Posted by: akostecka | September 9, 2008

What Came First?

Chicken before Egg?  No.  Wrong question.

Catechesis before Evangelization or Evangelization before Catechesis?

When will adults “get it” in terms of catechesis; that it is for adults so they have a faith (are evangelized) and some knowledge of it (are catechized) to pass on to children?  When will they desire permanent catechesis?   When will parents be parents?  When will people engage the culture?  When will we act with love living out our Catholic faith at home, at work and even in the public square?  What comes first?  The desire to learn or the need for a savior?  What came first, the C or the E?

Evangelization and Catechesis work in symphony.  BOTH MUST HAPPEN. 

Here are some local implications and possible solutions:

1.       Now that some have been evangelized, they need permanent catechesis, and they need to be taught their need for it and ongoing conversion.

2.       Now that some people have completed the RCIA, they also need ongoing and permanent catechesis and community support.

3.       That some parishioners don’t know their personal need for a savior, they need to be taught (or brought to) such a need.     retreat, parish mission, small faith community

4.       That some parishioners don’t know if they believe in God, they need to be taught about him.        Logic, Salvation History, truth

5.       That some parishioners don’t know that God established a Church, they need to be taught about her.          apologetics, Catholic Scripture Study

6.       I see potential for new and returning Catholics in each of these stages.  Come on Home!


Finally, when catechesis and evangelization’s results are realized, we will change the culture from the inside out.  

Posted by: akostecka | September 1, 2008

It’s All About Love.

I am still here.  Here’s what I do in love:

Love God: I spend an hour in the morning reading Sacred Scripture (1 Corinthians) and praying.

Love Husband: he likes the house tidy, so I’m doing my best at that to keep his stress down as he heads in to the school year and coaching season.

Love Children: getting them ready for the start of school

Love Master:  working on stuff for parish job

Love self: make a little time to post something here.

That’s all for now (even though I’ve been thinking about a lot of cool stuff that I just don’t have time to blog about like education, politics, Palin).  It’s all for love.

Posted by: akostecka | August 23, 2008

Good Friends

We’re home!  Our good friends, Rich and Jen are here a couple of days while Rich is on leave.  We’re havin’ fun, I’ll be back in a few to tell more about our trip.

little Nathan plays at Newport Beach, OC CA.

little Nathan plays at Newport Beach, OC CA.

Posted by: akostecka | August 14, 2008


The last post you saw didn’t quite work out in the order I was trying to write it.  Oh well.   The pictures and comments don’t quite line up.  Maybe someday I’ll get the hang of it.  Anyway, the gang still sleeps here in the tent trailer; we depart for LA today and Disneyland and the Feast of the Assumption tomorrow.

Posted by: akostecka | August 14, 2008

God of Wonders

What a wonderful time we’re having in God’s beautiful and grand creation!  On Sunday we left Spokane and spent the night on the Oregon/California border at Goose Lake.  Before we got there, we got some bad news concerning our good friend and neighbor Nancy, who has been in the hospital for a week battling cancer and some internal bleeding.  Our other neighbor called to tell us that Nancy had slipped into a coma and things weren’t looking good, so our family said a rosary for her in the car and continue to pray for her (would you pray for Nancy and John, too?) 

Monday we made it down to Lake Tahoe where we’re camping at the South Tahoe campground right across the street from the lake.  Pat and the kids (except Nathan) are at the beach right now while I am doing laundry not far away. 


Photo courtesy of Naomi who ran up part way with the camera as they were coming down triumphantly. 

Today we headed around the lake to Tahoe Villiage and Emerald Bay—wow!  What a God of Wonders we have!!


When we left this place and wondering at all the beauty, we got a call from our neighbor John who had a story to tell about his wife, Nancy.  John said that Nancy was now sitting up in bed and drinking some water!!!  What a God of wonders indeed!!! 



Here’s the gang looking down from Heavenly Ski area at South Lake Tahoe. 

At the top of the ski area, we hiked around a little (notice the girls in their flip flops).  Pat wanted to climb to the top, so he did; but he didn’t get very far when Micaela and Brianna went running up after him to climb to the top, right up a ski run!! 






