HOPE and Youth Ministry

Late last year I was asked to join the youth leadership team at my Youth Group. In many ways this opportunity is an answer to my prayers; that I step outside of myself and serve. Volunteer youth ministry is a big commitment, but I know that the role has been, and will continue to be, an avenue which pushes me to my fullest potential — all for the greater glory of God.

Our annual youth retreat/camp took place in early January. It was my first time leading at the camp, which was nerve-wracking at first, but served as a fulfilling experience on the whole. The theme was the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love (based on 1 Corinthians 13:13.) We divided the three between the leadership team; my group covered Hope. We did a good deal of research for our talks and activities, so much so that we often became overwhelmed by all the possibilities we had in regards to ground to cover. We were so blessed to have learnt so much about this often forgotten virtue during the process.

by Cassie Pease Designs

One of my favourite discoveries was the following quote from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:

“To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover. That’s not easy, but the basic Yes, the conviction that God has created men, that he stands behind them, that they aren’t simply negative, gives love a reference point that enables it to ground hope on the basis of faith.” ― Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Will share more about our Hope discoveries in future posts.

God is awesome!

#TuesdayTunes: The Civil Wars – “Kingdom Come”

A not so #TuesdayTune, seeing that it’s already early Saturday morning, but anyway, here I am (…♫ once again.)

This week’s musical news flash: The incredibly talented folk duo: The Civil Wars, part ways. So I thought, as I dry my tears, that I should share one of their fantabulous tunes.

I’ve chosen Kingdom Come, a track which also featured on The Hunger Games Motion Picture Soundtrack. This definitely won’t be their last #TuesdayTunes appearance.

Fare-de-well Civil Wars, we look forward to solo material in the not so distant future.

#TuesdayTunes: Mcfly – “Love is Easy”

My apologies! This week’s #TuesdayTunes entry is very late; It’s already Thursday afternoon here Melbourne. Anyway…better late than never!

Today I’m sharing a bundle of cute-ness: Love is Easy by British band Mcfly, which you may recall being very popular during 2012/2013.

Rather than the “met you in the club” junk prevalent in today’s music, the musical lyrical combination of Love is Easy captures the light-hearted innocence of true love’s beginnings.

Two thirds of the way into the song an audio-clipping further characterizes the delight of love’s first moments. On my first listening it I recognized the quote being from the 1946 film: “It’s A Wonderful Life”:

What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. – George Bailey (played by James Stewart)

–  the quote originates from a scene where similar affection , to that of the song’s protagonist, is being expressed. The quote rounds off the song; the lover not only expressing his love, and the changes it has made to his outlook on life, but also the fact that this love is enabling him to do absolutely anything for the good of the beloved. It’s beautiful.

Adding to all this, the music video is cleverly filmed and choreographed, the band performing center-stage of an old theater in a manner reminiscent of The Cure‘s “Friday I’m in Love” video (which I will discuss in another edition of #TuesdayTunes.)

After showing this music video to my youngest sister for the first time, she begged me to play it again, and again, and again during the proceeding months.

I see it as one of the classic love songs of this decade.
Hope you enjoy it! ~

#TuesdayTunes: Simon & Garfunkel – “Benedictus”

I grew up with the music of Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel playing in the background. My parents had the double disc Anthology album; it was quite literally the soundtrack of my childhood. I have fond memories of running about the house,  bouncing on my parents bed with my little brother and sister, singing lyrics I didn’t understand and confidently pronouncing 80% of them incorrectly. Listening to their songs now, as well as realizing what those gobbledygook words I misheard were, I appreciate the stories they tell. I take pleasure in their music even more-so than I did as a kid, (and that’s a pretty big feet, if you knew just how much the 4 year old Gabby enjoyed them.)

Though I’ve listened to a range of their material over the years I recently came across one recorded in 1964 that I had never heard before. It had, and still has, me captivated. The song title is Benedictus.

There’s no denying that this song resembles Chant, and according to wiki (tut-tut Gabby,)  “[…]was arranged and adapted from two-part a capella motet by Orlande de Lassus”

The words sung in Latin are,

 Benedictus qui veniti in nomine Domini

which translate to:

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

It’s gorgeous; certainly invites me into a peaceful and prayerful disposition.
I hope it does for you too!

Enjoy #TuesdayTunes ~

#TuesdayTunes ~ Intro + Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

It has been a while since I’ve written on my blog. This Tuesday I got to thinking of a way to motivate myself to write here regularly, that is, getting into the habit of posting about a specific topic, on one specific day each week.  A music related post came to mind.

The plan is that I would post on twitter, tumblr, FB etc. and *hopefully* feature an in-depth version on my WordPress blog. I have decided that the name of this venture will be #TuesdayTunes.

