Friday, November 10, 2006

Catholicism in North Carolina

I was just looking around this afternoon and came across this interesting information:
Countries that have a higher percentage of Catholics than the Diocese of Charlotte
Indonesia
Malaysa
Kuwait
Vietnam
South Korea
Iraq

Just thought it was interesting

Sunday, October 01, 2006

New things!

I am currently working on another article for the Clemmons Columbian so, hopefully, I will be able to have that up by sometime next week.
Bevak and I went to apostolic works for the first time this evening. The group seems good, laid back and fun as well as being very excited to learn more about the faith (also they make good food). We got an interesting list of potential topics to discuss such as the various devotional items of the church and the Holy Father's address in Regensburg a few weeks ago (you know the one). The one that interests me the most, however, the topic that excites me the most is an overview of the history/spirituality of various religious orders/movements in the church. I have been reading quite a bit about this subject as of late and continue to get more and more interested and inspired (especially by the Dominicans and Carthusians).
That is all for now, but look for my next Columbian article to be posted here in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Skunk


It smells as though the local skunk has just sprayed someone or something just outside my window...sleep may be difficult for a while.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Senior Year

I am now about four weeks (including orientation) into my last year of college at the Josephinum. Even though I haven't really had too much to do it has seemed really hectic so far, I can't quite figure why. I am trying to get on track to start writing for the Columbian again for its next edition. It has been a few months due to illness and travel conflicts, but I should get back doing that and then I will at least have something to post here at least every month.
Even though I know I am late, I do intend on writing a brief summation of my trip to Fatima and Santiago which I took over the summer.


In other news, here is my class list for this semester:
Latin American History
Early Modern Philosophy
Spanish II
Latin III
Literary Criticism and Methods (The literature capstone...I am doing my paper on Flannery O'Connor!)
It isn't too bad of a schedule, in fact, it may well be the lightest load I have taken so far, but the classes themselves are great so it should be a good time (although it does seem odd not taking an undergrad theology class...I should have waited until this year to take Old and New Testaments, oh well).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Happy Feast of St. Dominic!

Born of wealthy Spanish nobility. Son of Blessed Joan of Aza. When she was pregnant, his mother had a vision that her unborn child was a dog who would set the world on fire with a torch it carried in its mouth; a dog with a torch in its mouth became a symbol for the order which he founded, the Dominicans. At Dominic's baptism, Blessed Joan saw a star shining from his chest, which became another of his symbols in art, and led to his patronage of astronomy.

Studied philosophy and theology at the University of Palencia. Priest. Canon of the cathedral of Osma. Augustinian. Worked for clerical reform. Lifelong apostolate among heretics, especially Albigensians, and especially in France. Worked with Blessed Peter of Castelnau. Founded the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) in 1215, a group who live a simple, austere life, and an order of nuns dedicated to the care of young girls. Friend of Saint Amata of Assisi.

At one point Dominic became discouraged at the progress of his mission; no matter how much he worked, the heresies remained. But he received a vision from Our Lady who showed him a wreath of roses, representing the rosary. She told him to say the rosary daily, teach it to all who would listen, and eventually the true faith would win out. Dominic is often credited with the invention of the rosary; it actually pre-dates him, but he certainly spread devotion to it, and used it to strengthen his own spiritual life.

Reported miracle worker who brought four people back from the dead. Legend says that Dominic received a vision of a beggar who, like Dominic, would do great things for the Faith. Dominic met the beggar the next day. He embraced him and said, "You are my companion and must walk with me. If we hold together, no earthly power can withstand us." The beggar was Saint Francis of Assisi. From The Parton Saints Index


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Last photo from Portugal

This will be the last photo that I post on here from my trip to Fatima and Santiago. For other pictures go here. I will be slowly adding the pictures there over the next several weeks.
As I said before I will be posting more substantial things on here in a few weeks once school starts back up.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

a Color Photo of the Shrine in Fatima

Saturday, July 29, 2006

and another from Portugal

From Santiago

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Another From Portugal


From the Abbey of St. Jerome in Lisbon

Friday, July 21, 2006

From Portugal

Sunday, July 09, 2006

No Postings, No Columbian Article and a new Website

As you may recall the main purpose of this blog is to post the articles which I write for the Columbian online. Over the past few months I have posted things other than the articles about various things which I have done. Since I missed one Columbian article and there is no Columbian published for July I kind of decided to lay off posting for the summer. Now, I have been doing plenty of amazing things thus far this summer and it would seem that more amazing acts are on for the future all of which I will most likely post about in detail once the school year gets back going in late August. I may post one or two times before then and there should be a Columbian article to put on here for August. Meanwhile, enjoy this picture that I took of two otters fighting.

