We’re on a Mission for God!

We’re on a Mission for God!

We’re on a Mission for God!

 

As a very young man, one my favorite movies was “The Blues Brothers” in which they had the famous line “We’re on a mission for God’. There was nothing that was going to stop them from completing their mission. I am getting excited about leaving in a few days to go on our 3rd annual ride with our good friend Jeff Cavins. As I begin to pack, one the items that I wear when i ride is my God Squad vest. As of January this year the vest became a 3rd class relic when it touched the hand of St Francis Xavier. My hope is that some of the zeal that St Francis X had for sharing his faith will be instilled in myself and the group as we travel to our stops this year. We pray that Jeff will be inspired to share a message of encouragement to those who attend the talks along the way.

 

With recent allegations against high ranking church officials we need to work harder to be the reflection of Christ within the world. I was a young police officer and I remember all too well trying to arrest a black youth who had assaulted a police officer. We were on the ground fighting with 70 other young people encircling us yelling, “This isn’t LA!”. They were referring to the recent headlines about Rodney King being beaten by a few officers. I was a young police officer in Calgary and had nothing to do what had happened in LA, yet many were trying to suggest that I was because I wore a uniform. In the same way, as Catholics, many will label the Church with the sins of a very few; all the more reason we need to be on fire for our Church and show the love of Christ to all who we meet. (1 Peter 14-16) But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear,[a] and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence.[b] Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. An example of this is when I saw one of the young men I had worked with walking on the street and I offered him a ride, which he gladly accepted. In the past we had had many discussions on the Black Lives Matter movement and police relations. He very much enjoyed these conversions. On this day he jumped in the back and with a laugh and said, “Ain’t karma a bitch”. He was referring to the very recent killing of 5 Dallas police officers, indicating that they got what they deserved. A normal reaction would be to get upset and kick him out of the car and write him off. I was given the graces to stay cool and the wisdom to put it into perspective for him. I simply asked him “What if one of those 5 was me?”, to which he went silent for a moment and replied “I would have to take that bastard out”. We had built a relationship that had transgressed the problems that the world says a white police officer and a young black man should have.

 

We are all called to be on a mission for God and we need to recognize the things in our life that impede us from completing ours. Our missions can be very small, such as washing the dishes for our family. My mission for the 10 days is to fly the God Squad colors over 6100+ kms and be the best disciple of Christ I can.
 
Sean Lynn
 
P.S please join us as we pray the Novena to St. Joseph starting on Aug 6th . I am also looking for some young men to interview for an upcoming project that I believe the God Squad has been called to take on. Email info@godsquad.ca for more information or to volunteer to participate in this project.

2017 Annual Men’s Conference

2017 Annual Men’s Conference

 

Our annual Men’s Conference this year is March 17-18th

Conference Schedule

 

An invite from God Squad's Chaplain, Fr. Jonathan Gibson

 

 

Featured Speakers at this year’s conference:

Steve Wood

Steve Wood has led youth, campus, and pro-life ministries. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, he served as an Evangelical pastor for a decade before his entire family converted to Catholicism in 1990. Responding to a challenge from Pope John Paul II to strengthen families, he started the Family Life Center International in 1992. Over the past fifteen years, the Family Life Center has networked with thousands of families in over 68 countries.Steve is also the founder of St. Joseph’s Covenant Keepers, a movement that seeks to transform society through the transformation of fathers and families. Utilizing his books Christian Fatherhood & Legacy, CDs, television, radio, and conferences, Steve has reached tens of thousands of men in the USA, Canada and overseas with a message of Christian faith and responsibility. He is the host of the live Faith and Family broadcasts on EWTN worldwide radio, as well as the host of The Carpenter Shop, a show for men on EWTN television.Steve has also written two books: The ABCs of Choosing a Good Husband and The ABCs of Choosing a Good Wife to assist young adults in choosing a lifetime partner and preparing for marriage.Steve and Karen Wood have been married twenty-nine years and are the parents of eight children.

Damon Owens, international speaker and evangelist, is the founder and executive director of Joy To Be (joyTOB.org) a new 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry of Stewardship: A Mission of Faith centered on St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Following four-years as the first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute, he served as Chairman of the 2016 International Theology of the Body Congress. He previously founded Joy-Filled Marriage New Jersey, and New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association, non-profit organizations dedicated to building a marriage culture through training, seminars, and conferences. Damon and his wife Melanie taught Natural Family Planning (NFP) for 14 years, and served as NFP Coordinators for the Archdiocese of Newark (NJ).
A Certified Speaker for the Theology of the Body Institute, National Trainer for Ascension Press, and presenter at the 2015 World Meeting of Families, Damon keeps a full international speaking schedule at conferences, marriage seminars, universities, high schools, seminaries, and parishes on the good news of marriage, sexuality, Theology of the Body, Theology of the Family, adoption, and NFP. Damon currently lives outside Philadelphia with his wife Melanie and their eight children.

