Friday, September 26, 2008

Update from last week Sept. 15-21

Good afternoon!!!

I am very sorry that it has almost been 2 weeks since the last update. I also want to welcome the new people on the update list!

For the ones that are joining us, I just want to take this time to fill you in, along with everyone else about what God has been doing over the past week.

This email is just covering last week. There will be another one this Sunday about this week.

As many of you know from my last email or so, I have been starting to struggle with my prayer life and school work. I wasn't putting much time into those 2 things, and instead I was putting all of my time into this ministry. Well, I am glad to say that last week was just a week for me to get back on track.

I just stepped back from the ministry and started to get back into the Liturgy of the Hours (Shorter Christian Prayer), I also spent most of my time getting caught back up in school (and this weekend I plan on getting ahead in my classes).

So last week, I just had the normal lunches with Antonio, and I got to get together with Deacon Cartwright on Wed. Deacon Cartwright is a huge blessing in my life and he is helping me out so much!!!

Last weekend was a very nice but busy weekend. I was able to go home and help out at an Air Show in Middletown, OH. I planned on spending time with my family, but that didn't really happen because a lot of my friends found out I was coming home. I was able to surprise my neighbor (best friend since 1st day of pre-school) for his birthday on Sunday, so that was fun! Overall, the weekend was great! On Saturday, I got to spend time with my Uncle Mike and my two cousins, and then on Sunday I was able to go to Mass with my grandparents and my other cousin.

The other thing that happened this weekend was on Friday, I had lunch with a girl that graduated with me and her boyfriend. They are getting really serious and he is about to purpose! So I was able to have lunch with them and talk to her about the Catholic Church (She is not Catholic but her boyfriend is). She is planning on entering RCIA either this fall or next fall so they can get married!

PS: I attached some pictures of the air show. The first one that is on the ground is a 1/2 P-47, I helped build that in high school (5 years ago).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another update

Hey everyone!

Sorry the update is late!

Well, last week was a very rough week. I had a lot of fun meeting with students though! I had a couple lunches with Antonio, Kathleen and Peter. Then a dinner with Maria and Kristi (women's soccer players) and Antonio. The dinner was fun because it was Thursday night and they played Navy on Friday (Navy is my fav. college team). So I gave them a hard time on Thursday. By the way, Navy beat them 2-1!!!

On Friday I had lunch with Deacon Cartwright and it was a very good lunch! I won't go into details but I am glad to know him! He is a HUGE blessing in my life!

Saturday, I went down to Danville and from there Josh, Katie and I went to Duke so we could watch Navy play Duke in football. It was a VERY hot day!!! I know it was in the 90's but in the stadium it had to of been in the 100's. I am really burnt from it and my face feels like it is on fire. It was a great game though, but unfortunately Navy lost 41-31.

But, the best part of the week was on Sunday! Brian was confirmed into the Catholic Church! (He was a former Baptist Pastor). I have attached some pictures of his confirmation for you all to see!

Then on Sunday night, I met with a few students who were very interested in the Catholic Church. I only planned on being there for an hour, and it turned into about 3 hours. It went very good! I don't think any of them have the interest in joining, but they all wanted to learn more about the faith!

With all of that said, I do have some important things to let you all know. First off, many of you know about the strong winds in KY and OH. Many are without power and from what I heard it is like a war zone. Trees are everywhere. Please keep them in your prayers! Most of the people on this list (maybe about 90%) are in that area. I will be going home this weekend to help clean up and also for an air show.

Second, it has been revealed to me more than once last week, and I have noticed it myself, that my grades are starting to slip and my spiritual life has been going down hill. I have been focusing on the ministry more than I have on my own spiritual life and school work. So I will try to continue this ministry, but for the next few weeks I am going to have to put it on hold and step back from it. The good news is that most of the Catholics are in touch with each other and that was the main goal of this ministry!

So in the next few weeks, I will still be meeting with students during lunch and dinner, but most of my time will be getting my life back on track!

Thank you for your prayers and your support!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

These are funny!!!

I don't know how to put youtube videos on here or I would have.

sorry its long

Sorry its a little late!
Great things are happening here at Liberty!!! I am sorry it is s long. I will try to sum it all up:

I spent time with Kathleen, Peter and a few of their friends (who where not Catholic). It was very nice because their friends where asking some questions about the Catholic Church and why would I even want to become a priest?

