Interview Numero Uno

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Rabbi Lyle and I had been emailing, so he had my main questions before our meeting.

Yesterday, I was able to sit down with the Reform Rabbi on Campus. Rabbi Lyle and I spoke for about an hour, and I took about three pages of notes.

He came prepared with materials for me to take home. There were two articles from Jewish sites that educate Jews (kind of like Catholic Answers for me) and there was a book written by another Rabbi about the Messiah in Reform Judaism.

One thing that I found particularly interesting from our conversation was the teaching of the Messianic Age rather than a traditional Messiah in Reform Judaism. I’ll be exploring that more so in another blog post.

Tomorrow, I have the privilege to sit down and talk with Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Meir also works with Hillel on campus, and he is a Modern Orthodox Rabbi. I learned so much from Rabbi Lyle, so I’m really excited to sit down Rabbi Meir.

After my conversation with Rabs (Rabbi Meir) I’ll be able to better plan out how I’m going to break up this topic. I feel like I could write a book with the information I have already learned, but I’m excited to get another opinion and to see another way of teaching!


365 Days of Love Notes, Week 37

Sunday April 12, 2015

Came home from Kentucky

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Monday April 13, 2015

Found this:


Tuesday April 14, 2015

Had a Pastoral Council Meeting, and went to bed early :)

Wednesday April 15, 2015

Found this and I love it:


Thursday April 16, 2015

Read with Hillel in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day


Friday April 17, 2015

Went to Holy Hour with the Diocese

Saturday April 18, 2015

Went to my cousins wedding :)


Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Why focus on Judaism in a Jesus Class?

The opportunity to do a media project in a religion class is something that I wasn’t expecting to do. When we were posed with the topic and the opportunity to choose a form of media, I was a bit stumped. I love to write (obviously) but I’ve only flirted with creative writing. I’m not much of a poet, although I believe that prose can have poetic qualities.
To make it short, I wasn’t going to be writing a poem.
So I thought, and thought. I thought about doing something with ecumenism in Eastern Kentucky. Combining projects with Mission is something that I’m fond of (I’m doing it in one other class). However, then I remembered that we were asked to take this opportunity to learn something new, therefore my Catholic Mission experience wouldn’t be the best fit.
This is where Judaism comes in.
I’ve always been interested in Judaism. As a practicing Catholic, I like to learn where my own traditions come from. And, my Great Grandfather was a Jewish immigrant to the United States. My family doesn’t know much about him. He wasn’t a big part of my Grandmothers life. In fact, I don’t even know what his first name was (it may start with an H though).
Although I don’t know much about him, I do know that he is the only one of my great grandparents who wasn’t Irish Catholic. My Great Grandfather is the only person in my direct bloodline who didn’t practice Catholicism, and that makes him and his faith incredibly interesting to me. So for this project, I thought it would be really interesting to learn more about Judaism, and to learn about Judaism in terms of the Messiah.
Before our class on Judaism, I had never really thought about the Messiah in Jewish terms. For me, it was just that Jesus wasn’t it for the Jews. Prothero’s treatment of this topic was incredibly interesting to me. He touched on every subject from the roots of anti-semitism to reformed rabbis views of Jesus as a Jew.
Now, for those who know me, I spend a lot of time in Hofstra’s interfaith center. It’s a small, cozy office in the Student Center. Catholic life and Hillel are the main offices in this quad. The two are very close and work together on different events. And in day to day life, they are great companions who laugh with one another.
Rabbi Lyle has agreed to help me out in my greater understanding of Judaism and the Messiah. I see him almost every day, so I feel comfortable asking him questions that may otherwise be awkward. We’ve been emailing back and forth for a few days now. I’ve given him my basic questions that will allow us to have a meaningful conversation.
Here are the two topics/questions that we’ll be focusing on in our conversation:
 1. Within Jewish tradition, what is the Messiah? Is the Messiah supposed to be a Great Prophet? A Savior? Is there a great emphasis put on this subject within Judaism today?
 2. How do different Jewish traditions view Jesus? Obviously he isn’t regarded as the Messiah, like in Christianity. Is he regarded as a prophet? A false prophet? Was he just a regular guy? Is he someone that isn’t talked about?
We’re going to actually sit down this Monday, April 20, 2015. AND he’s going to give me a book that will be helpful to my understanding. It’s on his bookshelf at home, so I don’t have the exact title yet. It should be good though.
I’m looking forward to learning more about this ancient faith and its understanding of the Messiah.
Thanks for joining me on this journey!

