Wednesday, September 28, 2011

220th Annual Bocce Ball Tournament

Keeping a house tradition alive we had our annual Bocce Ball Tournament a few weeks ago. Thanks to the hard work of Mike Zgonc (Community Life Chair) the evening was a great success. Over 25 teams competed. However, my team was eliminated handily in the first round. I blame my team partner Mike Zgonc! Either way it was a great night to kick off some steam and to enjoy good food, good drinks, and good fun.

Diocese of Syracuse Seminarian Zach Miller makes a toss

Father Hy enjoys the day (Father Hy is a brilliant man with an amazing personal story, and a nationally known and respected theologian)

Diocese of Portland, Maine Seminarian Brad Morin makes a shot. Brad is sporting his Maine woodsman uniform

Arguably the most Italian guy in the house, Chris Mannerino from the Diocese of Pittsburgh- looks pensive after a stunning first round defeat

Diocese of Trenton Seminarian Jean Felicien dominates in yet another house sporting event

My former mentor and southerner (note the jacket) Father Michael Barre, enjoys the afternoon. Father Barre is a brilliant scripture scholar and can translate languages that have not been spoken in thousands of years!

Wilimington Seminarian Brian Lewis- Brian, spent part of this last summer making the Camino pilgrimage across northern Spain

Danny Cogut from the Diocese of Richmond lands a perfect shot. Danny has a huge heart and does a lot of work on behalf of the poor. He also is a computer genius and rescues guys when their computers quit on them

Greensburg Seminarian Tyler Bandura speaks with house spiritual director Father Larry Terrien

Manchester's Mike Zgonc- my Bocce ball partner- We lost in the first Round!

Manchester Seminarian and House President Deacon Alan Tremblay takes it all in

Father Lopez and Father Miller take a break

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some Tuesday Morning Fun!

Well it is another busy week at the seminary! Before I get to work I wanted to include this fun link to Steve Colbert's show on Comedy Central. Colbert is a brilliant humorist who uses sarcasm to often make some profound points. In this clip he is talking with Bart Ehrman an author of a book challenging the veracity of the Gospels, Jesus and a avowed atheist (formerly a prominent Christian). Colbert interviews him in typical Colbert fashion. However, if you listen carefully to the subtext Colbert is in fact quite compelling. He is also a refreshing change in the world of comedy and a man of faith (a former catechist for the Catholic Church. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Second Annual Vianney Cup!

Soccer has long been a popular sport in Catholic circles. Soccer has a widespread following throughout the world, thus making it a wonderful meeting point for an members of an institution as diverse as the Catholic Church.

I had to include this photo I found because it was too much fun!

In fact soccer is so popular in Catholic circles that each year the seminaries in Rome compete for the "Clericus Cup"

Competition is fierce between the competing teams, as is the spirit of fraternity, pride and fun that accompanies such endeavors.

This weekend we hosted the Second Annual Vianney Cup at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. The tournament was begun last year in collaboration with Mt. St Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Theological College in Washington, D.C. and St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore.

Graciously the "Mount" (Mt. St. Mary's in Emmitsburg) hosted last year and did a wonderful job. They also won despite some tough competition. This year we were chosen to be the host of the Vianney Cup and we worked hard to not only play better than the rest, but to be gracious hosts.

Our day began with Mass in our main chapel with between 200-250 seminarians and guests. It was a beautiful expression of faith, and a wonder to see so many people who will change the face of the Church in America, gathered together in prayer and fraternity. Once Mass concluded the kind, generous and prayer filled spirit was replaced by healthy competition and lots of excitement.

In the end St. Mary's played hard and came up short, losing both matches. Mt. St. Mary's won for the second year in a row. The "Mount" has always been the favorite for these events for numerous reasons including the fact that they are nearly three times the size of the other seminaries, they have a former professional soccer star on their team, they enjoy the use of division I athletic facitilities at the University attached to the seminary. Simply put the Mount St. Mary's Seminary soccer team is a machine. The practice every day, are incredibly disciplined and committed to success. For the most part the other teams get their minds to practicing a week or two before the big game.

This year the final championship game was particularly exciting as underdog St. Charles Seminary led the Mount until the final minutes when they suffered a 5-4 loss. St. Charles deserves a lot of credit for a hard fought contest and for giving the undisputed favorites a real run for their money.

Following the final games we joined together for evening prayer, a social and a nice dinner. The end result was a hope filled and energetic day of fraternity shared by all and a reminder that the future of the Church is bright!

I have tried to include some pictures you might enjoy!

