The Genesis One Code

The Genesis One Code. Daniel Friedmann.
New York: Park East, 2011. 231 pp.

This month I had the opportunity to preview The Genesis One Code by Daniel Friedmann. As a student of both religion and science, it was a wonderful opportunity for me to read and critique the work of someone who'd found a way to interpret science and faith as disciplines that can point towards a common truth.

Messages on the Digital Ocean

Managing the insights and posts of the friars at the Midwest Capuchins blog gives me the opportunity to reflect on our effect to others through such an immense medium. The Web is a virtual sea (double-meaning intended) of information. It can sustain us, it can be a place of enjoyment and leisure, and it can be trechorous and harmful if someone is not careful. Yet for all of that, we are given the task of crafting our own vessels of insight and reflection to be cast among the vastness of the digital ocean. Like the proverbial message in a bottle, we offer a piece of who we are and hit the "Publish" button, never really knowing who will find our words.

Steve Jobs & His Gift to the Church

I saw this article posted by Faith, a fellow Catholic blogger. It's an intriguing article by Jesuit Michael Kelly on the resignation of Steve Jobs from Apple, the impact of Jobs' innovation on global communication, and how that technology has been embraced by the Church. I found the article to be a good read and an opportunity to think about the role of social media in the Church.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

It seems like only yesterday that I finished my last exam and the end of school. But with the next semester of St. Xavier University less than a week away, it's good to look back at my summer placement in Detroit and the blessings I've received from being at those ministries.

Feeding the Spirit: Time at On the Rise Bakery

Last Tuesday I had the chance to work at one of our more unique ministries: the bakery. On the Rise Bakery opened in 2009 as an extension of the R.O.P.E. program - sponsored by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit. The program provides a place for men, coming out of prison, to deal with issues of substance abuse, anger management, and the life skills to succeed in the world.

Wearing the Habit: A Social Experiment

For my Intro to Communications class at SXU, I was asked to team with another classmate and conduct a test of nonverbal reaction to a specific event. The experiment was simple. In a semi-controlled setting, use one or more nonverbal expressions and record the reactions of the sample. The project was an introductory look at doing field research as well as preparing the documentation.

My partner and I thought about what to do an experiment on. One group did theirs on eating chips in a "quiet area" of the school, another did theirs on body positioning in an elevator. After brainstorming ideas for a bit, we came to the obvious decision: reactions of students when I wear my habit to school.

What follows is the form, experiment, and findings of one friar's experience of wearing a religious habit to a Catholic university.

Mozilla's Mark Up: Changing the World

For years, Mozilla has worked to provide free and open access on the Web for people around the globe. Even as a non-profit organization, the Mozilla Project (as they call themselves) has provided sound applications without cost to the users - most notably the Firefox web browser.

 In a field where competition and profit-making are so prevalent, how is Mozilla able to operate and compete with other developers? While reading The Mozilla Manifesto, it's clear that their focus is not on making money, but allowing open access to the Web for all:

Midwest Capuchins Blog Site

This week marks the release of the new blog site for the Capuchin Franciscans of St. Joseph province. For the past few months I've worked with our Vocations Director  Fr. Bill Hugo, OFM Cap. on a social media project to help build a web presence for the Province while also providing more information, experiences, and events. The overall goal: to allow everyone to get a better glimpse about our Order, how we live, and how we live out our Franciscan charism.

The site isn't 100% complete, but in true Capuchin fashion, we're learning as we're developing.

Further Exploration for Blogging

In the wake of the Blogmeet that took place on May 2 in Rome, there have been several areas to reflect and pray on when incorporating the blogosphere into the Catholic faith. The meeting touched on some very important points, however there is further encouragement to look at areas of growth for this type of ministry. As a friar in formation with the Capuchins, I have a list of important thoughts when it comes to blogging about the Church.

Results of The Vatican Blogger Conference 2011

While not able to attend the meeting this year, I've still had the opportunity to look at a lot of the information and discussion that took place during the May 2nd meeting.

