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Neven Pesa: Catholic Seminarian Rocker!

Some of you may recall Neven Pesa from a post I did in April 2008 here at Contemplative Haven and also from one at Consecrated to Mary.

Neven contacted some of us last month (Catholic Seminarian Rocker is what he titled his email!) to update us on his story; he was enthusiastic when I asked him if I could share his email with my readers.  He also attached a track of “Gloria In Excelsis Deo” which he wrote, arranged, composed and performed (I wish I could embed it here for you all to hear; it’s just beautiful).

The wonderful news is that this past autumn, Neven was accepted as a Postulant of the Basilian Salvatorian Order, of the Catholic Byzantine Rite, located in Methuen, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  Here is a picture of Neven with his Bishop:

Neven Pesa Dec 2009

My warmest congratulations to you, Neven!

Although the website that Neven had formerly set up and to which I linked in my original posts is now defunct, Neven would like me to pass along his thanks to all of you who supported him in any way – spiritually, morally or financially. Neven writes:

Admittedly, I am still very far from meeting my goal of becoming completely debt-free and some would say that my venture, in the world’s eyes, has been a failure. Sales have been modest but considering that I am not attached to a record label and have no advertising behind me except word-of-mouth, I believe that my venture has been more of spiritual quality than of monetary “quantity”. Quality – as in your love, encouragement and prayers.

Neven’s CD, Shekinah Hosanna, is still available at CDBaby (I have it, and I love it), and he just finished recording a second CD under a different band name (I will update you when I receive the information).

So Neven, once again, warm congratulations on becoming a Postulant of the  Basilian Salvatorian Order; best of success for your seminary studies, for your music and for your deepening prayer-life and journey of intimacy with Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Keep us updated; our prayers are with you!

This Is The Year…

… that I feel we will be bursting with creativity.  It’s behind the scenes with so many of my blogger-friends.  It’s been building up for years (sometimes decades) in the heart area to such a degree that if it isn’t released the heart will surely implode.  This, of course, is exactly the opposite of what is desirable.  The world doesn’t need imploding hearts, crippled spirits or any more people “living lives of quiet desperation”.  The world needs joy, beauty, healing and love…

Our friend Carol has a beautiful post calling out to all of us to co-create, appealing to us to flood the world with the beauty of the talents the Lord has bestowed.  She links to and quotes from Venerable Pope John Paul II’s “Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists” (April 4, 1999), whose words are upheld and reinforced by Pope Benedict XVI on the tenth anniversary of this letter. (This clip from the Vatican’s YouTube Channel is only 1 minute and 42 seconds long):

“Art in all of its expressions has the ability to broaden the horizons of human consciousness and it becomes an avenue to the transcendent, to God.”  So let us journey on, to “grasp the profound meaning of our existence”, and help others to do so as well.

[Note:  Since Carol had closed the comments for this particular post on her site, I would just like to thank her here for the links she put in for my two blogs, for anyone who may be starting, in the midst of, or considering his/her Consecration to Mary.]

Giving and Receiving

I was recently contacted by a young man who has discerned a call to the priesthood, and who would like to share his story with all of you.  Neven Pesa has been accepted to the Order of Basilian Salvatorian Fathers in Massachussets, U.S.A., a semi-contemplative order of Catholics of the Eastern Rite.  Neven currently belongs to the Byzantine Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary in Brooklyn, New York. His personal story was recently featured on the site Catholic Exchange, and you can also read more about Neven’s background/calling at his personal site, A Priestly Vocation

In order to start his Novitiate in September 2008 he is required to be debt-free, and after a four-year course of study at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, this will be no small task.  Neven is working two jobs towards this end, but God has blessed him, and in turn ourselves, with yet another means of achieving his goal. 

Neven is a singer/songwriter who records under the name of Shekinah Hosanna; his first CD is available at CD Baby, where you can listen to samples of his tracks.  He hopes to have another CD available by this fall, on which he will have the “Hail Mary” in Hebrew as well as another Marian song.  Neven has a beautiful voice and is a gifted lyricist.  He has also set up a YouTube Channel called ShekinahHosanna in order to let people become aware of his music.  Here is one of Neven’s original songs, “Dear God“, which he has set to scenes from the movie “Bella”.  Above all, Neven has asked for our prayers, so please consider supporting him in this way as well as by bringing his beautiful music into your lives.  His music is a gift to all of us, as will be his future priesthood.

  
[Edited to add:  Please visit my post of today at Consecrated to Mary for another beautiful song by Neven as well as a glimpse into the role Mother Mary has played in his life.]

Vocations Sunday: Let us Pray for Good Shepherds

The Church should daily take up Jesus’ persuasive and demanding invitation to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38).  Obedient to Christ’s command, the Church first of all makes a humble profession of faith:  in praying for vocations, conscious of her urgent need of them for her very life and mission, she acknowledges that they are a gift of God and, as such, must be asked for by a ceaseless and trusting prayer of petition.  This prayer, the pivot of all pastoral work for vocations, is required not only of individuals but of entire ecclesial communities.  There can be no doubt about the importance of individual initiatives of prayer, of special times set apart for such prayer, beginning with the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and of the explicit commitment of persons and groups particularly concerned with the problem of priestly vocations.  Today the prayerful expectation of new vocations should become an ever more continual and widespread habit within the entire Christian community and in every one of its parts.  Thus it will be possible to re-live the experience of the Apostles in the Upper Room who, in union with Mary, prayerfully awaited the outpouring of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14), who will not fail to raise up once again in the People of God “worthy ministers for the altar, ardent but gentle proclaimers of the Gospel”.

[Shepherds After My Own Heart: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of His Holiness John Paul II on the Formation of Priests in the Circumstances of the Present Day. 1992. pgs. 102-103]

Discernment

I think this beautiful video from Steve Silvia contains some very good guidelines for anyone who may be in the process of discernment at the moment (not just for those discerning vocations to the priesthood).  Steve Silvia’s YouTube Channel is HERE – he has created many excellent, solid Catholic videos – one hundred and three of them to date –  on a wide range of topics.

“To hunger for use and to go unused is the worst hunger of all.”  Amen, Steve.

Direct to YouTube for this video is Here.

A Little Inspiration

Several of my blogger friends are in a state of career flux at the moment.  I found a sound clip which I’d like to share, and then we will continue with our detachment posts and see where they lead us.

This sound clip (and as such, it ends rather abruptly) is taken from, “The Beginner’s Guide to Finding Your Perfect Job”, by Rick Jarow, Ph.D., who is a practising alternative career counsellor and associate professor of religion at Vassar College.  It’s fifteen minutes in length, so please come back later if you do not have the time right now.

Jarow’s ideas concerning ‘abundance’ are refreshing, and certainly in line with a contemplative attitude.  I hope everyone will find this to be an inspiring bit of audio, whether we are experiencing career/vocation difficulties at this very moment or not.

So here it is; I’d be pleased to know what you think.