Sunday, September 27, 2009

stop slipping

Homily for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center
27 September 2009
Year for Priests

We're hemorrhaging as a Church. We have leaks. Lots of them. Not unlike the KU defense yesterday versus Southern Mississippi. As a Church, we still make plays when we need to make them. There are many signs of optimism and hope in the Church. Many signs that we are winning some games and some battles, and that we are a force to be contended with. I work in vocations, and although progress is very, painfully slow, there are good signs. We have 10 new men in the seminary in the last year. Five guys from the St. Lawrence Center entered the seminary and religious life last year. There are victories. There are many things to celebrate, including a particularly good start to this year of ministry at the St. Lawrence Center. But we all know as well that we are hehmorraging as a Church. Like the KU defense, we are giving up a lot of ground. In the culture, we have seen a fast increase in the number of people who no longer consider themselves Christian, a jump from 8 to 13 percent in the number of people who do not affiliate with any particular religion at all. These can include both agnostics and atheists. In the age group that the St. Lawrence Center serves, Fr. Steve was telling me the other day that over 20 percent of 18-29 year olds now consider themselves areligious. Which means if this trend continues, there will be a day soon that in a group of new people, you will be just as likely to meet an agnostics as you would to meet a Catholic. And among those leaving religion, the largest and fastest group leaving their faith are Catholic men. We have leaks in the Church. We know it. If you don't believe me, take a look at my email or listen to my voicemail, and it becomes apparent that it hurts badly to see a young Catholic leave the faith. Parents are hurt. Grandparents are hurt. It is hard to see such a treasure that is the Catholic faith discarded. As a Church, we are hemorrhaging. And it hurts.

We know as well that there is not going to be a quick solution to the problem. As we move to a less Christian culture, at least overtly, especially among our young people, the Christian imagination, and the Catholic imagination are easily lost in the minds and hearts of our young people. And once it is lost, it is a hard thing to replace. What do I mean by the Catholic imagination? I mean the view of the world that we are all the children of God, chosen and redeemed by Christ, and in and through him we are brothers and sisters to each other. That Catholic imagination that gives us all additional reasons for doing good, and that gives us a sense of purpose in trying to redeem the world with Christ by making his love more present by our words and actions. By the Catholic imagination, I mean the personal sense of peace, joy, purpose and happiness that comes from knowing that through a personal encounter with Christ, the mystery of the human person is unraveled, and through a deep, prayerful conversation and friendship with him, a person can move forward toward answering a vocation that will bring lasting fruitfulness and happiness to him and to the world. This Catholic imagination, a way of seeing things through faith, and the joy of belonging to a community that is truly the bride of Christ, united with Him through the Eucharist, and guided by the Holy Spirit, is a powerful instrument of His grace and love, this is an imagination that is quickly eroding from the hearts and minds of young people. Heck, it is disappearing from the hearts and minds of all of us, as Catholicism is continually shifted toward the margins of the culture.

In the near future, until this Catholic imagination is recovered, and hearts and minds are reclaimed in a beautiful way for the Church, the situation of the Gospel will become even more real for us. As the number of agnostics and atheists rise near 1/4 of the population, given today's trends, it will be more and more a reality that people will be doing great humanitarian things, acting on natural human goodness, even though they are not overtly Christian. Many of these people will be ex-Catholics. Jesus' words that whoever is not against us is for us reminds us that we in the Church are stewards of God's salvific grace, but we do not control it. The reality is that we will work side by side with many people in the future who do not share our Catholic faith or imagination, and we will continue to be challenged that you don't have to be a Christian to be a good person. We will need the help of these people to serve the common good, even if they do not look like us or pray like us.

That being said, I think Jesus' words of the Gospel challenge us to stop the hemorrhaging within the Church, the dulling of consciences and the loss of the Catholic imagination which is a most beautiful way of viewing the world and living fruitfully and happily within it, not to mention the surest path to eternal life. Jesus challenges any of us who are living a lukewarm, surface Catholicism to rediscover the great difference the Catholic faith makes, and how different is a person who simply seeks to be a good person from a person who has been called and graced by Christ to love and serve in a way that makes the redeeming love of God more visible and real in the world. We must all take Jesus' words to heart, and get rid of those things that cause us to relativize the great value of our Catholic faith, and those things that cause us to lead other people into sin. We must get rid of those things if we are to rediscover the Catholic imagination, the Catholic adventure that is within each of us, the call not to be a nice guy to be great! +m

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Padre Pio

Homily for Wednesday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time
23 September 2009
St. Lawrence Catholic Center
Year for Priests

For daily readings click here.

