Friday, June 17, 2011

Habemus forum!

We have a forum! In response to this post, a friend graciously offered to help me set up a “Sponsa Christi” forum. This forum will be for consecrated virgins, candidates, and women seriously discerning this vocation who feel called to embrace a more structured and demonstrably “consecrated” way of life.

You can find the forum at:

Most of the content will be open for anyone to read, but you will need to register in order to post.

If you would like to promote the new Sponsa Christi forum on your website or blog, simply save the image and upload it to your site.

Use the following code to place the ad:

<a href=><img src=ForumAd.jpg width=300 height=353 border=0 alt="Join the Sponsa Christi Forum"></a>

If you would like a slightly smaller version, try the following:

<a href=><img src=ForumAd.jpg width=150 height=151 border=0 alt="Join the Sponsa Christi Forum"></a>

Or if you prefer, you could try this one with the following code:

<a href=><img src=ForumAd2.jpg width=256 height=450 border=0 alt="Follow Apollonia to the forum!"></a>

If you would like a slightly smaller version try the following:

<a href=><img src=ForumAd2.jpg width=135 height=237 border=0 alt="Follow Apollonia to the forum!"></a>

If you have thoughts or suggestions for the forum, feel free to leave them in the comment box below. (Hat tip to blog reader Mantellata for her help with the graphics.)

What I Have Been Up To Lately

Sorry for the long blog silence! It’s been a busy month and a half.

First of all, I’m currently writing a high school religion textbook on…of all things…vocations!
(You can be sure there will be a seriously awesome section on consecrated life! ;-) ) The book is for a series created to correspond with the U.S. Bishop’s new curriculum guidelines for high school religion classes.

To me, writing for upper-level high school students is an “apostolate” in the best sense of the term—it’s a wonderfully direct way to teach the faith. And hopefully, it will also encourage more than a few young people to consider the priesthood or consecrated life.

However, I am on a rather tight deadline schedule. So please be patient with me, as the blog might have to suffer a bit until the manuscript is completed in August. (Although I do hope to have a real post here sometime next week.)

During the month of May, it seems like didn’t have a single free weekend—it seemed like something special was happening every Saturday.

The second weekend in May, I drove out to Alfred, New York (about five hours west of where I live) where I was invited to blog reader Shana’s senior B.F.A. art show. Her thesis was on the Theology of the Body. She has many of her paintings posted on her blog. So you can check them out when you go over to congratulate her!

The next weekend was our priesthood Ordinations in the Archdiocese of New York, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Here is a slideshow of the Ordination weekend made by one of the Cathedral Prep students:

Ordination 2011 Slideshow from Caleb Lococo on Vimeo.

After that, I drove down to Raleigh, North Carolina for the transitional diaconate Ordination of my friend and college classmate Don Maloney.

Here is a great picture of Deacon Don preaching a homily for the first time at Mass the next day:

Happily, the first reading was on the instituion of the diaconate (in Acts 6:1-7), so the new “Reverend Mister” didn’t have to look too far for inspiration.

On my way back home from the Deep South, I was able to make my annual retreat at the Visitation Monastery in Georgetown (in Washington, D.C.).

The Order of the Visitation was founded by Sts. Francis de Sales and Jane Francis de Chantal. A contemplative monastic Order, their charism is centered on the “little virtues,” such as kindness, patience, and humility. The particular charism of the Visitation monastery in Georgetown (which is one of the oldest religious communities in North America) also involves an educational apostate. The nuns of the Georgetown monastery are semi-cloistered, so they are able to run a girls’ high school adjacent to their convent.

St. Francis de Sales also insisted that the Visitation monasteries have the rare privilege of allowing women (even lay women) to make private retreats inside the enclosure. This is something for which I’m certainly very grateful! Among other things, it was a real treat to be able to pray the Office in choir with the nuns.

The night before I returned home, we took a few pictures. Here’s a photo of my friend Sr. Anne Elizabeth, me, and St. Francis de Sales:

Sr. Anne E. grew up in Yonkers, New York (actually right across the street from our archdiocesan seminary). So even though we didn’t meet until after she entered the convent, we’ve wound up having some of the same friends and knowing a lot of the same people.

In this photo, Sr. Anne E. said we had to do a cool “rapper” pose. But obviously, Sister is much cooler than I am!