Faith in Action Blog

Faith in Action Blog

Br. Andrew James DeSilva (’03) and his WYC crew

In the Catholic Business Journal, Br. Andrew James DeSilva (’03) tells about his adventures of chaperoning 24 college students on a trip to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day. A member of the Community of St. John, Br. Andrew James describes the pilgrimage as having three dimensions: “Service, Formation, and Pope.” The students, who mostly hailed from Seton Hall University, spent time serving the poor with the Missionaries of Charity, being formed through daily Mass and morning and night prayer, and seeing Pope Francis up close when he paid a surprise visit to the slum where they were working.

The students he brought to Rio, says Br. Andrew James, were from “very different faith levels,” yet all no doubt grew in holiness through the experience. The Holy Father, he adds, has a gift for reaching the hearts of young people:

“Pope Francis understands the thirst of our youth for an Absolute, helping them find a Name for what it is that they are searching for; giving them a direction for their journey beyond normalcy. This World Youth Day (as they all are) was an experience of the Church. A young Church who is excited, and ready to take up the challenge given to them by Jesus in the Gospel: ‘If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’”


The Valenti FamilyThe last time this blog mentioned Mary Rose (Bacani ’93) Valenti, it was to report that the veteran TV producer and host was hanging up her microphone to become a fulltime mother. Now, less than two years later, we have an insight into what Mrs. Valenti’s new life is like, thanks to a column she has written for Fathers for Good, an initiative sponsored by the Knights of Columbus:

“I had traveled to different parts of the world as a television producer — from North America to Australia, from Europe to the Middle East. In my new job as a stay-at-home mom, the farthest I have to travel is from the kitchen to the bedroom and back. My previous job entailed interviewing high-profile people. Today, I am the one interrogated by a two-and-a-half year old toddler.…

“The heart of what I did professionally and what I loved about my work was telling stories. Ironically, I’ve never been pressured as much as I am pressured now by my child to come up with stories. Where are the earthworms hiding today? Did the bubble get hurt when it popped? I am doing what I love — learning, teaching, studying, storytelling, and being and being loved for just being.”

Be sure to read the whole delightful story, and look out for more. Mrs. Valenti will be writing three more columns for the Fathers for Good site over the course of the month.


The Bossy BoulderIf you are in Southern California, be sure to come this weekend to a book-signing party for The Bossy Boulder, the first children’s book by self-styled artist, poet, and philosopher Monica Estill (’98). The book tells the tale of a boulder who sits atop a mountain and — he thinks — the world, until time and change humble him. It is a story of how, only in becoming small, one can achieve true greatness.

The book’s inspiration goes back to Monica’s student days when, she says, she would hike in the foothills and mountains around Thomas Aquinas College, contemplating the works of Aristotle and St. Thomas that she was reading in class. She is hopeful, she says, that the book contains truth — truth about nature that people can see — and as such will help readers to see that there is also truth about human nature and how to live happily. Her wish is for The Bossy Boulder to help change hearts and bring people to God.

Book-Signing Information
When: September 8 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: 1272 Rice Road in Ojai

If you are unable to make the party, copies of the book (in print and Kindle editions) can be obtained either via Amazon, and signed copies can be ordered by e-mailing the author directly.

“One day he realized something important. ‘I am only a stone! I am only a stone!’ As he thought about this, the boulder began to be filled with joy.”

 


Rosie Grimm ('10)From her mother, Rose (Teichert ’76):

“Two weeks have passed since we received that awful prognosis, and to our great joy Rosie has been able to attend Mass with us, in her wheelchair, both yesterday and today. We do not believe that anything underlying has changed. But whether due to steroids and chemo or prayers (probably all three!), her most painful symptoms have subsided. She has increasing weakness, mostly on her left side but somewhat also on her right ... nevertheless, she is able to transfer to her wheelchair and to have some real fun with her visitors. The last two weeks have actually had a great deal of joy in them, both for Rosie and for us.

“So we continue to thank you all for your prayers and other help — we have received so much kindness — beautiful meals, lovely cards, lovely visits. Rosie and all of us are praying for your intentions.”

Thanks be to God! And please keep praying …

 

 


Conor Bopp ('12)Following the recent news that Derek Remus (’11) has entered the seminary comes word that another recent graduate is doing the same: Conor Bopp (’12) is a first-year student at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, where he is studying for the Diocese of Omaha. On the diocesan website, Mr. Bopp writes:

“[Thomas Aquinas College] was something of a Catholic immersion program for me: my family and previous schooling had provided a basic understanding and love for God and the Church, but at the College I was thrown headlong into studies of Augustine, Aquinas, and Aristotle; discussions on ethics, predestination, and the miraculous Sacraments; and, for the first time in my life, I could attend daily Mass, in either the Novus Ordo or Tridentine forms. All of this disposed me toward hearing God’s call in my junior year.”