Also, I have started a Flickr account to post just photos, but since they have a maximum upload limit of about 30 per month it will be another month before I post anything else on there (but browse through what I poseted today) unless I pay out $25 for the fancy pay account, which we all know I am not likely to do. The address is here

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fifth Columbian Article

The "fifth" article for the Columbian didn't actually get written because I had a pretty bad case of Food Poisoning during the time when I usually would have written it. But I am working on one for next month...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Fourth Columbian Article

“Do you promise respect and obedience to me and to my successors?” When the bishop, at an ordination to either the priesthood or the diaconate, asks the men to be ordained the above question it means much more than simply asking them to follow orders. This question, and its subsequent response of “I do“, mean that the deacon or priest has entrusted his future to the care of his bishop and, in return, the bishop asks for “respect and obedience” born both out of a sense of duty and of love.
Obedience is expected of and promised by those ordained to the priesthood and the diaconate, yet, it is also expected of us who have not yet made it this far in our formation. While we have not yet formally made these promises of obedience, those of us in the college seminary are expected have a similar “respect and obedience” toward our bishop. A good example of this would be last summer.
As many of you may know I spent the majority of last summer studying philosophy at Catholic University in Washington D.C. This was not by my own choice, but at the request of Bishop Jugis who felt that it would be the most profitable use of my time in the summer. Of course, if I had been given my choice of what to do over the summer, I most likely would not have picked summer school, yet, I went due to that obedience which I owe to my bishop.
The same is also the case in the seminary. There they make rules which tell us when to get up, set curfews, mandate that we attend certain meetings, etc… We may not always want to do all of these things (especially get up some mornings) and still we do them because the priests here are the ones to whom our bishops have entrusted our formation and so we owe them the same “respect and obedience” which we owe to our bishops back home.
Now, many may think that this kind of obedience is burdensome and would be very difficult to comply with. However, as I have said above, the obedience that the priest, deacon, religious, or even seminarian gives to his superiors is not merely an obedience born out of a sense of duty but also out of a sense of love. When we give this obedience to our bishop or superior, and do so cheerfully, the burden of obedience becomes very light and becomes a source of abundant grace and also allows us a new and different kind freedom.
The worldly notion of freedom says to us that we should be able to do what we wish at all times, without any rules or regulations tying us down. The Catholic notion of freedom, however, means something altogether different. It means being freed to follow the path which will lead us to salvation, and deviation from this path is not true freedom, but a true enslavement to the whims of the self. As St. Benedict tells us in his Rule, “obedience is a blessing”. When carried out with a sense of joy and love obedience gives us the blessing of this true freedom to pursue our salvation. It also allows us to forget our own whims and desires and to do that which is best both for us and the whole Church.

**********
I would like to thank all of you who assisted at or attended the second and third
degree ceremonies last month, it was a truly memorable experience that I will not soon forget.

***********

Also, please pray for Patrick Toole, Patrick Cahill and Patrick Hoare of the Diocese of Charlotte who will make their promises of “respect and obedience” on May the 13th as they are ordained to the deaconate at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, PA.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Book Sale in the Library Today!

There was the most amazing used book sale in the library today. I had been figuring on it being just some junk that they didn't want anymore, but there were actually some pretty amazing things there (and with hardcovers being $2 and paperbacks $1 the price was pretty good). Here is a list of books that I picked up.

HARDCOVER BOOKS

Hyginus Eugene Cardinale - Orders of Knighthood, Awards and the Holy See

F.M. Total (Trans.) - The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

The Encyclicals of Pius XI

The Encyclicals of John XXIII

St. Thomas Aquinas - On the Power of God

Codex Iuris Canonici (1936)

Enchiridion Indulgentiarum (1968)

The Holy Bible: Douay Version (1911)

Peter Guilday - The Life and Times of John Carroll

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hobbit (Collectors Edition...the green one)

Softcover

Fulton Sheen - The Life of Christ

Hans-Joachim Schulz - The Byzantine Liturgy

John A. Hardon S.J. - The Catholic Catechism

G.K. Chesterton - The Collected Works (Volume IV: What's Wrong with the World, etc...)

Adrienne Von Speyr - The Holy Mass

Domenico Marcucci - The Rosary with Fra Angelico and Giotto

Summer Reading List!

Posting has been somewhat sparce in the past in the past few weeks. This is due largly to the fact that finals are coming up and I have been fairly strapped for time. Yet, is spite of my limited time, I have deigned to post, FOR YOU, my summer reading list. This list was bestowed on me by such illustrious names as Fr. J. Michael McDermott S.J. and Dr. David DeLeonardis and now I choose to share it with you. This, as I have mentioned, is my reading list but you may feel free to make use of it, however, after this list I will post my own list of suggested reading for this summer.