It was also Spiritual Emphases week (Liberty's revival) and many of the students ended up going. While they were there, I was able to take Antonio to Wal-Mart and dinner. There he gave me more information on his grandparents. They are doing good, just getting older. But he said his grandfather has a tumor (or something along those lines) so please keep them in your prayers.

I had lunch with Antonio and we started to talk a little more about his family. His mother is having a really hard time with Antonio's little brother (13 or 14 years old). He is starting to act very different. I am not sure exactly what that means, but he said it was not the "different" that normal teenagers go through. So please keep him in your prayers! He really looks up to Antonio and wants to do everything Antonio is doing.

"SE" was still going on at Liberty on Tuesday night. This was a very powerful night for the campus! Even though I was unable to go, I knew God was working on campus! All over campus, the administration put out trash cans and just opened it up for people to throw away whatever they have that they are struggling with (Alcohol, drugs, pornography, anything). It was a great experience! Many guys on our hall alone who have been struggling with a lot, just threw it all away and handed it over to the Lord. I myself wrote down on a piece of paper what I have been struggling with and threw it away! It was great for everyone!

I was supposed to have lunch with Kristi (a Catholic), but she canceled at the last minute. To give you a little background on Kristi, she was born Catholic, but fell into the wrong crowd and has had a very bad and rough past. And she is wanting to change her life! (That is all she has told me about her.)

Then I went to the Knights of Columbus to try to get them on board with the vision and ministry here at LU. They received it well! And I was able to raise some funds from some of the members! It is great to know they are supporting this ministry!

This was also around the time where I have found out (if my calculations are right, I am double checking it this week) that my scholarship from Jerry Falwell has increased by $2,000!!! As I have said many times, now that he has passed away, he is CATHOLIC!!!!

I had lunch with Antonio again and we started talking a little more about what he wants to do after college. He will be graduating in December of 2009. I told him he needs to play in the NFL but he quickly told me that he hates football and he is only playing it so he can go to college.

I had dinner with John (the one who doesn't want to enter RCIA but is interested in the church) and we talked about his wife and him. I am really hoping that they can get back together. In case you forget, she lives in LA and he lives in VA (NOT GOOD!!!!).

I found out that the campus ministry retreat was canceled (due to the hurricane) so I tried to sign up for the Lifeteen conference in Richmond (youth ministry training). I didn't have any money to pay for the registration, but we were able to work things out (Thank you Angela).

I also had lunch with Antonio and we were talking about how classes were going. Then I had dinner with Fr. Richard. It was a very good dinner! He also told me that he has already met with the head campus minister here at Liberty about starting a Catholic Club here on campus! They are sending him to Jonathan Falwell for approval. So please keep that in your prayers!!!

WHAT A DAY!!! I woke up at 5:30 AM (who knew that I could set the alarm that early?). I left around 6 to catch a ride with Jim and Josh to go to the conference. I learned so much at Lifeteen it was great! It also hit me really hard, because I realized that I have been trying everything in my power to run away from my vocation, and I just need to stop running!!! I won't go into details about this day, but I will say it was GREAT!!!

On the ride back to school, Jim had a brilliant idea!!! So, I am in the process of doing it! He said to write a letter to Thomas Monaghan (Ave Maria) and let him know about the ministry here at LU and what is happening here. As I said I am in the process of writing him a letter and I am hoping that he will be on board with us and be willing to donate the remaining funds I need! Thanks Jim for the great idea!!!

We had 10 students show up for mass! And about 7 students show up for the church picnic!

BUT!!! The most important thing for me that happened on Sunday was I got to talk with Kristi. And she told me why she couldn't have lunch on Wed. Her mother was in the hospital for chest pains and it was really serious. But they ended up finding out Friday morning that it was food poisoning. Then she told me that on Thursday night she just handed everything to the Lord and wants to start over! She really does want to change her life! And she is doing it!!!

And finally (really quick) I am really excited about this weekend coming up!!! As many of you know I am a BIG NAVY fan (Naval Academy). Navy's women's soccer team is playing here on Friday (GO NAVY)!!! Then on Saturday, Josh, Katie and I are going to the Duke vs. NAVY game (GO NAVY)!!!! BUT, the thing that is going to make this upcoming weekend really cool is that our good friend Brian (former Baptist Minister) is going to be received into FULL COMMUNION WITH ROME!!!!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Hey guys!

I know this update is a little early, but there will be another one on Sunday. (I will try to do them on Sunday's but if there is something important, I will get it to you right away).

