Thursday, September 29, 2011

Have you looked at your Catholic Spirit Newpaper latley?

Epiphany priest dedicates race to dad, vows to donate all pledge money to Catholic school

Fr. Carlson Running
Father Alex Carlson, associate priest at Epiphany in Coon Rapids, goes for a run at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. He has been training since May and will run in the Twin Cities Marathon Oct. 2. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit
What does Oprah have to do with a local priest running the Twin Cities Marathon?
Plenty, if you’re Father Alex Carlson, associate priest at Epiphany in Coon Rapids. Last winter, he decided to run the marathon in honor of his father, Bernie, who died of cancer in 2003.
His goal for a finish time is where Oprah Winfrey comes in.
“I want to beat Oprah’s time [in the 1994 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.], which is four hours, 29 minutes and 15 seconds,” he said about his goal for the annual marathon, which is Oct. 2. “That should not be a problem.”
In fact, this mark is more than just a casual goal. There’s money involved. Since he started his training back in May, he has been seeking pledges, which he will donate to Epiphany School. Among the monetary promises he has received is an intriguing one for a parishioner.
“One person said, ‘$5 a mile, but $10 [a mile] if you beat Oprah’s time,” he said.
Thus, the gauntlet has been thrown down. Not that Father Carlson is worried. After all, he has been running up to 53 miles a week and has logged about 360 total miles. He recently completed an 18.5-mile run that actually was the final 18.5 miles of the course that he will tackle for real next Sunday.
Turning to his ‘go-to prayer’
Helping Father Carlson through this effort will, hopefully, be the Blessed Mother, whose intercession he will seek in the moments before the race starts in downtown Minneapolis at 8 a.m. (Mall of America Field). In this, the 30th running of the event, there will be 11,200 participants.
“Before I go on any run, especially if it’s a long one that I know is going to be tough, I pray the Memorare [prayer to the Blessed Virgin],” he said. “It’s my favorite prayer. I often tell people this is the prayer to use when you’re in trouble or when you need help. It’s my go-to prayer, it’s the first one that comes to mind when people ask me to pray for them.”
As much as he is able, Father Carlson sticks to his training regimen, recording miles on his watch as he runs and later logging them onto his computer.
In addition to the Memorare, he also looks to one of his favorite Scripture verses, which he had printed on the holy card he had made for his ordination to the priesthood May 29, 2010. It’s from Psalm 90: “Let the favor of the Lord be upon us: Give success to the work of our hands, give success to the work of our hands. (v. 17)”
Father Carlson
Father Alex Carlson is hoping to raise at least $4,000 in pledges for Epiphany School in the Twin Cities Marathon. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit
“I have added: And give success to the work of my feet,” he said. “I need my feet to run the marathon.”
Web of support
So far, he has been impressed – and blessed — by the support of the parish and school communities. People have seen him running and cheered him on. One parishioner even scolded him for running in bad weather. Also, students at the school have made small posters with messages of encouragement.
His list of supporters includes the school’s new principal, Laurie Jennrich, who came to the school this fall after working at Cretin-Derham Hall for the previous 16 years. During that time, Carlson was a student at the school, playing varsity football for two years before graduating in 1998.
“We’re so proud of him,” she said. “What a way to step up and represent our school. . . . He’s keeping his  [pledges] a secret right now, but the money will be donated to our school.”
Father Carlson has a goal of $4,000 and said he is confident of reaching it. He is hoping for cool, dry weather on race day, and would like to see some parishioners and students show up on the course to cheer him on.
“One morning, I was running and it was a 13-mile run,” he said. “I was right at the two-mile mark and some parishioners recognized me. . . . They started saying, ‘Go, Father, go.’ That definitely pushed me for the rest of those miles and many more after that. If anyone wants to do that on the morning of the marathon, I would be very grateful.”