Diocese of Greensburg Seminarian Tyler Bandura taking all the popcorn for himself, or sharing it- you be the judge

A Theological College Seminarian making a shot

Lunchtime! If you look carefully you can see Diocese of Manchester Seminarian and Trinity High School Graduate Michael Sartori (he is wearing a blue t-shirt)

A hard fight battle in action

Our team's most energetic and determined player- Nhat Nyugen from the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia

Chief Soccer Tournament Organizer Manchester Seminarian Mike Zgonc with the Vice Rector- Father Ed Griswold

St. Anselm Graduate and Seminarian for the Diocese of Portland, Maine - Luc Roy

St. Mary's Seminary's newest faculty member and my canon law professor Father Leo Gajardo from the Diocese of Gary, Indiana

Diocese of Baltimore seminarian Kevin Ewing either ready for a header or about to be hit

Diocese of Pittsburgh Seminarian John Lovre intent on victory

Deacon John Madrid plots his next move

Diocese of Worcester Seminarian John Herenandez

St. Mary's Goalie- Jean Felicien- Diocese of Trenton

Diocese of Gulu, Uganda Seminarian, and Honorary New Hampshire Resident Francis Ouma

Diocese of Metuchen Seminarian and Third Theology Class President Ebaristo Pineda in action

Diocese of Syracuse Seminarian Dane Connelly defying gravity with both feet off the ground

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Soccer Tournament!

We sadly just lost the Vianney Cup, a four seminary Soccer tournament. After a great effort from the guys we lost, actually coming in last. More to follow with pictures, commentary and highlights. Right now I am dashing out the door to a parish Oktoberfest celebration and to serve a 5:30pm Mass.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A New Adventure or a Foolish Whim?

As I was organizing my goals for the seminary this year I was asked to come up with some "Human Formation Goals". Each year we are asked to focus on areas Spiritual goals, Academic goals, Pastoral goals and Human goals. Tomorrow I am set to meet with my faculty mentor to review them and make adjustments, after which i will post the final product on here so you have a sense of how it works. Nevertheless when I was formulating my human goals I decided I wanted to add something in the category of a hobby, something to entertain the mind and relax it at the same time. Since we do so much reading and pastoral work, I wanted something totally away from the rhythm of life, thus recreational reading was out of the question. My entire life I have been in awe of people with real musical talent, people who can pick up an instrument and make it sing. In junior high and high school I was in our school band and played the baritone horn. I enjoyed it but never hit any home runs, I solid middle of the road player. So, I decided to try and pick up and learn a musical instrument. Loving all things Irish I did a lot of research and decided to try the Irish Concertina.

It will probably be a big disaster which I will regret, but I figure I have regretted not having a musical instrument I can play all these years, what is the worst I could do, regret having tried. I have only told two guys as I am a little embarrassed and do not want anyone making any jokes as I will get discouraged. (So if you are a St. Mary's Seminarian and reading this right now- please help me keep my secret project secret, at least until which time I am ready to share it). Time will only tell whether this is a big lesson in humility or whether it is an opportunity for an exciting new area of interest. I am hoping for the second, but preparing for the first. Stay tuned for my progress, or for a hot tip on a great deal on a Concertina for sale on Ebay.

No matter what happens I can't look worse than this guy!

A blast from the past and a look to the future

It is ten minutes till Mass time here at the seminary, but I wanted to put up a quick link which shows an old video of our new Bishop when he was a parish priest. The video shows the dedication of the new parish church which the Bishop, then a priest, had led championed and brought about despite many great challenges. The Church is St. Therese of Lisieux, Montauk, NY. Click here A special shout to Colin for the tip.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Biography of Bishop-Designate Peter A. Libasci

Peter Anthony Libasci was born November 9, 1951, to
the late William and Florence Libasci in Queens, N.Y. He
attended St. Margaret School, Middle Village, N.Y., followed
by Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, Elmhurst, N.Y.

Throughout middle school, he helped clean the church
on Friday afternoons. He says this is where he began learning
about the Liturgy. He also sang for the parish choir.
Throughout high school, he was active in the parish leadership

Libasci earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from
St. John’s University, Jamaica, N.Y., and a Master of Divinity
degree from St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Ind.
Father Libasci was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on April 1, 1978 by
Bishop John R. McGann. He was first assigned to St. Raymond parish, East Rockaway, N.Y.,
and then to SS Cyril and Methodius parish, Deer Park, N.Y. In 1988, he was assigned to Our
Lady of Good Counsel parish, Inwood, N.Y., where he served for 11 years as administrator and
then pastor.

Since 1999, Father Libasci has served as pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux parish in
Montauk, N.Y.

On December 10, 2004, Father Libasci was named Honorary Prelate to His Holiness
Pope John Paul II with the title of monsignor.

On April 3, 2007, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. Libasci auxiliary
bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He was installed on June 1, 2007 at St. Agnes
Cathedral, Rockville Centre, N.Y.

During his time as an auxiliary bishop, Bishop Libasci has assisted Bishop William
Murphy in the leadership of the 1.4 million Catholics on Long Island and served as the bishop’s
representative for the Eastern Vicariate (Suffolk County).

Bishop Libasci is bi-ritual and celebrates the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Ruthenian
Catholic Church. Bishop Libasci has a close relationship with his brother, two sisters, nieces and

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Bishop's First Day's Schedule with Commentary and Quotes

The Bishop's First Day's Schedule with Commentary and Quotes

10:00 a.m.

