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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Saturday musings

Well, I'm just fiddling with the computer as I stay up late in anticipation of an extra hour of sleep and thought I'd drop a note about current events.

Today we finished a Day of Recollection. These take place in our house once a month and usually last from Friday through Saturday. A Day of Recollection involves prayer and meditation about different topics. Br. Dominic spoke for this one on the subject of minority and humility. I have to deliver one in December on the subject of prayer. These times are designed to help us arrive at a point of peace during our hectic lives, but sometimes it is difficult when you know you have a mid-term due on Monday and a couple of other papers coming up. In the words of Frank Costanza of Seinfeld - "Serenity now!"

I have discovered some nifty new things for my computer. I am still quite a bit of the "newbie" at all this but I must say that there is a whole lot of interesting stuff out there - and a whole lot of scary stuff as well. Anyway, besides this nice blogging tool I also enjoy my Firefox web browser with nice plugins for the weather and getting up to date news feeds. One day I hope to really blog with controversial opinions and all that, but I have found that there is already a whole lot of that going on out there and perhaps I should refrain from raising the noise level.

I also have a tool that allows me to post web information as I find it on this blog. I'll have to try it when I find something fitting.

Halloween is officially celebrated tomorrow. We bought candy, but don't expect any trick or treaters. This is generally quite acceptable to us, because it means that then we get to eat all of the candy.

Peace and good

Sunday, October 24, 2004

This is an icon of my patron saint Seraphim of Sarov surrounded by images from his life. Posted by Hello

Week in Review

Well, its been a pretty uneventful week. I think all this schoolwork is keeping me from more exciting things. Not to say that I do work all the time, I regulary take time off to play "spider solitaire" on the computer or a variety of free games via Yahoo. [Shameless plug #1] School work and religious life is continuing pretty good. I have begun going to spiritual direction with a local Ukrainian Catholic priest. I decided that after all these years it was about time. I have only met once, but I think it will be good for my overall spiritual development.

I am also continuing to work on my "At-home retreat" for married couples. I thought I would drop some info that might be helpful for those of you with children [shameless plug #2 and #3]. For those with children between 8 and 12, you might look at a subscription to "Magnifikid!" at This is a monthly magazine with games and spiritual information as well as a copy of the Mass, so kids can follow along. There are special things for each week of the liturgical year. I am more familiar with their magazine "Magnificat" which is available at the same address. Magnificat is an excellent spiritual resource for the busy Catholic including sections of spiritual reading and the scripture readings throughout the Month as well as simple morning and evening prayer. Both publications get two thumbs up. I have also stumbled upon a book by Bert Ghezzi called "Keeping Your Kids Catholic" which is a collection of good articles about bringing the faith to children from the very young to teenagers.

I wish you all blessings

Monday, October 18, 2004

Start of another week

Spent the weekend mowing the lawn [about an hour and a half] and doing homework. We celebrated Gregory's birthday today. He had alfredo pasta with shrimp and scallops. I did not partake of this after having discovered a possible food allergy to shell fish a couple of years ago. So, I got to eat quiche. I remember a book about real men and quiche a couple of years back, but I can't remember if it had anything to say about Franciscans.

Tomorrow we are having pictures taken for Franciscan promotional literature. We are also supposed to say something about ourselves for inclusion in various pamphlets. I think I will say something along the lines of - "My name is Br. Seraphim Beshoner. I'm a virgo and I like French films and long walks along the beach. My turn-ons are religious imagery and fig newtons. Seeking someone for spiritually fulfilling relationship. No pets." What do you think?

Friday, October 15, 2004

This is me professing final vows into the hands of our provincial, Father Christian Oravec. My new superior Fr. Nicholas Polichnowski is on his left. Fr. Peter Lyons is on Fr. Christian's right. Posted by Hello

Weekend again

Fall is coming to DC and we as of yet do not have heat. We actually have to hire someone to come and turn our heat on and off every year and they usually wait until Indian Summer to turn off the air conditioning and turn on the heat so as to ensure we are as uncomfortable as possible.

I will be spending the weekend working on midsemester papers and, time permitting, I will mow the lawn. It takes about two hours to mow, so it is not too bad.

