Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ash Wednesday in @ArchATL

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Renew Your Spirit in Lent

Are you ready? jezobeljones

Lent begins soon, this Wednesday in fact. 

The Georgia Bulletin has a list of spiritual activities in parishes around the archdiocese for readers to use the time of Lent to renew and deepen their faith.

Here are just a few of them:
OUR LADY OF LOURDES CHURCH LENTEN REVIVAL: Feb. 20-22; 7 p.m.; Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 25 Boulevard, Atlanta. Open to the public. The theme is “Walk in Wisdom’s Way.” There will be performances by nationally renowned gospel musicians, prayer, preaching, and an ecumenical service on Ash Wednesday at Ebenezer Baptist Church. All are welcome. Contact: or Carolyn Bell at (404) 522-6776 or
LENT REFLECTION DAYS: Wed., Feb. 22 and March 7, Tues., March 13, Thurs., March 22, Wed., March 28; 9 a.m.-
3 p.m.; Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center, 6700 Riverside Drive, NW, Atlanta. Open to the public. Each day includes three 30-minute talks, followed by periods of quiet for meditation, prayer and self-reflection. A light breakfast and lunch are included. Contact:, (404) 255-0503 or to register or for information.
3 p.m.; Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center, 6700 Riverside Drive, NW, Atlanta. Open to the public. Each day includes three 30-minute talks, followed by periods of quiet for meditation, prayer and self-reflection. A light breakfast and lunch are included. Contact:, (404) 255-0503 or to register or for information.
LENTEN PARISH MISSION WITH FATHER LARRY RICHARDS: Feb. 27, 28, 29, March 1; 7 p.m. on Feb. 27-28, March 1; 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 29; Cathedral of Christ the King, 2699 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. All are invited. Nightly topics in order are: “God’s Love and Prayer”; “Love of Others” (with Mass); “Passion of Christ” (penance service); “Adoration and Healing” (with Eucharistic adoration and a healing service). Contact: (404) 267-3671 or email
A much longer list of opportunities can be found at "Bulletin Notes," under spirituality.  


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love That Lasts

There's lots of talk about love today, naturally since it is Valentine's Day. 

What you should know about me is I am a sucker for a good story. And love stories for me are always good stories. 

In my mind, Jesuit Father Pedro Arrupe summed it up rather nicely in his reflection about love"Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."

So, at a time when headlines scream about destruction and strife, here is an post for the holiday that celebrates the love of couples:

Joseph and Georgia Monnerat, longtime parishioners of Most Blessed Sacrament Church, Atlanta, recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

In the beginning  ... 

They met on a blind date at the Army’s Camp Blanding, Florida, in 1941. 

Georgia, who grew up in Wayne County, GA was serving as a nurse, and Joe, a Yankee from Waterbury, Conn., was a young Army lieutenant.

They were married Jan. 12, 1942, by a military chaplain, known only in family lore as “Chaplain Scully.”

Their honeymoon was celebrated with a spaghetti dinner in St. Augustine, Florida. Georgia returned to the nurses’ dormitory at Camp Blanding before curfew and Joe packed the next day for deployment. 

Today ...

The couple celebrated their wedding anniversary on January 25, 2012. 

Joseph is Catholic and Georgia is Baptist. Both are members of the Knights of Columbus Council 4422 in Hapeville.

Their daughters and son-in-laws are Joan and William Campbell of Torrance, Calif.; Georgia Ann Monnerat of Lake Jackson, Texas; and Carolyn and Terry Mestnik of Eagan, Minn. Their grandchildren are Grant Mestnik, a pilot in the Navy in Jacksonville, FL and Stephanie Mestnik of Eagan, Minn.

Father Bruce Wilkinson, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, knows the family well.
"Although their health keeps them homebound these days, both of them a a great sense of humor.  Joseph is a faithful tither, and when his children come to visit he usually asks them to bring him to Most Blessed Sacrament when they attend Sunday Mass," he said in an email. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Atlanta Media Reports on Controversial Federal Birth Control Mandate

I've put together a collection of Atlanta media coverage about the federal Health & Human Services mandate that would require employers to provide some birth control services in its health benefits to employees. 

Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and other church leaders have vowed to fight the mandate. They believe it violates the constitutional principle of freedom of conscience. They object to having to pay for services that are contrary to church teaching. If they don't pay, the church would be fined. 

The federal government provided a religious exemption. However, church leaders object that the exemption are too narrow and would still require Catholic affiliated organizations to pay for services they find morally objectionable.  


Georgia Bulletin:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

WABE 90.1 FM:

11 Alive TV:

Fox 5 TV

WSBTV Channel 2 TV

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feeling Humbled and Loved By Jesus At the Same Time

I enjoy being a Catholic press photojournalist and covering the news of the church, but I would be telling a lie if I said I approached every assignment with the same enthusiasm and zeal. On Tuesday night when I was asked to attend the second night of a three-night parish mission at All Saints Church, Dunwoody, featuring Sister of St. Clare Sister Briege McKenna and Vincentian Father Kevin Scallon, I saw it as a routine assignment. In my mind I was going to be there for the end of Mass and the beginning of the healing service. That way I could take my shots and be out of there. But it didn’t happen that way. Jesus had different plans for me.

God has a way to humbling us and loving us at the same time. I arrived at the church at 7:30 p.m., Mass concluded at 8:30 p.m., and the healing service started immediately afterwards. I was getting a little antsy. I thought I should have been finished at that point.     

I moved down to the front to get a photo of Sister Briege as she was praying, and at the same time I tried to get a photo of Father Kevin as he was carrying the monstrance up and down the aisles and around the church. I only took a few photos because I was trying to be selective, waiting for those moments when Father Kevin would walk out of the shadows and into the momentary pockets of light. Once I took my shots, I retreated to very back, left corner side of the church – out of the way I thought.

But Father Kevin made a left turn and began heading toward me and my corner. I was kneeling down with the camera at my side. He stopped right in front of me and held the monstrance above my head for a few seconds. I think Jesus knew what was on my heart before I walked in the church that evening. I felt embarrassed and guilty for having approached the evening with such a cavalier attitude.

With the real presence of Jesus in front of me, all I could think to say was a silent prayer: “You know what I’ve been thinking tonight, but while you’re here, would you bless and anoint my work tonight?” Needless to say, I stuck around for the entire healing service and benediction.

I confess that’s not the first time I had planned to “go in and get out,” but ended up staying You’d think I would know by now. Whenever Jesus is the main attraction and headliner, you can’t leave. Why would you?  As in Mark’s Gospel I had read earlier that day, the works and love of Jesus leave us “utterly astounded.”  

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Photos for Catholic Schools Week 2012

Award-winning photographer Michael Alexander can be found in the schools of the Atlanta archdiocese, where he captures student life and classroom activities for readers of the Georgia Bulletin. 

The national celebration of Catholic Schools Week takes place in the last week of January.  

These photos are to be displayed at a banquet to honor Catholic educators. We are happy to  share them with everyone here. And in the future, the prints will hang in the education hallway at the archdiocese chancery.  (Please see more of his work at the Georgia Bulletin's Smugmug page.)