Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ICAP 2011: It Begins!

Sunday I joined Sill, Doug and Alicia from Emmaus Ministries as we drove to Green Lake Wisconsin to attend the 2011 International Christian Alliance on Prostitution global conference. The conference is held at the Green Lake Conference Center which is a retreat center of the American Baptist Association. “Conference Center” does not do the site justice. This is a place with multiple chapels, huge lodges, gardens, nature trails, a tower, a small island and it all sits next to the deepest lake in the state.

Sill Davis, the Ministry Center Director of Emmaus Ministries will be presenting.His talk is titled, “What Drives Men to Sell Their Souls: Why Do They Prostitute Themselves”. Doug and I will be presenting this week as well. Our talk is titled, “Homeless Youth: The Face of Vulnerability and Prostitution.” However, we are really here to listen and learn from others, to worship and play together and to network.

The conference attendees are from 40 different nations. It was wonderful to see Asians, Africans, Central Asians, Europeans, Latin Americans and North Americans all at one site. The dress, languages and hugs remind us that we are all from one family, one big family!

Our first night here set the tone for the joy of this place. I sat with folks from Australia, Nigeria, Cambodia and Thailand. Man, what a great way to start a week!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Day in Chicago

I am on my way to the global conference sponsored by the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution. It is in Green Lake Wisconsin. Doug, the outreach director at Emmaus Ministries and I will be presenting at the conference. So, in order to meet up with Doug I got to spend a day with Kaio!

Whitney Merrell and I went to Pilsen neighborhood and to Little Village. Whit had lived two years in Mexico and so I wanted to share these two vary Mexican neighborhoods with her.

In Pilsen we just enjoyed looking at the enormous murals with the Sears Tower in the background. There were magnificent churches everywhere. Pilsen is a Mexican neighborhood that is also has a large number of art glories. So it is kind of a middle class, yuppie, ethnic-neighborhood. In that way it reminds me of Ukrainian Village.

Whit and I visited the National Mexican Museum of Art. It was great. There were three special exhibits. These included “INTERMISSION” by Benito Huerta, “La Nacion Huichol: from the sea to the desert” which focused on the indigenous art prior to the formation of Mexico. I enjoyed listening to indigenous music from Mexico collected by a Norwegian anthropologist with Whit, my Hoosier-Kaio friend who lived in Mexico giving commentary. Now that is an integrative experience! The last exhibit was “Claroy Obscuro: Recent Paintings by Elsa Munoz”. Whit and I loved the museum and found ourselves spending a great deal of time in the permanent exhibits.

After the museum we drove down 26th street to Little Village. It was a strange drive because three blocks from Little Village is the Cook County Jail with its security walls, barb wire and guard towers. Still, the village was great. You enter under a large banner. The neighborhood is full of street vendors, live poultry shops, restaurants, shops and groceries. We had a great lunch. We then walked the streets. We stopped and enjoyed an outdoor mariachi band, we looked at vendors selling cotton candy, drinks and candies. Whit showed me how they sell jeans in Mexico (they have the mannequins face the opposite direction of the customers so you can see how good the pants make your butt look.) As soon as Whit explained this to me I saw the mannequins in a store front window, butts forward!

Street Vending in Little Village, Chicago

Whit and I then went out for coffee. Afterward we picked up Joshua Kent and just hung out for a few hours. Josh and I got to talk about all things Franciscan. It was good to be with the two of them again.

That evening I walked across the street to the Friendly Towers of Jesus People USA (JPUSA). They had sponsored a one day conference on Intentional Faith Communities. Now they were having a concert and I was going to attend. What a concert! Crossings played. Now JPUSA is home to so many arts and music is one part of that tapestry. JPUSA has bands from around the world play there but they also have their own blues and jazz bands, alternative and then their oldest, Crossings. Crossings is a Celtic band. However tonight they were very eclectic. They had African drums, Celtic hand drums. Bag pipes, tin whistles, fiddles, cello, guitar and mandolins. Tattooed and rainbow haired folks danced around the room. Patched up jeans, muslin blouses, and handmade jewelry made you know you were in a special place. It was a concert of hand clapping and foot stomping. I was happy I stopped by.

The Crossing

So that was my one day stop in Chicago. It was great. Now, on to the conference!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Transformations Transformations by Uffdadoc

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Just playing around trying to get comfortable with a new program. Also giving a plug for John Green's book, "Street Walking with Jesus"

and Nicole Foster's book, "Light in a Dark Place"

So that is what I am up to. I am learning a program and unabashedly plugging my freinds books. Kind of fun to be able to do both at the same time!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Art in Chicago: 2010

Art in Chicago: 2010

Just a little sample of all of the art I was exposed to in Chicago. Some is out of focus because it was from my phone camera. Some of the stuff, like the eye ball, just happened to be where I was walking. The wall abstract that was out of focus was painted by Kaio member Nik Burkhart. The wall mural was at the school across the street from Emmaus Ministries. There is high art in the museums and folk art in the neighborhoods. Chicago is NOT bland! The city is just a feast for the senses. Love it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kerri's USF Journey

Kerri's USF Journey

Four years: Campus Ministry, Paw Print writer, literary awards two years in a row, Honors Program, 3.9 GPA, pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome. Presented at the AFCU 2010 Symposium. Lunch on campus with her Papa. Yep, it was a great journey.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Top Ten: Assisi Pilgrimage 2006

Top Ten: Assisi Pilgrimage 2006

Trish Bugajski's Final Profession as a Secular Franciscan

Trish B-Lady Makes Her Final Profession

Last Saturday was a big day for the Holy Family Fraternity of the Our Lady of Indiana region of the Secular Franciscans. On that day Trish Bugajski made her final profession. That means after almost three years of formation she took that final step that made her a full member of our Order. That the service occurred during the season of Easter was great. The chapel was full of flowers and rebirth. That it occurred a week before graduation at the university was appropriate, this is a service of launching and joining. That is occurred during spring was most fitting. This is a service of promise, hope, growth and beginnings. That is occurred on one of the few days we have had so far without rain and clouds was simply a gift!