The Memorare

Father Alex Carlson said the Memorare is his favorite prayer. He prays it before every run:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Go Out and Work in the Vineyard Today

Another great weekend here at Epiphany. I was able to rest a little on Saturday morning, had a Mass on Saturday night followed by a Baptism with around 75 people there, and of course Masses on Sunday. The only thing that would have made it better was if one of our football teams could win a game, but that may be asking for too much.
The other great part of this weekend was the readings for this past Sunday, they truly were inspiring. Here is a link to the readings, and I would encourage all of you to read all of Ezekiel chapter 18 to see what he truly was trying to convey. Below is my homily from this past Sunday, I hope that you enjoy it and get something out of it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Recieving more than what is just

What another great weekend!!! I was able to witness another marriage between a great couple, and of course had Mass on Sunday. Also, I was able to go paint balling with the youth on Sunday afternoon, and I am pretty sure that they shot me a lot more than I shot them. Below is my homily from this past Sunday, I hope you can get something out of it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Experiment

By the way in case you did not see it, I am in the lending library. Alright, let's see those questions down below, and I'll pick one out and hopefully have it answered by next Friday. Also, you can  Email me here or look at the link in the upper right hand corner to find my email, to mail me your questions.
Also, Fr. Abbott informed me last week that this blog has made it mainstream (alright, maybe not mainstream, but is being looked at) because he found a link for this blog on another website. The website is called Minnesota Catholic, and what it does is gather Catholic news throughout the state and puts it on one site. It is a pretty cool sight, and seeing as how they have a link to my blog, I have decided to add a link to their site in the upper right hand corner, and also right here, so take a look.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Forgive your brother from your heart

It was a very tough weekend to preach this weekend, and that is because of the memory of the September 11 attacks 10 years ago. Also, our readings for the weekend were definitely challenging, because they talked about forgiveness, which can be a very hard thing to do, but something that we are called to do. I think that this is what I tried to convey in my homily this weekend, and I hope that you can learn something about forgiveness from this homily.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

3 Weeks and Counting

So, the marathon is right around 3 weeks away, and depending on when you read this I will either have ran my 20 mile run or not (it is scheduled to happen on Monday September 12). After this run, the training will get a lot easier, because I will be entering into something called the tapering period of my training. Essentially what will happen is that the runs will get shorter, and it will give my body time to recover from all of the stress that I have put on it over the past 15 weeks. The hope is that the recovery will actually make me more rested and stronger for the 26 miles and 385 yards (or 138,435 feet) of the marathon. The training portion has gone well, although I will be excited to be over with it, it really can take over some of your days.
The other update that I would like to give you about the marathon is how the fundraising is going. Now, there have been some very generous people out there, who have made some very generous donations, and this is greatly appreciated. As you may recall my goal is $4,000.00 and this is still my goal, but I think it would be great if we could somehow exceed this goal. Right now I have received $1,450.00, which is terrific, especially seeing as how the only announcement that I have made about this has been through this blog. Just to let you know every single penny that I receive (and I do accept pennies) will go straight to the school to help them provide a high quality education to the students here. So, if you can help out in anyway (remember pennies are accepted) please do.
Some people have asked me if they could come down and cheer me on, and of course the answer is YES!!! If you do plan on coming down to be one of the 300,000 spectators, please let me know ahead of time, so that I can keep an eye (or an ear) open for you, and if you know where you are going to be at that would help out as well. Here is a link to the course map. I have been able to cheer on people at the marathon many times, and it is a great time, and I think the runners appreciate it as well.  If I hear of a group that is going to come down, I will make sure to post it on the blog to let other people know that they can join them at a set location.
I would also appreciate if you could somehow spread the word about this endeavor that would be great. Finally, and most importantly please continue to pray for the success not necessarily of me running the marathon, but for the success of our school here at Epiphany. It was truly a joy this week to have all of the kids back, and to see so many new faces in school as well, and this is why I am running the marathon, so that these kids can get a great Catholic education. Once again thank you for all of your support, and please know of my prayers for you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Love does no evil to the neighbor

I mentioned in my homily (which is below) this weekend that our neighbor is not only the person that we live by, but everyone who lives here on Earth (hence the picture to the right). However, I'm glad that I was able to see many of my neighbor's from the great state of Minnesota at the Epiphany Diner. It was great to have so many people come up to the Diner and let us know how much they appreciated us being there, and how much they are going to miss the place. Once again thanks to everyone who stopped by, and know that we too are going to miss the Diner, but as we know nothing will last forever.
On a different note, you can start expecting to see my homilies posted on Tuesday instead of Monday, seeing as how my off day has changed to Monday.