Sunday, July 31, 2011


Yesterday was a special day here at St. John's.

Jorge & Ilaria got married.

They are a great couple that have really made me feel welcome here in Enterprise. They have fed me several times and helped introduce me to other Hispanic families in the parish. They are also famous around here for helping to organize the celebration for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe here in Enterprise. In fact, the statue of Our Lady that is used for the Feast sits proudly on their front porch throughout the year.

They are also very involved in a Movement called "El Movimiento Familiar Cristiano." It is an international Catholic movement which aims to bring together couples so that they may grow deeper in their relationships, parenting, faith, organization, etc. I have been really impressed with the Movement as I have learned about it through Jorge and Ilaria as well as Deacon Alfonso Diaz who is the Spiritual Director for this movement in the area. I would recommend it to anyone in the area.

Here are a couple links where you can check it out....if you speak Spanish that is...haha

There are many other English speaking organizations like this. One I am familiar with and would recommend to any couple looking to deepen and strengthen their relationship with one another is called "Marriage Encounter." Here is there main website.

Anyways, back to Jorge and Ilaria. They wedding was really beautiful. They came with their friends and really decorated the whole Church well.

Here is Jorge just before the Mass started. Little bit Nervous...but looking sharp

Here is the Wedding Party getting in Line

Congrats to you Jorge and Ilaria. May God Bless you both richly with many happy and faith-filled years together!

Tonight, the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus had a social out at "PoFolks" restaurant.

They graciously invited Father Gregory and I to attend as well as the priest (Army Chaplain) stationed out at Ft. Rucker, Fr. Chris Butera. I was surprised to run into Chris there tonight. We actually spent one year together in seminary up in Philly at St. Charles Borromeo. Small world!

Sorry it's blurry. But here is the group mingling and keeping it real

Here I am with the Grand Knights of the Councils in Enterprise (L) and Daleville (R).

Both seem to be very active Councils of the Knights of Columbus, a group especially dedicated to "fraternity, charity, and unity." They also are sincerely dedicated in the support of Priests, Seminarians, and their ministry. Thank God for them. Check them out HERE if you don't know much about them.

Thanks ya'll for your hospitality.

It was a great evening.


Thursday, July 28, 2011


Before Mass this morning, I walked around the grounds of St. John's as I said my Morning Prayer. Just as I finished, I walked by the grotto here and was struck by its beauty. I took a couple shots which I think turned out really well.

I love the way the light is gently covering Mary in this one. It is so fitting for her--our gentle and loving Mother.

Our Mother. She became the Mother of us all at the foot of the cross. When all other of Jesus' disciples had abandoned him out of fear, there his Mother remained with St. John, Mary of Magdala, and another Mary.

John 19: 26-27
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother."

Here Jesus gives one of his greatest treasures to his beloved disciple--his very own Mother. And in doing so, he gave Mary to be the Mother of the Church...of the World.

As Catholics, we do not worship Mary but we are deeply grateful to Jesus for sharing his Mother with us. We honor her just as God honored her in sending his angel Gabriel (meaning "messenger") to greet her with the message, "Hail (Rejoice/Be Glad) Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with you!" (Luke 1:28). We honor her just as Elizabeth honored her saying, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Luke 1:42).

Some point to a scene in Mark chapter 3, as a moment when Jesus downplays the importance of his Mother. Here Mary and Jesus' cousins (Referred to as "brothers" here because the Hebrew culture did not have the word or really concept of "cousin." All relatives were just referred to as "brothers"/"siblings") were waiting outside of a home asking for Jesus. The disciples tell Jesus that his Mother and "brothers" are looking for him to which he responds,
"(For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother" (3:35).

Rather than rejecting Mary as his Mother in that moment or even downplaying her role as Mother, Jesus is reaffirming the Motherhood of Mary. For who more than her opened her heart to the will of God?

