This weekend, our Church had the great fortune of welcoming thousands of new members into the body of Christ through the sacrament of baptism. For many, it was the culmination of a process that took many months, if not years, and will forever change their lives: now, they will forever have the mark of Christ on their souls.

Sounds pretty great, right? It is.

But it does raise an interesting question: what actual effect does that mark have on our salvation? What I mean by this is, does one actually have to be baptized, as in, God won’t save them if they don’t enter the waters? And if this isn’t the case and God can save whomever God wants, then what difference does it make if we’re baptized?

Nuanced questions before us this week on Catholicism in Focus! I hope you had (are having!) a great Easter! He is Risen, Alleluia! Alleluia!

Advertisements

The life of a friar is many things, but boring is not one of them. Not in a single day, and certainly not over a lifetime.

I think about my life already. Not even ordained a priest yet, still in studies, I have been on a mission trip to Nicaragua, worked for two months at a refugee center in Mexico, made a pilgrimage to Italy, Austria, and Germany, have given parish missions in 13 different states, and have been on five different road trips in which I traveled more than 1000 miles in a week. I get around.

And it makes me wonder what my future might hold. While there is no formal legislation as to how often I must move, it is not uncommon for friars to change ministries ever 6-9 years. Extend that over a lifetime, and we’re talking 6-10 completely different environments, likely resulting in 6-10 different careers.

And do you know what? If things aren’t working out and there’s a need elsewhere, friars can be transferred in three years or less.

No, friar life is not boring.

To all young people out there thinking about what you might do with your life, afraid to jump in because you’re worried about missing out on great things, let me tell you this: there is nothing lacking from my life. I get to serve God in tremendous, diverse, and unexpected ways, as a part of a brotherhood, doing and experiencing things that I wouldn’t have dreamed of outside of Order. My life is truly an adventure.

Are you looking for some adventure in your life? Maybe it’s time to have a conversation with our vocation director. He’s a nice guy who can help you with any questions you have, no matter where you are in your discernment.

Click here to listen

No, there is nothing wrong with your email subscription! There was no Catholicism In Focus on Monday, and since I was traveling yesterday I was unable to post the week’s podcast here. My apologies!

This week, Br. Tito and I discuss the issue of stereotypes in art and entertainment. What to we make of them? As always, there are good and bad examples of each, and how we approach them in our entertainment can say a lot about how we interact with each other in real life.

Ever since I finished the final episode of A Friar Life two years ago, I’ve been thinking about how I would reboot the series. Last summer I even started tinkering with a different introduction. I thought about friars I wanted to include, what I would do with them, and so on. I couldn’t wait to start again.

There was just one problem. Okay, two problems: time and money.

Living in Chicago and being a full-time student made the prospect of filming friars very difficult. Not only did I have little time to travel, but being from the East Coast province, there weren’t many guys in the Midwest that I actually knew. Even if I had the time, there weren’t many friars within driving distance to film.

Well enough is enough, I say. Excuses excuses. I clearly have the time to travel (as I have been on and off of an airplane multiple times a month for the past year), and since these travels often include speaking and selling my book—two things that I have been given permission to funnel back into the ministry—the money wasn’t really an issue anymore either. With my first priestly assignment on the horizon, I felt that it was sort of now or never.

And so… for the past two months I have been traveling around the country to show the life that we live. I’ve been to a center for the poor, a university, retirement home, and high school, and over the next I plan to visit the friars in foreign missions and urban ministry.

My hope is to have an official trailer of the places I’ve been so far in about 2 weeks, and to release a new episode each Friday this Easter season. Talk about something to rejoice over!

I hope that everyone has a blessed Holy Week!

Click here to listen

Click to listen

In a galaxy far, far away… there were a lot of theological statements and themes of life that apply perfectly to our own!

In this extra special (and extra long) episode of Everyday Liminality, Br. Tito and I take a deep dive into the world of Star Wars, looking, as we always do, for an answer to some of our own questions of faith. While the casual observer will undoubtedly sense a connection to the “force,” we think that this intergalactic drama-series actually has a lot to say about hope, pride, scripture, tradition, and our relationship with God.

Enjoy, and may the force be with you!