As I type this, I’m ensconced in a basement Starbucks in Chicago, still trying to figure out what time it is. My computer says one time, my phone another and my watch (remember those?) a third. Take your pick… It’s been a busy but amazing week.
As I was sitting in the Dallas Fort Worth airport at 3:45 am this morning lamenting the lack of an open coffee shop, I paused to think about all the things that I didn’t do in Dallas during my visit their this week.
Eat barbecue? Nope.
Try on boots or a cowboy hat? Um, not either of those.
Visit the Book Depository or the Cathedral? Unfortunately not.
But the truth is, my visit to Dallas (actually Irving, in the Diocese of Dallas) couldn’t have been better. This is my fourth time to attend and present at the University of Dallas Ministry Conference. As the Dallas Morning News noted, this opportunity just keeps getting better and better!
By all estimates, the country’s second largest Catholic ministry congress welcomed over 6,000 faith-filled souls this week. And while I may not have ticked off tourist destinations this week, I encountered some true superheroes:
- I had the pleasure of learning from The Most Rev. J. Michael Miller, Archbishop of Vancouver, gave a stirring keynote on Evangelii Gaudium. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy here. I had never heard Archbishop Miller speak before. I can share that I’m now a huge fan. As a student of “The Joy of the Gospel”, it was all I could do to contain myself as this shepherd broke open such a beautiful message of hope for over several thousand of his flock, doing so in a way that was clear, uplifting and filled with spirit.
- I met Catholic school principals, deacons (and their wives), religious sisters, teachers and catechists, ministry volunteers of all ages, and so many priests I stopped counting. These were amazing people of all ages and backgrounds who gave up three days of their time to worship, to witness and to learn. One long term volunteer told me that she plans a year ahead to take the week off so that she can always come and help. Her story echoes so many of the cool folks I met who have made this a priority. I think that’s why it’s growing by leaps and bounds. It was a great honor to give my first “Grace of Yes” talk since the release of the book for this audience of amazing yes-sayers. To say that I was humbled to stand before them and share a bit of my story would be a major understatement.
- I met several awesome members of the University of Dallas and Diocesan chancery staffs. Each was friendly, patient and filled with energy. I teased organizer Oscar Carranza, director of marketing and events for the university’s School of Ministry, that he must certainly have a clone to have pulled off such a fantastic event. And while I don’t think I formally met him, I sat in the room and watched Bishop Kevin Farrell (who tweets HERE) pause his work on his iPad to greet and interact with countless people. I do believe he spent the majority of those three days interacting with the faithful at the convention center. And he seemed to truly enjoy it!
- Even our shuttle bus driver was cool – a “driving rodeo” champion! So while I didn’t meet any cowboys, I can verify that I had several great conversations with a lady my age who is real “bus roadeo” contender!
I left Dallas this morning with a full heart and a deep desire to hurry back for a visit soon. This quote by author Pittacus Lore definitely holds true for Dallas:
“A place is only as good as the people you know in it. It’s the people that make the place.”
The people I met this week most certainly “made” Dallas for me.
And now, here are this week’s Sweet Tweets, brought to us by John Clem, O.F.S.
Sweet Tweets October 24, 2014:
- Papal Tweet: “If faith is to be strong and healthy, it must be constantly nourished by the Word of God.” (Pope Francis Oct. 21st)
- Sanctuary Movement | Building the multifaith movement for justice (Groundswell) ow.ly/CZKHH
Religious Liberty Threats: Two Recent Incidents of Raise Serious Concern and Show the Road Ahead May be Rocky (ADW) ow.ly/D0fzW
- Holy See: Space is the common heritage of all humanity (Vatican Radio) ow.ly/D1z31
- Catechesis – World Meeting of Families 2015 Preparatory Catechesis now available from OSV ow.ly/CZFea
- Internet’s impact on families raised at Synod (News.va) ow.ly/D1zgu
- Prince of Jordan on conflicts in the Middle East: Nobody thinks about how wars ends (Rome Reports) ow.ly/D2feB
- Holy See to UN: Too many children denied “fundamental” right to life (News.va) ow.ly/D1zBh
From Atheist Professor to Catholic: An Interview with Dr. Holly Ordway | Strange Notions ow.ly/D2urB
- Blessed Joseph Vaz will be proclaimed Saint Jan. 14 (News.va) ow.ly/D2sJj
- 13 Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Came From the Bible | ChurchPOP ow.ly/D2wpg