Padre Pio. A modern saint. Lived in the 20th Century - canonized early on in the 21st, in 2002. A modern hero. My first parish, St. Michael, read a book about him for our parish book club. But I didn't read it, even though I noticed lots more people started coming to confession after reading the book. I hope they weren't expecting me to be Padre Pio. But they saw in the book the real power of confession, through the biography of a great confessor.

Padre Pio. I've seen parts of his movie biography. The Apostles of the Interior Life tell a great story about how he provided them with their first residence. I don't remember all the details, except that I believe them. I really believe he did it. I've read about how John Paul II really admired him, and entrusted prayer intentions to him. I know that prayers to him have cured many people.

In Padre Pio we have a man, a holy man, who embodied as well as he could in his own circumstances the instructions given by Jesus in today's Gospel from Luke. The Lord commanded them to cure diseases. In the middle of hearing as many as ten hours of confession every day, Padre Pio would break to pray over the sick who had come to see him. He believed with real faith that the Lord would hear his prayers, and he never ceased praying for the sick. Eventually, a hospital was constructed at Padre Pio's insistence, a hospital that has 350 beds for the alleviation of human suffering. As a Franciscan, Padre Pio took Jesus at his word when he said not to make a career out of being religious. Padre Pio lived simply, in real poverty, not accumulating food or money or clothes. Although he was unable because of his health to go from town to town, he followed the Lord's command by welcoming those from every town who came to see him, and he did everything he could to be attentive to their souls and to bring relief as a great confessor and spiritual director. Finally, Padre Pio experienced those who doubted him, and he had to ignore them and to persevere, just as the Lord instructed the first apostles to do, even as they maligned his purported stigmata and made outlandish claims of false prophecy against him.

Padre Pio followed the words of today's Gospel as closely as he could, given his circumstances. He followed them without excuse. Without dilution. With humility and faith. Padre Pio walked the path Jesus asked him to walk, and the result was a saintly life of incomparable fruitfulness. 300,000 at his beatification in St. Peter's square in 2002 35 years after his death. Not a bad way to live. Not bad for a little Franciscan friar! +m

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Everything is relationship??

Sometimes the weekend homily sets up pretty nicely. About the same time I was thinking about what to say this weekend, I saw a highlight of this Philadelphia Phillies fan Steve Montforto and his three year old daughter Emily. Jesus ends this Sunday's Gospel by placing a child in the midst of his disciples in order to teach them how to not become enslaved by their own selfish ambition. In the same way, this little girl Emily, who appeared on ESPN and every other highlight show these last few days, melted the hearts of all those who saw her and her dad. It was just a five second clip, and this girl and her dad reminded us of all we need to know. They taught us perfectly what is so easy to forget, and what Jesus is trying to remind us this Sunday . . . that everything is relationship.

Jesus was teaching his disciples privately about how he intended to enter into an even deeper relationship with all people, even those who did not yet know him, by letting himself be handed over to sinners, and by shedding his blood on the cross, a blood that he desired to share so that all might become his brothers and sisters. It was not enough for Jesus to establish a teaching relationship with his disciples; no, he wished to establish a deeper relationship, by becoming completely vulnerable and dependent upon them, as a child is completely dependent. He wanted a relationship not of master and slave, but one of interdependence, a relationship of true friendship, a relationship that began with his decision to empty himself completely of his power and to become as vulnerable as a child, not only at Bethlehem, but even at Calvary. Jesus is trying to explain to his disciples how he had a mission to enter more deeply into relationship with all mankind, but the disciples could not understand, because they were thinking of something else. They were thinking about how their relationship with Jesus distinguished them from others who were not so close to him, about how their power was growing because they were with Jesus, and even within their small cadre, who was the greatest. Jesus brought in a child to try to save them from their selfish ambition.