First the important stuff:

There is a young boy I am mentoring (with the Coming Home Network) and his name is Spencer. He is 16 years old and interested in joining the Catholic Church. He is Baptist and his girlfriend is very Charismatic Evangelical. They both want to join the Catholic Church (and I was surprised when I found out they were 16, I thought they were in their 20's with how mature and how much they know).

Well, to sum it up, I copied part of his email to me, so I am sharing it with you so that you can pray for him and his girlfriend. His parent's said he can do what he wants when he turns 18, but until then, he must stay Baptist.

Also, a little update on finances. If you remember from the last email, I need about $4,200 for the entire school year. Well, I had to cut a trip or two out so now its down to $4,107 for the school year. But, if my calculations are right, then my scholarship has increased to the FULL $2,000!!! This means I won't need $2,000 for school in the spring! I am having this checked out by Financial Aid next week. So please keep that in your prayers!

If the scholarship has increased, then I need $2,107, but I have already raised $650 from personal donations! I am still hoping to raise more funds to cover the rest for this ministry! Great things are happening at LU this year!

There is more I could tell you, but I will wait until Sunday. Have a great weekend!!!
From Spencer:

Let's just start with the bad news. Apparently Melissa's parents either hacked her email or checked her search history in depth. They found out that she is studying the faith, and they absolutely lost it. Her Internet is for now completely gone, and she can't see me much for a while because they think I'm brainwashing her to believe what I do about the Church. This is of course completely untrue, as she and I have talked many times about how while we share a faith journey, it's still our own personal decisions that started it. Her parents (especially her mom) have come down on her hard. They're treating her study of the Catholic church like a sin in itself. Her mom actually told her this morning that she had better confess this to God and before the church, and that they no longer trust her. They're also making her attend all these extra services and studies out of nowhere to try to push themselves on her. It's a really bad situation, and I'm at a loss for what to do. I know she shares our faith, but as long as they pay her bills, she's quite literally under their thumb. She needs all the prayers she can get right now. I don't believe she'll lose her faith and love of the Church, but i know the next few weeks and months are just going to get harder and harder.

I'll keep you guys informed.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Its that time again!

Time for another update!

This week has been rough but very good! And it ended today with just a great day! Nothing much happened this week until Wed. (other than school work).

On Wed, I went to noon mass and met Fr. Richard there. After mass we came to Liberty and had lunch. At lunch we started to brain-storm some great ideas for the LU Catholics! After lunch I gave Fr. Richard a small tour of our campus.

I also have ran into some problems this week. I have asked to be able to go to chapel late on Monday and Friday's so I can attend daily mass at Holy Cross. They aloud me to do this last year, but for some reason they said no this year. But, I talked to my RA yesterday and he said that he would allow me to be 15 min. late to chapel so I can go to mass!!!

Other than that, some of the things that have happened this week are having lunch and dinner with Antonio, Kathleen, Peter, John, Jon and other students who are Catholic or want to be Catholic. John is still ready to enter RCIA this fall, so I am going to get him in touch with Fr. Richard.

And for the weekend and the end of the week, there was no better way to end it! On Friday Liberty had the all night of prayer. My dorm had to pray from 2-3 am on Saturday morning. So we decided to have some fun and create a tennis court in the common area. So we had a big tournament going on (we never finished it). I have attached a few pictures so you can see it (if you don't believe me).

Then on Saturday we had the football game. We WON!!! 48-10 or something like that. And then today at mass, another great turn out!

St. Thomas More was very generous and cooked us Liberty students a very nice home-made breakfast after mass. We had 10 students show up there for mass, but only 8 stayed for the breakfast. The other 2 had their family in town and it was very nice to meet their parents! Also, I met a grad student named Tiffany and she is not confirmed yet, but it looks like she will be by the end of this school year. So keep her in your prayers! It would be great to see her and Antonio be confirmed this year!

After mass, I ended up taking Antonio and John to mass later on at Lynchburg College, and had a really nice dinner after that mass (I like free food ha-ha).

I do have 3 prayer requests:

Antonio's grandparents (Elsa and Raul) they are in bad health and getting older.

Jon and his wife. It is a long story but she has been living in LA for the past 5 years, and Jon hasn't been with her due to the Air Force and now here at school. It's not looking good.

For my finances. I have gone to the Knights of Columbus and asked for a donation. I have came up with a budget for the entire year. It is for $4,200 for the entire year to keep this ministry going at full force. If I am not able to raise that, then this ministry won't reach its full potential.

Other than that, things are great! I am keeping you all in my prayers, and if you have any prayer requests, please let me know!