Posted by: akostecka | August 7, 2008

wait…the Truth About Me commeth

I actually wrote out by hand 11 double-spaced pages of part one of my testimony.  You’ll be amazed like I was how my relations with guys almost parallells my relatonship with Christ. 

We’re taking off on vacation on Sunday after my 20th (!!) high school reunion on Saturday.  Go Panthers!  I hope to get what I have up before we depart.  Then, let the road trip begin!

Posted by: akostecka | August 7, 2008


Two weeks ago Pat and I celebrated our 16th anniversary.  I just noticed an allusion to our vows in my post, Happy Anniversary, Baby from that day.  In honor of the sacramentality of our marriage, we often repeat our vows to eachother.  I found myself repeating my vows to someone else to whom I pledge my life.  Am I being unfaithful?  No!  By all means am I being faithful. 

During a profound adoration experience at a youth conference with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, I repeated my vows to him.  Is this too personal to share?  This is what I said: “I, Alisa Angela, take you, my Lord Jesus Christ, to be my Lord and Savior.   I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” 

What could be more personal relationship than that of a spouse?  I shared this profession of fidelity to Jesus with Pat who thought it was pretty cool.  Although I said these vows to Jesus, it was he [Jesus] who professed his love for me first when he became my Good Shepherd laying his life down for little lost me.  Now that’s true love!  …and so is the sacrificial love of my sweet husband.  I have much to learn from the men in my life about true, sacrificial love, but I’m trying to do more and more unselfish acts every day to become more like the one who loves me.

Posted by: akostecka | August 1, 2008

Prayer Intentions

Each month, Pope Benedict XVI offers special prayer intentions.  

His General prayer intention for August 2008 is: “That the human family may know how to respect God’s design for the world and thus become ever more aware of the great gift of God which Creation represents for us.”

His mission intention is: “That the answer of the entire people of God to the common vocation to sanctity and mission may be promoted and fostered, with careful discernment of the charisms and a constant commitment to spiritual and cultural formation.”

Posted by: akostecka | August 1, 2008

The Truth About Me

I have been thinking a lot about my personal testimony.  What is my story in my journey of faith?  I spoke to a youth who I sent to a training called Leadership, Evangelization and Discipleship.  He called me the other night “on high” for the Lord.  It was so gratifying to hear his enthusiasm and zeal for Christ and his desire to share the Good News with others.  I asked what they had been learning and he told me that they were learning how to write their testimonies.  How to write a testimony, I thought, is exactly what I need to know; perhaps since I have been thinking about the subject ever since my posts about Fr. Jose’s Despedida and Intentional Discipleship

Have I done it? No. But I am still thinking about it, and now I know how to do it.  First, describe your life before your conversion. Second, tell what event pushed you toward the Lord.  Third, describe your life after having discovered the love of God in a personal way.

Knowing all that it takes to prepare a testimony is all well and good, but the real reason I haven’t done it because the truth about me is hard to tell.  My selfish pride keeps me from telling about the amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.  Then, I heard another woman tell my story.  I was listening to a talk from World Youth Day in Sydney where Chrystalina Evert eloquently told my story though it was her own.  Thanks for breaking the ice, Chrystalina, it is time for me to face the truth about myself and put my trust in the Lord who has so much grace in store for others who will hear my story, too.

Posted by: akostecka | July 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Today is the 16th anniversary of my marriage to Pat and the 40th anniversary of the publication of Humanae Vitae.  I just realized we share the same anniversary!  What a wonderful gift of truth Paul VI gave us through this encyclical in 1968, especially to those of us who are married.  Here’s a quote and a great reflection for us as we recall the true meaning of marriage:

[Married] love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit. It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.

It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.

Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other, and this until death. This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage. Though this fidelity of husband and wife sometimes presents difficulties, no one has the right to assert that it is impossible; it is, on the contrary, always honorable and meritorious. The example of countless married couples proves not only that fidelity is in accord with the nature of marriage, but also that it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.

Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI, July 25, 1968

Pat, thank you for being my friend, my happiness, my husband.  I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.  I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

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