Pastor’s Keyboard

February 23, 2020 – Pastor’s keyboard

Pastor’s keyboard:  By the time you read this, I will have come back from vacation with seven of my brother priests. The church encourages us to recharge after a very hectic Christmas season, and I have not done that until now. I would like to express my many thanks to the family friend of one of the priests I vacationed in my group.   We are staying at a home in South Carolina on Hilton Head Island.

Whenever I am invited to go on vacation, part of me never wants to leave.  I’m a lot like my dad. We love the work, and it often defines so much of who we are.  As a priest, I do not like the idea of leaving all of you, and the many task I could be accomplishing.  Yet repeatedly, I read in the New Testament of how Jesus took the apostles away (usually after a lot of work and travel) to a quiet place to pray, rest, and recharge. Yes, it does not say that exactly, but you get the gist of it.

I am one of those who would like it if I did not have to rest, but so often, I can feel the (mental and physical) batteries depleting by the end of Christmas.  I try to ignore it, but then I must remember I am only human. So, what do priest do on vacation? Somehow, I ended up going on vacation with priests who are all younger than myself, and mostly are athletes.  They keep talking of bike rides, paddle boarding, hikes, and various adventures.  For me, and for them, it is more time to pray, read, nap, and have great conversations about the Lord, His church, our parishes, families, and our interests.  It is simply wonderful.

Every day we go to a local parish for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we pray the Liturgy of the Hours five times a day, we pray the rosary, and offer Mass for you, for our families, and the world.  Every time I go away, I find that I cannot wait to return to the parishes, and my other ministries. Yet I am also reminded how much I need time to recharge my mind, body, and spirit.

Know that you are all in our prayers and Masses. Please continue to keep me in yours.  Lent is about to start, and I hope I am now ready.

Your father and brother in Christ,

Fr. Scott

 

February 9, 2020 – Summer Seminarian Update

Summer Seminarian Update: We received an email from our summer seminarian last week and wanted to share it with all of you.

Good Morning Family and Friends,

Happy Tuesday! I hope this message finds you all well. I am emailing with an update from seminary and an announcement of what I hope to be an interesting read on our seminary’s blog.

Seminary this semester was off to a beautiful start with a week-long silent retreat together in the wilderness of Malvern, PA. It was a wonderful time to recollect and prepare for all that is to come this semester and year. Shortly after we arrived back at the seminary from the retreat to begin the new semester, I received the news that the Archbishop of Washington would like to send me to the North American College in Rome, Italy for my major seminary assignment! I will be moving to Rome in mid-August to continue the last four-five years of my studies and preparations for the priesthood. I am extremely excited and looking forward to the grand adventure and for all that the Lord will do in these next years. What a blessing to spend such time in the Eternal City!

In another news, our seminary’s blog entitled Semantics (a play on the words semantics and seminarian!) publishes blog posts every Tuesday during the academic year. Today’s post is by me called “The Power of the Voice.” Below is a link to my post as well as two other posts written by my brother seminarians, one of whom was a former writer for The Wall Street Journal. Feel free to share the links with anyone interested and to explore the rest of the blog. (For a full list of all the previous posts, be sure to click the “Archives” tab in the blog homepage). This house is full of talented and gifted writers.

“The Power of the Voice” by Dylan Prentice: https://dcpriest.org/news/the-power-of-the-voice

“There Is Joy Here Too” by Isaiah Jilek: https://dcpriest.org/news/there-is-joy-here-too

“Is It Possible To Live This Way?” by Gerard Gayou: https://dcpriest.org/news/is-it-possible-to-live-this-way

Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers! You are all so important as I grow and develop into the priest that our Lord desires me to be for Him, His Kingdom, and His Church here on earth made up of you! Please continue to pray for me and my brothers as we continue on our journey. Know of my constant prayers for all of you.

On his memorial today, St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

God bless,

Dylan

February 2, 2020 – Pastor’s Keyboard

Pastors keyboard: This week there is such an important event, I had to move two Masses to make room for it!  It’s so important, a of day traffic all over the country disappears!  It’s so important, people like me who rarely watch sports will be tuned in for three or more hours watching it and, usually, even before it begins!  By now you probably guessed, I’m speaking of the Super Bowl!  It’s not a religious event for most of us but for some people it’s as close as they get.  It will not matter in the least to most who wins, but for some it will either make or break their week.  I must admit, it is one of those days I really look forward to.  Not because of who is playing, not because of the Sunday evening off, and not even for the commercials (most of which have become not so entertaining and way too sexualized), I like the fellowship!

