Thursday, October 4, 2007

Three Talks Reach Over 350 Minds

Talks Spark Crowd and Recieve Positive Feedback

Talk Number 1 -
Sept 23 Lyndhurst

I had the honor of giving the Keynote Address at the annual Rosarian Society Brunch at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Lyndhurst for roughly 250 people. The speech highlighted the positives of the Catholic Church in the fields of Education and HIV/AIDS Relief. I made sure to discuss members of the Church, such as Fr. Jim Keenan SJ of Boston College and Fr. Fernando Cardenal SJ of Nicaragua, who preach contraceptive use as a deterrent to the destruction of life caused by HIV/AIDS and to limit abortions.

The latter part of the speech discussed the HIV/AIDS pandemic from a perspective of basic human rights and social justice. Furthermore with the awarding of the "woman of the year award" the concept of Orthopraxis, as in placing importance in what one does over what one says, fit in perfectly with the active and service driven lifestyle of the award recipient.

I wish the Rosarian Society well and hope to return in a year's time to update the parish community on the project.

Talks Number 2 and 3

2 = St. Philomena's Youth Group Livingston, NJ
3 = St. Catherine's Youth Group Cedar Grove, NJ

These two talks, for roughly 50 high school teenagers each, centered on the merits of determination and passion in reaching for one's goals. Along side this message was the power each person has to build and make change around them. In addition to these topics, the effects and transmission methods of HIV/AIDS
were discussed at length. This proved interesting as more high schoolers were in the dark about HIV/AIDS than I expected.

It was certainly special to talk to teenagers whose position and seat I sat in five years prior. The questions asked following the talk and the discussions, which took place nearly half hour after the talks, proved priceless and allowed me to take some pride in what I am doing.

I thank Deacon Joe for the opportunity to talk to the Youth Groups, and I look forward to working with them on the Oct. 28th volleyball fundraiser in Livingston, NJ. I have the pleasure to announce that half of the proceeds of the fundraiser will be donated toward the project's costs.