Music & Me:
I have an eclectic taste in music. I don’t feel the need for my preferences to be based solely within a genre, era or to be swayed by popular opinion. This doesn’t mean I won’t listen to music which is considered popular, but that I will listen to what I enjoy, and not to what I am told I should enjoy by the prevalent culture. This allows me to grow a continuous anthology, enabling me to appreciate all I have come upon over the years – rather than looking back in embarrassment. I’d like to share these discoveries, as well as my old favourites.
So, without further ado, #TuesdayTunes:

#TuesdayTune: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

Today’s #TuesdayTune is Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware.  I discovered Jessie Ware earlier this year via the internet.

Previously working as a backing vocalist for a number of musical acts, Jessie emerged as a solo artist in 2011. Jessie possesses a genuine talent which can be heard not only in her studio recordings, but also in her acoustic and live performances (something which isn’t seen so often today.)

Some interesting trivia; Jessie’s song, Wildest Moments, is based upon the turbulent yet devoted relationship she shares with her best friend:

“…it came after this huge argument with my best friend […] this song really was like a kind of love song to my best-friend, but also kind of highlighting the fact that we can be the best but we can also be terrible together. I really love that people can relate to it though, for any kind of relationship.” *

I find Jessie Ware a perfect listen, when you want to sit back after a long day and unwind.

Enjoy ~

Habemus Pappam!

We have a Pope!!!!

Viva il Papa Francisco! What a way to start the day, we are all excitement and it won’t fade. How I ❤ being Catholic!

Pope Francis.
Pope Francis, viva il Papa!

PRAYER FOR THE POPE (via xt3.com)
Almighty and Everlasting God, have mercy on Your servant Pope Francis I, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Your loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with Your help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to You and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father the Pope under the protection of Your Sacred Heart. Be his light, his strength and his consolation.


God Bless you all,


Conclave 2013: The excitement builds!

Yes, we are still in “Sede Vacante” but Conclave 2013 is almost here! 5:00pm Tuesday March 12 Rome time (just under 5 hours from now), the 115 cardinals will process into the Sistine Chapel as the election of our next pope will begin.  A detailed schedule has been released highlighting the happenings of the conclave. Remember, this may take a while! According to Father Lombardi, the first smoke signal at the Vatican will appear around 8:00pm Rome time. Black Smoke: “No Pope elected yet”, White Smoke: “We have a Pope!” (though he stresses it is unlikely that a pope will be elected by the end of the first round.)

@Pontifex twitter account during Sede Vacante 2013.
@Pontifex twitter account during Sede Vacante 2013.

Here’s a little low-down on what we Catholics believe about the Pope: As Catholics we believe that the pope IS the successor of St. Peter; the apostle of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Bible we see Simon-Peter as a man who struggled continuously, but ultimately stayed true to Our Lord and His Church. Jesus himself established Peter as head of the church in Matthew 16:18. Something to get straight is that the pope is a human like you and I, he IS NOT God, therefore the pope is not perfect. As Catholics we believe he is only infallible in matters of faith & morals. In these areas he is under protection of the Holy Spirit, as it is the pope who serves as a guide to the Church on earth. We believe that God IS our Almighty Father, but just as we each have a dad here on earth so too does the pope serve as an earthly dad to the Church. :D

Like many young people this will be the second conclave in my lifetime, and it is terribly exciting! Last time around I remember being upset because our beloved Pope John Paul II had passed away. He had been a constant figure in my life, the only Vicar of Christ I had known, so at 10 years old I couldn’t believe that he had passed from this life. The conclave was completely new to me, black smoke, white smoke and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the Cardinals’ decision. The wait seemed so long, but when it finally concluded it was Cardinal Ratzinger, who took the name of Benedict XVI, emerging to greet us – it was beautiful to watch.

As so many have said over the past weeks, Papa Benedict’s resignation was a shock, (even now.) We have been witnesses to the humility he has displayed in doing so, in understanding his limitations and ultimately God’s will for him – it’s that which, along with the immense contributions he has made for our faith, will remain with us . Papa Benedetto XVI Emeritus is a great man who did a great deal for the church, and he will always be in our prayers.

We are also reminded in this time that Our Lord Jesus is the head of the church, and that we are but His unworthy instruments.

As a baby I was present at Blessed Pope John Paul II’s beatification of St Mary Mackillop of the Cross (I actually don’t remember it, though I have seen the photos.)  I was also fortunate to have seen Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when I was 14, at World Youth Day 2008. I pray to one day have the chance see our new pope! Oh, how I’d love to be there at the Vatican to hear and see the new pope emerge, but I know God intends me to join the members of the church in spirit as we wait for our new papa!

Vatican City

Remember to keep Papa Benedict XVI in your prayers. Pray for the cardinals. If you haven’t done so already spiritually adopt a cardinal here!

There’s a heap of fun things to do online as we wait and pray together for the proclamation “Habemus Papam!” (like the Pope Name Predictor Competition, Conclave App etc. ^.^ ) You can watch live coverage on EWTN at ewtn.com or on xt3.com, receive live updates at various Catholic websites. Be sure to join the #TeamCatholic peeps on Twitter, we’re pretty awesome. Do some exploring and be sure to share what you find!

God Bless you all and let’s keep praying!

Gabby x