Tag Archives: Fr. Mike Kuhn

    First Annual Norfolk Golf Tournament

    John Lilly No Comments


    The needs of our Norfolk Community have been growing ever since Chip, Andrew, and Fr. Mike first ventured down to Old Dominion four years ago. Now, with the presence of Youth Apostles growing in the Hampton Roads area, there existed a need to increase revenue.

    The answer was found in hosting our first annual golf tournament at Sewells Point in Norfolk, VA. Local members of the Norfolk community made up our golf committee, including two from Colley Ave Copies. They gave us valuable feedback throughout the past few months in regards to prices, sponsorship information, prizes, and much more. We are extremely grateful for their help!

    IMG_5720A beautiful, picture-perfect day kicked off the tournament. As they arrived for check in, they were warmly greeted by staff and volunteers. Each golfer received a goody bag and a boxed lunch. Many decided to practice their swing at the driving range, while others opted for the putting green. After warming up and grabbing a bite, golfers teed off promptly at noon.

    There were numerous highlights throughout the day. Though there were only 13 foursomes (52 golfers total), all of them had a great time on the course. The surprisingly open course allowed the golfers to finish in about four hours! This is typically unheard of for tournaments. They were delighted to get done early, and begin eating as quickly as possible.

    A handful of ODU students were also present as volunteers throughout different parts of the day. They welcomed the golfers, handed out lunches, and took pictures.

    IMG_5768Raffle prizes and awards were handed out during dinner. Darrell Larch, Bart Barton, John Swingle and Matt Daugherty won first place and Mike Bennett, Nikki Bennett, Fr. Jack, and Jim Mueller won second place. Other prizes given out included gift cards, Bridgestone golf balls, and a golf-tune up with a local golf pro.

    The day yielded between $3,000 and $4,000 in profits. We are extremely grateful for God blessing us on this adventure, and we hope to see everyone again next year!

    A big thank you goes to our committee members and Colley Ave Copies. Their help ensured we had a successful and enjoyable golf tournament in 2015.

    ODU ASB: Come Follow Me

    John Lilly No Comments
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    We had a rootin’, tootin’ good time in McKee, to say the least!

    If you had told me that this Alternative Spring Break trip would include a hospital visit, climbing inside a cave, killing a wasp nest, and incredible moments inspired by the Holy Spirit, I wouldn’t have believed you.

    We were going to McKee, KY, a small, rural town in Jackson County situated in the mountains about an hour from Lexington. Rebecca Koury, the Pastoral Associate at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, would be organizing the service projects for us. She hosts many groups like ours throughout the year.

    The trip started out early. We all arrived at the CCM house at 6:00am and departed a little before 7. We had nine students in total going, including Fr. Mike, Julie, and myself. The first leg of the trip saw us cruze down I-64 East and I-81 south. We stopped for lunch around 12:30, and then proceeded to drive deeper into Virginia. We passed UVA-Wise and then crossed the border into Kentucky!

    Fr. Mike was praying hard all week!

    However, as we started to drive on the windy country roads of Kentucky, one of our students, Thea, started to get sick and threw up. We stopped at a Rite-Aid to get her some medicine, which put us an hour behind the rest of the group. We waited for the medicine to take effect, and after about an hour we departed. However, instead of going north on route 80, we went south. This put us even further behind schedule, and we didn’t arrive to McKee until about 10pm. We spent around 15 hours in the car that day. The craziness only continued!

    The next day we spent time with the parishioners after Mass. After every Sunday Mass, they gather together for a potluck. Many of the families come together to share a meal and quality time with one another. Many of the students played kick-ball with the children, and later in the evening we gathered for our first talk. The evening ended with some discussion about what we hoped to get out of the trip spiritually.


    Freshman Margaret Rhodes doesn’t mess around with Uno.

    However, later that night on Sunday I also got sick. I spent most of the night tossing and turning, and eventually vomited as well. Another one down for the count!

    Monday was our first day on the job, and it included an array of activities. One group visited a family and fixed their wheelchair ramp. Another group visited one of the local schools nearby and spent time with the kids, while others paid a visit to an assisted living center in town.

    However, later that day, another student, Pat, (who was also in the car with Thea and myself), experienced the same symptoms that I had the previous night. He began to throw up profusely around 2am, and he quickly became dehydrated. We took him to the hospital as a precaution, and he also made a full recovery in 24 hours.

    Junior Thea Shaver gives a talk to fellow students.

    At this point in the trip, we had three people get sick in a matter of four days. I was worried that the sickness would demoralize the students, but it did far from that. They persevered in serving the community of McKee the rest of the week. Many of them gave great talks during our reflection time, including candidate Sean Mazary. They saw what it meant to serve the poor and to see Jesus in them. One of the residents we visited, Elmer & Ferry, lived near a cave that had an underground spring! Elmer had set up a chair and had a small pot from which he could draw water. On top of this, Elmer carved magnificent walking canes, chairs, and gun barrels using only his pocket knife. We had found our Kentucky version of Michelangelo in this small cave!

    Thea, who had gotten sick earlier in the week, had a neat reflection on the sickness that had befallen us. She said, “We came here expecting to serve others, but we ended up serving each other.” That summed up our trip in a nutshell. The maturity and leadership of the group amazed me, and I was thanking God the rest of the way home. Praise God for the many ways he worked in the hearts of these nine college students in McKee, KY!


    Norfolk Community: Monarchs Assemble!

    John Lilly No Comments

    Pope Francis came to join CCM for the football game!

