CFW: Wednesday

Woke up early this morning to join our camp seminarian to do Morning Prayer.  It was just me, the seminarian, and an A-Teamer from my parish.  After we finished, we decided that we want to include more people and we’ve been asking around all day and there seems to be a high interest in doing Morning Prayer.  So hopefully more people show up tomorrow!  While waiting around prior to the start of Morning Prayer, the seminarian introduced me to Matisyahu, which is apparently a good band for reggae.  Cool!

Daily Mass was particularly awesome today. Just, something in the way everyone was singing the songs for processional (Prince of Peace), Communion (How He Loves Us), and recessional (Hold Us Together) was awesome.  Some feedback from the campers mentioned that it was really awesome.  I didn’t catch any more weeping from the normal parishioners, but it was cool to see them sing along and clap too!

Today, my small group stayed at SVDP to help out around the parish. Apparently they’re putting in a new statue of St. Vincent De Paul in the front, and the area where the statue will go had to have a lot of dirt removed.  Yesterday, the small groups put in a new retaining wall, and all the dirt that was displaced was place elsewhere on the grounds. So, our task was to spread out the dirt in an open area.  And replace some of the dirt back at the statue site.

Somehow I like manual labor and moving dirt around is quite labor intensive.  There were several times where I had to haul a wheelbarrow of dirt from our work site to the other side where the retaining wall was located.   Bit of a walk. Each time got more and more difficult because I was tired from shoveling. I remember thinking, “Man, I’m not strong enough to endure this since I have little upper body strength.” Then I remembered Philippians 4:13, which says that it’s possible to do anything in Christ who empowers me. So I kept that in mind and it helped keep me going. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sore tomorrow.  Quite possibly the next day, as well.

Whereas the retaining wall homesite groups yesterday had full on sun and no breeze, we did not.  I’m grateful it was cloudy and breezy today because that helped make the work bearable outside.  The sprinklers even came on around our mound of dirt as we were shoveling and raking!  And I’m grateful that my nice pair of TOMS shoes didn’t get ruined. Just dirty and sandy.  So, non-sacramental confession time:  I forgot to pack a pair of tennis shoes for CFW (shh, don’t tell Hedg…forgive my trespass against the established law on bringing shoes), but happened to have brought my TOMS which are still closed-toe.  And they survived stomping around the dirt and mud.  Win.

I didn’t get a chance to have SEAS time today because I had to go grocery shopping with our SEAS youth minister since SEAS is cooking dinner tomorrow night.  Meatball subs and trash bag salad. Brownies. Tres leches cake.  All we did was buy everything and I’m already stoked.  Mmm. I did delegate two of my SEAS youth to lead the group time. Apparently they took the entire time between me leaving and coming back (like, an hour) for discussion.  They even kept talking into dinner time, a little bit.  We’ve normally done like…20 mins… So that’s awesome! I haven’t had a chance to receive a full report on how that went, yet.

Dinner was fantastic.  I forget what parish took care of dinner…but they bought El Arroyo fajitas for everyone.  ¡Muy delicioso!  As usual, after dinner we did some praise and worship songs, broke up into small groups, and Share Chair time.

Tonight’s spiritual experience was pretty awesome. We had confession available with like 5 or 6 priests.  I love that “squeaky clean soul” feeling. I think the moment that warmed my heart the most was seeing one of my SEAS youth come out from her confession and tried not to cry in her pew, but I saw that her brother notices her and he walks across the church just to sit next to her.  Aww!  How cool is that?

Another cool thing that happened was that one of my SEAS youth wanted to pray with me for a little bit and pray for his vocation.  Awesome stuff. Totally did it.

I wasn’t in any rush trying to get in line for confession since I had just gone last Saturday.  I noticed Fr. Isaac come in after a long while and decided to go for him for my confession. Without the details, I’ll say that he helped me realize that I wasn’t really confessing and that I was really after some spiritual direction, which I briefly received.  It was what I needed to hear, but I wasn’t comfortable in hearing it.

When confession was over, we went into some more praise and worship. During that time, the visitors arrived. Wednesday of Camp Fort Worth is alumni night.  Anyone who’s been to Camp Fort Worth can come visit during this time.  It was really cool to see some of the other SEAS youth and other youth that I happen to know.

The last thing was a talent show, and it was really great to see some awesomely talented individuals. Mostly singers, there was a beatboxer, and even a magician. Crazy cool. I was pretty blown away by two of the singers. Like, chills–they were so good.  And the magician apparently took home this freakin’ awesome jacket from Mission: Arlington that really went well with his magic trick.  Legittttt.

After the talent show, I had to grab a quick picture of everyone from SEAS who were there…

…pterodactyl?

Anyway, I’m super tired and it’s almost 1:00AM. Tomorrow we get to go to the nursing home. I hear there’s a Filipino woman there, and I hope to seek her out and talk to her.

Haulin’ dirt.  Squeaky clean souls. Visitors.
– JD