Media conference introducing Bishop Libasci
St. Joseph Cathedral rectory, 145 Lowell St., Manchester, NH

Opening remarks:

When in 2007, I was told that I was chosen to be an Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, I was overwhelmed at the thought that anyone knew that I even existed.

And now, four years later, I have been called, yet again, but now to be the Bishop and Shepherd of the Church, the Household of Faith in, what will be for me a new home, a new family, a new beginning in Grace.

I am coming eagerly to the Diocese of Manchester and the State of New Hampshire and I desire so much to meet all of you and to see Christ so alive and so present in you. I desire so much to share in this work that is ours: to be true to and thus carry on the mission of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I remember well and am thankful for the words of a formula memorized so long ago: Why did God make you? God made me to know Him and to love Him and to serve Him in this world and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

The words can be memorized, but we all know that they only take on their greatest meaning and significance when they are put into practice; when they are lived: when we deepen our knowledge and understanding of the Sacred Scriptures, when Holy Eucharist becomes more and more a cause of joy, and when caring for each person’s dignity and well-being is not a labor but true compassion and care for a neighbor.

I am deeply grateful to Bishop McCormack for his years of ministry and faithful witness here in the Diocese of Manchester and his very kind welcome to me.

I am grateful to Almighty God who has brought me into being, to my parents who gave me life and to my family, friends and my Holy Catholic Church – all who have sustained me to this very hour. These include Bishop William Murphy, my diocesan bishop in Rockville Centre, my brother priests and deacons and all the lay faithful I was privileged to serve as priest and bishop in that Diocese since my priestly ordination in 1978.

I am utterly humbled and deeply grateful to Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who has entrusted me with this ministry. I have asked him especially for his prayers that I may fulfill the duties of this Sacred Office to which I have been called as a good shepherd, a good priest and bishop, a good steward in the Household of Faith.

And may the Lord God remember us all in His Kingdom now and forever. Amen

11:00 a.m.

Visit to Trinity High School,
581 Bridge St., Manchester, NH

- Bishop Labasci visits with Trinity High School Students. The Students present the Bishop with a THS sweatshirt which he promptly puts on, ditching his suit jacket. Trinity student gave the Bishop a enthusiastic welcome with several standing ovations, a choral welcome and a tour of the school, with special stops in the St. Basil Chapel and visited one on one with student's in the School's Campus Ministry Center. The word from Trinity is that he was a big hit with the kids and the teachers. They described Bishop Labasci as "warm, friendly, personable and real."

Bishop Labasci's decision to make his first official stop a Catholic school, speaks volumes. Emphasizing schools is a testament to his strong interest in education and evangelization. It is also nice to know that he supported a parish school at his last assignment, a sign that he knows the value of our schools and the many challenges they face. + 1 for the Youth of our Diocese.

Visit to New Hampshire Food Bank
700 East Industrial Park Drive, Manchester, NH

A clear sign of the importance of Social Justice and outreach to the poor and disenfranchised.

1:15 p.m.

Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood
700 Bridge Street, Manchester, NH

Sorry no word from the cloistered sisters. However, I am heartened to know that these holy women who pray for all of us everyday where given a place of privilge in this first day.

4:00 p.m.

Prayer service with priests at Cathedral Chapel
St. Joseph Cathedral Chapel, 145 Lowell St., Manchester, NH

- Following evening prayer with the priests the Bishop met each priest in attendance and spent time talking with each. The universal reaction is overwhelmingly positive and the guys seem excited for the future.

-Not officially listed javascript:void(0)on the schedule is a stop of at St. Anselm Abbey for dinner. My sources tell me that Bishop Labasci continued to impress everywhere he went. His evening with the monks was a homerun, much as was his day.

Somewhere after this the Bishop retired for a well deserved night of rest. A New Day begins tomorrow, stay tuned......

What we know

What we have learned about the new Bishop today ( a special shout out to Sarah Jane von Haack over at Parable Magazine):

- He speaks Spanish, French, Slovakian & Italian

- According to Parable magazine editor Sarah Jane von Haack, the new Bishop said that he will "pray his brains out" in order to prepare for his new role.

- He is of Slovakian, Sicilian & British Ancestry

- His favorite dessert is Blueberry pie a la mode

- He said to the Trinity High School Community
"We are ready to our part to build the Church"

- His motto will be "Arise and Walk"

- He said the most important way to approach ministry is with compassion

- He was born in Queens (less hope he is not a Yankees Fan!)

- He is beloved in Rockville Center and they are mourning their loss

- He regularly visited the Seminary there, and is well known and regarded by the guys there, including those from other dioceses

Some More Photos- UPDATES TO CONTINUE!!!!!!!!!!

the Latest Pictures of the new Bishop at Trinity High School

Important Blog News:

Please note this blog will begin being regularly updated after August 21st (when I arrive in Baltimore).