Posted by Jesse on May 12, 2006

Category: Uncategorized

Diocese of Memphis, TN

Diocesan Youth Conference

Paul “Elvis Aaron” Archuletta, my brother in blue suede shoes!

Mensi Grand-daughters attending the Diocese of Memphis, TN’s Catholic Youth Conference

Jesse and Kenny Penalver playing, “Walking in Memphis! Walking with my feet ten feet off ‘a Beale!”

Memphis’ own Super Sound Guys!

Posted by Jesse on May 11, 2006

Category: Uncategorized

Just spent five full days with the Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Got to meet Barry and Louise, Mary, Ange, Joe, and Jersey. Also met Heidi in spirit. Met Larry and Phyllis. On monday morning, went to CATHOLIC CENTRAL HIGH, a little over 1000 students; HUGE ENERGY…then over to ASSUMPTION HIGH SCHOOL for about 800 students…WILD AND WACKY PARTICIPATION; then the staff of ST THOMAS OF VILLANOVA HIGH for about 65 adults. Tuesday went to ST ANNE

HIGH for 350…THE ROOF, THE ROOF, THE ROOF IS ON FIRE WITH THE SPIRIT; then over HOLY NAME SCHOOL in Essex, for five different school staffs, John the Baptist, Our Lady of the Annunciation, St. Bernard, St. Mary, and St. William; about 110 total folks. Frank ran sound. Wherever we went, Frank went to do sound. Nice to have good sound. Nicer to have great sound. Frank delivered.


Next morning Barry and I went to St. John the Baptist elementary school in Belle River. Got to meet over 500 students from four different schools, St. John the Baptist, St. Peter, Holy Name and St. William! Got to meet Sam and Liz, Kyle and Connor! They were awesome! Went over to Cardinal Carter High school to work with over 500 students, from four schools; Queen of Peace, St. Louis, St. John de Brebeuf, and Cardinal Carter. Got another 500 students for the 11th and 12th grade about an hour later! Jesse loves Uncle Timmy Horton’s! Another staff gathering…some words of encouragement and an invitation to rediscover our original boldness and original passion. YIKES! Later on that evening, an intimate sharing of word and song with about 30 folks.

Next morning, BRENNAN HIGH SCHOOL where students from St. Rose, St. John Vianney, St. Maria Goretti, St. Jules and Our Lady of Lourdes and Brannan showed up. Over 500 strong in song, and power in the participation. LORD HAVE MERCY! Then 1000 high school students from BRENNAN HIGH….Got help from Kyle, Alicia, Alex, and Sarah. The students and their teachers went ballistic on their full, conscious, active and passionate particpation. BAM. WHAM. SPAM! I suddenly found myself possessed by Martin Lawrence and Big Momma. It was way weird. In a cool and scary way. In the early evening, some time with teachers, staff, administration, volunteers from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sacred Heart, St. James and St. Rose. Wonderful time with these adults who walk with, work with, teach and learn with young people in the Church. Very exciting. Later that night, I’m sharing time at St. Simon and St. Jude Parish in Belle River. Over 300 people show up and after the evening was over, Nick runs to Tim Horton’s, buys three donuts for a Donut Eating Contest. Surprisingly….I won. Nick, Justin, Danielle, Craig…nuttin but love for y’all!

It has been 15 visits thus far, and on this Friday morning there is only one visit left. At Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, students from her and St. Gabriel gather for an hour of my secret recipe of Undercover Catechesis, also known as EVANGELIZATION, also known in 139 countries, the ‘ol WAKE UP AND SHAKE UP THE CHURCH!

In all, I’ve spoken to over 5500 students, 600 to 700 staff, faculty, administration and volunteers, parents, grandparents, adults and elders! Sixteen visits in five days. It was rough. It was rowdy. It was exhausting and exhilarating. Perspiring and inspiring. It was what it was.

A moment in time.

A moment of grace.

A moment to reflect, renew, re-think, re-dedicate, recommit, and maybe even share in a little resurrection regarding Christ, and the mission to walk, talk, stretch, sacrifice, share, surrender, challenge, challenge, wake up, shake up, challenge ourselves, challeng one another, challenge the Church….a moment to remember what this mission is all about.

Going to where folks are….not just waiting for them to come to you. No way. Going to where they are….

Let’s go.

