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My name is Brother Vito and I'm on a journey...

My name is Brother Vito. I'm a friar with the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchin in the Midwest US. Five years ago I was a car salesman and a poker dealer.

I am currently a temporarily professed friar living in Chicago. I am working on my undergrad degree in Computer Studies while also finishing up my Philosophy requirements to start Theology studies.

I play soccer, golf, guitar, and love to listen to music. I am a novice web developer as well.

This blog is my journey...a continuing process of listening to God's call. My recent blog posts are listed to the right.

I am still fixing a few bugs with this new template in Blogger. My blog can also be seen at www.digitalfriar.com.

Graphic Design Blog

I'm taking a Graphic Design course this semester to fulfill an Art credit for school. I chose graphic design because I wanted to be able to compliment the web design and development work that I already do. After two classes, I already see how this class is going to be a great experience and an opportunity for me to pretend to be an artist!

What's Up for 2012

So the champagne's been drunk and the New Year is here. The other obvious question is:

What's your new year's resolution?

I usually never remember mine...it's hard enough to remember the goals I have to complete for the week! However a past Spiritual Director once told me that times of change and renewal are the best times to make new habits. "New wine belongs in new wineskins," was the underlying theme, and there's some truth to that for me. So, hoping to make "changes" rather than just "resolutions," here's a few goals I've set for the new year.

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.