When Silence is Golden

SilenceThis post originally appears on the Canadian Youth Worker website.

During a scripted prayer before a meeting this morning, there was a period of silence much longer than we were expecting or accustomed to.  It was actually quite nice and I had no problem resting in the spirit and offering up the meeting and entire day.  However, I could tell that others weren’t as comfortable as I was as I heard fidgeting and I sensed unease.  Finally someone comically said “So are we going to meet or just pray all day?”

Not that there’s anything wrong with prayer; but we did have many things to accomplish.  It turns out that a small miscommunication led to the prolonged silence.  The person who was supposed to recite the next section didn’t know she supposed to.

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What I Learned From Walter the Tailor

My friend Walter
My friend Walter

This post originally appears on the Canadian Catholic website.

This past weekend, I needed to get some dress pants altered so I visited my friend Walter the Tailor. Walter has been in the same tiny shop for the past 33 years; his business undoubtedly reliant on returning customers such as me. I enjoy spending time with Walter, mostly because I have no clue what’s in store for me with each visit. And he’s a darn good tailor.

As we exchanged pleasantries, I asked Walter how business was going.

“It’s hard to make money these days.”

“Tell me about it,” I replied. “I work for the Church.”

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The Sing-Off is Back: Thoughts on the Season 4 Premiere

Source: nbc.com
Source: nbc.com

After almost a full 2 years away from television, my favourite show is back.  Indeed, I was thrilled this past spring when I heard that The Sing-Off would be making its triumphant return for a seven-episode holiday run in December.  Thus, it was with great anticipation that the kids and I watched the entire show (Gail was out) on the eastern feed nonetheless.

Here are some of my observations based on the first show of the season:

Jewel Joins the Judges

Jewel did well in her judging debut on the show; she was sweet, fun, and articulate.  She seemed to develop an instant chemistry with Ben Folds and Shawn Stockman.  I find this judging panel the most likable among the mainstream talent show competitions.  They don’t take themselves too seriously and they do a decent job of providing both affirmations and constructive criticism.  I enjoyed Sara Bareilles when she was on the show as she was quite balanced in her opinions as well.  I couldn’t stand Nicole Scherzinger at times as I thought she was way too positive and afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings.

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Holy Noodle: My Farewell Speech to Bishop-Elect Msgr. Mark Hagemoen

bfmhOn Sunday, December 8, hundreds of people gathered for the Farewell Mass and Dinner for Bishop-Elect Msgr. Mark Hagemoen before he departs for Yellowknife ahead of next Sunday’s ordination as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.  I was blessed to be able to share a few words as part of the program.  Here is a portion of my speech from the evening.

Tell me if any of these sound familiar to you:

“Holy Noodle!”

“Pitter patter, let’s get atter!”

“You take care now.”

“Don’t quote me on that.”

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Youth Ministry is So Advent

Source: www.thepracticingcatholic.com
Source: www.thepracticingcatholic.com

Advent is about waiting.  Anticipating.  Expecting.  Preparing.  Hoping.  This sounds a lot like youth ministry to me.

We wait for youth to commit their lives to Jesus.  We wait for them so we can start our youth gatherings.  We wait for their parents to come pick them up at the end of our events.

We anticipate the arrival of youth at our gatherings with our eyes fixated on the door.  We anticipate their confusion or their silence when we are preparing small group discussions.  We anticipate their excitement when we announce the dates of retreats and rallies.

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