For some years many of my brother priests get together all over the archdiocese to watch the game together (though we often mute the halftime show). It’s a time to enjoy food and conversation while hoping to watch the best athletes in football strive to do their best to win the game.  It’s a great reminder of St. Paul’s council that we should live our spiritual life like athletes who work their hardest to prepare and play their best to win.  He speaks of them as men who discipline their lives to win an earthly crown of fig leaves (common for the winner of a race in Ancient Rome), while today it’s for a trophy (made of gold).  Both are nice, both symbolize triumph and success, but ultimately, both are nothing compared the Glory of Heaven.

I like to learn about how hard these athletes have worked to succeed and become the men they are today.  It reminds me to ask myself how hard I am working in cooperation with the Grace of God to prepare for the end of my life.  Am I willing to sacrifice lesser foods for the greater good the Lord is asking of me?  Am I turning down the temptation to mediocrity to become a man of excellence in my prayer, family life, friendships, work life, and schoolwork?  Am I aiming to become my best self with a daily plan of life?  Am I becoming a man of virtue?  These are the questions I ask myself when reading about the sacrifices that great men and women athletes make to be a success.  When watching the Super Bowl this Sunday evening (hopefully in fellowship with others) I hope these self-reflection questions will be on your minds and maybe even lead you to some new or renewed New Year’s resolutions.  This way we will all be good athletes in the spiritual life, seeking to live so as to win that imperishable crown of Glory that God our Father wishes to bestow upon us all.

 

Your brother and father in Christ,

Fr Scott

January 19, 2020 – Quote to Contemplate

For this weeks keyboard I wanted to share with you this quote from The Ways of Mental Prayer.

 

If you would suffer with patience the adversities and miseries of this life, be a man of prayer. If you would obtain courage and strength to conquer the temptations of the enemy, be a man of prayer. If you would mortify your own will with all its inclinations and appetites, be a man of prayer. If you would know the wiles of Satan and unmask his deceits, be a man of prayer. If you would live in joy and walk pleasantly in the ways of penance, be a man of prayer. If you would banish from your soul the troublesome flies of vain thoughts and cares, be a man of prayer. If you would nourish your soul with the very sap of devotion, and keep it always full of good thoughts and good desires, be a man of prayer. If you would strengthen and keep up your courage in the ways of God, be a man of prayer. In fine, if you would uproot all vices from your soul and plant all virtues in their place, be a man of prayer. It is in prayer that we receive the unction and grace of the Holy Ghost, who teaches all things.”

— St. Bonaventure, p. 25-26

 

Your brother and father in Christ,

Fr Scott

January 12, 2020 – Pastor’s Keyboard

This week is the Feast if the Baptism of the Lord. One of my favorite Sacraments to celebrate as a priest is Baptism. The sad thing is that for me and many priests this is becoming a much rarer event then it was in past generations. Many of you no doubt know relatives and friends who have had children but not brought them to be baptized or the priest has actually refused Baptism. Why? Because so many people today don’t know or understand Original Sin and its consequences, nor the real danger of hell that exist for us all. There is a saying that, “if you don’t know the bad news you won’t care about the good news”.  I believe that is true today.

Why would a priest ever refuse Baptism to a child? The church actually requires that for a priest to Baptize a minor their parent or guardian must make a commitment to raise them up in the faith. Otherwise, they will have made a commitment for the child that the child cannot live out due to ignorance. This then lies with the parents/guardian and the godparents. Yet sadly today many make the commitment and attend the class and then don’t strive to live it out. Hence most of the children I have Baptized I don’t see them again either till First Confession and Communion time or not at all.

This is of course a great tragedy for the child and for their family and for us all. What can we do to change it? On a wide scale not much. But on the local level we can do much. We can do as some already have in our parish. They drive and pick up their grandchild/God child/niece or nephew/friend’s child/neighbor’s child and make the commitment to bringing them to religious education and to Mass every Sunday they can. It’s not easy but it could save a soul and a family. How do I know? I was that child once whose parents Baptized him and then didn’t bring him to church. Without my grandmothers stepping up and out to bring me, I might not be a practicing Christian today and perhaps you would not have a priest to offer you the Sacraments. Their sacrifice has become a blessing for me and for you. May you now do the same.

 

Your brother and father in Christ,

Fr Scott

January 5, 2020 – Pastor’s Keyboard

Pastor’s Keyboard:

This is the last year of your life!  Or at least it may be.  If you knew this was your last year of life, how would you live it?  Would you plan to pray more?  Would you be more giving to charity? Would you spend more time with your family and less watching tv or internet? Would you finish some of your projects? Would you drop other projects?  Would you take more time to appreciate the beauty of Nature?

How would you live this life differently then you did in 2019?  Would you read more scripture? Pick up a new hobby? Visit with old friends?  For most of us this year will not be our last, but for some of us it will be.  For most of us, we are going to be given another whole year to prepare ourselves and our families for our final judgement. Whenever someone tells me they are going to make a major change in their lives I always ask them to list the steps that will lead them toward that change and that can help them to persevere.  If they can do that, they will have a fighting chance of seeing it through. If not they will most likely start out well and end quickly.

