Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Camp Sancta Maria

A place for Sacraments, Sports and Seminarians.

Here is some information and pictures of when I was a Camp Counselor and a Life Guard at Camp Sancta Maria.  Enjoy

 Beginning in 1933, Camp Sancta Maria has welcomed boys between the ages of 8-16 years old to spend two-weeks in Gaylord, Michigan. 

Camp Sancta Maria Grotto
Prayer is at the heart of the Camp as everyday starts with Mass and before lunch everyone prays the Angelus. Also some campers even gather to pray the Rosary  and before bed everyone prays Night Prayer in the Chapel.
Camp Sancta Maria
Here are some cabins, all of the cabins are named after a Saint, like St. Patricks. St. Dominic, St. Joseph's and My cabin was the great St. Bosco's Cabin.
This is a picture of the battle that takes place with campers and counselors, which is a whole lot of fun and a great work out. The counselors are like the Generals and the campers are foot soldiers with noodle weapons. (Safe Fun)
    This picture is funny, the campers decided to pretend they were hit by my car and I am in shock! :-) We also did a play of Noah's Ark in front of the cabin, where the campers had lines to remember and many many stuffed animals.
Can't forget about the Lake, Swimming is key for having fun at camp and this picture shows just that. On the beach we play basketball, noodle battle's, sand castles (2x winner:-) and just having fun swimming. 

So please think about coming to Camp Sancta Maria this summer, especially if your a Holy Seminarian from the Diocese of Gaylord. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Christmas Elf

Kinda late but here are some pictures of myself (of course) as being the Christmas Elf for the 2nd year :-) The seminary has a Christmas party for the inner city children who don't have parents or only have one and they live in very poor conditions, so the seminarians try and make them laugh and make their Christmas jolly and fun.

These picture are taken right before I went out to greet the kids and help Santa bring them their gifts.

If Buddy the Elf can do this, then I can do this.

My new Hermitage + My near Death experience

Here are some pictures that Brad took during our hike in the deep dark woods behind the Josephinum. Enjoy

Just need my t.v and I'm all set.
My new Home Sweet Home, at least until the bugs wake up :-)
 One old tree falling + One falling seminarian = One Bad idea
 (Kids don't try this at home)
Brad had his Guardian Angel take this picture as I looked at my Guardian Angel sleeping on a cloud, so not cool.
Brad bet me $5.00 that I couldn't jump the whole river, ha proved him wrong and now I'm a rich man :-)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Family in Rome

Christmas for me is simply the most beautiful time of the year. We celebrate the great mysteries of our faith, the birth of our Savior, Son of God and Son of Mary. And of course it is a festive time, full of food, fun, family and normally lots of snow. But this year, Christmas was made even more special. My mother and two sisters came to Rome to spend Christmas with me. It was a trip we'd been planning for some time, and one that I'd been looking forward to for months (really since leaving home).

The whole experience was a real blessing. I've explored Rome before. I've helped other explore Rome before. But nothing was like accompanying my mom and sisters on a pilgrimage to the Eternal City. There were many excitements along the way as there always is with travel. I've grown accustomed to many of the difficulties of travel, but for my mom and sister, Mckenzie, this was their first trip to Europe. It was also a great blessing to see Italy anew through their experience of it. Places that I walk by every day came alive again as they shared their thoughts and impressions with me.

There are two highlights from the trip I'd like to share. The first was our day trip to Assisi and Orvieto. We headed out bright and early Sunday morning for Assisi, the home town of St. Francis and St. Clare. There we were able to walk around the medieval village and see their tombs and everything. The Mass at the tomb of St. Francis was quite beautiful. The homily was quite good and I tried to pass along the highlights to my mom who I thought would enjoy it. The weather was cold, but in all it was a beautiful day. And lucky for the girls all the souvenir shops were open so they could buy as many gifts as they wanted. After a late lunch we hit the road again for Orvieto, which is another beautiful medieval Italian town. There is kept the Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena which inspired the feast of Corpus Christi. All in all it was a lot of walking, but it was worth it. Thanks a lot to Msgr. Gallagher, a priest from our diocese working at the Vatican, for lending me his car and making the trip possible.

The other highlight of their trip was midnight Christmas Mass with Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter's Basilica.  For my mom and Mckenzie it was their first time seeing the Pope. We started waiting in line at 6pm (Mass started at 10pm not midnight). The crowds were incredible and even one of the biggest churches in the world couldn't accommodate everyone so it was necessary to get in line early. Mass itself was stunningly beautiful. Mckenzie especially loved the Sistine Choir. The Holy Father's homily was striking. If you get a chance, go ahead and read it. The Pope spoke about the importance of welcoming the baby Jesus into our homes. He challenged us and asked us, "What would happen if Mary and Joseph were to knock at my door. Would there be room for them?"

All in all it was a great trip and a really powerful pilgrimage for all. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and support. Especially to the folks at Holy Family Parish and Sacred Heart Parish. I know many of you sent so many prayers with my family. My mom made sure to pass along all the hugs as requested. A special thanks to Bishop Hebda and Fr. Charlie for all their support.