When God wanted to bring to fruition his plan for the world since the beginning of time, he came to her saying, "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, [...] and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God."

Confronted with such a mind-boggling proposition...something defying the logic of the world...something fully incomprehensible to the human did she respond?

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."

And with her "YES," the door was opened. She conceived a child in that moment with her YES, and history itself changed forever. Emmanuel... Wondercounselor... Christ... Messiah... Lion of Judah... King of Kings... Prince of Peace...the Word...was made Flesh in her womb. Such that the Flesh of Jesus IS the Flesh of Mary. Through her YES, Jesus came to us. And through her YES, Jesus continues to come to us.

So we have Mary as our Model of the Christian life. For ultimately, God wants to do in us exactly what he did in Mary--Fill us with the Holy much so that God himself unites himself to our Flesh and Blood. So that we become the Body of Christ...His Flesh and Blood for the World. However, he will never force this upon us. But always, He stands at the doors of our hearts, gently knocking...sending a host of angels...inviting us to take part in the Mystery of his Love. But it is only our YES...following the perfect example of Mary, Our Loving, Gentle, and Patient Mother, that opens that door to the Will of God. The more we say Yes...the more we open ourselves to the Will of God in our lives...the more God is able to unite himself to our person...our body and soul...and thus...the more we truly become the "mothers, sisters, brothers" of Jesus.

So Yes...we honor Mary, but only because she brought us Jesus and continues to POINT carry us to Him. Just as she told the servants at the wedding feast in Cana, she gives her best advice to us today, "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5).

All true Devotion to Mary leads to Jesus. And so the ancient Christian tradition continues today: To Christ through Mary. If we run to her, she will never fall to take us to her Son. Nobody knows a Son like His Mother. Nobody can get the attention of a Son better than His Mother. And Nobody is prouder and more eager to share their Son, than their Mother. So who could be better to help us follow, know, and love Jesus than his Mother?

Here are some folks here at St. John's that seem to understand all of this all too well: The Rosary Club.


They Pray the Rosary every day after 9AM Mass. Except on Wednesday's they pray it at 5PM just before Benediction and Mass.

The Rosary is ultimately a meditation on the life of Jesus. It is a powerful prayer that has been near and dear to the life of the Saints for centuries. In this prayer, we turn to Mary to help us to enter more deeply into the Mystery of Her Son Son's Conception, Life, Death, and Resurrection.

It was the favorite prayer of Blessed Pope John Paul II and has grown to be near and dear to me as well. In a letter he wrote about the Rosary, he states:

The Rosary, precisely because it starts with Mary's own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning, as Pope Paul VI clearly pointed out: “Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ: 'In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard for their many words' (Mt 6:7). By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord. In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are disclosed”.

It is worth pausing to consider this profound insight of Paul VI, in order to bring out certain aspects of the Rosary which show that it is really a form of Christocentric contemplation.

Again, Contemplating Jesus is key.

Here is a link to the entire letter he wrote about the Rosary.

If you would like to learn how to pray the rosary, here are two helpful websites:

Have a great night ya'll.

To Jesus through Mary,

Let's aim to do whatever he tells us.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Youth Group

As it has been said, "The rub is in the details." So here is St. John's sign showing Mass times to all those driving by on Alberta St.

Also here are a couple shots from Youth Group tonight. Special thanks to all ya'll who came tonight. Also to Firehouse Subs for providing us with nourishment. And to our guest speaker for the evening--Sarah Butler--who shared about her experience growing up at St. John's and how it has helped her to live her faith down at South Alabama in Mobile where she will be a Senior this year. Sarah will be pursuing a career in optometry after graduating from USA, so she is asking that we all start staring into the sun for a couple minutes each day so that she will have a nice cliental waiting for her when she returns back to Enterprise one day...hahaha. We'll see what we can do....uhhhhh

Everyone was showing their ping-pong prowess tonight.

