Friday, April 29, 2011

An Experience of the Father’s Love

An Experience of the Father’s Love
“We love because He first loved Us” – John 4:19—


When:  Friday, May 6th at 6pm – Saturday, 
             May 7th at 6pm
Where:   Malvern Retreat House
              315 South Warren Avenue
              Malvern, PA  19355

Cost:  $110 (includes meals and accommodations)

$50 deposit due with registration, refundable before April 6
Remaining $60 due by April 20 (checks payable to Catholic Young Adults of Chester County) There will be a waitlist if retreat is full at the time of registration.

Join the Catholic Young Adults of Chester County (CYACC) as we celebrate
the greatest love of all; the love of God!

as he leads us in a truly transformative retreat.

For more information, please go to or email us at

Friday, April 22, 2011

Everlasting Love

There is a reality series called Mobbed, which features orchestrated and extravagant ways of sharing news with friends or loved ones (all via hidden cameras on the unexpected recipients). My wife and I watched an episode of a young man proposing to his girlfriend. 

A surprise mob of over a thousand dancers and singers, swept her off her feet at a restaurant and swirled around her singing “Everlasting Love” right out into a town square. The crowd parted and her beloved appeared, strode up to her, and on bended knee, proposed. Wow. It got me wondering.... Do the angels do this each time Jesus “proposes” to us in Holy Communion? I think they do. 

St. Bridget had the grace of once seeing the guardian angels of the faithful bowing low as they went up to receive the Eucharist at Mass. I can't wait until the veil is pulled back and we can see His Love come tumbling down. The truth is, it IS happening now. "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not see." (Hebrews 11:1) 

Lord, increase our faith! May our minds, our intellects, our study steer us through to the very edge of what we can know. And then let the wind of Your Spirit lift us beyond that veil. 

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit soars to the contemplation of Truth.
- Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Two Doses of Cuteness

Our little ones continue to amaze and delight us with their little blossoming personalities. Behold their cuteness!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Course that could Change the Course of Your Life!

June 12 - 17, 2011
Quarryville, Pennsylvania
Taught by Bill Donaghy

Has your life, your marriage, your vocation been changed because of the life-giving teaching of Theology of the Body? Have you wanted to dive deeper into a study of TOB by attending our Theology of the Body I course, but just haven't had the chance? Don't miss out on attending our next course, offered June 12-17, 2011 at the Black Rock Retreat Center in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.

This course offers:

Five days of learning and interactive lecture (30 hours of classroom time)
Time for relaxation and networking with other TOB enthusiasts surrounded by 100 acres of beautiful wooded countryside.
Daily Mass, adoration and confession will be available.
For your convenience, round trip shuttle service from the Philadelphia International Airport is available.

John Paul II's Theology of the Body is not only intellectually stimulating. The truths it proclaims are life-changing, especially for those wounded by the lies of our sexually-charged culture. This "Head and Heart" Immersion Course offers both stimulating academic study and seeks to facilitate personal integration of the material, helping students journey from "head to heart."

The Theology of the Body Institute is pleased to offer this one-of-a-kind course in conjunction with the Institute for Priestly Formation and Creighton University. Theology of the Body Institute speaker, Bill Donaghy, will teach this immersion course.

Don't miss this opportunity to join TOB enthusiasts from around the globe! This course won't be offered again until the Fall of 2011, so it will sell out quickly!

What have past participants said about the course?

“I learned that Jesus can transform me into who I was meant to be and that I can help promote a culture of life from learning TOB since now it is a part of me – of who I am.”

“One of my favorite parts of the course was the realism of the week, being the presence of other people who actually desire to learn and live this redemption”

“I am now receiving the Eucharist with a new vision of its significance”

"I came for the "head" studying of theology and philosophy, but I quickly learned why the course has the name it does, "head and heart."

“This course brought my wife and I a new understanding of the sacramentality of our marriage”

“Bill’s teaching style was wonderful – personal and varied through effective use of media, his obvious passion for the material. I enjoyed meeting so many beautiful people from around the world. I loved the retreat atmosphere – daily mass, adoration, confession, that our classroom was a chapel”

Learn More About Bill Donaghy

Bill began working in the fields of mission and evangelization in 1999. Through his previous work with the Pontifical Mission Societies, he has given hundreds of talks on the spirituality of mission to young people, sharing his experiences of missionary work in Haiti, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, as well as parish and young adult ministry in the United States.