Our lives are made of tens of millions of feelings. Yet our feelings do not define who we are. Our lives are made of tens of millions of actions, yet our actions do not define who we are. A young child, such as the one Jesus placed in the midst of the disciples, is a bundle of undifferentiated feelings and actions, and a child's actions are not the product of intense self-reflection. A child receives his identity by who the child is related to. Jesus reminds his disciples by placing a child in their midst that one's real significance and security come not from achievement or power or distinction or independence, but from relationship. A child has not had time to separate or distinguish himself from his fellow man; he is significant because there are people who love him, and will give their lives to ensure that he will have everything is good. A child is significant not because of his independence, but precisely because of who he is dependent on. A child is significant because of who loves him, because of his relationships. And so it must be with the disciples of Jesus.

Many of your peers at KU shy away from religion because they choose to see within Christians a certain self-righteousness. Rightfully or wrongfully, they see in the disciples of Jesus a desire to be holy for the sake of being holy, and for the sake of separating yourselves from those who are unholy. Well, there is nothing wrong with desiring to be holy, but Jesus asks his disciples to purify their intentions for desiring holiness; it is not to separate themselves, but to put themselves in deeper relationship with God and with all of humanity, in imitation of him who came not to be served, but to serve, as to give his life so that he could be in deep relationship with all of mankind.

Cardinal George, in speaking to the seminarians at Mundelein seminary in Chicago last week, where I was able to be with our KCK seminarians, seemed to say that it is a cruel thing that we do in today's culture, challenging everyone to find their true identity first, individually, and then to enter into relationship second. Cardinal George says this is such a cruel thing we ask people to do - to find their identity in isolation, based on individual feelings, and then to base our relationships on that isolated sense of self. He was saying that in a relativistic narrative, everyone has a responsibility to discover deep within who they really are, based on their desires, and then must build community around these desires and then a circle of influence. Maybe I'm paraphrasing him badly, but this is what I took from what he said. Cardinal George reminded the seminarians that beginning with the moment we are born, everything is relationship. We are who we are related to. It is imperative that we keep this lens on, that we are not defined by our feelings or our circumstances or our actions, at least not totally, but that each of these things serve to either enhance or detract from our relationship with God and with one another. Human beings are relational. Our ultimate vocation is to love. Nothing more. Nothing less. If this is true, then everything must be relationship, and relationship can never be subjugated to personal identity, nor personal identity formed in isolation from relationship. This is true whether you are a devout Catholic or committed agnostic.

Well, maybe this is reading a lot into what Jesus was trying to say. I'm probably guilty of quite a bit of isogesis this week. But the point is there for you to consider anyway. Cardinal George ended his talk by saying this, to always remember that Jesus Christ came so that we could be more deeply related, through Him, to one another. He made it more possible for us to love one another. This is the great treasure that is the Christian faith. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Oh yeah, about that three year old girl Emily and her dad Steve. Well, the 5 second video clip goes like this. Steve has had season tickets for the Phillies for years and years. He has never caught a foul ball. It was his lifetime dream to catch a foul ball. He probably loves baseball as much as anybody. He looked like a diehard fan. He maybe even cried when the Phillies won the World Series last year. Anyhow, Steve makes an amazing catch over the railing in the upper deck. His first foul ball. Maybe his last. After a quick fist bump to some fans around him, Steve gives the ball to his three year old daughter Emily, who instinctively and immediately chuck the ball right over the railing into the lower deck. Steve's foul ball is lost . . . the glory of his miracle catch, a catch he had hoped for for years and years, a ball he could show his family and friends for years and years with pride - all of this lasts less than 5 seconds. And what does Steve do? Does he worry about the ball at all? No! He grabs his daughter, lest she think she had done something wrong, and gave her the most beautiful embrace anyone could imagine. A picture is worth a thousand words. It doesn't matter who Steve is - whether he is a mechanic or investment banker or unemployed, or how big his house is or what country club he belongs to . . . in 5 seconds we know about Steve all that we need to know - he knows the simple truth of what Jesus speaks . .. everything is relationship! +m

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blessed are the sorrowful for they shall be consoled!

Homily for the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
15 September 2009
Benedictine College
Year for Priests
For daily readings, click here.