 

Jon Courchene

Jon Courchene is originally from Lanigan, Saskatchewan. After graduation Jon spent four years doing various types of youth ministry, including two years as a Deanery Youth Ministries Coordinator in the Diocese of Prince Albert. With a renewed desire for retreat ministry, Jon joined FacetoFace Ministries in 2007. After completing a Bachelors degree in Social Work, Jon began working full time with FacetoFace. He is now the Executive Director and co-leads the FacetoFace School Retreats.

 

March 17th and 18th, 2017 at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary, AB.

Doors open at 6pm on Friday, 7:30am on Saturday.

Special Student rates. Priests and Deacon’s may attend at no cost!

Financial assistance is available – please contact us

 

Divine Mercy Novena

Divine Mercy Novena
dmj
Please join the God Squad in praying this Novena that begins on Good Friday and ends on the Sunday immediately following Easter.
Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:

 

“These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.”

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:

“On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy … On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls.”

Day 1  | Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Day 4  |  Day 5  |  Day 6  |  Day 7  |  Day 8  |  Day 9

Feast of Divine Mercy

 
 

Check Out Fr. Jerome’s video on Divine Mercy

HOLY OF HOLIES

HOLY OF HOLIES

ChurchI was praying at the Adoration chapel within St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, taking in the wonder of being present there. I was trying to make sense of all I have seen and learned in the last 2 weeks in Israel. It has been rather overwhelming. We traveled up and down the country of Israel walking where Jesus and the generations before him walked.

We made our way to Jerusalem where every Jew would go to the temple to present a sacrifice. The temple housed the Holy of Holies (the Ark of The Covenant), where the High Priest could only enter once a year. He would have to purify himself to enter the Holy of Holies for fear of death upon entering without doing so.

WesternWallHere we were visiting almost 2000 years after the temple was destroyed and the Ark was taken out a century before that. You can go today and see people praying at the wall that is as close as a Jew can get to where the Holy of Holies was. If you follow the tunnel system you will find women praying in a spot that is considered the closest a Jew can get to where the Holy of Holies was (Muslims control the Temple Mount).

There are thousands of prayers daily with many written and inserted into cracks on the wall. These prayers are collected up and buried in the Jewish cemetery as a communication between you and God.

Jesus changed all this with his becoming man and dying for us. He has made it possible for anyone to approach him in the tabernacles of the world. From the grand Basilicas to the small simple chapels we can approach God, He is truly present. We can receive Him body, blood, soul and divinity at Mass. Looking at the Western Wall, my wife Michele commented “its just a rock”. We have Jesus!.

In closing you don’t need to travel the world to find God. He is at your local parish waiting for you. You can enter the Holy of Holies without the fear of death. You can go and be with God!

Keeping The Faith

Sean Lynn

St Joseph – Humility for the ages

St Joseph – Humility for the ages
Mark-Weibe-and-Sean-Lynn

Mark Wiebe and Sean Lynn in front of the side altar dedicated to St Joseph in St Peter’s Basilica

Michele and I have been on the pilgrimage of a life time. We went to to the Holy land with Jeff Cavins and his wife, Emily. There were 180 pilgrims, 23 from Canada. We visited so many of the holy

sites, that it may take months to comprehend it all. We decided to add Rome to our itinerary on our way home.

Many of you know that I have a great devotion to St Joseph and have relied heavily on his intersession over the years. I just did another novena before Christmas asking him for assistance in finding a speaker for the 2015 God Squad conference and completing our house renovations. He has never failed to help my family including making the pilgrimage a reality.

During our time in the Holy Land I saw a simple church dedicated to St. Joseph next to the Church of The Annunciation, which was massive. St Joseph’s humble workshop is housed in the basement of the little church. I inquired of our guides if there was a spot that is St Joseph’s resting place. There was not.

Then in Rome we toured the excavation under the Vatican to see St Peter’s bones which are located under the High Alter at St Peter’s Basilica. This led us into the Vatican Grotto where many of the popes are laid to rest. We then proceeded into St Peter’s Basilica where we were able to pray at the tombs of St Pope John Paul II and St Pope John XXIII. It was a little later in our visit that I located the side alter dedicated to St Joseph.

That was where the pilgrimage, and all I had done and seen, hit me hard. I had been on this trip due to St. Joseph’s intercession and there was very little recognition of him anywhere. He was so humble that his final resting place is not even recognized. I asked myself how this could happen? I struggle to imagine how it was that he didn’t brag about his boy – “Did you see how Jesus blew away the Rabbis in the Temple when he was 14?”

