Monday, October 22, 2012

Night Fever

Come let us adore Him...

This past summer I was introduced to 'Night Fever'. It is an evening of adoration, music, candles and prayer before Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The key aspect of 'Night Fever' is the presence of many young people in the streets near the church inviting anyone passing by into the church for a moment of silence. The idea comes from World Youth Day in Cologne and has been spreading throughout the major European cities. I first participated in 'Night Fever' in London this past summer.

I found out that the young German pilgrims in Rome for the canonizations would be hosting 'Night Fever' in the German church (Santa Maria dell'anima) near Piazza Navona. I couldn't help but walk down there to check it out. 'Night Fever' in London had left such a powerful impression on me so I couldn't wait to have the chance to participate in it again. I even got to spend some time outside the church helping some of the young people invite people into the church.

Reflecting on experiences like this, when people are brought to encounter in a most real way the living presence of Jesus Christ, I thought how appropriate it is that this took place while the Synod Fathers are meeting in Rome to discuss the new evangelization. It seems to me something so simple but innovative like 'Night Fever' is an important expression of the new evangelization.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"O Holy Spirit, renew your wonders in this our day, as by a new
 Pope John XXIII
Looking back in St. Peter's Square
This past week has been quite memorable. Between the Mass for the beginning of the Year of Faith, the Synod of Bishops happening down the street, the beginning of the new academic year at the Angelicum, and the 50th anniversary of the commencement of the II Vatican Council, there is not little to be reflected upon.

I too, like Chris, was at the opening Mass for the Year of Faith. Before the Mass began I set myself to the task of reading Bl. Pope John XXIII opening address that he gave in that very basilica all of 50 years ago. I'm no expert in Church history or in the II Vatican council, but it doesn't take much to know that this ecumenical council of over 3,000 successors of the apostles 50 years ago has effected almost every aspect of my experience of being a Catholic Christian. I've always known it was important, but the why and the how are just beginning to dawn on me. In the midst of the gathering of a visible sign of the whole universal church my heart turned to our particular church, the Diocese of Gaylord. In a real way, I sensed the communion of the Body of Christ united by the Holy Spirit. I prayed for you all there, in St. Peter's square. I wish I could express this better, but in a real way I knew that all the people of God of our particular church, the Diocese of Gaylord, were united together in prayer, in the Holy Mass. Know that whenever I have the opportunity to attend a Papal Mass I do with the intention of representing you all and carrying with me your intentions.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I didn't take this picture, it is from the Vatican News website.  But I could have it I had my camera with me.  
Today the Holy Father opened the year of Faith with Mass in St. Peters square.  Some of us were blessed to be in attendance for this beautiful celebration of the Holy Eucharist.  I was especially struck at the many different cultures that came together for the Mass.  It is a reality at most Papal events, but today for some reason the Lord showed me how great of a gift it is to have faith in Jesus Christ and to share it with so many people all over the world.  There are some videos, pictures and articles in the following paragraphs.  The Holy Father has called us to commit to growing in our faith this year, therefore we should attempt to make an extra effort to do so.  There are many ways to do so.  By clicking the following link you can receive a daily email of the Catechism of the Catholic Church reading the entire thing in one year.
Another way to follow up on the Holy Fathers challenge would be to get closer to him and what he is saying.  Read an encyclical, ready his homilies, read his angelus address each day.  This can all be found on the Vatican website.

Here are some excerpts from his homily at today's Mass:

"The Second Vatican Council did not formulate anything new in matters of faith, nor did it wish to replace what was ancient. Rather, it concerned itself with seeing that the same faith might continue to be lived in the present day, that it might remain a living faith in a world of change. ... The Council Fathers wished to present the faith in a meaningful way; and if they opened themselves trustingly to dialogue with the modern world it is because they were certain of their faith, of the solid rock on which they stood. In the years following, however, many embraced uncritically the dominant mentality, placing in doubt the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths.
"If today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelisation, it is not to honour an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago!

