Coffee at Jacob’s Well

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

Aftermath

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

The Problem with LGBTQ Language in Regards to a Proposed Resolution in the City of Cheyenne

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

Trust and Follow

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

The Joy of Running … and Swimming

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

A Portion of the Hundredfold

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

World Youth Day Kraków 2016 – An Unexpected Experience of Fatherhood

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

My Priestly Ordination

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Praised be Jesus Christ!

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’s Words of Wisdom: Human Emotion

Vergere is one of the most intriguing characters in the Star Wars LegendsThe 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.

The Jedi and Sith Codes are embodiments of ideals on two opposite ends of a spectrum of thought regarding the Force.  Both are extreme in their positions.  While the Jedi Code advocates for no emotion to attain peace, the Sith Code pushes the opposite: peace is a lie so there is only passion (emotion).  Both of these statements are the starting points for both codes and the following statements are built upon these two principles.  The Jedi Code promotes peace, knowledge, serenity, harmony and life in the Force, all seemingly good things, at least on the surface.  The Sith Code promotes passion, strength, power, victory and freedom in the Force, also seemingly good things on the surface.  Both codes spell out a way to live life, but both codes are opposite each other in the extreme, hence why one is the Jedi Code and the other the Sith Code.
Neither Code is truly healthy.  
Living life in any extreme is dangerous.  Balance is needed in order to have a good and healthy life.  One way to look at these two Codes in light of trying to life a balanced life would be to see these as embodiments of two other extremes in our world today: rationalism and sentimentalism.  Rationalism is a belief that emotions can be understood completely rationally, which usually leads to a lack of emotional affectivity (being moved by one’s emotions) because emotions are something one can understand intellectually, put in a nice clean box, and stored away.  This is what the first two statements of the Jedi Code seem to be getting at.  “There is no emotion, there is peace.  There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.”  Knowledge is more important than emotions.  Or rather, knowledge of emotions is necessary so that one can attain this supposed lack of emotion to achieve peace.  When emotion is gone, it seems to claim, so is passion and chaos.  This is a faulty understanding of human emotion and affectivity!  Human emotion is not nearly as simple as that nor can it ever be truly contained and understood through knowledge.  Many people try to do this and end up suppressing their emotions, which leads to consequences later in life, where that suppressed emotion resurfaces since it was never healthily dealt with, only suppressed.  
Sentimentalism, on the other extreme, is an attitude of relishing one’s own feelings to excess, which echoes the Sith Code fairly well.  One could think that since emotions are not as simple as the Jedi Code asserts, it would be good to engage in them fully.  The Sith Code doesn’t try to ignore emotions, but it relishes them.  Since the peace that the Jedi Code asserts is a lie, unchecked passion leads to strength, power and victory according to the Sith Code.  This is also problematic with the true nature of humanity because unchecked passion actually leaves a person a slave to them.  A person’s emotions and desires, their passions, when unchecked, lead one’s mind to submit to whatever the emotions are inclined toward.  Emotions do not affect the will of a person directly, but indirectly (since experience shows us that emotions influence our thoughts, but don’t ultimately make decisions for us).  But since “the judgement of the reason often follows the passion of the sensitive appetite, and consequently the will’s movement follows it also” (St. Thomas Aquinas I-II q. 77, a. 1), an unchecked passion can lead to a defect in the will of a person, a person who is inclined to follow the whims of his or her passions, making him or her a slave to them.
So what actually is human emotion and what are we to do with it?  
“The term ‘passions’ belongs to the Christian patrimony.  Feelings or passions are emotions or movements of the sensitive appetite that incline us to act or not to act in regard to something felt or imagined to be good or evil.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1763)  Passions or emotions, then, are movements within a person that prompt one to act for a perceived good or avoid a perceived evil.  In themselves they are neither good nor evil, but are part of the natural human psyche.  They are part of what makes us human.  They are not meant to be suppressed nor engaged without restraint.
Emotions, then, incline one to a perceived good and to avoid a perceived evil within the day to day events of human life.  How that is to be done is what the Jedi and Sith Codes are formulated to answer.  But, the answer to this question is found not in either code, but in the middle of the two extremes, the mean, or average, between them.  The philosopher, Aristotle himself, is helpful here.  He discussed human disposition in chapter 8 of Nicomachean Ethics and says, “There are three kinds of disposition, then, two of them vices, involving excess and deficiency respectively, and one a virtue, viz. the mean, and all are in a sense opposed to all; for the extreme states are contrary both to the intermediate state and to each other, and the intermediate to the extremes; as the equal is greater relatively to the less, less relatively to the greater, so the middle states are excessive relatively to the deficiencies, deficient relatively to the excesses, both in passions and in actions.”  Aristotle goes on to clarify by using the virtue of courage to illustrate his point.  Courage is the mean between the two extremes of rashness and cowardice.  A man who is a coward has an excess of fear in him, preventing him from acting all together.  A rash man has a deficiency of fear, encouraging him to act recklessly and dangerously, putting his own life in jeopardy.  It is the courageous man who has the balance within himself to act appropriately in regards to the fear within himself.