Sean here seems to be lost in the intensity of the moment as Father dominates in the background

Here are the lovely ladies that made Youth Group possible tonight. Thanks ya'll.

God Bless.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So, anytime we have turned on the News in the past two weeks, it is all about "Debt" and "Debt Ceilings" and "Defaulting on Debt" and any other permutation of "Debt" Washington or News Anchors can come up with.

The focus of course has been about the politicians in D.C., our President, bipartisanship, compromise, the upcoming election, and what our Congressmen are going to do to "fix" America.

Surely those we have elected have an important role to play and a great responsibility to carry out. But what about us?

Do we have any responsibility for the situation we are in?

This part of the "we," mentioned above, is taken from the Youth Groups of Eufaula, Enterprise, Dothan, and Ozark converging at Water World last week

Does "Debt" have anything to do with our lives? What is our responsibility as Americans, as people of faith, and particularly as Christians to those who are less fortunate than ourselves?

Also, are the materially poor, the only "poor" amongst us?

Are there important lessons that we ought to...need to learn from the materially poor?

Is poverty really a problem to solve? Or something else?

Here are a couple thought provoking articles that I have come across in the past week which I thought I would share.

*This explores the question of "tithing": wonder what kind of "spending power" would exist if
all Christians tithed the Biblical 10% of their wealth?

*Just what it says--a compilation of Jesus' commentary on the poor in the Gospels. Great
pictures attached to each verse

*What lessons do the poor have for us?
*Is wealth itself evil? Is poverty itself evil? Or is it the "love of money" that poisons our
relationship with each other and our God?


On a lighter note, I'd like to Thank Mr. Brook Benton for helping us to better appreciate the Boll Weevil down here in the Wiregrass of Alabama. Also, thanks to Prattville Seminarian standout Chris Boutin for drawing my attention to Brook's work.

Or Here on Brook

Monday, July 25, 2011


Just want to share something that struck me today as I prayed over part of Psalm 63 (2-6)

"O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For you love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will life up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy."

Such rich words. Each denoting such an intense, all encompassing desire, demanding all of one's attention and effort.

And these are the words the Psalmist uses to describe his desire for God. Longing for Him, like a kid on the last day of school on the brink of summer. Thirsting for Him, like for water after and hour outside in Enterprise. Pining for Him, like a wife thinking of her husband off at war.

Such do our hearts feel for God. At times we cannot pinpoint the feeling, we just know there is an emptiness...a restlessness within. We long to be be be made whole. And we wonder, at times, if we are crazy for hoping...for believing that these intense, deeply laden feelings may ever be requited.

It is only faith...only believe in a loving God that could lead the Psalmist to respond as he does...

"For your love is better than life...My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, My mouth shall praise you with joy."

His love is the only banquet that can fill us. For our desire is bottomless and only His love is eternal and abiding enough to fill it. Only His his love can fill to the brim and overflow into a Praise of Joy.

A Praise of Joy. This is ultimately what we are made for--to make a Joyful noise of Thanksgiving to our Lover and Creator. This is what a human life looks like fulfilled. This is the best thing. In fact, it is everything. We have only to allow our longings...our thirsts...our pining to be filled by the One who can. The One who is.

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee"
-St. Augustine

Closing Prayer:

Come and Fill what is lacking
Fill to the Brim and overflow around
Have Mercy on the cottonmouth of heart
Soften the pining of body and mind
Respond to the longing of spirit and grit
Vessels begin to crack when long without water
The Potter is needed also to Fill
So come and Fill as you Mold
That Joy may overflow and grow
Bringing taste and sight to a world groaning
Praise is the Remedy
May its balm fill the air


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Walk Around Town: Enterprise

Here is a shot of the sanctuary at St. John's. I was in their Saturday evening after Mass, noticing how nice it is, so I took this picture.

