Tuesday, May 29, 2012

'Morehouse Man' Wears a Roman Collar

Congratulations to Father Christopher Rhodes, who was recently ordained  a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville. 
Dallas native Rhodes, 34, is a convert to Catholicism and a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, St. Meinrad and Catholic University of America. He will begin as associate pastor of St. Augustine Church in Lebanon and Holy Name of Mary Church in Calvary.
In 2007,  I wrote about him and two other men discerning a call to the priesthood who worshiped at Lyke House. (You can read the story.)

Rhodes said Lyke House shows the universal features of the Catholic Church. As the only black seminarian at St. Meinrad Seminary, Rhodes at times shares a different point of view of the church from his fellow seminarians with insights gained from Lyke House. “They may have their perspective, but I have another perspective to add to theirs,” he said.
Rhodes, also a graduate of Morehouse College, converted to Catholicism at Lyke House and is now a seminarian. He and Brother John were college roommates before he graduated in 2002.
“I felt right at home because of the culture and because of the rich faith tradition,” said Rhodes about Lyke House.
He grew up in Dallas, worshipping in a charismatic Protestant expression. As a young man, his minister called him out of the congregation and announced Rhodes would lead God’s people one day. At Morehouse he worshipped at King Chapel, the spiritual center at the college, which is rooted in the Baptist church.
He first found Lyke House as a place to study, but was eventually drawn into its spiritual life. After exploring the faith for two years, Rhodes joined the Catholic Church in 2000. At Lyke House, he participated in the choir, on the liturgy committee, as a minister assistant.
He is studying to be a priest for the Louisville Archdiocese. He attends St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. Rhodes spent four years in the U.S. Army as an officer after college and also hopes to become a military chaplain.
He is a strong advocate for campus ministry. Rhodes, 29, said students are forming their own values, many for the first time after leaving home. Campus ministry inserts the idea of lifelong formation within the church, he said.
Update: Of the two other Lyke House men, Desmond Drummer continues his studies in seminary for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  I am waiting to hear  From John Phillips. 
In regards to my vocation journey, I have taken a leave from the Dominican order.

I am finishing my masters in sacred theology while working in the DC area. I have not given up on my call, but I will be working with a spiritual director to help me discern my vocation journey from this point forward.

I am extremely thankful for all those who have supported me in this journey, especially my Atlanta Catholic family.

I would appreciate your prayers as I move forward with my call.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blessed John XXXIII at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Carrollton

I took a recent road trip to Carrollton, home of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. I drove there to gather details about the community's 50th anniversary. The parish is profiled in the May 24 edition of "The Georgia Bulletin."

I also found this unique statue on its campus of Blessed John XXXIII, who convened the Second Vatican Council. You can learn more about him and the parish in the photo below.  --Andrew

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Month of May Is A Sports Bonanza

March brings the “Madness” of the NCAA basketball tournament, but that’s just one sport. May, on the other hand, is jammed packed with a host of sporting events. The first two legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown, The Kentucky Derby and The Preakness, are run the first Saturday and the third Saturday of May, respectively.

In the National Hockey League (NHL) the Stanley Cup playoffs are down to four teams: the Los Angeles Kings, the Phoenix Coyotes, the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers. In the National Basketball Association (NBA) six teams remain vying for a spot in the NBA finals. In the Western Conference it’s the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the Eastern Conference it’s the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat.

For golf fans, earlier in the month there was the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C., and The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. This week it’s the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores, Benton Harbor, Mich. And those are just some of the big ones.

This weekend, Pentecost Sunday, the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For baseball enthusiasts there’s a plethora of Major League Baseball games in May, because the league still has a long way to go in its 162-game regular season.

But what I enjoy most about May is covering and watching the state high school playoffs. Unfortunately, I was only able to make one playoff game this year - the May 16 girls semifinal soccer match between Atlanta’s Marist School and Peachtree City’s McIntosh High School. McIntosh defeated Marist 3-1, and McIntosh would go on to defeat Whitewater High School, Fayetteville, to win the Class AAAA championship.

Marist School's Stephanie Krouskos (#9) tries to gain possession of the ball over McIntosh High School's Hannah Hartman. McIntosh scored one goal in the first half and two in the second to defeat Marist in the state soccer semifinals 3-1, May 16.

