Sanctification in Daily Work
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Mass in Olds, Alberta, Canda at St. Stephen’s

St. Stephen's, Olds, Alberta, CanadaI recently returned from a 9 day trip to back to back conferences in Calgary and Olds, Alberta, Canada. The first one was primarily in Olds at the university there. So, I have added to my collection of churches I have been blessed to visit for Mass. This one is St. Stephen’s. I got a cab ride to Mass and found one of the attendees at the conference there at the end of Mass. We shared a ride back to the conference venue. I wish we could have had more attending but I am so glad for that opportunity. I couldn’t go to daily Mass but was able to do so for Sunday vigil Mass.

Celebrating 10 Years as a Minor Basilica

Basilica of Saint Michael the ArchangelAt our 9am Mass last week at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Titular Archbishop of Oregon City, said Mass. He was responsible for resolving our long-delayed application in Rome to designate our church as a minor Basilica. This was official on December 28, 2011.

So he graciously visited to help us celebrate 10 years as a minor Basilica. With him are pictured Very Reverend Joseph Callipare, Rector of the Basilica. Cindy and I were Lectors for the Mass.

And to top it off the Mass intention was for my Dad who passed in January.

Visiting the Shroud of Turin

Shroud of TurinI have been very blessed in my work career to have traveled to places that I would never be able to otherwise. A few weeks ago that place was Turin, Italy. With a group of agricultural journalists from around the world we traveled there courtesy of New Holland tractor company.

I had a free afternoon so I took off to visit the Shroud of Turin while it was on public display. You had to pre-register for a specific time with a ticket to visit but there was no cost. I arrived just before a loud thunderstorm hit the area. A long covered walkway is set up for pilgrims to walk through before entering the Cathedral of Turin which is undergoing some major restoration. We were held in groups and watched a short video description of the shroud in comparison to scripture. Then we were allowed to enter and spend a little while in front of the Shroud in prayer. It’s hard to describe the feelings of seeing what seems very likely to be the actual cloth that Jesus was buried in. Let’s just say that I will never forget it.

After the time we had in Turin we traveled to Milan for the current version of the World’s Fair, Expo Milano 2015.

Shroud of Turin

Shroud of TurinI’m back. Back from Turin, Italy this time. This summer has been one of more international travel than normal. I’ve got more to share from trips to France and Scotland later.

Last week I spent three days in and around Turin. I had one afternoon off and spent it with the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist as my destination. After a subway ride and walk along the Via Roma I found the church. This is where the Shroud of Turin is kept. It is inside this container in a side chapel. Next year there will be an open exposition of the Shroud and there may be a possibility I can go.

However, at this visit I was able to sit and pray for a while. I know how controversial this object is but I can’t help but get goosebumps just thinking about it much less being able to be this close to it.

I’m adding this to the list of the blessings I’ve received to have as life experiences along my Path to Holiness. I don’t think I deserve them and I’ve still got a lot of work to do on achieving the holiness that I would like to have!

Here’s where you can find some more photos from my visit that afternoon: Turin Photos

Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral

Buenos Aires Metropolitan CathedralThe Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral is where Pope Francis served before becoming our new pope. Cindy and I got to visit and attend Mass during a business trip last week for a conference that was held nearby.

We learned that the patroness of Argentina is Our Lady of Luján and found a small statute that we brought back. The Cathedral also houses the remains of General José de San Martín, a famous revolutionary leader.

I am constantly amazed at the opportunities we’ve had to attend Mass all over the world. This is definitely a highlight because of the connection to Pope Francis.

St. Francis Borgia – Washington, MO

St. Francis BorgiaLast Sunday I was returning home from Missouri where I went for business related reasons. After living in Missouri for about 21 years it was interesting to get back to that familiar territory. The photo is St. Francis Borgia in Washington, MO. I have mtgs. near there for two days before heading to Columbia, Jefferson City and Camdenton.

It has been over a year since moving back to my home state of Florida. I like Missouri but love Florida more. Great to be in the sunshine state although it’s not shining right now.

Mass at Most Blessed Sacrament in Savannah, GA

Hello from Savannah, GA. I’ve been behind on posting from different cities and churches.

Today I got to attend Mass at Most Blessed Sacrament in Savannah, GA. The convention I’m attending actually had a late start planned. I wish more would do this.

Attending Mass is the highlight and most important part of my day and is a real Path to Holiness. I highly recommend it.

A Break From Summer Travel

Here’s a photo inside of St. Eric’s Cathedral (or the Katolska Domkyrkan) in Stockholm, Sweden. I attended Mass there two weeks ago on a business trip to the annual International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress. I actually attended a Saturday evening Mass which was in English. They did not follow the new Mass prayers but it was very nice anyway.

This summer has been a non-stop back to back business travel adventure that started with our move to Florida from Missouri. Finally getting a break and none too soon IMO. Hopefully I can get back on a schedule to do some posts here. When you blog for a living on about 10 different ones it’s a little difficult to spend all the time and attention you’d like to your own very personal one.