Also, each Saturday after the 5PM Mass, a Hispanic group comes and has Praise/ Preaching/Prayer Session from 7-10PM. I joined them yesterday evening and really enjoyed it. They were all very kind and hospitable and even asked me to read some Scripture and preach a little bit. I was so impressed by their commitment to this prayer. 3 hours!!! Every week! And then Mass in the morning. And only because they desire to be there, praising God and seeking further conversion of their hearts.

Here is some of the band cleaning up their gear after the Prayer Session:

This afternoon I went to Walmart to get some groceries. It is one of the most important landmark's in Enterprise

Afterwards, I decided to run by downtown and get some shots to share with ya'll.

Although Walmart is a big landmark, all landmarks in Enterprise fall short of THE landmark in Enterprise--the BOLL WEEVIL.

The Boll Weevil is indigenous to Mexico. But showed up in Enterprise somehow in 1915 and quickly began to destroy the cotton crops growing there. This led a couple guys to start growing peanuts and other crops instead which did very well. Whereas this area was tied solely to cotton, the Boll Weevil forced the farmers to explore other crops which turned out to be very lucrative for all involved. To show their appreciation for Mr. Weevil, the town had this statue erected right at the crosshairs of downtown.

Here are some other shots of the quaint and charming historic downtown of Enterprise:

The water tower--a hall mark of any Southern small town

I've noticed this guy a couple times before--guess its a little bit easier to get roping trash cans down pat before moving onto other less sedentary objects. Haha. I gotta talk to this guy and figure out the story behind it.

God Bless America.

God Bless Enterprise.

God Bless You.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Anniversary Father Gregory!

Today Father Gregory Okorobia celebrates the 32nd Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood!

Happy Anniversary Father Gregory!

As I am having a hard time fathoming that I will be ordained a priest in less than a is all the more mind boggling to consider what all lies between here and now and 32 years of priesthood!

I shared this thought with Fr. Gregory who responded, "Don't worry, I felt the same way before I was ordained. In fact, I couldn't even imagine 25 years. And here I am at 32!"

Reassuring but still mind-boggling....

His Anniversary gave us the occasion to listen to him recall how the Lord called him to priesthood.

Growing up in Nigeria, Fr. Gregory describes himself as a very "pugnacious" kid. He said he was always fighting somebody for any reason he could find...especially his older brother. His older brother, on the other hand was the quiet and kind one that everyone expected to go to seminary.

However, when Father was 14, four close friends with whom he was an altar boy, decided to enter the Junior Seminary in the diocese. Whereas his friends were very enthusiastic and zealous about going to seminary and becoming priests, Gregory was not really interested, but his father thought it would be a good experience for him to give it a try. So, without really having an interest or an understanding of priesthood, Gregory went off to Junior Seminary. His parents expected him to shortly be sent home for getting in fights or something else of that nature.

Interestingly, Gregory was the only one of the 5 that actually went all the way through seminary and became a priest!

Father said that slowly he changed in Seminary. He cites it as a real example in his life as to how the Word of God has power to change any heart into the image of Christ's. He slowly learned to calm his temper and temper his fists. He also slowly came to believe that God really was calling him to be a priest.

With a smirk, he recalled how he failed Latin and refused to make up the course because it was so troublesome to him. Also, how he left seminary for a couple days to visit his family without permission. These and other things, were behaviors that should have meant immediate expulsion from Seminary. In fact, he had seen other guys get kicked out for lesser things. In fact, he expected that he would get kicked out. However...somehow....some way...his path was never brought to an end.

All this and more...began to slowly make Father Gregory realize that the priesthood is not something that you choose...but that you are chosen for. "It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you" (John 15:16).

And over 32 years later, Father Gregory is still responding to the lay it all down...for the sake of the Gospel.

Today the staff had lunch together to celebrate Father's Anniversary. At some point, I commented to Father, "Well....32 years Father! So now what? What is your goal?" I found his response simple yet profound, "Just keep being a priest. Keep following his Plan. This has always been His idea."