365 Days of Love Notes, Weeks 35 & 36

Sunday March 29, 2015

Ended the retreat in the morning with Stations of the Cross to kick off Holy Week

retreat 2015

And then I came home to this surprise. God is Good. You can read my piece here.

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Monday March 30, 2015

Dinner date with Miss Sandi at Moes :)

Tuesday March 31, 2015

Cuddled with this mush:


Wednesday April 1, 2015

Last installment of the Lenten Series at Hofstra: Lust and Chastity. And of course, Mass on campus is always my favorite.

Thursday April 2, 2015

The Mass of Our Lord’s Supper. My friend Sean and I were able to have our feet washed at a local Parish as we prepared for our Mission in Eastern Kentucky. The water was cold, but it was a grace-filled experience.

Friday April 3, 2015

Good Friday:


Saturday April 4, 2015

Left for Kentucky with these incredible people:


Then we stopped in Washington DC, had dinner with Our Lady of Guadalupe, and went to the Easter Vigil at St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill.

easter dinner


Sunday April 5, 2015

Continued the drive to Kentucky. Later in the evening we arrived, made dinner, and had Mass at the Foley Mission Center.


Monday April 6, 2015

We went on a hike and had an easy day before work started on Tuesday.

Photo taken by Bridget McCormack

Tuesday April 7, 2015

We began working on a new front deck and a new ramp for our Participant.

Wednesday April 8, 2015

We made significant progress, and fell in love with our work, our Crew leaders, and Amandog.

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We also had a little concert with Mitch Barrett, a local folk artist.

Thursday April 9, 2015

Another day of hard work. BUT we had mac and cheese for dinner, and learned a little bit more about CAP and Appalachia at an information session.

Friday April 10, 2015

Finished up our project, met our participant, and spent some quality time with some wonderful ice cream (and a Cat).

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Saturday April 11, 2015

We left beautiful Appalachia for Morgantown, WV where we relaxed and ate burritos. We also got lost and ended up stumbling upon WVU’s Catholic Chapel and Newman Center. It was a good detour.

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I’m looking forward to telling you all about my trip in more detail! Hope you had a great Easter week!

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Life Lately

Life lately has been pretty crazy. School has been busy. Church has been busy. Lent has been busy. BUT NOW we’re in the most sacred days of Church, The Triduum. Today is Holy Thursday, and I’m excited to go to mass tonight. It’s also the last day of school before spring break. Finally. This semester has been so long, and break is finally here, so i’m pretty excited.

This past sunday when I came home from retreat, I saw that my piece in America Magazine has finally been published! If you have some time, please take a couple of minutes to read my piece. It’s called In His Time
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In other news, I’m going on a Mission Trip on Saturday. That means I’ll be spending Easter with my wonderful Newman family. I’m very, very excited. We’ll be traveling to Martin County, Kentucky to serve the people there. It’s my second year doing service work with Christian Appalachian Project. I’ll write about it a little more when i get back. For now, I would love if you would keep us in your prayers.

Have an AWESOME Holy Week and EASTER !


365 Days of Love Notes, Week 34

Sunday March 22, 2015


Monday March 23, 2015

Newman with some awesome people!

Tuesday March 24, 2015

Talked about Holy Week with some Middle Schoolers at Youth Group

Wednesday March 25, 2015

Feast of the Annunciation, reconsecration day, and mac and cheese


Thursday March 26, 2015

Rosary with CCM

Friday March 27, 2015

Went on Retreat with the Newman Clubs on Long Island


Saturday March 28, 2015

Continued retreat. During Lectio Divina, this phrase stood out to me from the Gospel of Mark:
“He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.” Mark 1:31
It reminded me that God is continuously pursuing us, and is there to carry our burdens for us. It was pretty cool.


Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”

The first week we contemplated Marian Consecration with Maximilian Kolbe


The second week we contemplated Jesus’s thirst for humanity with Mother Teresa


And of course, Totus Tuus Maria with John Paul II


Happy Consecration Day to everyone who finished St. Louis de Montfort’s total consecration to Jesus through Mary!
Totus Tuus Maria







Enjoy today’s feast!

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 33

A super busy week, but taking the time to recognize his goodness in each day is good.

Sunday March 15, 2015

Mass and fundraising for Mission at a local Parish. They were so generous, and they have a Marian Wall:


Monday March 16, 2015

Newman Club and homework

Tuesday March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! (It wasn’t too cold)


Wednesday March 18, 2015

Thankful for good friends and peanut butter smoothies


Thursday March 19, 2015

Dinner with a good friend. We had great burgers. We had time to catch up, and I got to spend time with her beautiful daughter.

Friday March 20, 2015

A snow storm. Some TV. And some Homework.

Saturday March 21, 2015

Some more homework and a birthday party and drinks with some good friends

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Marian Consecration Reflections

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for

As some of you may know, I’m currently on a do-it-yourself Marian Retreat. And through instagram, I found out that some other Catholic Bloggers are doing the same preparation with the same book! How funny is that? Anyway, I’m linking up with Cristina at Filling my Prayer Closet to reflect on my experiences with this retreat.

For the second year in a row, I’m using “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Michael E. Gaitley, MIC and it is awesome. I used this book last year in preparation for my Marian Consecration, and I loved it so much that I decided to use it again. I love the way Gaitley breaks up de Montfort’s teachings and sprinkles in the teachings of other Marian Saints. Maximilian Kolbe, Mother Teresa, and JPII have insightful remarks for the different weeks of this retreat.

Right now, we’re in JPII’s week, which is awesome because I love JPII. However, I’m going to reflect on Mother Teresa’s week because it is my favorite. I also feel that it has the most impact on my life right now.

Mother Teresa’s week revolves around Jesus’s words, “I thirst.”

Suffering has to come because if you look at the cross, he has got his head bending down–he wants to kiss you–and he has both hands open wide–he wants to embrace you…At times you come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you. Suffering is a gift from God. It is between you and Jesus alone inside. 

Praying with the phrase “I Thirst” has been an incredible experience. I think that once you take the time to pray with this phrase, it takes on a whole new meaning. I know that last year, this experience allowed me to better pray during Holy Week, especially on Good Friday when we hear this phrase “I Thirst.”

Mother Teresa’s letter to JPII about her “call within a call” on September 10th is also one of my favorite parts:

Jesus wants me to tell you again…how much love He has for each one of you–beyond all you can imagine…How can we last even one day without hearing Jesus say “I love you”–impossible. Our soul needs that as much as the body needs to breathe the air. If not, prayer is dead–meditation only thinking. Jesus wants you each to hear Him–speaking in the silence of your heart. 

Doing this retreat this year (as well as last year) has allowed me to meditate with this piece of Marian Consecration. Better understanding how suffering plays into our daily lives as Catholics, helps me to better sit with Jesus in the Garden. This is something that I’ve struggled with throughout my young life. Knowing that someone like Mother Teresa, who also suffered greatly, was able to become a great Saint, fills me with Hope.

Learning about these great Saints, their struggles, their hopes, and their love for the Lord is encouraging to those who read about them. I know it is for me. Their Love for Jesus and his Mother is amazing.

Another part of the preparation that I’ve really loved, is reading about the Miraculous Medal and its origin. I loved learning about the meaning behind the image, and what this medal means for those who wear it. It’s pretty cool, you should check it out.

Much Love,

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 32

Happy Sunday, Friends! What are you grateful for this week?

Sunday March 8, 2015


Monday March 9, 2015

Planning the Baby Shower Drive with Newman Club

Tuesday March 10, 2015

Pastoral Council Meeting and Fixer Upper

Wednesday March 11, 2015

Celebrating the Irish Writer:

Thursday March 12, 2015

Rosary with CCM

Friday March 13, 2015

Stations of the Cross with the Youth Group

Saturday March 14, 2015

A much needed Holy Hour with the CFR’s and beautiful music.


“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose