Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Hello from DC.

Sorry my posts have been so spotty.... I will try to improve.

Month number 2 is under way.  I successfully finished General Norms 1 and Particular Church.  Now I have Sacramental Law and the Juridic structures of Matrimony.  Should be a good month of classes.  Also, we get the 4th of July off as a holiday, so it will be pretty special to in Washington for Independence day.  Maybe I will try to get in to see the Declaration of Independence sometime this week (it's stored in the National Archive not too far from the Washington memorial).

This past weekend we had a couple of days off for a break.  So, I rode my bike, played a little bit of golf, visited the major monuments on the Washington Mall (Capitol, Washington monument, White House, Lincoln Monument, Korean and Vietnam war memorials, Jefferson Monument) and had dinner with a few of the new friends I have met here in Washington.
It is interesting, most of the people in my class are from the midwest: 2 from Milwaukee and 2 from Grand Rapids MI.  Small world!

Drop me a line if you get bored:
It is nice to hear from people from back home.
God bless,
Fr Jake

Monday, June 20, 2011


Hello everyone,

Sorry to have been quiet over the last couple of weeks, things have been busy.

First of all, I was back in Fort Wayne last weekend to see two of my closest friends become priests.  Many congratulations to Frs. Matt and Terry Coonan.  These guys have been great friends to me over the past several years and I look forward to spending the rest of my life in service to the gospel with such good and holy men!

Last week was sort of crazy here at CUA.  Since the weekend was pretty much lost to travel, the week became jam packed.  As I may have mentioned earlier, the courses here are quite condensed.  I take 2 semester length courses in the space of 4 weeks.  So, last week was "paper" week.  I had a paper due in each class.  The papers were quite interesting actually.  Both were case studies, which means that the teacher would give us a scenario and ask us to explain some canonical aspect.  It was like a Sherlock Holmes story where I had to figure out what applied and which canons were involved, etc.  It was quite interesting.  I don't know what grades I got, but the papers are done.

This week is "test" week.  Thursday I have an oral exam in General Norms and Friday I have a written exam in Particular Church.  So keep up the prayers.

On a non-academic note, this was a great weekend!  I got lucky this year, the US Open (one of golf's 4  major championships) was held at nearby Congressional Country Club in Bethesda Maryland.  So I bought some tickets online and got to see this amazing event.  North Ireland's 22 year old Rory McIlroy won by a landslide.  I got to see him several times.  It was a great experience to see him holding the US Open trophy on the 18th green.

Now I'm off to class, God bless and I promise to keep posting updates throughout the summer.
Fr Jake

Friday, June 3, 2011

Update from DC

Hello Everyone,

I will try to post here often to keep you informed on what's happening in DC.

I’ve been here for a week.  For those who don’t know, I’m in DC studying Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.  It is an intense summer program.  I basically have 5 Semester long graduate level course shoved into June and July.  There is a lot of reading and I sit in class up to 5 hours in a day (4 straight each morning).  But, I find canon law quite interesting.  Right now I am studying general norms of law (so I could talk some shop with lawyers back home at some point to see if there are similarities/differences…), and the structure of the particular church.  What is a particular church you ask, well according to canon 368: Particular churches, in which and from which the one and only Catholic Church exists, are first of all dioceses (then the canon goes on to explain 5 more and 2 more kinds of particular churches have developed since the writing of the code of canon law).  So I am learning all about the structure of the diocese.  Now after that brief interlude I hope everyone is still awake and with me.

I have also found some time for biking.    Upon searching I found that there are some great bike routes in DC, but they are all in the South West corner of the city, and I live in the North East corner…  so my notions of biking straight from my house were dashed.  However, Thursday I decided to brave the DC traffic and set out in search of a bike trail, and did I ever find one.

The trip took me 25 minutes to go 5 miles in my car, but it was worth it.  I parked in South Potomac park near the Jefferson memorial and biked the Mount Vernon Trail.  This trail went about 18 miles south all the way to Mount Vernon.  It was a nice trail, 99 % of it off of roads and pretty well maintained.  There were a few rolling hills and a big climb into Mt Vernon (Ok it’s not a mountain… but it is called Mount…).  So 36 miles yesterday and no casualties.

Today I decided to head north instead and I found the Custis trail.  This trail crossed over into Virginia and rode near the Potomac river going west.  This trail may have been even more fun than Mt Vernon.  It was quite hilly (again, not mountains, but certainly similar to our hills back in southern Michigan).  This Custis trail actually runs into the W&OB trail, which would go for another 40 miles, so there is an easy century.  I went 33…

So I guess that’s all that there is to report.  I found some nice trails to bike.  But, more importantly, I’m reading a great deal about Canon law.  I look forward to my return in August, see you then.
Fr Jake