I have seen a statue of Mary cry. It is not something that I ever demanded to see, or prayed to see. First of all, signs like this scare me. I like to pretend that my faith in God is strong enough without needing such signs, but such signs remind me of all the times when I pretend that God is much farther away than he really is. Such signs, which are such a gift, remind me of how different I could be, and I should be, should I choose to accept how close God really is. I didn't ask for this sign from our lady. I know many people pray for signs of where God is, but I wasn't praying for one. I was pretty comfortable right where I was. But there is was. Undeniable. While on mission in Honduras, we had heard that the Marian statue at the entrance of the new Catholic university in Santa Rosa de Copan, a statue just a few blocks from the orphanage where I was staying, had been shedding tears around 9pm in the evening. I was skeptical, and tired after a long day of travel through the mountain ranges surrounding Santa Rosa, so I really didn't want to go. But the sisters, and my fellow pilgrims, insisted. It was a clear night. No humidity, really. No reason for condensation whatsoever. There was none anywhere. We prayed the rosary along with 150 or so other pilgrims who had come to pray. It was a beautiful prayer. Good enough for me. I turned to go back to the cabs that were waiting to give us a ride back to the orphanage, stopping to exchange short greetings with some fellow pilgrims. I stopped just long enough, for before I got into the car, I heard loud shrieking and cries of amazement and joy as the statue started weeping. Before I knew it, the pilgrims around, knowing I had never seen this before, thrust me right to the front so that I was right under the statue. There they were, one tear after another, coming slowly but surely, right out of her eyes. Right down her face.

Obviously, this is a sign I will never forget. Like I said, I wasn't praying for a sign. I didn't think I needed one. But in looking back, I guess I needed to know that Mary was still crying. When I pray the mysteries of the rosary, I tend to think of Mary's suffering at the foot of the cross to be in the past, while her coronation is the present. I like to pretend that time has disallowed the overlap of emotions. I know I shouldn't do this, but I do. Maybe it is my sanguine personality, wanting everything to be alright sooner rather than later, pretending that the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus has redeemed the world more completely that what has yet to be realized, pretending that Mary's joy overshadows her sorrow. Today's feast, and the sign I saw, are a reminder to me that Mary weeps as deeply today as she did at the foot of the cross. As our mother, she weeps as much for the suffering of her children, for the Church militant and suffering which is her Son's body, as ever. And that is not an unfortunate thing, that Mary continues to weep for us. It is not a thought that we need to avoid, but one that should give us great consolation.

Whether it be gazing on the pieta, or singing my favorite song that I have ever sung, O vos omnes by Vittoria - look all you who pass by, and see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow - or simply meditating on our own broken hearts or the broken hearts and minds and bodies of our friends and enemies, today's memorial reminds us that our Lady weeps for us, and with us. Today's memorial teaches us that because our lady still weeps, it is ok for us to weep. Faith in the resurrection of Jesus does not mean that sorrow is an emotion we must avoid, or pretend does not exist, for there is no resurrection without first the tears that flow from the truth of the cross. Remember the beatitudes, by which we mark ourselves to be true children of heaven. Blessed are the sorrowful, for they shall be consoled. +M

Monday, September 14, 2009

Redemptive Suffering

Homily for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
14 September 2009
St. Lawrence Center - KU
Year for Priests

The cross which we exalt on today's feast does not definitively answer the why of human suffering. The cross, which is the greatest sign ever of God's love for us, and is an object not of great shame, but of great devotion and hope for us, does not tell us why some kids get cancer, and others do not. The cross is not an explanation of why some people, though innocent, much more innocent than the Israelites in today's first reading, suffer tremendously in this life, while many others go along untroubled.

The cross does tell us however, that in our suffering, we are not alone. Suffering does not have to isolate us from God or from one another, especially those who do not suffer like we do. While the exact fruits and the specific meaning of our suffering is quite beyond us on this side of heaven, the cross does give us hope that our suffering is not in vain. Finally, as the grace that flows from the scandal of the cross is precisely the greatest grace imaginable, the grace of sharing in the very life of God, as we venerate and exalt the cross of Jesus we are saying that we too expect that our greatest happiness will be found not in escaping the clutches of evil and suffering, but by welcoming them and by bearing the fruit of transforming evil and suffering by the power of love that we experience through our Lord's holy cross. +m

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hearing with ears of the heart!