Posted by Jesse on May 10, 2006

Category: Uncategorized

On April 22nd, I drove past the College of Notre Dame in Indiana, and over to Marian High School for the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend FAITH FEST. Got to meet Dan, Kyle and PJ, the people behind the popple. They are a power-trio of popple-fication, speaking, singing, instructing others in the light of faith. Check out their website at www.popell.us and witness an amazing video clip that I like to call a “sock-u-mentary.”

The theme of the event was…Catholics – Believe it; Speak it; Mean it; Live it! The DYC, Diocesan Youth Council pretty much facilitated the whole day. Met a bunch of folks. Sarah, Nick O, Katie, Brad (saw him at Marian College the day before!) Ian, Natalie, Amanda, Enid, Rosa and tons more.

Hung out with Greg and Chris after the event. Spoke of wild things like me doing a bunch of podcasts. Do you think I should do podcasts??

Pray on it….

Posted by Jesse on May 10, 2006

Category: Uncategorized

On April 21st, I performed a last minute concert at Marian College. Beautiful college! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful setting! Attended a luncheon with a group of student leaders and incoming new students to the college. My friend, Mark E, put together a last minute performance for the students during the afternoon. Small but appreciative group to perform for and with. John and Chamba, friends from Guarila, El Salvador, spoke to the group about life in Guarila and the ongoing consequences of years of war, death squads, torture, murder….

and a history that has still managed to go largely unnoticed by the American public. The Tamarindo Foundation has invited me to perform for a benefit concert at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, in the hopes to raise funds and awareness about life in Guarila, El Salvador.

The concert began in the evening with a small gathering for the volunteers and sponsors of the event. I sang a few songs, we shared a meal, and within 45 minutes, I was onstage for the general concert. Not a huge turnout, but as in the gospel, tickets were given to the nearby homeless shelter and so we got to have a large number of families join us in the celebration of hope in the Tamarindo Foundation.

For those of you that might want to pray and discern this, I am hoping to travel to Guarila, El Salvador, as an act of solidarity, worship, justice and pilgrimage. I don’t have dates yet, but am praying about this. Consider joining me. Email me if you are interested.

Remember, to know God is to do justice.

Love,

Jesse

Posted by Jesse on May 10, 2006

Category: Uncategorized

Hey friends – been traveling extensively again. So what’s new. From March 25 to 29, I went to Mesa, AZ, for a Parish Mission at Christ the King. THE COVENANT MAKES US ONE was the theme. Laura, Jordan, Doug, Nick, the Pivonkas, Neelys, Valeros, and so many others welcomed me with great hospitality. Spent some quality time with the children of the parish, the elders, the teens, everybody! Christ the King is one of many parishes without a pastor. They are doing amazingly well. They’ve got a lot of lay leadership and a great deal going on. A credit to the leadership in the past. Just heard that a new pastor has been named. Keep Christ the King in your prayers.

On March 29th, I flew to Toledo, OH, to Central Catholic High School. Did a two day retreat. Fr. Mike invited me into speak, sing, and help with the closing mass. Huge school. Met a lot of great students and teachers, alike. Saw my friend and heroic youth leader, Diane V. Hung out with Fr. Mel, Mike Y., and Diane.

Went right from Toledo, to the diocese of Delaware. Got stuck in weather limbo, trying to get from Toledo to Chicago to Philadelphia. Spent way too much time in the airport and got too little sleep. Alas, arrived in Philadelphia in the wee hours of Saturday morning, mere hours before I was to present. YIKES. Anthony A. and Patrick D., two who walk with young people, put together a great gathering called Kommotion and Nexus. Two days, two youth conferences with junior high school and high school students. Great youth leadership team; lots of involvement. Folks came from all over. Got to spend some quality time with Maureen and Princess Molly. Stayed at Molly’s Hospitality House. Great food and great fellowship.

On Sunday morning, my buddy Scott M, drove me to Baltimore where I got to eat lunch with him, Gene, and Kristin. Bumped into Chris A., gave a high five and chomped Irish chow. Great to connect with my friends. Gene and I took a drive to his home, or shall I say, the place where his clothes live. Gene is like me, on the road often! Chomped some spectacular Vietnamese food, then got the drop-off to Loyola College in Baltimore. Got to present a Lenten evening reflection with some folks at the chapel. Saw Ed, met Pete, Colleen, Sasha, Mike, and others. Kristin and Scott attended as well. Just great to spend time with folks. The work is awesome everybody, but the connections with people is just as essential!

Home on April 4th. Ahhhh….home sweet home.

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