Classes continue to be rather bland and more busy work than providing actual feelings of accomplishment. I am really ready to be finished with all of this, especially after having done teaching last year. One day at a time, I guess. One of my classes is asking me to collect tales of people's experiences with the sacrament of confesson, why people do or do not celebrate the sacrament and whether they experience it as a time of prayer. If anyone wishes to respond to these questions, drop me an e-mail.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Columbus Day

No school today because of the holiday, so I spent the day doing homework for my class on Marriage. Homework consisted of analyzing a fictitious problematic marriage and identifying what Canons from the Code of Canon Law might be used to justify an annulment. These kind of exercises are somewhat frustrating because our instructor has memorized all 2000+ Canons and no matter how many I find, he always locates one or two obscure ones that are right on point. Oh well.


Monday, October 11, 2004

Spring teaching at Franciscan University. As you can see, I'm a softy for teaching outside. I didn't know this picture was being taken. Now it's in the Franciscan promotional literature. I guess I won't be able to escape doing this again in the future. Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Weekend Update

Well, it has been a pretty even routine the past couple of days. I have been given the responsibility of maintaining our 1993 Saturn and took it in for an oil change today. It is not the best running of our cars, but does have a moon roof - so I guess you take what you can get.

Other than that, I am keeping myself busy with homework both in class and outside of it. In the interest of full disclosure, I am also wasting time watching the Simpsons, Futurama, and the Family Guy. Perhaps this is not the expected viewing fare of a religious, but I gotta be me.


Monday, October 04, 2004

Celebrating the Transitus

Today we celebrated the feast day of our founder St. Francis. Perhaps some of you got your pets blessed today. We, of course, have no pets - nor did we do any blessing. Instead we began our celebration last night with the Transitus service at the nearby Monastery of the Franciscans of the Holy Land [you may have read about them recently fighting with the Orthodox at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in a prime example of the spirit of ecumenism]. The Transitus is a service commemorating the passing of Saint Francis into eternal life and consists mostly of evening prayer as well as the retelling of Francis' death. This was followed by a reception, but I got there too late and most of the food was gone. I must say that for a community that prides itself on poverty, we can sure eat a lot.

Today we began our day with a celebratory Mass. Monday's are busy days for everyone, so we are going to have our own big house meal on Sunday when everyone can attend. Think of it somewhat like moving Ascension Thursday to Sunday. Unfortunately, we didn't get class off today - despite the fact that my professors are both Franciscan.

Meanwhile our house is slowly falling apart with leaks and other things falling into disrepair. We are seriously contemplating moving into the nearby bishops residence if anything else happens. Tomorrow I begin training for the deaconate at the seminary for the Dominicans here in DC. This should prepare me for saying such important parts of the Mass as "Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing," in an appropriately authoritative voice.

Wishing you the peace of Francis

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Bulbs Ahoy

Just returned from spending Friday and Saturday up in the motherland of Loretto. A large group of us were sent to plant 1500 daffodil bulbs. About fourteen of us worked doing the planting and it took a lot less time than I expected, only about 2 and a half hours. While heavy rain had been forecast and I even picked up a nice shiny poncho at the dollar store, the rain held off until after we finished all our diggin' and plantin'. One of the new postulants did grounds work in an earlier life and told us that a private company would charge about $6000 for the work we did, I'm thinking about asking for a raise.

Brs. Timothy and Sean were instituted into the ministry of Lector or Reader. This is not part of our movement to stamp out illiteracy, but is a ministerial position giving them the ecclesiastical right to read from the lectionary at any Catholic Church. While anyone can be given the ministry of lector, a particular parish generally only commissions someone to read at their particular parish. In the spring the two brothers will be instituted into the ministry of Acolyte, which means that they can serve as Eucharistic Ministers in any Catholic Church. Both of these ministries are all that remains of the minor orders which used to also include the office of Porter [the person in charge of the doors and ringing the bells], and the office of Exorcist [which included casting off devils and pouring the water of purification over the priests hands during Mass]. There are also the major orders of Deacon and Priest, but no longer the major order of Sub-Deacon. For those who are curious, I am currently an Acolyte.

Seeking an exorcist for the Notre Dame football team after that Purdue game.