My prayer for you and for me is that we take these first few days of 2020 and really plan out the steps to live this year well, not just for a better 2020, 2021 and so on.  But most of all that we might be well prepared to head home to the Fathers house, having loved each year as our best year to know, love, and serve the Lord.  So how would you live this year differently if it were your last year of life?

Your a brother and father in Christ,

Fr Scott

December 8, 2019 – Pastor’s Keyboard

Pastor’s Keyboard: I’m Back!  I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last Pastor’s Keyboard. My secretaries have tried to get me to write them before the deadline and I’m always meaning to get them in but then something unexpected happens. I’m much like my dad; I like a schedule that is filled and orderly. I like it when I have a little time between meetings, and I like it when people arrive right on time (not too early or too late).  Inevitably, a call comes in unexpectedly or unforeseen person shows up at the door needing help, or one person comes late and my entire schedule is thrown off.

Usually this makes me very upset, the emotions grow strong and I want to throw myself a pity party.  But reading the writings of the Saints reminds me that this is actually meant to be received as a Great Blessing! Why? How?  Because God often allows or even wills it to be so, then we must trust Him and not our plans. It stretches us in the virtues of patience, charity, and trust. If we allow it too, if we turn to the Lord in that very moment and not to the Panic Button (a button I’ve too often turned too).

How can we do this? My grandmother used to use scripture verses (her tried and true answer to every one of life’s unexpected difficulties). The Saints often had a particular phrase like “Jesus I trust in you, help my lack of trust” or “Jesus help me to desire Your will, to know Your will, and to do Your will.” Often if I have to drive somewhere unexpectedly, I’ll turn on Christian music (it can help tame the wild beast). These are all methods to helps us center less on the unexpected circumstances that are driving us crazy, and more on the God of the circumstances who is directed it all and wishing to lead us through it with more faith and trust in Him. Some of the saints called this life – our spiritual gym. By means of the unexpected, God teaches us to come to Him, to trust in Him, and to follow Him where we would not choose to go on our own. This advent season as your shopping, decorating, cooking, partying, and all the while praying, sacrificing, and fasting at times may you stay centered on Jesus who is Emmanuel (God with Us). For the more you and I stay centered in Him instead of our circumstances, we will remain peaceful, cheerful, and charitable in all the situations God brings to us or allows to change our plans. Blessed Advent!!!

 

Your brother and father in Christ,

Fr Scott

December 1, 2019 – Pastor’s Keyboard

Pastor’s Keyboard: Here are prayers that we have been asked to pray as a church family especially on December 6th.

Your Father and Brother in Christ,

Fr. Scott

 

Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.

Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honor forever. Amen.

 

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

O sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thy altar eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy Law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints.

We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

Would, O divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou didst once make to Thy eternal Father on the cross and which Thou dost continue to renews daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent other from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may one day come to that happy home, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.

November 24, 2019 – Pastor’s Keyboard

Pastor’s Keyboard: I received this testimony in my email and thought I would share this with you.   Your Father and Brother in Christ, Fr. Scott

Unconditional Yes

     Yes…this is the only word my wife has been able to utter in prayer over the past few weeks while we have attended to our chronically ill child. Dominic’s baseline has degraded to the point that he was not tolerating food and his stomach, large intestines and colon are scarcely working. Chasity shared what her prayer life has been like with me today as we talked about the day’s events. Dominic underwent yet another surgery to try and relieve some of his suffering and increase function in a body that has been scourged with the marks of disfunction since birth.

Yes…what a beautiful prayer from a mother whose heart is wounded and tired. It immediately reminded me of Our Blessed Mother’s Fiat in which she said Yes to God’s call for her to intimately participate in His rescue mission. “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38).

God gives us all a mission to carry on His rescue plan and he is looking for us to be participants if we should only say…Yes. The plan necessarily will look differently then what we have mapped out in our minds. It is filled with mystery and unknowns.  It is likely that we won’t feel like saying yes or think that it is possible for us to endure what he is asking of us and it will necessarily cost us, but our “yes” also comes with an assurance from God.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,

and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you

and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart;

and you will find rest for yourselves” (Mat 11:28-30)

Think of the questions and concerns that must have poured over Our Blessed Mother after she responded to God’s call, but she exemplifies a life of yes to God even when the cost was her own son. The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God is our exemplar in times of distress and weariness because she shows us to rely on Him through a simple yet profound response…Yes.

“Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,

and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa 53:5)

 

 

read other posts about Dominic at – https://intentionalencounter.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=e5a9a2bb49c6f8829b43e14e4&id=31ef8372e6&e=3d9ab83d1e