Everyone loves coffee…well, almost everyone loves coffee…and if you don’t love coffee, you probably love the idea of coffee. The aroma of freshly brewing coffee, the earthy, crisp taste of the coffee itself, the hot cup that warms your hands in contrast to the cold weather outside, the deep conversations that spark between friends over coffee, or even just the quiet solitude of a hot cup of liquid as you contemplate life and pray in thanksgiving to God, there is something for everyone to enjoy in a good cup of coffee. Read more
Join Fr. Andrew and Dcn. Bryce Lungren as they talk about stories. In this episode Dcn. Bryce shares his vocation story and tells how God has worked in and through his life to bring him to back home to Wyoming. Read more
Yesterday was a surprisingly tension ridden day for me. I woke up to the election results and, as expected, many people rejoiced and many people lamented the outcome. This came as no surprise for me. We, as a country, were heavily divided on our presidential candidates. Even I, personally, had done my best to prepare myself for whatever outcome would happen by focusing my attention on Jesus Christ, who remains King of the Universe no matter which candidate the United States of America was voted into office (in fact, this reality of Christ as King is something we, as Church, will reflect heavily on in just a couple weeks). After the initial smartphone check on the news to see the results yesterday morning, I made a fundamental error throughout the rest of the day: I checked social media. Read more
Join Fr. Andrew and Dcn. Mike Leman as they discuss the USCCB’s document: “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” and how to approach the election this November. Read more
Welcome to The Roamin’ Catholic Priest! In the premiere episode, listen to Fr. Andrew share his vocation story. Read more
Every single human being was created in order to live and, not just to live, but to thrive and flourish. The story of creation tells us, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it;’…And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:27, 28, 31). Jesus, God incarnate, additionally said, “…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Read more
In my limited experience of priestly life these past five months, I would say priestly life is like being handed the keys to a 1953 Chevy pickup truck with manual transmission and no power steering and being told by God the Father, “You’re driving. Let’s go!” God sits shotgun and places an indescribable amount of confidence and trust in me, his beloved son, the driver, as I strive not to kill the truck amidst the fear that I will do just that. Ultimately, what is revealed to me is that God the Father’s confidence in me is justified, I just can’t see it in myself because of my fear of failing. God is guiding me each step of the way, not by driving for me, but by teaching me how to drive. Read more
This past week I rediscovered something crucial to any life well-lived, exercise. Before priestly ordination, seminary life provided a mostly structured scheduled environment in which it was fairly easy to work in running to my weekly routine. During my time in seminary I ran 3 half-marathons and many other 5Ks, 10Ks, and 15Ks. Since priestly ordination, however, my life has been far from routine; with a bit of vacation, starting at St. Stephens Indian Mission, World Youth Day trip to Lithuania and Poland, and trying to get settled back here, I haven’t made the effort to get out and run…that is, until last week. What transpired was a rediscovery of the joy of running. I don’t mean that in a superficial sort of way, in truth, it hurt; my body was not ready for me to pick up running again and definitely let me know it wasn’t appreciative of the 3 miles I tried to cover. The joy consisted in the experience of getting out and away from everything for 30 minutes. It gave me an experience to be outside, with the beauty of God’s creation all around me, creating a sense of awe and wonder at the created universe. I also love to run with music so running allows me to jam out to my music and enjoy without worrying about anything back home. It’s a great stress-reliever, a healthy habit, and a spiritually uplifting experience (for our spiritual life and our physical life are intertwined: when our bodies are in a healthy place it aids our spiritual life and vice versa). Needless to say, I hope to keep up the running routine and check out some of the local races here in the area…I’ve noticed a Turkey Trot 5K coming up in November in Riverton. Read more
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” – Mk 10:29-30
One of the things that every newly ordained priest must face is the fact that he has in a very literal way, laid down his life for Christ. That means giving up a family, a stable home life, even a career. It also means living and ministering in places he possibly never thought he would. Being a priest means having one foot in the created world and the other in the spiritual world. He directs the people he ministers to an encounter with Christ and points everyone to their ultimate destiny, eternal life in heaven where we will all see God face to face. Read more
Having never gone to World Youth Day before and being a newly ordained Catholic priest (May 20, 2016), I have to admit, I was a bit nervous going into this World Youth Day pilgrimage in Kraków, Poland. I wasn’t entirely sure what my role would be, what my purpose would be, on this pilgrimage. I have been ordained a priest for about two months, so I knew that I would be going on this pilgrimage as a priest, but even that didn’t reveal to me what my deeper purpose was going to be. Plus, with my life being hectic with the move to my new parish at St. Stephens, which occurred literally a week and a half before we left for Europe, my life was understandably upside down. I had almost no time to mentally prepare for this trip. Instead, I packed light and hit the road to join up with the rest of the group from Wyoming as we prepared to leave the United States of America with little to no expectations of what was to come. I think this complete unpreparedness was, in itself, a grace given to me by the Lord. Without any expectation of what was to come, the Lord moved me in ways I didn’t see coming and have been tremendously blessed by, and my not have noticed had I been actively expecting something else. Read more
What a grace filled week I have experienced. Words fail to describe the greatness of the Lord to me this week. I feel that I can only echo the Psalmist: “How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name” (Psalm 116:12-13).
