Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | December 30, 2007

The end of the year Blog, where I get everyone.

Greetings and welcome to my end of the year celebration where we celebrate what was good, and what was bad during the year. I’m not going to go in chronological order, just in order of whatever I feel like.

In the beginning of the year, there was the Be a Child retreat that I went on with the Newman Club. It was great to have at the beginning of the year to loosen me from my structured methodical ways. Unless you be converted, and become like little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18, 3). It was a great start to the new year. The great thing is that I have in my room a wall of affirmation, of which I can say I look at that wall daily, when things look bleak….(which several times things were bad this year)

I taught Confirmation as well last year. My Confirmation II class went pretty well. I could have done a better job (but I always think that I can do better). There were very few complaints from the students about my teaching style. (I guess the older kids are more mature). I hope they remembered some of what I taught them (and I taught a lot). It was fun teaching with my friend, however the fact that she blackmailed me at the end of the year over that pic (all be it in fun), I’m patiently planning what I’m going to do in return. (Well, once the Patriots lose, I’ll be even).

I taught Confirmation I as well at St. Lorenzo’s Protestant Catholic Church (I’ll explain why I used this title later). Now I was only scheduled to teach one class, but I ended up doing a lot more because there were not people that wanted to be involved. (or were too busy, whatever excuse you want to make). Now I was very difficult teacher who expected a lot from my students. I don’t assume people to be stupid. Stupidity must be proven. And also since they had me before, they should have been used to my teaching style. The problem was the fact that they were trying this module system, and it did not work. I as the teacher tried to put substance in the class since to my knowledge and going through their catechises program, there existed no substance. There ended up being a ton of complaints about the fact that I was “too hard” or “wasn’t fun enough.” and that I was “too serious.” and the fact hat I didn’t compromise the Faith for any reason at all. Now what was asked of me was to go to the Archdiocese training program. (3/4Th’s of it which was heretical), which I went to, got the certificate. for both Youth Ministry and Confirmation. In hopes that next year would go better (I had been used to teaching Math and Physics classes before, and thus my teaching methods were similar to what I have done throughout my life.). So I basically go through all this work for what? To be told that I wasn’t going to be teaching next year, because of the complaints that had been filed against me. (It would have been nice to know that earlier, I wouldn’t of went through the training otherwise). So basically I was kicked out for being an orthodox teacher who upheld the teachings of the Church and teaching in a traditional manner. It really is hard to be Catholic around here.

Amidst the Sacrilege of very few people acknowledging Jesus in the Tabernacle by genuflecting. Another thing that got on my nerves, people just walking straight past the Tabernacle. No acknowledgement of Jesus, a sacrilege in itself. (sacrileges extend beyond just violence against any religion, see CCC for more details). I see very few people showing a sign of respect towards the Eucharist. I almost went nuts looking at the Liturgical Abuses that were going on at that Church.

I made a good friend in Fr H at St. Lorenzo’s who happened to agree with my positions and my methods as well. He is a very orthodox Catholic Priest, if you have to go to St. Lorenzo’s make sure that he’s offering the Mass. We happen to agree on the Latin Mass as well as the teaching methods, and the books that are currently used in Catechises not having enough substance, and being too much on the God is Love portion, and not enough on the fear of God. I felt that I was vindicated by him (I was painted as the villain there, and quite frankly, I am the villain there)

During this year also at St. Lorenzo’s during the Youth Groups, the teachings that were going on were quite Protestant in nature. Talking about the seeking of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (We believe as Catholic Christians that these gifts are given to you at Baptism, but you must develop them through catechises). I blame the Charismatic movement for this. Things went from bad to worse, my good friend who was the Youth Minister who was doing an alright, kind of the balance, keeping me (and 1 other person) as the conservatives there, and keeping the liberals (everyone else) there. When she left, things went into chaos an really started dissenting from Catholic Teaching. I straight out left when things went too far away. Focusing more on working from within the parish setting.

Even though this meeting didn’t happen during the beginning of the year, the meeting with the girl who left the Youth Group at St. Lorenzo’s also gave me vindication for what I was doing, as we talked a lot about the sacrileges and the protestantism of that Church. Funny thing that we both now go to St. Thérèse Catholic Church in Alhambra now. (Guess there’s something good about this place, no?)

I also had the chance to meet Fr. Justin Ramos of the Norbertines. I must say that I wasn’t really considering Monastic Priesthood until I met this order. There is something very attractive about this order. The fact that he agreed with me on the St. Lorenzo incident helped. But also because of the fact that they are very orthodox and faithful to the Magisterium. They also have awesome habits, a cape, a cassock, and hood. I can see myself being a priest in that tradition. The graces that come from being in their presence is amazing. I attended Mass there during Holy Week. The reverence of the community I can still feel. I must say that I am very strongly considering being a priest.

I during my prison sentence (I mean school semester), I met a wonderful woman of God named Monica. The thing that makes her awes me, to find someone young who agrees with the Church in everything, is traditional as well. And even better, she veils, (that’s right women, take note). I think that she’ll be an awesome mun one of these days if that ends up being the case.

I am inspired by one of the High Schoolers at St. Lorenzo. Her name is Marian. She is quite traditional as well (learned about kneeling for Communion from me, lol). She was definitely more on the conservative end, I definitely appreciated the fact that she came to my defense several times. She also wants to be a Youth Minister, and I hope that she does become one, she’ll definitely fix the trend of Protestant parties which Youth Ministry Meetings have become (well, many of them). I am humbled in being her example to follow.

Something else that was interesting was that one of my friends Natalie ended up being on the same page as me when it comes to the Church. We’ve become much closer, and I am quite glad that she sees our friendship as a good thing and relates well to the things that I write and teach.

Of course anyone who is homeless has to find a home eventually, and this I did. I went to St. Thérèse Catholic Church in Alhambra, Ca. I was absolutely amazed by the reverence of the community that was there. Zero liturgical abuses. Kneeling after the Agnus Dei, Communion in the Hand almost a no no. A reverently done Novus Ordo Mass. I also went to their Festival at the Church and won 149 bucks. St. Thérèse happens to be my patron, and the person I prayed to before that event, and I won). I knew then that St. Thérèse was my home to be. And I have been welcomed quite nicely there, participating in the Theology of the Body study group, as well as participating in Adoration. This Church is an absolute blessing on my life and has changed me for the better.

Also I met Father Bishop (a very holy Claretian Priest). He’s also been a very good influence on my life. Inspiring me more to be a priest. Since I go to the EF on Sunday’s now, that also has been a great blessing as well.

The TOB Retreat as mentioned was awesome. The culmination of it. “to enjoy God’s spiritual presence through her.” As it was the purification of heart that I needed. has also been a blessing as well. It is a great website if you want to know anything about what’s going on here in LA.

My New Years’ Resolution:
1. To do more, and to get a better understanding of what Mother Church teaches.
2. To find a job as a YM somewhere.

It has been pretty good 2007 amidst all the trials.

May your new years be blessed and grace full, and don’t forget to go to Mass.

Pax Domini sit semper Vobiscum
Joe of St. Thérèse


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