Please take some time and pray for Father this week. Pray that he may have the courage and strength to keep joyfully living out his call to the priesthood. Pray the he may continue to make Christ present in the lives of those he serves. Pray that he may rejoice in his sufferings, as he carries his cross, following Christ.

And Pray a prayer of Thanksgiving. That this man has opened his heart to the Good and All Powerful God. May he continue to do so until one day he finds himself resting in that City on a Hill.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday July 21

Hello again. My name is Victor Ingalls.

About a week before arriving in Enterprise for the summer, I received an email from a good friend Father (as of June 11) Steven Vrazel. He was assigned to this parish in Enterprise two years ago as a seminarian and has since been receiving their weekly bulletin via email. In his correspondence with me (and a number of other seminarians), he sent me a copy of their latest bulletin commenting, "Hey check out your new name."

I opened it up and read the following: "This week we would like to welcome our new Seminarian for the summer, Victor Blitz."

Haha. How in the world did "Ingalls" morph into "Blitz???" And who is this Victor Blitz? Does he exist? Is this just a typo? Kinda sounds like a Super Hero...

Within hours, buddies were calling me saying, "What's up Blitz?" It even spread around Montgomery circles a bit. Enough that a close friend of the family came by and gave me a personalized water bottle commemorating my newfound name:

Thanks Colleen.

Once landing in Enterprise, the mystery began to unravel. Cindy, the parish secretary, confessed that she had made a typo. But that there was a REAL Victor Blitz who was a parishioner who had recently moved into the nursing home.

Fr. Vrazel had sent her an email drawing her attention to the typo...but not before forwarding his PDF copy to me and several others...haha. Cindy went on to make the painstaking effort manually correct all 300 bulletins! Thanks Cindy!

But try as she may, she could not keep the "Blitz" phenomenon from developing.

Last week, I went with a couple of parishioners to bring Communion to Victor Blitz in the Nursing Home. It was a clashing of destines...a fusion of identities...a real Victor encounter. Things really came together when I asked V. Blitz to explain the meaning of our name to our friends. He answered with matter-fact-resolve saying, "It means that I'm the Boss!" hahaha.

Perfect. I told him that was the best way I had ever heard it put. We have been laughing about that ever since.

Today, I was able to visit Victor again with some friends.

I told Vic to look handsome...and I think he really stepped up to the plate.

I was also able to meet his sweet wife today who drives to visit him 4-5 times a week. Please pray for the Victor and his wife Jenelle. That God may bless them with strength, endurance, courage, and love as Victor and her continue to adjust to his residence in the Nursing Home.

Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at the Hickory Pit which is now a 2 time tradition.

Will and Betty are long time parishioners of St. John's and very active in just about everything. I am very thankful to them for letting me join in their Ministry to the Sick. Also, Nancy, Betty's sister visiting from Atlanta, joined us today. Each of us enjoyed the "Clevis Special" at the Hickory Pit which is a pulled pork sandwiched smothered in BBQ sauce, cole slaw, onions, and pickles. Mmmmmmmm m. Thank you Clevis for all you have done for us!

This evening, I started a 5 class series on the Mass. The aim of the course will be two fold: to REDISCOVER the MASS and to take a look at the new translation of the Roman Missal (the prayers of the Mass) which will be implemented this coming Advent.

Tonight we took another look at the Mass and the Eucharist in general, trying to understand more fully what a gift it is. Realizing the the Eucharist is really the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Realizing that at Mass, the Power of Christ (which is the both the power through which the entire universe was created AND the power through which it was being redeemed and IS being sanctified) is made present in the most powerful way in the universe. Realizing that we are, indeed, called to be the Body and Blood of Christ (i.e. Be perfectly united with fully become "Church") and that it is the Eucharist that helps us most powerfully to "become what we eat."

Here are two prayers from Eucharistic Prayer II of the Mass which really highlight the desire of Christ for all of us at Mass:

First Epiclesis: Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Second Epiclesis: May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit.