On Friday, May 20, I was ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. I am still processing the reality that is now my whole life and vocation. I am incredibly grateful to God for His goodness and grace in my life and I am grateful to all of my family and friends throughout my entire journey who have helped me along this path to my priestly ordination. I could not have done God’s will for me without your prayers along the way. What a grace to be part of such a great family as the Body of Christ! Read more
Vergere is one of the most intriguing characters in the Star Wars Legends: The New Jedi Order book series. She is Jedi. She is Sith. She is both. Or, perhaps, she is neither. She was a Jedi during the Old Republic during which time she was also a rogue student of the Force, apparently studying Count Dooku and encountering Darth Sidious, eventually becoming a student of his and a candidate to become a Sith under him. After noticing Darth Sidious’ greed and utter compulsion to rule, Vergere realized Sidious’ plan would devastatingly destroy the galaxy and attempted to stop him by killing him, but failed. Vergere escaped Sidious’ retaliation by accepting a Jedi mission to visit the plant Zonama Sekot, where she met the Yuuzhan Vong and left the galaxy to live with them for fifty years (according to Lumiya’s account of Vergere in Star Wars Legends: Legacy of the Force: Betrayal). She returned with the Yuuzhan Vong in their invasion of the galaxy and played both sides of the war, betraying both the Yuuzhan Vong and the New Republic, seemingly on her own whims. Eventually she participated in the capture of Jacen Solo by the Yuuzhan Vong and helped torture him in order to teach him the truth about the Force and to help him embrace his destiny. Vergere, with Jacen, escaped the Yuuzhan Vong to return to the fledgeling government of the New Republic where she encountered Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Legends: The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way. She sacrificed her life for Jacen so that he wouldn’t be killed by the Yuuzhan Vong and would be able to follow his destiny (which eventually led to his decent to the dark side as Darth Caedus in the Star Wars Legends: Legacy of the Force book series).
Regardless of what she truly is and where her true loyalties lie, Vergere is one of the most philosophical characters that appears (just read Star Wars Legends: The New Jedi Order: Traitor by Matthew Stover). She even offers pointed advice to Luke Skywalker, which challenges him to step out of his pre-conceived notions and look at his beliefs about the Force from a different perspective. In particular she makes some incredibly insightful comments on human emotion that are worth looking at. First however, to gain a bit of context before looking at human emotion, the Jedi and Sith Codes, respectively, must be analyzed.
San Diego Comic Con has been going on these past few days. Coffee With Kenobi posted on their blog a video of the Star Wars Panel. It was great. I have never really followed any Comic Con very much, but I do know that SDCC is a very popular event. Ever since Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim I have been eager to see more interviews with JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy, as they are behind it all.
Yesterday I experienced the ultimate Star Wars fanboy moment! I had the immense pleasure of meeting this famous girl whom I’ve seen over and over again on YouTube (and so has more than 22 million other people)! If you haven’t seen her adorable video describing Star Wars: A New Hope, check it out below.
I saw her and her family and ran over to them to introduce myself and, not feeling at all ashamed, I went on to tell her I was one of her “fans” and that I had seen her on YouTube many times, loving it each time. She just looked up at me with a big smile and beamed. I got to spend just a short amount of time talking to her and her mom about Star Wars and her experience and I made a point to ask her if she was going to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December, and of course the answer was “yes!” She was one of the coolest young Star Wars fans I’ve been able to meet, a young girl in a great family.
I absolutely loved every minute of the experience of talking to her and definitely had a big fanboy moment (still not ashamed). Not that she is some super famous actress (like Carrie Fisher or Natalie Portman), but she is a young fan of Star Wars who is known throughout YouTube because of her video. Even so, that is not what makes her special, what makes her special is that she is a kind young girl, living a normal life with her family. I feel incredibly privileged to have gotten to meet her in person and not just know her by watching her video on YouTube when she was 3 and melting every time I see it (even though I’ll still do just that).
Lastly, my two favorite lines from her:
If you want to read more, check out her dad’s original blog post here.
This was the first time I’ve ever experienced a Star Wars Celebration event. Unfortunately I couldn’t actually be there in Anaheim, CA to attend the event, but I did do as much live-streaming on StarWars.com as possible. So I consider this the first Star Wars Celebration I’ve been aware of in real time (my first Star Wars Celebration will be when I’m physically able to go one). A good friend of mine, Sean, and I had a stream party Friday evening and even made some Bantha Milk drinks. It was a great time to watch the live stream of SWCA and just totally geek out together about all things Star Wars!
During J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy’s panel on The Force Awakens, I was in my Theological Anthropology class so I missed the big reveal of the teaser trailer (but watched it immediately after class and was interiorly whooping with excitement!). I was able to go back later and re-watch the whole panel and am even more excited for the movie to come out in December. BB-8 astounded me. I was definitely one of those fans who was skeptical of the new little droid, but seeing the droid actually roll around the stage as a real prop (and not just CGI) I was blown away, and found I’m way more excited to see BB-8 in the movie that I originally was. Kylo Ren also has me super pumped. His whole demeanor reminds of Darth Revan from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and I’ve always loved that sort of demeanor in a dark character. Can’t wait to see more of him. And of course, there’s Han Solo and Chewbacca…I was so happy to see them in the teaser.
|Streaming SWCA live on StarWars.com|