The Ordination of a Deacon and Communio

by Scott on December 3, 2012

This past Saturday Bishop Stika ordained Arthur Torres Barona as a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Knoxville. The ordination took place at St. Mary Church in Johnson City where Deacon Torres Barona will be serving. The following is a slideshow of photos I shot during the ordination Mass and at the reception that followed. You can also find all of the photos in a set on the diocese’s Life at 25 flickr account.

This ordination took on special meaning for me as an Aspirant in formation for the permanent diaconate. It’s such a privilege to be called to serve the Church as a deacon. I believe you’ll be able to see the joy on Deacon Arthur’s face that results from saying “yes” to this call.

It was also good to see several of my Aspirant brothers at the Mass. After completing my first year of formation I’ve discovered that when one spends time learning and serving with like-minded Christians there’s a special bond God creates among you. We call this communio. Many of us in formation are beginning to experience this growing closeness that seems to occur within a Christian community called to serve the Lord together. It’s a bond far deeper than that experienced by fellow Vols fans or other groups sharing a common passion.

I witnessed this bond of communio active between Deacon Arthur and his fellow seminarians attending Saturday’s ordination. They are truly brothers who have grown together in faith and love of the Lord. You could feel the joy of communio radiating from them. I believe it’s also possible to experience communio within one’s parish community when you become actively involved in the life of the parish. Communio can be realized wherever Christians gather to worship, study and serve the Lord together.

I believe the Holy Spirit gives us this special gift of communio to encourage and strengthen us to do God’s work. Living a Christian life can be very difficult in our modern culture, but with a little help from our brothers and sisters we can rise above the darkness and truly reflect God’s light to everyone we meet.

I’m certain that Deacon Arthur’s ministry will be a beacon of hope for all he is privileged to serve. I’m also certain that the bonds he and his brother seminarians have formed will last a lifetime. May God bless him and his ministry as he continues his journey into the priesthood. May we all resolve to become more involved in the life of the Church so as to experience lasting and meaningful relationships with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.

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The Treasure of the Catechism

by Scott on November 25, 2012

Thanks to an initiative by Flocknote, I’ve been reading a bit of the Catechism of the Catholic Church each day since the Year of Faith began last month. A few bite-size paragraphs arrive in my email each day, making it easy to keep my commitment to read the entire book in a year’s time.

I’m always amazed at the way in which this book containing the “full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine” explains the faith of the Roman Catholic Church in terms anyone can understand. It begins with the very basics concerning the life of human beings and from there builds into a fully detailed description of our Catholic faith.

The Catechism is certainly a must-read for every Catholic Christian. I also highly recommend it for anyone who may be interested in learning the truth about Catholicism, rather than simply accepting as true the widespread mis-informed rhetoric concerning the Catholic faith.

As an example of the readability of the Catechism, here’s how it begins:

“FATHER, … this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” “God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” – than the name of JESUS.


1 God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

Click to continue reading

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My Daily Prayer

November 24, 2012

I’m beginning to more fully understand how important it is to pray daily in order to grow in faith and holiness. God speaks to us through prayer. When we listen he changes our hearts and increases our desire to serve him. This is the prayer I pray each morning before starting my day. I pray […]

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New Media

Father Roderick’s “The Break”

November 21, 2012

It’s been quite some time since I’ve listened to Father Roderick’s weekly podcast, “The Break.” Several years ago I was a regular listener to its predecessor podcast, “The Daily Breakfast.” Fr. Roderick, a Dutch parish priest, started this podcast to appeal to people who were not particularly religious, but who shared his interests in Star […]

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The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church

November 18, 2012

Although I haven’t read it, The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church by Christopher Kaczor looks like one I’ll soon be adding to my library. The book is receiving excellent reviews, as you’ll see in the video below. It’s available from Amazon in both hardcover and in a Kindle edition. Learn a bit more about the […]

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A Wearable Camera That Captures Your Life

November 17, 2012

Here’s an interesting new product. A camera you wear that snaps a photo every 30 seconds whenever you’re wearing it. Every 30 seconds! That’s approximately 2,000 pictures per day if you’re wearing it constantly. The Memoto wearable camera will have software that allows you to connect, store, and automatically catalog this plethora of images on […]

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Our Lady of Guadalupe Image Brings Grace to St. Mary’s

November 15, 2012

This week is a very special week of prayer at St. Mary Church. An initiative of the Knights of Columbus is bringing one of three very special images of Our Lady of Guadalupe to many parishes around the country. The image has been blessed by the Holy Father and touched to Juan Diego’s tilma containing […]

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Sacred Scripture

The Knox Bible

November 13, 2012

Until recently, I was not aware of the Knox Bible. My wife learned about it when it was recently republished by Baronius Press after some 50 years of being out of print. She asked me if I knew about this edition and I did not. I googled it and found that it was a valid […]

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New Media

Bishops and Bloggers – Video

November 13, 2012

From yesterday’s meeting of the U.S. Bishops and some of the leading Catholic bloggers. I really like the comment from Bishop Sample that, “…this is not a one way conversation. This is not just us putting out what we want to say. The whole purpose of social media is social and that it be a […]

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New Media

Inspired by our Bishops and Bloggers, I’m Back!

November 12, 2012

Today I realized that it was August 2010 since I last posted here. Now here we are in 2012, a month into the Year of Faith and I believe it’s time to get back to it. I’ve been thinking a lot today about what I might be able to contribute to the conversation. While I’m still […]

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Knoxville Diocesan Day

August 22, 2010

I was blessed to attend Diocesan Day at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Knoxville yesterday. The event was hosted by Knoxville’s Bishop Richard Stika and featured special guest Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia. Bishop Stika is a longtime friend of Cardinal Rigali, both having roots in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. I shot several photos […]

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Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus Enthronement and Other Blessings

August 15, 2010

What a summer! I just had to write this short reflection on how the Holy Spirit has been moving through our lives in ways I would never have imagined. It all began with our decision to enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus as King and Head of our home. The decision to formally enthrone the Sacred […]

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