So it is receiving Jesus (the perfect Unity with God with Father and all his Creation) that we too (by receiving it with humble and contrite hearts) may become Jesus...we may come into full COMMUNION with God and all his creation. Recall the words of St. John the Baptist: "He must increase. I must decrease" (John 3:30). Also the words of St. Paul: "And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way." (Ephesians 1:22-23)

We had a pretty good turn out and I think everyone enjoyed it...

despite having to listen to me run my mouth for a little over an hour.

Here are the words of three different Saints on the importance of the Eucharist:

"You envy the opportunity of the woman who touched the vestments of Jesus, of the sinful woman who washed His feet with her tears, of the women of Galilee who had the happiness of following Him in His pilgrimages, of the Apostles and disciples who conversed with Him familiarly, of the people of the time who listened to the words of grace and salvation which came forth from His lips. You call happy those who saw Him...But, come to the alter and you will see Him, you will touch Him, you will give to Him holy kisses, you will wash Him with your tears, you will carry Him within you like Mary Most Holy."

~ St. John Chrysostom

"The celebration of the Holy Mass
is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the Cross."
~ St. Thomas Aquinas

"Man should tremble, the world should vibrate,
all Heaven should be deeply moved
when the Son of God appears on the alter in the hands of the priest."
~ St. Francis of Assisi

If anyone reading this is in the Enterprise area, I'd like to invite you to come to any or all of the remaining classes. And to those of you who did come, feel free to bring a friend or family member. It is something I am really passionate about and something I think you will find interesting and hopefully more so nourishing. All of them will be held in the New Dining Hall of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Enterprise, AL from 6:30PM-8PM. They will be held on the following Thursdays:

July 28, August 4, August 11, & August 25

Alright ya'll. Peace be with you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Drove up to Montgomery today.

Gilbert, who has been cutting my hair since I was six, got me looking a little bit more human. He cuts hair out at Wynlakes, if any of you are in Montgomery and in need of looking fresh.

Then at noon I met up with the Pats.

Pat Arensberg and I are seminarians for the Archdiocese of Mobile. We have been studying together for the past three years in Rome. This coming October 6 the two of us will be ordained Deacons with the rest of our classmates at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. Needless to say we are pretty pumped.

Adding to the excitement and blessing of the event, we are organizing a pilgrimage for folks from the Archdiocese of Mobile to come over to Rome to share in the celebration. To organize this pilgrimage, we turned to another Pat Arensberg. This is the Uncle of the Seminarian Pat Arensberg. So, since we have started working on this, he has become "Uncle Pat."

Uncle Pat also spent some time in Rome in seminary--two years. During that time, he discerned that God was calling him to be a family man. The Lord has blessed him with a beautiful family in Mobile where he has taught Theology and coached football for several years now. Recently, however, he was made the Director of Religious Education for the entire Archdiocese.

Congrats Uncle Pat and Blessings as you make this big transition.

On the side over the past decade or so, putting his Roman experience to use, Uncle Pat has organized several pilgrimages for groups from Alabama and beyond. So naturally, Pat and I turned to him to arrange the pilgrimage surrounding our Ordination to the Diaconate.

Looks like we are going to have about 40 people coming to join us in Rome for 10 days and celebrate this great day in our lives! Looking forward to it.

Here are the two Pats

Got back to Enterprise just in time for some special prayers at St. John. For the past couple months, St. John's has increased its commitment to prayer. Every Tuesday morning, the Eucharist is exposed after 9AM Mass. From then until Wednesday evening, people in the parish sign up to come and spend one hour in prayer before our Lord. They make sure that someone is there every second during this time...even late into the morning....1am.... 3am.... 5am... always someone there. The idea is just to come and spend time with Jesus, like you would a good friend. To place yourself before Him, tell him what is on your mind and heart, and then just listen...just sit...just adore...just rest in his Presence.

