Religious Freedom Please check out these great speeches from the Religious Freedom Rally in Sulphur, LA.  Specifically listen to the talks by Bishop Glen John Provost, Rev. Edward Richard, and Mitch Wyninger – plus many other great speeches!  Recorded and posted by my good friend, J.P. Hardey.  See his blog here:

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Joe’s People

I was recently invited to be a guest on Joe’s People – a Catholic podcast stationed in Austin, TX.  Check it out!

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Mission Immersion Video

The Guatemala Mission Immersion Trip was an incredible experience for us seniors at St. Ben’s. I just had to share this video about the program:

I can’t take credit for this film, but check out the ending credits.

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Finding God at St. Ben’s: Prayer in the Form of Video

During the 2013 seminarian Triduum retreat, I prayed with the use of a video camera by capturing beautiful places and moments that reminded me of God’s omnipresent glory.  I am going to miss these, and many other experiences that I found over the years of being on the St. Joseph Seminary College campus and its +1,200 acres of land!

Alumni and seminarians of St. Ben’s – can you recognize all of these locations?

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I’m a Mama’s Boy

Photo credits: Jimmy Colfer

Yesterday, December 8, 2012, was the feast of the Immaculate Conception AND we celebrated Our Lady of Guadalupe here at St. Joseph’s Seminary.  The photo is of the OLG replica in our St. Joseph chapel.

Two beautiful Marian celebrations with incredible music and many humbled, prayerful  hearts focused on Our Blessed Mother, whom I love very much. I am grateful for her example, intercessions and love, as she helps me through seminary.  It was a great way to end the semester here at St. Ben’s. – And what a semester!  We have been a very tight community after everything we’ve been through – a hurricane, flu epidemics and the school caught on fire!  Now, if we can only get past final exams…  Blessed Mother, pray for us!

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20-somethings Shout-out

A shout-out to the Catholic 20-somethings Ministry of Austin, Texas!

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One year down…

I just finished up my first year at seminary and WOW what an experience! (see blogs below for more details.)

This past semester was the roughest one I’ve ever had in my academic studies. Through high school, college, now at seminary – this year was tough, but I came out fine.

And it took me 9 years. I finally gained my “freshman fifteen” nine years after my first freshman year in college. Yes that’s right. I finally gained weight. Exactly fifteen pounds. I’ve weighed the same since eighth grade. And my freshman year in college back in 02-03 did not prove to hold true to the “freshman fifteen” rule for me. But now at seminary, things are finally shaping up, like my belly.

Of course, it’s not going to help that I’m in Kinder, Louisiana this summer, where many wonderful parishioners of St. Philip Neri are excellent cooks and just dying to take out or cook for the new seminarian. If these amazing people are anything like Elton (last year’s summer assignment) then I guess I am just doomed to get fat.

…I’m kidding. Exercising my abs & cardio are important for this summer.
Does anyone have a bike they want to get rid of???

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A Look at the Liturgy – Palm Sunday – St. Joseph Abbey

I have really enjoyed the liturgy at St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College, and one of my favorite Mass experiences was Palm Sunday.   This was my video presentation for liturgy class with Dr. Daniel Burns.

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Spring Semester 2012

Wow. So you think time flies. Well, time really flies when you’re in seminary. There has been SO much going on since November, it’s hard to recap, so I’ll try with some pictures!

At the March for Life in D.C. this Jan., there were HUGE numbers of ppl. It was an incredible experience.  Too bad media never covers it.

Once we returned to seminary for Spring semester, we immediately began preparations for Abbey Youth Fest, which was a huge success. Over 3,500 teens showed up for St. Ben’s biggest AYF yet. There were great speakers, awesome bands (including L’angelus & Sarah Kroger) & strong spiritual celebrations of the sacraments & liturgy!

The rest of the Spring semester here at seminary has been completely packed full of extraordinary experiences and inspirational occurrences.  My spiritual life has made an unbelievable leap in the past few months, and is continuing to grow.  Many of your prayers have been answered in different ways.  I’ve become very involved in the community, and my studies have been a struggle, but given some extreme insights.
We’re also having lots of fun, including Mardi Gras events, kayaking, zoo outings & turtles!

Left is Mardi Gras Parade with Sabs & Matthew. Right is kayaking w/ Joe & Boucher down the river, which is on the seminary property!

Johnny was very excited to see a tortoise at the Audubon Zoo in NOLA.  Boucher caught a soft-shell turtle near the river and I just had to hold it. Reptiles are cool. (and cool blooded.)

Photos by Trey Ange, Stephen Hauck and St. Joseph AbbeyAYF photo

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Whew! The bonfire was a blast!
On Friday, Nov. 18th, we began the afternoon with mass and a football game! St. Ben’s guys VS. Notre Dame seminary from New Orleans. It was a great game, one of the closest ones we’ve had in years. I was asked to be a commentator, so I made comments during the game and provided some pump-up music.
I was also DJ at the bonfire -with fire, burning and hot music. There was lots of dancing.
The bonfire was 33 1/2 feet tall and it burned all night long.  Everyone enjoyed it!

Now it’s Thanksgiving week, and I am very thankful for all of my family and friends who pray for me and support me. I have an incredibly strong support system, so thank you to everyone who is helping me in my process through the seminary.
I’m also glad that I have the media technology and this blog to share it with you.

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