Yesterday I participated in a retreat at Rosemary Heights with some of my work colleagues from the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Before leaving my house in the morning, I texted some of my closest friends asking them if there was anything or anyone they wanted me to pray for.
I was affirmed and surprised by their prayer requests (I’ve slightly edited some of them to protect privacy):
My sister in the Philippines
The health and happiness of our newborn
Me as I recently broke up with my fiancee
The youth ministry coordinator
That we will be blessed with children
Good work-life balance
That my dad finds a purpose that makes him happy
My aunt having surgery tomorrow
My mom’s 70th birthday
My aunt who is ill
My dad and how he fits into my life
Peace in my heart
My relationship with my boyfriend
A healthy granddaughter
Dissertation, move, and travel mercies
Vocation, family, and ministry
Me, my wife, and my family
That we can sell our house
A safe trip for my in laws
My upcoming trip overseas
Health of my relatives
Ministry inspiration and vision
My sister’s job transition
My friend who is struggling
My friend how just went through dialysis
Wisdom, clarity, and discernment and for God to open doors where He desires
Here’s a brief promo for my talk at Vancouver College on January 20, 2015 on everyday Catholic family life.My talk is called: “What You See is What You Get: Living our Catholic Faith at Home”Being a witness to our Catholic faith is more than what we say or even what we do; it’s rooted in who we are. This workshop will explore what it means to be a true disciple and witness for Christ, and how we as parents can model a healthy and authentic Catholic lifestyle to our children.
My Christmas break started off rather inauspiciously – I spent the majority of Christmas Eve in Richmond General Hospital. After a bevy of tests including a blood test, urine test, CT scan, and ultrasound, it was confirmed that I wasn’t pregnant (yay) but that I had an inflamed large intestine (boo). Needless to say, it made for a rather uncomfortable few days.
The remainder of the break was without incident, and we spent much of the time entertaining family and friends at our home or going to gatherings elsewhere. Between Christmas, New Year’s, church functions, birthday parties, family gatherings, meals at restaurants, and more, we always seemed to be around people. Intuitively, it made sense. The holidays are a chance to see people that you might not often see amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life (work, school, etc).
In between gatherings, Gail and I enjoyed some much-needed quiet time at home with the kids. These quiet times were few and far between, but sacred nonetheless.
Last Friday afternoon, I played in the annual “Teachers vs. Grade 7 Students” volleyball game at St. Paul School. The raucous gym was deafening at times with the excited students cheering, clapping, and screaming. Kayla and Jake (along with his gold medal winning buddies from grade 6) were among the crowd. Sean didn’t have school that day, so he came to referee – making it a family affair.
All of the teachers rotated through and it just so happened that Gail came on right after me. So whenever we were on the court together, we were playing right beside each other.
I’m very competitive when it comes to sports, even if it’s a fun, mean-nothing game. My lovely wife Gail, however, is the exact opposite. In fact, when she came on the court, she whispered to me, “You’re going to have to help me.”
During one particular rally, the ball came over the net to our side and went towards Gail. Gail didn’t really react and thus the ball dropped beside her. I tried to give her a loving and affirming smile while dying inside.
Last week, I was blessed to spend a week in Fort Worth, Texas for the second consecutive year. I served as a trainer for YouthLeader and had the opportunity to help high school youth (and their youth ministers) develop their leadership skills (in a Christian context) through a week of sessions, prayers, games, socials, and more. I was inspired by the enthusiasm and desire of the young people I met.
When YouthLeader ended on Friday, I spent 24 hours with my good friends Marie and Mike and their 5 wonderful children. On Friday night, we went to watch Andrew (the oldest child) play baseball. It was a really fun night as we were treated to some decent hardball (especially for 9 and 10 year olds) and I got to meet and take a picture with ex-Toronto Blue Jay – and 3 time MLB All-Star – Vernon Wells. He’s one of the coaches of Andrew’s team.
The game came down to the last inning and Andrew’s team was up to bat down 6-4 with 2 out and the bases loaded. One of Andrew’s teammates walked up to the plate, and I just so happened to be standing next to the batter’s dad.