Just Getting Ready for Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony

The Secular Franciscans Order is the third Order that Brother Francis founded 800 years ago. Everyone is familiar with the First Order, the friars. Most people know of the Second Order the Poor Clares. However, 800 years ago there were people drawn to the Gospel Life as lived by Brother Francis who could not responsibly leave their spouses, children and obligations. The Secular Francis Order, known as the Third Order r then was founded for them. It is a full Religious Order with a Rule recognized by the Pope. Like the other members of our Franciscan family the Rule and the style of participation has changed over the last 800 years. However, like the rest of our Franciscan family our commitment to living a Gospel Life has not changed. This is what Trish was joining herself to last Saturday.

Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony: the altar

Trish did not simply join a club. This has been a true journey for her. She has a keen mind and a honed sense of moral responsibility to humanity and to her fellow sister and brother creatures. That means she did not simply accept the faith you was raised in, she struggled with it, she questioned it. For Trish faith is a verb. Trish and her husband Ken were AFCU pilgrims to Assisi and Rome. Trish attended the 2006 Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities Symposium. She was so moved by the experience that she became one of the key planners of the 2010 AFCU Symposium at USF. It is fair to say that much of the 2010 Symposium success rests on her shoulders. Trish completed the AFCU on-line Franciscan Studies Certificate program. She was trained as a leader in the "God's Extravagant Love” program. B-Lady supports Saints on the Street (SOS) a local group that hangs with and provides basic support for the homeless. To be honest here, Trish was a Franciscan way before she made her final profession!

Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony: Intro by Sr. Anita Holzmer, OSF

It is so appropriate that the Seculars are the Order for Trish. Her family is important to her. Her daughter, “the little blond girl” is a source of joy and pride for Trish. It was great to see her actively participate in the service. Trish’s husband Ken shares a common faith with Trish but not exactly the same journey. He is a Knight of Columbus. He has attended Catholic Collegium twice, once as a graduate student and once as a faculty member of a Catholic university. Ken is a funny, funny man. He is bright and a leader. Best of all for me, he is a fantastic cook. Now to be honest I am a very good cook, at times I am a great cook. I am a rookie compared to Ken and always look forward to sampling his latest creation. Yep, the Seculars are right Order for Trish, this is a family worth valuing!

Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony: Entrance

The service was wonderful Father Adam Schmitt gave a wonderful homily. He was able to weave components of the Catholic faith and history, of the Seculars and of the season together. He was simply uplifting and affirming. Sisters Anita Holzmer and Jacinta Krecek, OSF, provided the music. Whenever I see the two of them walking the halls of the University of Saint Francis in their habits carrying their guitars I expect Ed Sullivan to appear. (“Tonight we have a really big shooow, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Singing Nuns”.)

Bill Duffy, one of our fraternity inspirational leaders and Trish’s daughter Krystka (aka, The Little Blond Girl) were the altar servers.

Trish Bugajski's Profession Ceremony: Vicky Foltz, SFO, reader

So many members of he fraternity made sure they had a part in the service. Erin Gigle designed the program, Martine Meeks handed them out. Kathy Harpel and Dick Lowden were Eucharistic Ministers. Vicky Foltz was the reader and she was wonderful.
Trish and Vicky Jacobs presented the Gifts during Mass. This was significant because Trish was making her Final Profession and Vicky was in formation. It was like watching new branches spring forth from your favorite tree.

Trish Bugajski's Rite of Profession

The Rite of Profession was lead by the Fraternity Minister, Jon Cooper and the Fraternity Formation director Dick Lowden. Potential members meet with the Formation Director on a regular basis for at least two years and often up to three years. Additionally the candidate participates in the fraternity’s on-going formation studies during the monthly meetings. So this Rite was the culmination of a lot of growth, exploration and prayer.

Trish Bugajski's Rite of Profession: Questioning

Trish was then questioned by Father Schmitt. I think by that time Trish could have aked the questions and answered them herself. She was clearly ready to join!

Welcome to the Family: Trish Bugajski, S.F.O.

Welcoming a new member to the fraternity and to the Order is such simple and yet joyful act. Hopefully because of Trish’s journey over the last three years she has grown. What is clear is because of her journey we have grown. She represents the promise of an invigorated future, of new possibilities for the fraternity, of continued growth. On this day our Franciscan family has grown. We were all so happy to see this day happen.

A Peek at Ken's Tau-shaped Cake

After the service we all met in the Social Room for snacks, cake and conversation. Ken made a Tau shaped cake and as usual, it was delicious. It was a wonderful day. Sunshine, fellowship and a Final Profession, yep, Trish B-Lady is a Secular Franciscan.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011