Perhaps while at Kenrick-Glennon, Mr. Bopp will reunite with his onetime tutor at the College, Dr. John Finley (’99), who now teaches philosophy at the seminary.

Please keep Mr. Bopp in your prayers as he faithfully answers God’s call!
 

 


Derek Remus ('11)“Certainly coming to the College has helped me in my vocation discernment,” remarked Derek Remus at the time of his graduation in 2011. “Studying St. Thomas, philosophy, and theology has increased my love of the intellectual life and has made me think more about a kind of teaching and preaching vocation in the priesthood.” After graduation, his plan was to spend some time retiring student debt and further discerning his vocation.

On Monday, just two year since his graduation, Mr. Remus will be taking the next step in answering God’s call. “I will be entering St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as a seminarian for the Diocese of Calgary,” he writes.

Thanks be to God! Please join us in praying for Mr. Remus, his new life as a seminarian, and his continued discernment.


Rosie Grimm ('10)The latest news from her sister Wendy-Irene Grimm (’99):

We have hard news about Rosie. After going to the hospital, Rosie had several MRIs, which indicate that the tumor has grown aggressively throughout her body in the last few months. As I understand it, it is up and down her spine, and I believe in other places as well. Because of this the doctor thinks it highly unlikely that chemotherapy will be effective, and Rosie (and all of us) should prepare ourselves for the worst. The first doctor has estimated that Rosie may die in as little as two weeks.

Since we heard the news all my siblings have been returning home, and I hope we will soon all be together. Rosie will hopefully be coming home today and a nurse will be caring for her in our house rather than a hospital. She’s also continuing some treatment in the hope that things may be more positive than they seem. Rosie has been incredibly strong these last two years, and even now, when she is in almost constant pain, she’s still thinking about others. Please offer up your prayers for her that whatever the outcome she will not suffer and be able to remain as comfortable as possible in the next few weeks. My brother Bill and sister-in-law Margaret are expecting their baby (Rosie’s godson) at the end of the month, and I know Rosie deeply wants to see him. Thank you all so much for your prayers and please continue with them! I have no doubt that a huge source of Rosie’s strength has arisen from the constant prayer of so many friends and family members. God Bless You.

Friends across the country prayed a Chaplet of Divine Mercy for Rosie on Sunday at 3 p.m., the Hour of Mercy. Her family asks that we continue to pray this devotion, particularly during the 3 p.m. hour:

Our Lord told St. Faustina that “At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same” (Diary, 811).

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless, and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor grow despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to your holy will, which is love and mercy itself. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Apostles’ Creed

On the big beads of a Rosary:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and for those of the whole world.

On the small beads:
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

At the end:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


… about another alumna sister!

Sr. Anne Therese of the Child Jesus (’02)

Sarah Kaiser (’02) made her first profession of vows in the Carmel of Our Mother of Mercy and St. Joseph, Alexandria, S.D., on July 26, the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne. Her name in religion is Sr. Anne Therese of the Child Jesus.

Sr. Anne Therese of the Child Jesus (’02)

Sr. Anne Therese requests prayers for perseverance in her vocation and promises to return the favor.

 


Rosie Grimm ('10)The latest news from Rosie Grimm (’10): “My cancer is growing, and I can tell it’s interfering with the use of my left arm,” she writes. As a result, she has had to leave her clinical trial, and is starting a new chemotherapy treatment. She was also hospitalized today due to severe pain, and she has insurance issues that need to be resolved. “Please pray about that and for me to have the energy to do the things I should do. At the moment I’m pretty wiped out.”

Her sister Wendy-Irene Zepeda (’99) writes:

“We’ll be praying specially for her in the Rosary Novena [from the Feast of the Assumption to the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7]. If you can join in, even with just a decade or an Our Father and Hail Mary, that would great. (And we’ll be praying with you for your intentions, as well. Many, many thanks for your prayers. I don’t know what we’d do without them.”

Please join us in prayer!


August 09,
2013

Sr. Juan Jose (Elisabeth Sedler '11)Less than a year after entering the postulancy for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Elisabeth Sedler (’09) formally entered the novitiate on August 1, 2013. Along with 15 other women, Miss Sedler — now Sr. Juan Jose — received the Dominican habit at the  community’s motherhouse in Ann Arbor, Mich. She takes her religious name from St. Juan Diego and Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, a 14-year-old Christero martyr. Sr. Juan Jose is the fourth alumna of the College to join the Sisters of Mary, whose superior general, Mother Mary Assumpta Long, O.P., was the College’s 2012 Commencement Speaker.

Deo Gratias!