- Italy’s Singing Nun Releases “Like a Virgin” Video – Aleteia ow.ly/D34ix
- Children of God: 30 Magical Photos of Children Playing Around The World (Earth Porm) ow.ly/D3v1I
- Despite decline in Catholicism, millions turn out for Brazilian celebration of Mary (Deacon Greg Kandra) ow.ly/D3DPM
- Being “A Church that Must Go Out” in the Digital Age (Lisa Hendey – Patheos) ow.ly/D3H3J
- You are the apple of God’s eye. (That’s not from a Hallmark greeting card, that’s in the Bible…) Pat Gohn ow.ly/D45UK
- Catholic population rises in numbers (Rome Reports) ow.ly/D5RFd
- Catholic stance on ISIS threat (CNS) ow.ly/D5SBa
- The Friar Who Was Ordered to Skate – Brandon Vogt ow.ly/D5T62
Possible treatment for paralysis? “This is more impressive than a man walking on the moon” (Deacon Greg Kandra) ow.ly/D6avD
- Dominicans to the Rescue: Saving Souls and Civilization in Iraq | Blog of the Courtier ow.ly/D6bql
- Photo Tip: 14 Amazingly Free Stock Photo Websites (Entrepreneur) ow.ly/D6jEZ
- On Faith & Fracking -Faith leaders from across NY talk about our role as guardians of the Creation (GrassrootsEnvEd) ow.ly/D6lMT
- The Rosary: The Best Prayer for Men (The Catholic Gentleman) ow.ly/D6o9V
- Vatican confirms Pope Francis to visit Turkey | (John Allen – Crux) ow.ly/D6TvM
Enter the world of beatniks, hippies … and singing monks? | Carmel Communications ow.ly/D6VFf
- Cardinal Wuerl: Next synod to focus on traditional families (CNS) ow.ly/D7ctT
- My new book in production: ‘Martin Sheen: Pilgrim on the Way’ (Sister Rose Pacatte – Patheos) ow.ly/D9HDV
- Sweet treat for Pope in Swiss Guard recipe book – The Local ow.ly/D9I4J
- 100 Years of the International Schoenstatt Movement – Aleteia ow.ly/D9RLP
- The “Titulus Crucis” sign of I.N.R.I., a true relic of Rome (Rome Reports) ow.ly/DdzhQ
A Silent Priest is a Dead Priest – A Meditation on a Teaching of St. Gregory the Great « Archdiocese of Washington ow.ly/DdARE
- Notre Dame Professor Hits School President After Pro-Gay Policy – Aleteia ow.ly/DdF3O
- The Messy Synod on the Family | (Fr. Robert Barron – Word On Fire) ow.ly/DewUp
- Ending #Ebola: How You and I Can Help (Lisa Hendey – Patheos) ow.ly/DdOAY
- The challenges of coal – Mountaintop removal mining poses economic dilemma for West Virginians (CNS) ow.ly/DeAD3
- Pope Francis calls for abolishing death penalty and life imprisonment (CNS) ow.ly/DeCuk
- How a reproductive health pioneer became an ‘instant convert’ reading Humanae Vitae :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) ow.ly/Dfdlx
- Video of dancing American priests goes viral | Fox News ow.ly/Dfk4p
- Ben Bradlee, the pope and me (Deacon Greg Kandra – Patheos) ow.ly/DfzBU
- Only the Hearing is Safely Believed. A Meditation on How Faith Comes by Hearing, Powerfully Demonstrated in a “Video” ow.ly/Dg5gx
- Olive harvest at Garden of Gethsemane unites faithful with Christ (CNS) ow.ly/DgbYB
- The Great Busted Halo-ween Photo Contest! – (Busted Halo) ow.ly/DdMOd
- Halloween | Seasonal Feature | American Catholic ow.ly/DgbUR
- Francis is a Chemist; Chemists Seek Out Surprises (Elizabeth Scalia – Patheos) ow.ly/Dh73I
- Vatican to UN: To combat extreme poverty we must eradicate inequality (News.va) ow.ly/DhzL8
- Vatican gives global communications group official stamp of approval :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) ow.ly/Dl7AT
- Fr. Stan Fortuna, CFR — photography from a Franciscan — frstanpix on Instagram ow.ly/DlXXS
- Sneak Peak at new book: Around the Table With the Catholic Foodie: Middle Eastern Cuisine by Liguori Publications ow.ly/DlYbd
- Oct. 22 is the Feast of St. John Paul II | Saint of the Day | AmericanCatholic.org ow.ly/
- Saint John Paul II and the Mysteries of Light: a musical meditation (Vatican Radio) ow.ly/D6O7i
- We Still Need St. John Paul II (Catholic Exchange) ow.ly/D9FOk
- Why Pope John Paul II is a Saint | (Fr. Robert Barron – Word On Fire) ow.ly/D9Khk
- Video George Weigel on Saint Pope John Paul II (51 min.) – (Mundelein Seminary) ow.ly/DdMmk
- 7 Key Points that made John Paul II “The Great Pope” (Rome Reports) ow.ly/D9MZA
- Totus Tuus: Marian Suffering and Pope St. John Paul II | Blog of the Courtier ow.ly/Ddqat
- Pope Francis on St. John Paul II (CNS) ow.ly/DdzJC
- We’re ‘just touching the surface’ of St John Paul II’s teachings :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) ow.ly/DgaNf
- Saint John Paul II National Shrine Opens to join “Holy Trinity of Pilgrimage Sites” | Call To Holiness ow.ly/DevJ9
John Clem, O.F.S is the Director and Media Minister at Catholic Web Services (http://catholicws.com/). John is a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order, and loves to share his talents in faith, technology, and journalism in service to the church. John also writes a blog entitled Call To Holiness (http://www.calltoholiness.