-----------------Suggested by Fr. McDermott S.J.-----------------

J. Maritan:
Poetic Intuition in Art and Poetry
Existence and the Existent

H. Von Balthasar:
Splendor of the Church
Catholicism

F. Dostoevsky:
The Brothers Karamazov* (Fr. claims that it may be the "best book ever written")

-------------------Suggested by Dr. DeLeonardis-------------------

A. Camus:
The Plague
The Stranger

----------------------------Suggested by Me----------------------------

F. O'Connor:
Complete Short Stories
Wise Blood

D. Brinkley & J. Fenster:
Parish Priest: Fr. Micheal McGivney and American Catholicism

J. Steinbeck:
Tortilla Flat
Of Mice and Men

F. Sheen:
Life is Worth Living

J. DeVoragine:
The Golden Legend

C.S.Lewis:
The Great Divorce
A Grief Observed
The Screwtape Letters

D. Adams:
The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy

*Currently being read

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Summer Assignments

Word has just come down from on high that I will NOT be having a summer assignment this year. I am actually not exactly sure how I feel about this. On the one hand I will be able to go to Alabama, Texas and Fatima without conflict with an assignment, but on the other hand I will need to find something to do with myself for money. For all the inconvience of going to D.C. last year I did actually end up having a pretty good time and I kind of miss that I won't be doing anything like that this year, but I suppose that I will get involved in a multitude of interesting things anyway.
P.S. I know I was gone for over a week, but I was staying at my parent's house last week and was pretty busy with Holy Week and all, but stay tuned for my upcoming Holy Week (in review).

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Third Columbian Article


In my past two columns I have answered questions pertaining to both "what" we do in seminary" and "how" someone might begin to discern whether or not they should enter seminary or religious live. This month I would like to look at what is perhaps the most difficult question, especially for people living in this modern society, the question of "why" someone would want to enter religious life. The answer to this question is just a bit more difficult than the other two, this is because the life of a priest, monk or nun seems to be contrary to what the culture tells us that we should work for and what will make us happy.
For example: a few weeks ago I, along with four other seminarians, had the privilege, during our mid-term break, to visit Hanceville Alabama and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament (where Mother Angelica of EWTN fame lives). This was an enjoyable time during which we had ample opportunities to spend time and pray before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, however, the most inspiring part of the weekend was when we got to meet, and talk to, some of the cloistered nuns. The joy that radiated from these sisters was very inspiring and, at first glance, somewhat mysterious. By all worldly standards these nuns should be miserable. They remain quiet for the majority of the day, they are not free to leave and travel as they please, they own no property their own and what community property they do own is quite modest and is not much more than they need to get by and yet they seem so filled with joy. So then, why are these women so happy?
In seeking to come up with an answer to this question I was forced to reflect back upon my own vocation, my reasons for entering seminary and the reason why I, myself, have found so much joy in my vocation. While my vocation does not, of course, involve quite as much sacrifice as a cloistered nun, a diocesan priest (or seminarian as the case may be) does sacrifice a certain amount of personal freedom when entering seminary. After reflecting on this for a long while I could only come up with one word, love.
Last month, you may remember, I used the call of a man and woman to marriage as an analogy to the call to the priesthood or religious life. Once again I would like to use this analogy to describe the joy that one finds when fulfilling their vocation in the priesthood or religious life. Married men and women find joy in their marriage when they are in love, and they find the greatest fulfillment in this love when it is directed toward God, the source of all love. Priests and religious, while they do not have the love of a wife or husband as a married person does, dedicate their lives, in a very special way, to finding love in God through prayer and in the service of others. This is why, even though it is expressed in a different fashion, priests or religious who are fulfilling their vocation are able to find a joy and happiness similar to that of married couples.
So even though answering the call to a religious vocation does involve a certain amount of sacrifice, this sacrifice is not a source of sorrow, but can be a great source of joy. The sisters in Alabama are freed from concerns with material property so that they can devote more of their time to prayer and union with our Blessed Lord, why then would they not be happy? What happily married couple would not love to be able to spend more time with each other? Let us then look to these women as an example to all of us, to look past the things of this world which, in the end, matter very little and look towards that which will give us the greatest possible joy, fulfilling our vocation, whether it be to marriage, priesthood or religious life and to always seek the love which comes through doing God’s will.

In Christ,
Josh Voitus

Any questions or comments never hesitate to email me at javoitus@charlottediocese.org