Walking With The Father: 2016

December 8, 2016

Act of Love

O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.

photo: http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/wp-content/uploads/JesusComforts.jpg

November 10, 2016

Act of Hope

O my God, relying on your almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of your grace, and life everlasting through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

photo: http://kurtbubna.com/struggling-in-the-aftermath/

October 17, 2016

Father Tavis Goski's vocation story

I was raised in a Catholic family. We went to Mass every week and my parents always encouraged me to be involved in the parish. I helped with the collection and sang in the choir. When I was older, I joined the Knights of Columbus and continued to be involved in the life of the parish. Although these were good and enjoyable experiences, in hindsight, my understanding of the Catholic faith was mainly theoretical. I knew what the faith taught and believed it to be true, but it failed to have an impact on my life outside the times where I was volunteering or going to Mass. I realize now that a significant reason why I attended Mass was because it was expected of me.

This indifference towards the faith changed when I went to university and became involved with a group called Catholic Christian Outreach. With this group I took faith studies and met many young Catholics who were excited about their faith. Their joy and enthusiasm were quite appealing. I later started to lead many of the faith studies that I had taken. It was through my experience with this group that I discovered the great beauty and truth of the Catholic faith. What changed was that I discovered that I could have a relationship with God that was deeply personal. Before, God seemed distant, now he was so close. I started to find Jesus in prayer, in the real presence of the Eucharist and in the confessional, which I had avoided for many years. This was an exciting time for me because the faith was coming alive.

During one night at Eucharistic Adoration, Father Tim, the Vocation Director for the Archdiocese gave a talk encouraging those present to consider a vocation to the Priesthood. I paid little attention to his talk because at the time I was dating a girl and felt certain that I was on the path towards marriage. However, afterwards there was a reception where I saw Father Tim, who incidentally was formerly an Associate Pastor at my home parish. To be polite I talked to him and he asked me if I had ever considered a vocation to the Priesthood. Before he could finish the question I cut him off and said “no!” I think my tone caught him by surprise so he asked me again. This time, I listened to the question and alarm bells went off. I realized that I had never considered this question. I grew up as a Catholic all my life and never once gave any consideration to a vocation to the Priesthood. After that evening this question arose again and again in any moment of prayer or stillness. No matter how hard I tried I could not ignore it. The more I resisted it, the worse I felt because I knew that this is where I was being called to serve the Lord, His Church and His people, but I was simply too scared to follow.

I eventually stopped being so stubborn and talked to the Archdiocese and have continued the discernment process in the seminary. Once I had stopped resisting and learned to trust the Lord I rediscovered peace and joy. Even though at times, life in the seminary can be challenging, I have not lost that peace and am more excited than ever to follow the Lord and see where He will take me.

*Father Tavis Goski was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on June 3rd 2016 at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Ottawa, and is the Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Ottawa. Above is a photo from his 1st Mass celebrated at his home parish of Holy Cross. www.holycrossparish.com

October 6, 2016

Act of Faith

Holy Trinity
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man, died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the one, holy, Catholic, apostolic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.

photo: http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/File:Holy_Trinity.jpg

September 22, 2016

The Angelus

The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R./ And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, 
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.
R./  Be it done to me according to your word.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, 
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

And the Word was made Flesh.
R./ And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, 
Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God; 
R./ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray,
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord,
Thy grace into our hearts that we,
to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son
was made known by the message of an angel,
may by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
We ask this through the same Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

August 29, 2016

Ordination to the Holy Priesthood

On January 25th 2014, my life changed forever. I was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest.

The calling I first felt as an 8-year old altar boy was now fulfilled. While it felt like the journey has been a long one, I realized that the real work has just begun. My whole life, I’ve felt very close to God in a special way: be it during daily prayer, or through the great inner desire to serve others, I’ve always known that this is where God was calling me to live my life. God had made me for this vocation.

As I knelt before the bishop, I experienced the Holy Spirit descending upon me through the laying on of hands. I felt that I was being given a tremendous gift, set apart, called to be Christ in the world as one of his priests. What I felt all my life as a call from God, was now being confirmed by the Church – the Body of Christ on earth.

The voices of countless men and women present sang the Litany of the Saints asking for the Heavenly Hosts to pray for my heart and soul to be transformed and elevated to live this holy calling. As friends and family members shed tears at the beauty of what was happening during those moments, I lay prostrate on the ground, laying down my life to serve God and His Church all the days of my life. This experience is similar to that of a husband or wife who at their marriage agrees to lay down their life for their spouse – “to love them all the days of their life.” So too, the priest promises to love God and the flock entrusted to his care, all the days of his life. I pray that many more young men will give God permission to lead them to this sacred vocation of the Holy Priesthood.

