Friday, October 8, 2010

Please enjoy the music while we transfer you to

For right now, we're putting the blog on hold as we experiment with posting news, resources, and reflections on our new website! Visit to check out the fresh new look and find content that once landed on this blog.

Blog junkies, don't fret. We are considering continuing with the blog later on once we rethink it's mission and goals. But for now, enjoy!

Mary Ellen

Monday, August 30, 2010

12 Ways to Pray on the Go: Apps for Your Smartphone

U.S. Catholic has compiled a list of smartphone apps that can foster your spiritual life on the go. From iConfess, an app that has a list of prayers and tips for examining your conscience, to Loyola Press's 3-minute daily retreat, you can carve time out of your day to pray! Check it out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Spiritual Life is About Making Connections

An excerpt from the new book for young adults in their 20s and 30s, Already There: Letting God Find You, by Mark Mossa, S.J.

“My spiritual life has never come in neat little packages. No, the packages usually come somewhat damaged, despite the handle-with-care warning labels. And the contents are often not what I expected, maybe a chipped, algae green colored ceramic frog instead of that colorful tapestry of the Madonna and child I had ordered. Or some other sort of cosmic mishap that forces me to think, as cliché as it sounds, “outside the box.” Thus, the need to make connections. It takes some work to figure out why I’ve received the frog with the yellow underbelly instead of that intricately woven Blessed Mother and child. There is some spiritual lesson in this awkward amphibian that I’m meant to discover!

But to do so I need to see things in a different way.

This book will help you discover this new way of seeing. It’s not meant to instruct you how to see the way that I see. You have your own unique way of making spiritual connections and it is my hope that something, perhaps many things in this book will put you in touch with that. Therefore, what you will not find here is a step-by-step formula for spiritual success. That’s not to say my book has no structure. It’s just that instead of steps you’ll find that the book is organized around one key recognition: Whether we like it or not, each of us has a past, present and future. And that, as you might have guessed, they’re connected.

Steps don’t work for me because, if anything, my spiritual life has progressed in missteps, and not without stepping on a few toes—unfortunately, not just my own—along the way. Indeed, if I told you my life story, I expect you would say, ‘Boy, that was random,’ or, if you were less kind, you might cringe and say, ‘Boy, that was messy.’ But, perhaps you can relate to life being messy. And, perhaps like me, you are convinced (or want to be) that there is some meaning to all that messiness, some reason why I keep running into frogs instead of the Mother of God . . .”

--from the preface, "Boxes of Frogs, Mother of God."

read the whole preface here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"First Comes Love"

How do young adults come to marriage? The feature article of this month's U.S. Catholic explores the many ways that young adults today are in relationship and how, if ever, they come to the decision of marriage. A lot of my friends have really enjoyed this article, especially because of the many perspectives that it includes. Click here to read on!

-Mary Ellen

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Exercising with St. Ignatius

Parishioners at Old St. Pat's have been working through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius since last November. You know it's going to be a down to earth retreat when the organizer admits that he used to think: "give me a treadmill or the weight room any day over the exercise program St. Ignatius had laid out."

Check out Al Gustafson's reflections on journeying through the Exercises here.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

What will the "What Next?" Transitions Retreat be like?

The Charis Transitions retreat was certainly a memorable one for me. The retreat team was so Spirit-filled, humble, and dedicated to making the retreat be as sincere and effective as possible. And who can argue with an ice cream eating contest? J The friends I made on that retreat – both from the retreat team and the retreatants – are priceless. I encourage anyone who’s seeking an authentic weekend, who wants to put away their “stuff” and cut through the clutter, if even for a couple days, to attend this retreat. It’s both reflective and inspiring, as well as a touchpoint for someone on the spiritual path and wants to journey with others.

-Crystal C.

For more info on the upcoming "What Next?" Transitions Retreat, click here!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reflections of a What Next? Retreat

A retreat is a time to "retreat" from everyday life (i.e. routines, work, parish life, friends and family). It is a time to retreat to a different place, a place of reflection and renewal. In the end, it turns out to be a "treat" for oneself. I had the opportunity to attend a summer retreat sponsored by Charis Ministries a couple of years ago that turned out to be life-changing.

The retreat was co-led by peers. The environment was set up to be a safe place to share and explore your faith in the company of others, or if one chose, in solitude. Whether it was during small group, or during free time as we gathered to eat together or share in an ice cream social, the opportunities were provided to explore your relationship with God, each other, and the world. There is also time to be challenged, maybe in what you believe or how you behave.

The time spent provided me an opportunity to remember God's unconditional love that is always present to receive. I highly recommend considering a Charis retreat to anyone seeking time to be away and being renewed.

-Brian M.

Click here to find out more about the upcoming What Next? Retreat!