In October of 2000, Bill was chosen to represent the United States in a special tribute for the Jubilee of Missionaries in Rome. He was given a simple cross by Pope John Paul II and called by the Holy Father to “bring Jesus back to your country.”  It was this incredible experience that led Bill to begin the Mission Moment; a teaching ministry dedicated to the New Evangelization. Through talks, retreats, and missions, Bill points to the very core of what we believe as Catholics; to the depths of the encounter, communion, and mission that God is calling each of us to in building "a culture of life" and a "civilization of love," in the words of Pope John Paul II. Bill is also heard on Sacred Heart Radio every month on the Sun Rise Morning Show, commenting on the music of our culture as seen through the lens of the Theology of the Body.    

Through collaboration with the Theology of the Body Institute, mentored and trained by Christopher West, Bill speaks widely on Pope John Paul II's groundbreaking teaching on human sexuality. He has spoken in Canada and throughout the United States to a variety of audiences. Bill holds an Associate’s Degree in Visual Arts and received his Bachelors in Philosophy and a Masters in Systematic Theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He teaches theology at Malvern Preparatory School, as well as Immaculata University, and lives outside Philadelphia, PA with his wife and two children.

Early Registration Pricing Deadline: May 9, 2011
Registration Deadline: June 1, 2011 or until sold out
Courses Fill Up Quickly, So Register Today!

Click Here to Register Online
Click Here to Download Registration FormPricing Information can be found on the registration form.

For more information on registering for this course, contact:
Tess Akre, Program Assistant, 215-302-8200 ext. 102
or for information on our Certification Program, contact:
Jen Settle, Certification Course Manager or 215-302-8200 ext. 103

Friday, April 01, 2011

Luke Skywalker and the Spiritual Life

You've heard it said many times, "Seeing is believing." But in the walk of faith, in the realm of the spiritual life (which always envelops and permeates our physical life) the opposite is actually true: "Believing is seeing."

Don't believe me? Stay tuned!

Two weeks ago we heard in Sunday's reading about Abraham's walk of absolute trust. "Go forth to a land that I will show you." In other words, Abraham didn't see it.... yet. And neither do we see this Promised Land... yet. Though we're told the Kingdom of God is among us, and within us, can you put your finger in it? Can you place your hand in its side? Not exactly. But faith can. 

Faith is like Superman's x-ray vision. The only thing blocking its power to "see through" things and events is human pride and self-righteousness. That's our Kryptonite. Our blind spot in the spiritual drive. 

The best things happen when we trust in the dark. When we can't see around the corner. Luke Skywalker closed his eyes before he dropped that photon torpedo that destroyed the Death Star. Elliot closed his eyes and trusted E.T. knew the way home in that classic bike chase, and the two of them suddenly flew over rooftops to freedom just when all seemed lost! Hawkeye's fateful leap through the waterfall into darkness in The Last of the Mohicans seemed utterly foolish but it proved the right thing to do at just the right time. The Indigo Girls sing "It's in our blind trust that Love will find us, just like it has before..."

There is a blind man in this Sunday's gospel. Jesus says it isn't his fault, or his parents fault. As Forrest Gump once said, "It happens." Suffering can blind us, but at the same time, it can give us a deeper vision of life. It's the suffering of the blind man that drew Christ in, after all. Maybe we need to look to those blind spots in our own lives. The tangled webs of our mistakes, the knots of confusion that we can't see a way of unravelling. Don't solutions often come after a good night's sleep.... in darkness? Maybe we should approach these mysteries with eyes closed in faith. The singer-songwriter Nicole Nordeman once sang "Maybe I'd see much better by closing my eyes."

Sometimes it seems God has to do the closing for us to teach us to see in the dark; to see with faith. I don't know why but I've been in the dark and I know it's true. The Pharisees were the only blind people Jesus couldn't cure. They believed they had eyes full of light, full of the Law. Turns out they were full of something else. The problem was their eyes were so full of their own reflection of holiness there was no room for anything else! 

When Luke Skywalker was learning the "Ways of the Force" Obi Wan challenged him to go blind and gave him a helmet. "But with the blast shield down, how am I supposed to see!" he whines. "Trust your feelings Luke! Use the Force!" That's pretty good advice this Lent. But our Master says, "Use your faith!" 

Talking to Your Little Ones About the Big Topic of Sex

A much repeated sentence we hear at our Theology of the Body retreats and courses is "I wish I heard this when I was younger!" ...