Tide’s National Championship in Pasadena and I am pretty confident she is the reason why we went undefeated this year.

She will soon finish with a Double Major in History and Spanish.

Chuck (future Connor's God-mother) holding Connor

For over a year now, along with the rest of College Junior/Seniors in the world, Chuck has been considering what to do after graduating. I remember talking to her one night last Spring for a long time about her “Post-Graduation Life.” She was telling me that she would really like to go somewhere in South America and work on her Spanish. Furthermore, she expressed the desire to be involved with the Catholic Church in some way in the process.

The next day I ate lunch with a Columbian priest who was currently served the Archdiocese of Chicago. He had come to Rome to spend a semester at our College enrolled in our sabbatical program. However on his way, he has spent about a month outside of Santiago, Chile with a newer Catholic group called “Putno Corazon” in Spanish (Heart’s Home in English). He went on and on telling me about what an inspiring time it was for him and what a simple yet powerful spirit this group of young people had.

The group was comprised of about 5 young people who had “put their lives on hold,” to live simply, live communally, pray fervently, and serve generously in a small poor village outside of Santiago. One was American, a couple others French, and the rest from elsewhere.

As he was talking, I could not help but to think of Chuck and the conversation we had had the night before. When he finished, I asked him if he would get me some information because I thought my sister might be interested.

Long story short, after much prayer, thought, interviewing, and paperwork, Chuck has recently been accepted for an 18th month mission with Heart’s Home in Peru starting in early October!

I am amazing and humbled my Chuck. I am so proud of her. To see God move in my little sister....little Chuck...really transcends all of my categories.

Please keep her in your prayers as she prepares for this great ministry. I believe God will bless so many lives by her saying “Yes” just as He has blessed me through her...and everyone who crosses her path.

Check out Heart’s Home’s website if you get a chance. Especially the video they have explaining the ministry. It is really powerful.

If any of you Catholic and are in College...or just out of College....or working....or doing anything...and feel God calling you to give yourself to a foreign mission...I think this would be a great thing to pray about.

Here is the link:






CLERICUS CUP: Here is our College's Website dedicated to the Clericus Cup. There are photos, videos, articles, etc. ENJOY!


ANDREW HART, Little Rock, AR

COLIN WEN, Sacrament, CA


DAVID NERBUN, Charleston, SC

DOUG MARCOTTE, Indianapolis, Indiana


John 10:27-30

Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”


Well, I think that should do it for this week.

Again, great to share life with ya’ll via the world wide web.

Let’s keep praying for one another!

He is Risen!

He is Risen INDEED!