Homily for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (vigil)
5 September 2009 Year for Priests
St. Frances Cabrini Parish
Hoxie, Kansas

What is Jesus Christ asking you to do with your life? If I've asked this question once in our Archdiocese as vocation director, I've asked it a thousand times. What is Jesus Christ asking you to do with your life? I'm out in Hoxie this weekend hunting with my brothers and celebrating my dad's 60th birthday. I posted on my facebook late last night that I'm not much of a hunter, but that my brothers have not given up on me yet. Someone madea comment on my facebook that at least I was a good 'hunter of men.' The job I have been given in the Archdiocese is to 'hunt' so to speak for men to whom the Lord is speaking, for men whom the Lord is inviting from deep within to be his priests. So I use this question - what is Jesus Christ asking you to do with your life, as a way of trying to see which men have the ability to listen with the ears of their heart to the voice of Jesus. The answer I get to the question tells me a lot about the men of the Archdiocese whom I go out to meet for my job. 99.9% of guys tell me the same thing. I don't know. I don't know what Jesus Christ is asking me to do with my life. He has not appeared to me, or sent an angel. How am I supposed to know? God is too remote and mysterious for me to answer that question. And although they won't admit it openly, most guys like it that way. It gives us the illusion that we should do whatever we want, if God is not speaking to us.

Today's Gospel about the deaf and mute man provides another great opportunity for us to investigate how we are deaf and mute in our communications with the Lord. My first spiritual director told me once that in all of Jesus' healing stories, it has been the tradition of the Church to consider how we are more like the person being healed that we are unlike him or her. Through this Gospel story today, we have a chance to pray to God that through the celebration of these sacred mysteries tonight, we too might leave Church having been touched personally by Christ, and having been healed of our deafness to the voice of God.

Once a young man has told me that he has no idea what Jesus Christ is asking him to do with his life, my next question is to ask him if he has a way, short of demanding that Jesus Christ make a special cameo appearance or send an angel immediately, for finding out what Jesus Christ is asking him to do. If Jesus is not going to tell us in the ordinary way, in a way that makes sound waves that our ears can recognize, what He is asking us to do, then he is either a really poor communicator, or he just likes to see us have to guess at what he really wants. I wouldn't accuse Jesus of either of these things. Jesus may very well appear himself anytime he wants or send an angel to deliver his will to a person; that is his prerogative. But in the drama of human freedom, God loves our freedom so much so as to oftentimes put very good options, parallel options, if you will, in front of us, and then he loves to let us decide. It is making decisions between these seemingly equally good options in front of us that makes life exciting. Still, we know that somewhere in the mix of all these good options is the correct will of God for us, our destiny or our vocation, if you speak, that one thing that surpasses all the other things we are supposed to do with our lives. In order to find this one thing, this vocation, this way of completely emptying all the gifts we have been given by God to share, this pearl of great price for which we are to sell everything, God oftentimes requires that we learn to listen with the ears of our heart.

Listening with the ears of the heart is not like make-believe. In our culture today, when we can listen to so many things at once, the voice we hear from within, our conscience, or the tendencies we have from within toward truth and goodness and beauty and unity, sometimes can get drowned out. This inner voice that must be listened to with the heart can sometimes seem like the least real and the least important voice. When I can facebook, and blog, and twitter, and watch a youtube video and listen to itunes all at the same time on my laptop, it is impossible for me to listen to my interior voice as well, at least with any attention. That is why the great spiritual masters of our Church always advocate a space of silence if a person is going to have any interior or spiritual life at all. Nowhere is this more dramatic than if you have a chance to make a silent retreat. The longest I have gone is 8 days. And the first three days were like a living hell as I detached from all the noise. My spiritual dirctor even suggested we divest ourselves of books, let alone music and conversation. Nothing. Total silence. It is easy to hate at first. You feel worthless without your daily dose of input. But after the third day I realized something - there was still plenty of input, even though I had no books, no music and no conversation. There was still plenty of input, perhaps even more, not only in nature which seemed to speak more clearly each passing hour I was silent, but also the ears of the heart, the ears of contemplation, were activated. It was almost as if I was hearing more, not less, and not in a make-believe way, but in the way of being able to hear God speak to me, not from the outside, but from within.

