It has been an incredible year of diverse experiences – some of them educational, some recreational, most of them spiritual, and all of them bringing me to new horizons. I pray this finds you in good spirits and blessed, as we are in preparation for the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In December I completed my third full year of seminary at St. Meinrad. It has been a wonderful time of formation and discernment. I have grown so much spiritually, educationally, and in my understanding of the Church, my role as a Christian, and God’s will for my life. It is through this time of discernment that God is leading me out of the path to priesthood and back into the world as a lay Catholic. God has truly blessed, molded and shaped me in these last three years to have a deeper understanding of walking in His will and serving His Church and His people in the way He would have me do so. It is quite a change and has taken a little getting used to the fact that I will not be pursuing ordination as a priest. We don’t always understand God’s methods, but I can see in my life that these last three years were exactly what I needed to bring me to the next step in my walk with Christ.
I have now accumulated 99 hours of credits – plenty for two Masters degrees from St. Meinrad: one a Master of Arts in Catholic Thought and Life and the other a Master of Theological Studies. I must only complete the final papers over the next few months/years to obtain the degrees, so I am beginning that process now. I have also been working around the Tulsa Diocese in various ministries like substitute teaching, youth talks, music ministry, even some website development. The Bishop and the priests of the Diocese have been very supportive as my discernment has continued for my next step in life.
This brings me to my most recent piece of news. On Friday, February 22nd, I was offered and accepted the Volunteer Coordinator position within Catholic Charities of the Tulsa Diocese. I start this Monday (February 25th) and am so excited to be able to use both my ministry formation and business background in this unique role within the organization. Catholic Charities is at a point of transition as we build a new campus to house most of the multiple ministries that are now scattered literally all over Tulsa. This is a very new position so I will be growing and developing it as we go. The new Executive Director is a good friend of mine and I look very much forward to working with him and the rest of the staff as we attempt to follow God’s will for this worthy organization. If you care to visit the website it is http://www.catholiccharitiestulsa.org. It needs some updating (which I will also be involved with) so be patient. I ask for your prayers for me and for all those who are and will be involved in this process.
I am also working with a group of musicians to do more music, both in a church/ministry setting and in the secular world. We call ourselves Miles Christi Rock and Blues Review. To the normal person that has no real meaning it’s just a cool name. But to the faithful “Miles Christi” is Latin for “Soldier of Christ”. We thought we might just do a little evangelizing while we are out there. The band is composed of 2 Catholics (the other is a permanent deacon candidate for the Tulsa Diocese) and 2 non-denominational/evangelicals. We have some good theological/philosophical discussions and are able to reach a broad range of people since we have so many varied contacts. You can learn more and hear a demo at http://www.myspace.com/mileschristiband.
I appreciate your prayers and support more than you know. I will keep you posted on other developments as they happen.