So human emotion is not something that should be suppressed (an attempt to understand rationally and locked away) or given into completely making one a slave, but is something that must be acknowledged, felt completely, understood fully, and acted on appropriately with human reason.  This is the mean between the extremes found between the Jedi and Sith Codes.  Luke Skywalker encounters this truth when he encounters Vergere in the novel Star Wars Legends: The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way.
Luke Skywalker, still learning and still growing, lacked mentors in this area of human growth and had to learn mostly on his own (Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda both being gone early in Luke’s formation).  So in his desire to rebuild the Jedi Order, Luke did his best to embody the ideals of the Jedi Code, which he had known through his study of the Jedi of the Old Republic, thus advocating that emotion is bad and should be lacking in a true Jedi.  Vergere attacks this belief, and rightly so, pointing Luke towards a truer understanding of human nature.  She immediately asks him, “Do you believe that nature would have given us traits such as anger and aggression if they were not useful?” (p. 182).  Vergere rightly points out that Luke’s belief that all emotion is bad is incorrect.  She also points out the fault in both the Jedi and Sith Code as well, “An unchecked passion produces actions that are hasty, ill considered, and often destructive.  Serenity, on the other hand, may well result in no action at all – and when it does, serenity produces actions that proceed from knowledge and liberation, if not from wisdom,” (p. 182).  Unchecked passion, then, is just as bad as complete serenity (or a complete lack of passion, in this sense).  Vergere goes on to explain that anger (a dangerous emotion from Luke’s perspective) is actually natural and part of human nature, “Young Master, it is my contention that the anger you experienced was natural and useful.  I caused deliberate harm – pain and anguish and suffering, over a period of weeks – to a young man for whom you had accepted responsibility and for whom you felt a measure of love.  Naturally you felt anger.  Naturally you wanted to break my thin little neck.  It is absolutely natural, when you discover that a person has inflicted deliberate pain on a helpless victim, to feel angry with that person.  It is equally an emotion as to feel compassion for the victim,” (p. 183).  Luke had berated himself for feeling angry, but Vergere points out how natural it truly is and not evil in and of itself.  She goes on to point out that the emotion that Luke felt was neither good nor evil in itself but what he did with it could have been either, “You are correct when you said that if you had entered my cell and struck out at me with the Force, that such an action would have been dark.  But you didn’t.  Instead your anger prompted you to speak to me and find out the reasons for my actions.  To that extent, your anger was not only natural but useful.  It led to understanding on both our parts,” (p. 183).  Vergere points out the immense responsibility to understand our emotions as a way to live a balanced life in the good and shows Luke exactly how he did just that.  She asks him, “My rhetorical questions is this: why wasn’t your anger dark?  And my answer is: because you understood it.  You understood the cause of the emotion, and therefore it did not seize power over you” (p. 184).  Vergere is showing Luke that he didn’t let his emotion make him a slave, nor did he rationalize it away in suppression, which he had been tempted to do.  She profoundly tells him,  “Unreasoning passion is the province of darkness,” (p. 184).  And she continues to explain, “But an understood emotion is not unreasoning.  That is why the route to mastery is through self-knowledge.”  She is saying that knowledge is good, but not knowledge that pushes emotions aside, knowledge that aids the interpretation and healthy response to emotions.  “It is not possible to suppress all emotion, nor is it desirable.  An emotionless person is no more than a machine.  But to understand the origin and nature of one’s feelings, that is possible,” (p. 184).  Vergere recognizes how easy it is to become a slave to emotion and warns Luke, “When you are in the grip of an irresistible compulsion, it is then that you feel most like yourself.  But in reality it was you who were passive then.  You let the feeling control you,” (p. 184).  
Luke walked away from that encounter with Vergere lightyears wiser than he was before, and this marked a turning point, not only in the war against the Yuuzhan Vong, but in Luke’s own growth as a character.  He comes to realize how natural human emotion is and how dangerous it is to suppress it or give it unbridled reign.  The wisdom gained here is the reason Luke goes on to become the Grand Master of the Jedi in the later book series.  As Luke learns and grows in wisdom, so are we able to if we are willing to let the little Fosh Jedi/Sith Vergere teach us about our own human nature through the words of Walter Jon Williams who wrote Star Wars Legends: The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way.  
The character growth of Luke is a reason why he is such a great character even now and why these book series are still just as relevant, even if they are not officially part of the “canon” of Star Wars.  The Legends books are still being published so if you’re tempted to ignore them, I urge you not to.  They have some great stories to tell in them, just as we have some great stories coming up with the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens this December, and the other movies and upcoming novels (Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits bookstores on September 4!).  I am so excited to see and read what stories the Disney Story Group and Del Rey have in store for us in the Star Wars universe.  Get ready, because here they come!

San Diego Comic Con

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. 