We have largely failed as a Church to find a way to be silent, and to find ways to pray in our busy and noisy culture. It is hard for us to 'put out into the deep' spiritually if we fail to find a way to be silent, for we miss a different way of hearing. When there is too much noise, always noise, the voice of God, that distinct voice that desires precisely and personally what is truly good for us, gets lost. Even if Christ were to appear to us or send an angel, most of us would admit that it would be quite possible for us to miss him because of everything else we are listening to. It can even hard to pray while we are at Church, to activate the ears of the heart for one hour a week. To even have a chance to hear something from God Himself, many people today, including many priests, have tried to revive the idea of a weekly or daily holy hour, an hour when they completely get away from everything, and to simply be with Christ and with him alone, adoring him before the Blessed Sacrament. Oftentimes this holy hour is accompanied by spiritual reading or a rosary, but in its purest sense, a holy hour is meant for us to be still, and to listen with the ears of our heart. If you've ever tried it, you know how incredibly hard it is to just sit there for an hour. It is so hard to turn off the running list of things we have to do. It is so hard just to listen. The time goes by so much more slowly. It can be agonizing. But those who learn to pray in this most simple way find that rather than losing an hour, they have gained many hours by listening more precisely to that voice of God speaking within us, saving us from illusions, and asking us to bear fruit with our lives in a very specific way.

I'm not saying that if you try a holy hour, you will have an immediate answer to the question - what is Jesus Christ asking you to do with your life. God's will is mysterious, and always beyond us, as it should be, for in the end, we are people whose stories are so much more exciting and interesting when we walk by faith, and not by sight. As soon as we think we can capture God's will, we have settled for something less than God's will. We may never have a precise answer to the question - what is Jesus Christ asking me to do with my life. But as Pope Benedict XVI said during his visit to the United States in 2008, if we learn to be silent, and really learn how to pray, nobody will have to convince us from the outside that we must do what God is asking of us. If we really learn how to listen with the ears of our heart, no one will be able to talk us out of doing what God has put us on earth to do. +m

Friday, September 4, 2009

Beware of the Biemers Extra Spicy

Gates Extra Spicy - no biggie! Arthur Bryants? Piece of cake! Oklahoma Joe's - give me the spiciest sauce you've got! But at Biemers? I cried! Tonight I was leaving Lawrence in a hurry to try to get back to Hoxie for some late night conversation with my family, so I grabbed Biemers bbq at 9th and Iowa for the first time. I spied some extra spicy sauce on my way in, so when I saw that in my paper bag was only a side of regular sauce, I pulled out my sandwich quickly and smothered it with extra spicy. By the time I was at 4th and McDonald by the Holiday Inn, I was crying, and hiccuping, and praying for mercy from this sauce. It was like chili peppers were added to tobasco sauce, with only the most miniscule amounts of vinegar, brown sugar and tomato sauce. I thought I could handle any barbecue sauce easily. Look out for the Biemers though. By the way, the sandwich was really good, but I had to suck on ice and diet cokes for the next hundred miles before I knew that I wasn't going to die!

St. James Daily Mass Packed!

I was only expecting maybe 75-100 students for today's daily Mass at St. James Academy in Lenexa, including the varisty football team, who attend Mass together every Friday during the season. But the chapel was packed! Standing room only, at least in the back for the people who rushed in right before the start of Mass! There were probably 250 people at Mass this morning, and it was optional! This was the first Mass I celebrated at St. James this year. The only practical reason for the huge attendance that I could think of is that the Mass started at 8:05am versus the 7:40am start time last year. But it was obvious as well that the many new students at St. James have been encouraged, and have embraced the idea, of starting their day by being united as closely as possible with Christ through the mystery of the Eucharist. I know it is early in the semester, but still it was incredibly inspiring to be there with so many on an optional Mass day. Go Thunder! If this many of you keep showing up, I'll have to write a better homily! St. James, pray for us!

The New Seminarian Poster

Thanks to new seminarian Dan Morris who unselfishly took the time to do the layout of this year's poster, the much anticipated annual seminarian poster is almost ready to be sent to the printer. It will be distributed throughout the Archdiocese in October. Please share with all your friends the electronic copy so everyone can celebrate the men the Lord has chosen to be in formation for the Archdiocese this year, and can prayerfully support these men. They represent a great amount of courage and hope! Just a little bit about the poster - Dan has been working in graphic art for several years since graduating from KU, and has given our poster a more mysterious and modern look. You'll see immediately that the Book of the Gospels, held by Deacon Scott Wallisch during this year's priesthood ordination for the Archdiocese, is highlighted. Since this is the Year for Priests we have included a quote from the new univeral patron of all priests, St. John Vianney, speaking about the most important virtue for any priest, the virtue of pastoral charity that flows from the sacred heart of Jesus. Comments about the poster are welcome! These posters are only available for distribution through the parish priests of the Archdiocese. At the end of October, we may have extras to be given away to others, but our hope is that our priests will take them all and display them all throughout the Archdiocese.