The Ironic Catholic Blog has a beautiful write-up about the events from Monday, and Rome Reports News Agency sent me the piece they put together for the event.

The Obedience of Religious Life: Why I'm Not Currently On A Plane to Rome

Sometimes the life of a religious friar means that you have to turn down great opportunities, even when they come from Rome. 

I was invited to the Bloggers Conference on May 2, a gathering of 150 bloggers to discuss the Church and evangelization in the blogosphere. And while I was selected to attend this very important meeting, I regretfully had to pass. There's still a sinking feeling in my stomach about missing the opportunity, but I am proud to have been considered. And while I won't be able to attend, it's another lesson in what it means to be a friar.

Website Projects

While its hard to find time to blog these days, especially with the end of classes coming soon, it's not because I've stopped focusing on web development. In actuality, I've built several websites since January, both for school and others. Here's a look at some of the projects I've worked on, as well as a rumor about an upcoming blog for the St. Joseph province of Capuchin Franciscans.

Bridge or Barrier: More Reactions to Wearing the Habit to School

"Hey, aren't you the friar guy?"

This was the question posed to me while walking the halls at college. I continue to wear my habit to SXU on Fridays and while most students just look and stare, others are beginning to ask questions about it.

Perhaps what surprised me the most about this encounter was the he approached me on a day when I wasn't wearing my habit.

The Trenta and Some other Food Abominations

Most people have already heard that on May 3, Starbucks will offer a Trenta size 31 ounce cup for coffee. The human stomach only holds 900mL; the Trenta will max it out at 917mL. But what you probably didn't know is that there are other horrible things for your body, too.

While searching through for a homework assignment, I stumbled on to an article: 5 Ridiculous Fast Food Creations That Should Never Have Been Invented.

I don't eat the healthiest...any of my brothers can tell you that. But looking at some of these food choices makes me wonder if we hate our bodies so much that we're willing to buy into some of these outrageous food choices.

Maybe I'll just eat a banana for lunch.

Enjoy the article! article

Understanding the Confession App for the iPhone

As people continue to explore the sacred nature of technology, a recent iPhone app has made a lot of buzz in the news. The Confession App released last week claims to be the "perfect aid to every penitent." What is the Confession app exactly, and how can it benefit Catholics?

We'll take a look at exactly what the Confession app is...and more importantly what it isn't.

Blizzard 2011

Around noon today, we were informed that the university would be closed until Thursday. 3PM was the expected time for the storm to hit, dropping an expected 24+ inches of snow on the city. Since then, I've steadily watched the snow build outside our friary window.

...and So the Storm Begins

We've heard about it on the news since Sunday. It's been on every radio station from Milwaukee to Chicago all of Monday. Friars stopped by our friary and told us of how it had already started in the outlying areas such as Benton Harbor, MI. Meetings and schools were already being closed before a single snowflake fell.

But at 9PM, the impending snowstorm finally arrived. I could hear the wind howling outside my room as I tried to get it clean before the carpet cleaners get here tomorrow.

This picture is of Damen and Archer Ave. at around 9 PM. The were already getting snowy but the roads were still drivable. It's 11 PM and the snow's still coming.

Will the storm be as bad as everyone's predicted? Will I be snowed in and not go to school tomorrow? Will my room stay clean after the people come and clean the carpets?

I'll have more pictures for tomorrow.

Update from School

The first few weeks of the spring semester are under way, and I'm already realizing that my courses aren't as intense as the previous semester. I don't know if I've just gotten accustomed to the whole "college life" again or if the content of my classes is different, but I do notice a difference in the semesters. Only a few weeks in I'm confident I'll be able to do well this semester as well.

Here's a quick breakdown of my classes:

The Pain of Facing Oneself

I've had to deal with a lot of pain this week, but nothing hurts like watching oneself after being videotaped.
As part of my Communications class this semester, we had to give a quick introduction of ourselves. The class, entitled Perspectives on Human Communication is not solely about standing up and giving delivery, however no communication class would be complete without the ability to stand up and talk in front of an audience. The painful part is having to watch my delivery and then compose a brief summary of how I did, and where I can improve.