Monday, March 26, 2007

Interfaith Seder Meal

Rabbi Nudell, a Rabbi at the Conservative Synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, has invited Union Catholic students to the Interfaith Seder for the 13th year in a row. It wasn't until I met Rabbi Nudell that I had ever entered a synagogue or participated in a Seder Meal. What a good friend and a great man of God. I had been to Israel three times before I had contacted the synagogue, which I pass everyday on my way teach, and what a nice relationship we have had. Jewish Catholic relations has certainly come along way since Vatican 2, and allowing interaction between Jewish and Catholic students will hopefully go a long way in creating an atmosphere of respect between our faiths. In other countries people are killing each other over there religious beliefs so at least this small act of two religious communities existing side by side as friends will be a good witness. I can honestly say that I feel more 'akin' to Rabbi Nudell for his reverence for the Torah and religious tradition than some people from my own religious tradition. While we have obvious disagreements on the person of Jesus, St. James and Jesus himself said that faith without deeds is dead and for that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Rabbi Nudell. Some of my students are looking on as he uses a 'yad', a pointer, to chant from an ancient Torah scroll. As we ended our visit I asked him to give us a blessing in Hebrew which he did beautifully. It's one thing to hear the Passover and Jewish worship explained by Christians but another thing to experience through Jews eyes.
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Thursday, March 08, 2007

USCCB Interview

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by the USCCB Radio Program called 'Catholic Bookmarks' about Jesus in the House:Gospel Reflections on Christ's Presence in the Home which you can listen to if you follow the link below. Amber Dolle, my sister in law and publicist is doing a FANTASTIC job of sending out media kits and lining up Radio and newspaper interviews for which I am very appreciative.
It is one thing to write a book but quite another thing to promote it and get it 'out there' so that people will know about it. It causes me to be very thankful for the support of family and friends who help in this endeavor. But it remains true that what touches one person touches a family-so-thatnks to those who have helped me which in turn helps my family. I am constantly impressed by Michael St. Pierre, and his ability to bring the professional corporate passion into the field of Ministry. His experience in ministry is broad and deep and he has the ability to see the big picture. Check out his web page for his Life Coaching expertise and active blog.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I had the chance to reconnect with Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D, Bishop of Paterson, NJ the other month at the Gala Fundraiser for Assumption College for Sisters in Mendham, NJ where about 35 Religious Sisters from around the globe are educated. Father Serratelli was my scripture professor at Immaculate Conception Seminary before being elevated to Bishop. I remember driving home very excited after most classes because of the way he could draw out the details of various parables and apply them to everyday life. In the acknowledgements in my latest book; Jesus in the House, I thank him for drawing me closer to Christ through knowledge and love of Jesus through the scriptures. 'Let the word of Christ, rich as it is, dwell in your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" In addition to Bishop Serratelli I would be remiss if I failed to mention Msgr. Turro who, through simplicity and insight was also an inspiring professor. It's funny that he and I both instruct the Missionary of Charity Sisters (Contemplative Branch) in Plainfield, NJ.

Union Catholic Senior Retreat

There is nothing quite like the Senior Retreat at UC. It's voluntary and about 65 seniors took advantage to be with there friends and committed faculty to and look back at their 4 years at UC and to look ahead at what lies before them. The fears that gripped them as incoming freshman were looked at and laughed at but some of those fears resurface as they leave UC to hopefully greener pastures.
One of the favorite activities was to look at favorite TV show freshman year and their favorite show senior year. Biggest fear as freshman and biggest fear now. Relationship with God as a freshman and where that relationship is now. As the students reflect on their lives and 4 years of High School it's good to see how much they've grown and to be a small part of their journey. Their enthusiasm, care for friends and faith is still inspiring after all these years.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Excellent CD from Bob Filoramo

Bob Filoramo has an excellent CD out called My Beacon of Hope. Bob can be reached at and you can even sample his music-all written and performed by him at his website. Mr. Filoramo has been leading worship at Our Lady of Peace for a number of years and I recently had the chance to see him in action at the Catholic Men's Rally at St. Veronica's in Howell Township. It's one thing to be able to play and sing but another to 'sense the Spirit' and lead the crowd in prayerful song. Bob does both well. Visit his site and 'hear' for yourself.