This was not him though. There is very little recognition of him and his role as the foster father of Jesus and the head of the holy family on earth, in the churches we visited. I found out that of the 66 basilicas in Rome one bears his name but it was only started in 1912. Pope Pius IX declared him Patron of the universal church. He wasn’t even included in the mass for the first 1900 years. Pope John XXIII added him to the canon of the mass and Pope Francis just added him to 3 of the eucharistic prayers.

Canadians are so privileged to have St Joseph as our Patron Saint (which could be why we are so polite). We have 2 basilicas dedicated to St Joseph, including St Joseph’s Oratory, which is the 3rd largest dome in the world. He is finally being recognized after 1900 years of sitting in the shadows.

I pray that I can begin to follow St Joseph closer, walking in humility.

LookingOutFromMtOfOlives

Looking from the Mt of Olives

 

Wake Up Parents!

I say that in my loudest firm police voice!

It’s the day after Thanksgiving Day and I want to scream. I listened to the news about how a 12 year old girl in Florida committed suicide after being bullied on-line by two 12 and 14 year old girls. The 14 year old posted IDGAF when she learned of the girl’s death.

I picked up my son from school later that day and he talked about a survey they did in Religion class that day. He said that only 3% of the class attended mass regularly (I told him that meant he was the only one) and half the class didn’t even believe in God!

My question in both of these situations is, where are the parents? I must have missed the part in the 10 commandments where it says that you must have Facebook account! Why is a 12 year old girl getting bullied for a year on social media with neither set of parents figuring it out? It was allegedly over a boyfriend. Why are 12 year old girls even worried about boys? We have sexualized our kids way too young and adults encourage it as being so cute. I remember watching a dance show on TV where Paula Abdulla was asking a young boy and girl between the ages of 7 and 9 years old if they were a couple. Seriously!! If I could have grabbed her through the TV I would have given her my best Fr. Sean speech.

Then there are all the grade 10’s that don’t even believe in God, let alone attend Mass. They didn’t get to that point on their own. I understand that they may start questioning the faith at that age but to have the epic failure of faith? It took time to get there. Parents, why are your kids in the Catholic school system if you don’t pass on the faith to them? Teachers, how does a kid get through 9 years of religion class and not believe in God. We are failing these children because when they have troubles like the bullying listed above, they do not know that there is a loving God to turn to.

It is important that you lead by example by attending Mass regularly (it’s one of the precepts of the church). Give your children room to make the faith their own by attending solid Catholic youth events or camps. Talk to them by having family dinners at least 5 nights a week. On holidays attend historical churches and places. It is also ok to say no to Facebook, Twitter and cell phones. Get some good parental controls on your computer if you do allow them so you can monitor inappropriate conversations (some programs will notify you if certain words are used).

Most of all don’t give up the fight to be a good father or mother. It is easier to give in to the world pressures, to have the latest greatest thing. You will thank yourself later when you are not are trying to figure out what to do with the 20 something year old living in the basement playing Grand Theft Auto 5 (over a billion dollar in sales) for 15 hours a day. Start today by being that example that your kids desperately need.

Novena to St. Joseph

Novena to St. Joseph
st-joseph-and-baby-jesusIn the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Come to my aid, O God.  O Lord, make haste to help me.  Almighty God, Father of mercies and giver of all good gifts, I come before you to honor you in your saints and ask their help in my many needs.  You promised those who ask, would receive; those who seek, would find; those who knock, would have doors opened to them. Hear the prayers of your church, grant my requests, and pardon my sins.  AmenSt. Joseph, just and true, with a father’s care you raised the Child Jesus, and with a husband’s love you shared your life with Mary, his mother.  I entrust myself to your care and place in your hands these requests of mine.

(Personal intention)

In quiet Nazareth long ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to your heart and you followed God’s will with wonderful faith.In the quiet of my days, and in the hard choices I must make, help me follow the Spirit’s guidance and believe when I cannot see.

Day 1

 O God, guide of those who listen and helper of those who hear your voice, speak to me, as you did to St. Joseph, and help me accomplish the things you give me to do.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be 

Day 2

O God, you love your people and bless the ordinary lives we quietly live. As you blessed St. Joseph, bless what I do,however hidden and simple it may be, and let all I do be done with love.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be 

Day 3

O God, ever faithful, you remember us always, and in time reveal your blessings. Help me trust in you, as St. Joseph faithfully trusted, and never let me lose faith in the wonderful gifts you promise me.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be 

Day 4

God of families, bless the family that’s mine. Keep us safe from harm, and never let evil come between us. Let peace remain in our hearts.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be 

Day 5

O God, who loves children, be kind to our children today. Give them eyes of faith for seeing far, a loving heart for welcoming life, and a place always at your side.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be 