Maybe I’ll find the time to write some of my thoughts on the extreme amount of political correctness BS that is permeating the media and social media these days as we get closer to the next Presidential election. It’s kind of at a fever pitch don’t you think?

More Pensacola Churches

Here are pictures from two more Pensacola churches we’ve visited recently. This one is the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Pensacola.

Downtown is about a 25 minute or so drive depending on traffic. I attended a weekday early morning Mass here last week. I’d like to find the time to visit our Diocesan office and meet our new Bishop! I had thought of asking him for his suggestion of a new spiritual director but he’s so new I wonder if he’s actually met all the priests in our diocese. The pastor at St. Mary’s where we’ve been going to morning Mass most often suggested I meet with his new associate in July. We’ll see . . .

Another downtown church is the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel. I made it to a noon Mass here and love this church.

Canonically established in 1781, the parish of St. Michael the Archangel has served the Catholic congregation in Northwest Florida for over 230 years. In recognition of its historic significance, St. Michael Church was inaugurated as a basilica in 2012. It is our Mission to continue to celebrate the word of Christ through service in the historic and traditional warmth of a growing and diverse parish.

So this church was just named a Basilica this year! It is a minor basilica and was designated this January.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church

The big move is over. We’re now in Florida and still have a lot of boxes to unpack. We’re also still deciding on a parish to join. Cindy and I have been attending weekday and Sunday Masses at several nearby churches.

Last Sunday we attended Mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Cantonment, FL. This is a mission church and a very small one “out in the country.” It’s actually not far away at all. We’ve got about 5 churches within reasonable distance to choose from!

Besides selecting a parish to join I’m also seeking a new spiritual director. I’m hoping and praying for guidance on this. After seeing Fr. Bill in Missouri for many years I’ve got a feeling this will be a big change but who knows?

St. Patrick Church Urbana, IL

Last week Cindy and I attended Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Urbana, IL. We got to see a college friend who has just started work in the area. It was great to re-connect after about 31 years! It was also nice to travel together again for work and have the time to weekday Mass.

Have you ever tried going to a weekday Mass? On a regular basis? Think it’s not possible? I thought so until I started doing it. Made it a priority and now if I can’t go I feel like my day is missing something. Something important. Which it surely is. One of the things I found is that I’m more productive in a day when I make it to Mass. Seems counter intuitive but that’s just the way God works.

Attending Mass in Louisville

Cindy and I got to work together last week in Louisville, KY at the National Farm Machinery Show. It’s a huge indoor farm show at the Kentucky Expo Center.

We attended weekday Mass at St. Agnes Catholic Church. This is a beautiful church that we’ve both been to before when we’ve been in town for the show. This was the first time we got to go together.

We get to work together again this week at the National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, FL too.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day

Happy St. Valentine’s Day. I was able to attend Mass today at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL. My wife, Cindy, and I are traveling once again for work. She’s attending a client event today, then we head to Louisville, KY for the National Farm Machinery Show. We’ll probably get to have a romantic dinner in the St. Louis airport this afternoon. Doesn’t that sound exciting? But we don’t mind because it’s being with each other that’s important. It’s our 36th St. Valentine’s Day together too.

I love the stories about St. Valentine and the origins of this day. My favorite is one that our Pastor told during Mass yesterday morning back home. Here it is from the History Channel website:

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Spanish Mass at Holy Cross

Last week I attended Mass at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Orlando. I got in just in time for the noon Mass in spanish. It was standing room only. This picture is before it really got crowded. By the time Mass started there were people standing outside who couldn’t get it! It’s not a small church either.

I assume this is a healthy sign. There was a lot more hand clapping, laughing, hand waving and hugging than I care for but I guess that’s the cultural difference between these folks and what I grew up with. The Mass is still the Mass and Jesus is there just the same. I never became fluent in Spanish but that doesn’t mean I didn’t understand what was going on as it relates to the different parts of the Mass and the prayers that were being said.

Looking for Houses in Florida

Hello from Perdido Key, FL. Our family came down to a beach condo late in December and enjoyed Christmas and New Year’s here. After two of our daughters went back to Missouri, Cindy, daughter Chelsea and I stayed here. We’re going back at the end of the month. Now before you think we’re just laying on the beach, we have a good reason. We’ve been house hunting as we hope to relocate to Florida. In fact, we’ve got an offer in on a house right now and are saying our prayers it will be accepted.

While down here we’ve attended Mass at several churches. Yesterday morning we attended Mass at St. Mary’s, pictured here. It’s the only church near us that has a Saturday morning Mass. It’s also one of two churches near where we hope to live.

Florida is my home state and where Cindy grew up. We’ve wanted to make this move for years but waited until our daughters were finished with college. Actually, our middle daughter still has a couple years of grad school in St. Louis to get her doctorate in Physical Therapy. So, our path to holiness may be taking us to Florida soon. I’m thinking positively anyway.