Seeking Faith? RCIA First Night – September 12, 2017

At 7:00 p.m, we opened the doors of Knight Hall and a cool breeze was floating off the ocean. The team prayed together and we thought about crossing thresholds and how important it is to build a bridge of trust when strangers meet to talk about the spiritual journey for the first time. Soon the room was full and people were talking and enjoying the wonderful gourmet spread and great conversation provided by our thirty-strong team of parishioners.  We came together to share our lives, our stories, and the needed information about the coming year. We put aside time to intentionally create holy ground and promise to accompany anyone seeking a companion on the journey. After going over the details of the process, we had a video and live testimonies about the transforming effects of being in the RCIA  community. It was a great night and  I hope everyone returns and brings a friend or two!

Here’s the video we watched:

https://youtu.be/3rKBDjZddGk

Donna’s Power Point:

Seeking Faith Podcast: http://tuesday-nights-at-rcia.madewithopinion.com/

A Good Doctor

Everyone needs a good doctor. I stumbled across this one, with a Ph.D. in psychology, in my search for help with my son’s diagnosis of autism. I was paralyzed by what to do or not to do while trying to discipline and raise my two kids and be a wife. Dr. Nancy saved my life.  She rescued me, gave me answers and knowledge about the world of parenting an autistic child.  If I can’t change my child (which I came to realize), then I must change myself.  The enlightenment came over time while I sat with Dr. Nancy who gave me perspective and tools for this new world. I soon felt more free and comfortable with my role. Today, I still reach in my tool belt of knowledge for the many answers and grounding advice she gave me so many years ago.  God sends people to us when we need them the most.  She was the answer to my prayers and I will always be grateful to my Dr. Nancy.

by Liz

 

Admiring A Simple Life

It was many summers ago. We were getting out of high school and decisions had to be made. Do we go to college or do we find work and go out on our own? A good friend of ours decided to work. He was a tough, self-made man. He was adopted, deaf, had a speech impediment and was balding at the tender age of 18. He moved to Colorado and got a job as a short order cook. The odds were stacked against him but he rose above his disadvantages. I was too young then to know, but I know now a profound admiration. It was years later that we learned of his death. There was a fire in the small kitchen where he worked and because he couldn’t hear, he perished in Colorado. I was too young then to know, but I know now a deep sorrow. The blessing of his life was that he was that he led a Chrisitan life and I believe that even the fires of hell couldn’t keep him from getting to heaven.

by Diego

Standing With Fr. Greg Boyle

Father Greg Boyle, founder and director of HomeBoy Industries and author of “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion,” is one of those people whose lives are powerful templates for bringing about the kingdom of God. In Tattoos on the Heart, he says, “No daylight to separate us. Only kinship. Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.” It sounds like heaven to me.

by Andrew

Listen to Fr. Greg when he visited our parish in 2012:  https://youtu.be/dc6B6B29w7s

Heroes of 9/11

Sixteen years ago today our lives were changed radically. On 9/11/01 I was living in New Jersey and like all Americans was shocked and stunned by the horrific events of that day. It hit home personally to me since I grew up with people whose fathers and brothers built the Twin Towers. Then over the course of the next several days, we learned of the loss of twelve souls who were friends of mine and my grown children. Two or three days after the attack, a photograph appeared on the front page of a local New Jersey newspaper which became a symbol of our American perseverance. Three firemen, covered in ash, were shown raising our American flag atop the pile of rubble that had once been one of the greatest buildings in the world. It was an inspiration to many of us, that as Americans we could be knocked down, but we would always get up. We did then and we always will, with the grace of our loving God.

by JAM

 

Grandpa Was A Carpenter

My Grandpa Fred was a carpenter.  A union man, husband, father, grandfather, and a Lutheran. Fred grew up in St. Lois on the banks of the Mississippi. Before “the Great War” Grandpa spent springtimes shagging fly balls for the St. Louis Browns. In summer, he would hop a freight train and “go on the bum.” He served as a medic in WWI. Some of his war experiences in Europe where horrific, but he moved past them. He was stoic but cheerful. Grandpa married my divorced Grandma (he was also divorced) during the Depression. They met at a dance in San Bernardino. When she knew they were “getting serious,” she asked him, “Do you like kids?” “Sure.”  “Good, I have a little a boy.” He laughed and she quickly added, “I have a little girl, too.” Grandma and Grandpa raised my Dad and Aunt Jean on his rambling Orange Ranch in Riverside. He was joyful and caring with grandkids or strangers.  Masculine, old fashioned.  As much as anyone he taught me what it means to be a Christian man.

by Nathaniel

Gift of Friendship

Rita’s power was in her gentle unconditional love and acceptance of all who crossed her path. She was a passionate, uncompromising, musician and a lively advocate for music education. In fact, she made her living doing just that for the OC Philharmonic Society. Very smart, she had a mind like a steel trap. She was an example in my world of how kindness and affirming acceptance brings out the best in people. Rita was diagnosed with cancer and was gone within ten days of that diagnosis. I was devastated! The night before she passed I awoke in the middle of the night overwhelmed with grief. I tried everything to calm myself down but even praying didn’t help. I started to say the “Hail Mary.” I choked up at the beginning on the line, “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” Slowly a calmness began to come over me as if being held in eternal love. Then I fell into a deep and restful sleep. Please enjoy the Beatles rendition of “Let It Be.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEdncmqV6VY

by Gracie

Touched by a Poet

I remember like it was yesterday, my first class in my three-year journey to complete the formation to be a spiritual director. I had waited many years for this day to come, this calling on my life from God. I was like a blank canvas waiting for the Spirit to begin to write my new story. Then our presenter read this poem by Dawna Markova and I was moved to tears. Dawna is a cancer survivor and wrote this poem from a deep place of transformation. What she expressed so beautifully through her poetry was in my heart but I did not have the words. It has been a favorite life poem for me and one that resonated deep in my soul and continues to be a light that guides me and reminds me to live my life with passion and pass on the fruit of that passion to others.

by Cathy

Poem: https://www.values.com/inspirational-quotes/6160-i-will-not-die-an-unlived-life-i-will-not-live