Day 6

God of our heavenly home, bless our home on earth.  Let the spirit of Mary and Joseph rest at our table, shape our words and actions, and bring blessing to our children.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Day 7

God, Our Father, give your fatherly spirit to those who are fathers now.  Like Joseph, give them hearts of devoted love for their wives and children and strength for forgiveness and patience.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be 

Day 8

Give shelter, O God, to those who need it, and bring together families divided. Give us enough to eat, and decent work to earn our bread.  Care for us, O God.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be 

Day 9

Bless all families, O Lord, especially those in need. Remembering the life of your Son, we pray for the poor, for those who lack a good home, for those in excile.  Grant them a protector like Joseph, O God.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Feast of St. Joseph

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
imageAs 2012 winds down with the beginning of Advent, it has been a very eventful year for the God Squad. As always we had another conference in March where we were blessed to have many of you in attendance. This year differed however as we have unveiled the new barbecue outreach ministry with a shiny new trailer. The men seemed to respond to the new ministry by consuming over four hundred Spolumbo’s sausages and 30 kg of beef on a bun! As a new ministry it is been a very busy first year. After the conference we cooked for 150 at risk youth for the Power Play Program at the Calgary Police Service. We then went on and did a beef dinner for 500 elders of the Mormon church and then fed 300 at one of our at risk high schools. We barbecued for all the youth that were incarcerated at the Calgary Young Offenders Center and then barbecued at the One Rock concert. We’ve also done barbecues for youth football teams, diocesan conferences, one wedding and also appeared at BBQ on the Bow.
Just recently I attended the opening of the new Calgary police service Chapel in which the statue of St. Michael donated by God squad Canada to Chief Hanson for his contribution at our 2011 conference, held a prominent place within the Chapel.
I want to thank all of you for the ongoing support of God Squad Canada as we try to reach and challenge men, especially young men in fulfilling the role God has given them. We will continue to need your  support going forward as we hope to do more true outreach. Please consider a year end donation to help us continue our work as we seem to have more money tied up in doing these events, not to mention deposits for speakers for our upcoming conference.
I pray that you and your family will have a blessed Christmas and New Year. May you seek the intercession of the holy family to protect and provide for you and your family.
Sean Lynn
President, God Squad Canada
P.S. Mark March 8 and 9th in your calendars for our annual conference which will be held at St. Peter’s Parish in Calgary. We are pleased to announce our speakers: Michael Coren, Joseph Hyland and Michael Chaisson.

Recognition

Recognition

recognitionI was recently at the 50th anniversary of St. Francis High School in Calgary. They have started a wall of distinction and inducted several individuals who’ve gone on to do great things as graduates from the high school. There were over 1200 people in attendance at the party and I’m guessing many of them were reflecting on their own accomplishments since they graduated, many wondering if people have noticed their contributions within society. At work many of us look for recognition to get promoted or move ahead, which often brings more recognition.
In my work where I assist and encourage youth who are at risk of falling into gangs, this is the issue that most of them are looking for; being part of something to be recognized. Then there are those looking for their 15 minutes of fame at whatever cost in our reality TV society. There is a strong desire be noticed built within us as we worship our sports stars and movie stars. How do we balance this with humility, which is one of the virtues that we attempt to model for our children and our young?
At a recent men’s study they asked if anybody knew who Chester Arthur was. For most reading this article I could also ask who Charles Tupper was. In the study they compared Chester Arthur to Louis Martin. All these men lived at the same time. Both Chester Arthur and Charles Tupper would be considered very successful in the secular world. Yet today the vast majority of us do not know who they are. Chester Arthur was the 21st president of the United States and Charles Tupper was the seventh Prime Minister of Canada. Louis Martin lived a humble and quiet life in the North of France as a husband and father whose youngest daughter went on to be known as “The Little Flower” (St. Therese of Liseux) and a doctor of the Church, one of only 33 in history. While Chester Arthur was considered successful in his time, his identity and life have been forgotten by the vast majority. Louis Martin, on the other hand, whose life was spent in obscurity, has recently been elevated to the honorable position of blessed by the Church and will be remembered for all time. The ultimate example and role model for us is our patron St. Joseph who is not quoted as saying anything in the Bible. He is only mentioned a few times but each time he did what he was asked by God. Patronage to St. Joseph only began in the middle ages. It is not until recent history where he is been truly recognized by the church and named patron of the universal church in 1870.
So I challenge you men, as you continue your daily lives striving to do God’s will to be an example of faith and charity, working in humility that may go unnoticed within the world. It is noticed by God our Father who is the one that we strive to ultimately be noticed by. These are the words that we wish to hear at the end of our time. “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’” Matt. 25