June 9, 2016

Invite God into Your Home

In the past when there were several priests in each parish, priests would regularly go and visit the homes of families in their community. Getting to know people is such an important part of the work of a priest. These visits also serve to let people get to know their priest. Sometimes, people will take this opportunity to ask him some tough questions that they may struggle with regarding matters of faith or the Church’s moral teaching. The family home provides a very comfortable environment for such a discussion and allows parishioners to build a relationship with their pastor.

Often these house visits will come about because the family seeks to have their home blessed or recently had their child baptized. Some people ask to get their house blessed by a priest or deacon once they move into their new home, apartment, or condo. Others invite him over every year to give a combined family and house blessing. In this case, the family gives thanks for the past year and also asks for God’s protection and presence in their lives for the year to come.

There are many different options available for house blessings. If you have never had your house blessed, let’s look at the basic format so you know what to expect. Usually the family will gather in one room and the priest or deacon will start with a short Liturgy of the Word. After a couple scripture readings, like at Mass, the priest/deacon gives a simple reflection. Prayers for the family and for the protection of their home follow to personalize the experience. Then water is blessed and sprinkled throughout the house in each room. Family members may sing a familiar hymn while leading the priest around. After a closing prayer this basic experience can be completed in only 30 minutes or so. However, in my experience, after the blessing and prayers, often there has been a meal or snacks prepared to share with the family. This social time with the priest or deacon often leaves a very positive and personal experience of God’s loving presence for the family. Even the children get a kick out of the chance to ask “Father” some of their questions like, “why do you always dress in black?” Or, “how did you become a priest? – were you born that way?”

Why not invite your parish priest or deacon over to bless your home and visit your f amily today?

photo credit: http://www.sweetmemoirs.com/2013/04/catholic-house-blessing.html

May 18, 2016

The Future Church: How 10 Trends Are Revolutionizing The Catholic Church

By: John L. Allen Jr.

This book was suggested to me by a senior priest who loved to learn, and by all standards was a “citizen of the world.” As I began to read this book, I noticed it was not a book for “bedtime reading.” This said, the research and statistical data in each chapter is outstanding and a tremendous resource for us who are concerned about the Church’s future.

In this book, Allen describes 10 different trends that are moving within the world and especially in the Catholic Church. Some of the trends/chapters described are: the growth of Islam, the rise of evangelical Catholicism, the biotech revolution, the growing focus on ecology, and the movement of the church to the southern hemisphere.

While heavy at times, this book is VERY interesting for those who want to learn more about how deeply connected the Church is to every aspect of the global society. Mr. Allen is a journalist who regularly writes for the Boston Globe, he has several books, and spent 16 years writing about the Vatican for independent media sources.  He is often asked to be the analyst of Vatican affairs for CNN and the New York Times. I found Mr. Allen’s perspective and insights enjoyable and true to form so far in the 7 years since he first wrote this book.  Give it a try – you will definitely learn a lot either way.

Book Reviews

May 1, 2016

Come Holy Spirit

The month of May is often a month full of students receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation near the feast of Pentecost. Therefore, a prayer to the Holy Spirit seems very appropriate for us to learn / pray.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

photo credit: http://endtimepilgrim.org/pentecost.htm

April 14, 2016

Baptism – Your Christian Birthday

photo credit: www.pravmir.com
Few of us remember our baptism because we were infants at the time. However, there are those who do remember the event vividly since they were there speaking on our behalf. Parents, godparents and other members of our family were all there to witness our baptism – many often have pictures to mark the occasion.

There are so many powerful symbols used at baptism with oils, water, candles, and the promises of parents and godparents that it is easy to miss something. These symbols, gestures, and words have profound effects on the child’s identity and life going forward. As the water is being poured, or the child immersed in the water, the life changing words are said by the priest or deacon “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” As the child rises up from the water, often crying, the child begins their new life as a child of God. This image parallels that of natural birth when the child is lifted up (usually by a doctor or nurse) for all to see the new life. Again we hear that first cry of new life in this world.

The baptism of an infant is a joyful event in the life of the Church and in the family. Not only does the Church receive a new member into the family of God, but the individual begins his or her journey of faith into all the other sacraments. Baptism is the gateway to the sacraments and it is necessary for salvation by the actual reception or at least by desire. The effects and benefits of baptism are incredible and eternal. The child is freed from all sin, both original and personal. He receives an indelible character which configures him to Christ, incorporates him into the Church and allows him to share in the priestly, prophetic and royal office of Christ and his mission. Baptism allows the child to be a partaker in the divine nature of Jesus.

With such powerful and important gifts received in this first sacrament, why not try to learn more about your baptism, or attend a baptism in your parish to relive the experience? Celebrating a baptism is indeed like celebrating the birth of a new child. Why not take a moment to look at the photos of your baptism, or if possible, sit and talk with someone who was there that day, so that you can know more about the moment you became a child of God and began your journey of faith in the Church. Baptism is our Christian birthday and we should honour that day in a special way each year.

April 1, 2016

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

photo credit:
*Use your Rosary beads if you want to follow along

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades)

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.