Challenge accepted

Rizzachill suggested challenging ourselves to resume writing on a daily basis. So, being a goer, here I am.

Let’s be honest, my writing isn’t what one would call compelling, or even interesting really. But that’s ok. This is really for me to attempt to exercise a little creativity. Very little as the case may be.
You can expect posts about roller derby, role-playing games, television, the Winnipeg Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, and whatever other randomness strikes me.


Full disclosure, I’m starting a few days late so these first couple posts are being backdated. Hey, at least I’m honest about my cheating.


Vindication and apology due

This story is years late in the telling.

Throughout my 20s, I had in my circle(s) of friends, numerous supporters/advocates of the LIFE TEEN program.
I was not one of these supporters.

LIFE TEEN was (is?) a youth program centered around the celebration of the Mass. Typically, a parish would identify one weekend Mass, usually Sunday night, as a LIFE TEEN or ‘youth’ Mass which would be followed by the LIFE Night (youth group meeting). At the Mass, the homily, music, and pretty much everything else was prepared with an eye towards appealing to and connecting with teenagers. So, for example, the music was often led by a band and the songs that were selected would, as many times as not, come from hits on Contemporary Christian Radio. Teens would fill all the ministerial roles (except presider), regardless of their ability to do well at that role. During the Eucharistic Prayer, teens (and only teens) would be invited to come up around the altar, presumably to help them feel closer to Christ. Because as we all know, proximity equals depth of spiritual and emotional connection. At the end of Mass, LIFE TEEN replaced the dismissal text, “The Mass is ended, go in Peace.” with “The Mass never ends, it must be lived.” Frequently, hand gestures were proscribed to accompany some of the ritual music or other moments in the Mass. And there were, perhaps, many other local flavors to the way a LIFE TEEN Mass was done.

Well, I alone among my friends did not approve of all these things that were being done, starting with the very concept of a ‘youth’ Mass. I believe that all Masses are for all people. To single out a group and make a Mass (especially a weekly Mass) focus on or dedicated to that group denies the universality of Mass. Supporters of these things will say that separate but equal is sufficient; as long as everybody has a Mass that they can go to, we can carve out one for that most vulnerable of groups, teens. I have also heard, many times, that this or that parish has several Masses for adults, what’s wrong with having just this one for teens? My position, of course, is that those other Masses aren’t just for adults, they’re for everybody.

Although I didn’t have a particular objection to people going up into the sanctuary for the Eucharistic Prayer, I felt it was wrong to only invite some of the people who’d gathered for Mass. Because, you see, most of the people in attendance were not teens but adults, the parents and supporters of teens. Ignoring the majority of the gathered faithful was a recurring theme at LIFE TEEN Masses. I remember attending the very first LIFE TEEN Mass at St. Anthony’s in Manteca, CA. The presider had what must have seemed like a clever way of resetting the room for Communion. Following the Eucharistic Prayer, to clear the sanctuary, the priest invited the assembled teens to exchange with one another a sign of peace, and then to go back out to the pews to exchange a sign of peace with everyone else. I and the rest of the adults there for Mass weren’t invited to exchange a sign of peace; we were an afterthought, a prop to get the teens back away from the altar.

Anyway, my friends had no issues with any of this. As long as we were doing everything we could think of to coddle and cater to the little darlings (teens), we could do no wrong. No such thing as abuse in service to the greater good. We would often argue about the legitimacy of the practices of LIFE TEEN. I was always alone on my side of the issue whereas supporters of LIFE TEEN would close ranks against me.

Then, in 2004, LIFE TEEN, the formal organization, was called to task by bishops and other officials in the Church. They were to stop calling teens up around the altar and saying, “The Mass never ends…” at the end of Mass. So we have at least a partial correction, one which eliminates the most visible of the abuses.

I think these friends of mine owe me an apology.


I don’t even know if LIFE TEEN is really around any more or if it retains any of the cachet that it seemed to have 15 years ago. The lasting effect for me is that I feel like my friendships really suffered. I was never part of the “in” crowd. I was aware that my friends often gathered to celebrate and share their faith, but I was seldom invited. I suppose I needed different friends. As a result of moving (and possibly something that led to me moving), I am not friends with any of these people any more. I wish things could have been different because many of them are great people.

As is typical for me, the impetus to write this up and post it has evaporated as a result of writing it. Cathartic I suppose. Nevertheless, I’ll post it as a record and reminder of what I was feeling and thinking.


A song that we used to sing that helped me get through some of the times of strained relationships is Press On (written by Bob Filoramo).

For the man who follows Jesus all the days of his life, picks up his cross and walks with his God, a glorious inheritance awaits him at the end where he will see and know his true Father, and the pearl of great price is in his hand.

So as for me I will press on in running the race with my eyes fixed on Jesus who inspires and perfects my faith, I will fight the good fight with all my heart and soul ‘til the day that I’m with Jesus, the day I’m finally home, the day that I have won the crown.

He will approach the throne of his Father with Jesus at his side, the Father will rise and say, “Welcome home! You’re a good and faithful servant, come in and take your reward. The battle’s done come, and take your rest. Stay with me for evermore”.


And the heavens will resound with a thunder of praise, the Angels and the Saints will shout for joy. And the Father will dance for his son has come home. Another warrior returns from the fight. Another victory for the Lamb of God.



Why even start?

So I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately and watching several video podcasts. I’ve really enjoyed one in particular. That’s the Women of Warcraft video podcast. The host, Molly, is delightfully quirky and playful and I just love her personality. I think it’s a lot like mine so of course I’m drawn to it. She’s cute too.

Anyway, she has, over the course of several episodes, mentioned a few web services like Twitter and Lijit. So I signed up on both of those and it made me think that I should have a blog. Why not? I have something to say. I’m interesting, damn it!

So here I go.

But, reality check. Let’s be honest. I’m not much into writing and my interest and enthusiasm for things tends to wane over time. So who knows how often or how long I will try to do this.

But today, I’m into it.

What will be incredibly compelling and endlessly facinating is if someone actually reads what I post. If you are reading this, for the love of God, let me know. A simple, “Read your blog” email will floor me.

*Next time: A bit about who I am.


Why blog?

Why not? I’m inspired by a blog I was rereading from a year ago. It was “I found some of your life” and it was quite funny. This will not be funny. This will be mopey and melancholic. I’ll probably get get bored in a few weeks and never post again. If it takes that long.

I want to say that I really miss living with Letitia. There were things about it that sucked but it provided a lot of security. I’m very unsettled these days. I keep wondering when I’ll get back to feeling alright. (Nod to Joe Cocker.) That’s us on the right. Letitia, I miss you. I miss us.

Enough for today? Yeah, I think so.