JJ Abrams is starting to impress me a bit, I am a little skeptical mostly because of how much he changed the world of Star Trek with his movies. But hearing him have so much respect for the fans, and the story itself is very redeeming for me. Also back at Star Wars Celebration hearing him say he has taken some steps back from CGI and going more the original route is great, it allows a more natural filing style. And to top it all off he invited everyone, all 6,000+ to a concert even more impressing. 
The panel itself was bigger than I expected it to be. after seeing Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac, they are considered the good guys, it was great to meet some of the Dark Side, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, and Domhnall Gleeson. Why? well the whole star wars universe is based on the Light vs Dark side of the force, and seeing more dark side actors for me was a plus. I just hope these characters are up to the task, there have been some great dark side characters portrayed in the movies, Darth Maul, Count Duku, and of course Darth Vader. So i hope these actors are up to the task of playing a live action dark side character. 


It was great to see Mark Hamil and Carrie Fisher again, I always enjoying seeing them talk. I found it great that Mark openly admitted that he flunked a Star Wars quiz. The cherry on top was Harrison Ford! Seeing him walk out on stage was awesome! He isn’t the biggest fan of these events so to see him come on stage was jaw dropping. I think he is excited for this as well. Seeing Han, Luke and Leia all together brought back fond memories of watching the movies I think i may have to do my annual movie-thonof the star wars movies, perhaps when my kid is born I will get them started on the right foot. Harrison stole the show, fans were so ecstatic about seeing him and asking questions. 


Sadly no new trailer for the movie, we have to wait until the fall for that, but we did see some behind the scenes footage. This is going to be a fun few months leading up to the movie.  It may be a bit until I post again, we shall see when this Kid arrives, until then “It will take a few moments to get the coordinates from the navi computer”

The Ultimate Fanboy Moment

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:

The shiny guy always worries.” (referring to C-3PO)
Don’t talk back to Darth Vader, he’ll getcha!

If you want to read more, check out her dad’s original blog post here.

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim

What a awesome weekend to be a Star Wars fan with Star Wars Celebration Anaheim officially coming to a close this afternoon.  We got many teases and treats for all the upcoming films, video games, books, and more.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens got even more exciting with the surprise reveal of a new teaser trailer with Han Solo and Chewbacca making an appearance for the first time since Return of the Jedi.  Star Wars: Battlefront also had a trailer to show, as did season 2 for Star Wars: Rebels.  Many of our favorite people in the Star Wars galaxy were interviewed, sat in on panels, and generally hung out with the fans making this an incredible event (more on that below).

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
As the afternoon progressed I just turned on the live stream on my Mac in my room and watched as much as I was able to.  Unfortunately for me, since the live stream pretty much covered only the main stage, I wasn’t able to see many of the panels that I would have liked to have seen if I was there in person (such as the panels relating to the Star Wars Novels universe including panels with some of my favorite authors and I also missed the podcast stage and getting to see my favorite Star Wars podcasts up there).  Even so, I got to watch Ian McDiarmid’s “The Emperor Strikes Back” interview, Carrie Fisher’s “A Date With the Princess,” some of Ray Park’s interview,  the Lego Star Was panel with Anthony Daniels, some of the Star Wars: Rebels panel, the beginning part of Smuggler’s Bounty, along with many of the random interviews in the Cantina with Anthony Carboni, which was awesome since the more informal setting allows for those interviews to be really cool and and off the cuff.  
What I find absolutely astounding about the whole event is two-fold.  First I love the fact that there are so many kids there, asking questions and just loving everything Star Wars.  And second, I love the generosity of everyone involved, specially the actors/actresses of Star Wars.  I was blown away by all the kids asking questions (from innocent “Who did the voice of Chopper in Star Wars Rebels?” to more probing questions “How did Captain Rex survive the Clone Wars?”) and their energy and joy for Star Wars.  The actors/actresses on the other side were awesome in response.  Anthony Daniels interacted very well with his young fans of C-3PO and Ray Park even borrowed one kid’s dual-bladed lightsaber to spar with against James Arnold Taylor and then signed it before giving it back to his young Darth Maul fan.  It was incredible to see the awe and wonder that these kids have and are able to experience at such an event.
Being able to live stream this event was a huge blessing for me.  I’ve embraced Star Wars as my hobby (in a very real and existential way, and am vocal about it a lot more, even if my friends tease me because of it – Freddie Prinze Jr. said here: “people are gonna make fun of you no matter what, so commit to what you love and don’t care what anyone says”) and live-streaming the event made me feel a part of the whole experience without actually being there.  My live-stream party was a ton of fun and a great way to virtually go to Star Wars Celebration.  But, of course, it really makes me feel disappointed that I was not able to go.  I really hope I can go in the future — but as next year it will be in London (July 15-17, 2016), I probably won’t be able to go since flying outside the country will be a bit more difficult for me to schedule since I’ll be a newly ordained Catholic priest *possibly* on my way to World Youth Day in Poland that same summer.  (Another live stream party will be in the works!)  Such is the life.  🙂  Maybe 2017 will be my year for Star Wars Celebration.