"The journey is a metaphor for life, and the wise wayfarer is one who has learned the art of living, and can share it with his brethren - as happens to pilgrims along the Way of St. James or similar routes which, not by chance, have again become popular in recent years. How come so many people today feel the need to make these journeys? Is it not because they find there, or at least intuit, the meaning of our existence in the world? This, then, is how we can picture the Year of Faith: a pilgrimage in the deserts of today’s world, taking with us only what is necessary: ... the Gospel and the faith of the Church, of which the Second Vatican Council documents are a luminous expression, as is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published twenty years ago.
"Venerable and dear brothers, 11 October 1962 was the Feast of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. Let us entrust to her the Year of Faith, as I did last week when I went on pilgrimage to Loreto. May the Virgin Mary always shine out as a star along the way of the new evangelisation".

This and some other things can be received daily from the free Vatican news service.  Check out a lot more on the Year of Faith including videos and other news at:
If you scroll down to the bottom and click on Vatican Information Service you can sign up for the free email.  

Together with you all in prayer,
Seminarian, Christopher Jarvis

Monday, October 8, 2012

L'Arbe Croche: Sending Over Eight Pounds of Love

After returning back from my alma mater, Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, for the 2012 Homecoming Festivities . . . GO SAINTS! I found a package, don't worry it was address to me, weighing 8 pounds and 7.4 ounces from my beloved community of L'Arbe Croche.

As many of you know I spent an amazing eight delightful weeks with the L'Arbe Croche community under the direction of their fearless, extremely prayerful and humorous leader, Fr. Joe Graff. They all found out very quickly that I had a sweet tooth for anything chocolate and pie, pie and did I mention pie!?!?!

So, like anyone who has ever found a package in the mailroom with your name inscribed upon it . . . well, it's as though you as six years old on Christmas Morning all over again and you cannot wait to rip the box apart to find out what's inside! And to my delight, there was 8 pounds and 7.4 ounces of Candy. They know me too well. My dietitian wasn't thrilled, but a little candy never hurt anyone! L'Arbe Croche, you all are awesome! I love ya and cannot wait to visit sometime in the future! Peace and Prayers!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Making Doctors:

I apologize for this being my first post, but I hope that you will find it useful.

Today Pope Benedict opened the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, and he also proclaimed two new Doctors of the Church.  This is a very historic moment, since there are only 35 of them, including these two.

Having recently been ordained a Deacon, I was blessed to be able to distribute Holy Communion at this Mass.  We Priests and Deacons were given seats in the Sanctuary of St. Peter's Square, right behind the Cardinals and Bishops.  We were about 20 feet from the Pope's Chair, and 50 feet from the altar.  We stood perhaps 20 feet from the altar holding ciboria full of hosts during the Eucharistic Prayer.  What a remarkable experience to have so soon after my ordination.  I was amazed at how easily my focus turned from being so close to the Pope to holding Jesus in my hand as soon as he pronounced the words of consecration.  How humbling it was to then be sent out into the square to give Jesus to the pilgrims who were there!

This October is an amazing month to be in Rome.  On Thursday we have the 50th anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council, then we have the Canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha. Marianne Cope and five others on Sunday the 21st, and, on Sunday the 28th, there is the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops.

I did not have my camera, since they would not allow it, but I did take two photos with my cell phone (during the Angelus after Mass), so that you can have a sense of how close I was able to be to the Holy Father.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Feast of St. Francis

This Feast Day is so big at the Josephinum that even St. Thomas himself is a Franciscan for the day.

 Just look how happy St. Thomas looks, this is priceless :-)

 The picture below is from outside my room which is getting ready for All Souls Day :-)

Pontifical Olympics 2012

Here are some sweet pictures that I took at our Annual Pontifical Olympics for the Theology. I am sorry to say that I did not take part in the games for I had a cold and being that Prudent is my middle name I found a sub but Ben and myself did wear some cool Pontifical Ninja outfits but I failed to find the pictures :-) Like the great St. Paul says, "Run the race and play crazy games but most of all look sweet doing it."Amen St. Paul. Please know that Deacon Bryan did a great job as the host, as he would say he "Praised the Lord" with his gift of speaking and Chris did a great job bowling as you will see below.  Also I would like to thank Chris Jarvis for letting me borrow his ninja outfit and for Ben making those sweet Ninja outfits last year. It was a great night for the seminarians to get together as the Apostles and the Desert Fathers did so many moons ago. Enjoy,  

 Yes, He shot a fire burning arrow into a huge pile of boxes with a few drops of lighter fluid. And he did it on his first try.