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May. 16, 2015

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Inspired by the Holy Spirit, our Dominican mission and the call of Pope Benedict XVI to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ through new media, preachingfriars.org focuses on spreading the Gospel through videos, preaching, and theological discourse.

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Jun. 30
2015
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My first full week in Bogota began with a bang- the Feast of Corpus Christi. This was a two day celebration here- Sunday was the religious holiday, and Monday was the government holiday, which shut the town down.

Sunday morning, we had Office of Readings and Lauds at 7am, and then Mass at noon. After morning prayer, I took advantage of an event called “Ciclovia Bogota” which has been going on since 1974. This event shuts down the major thorough-way through Bogota to automobiles every Sunday morning from 7am to 2pm. This creates a 125 km route (about 77 miles) for walking, biking, running, rollerblading, and skateboarding. The route is quite nice and took me past a number of Catholic churches, parks and the Archdiocesan seminary.

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Tags: Cathedral Primada, colombia, Museum of Gold, Social Justice Summer
Jun. 24
2015
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On Wednesday morning we drove out of the capital sprawl of Ouagadougou for a bumpy three hour drive to Kaya. The first thing that struck me was the absolute poverty of the land. I grew up in Illinois, a state which is home to some of the most fertile land on the planet Earth. Instead of fields of corn and forests, the Burkina countryside was littered with shriveled attempts at greenery and cows thinned to their ribcages. Simply put, the nation of Burkina Faso does not have the resources to adequately feed the people within its borders.

 

This makes for an interesting case study when we consider what the Church can offer to the environment efforts and debates today. I’m reminded of a point Paul Virilio makes in his book Negative Horizons when he discusses the necessity of viewing an object from a variety of angles to ascertain the reality of the object being viewed. As Pope Francis repeatedly stresses in the first two major...

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Tags: burkina faso, crs, Evangelii Gaudium, laudato si, Pope Francis, poverty, TravelingFriars
Jun. 23
2015
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¡Saludos desde Bogotá​, Colombia!

 

Greetings from Bogota, Colombia!

I arrived in Bogota, Colombia on June 3 and was warmly greeted at the airport by two Dominican students who insisted that I try “Colombian hamburgers.” I was skeptical at first, but did find the food at “El Corral” quite good. I would categorize this Colombian chain as a higher end fast-food restaurant, similar to a Fuddruckers or a Culvers (minus the custard).

The front of the convent and chapel. (Courtesy of conventosantodomingo.com.co)

I was then brought to St. Dominic's Priory in northern Bogota (El Convento de...

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Tags: bogota, colombia, Santo Domingo, Social Justice Summer
Jun. 16
2015
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The first day of class

 

A week ago this Monday the Convent of the Most Holy Rosary, the location of the House of Studies in the Vietnamese Province, underwent a huge change. Not only did the English classes start for 31 of the student brothers in Vietnam but everything (well not everything—the signs are still in Vietnamese) has been changed into English. As a part of trying to help the brothers integrate English into their lives the entire Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and prayers at the dinner table are being done in English. For the first ten days in Vietnam Br. Patrick and I listened to everything being done in Vietnamese. After a couple days of being in the convent (what would call a priory in the US) we caught on to what was happening. About ten days ago...

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Tags: English, teaching, TravelingFriars, Vietnam
Jun. 11
2015
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Motorbike transit!

Our first Sunday in Saigon was one of the most incredible days of my life! It will be one I will never forget.

 

During breakfast I was told by one of the brothers I would be going out for the day with Br. Du (pronounced "You"). During our time here, we will be working every day except Sunday where one of the brothers will be taking us out to see Vietnam. I had met Br. Du my first full day in Vietnam and he and I had chatted for a little bit. I was told I would go with him to the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica and then afterwards Brs. Patrick and Huy would join us for lunch at Br. Du's grandmother's house. When I asked how we would be going there I was told we would be going by motorbike. One thing to mention is...

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Tags: motorbike, TravelingFriars, Vietnam, View from Vietnam
Jun. 11
2015
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Source: Ain't It Cool, http://www.aintitcool.com/node/71866. All rights reserved to Universal Pictures.Jurassic World cannot live up to the shock, awe, wonder, and amazement that came after the advent of Jurassic Park. It was that awe and wonder which spawned such a pop culture following the original movie and influenced so many young children of my generation. It was a product of its time. Jurassic World, by contrast, is not - as were the previous sequels - an attempt to capitalize on the success of the first by continuing the storyline. Nor is it exactly a "reboot." Rather, it is an odd duck - an action movie nostalgia trip. But, with strong action and a good chunk of self-referential humor, Jurassic World ends up being...

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Tags: cinema divinite movie film jurassic world chris pratt bryce dallas howard action park dinosaurs thriller suspense
Jun. 04
2015
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The view from my room in Vietnam is a beautiful one indeed. This summer Br. Patrick Hyde and I were asked to go to Vietnam to help the Vietnamese student brothers learn English. Having no idea what to expect we obediently and cheerfully left Chicago last Wednesday, May 28th, to embark on a 24-hour trip to Vietnam. We took Korean Air and our first flight was 13 1/2 hours long. For having to sit in a plane for over a half a day it was pretty comfortable. We were flying towards the sun and when we were in the sky the date changed from Wednesday to Thursday without the sun even setting. It was pretty interesting trying figure out a good time to pray evening prayer and then in the same daylight pray morning prayer for the next day. Our plane had a camera hooked up to bottom of the plane and we could see what we were flying over from our screens in our seats. It was interesting to see the mountains in Alaska and also have an aerial view of Japan.

 

We had a layover...

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Tags: summer 2015, TravelingFriars, Vietnam
May. 19
2015
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Mad Max has waited thirty years to get the treatment it deserved. The most recent "reboot" of the franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, is a phenomenal movie. It is certainly disturbing, violent, and graphic at points, but not in any way prejudicial to what the movie attempts to accomplish - to disorient the viewer and immerse them in a completely foreign, insane, post-apocalyptic, and frenetic world. It is intended to blow you away, to overwhelm, and keep you from getting your bearings. The story is not, however, about that world - impressive backdrop as it is - but instead about this world. At the center of the drama is a broken man: the man with no name who, despite his past failures destroying his psyche, is attempting to seek redemption. This "man with no name" is, of course, "Mad" Max, played by Tom Hardy. He is torn with regrets, almost literally, and is coming apart, mentally, at the seams....

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Tags: mad max fury road movie film cinema divinite mel gibson miller
May. 16
2015
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Congratulations to Brothers James Dominic Rooney and Raymond Marie Bryce on their ordination to the Order of the Priesthood and to Brother Wesley Dessonville on his ordination to the Diaconate!

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Tags: diaconate, Ordinations, priesthood
Apr. 26
2015
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The First Letter of John tells us "we are the children of God now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed." In this Easter season we reflect on Christ's Resurrection as well as our own, but how do we see this odd relationship between what we are now and what we will be? Can we be so content with what we do know that we lose hope in eternal life?

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Tags: 1 John, charity, easter, eternal life, resurrection

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