Category Archives: Men of Faith

The Perfect Prayer

Many years ago, while still a member of the laity (in fact, the diaconate wasn’t even on my radar), I had settled into my pew a few minutes early before Mass, finished a brief prayer, then read the readings for the day in the missal. As I turned the missal over to set it on the pew, the prayers on the back cover caught my attention.

Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding and my will. All that I have and cherish you have given me. Your love and your grace are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord Jesus, and I ask for nothing more. Amen.

I was familiar with many of them, but this day, a prayer I’d never noticed popped out at me:  The Dedication to Jesus. As I read the prayer, I felt it resonate deep within my heart… these words spoke to me in a way that no prayer ever had. When I’d finished reading, I noticed the attribution to St. Ignatius of Loyola.

I took the missal home, memorized it over a period of a few months; it became my “go-to” prayer. A short, meaningful rededication of my faith and trust in Jesus.

Ignatian spirituality has become a central theme in my prayer life since then. I was content… at peace in my acceptance of Christ the King. And then Sr. Faustina crossed my path. She hadn’t been canonized… her cause was certainly an active one, but I’d never encountered The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. And, as you might expect, one aspect of the Chaplet clung to my heart just as tenaciously as the Ignatian Dedication:  The Our Father bead prayer… coupled with the 10th Hail Mary bead prayer.

For me, on this Divine Mercy Sunday, I am thankful for this prayer which has a singular place for me outside of the Chaplet:  just before the reception of the Holy Eucharist, I offer all that Jesus is giving to me in His Holy Body & Blood to our Heavenly Father. It centers me… provides me with a powerful focus for reception of the sacrament. Most of all, year-round, I commemorate His Passion for salvation of the whole world.

Mercy… Yes!

1 – 2 -3… IGNITE!

What better event to launch the use of our new Syracuse Deacons Community @deaconspeaking Twitter Team account than to share our diocesan Catholic Men’s Conference, IGNITE!  There was so much to share at this year’s event that coincided with the Solemnity of The Annunciation.

T-Shirt_Logo TweetThe excitement among the nearly 1,000 men gathered was worthy of sharing. This ninth year is based on a perfect formula for success:

Spiritual Graces – Mass, Reconciliation & Adoration

Catholic Challenges – 3 Very Dynamic and Different Speakers throughout the day

Community – Ample breaks, plentiful lunch, solid vendor support with plenty of space to mix and meet others with shared interests.

Six tweets during the day captured many of the conference highlights. And now, other deacons in the Diocese of Syracuse are joining the Twitter Team to ramp up our evangelization efforts.

If you’d like to follow us, here’s the info:


Special Delivery

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 10:48AM

IGNITE 2015 – Syracuse,  New York
Steve Ray is at the podium now with a talk focused on St. Paul. Wow! Connecting us with a feisty Apostle Paul. Just 40 minutes ago Bishop Robert Cunningham opened this year’s Ignite Catholic Men’s with Mass and a Homily emphasizing the role of the father in the family, who is strong because he cares!


Nearly a thousand men are here: Fathers, Sons, Old & Young. Hands of men Rising Up – Being Strong.

Join us: Inspiring men, by the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit,  to ignite their Catholic faith in everyday life.

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:50AM

1. What does it mean to suffer for Christ?
2. If Paul was here today speaking, talking about today’s culture, what challenge would he offer you personally?

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 12:30PM

Not By Bread Alone!

Great barbecue today and time to share at table…

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 12:45PM

Being Strong – The Sacrament of Reconciliation

Each year at Ignite, hundreds of men participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A small army of priests is on hand as men que in the mezzanine. God’s grace is so manifest in the sacraments here at the Ignite Catholic Men’s Conference!

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 1:28PM

Curtis Martin is giving all of us… 925 strong… a reality check. The Catholic Community is in place, but it’s not alive. “Where is the master circuit breaker that needs to be flipped on to bring it to life?

30 million have left the Catholic Church in the last generation. Food for thought!

UPDATE:  Saturday, 21 March 2015 2:00PM

Curtis Martin Wrap-up: Three questions that roll out of the presentation.
1. What was your 4:00?
2. What area of the culture could you set on fire?
3. How will you gather a “band of brothers”?

Coming up: Fr. Larry Richards

Raising the bar: “In 5 years there will be a Holy War in this country!”

Fr. Larry spesks with authority… with conviction and challenges each is to be crucified in Christ. He urges us to pray: “Read the Bible each day… in the morning, no Bible, no bread… at night, no Bible, no bed.”