Pretty awesome to see how this parish has responded to this new effort in prayer.

The prayer vigil concludes each Wednesday starting at 5 pm. At 5pm people gather to pray the Rosary. After that, Father comes and celebrates what is called "Benediction" in which a priest blesses his Congregation with Jesus present in the Eucharist. Right after that, they move right into Mass which finishes up about 6pm.

I have been encouraging the Youth to come by calling it the "RBM Challenge" (Rosary-Benediction-Mass). Despite my lame attempt at PR, about 3 of our Youth showed up today! I was so impressed by them. Several adults gather today as well such that we filled up our small Daily Mass Chapel. Nice.

Here is Father as he expresses our love for the Lord in the Eucharist by kneeling before and incensing it

Here, Father is blessing the Congregation as I incense the Eucharist expressing our Love and Thanksgiving for Christ...Emmaneul...being WITH us

Right after the RBM Challenge, we had Youth Group. It was my first time being with the Youth for one of their meetings & the first meeting of the summer. All things considered, I think it went pretty well. 9 girls and 1 guy showed up. Thanks Sean for boosting the male ratio!

Other guys...if you are reading this...come out next week. I mean come on...the odds are way in your favor....hahahha

Here are a few of their riveted faces. Probably right after my dynamic presentation. haha

Here are the readings from Mass today.

Interesting, today's OT reading and Psalm show how the Lord was preparing the way for the Eucharist even before the coming of Christ.

Check it out and see if you can make the connection

Aiight. That does it for today

Have a good one.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Enterprise, Alabama: St. John the Evangelist

Well, it has been about a year since my last post.

I'm gonna give this another go and shoot for shorter, more frequent posts.

I have been assigned to serve in a parish in Enterprise, AL named St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. I have been here about a week and a half and have really been enjoying meeting the folks around here.

I posted two pictures on my facebook page yesterday which I will go ahead and share again.

Picture of the sun setting over the church as Father Gregory and I took a walk the other day

Here is shot taken today after Barbara's Funeral Mass. Fr. Gregory Okorobia is on the right. He is from Nigeria. Went to Seminary there. Later got a Doctorate in Spain in Systematic Theology. Served in Nigeria for awhile. Then in Oregon for about 12 years. Also got a Masters in Liturgy from Notre Dame University. Now in Alabama for about 2 years. Pretty incredible guy. And my pastor for the summer. I'm blessed.


Father and I start each day with an hour of Silent prayer, sitting before the Blessed Sacrament. It is a great way to start the day. And I am impressed by Father's commitment to this prayer. I do my best to stay awake and remain prayerful for the entire hour. Coffee helps. God too.

This is Mrs. Anne. Really sweet lady who was recently widowed after 65....that's right.....65 years of marriage. Raised 6 kids and is still going strong. Her faith, humor, and kindness are contagious, refreshing, and make you want to be a better person. Carol, another lady in the parish, and I brought here Communion today and visited for awhile. She was going to stand on the coffee table to even out the picture but I told her not to worry about it. haha

Kids on the way to Dothan's refreshing Water World. About 18 kids from Enterprise drove up to this water park today to meet up with Youth Groups from both Dothan and Eufaula. We were blessed with great weather, food, and times. Thanks to all the parents who took the afternoon/evening to drive. Thanks to all the kids for coming and enjoying. Kid in the back right was either enjoying...or having a minor stroke...hahahahaha

Great to catch up with some old friends today. Edgar (L) and Victor "The Lesser" as I like to call him (by me) are in the Youth Group from Eufaula where I was last summer. I really miss those guys, so it was great to see them. Also, Zack is another Seminarian who is actually in Eufaula this summer. He is from Prattville and will be entering his first year in Major Seminary this fall and his third year overall. We study at different seminaries, so I really enjoy any chance I get to catch up with him or any of the other guys during the summer.

Great day.

Thanks God.

Peace ya'll