A number of our Catholic schools made it to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 in sports like baseball, lacrosse, soccer and tennis. The boys soccer team at Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fayetteville, had never advanced past the first round, but this year they reached the Elite 8 for the first time in the school’s history. Mercy, too, would go on to lose to the eventual state champion in Class A, Aquinas High School of Augusta.

In the June 7 issue of The Georgia Bulletin we will provide our readers with a recap of the Catholic school teams that were either state champions or state runner up.

Congratulations to all the teams, athletic directors, coaches, managers and players who competed during the 2011-2012 school year.

In closing I’ll leave you with a quote from former professional tennis player Boris Becker:

“I love winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.”

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

Friday, May 11, 2012

Award-Winning Lobster Bisque

In the May 10 edition of the Georgia Bulletin, we featured in the Notable column, the first cook-off by the Southside Ultreya first Men’s Cook-off

Thom Miller won first place for his lobster bisque. He kindly shared the recipe. So, if you want to try your hand at it, below is the how-to for the award-winning dish.  


Thom’s Lobster Bisque

½ lb. onion, finely diced
½ lb. leek, finely diced
¼ lb. celery, finely diced
2 ½ lbs. lobster carcasses, rough chopped
1 cup tomato paste
1 lb. butter
12 oz. all purpose flour
2 tsp. paprika
2 qt, light cream, scalded
4 oz. Sherry wine
2 oz. Brandy
to taste;  salt, white pepper, Knorr’s vegetable bouillon cubes, Old Bay Seasoning, and Lowrey’s seasoned salt


Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add lobsters head first and boil until cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Using tongs, transfer lobsters to large bowl.  Reserve two cups cooking liquid.  Cool lobsters.

Working over large bowl to catch juices, cut off lobster tails and claws.  Crack tail and claw shells and remove lobster meat.  Closely chop lobster meat: cover and chill in fridge.  Coarsely chop lobster shells and bodies: transfer to medium bowl.  Reserve the juices from lobsters in a large bowl.

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and sauté the onions, leeks & celery until translucent.  Add the chopped lobster pieces and cook until they turn completely red in color, about 8 minutes.  Add the paste and cook for about five minutes, stirring often.  Add the paprika and the flour and stir until smooth.  Cook for five more minutes.  Add one gallon of water, reserved 2 cups lobster cooking liquid and lobster juices and bring to a boil stirring often until smooth.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 45 minutes. 

Strain the bisque in a large strainer, crushing the shells to extract their flavor.  Finish the bisque with the scalded cream, the Sherry and Brandy.  Adjust the flavor to taste with blend of items noted.  Do not re-boil once the cream has been added.  You may desire to thicken with 2 tsp. corn starch.  Hold hot at 160 – 180 degrees F.  Serve in warm crocks garnished with the cooked lobster meat.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Key Moments between the Vatican and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Catholic News Service published a timeline of key moments in the relationship between the Vatican and the US women religious, with much of it focused on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Instead of a running it as text, I thought a timeline would be interesting. 

Late in April, a Vatican office came out with a report, saying "serious doctrinal problems" existed with the LCWR organization and put it under the supervision of the archbishop of Seattle.
Read here. And more here.  

Source: Catholic News Service.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Out of a Georgia Bulletin Story, An Adoption

Rewards for working at a newspaper come in various ways.

I wrote last fall about the start of a ministry in the Atlanta Archdiocese called Embrace. It  grew out of the tears and heartache of a couple who struggled with infertility and losing a child still in the womb. Please read the story here.

I crossed paths on Monday, April 30, with Nicole Hartman.  I was leaving work and she walked into the building to organize a workshop for priests to help them better understand the issue and the ministry.

It turns out that from of my story, she and her husband, Peter, were contacted by family member of a young woman looking for a couple to adopt. In December, they were at the hospital as their daughter Olivia Joan was born.

Here's Nicole in her own words:

  Follow up to an Georgia Bulletin Story by GeorgiaBulletin 

Nicole later phoned me and left a tearful message. She wanted the community to know how the birth mom is an "amazing young woman that made a very beautiful choice for her daughter that was loving, of prayer, and of God."

Nicole spoke highly of the woman and her decision. She hopes the story may inspire other young women to make a similar choice. An open adoption is  a "very healthy choice and a loving choice," she said.