The Trail Less Traveled!

Photo By:
Evan Siegle/Green Bay Press-Gazette

It seemed as though every path on the Saint Norbert College campus was travelled quite heavily yesterday, with all roads leading to the Schuldes Sports Center for the Baccalaureate Mass at 9:30 AM and the Graduation Exercises at 1:30 PM. As in years past, the highpoint of the day came immediately after the recessional out of the gym at approximately 3:30PM yesterday -- the conclusion of the commencement would offer so many of us a chance to meet up with the graduates and their parents, siblings and relatives. These are bittersweet moments for sure; it seems like just yesterday that I was meeting up with these families for the first time, back at their freshman orientation just four years ago. It is a reminder that in just four weeks or so, we'll do it all over again as we welcome to the college the SNC Class of 2013! No wonder I was fast asleep by 9:00 PM!

The path I traveled this morning after Lauds was much less populated than the scene above; in fact, I only encountered one other walker on the journey. Switching outfits from what you see above to something much more conducive to running, I was surprised by how much I actually was able to run the trail instead of simply jogging, walking or crawling! That usually does not happen on day one! Perhaps that's because I was plugged into a pretty decent podcast, a nice yet deliberate distraction from running. Here's the scoop:

Lately I've been tuned into "The Catholic Channel" on Sirius XM Radio -- the satellite radio that came as a standard feature in the car that the Order purchased for my use back in 2004. I've become hooked on several radio programs, so I have continued the subscription at a surprisingly very low cost. The Catholic Channel was founded in 2006 by Edward Cardinal Egan and is offered by the Archdiocese of New York with cooperation of the USCCB -- this channel has become one of my favorites. I look forward to getting into the car whenever possible just to be exposed to a healthy, humorous and holy look at the issues facing the Church today.

I've really enjoyed Gus Lloyd's program, in particular. Unfortunately, though, his program is on at a time that I'm engaged in Morning Prayer -- and now that it's summer, off to the trail immediately after Lauds. However, I did purchase his 6 CD set on Apologetics -- exploring why-we-do-what-we-do when it comes to the Holy Eucharist, the Sacraments, Mary, Peter & the Popes, Confession and Salvation. This stuff is pure gold! In fact, I played Gus' CD on 'Confession' on the occasion of the last "Dead Theologians Society" that met in my office two Monday nights ago. Gus' presentations are all Biblically based and are presented with such clarity that I feel on fire for the Catholic faith every time I play the presentations on my ipod. ....And if it makes the running a bit more successful, a little less burdensome, all the better!

I appreciate the wisdom I hear not only from Gus, but from the vast variety of programs offered on The Catholic Channel. It is helpful in my ministry because unlike the average Catholic priest or pastor, my ministry extends to people from all sorts of religious backgrounds including the students here at the college, the inmates at GBCI and the Packers. I will continue to maintain what I feel is a healthy approach, that among the religions, 'we have more in common than in difference.' Yet, there are differences in our faith perspectives, and I feel it is useful not only for myself, but for others to embody and communicate our love for the Church and knowledge of our teachings with the same passion that others do. It is not my intention to 'take others on' about their faith, as I have received from others who are excited about their faith perspective and curious about ours. But it is an opportunity to fall in love with the Church and its sacramental life all over again.

So I'll be hitting the trail again later today. I suspect there will be more trailblazers tonight after people return home from work. Tonight it will no doubt become 'a trail more travelled.' I'll be taking Gus along with me -- and then perhaps a little Coldplay, One Republic and the Last Good Night as well. It will keep the fires burning, hopefully. So, off to 'Happy Trails' once again!


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