Sunday, November 6, 2005

Amazing Grace

"Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous,
God will not do the miraculous."
-Mother Angelica

What a sweet weekend. Where else can you combine a heretical nun, a bishop who tells you to "go rock Seattle" at the end of Mass (Kris, the Baptists would have had a field day with that!), a 32 year old rapping priest from Kentucky (pictured in his first ever self-portrait) with 1500 teenagers for 36 hours?


And I love being able to hang out with my friends while serving in youth ministry - it's the best of all worlds. Vickie braved Snoqualmie Pass to join us for a few hours, and made it back across before the rock slides shut down I-90.

The keynotes and workshops had some great golden nuggets in them...well, with the exception of Sr. Linda Haydock's talk on Women's Roles and Women's Goals. Stella, Amy, Vickie, and I joined with two of our teens from St. Andrew's to check it out. Starting with the prayer to "Mother Father God", you knew the direction of the talk could only head downhill. What should have been an empowering talk on our vocation as Christian women, in light of JPII's teachings to women...ended up being a rant against all things male, orthodox, and in line with the Catholic Church. And it was clear that she believed that women should be able to be priests. And contrary to what Sr. Haydock said about the possibility of women's ordination, it is an infallible teaching of the church...women will not be ordained in the Catholic faith. Ever. And you know what? I'm okay with that. As we all should be!

Let's get a few things straight:
JPII loves women. He reached out consistently to women throughout his pontificate. The Anchoress blogged on this with some great links back in April, and it's worth a read through. Being "equal" isn't about 100% sameness (how many guys do you hear complaining that they can't have children? Or insisting that they be able to, since it's one of our biggest gifts as women?!?), and it's in the differences that make us unique and able to serve God in many different ways. JPII's Theology of the Body has so much wisdom in it, especially relating to the relationships between man and woman, God and the church...that it begs the question, "why waste time debating an issue that won't even end up on the table?"

I really wish that the workshop had focused on the positives of the faith, instead dividing the group into those who agree with church teaching and those who don't.

I won't turn this into my soapbox...but let it be known, after the disclaimer at the beginning of the workshop that the session was "open to all beliefs and ideas", Stella, myself, and an amazing sophomore named Sam from St. Michael's were all cut off while we were sharing. Sheesh. So much for equal tolerance. :)

Anyway, yesterday's Mass was my first with one of our brand new bishops, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo. Wow. He is something else. Coming from the order of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, Seattle is so lucky to have him. He actually incorporated a story about a frog, frog legs, and a frog dying into the homily. Telling us we should be who we are - and not try to be anything different...we don't want to taste like chicken! :) He rocks. And in fact, in his closing blessing at Mass, he told us to "go rock Seattle"! (There are rumors that I was stalking the Bishop for a self-portrait with him. I will not confirm nor deny that. But it sounded like a good idea at the time.)

Our teens are amazing. A blessing. They make me laugh, even when they're making fun of me and pouring water on my head. And when they are mocking me in photos. Good thing I received lots of grace this weekend, so I have lots of forgiveness in me. :)

There were so many cool peeps speaking...Camille DeBlasi, Jim Mains, Fr. Norman Fischer (in the self-portrait above), Carlos Carrillo, the Catholic Campus Minister at Western, JD Shrum, former St. Andrew's youth minister Doug Tooke...lots of good stuff. The peeps from Western did an incredible job with all the details, and it was fun to see how it turned out.

Mike's on his way down from the Hammer to celebrate the end of Convention with dinner from Dick's (probably around 11 tonight) before we head off to the airport at 6ish.

I really should start packing. While I'm packing, you should watch this slideshow. In the words of Bishop Elizondo, it rocks.

Click on the pic.

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