    Homecoming 2014 took place this past week at ODU. The theme for this year’s Homecoming was “Monarchs Assemble!” As a result, there were many superhero themed banners, costumes, and floats throughout the week.


    Sophomore Joe Kingett paints a window for CCM as a part of Homecoming

    CCM kicked off the week by Painting the Town Blue. Each student organization at ODU was given a window at the Webb Center (the student union) to paint and decorate. Many fraternities, sororities, and other organizations on campus participated. From CCM, Omar Diaz, Julia Drake, Jarell Perez, Joseph Kingett, and Jimmy Noone all helped make the window look fantastic. The design came about through the creativity of Julia Drake. She also serves as the Promotions Chair on the CCM leadership team. The rest of the students did a superb job completing the work on the window. The window served as not only a fun activity for the CCM students, but also helped promote CCM on campus. The finished product can be seen to above!

    PicMonkey Collage

    CCM students help paint a paw as a part of Homecoming 2014

    The second Homecoming event was Paw the Pavement. As with Paint the Town Blue, each student organization was given a small white paw to paint. Josh Duncan headed up the expedition to make the paw look amazing. Numerous students came to help throughout the day. The design was a combination of the efforts of Josh and Joe. The event allowed students to showcase their artistic abilities. Many other student organizations participated as well.


    CCM’s float for Homecoming

    The final event for homecoming was the parade and the tailgate before the football game. The parade consisted of a Pope Mobile put together by the men of CCM. Fr. Mike made sure Papa did not blow away, and the rest of the students followed behind and in front of the truck with signs. Each student also wore a cape for the superhero themed day. Pope Francis even donned a cape as well! After the parade, students played cornhole and football back at the CCM house. A large group turned out for the tailgate, and Pope Francis made an appearance once again (see picture at top).

    The football game capped off a great week, as ODU came from behind to beat FIU on a last second field goal. The Monarchs intercepted FIU in the closing moments and then proceeded to kick a game-winning field goal to win the game 38-35. All in all, the week was a smashing success!


    Norfolk Community: What Can I Do For You?

    John Lilly No Comments

    “What Can I Do For You?”


    New CCM Staff Members, John Lilly and Jimmy Noone, pose for a photo on ODU CCM’s Beach Retreat

    This has been the theme of community life in Norfolk, VA since Jimmy Noone and I moved down to Norfolk back in August. Sean Mazary and Michael Pantazis also moved into the house.

    Life in Norfolk has seen a bit of a transition the past few months. Jimmy comes in as the new Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at ODU since Andrew Waring’s departure to work for the Diocese of Richmond. I have been doing a Year of Volunteer Service as the Campus Ministry Intern at ODU. Overall, though, it has been great so far! The students are awesome and our new director, Julie LaBelle, has been doing a fantastic job in her new role. Fr. Mike is full of smiles, as always.


    New Director of Catholic Campus Ministry, Julie LaBelle, gives a talk on ODU CCM’s Beach Retreat.

    Michael and Sean are both currently students at ODU. Sean is a senior studying Business Management and Michael is a junior studying Marine Biology. They are both great to have in the house.

    Fr. Mike continues to be the tried and true chaplain at ODU. He continues to be a source of inspiration to the students. He is always available for Confession and there is daily Mass four times a week on campus. His joyful attitude is contagious on and off campus.

    There has been lots of laughs in the house thus far. Everyone brings their own flavor to community. There’s a good communal atmosphere, and honesty and communication are a big staple of the house. We all seek to live out a spirit of service for each other on a daily basis.

    Married Full Members Andrew Waring and Joe Clem are consistent presences at Tuesday meetings, which is a big boost to the community. Their example as married members serves as an inspiration and a steady presence to the community. They offer good advice to the younger members and are excellent role-models.

    There are usually four to five ODU students at meetings as well. This has also added a nice burst of energy to the community. We are trying to encourage as many of them to come on Tuesday nights (or occasionally Saturday mornings!) as possible.


    ODU CCM Chaplain Fr. Mike Kuhn poses with Pope Francis during the first week of classes.

    Fr. Jack Peterson, Jonathan Mundell, and Peter Clem paid us a recent visit this past Tuesday. Fr. Jack gave a wonderful talk on community life and how it’s so necessary for us as men to be accountable with one another. He gave examples from his own life, as well as the many experiences he has had living in community. Other members pitched in with their take as well, making for a great discussion.

    In short, things are great in Norfolk. God is definitely blessing the community as well as the ministry. There are great things in store for us down here, and if you’re ever in town  just hollar!


    Retreats, concerts, and more retreats in the 757

    John Lilly No Comments

    There have been many stirrings down in Norfolk as of late. Despite the growing size of the community, a good amount of activities have been going on the past few months.


    Andrew Waring hanging out with students on beach retreat

    The ODU CCM, headed by Fr. Mike Kuhn and Andrew Waring, saw a successful beach retreat at Sandbridge to kick-start the academic year. The theme of the retreat was “Watching & Waiting,” taken from Psalm 5. Candidates Sean Mazary and Brian Fila attended the retreat, along with roughly 30 other students from ODU.

    The weekly “Soul Food” gatherings have also resumed with the CCM house overflowing. The most recent edition featured a riveting talk from Ben Fleser on Faith & Art.

    This Halloween, CCM is collecting food for the needy with the theme “Trick or treat so kids can eat!” ODU Senior Joe Budi also moved into the Youth Apostle house and has been a fabulous cook and worker!


    YM Extraordinaire, Ben Flesser

    Blessed Sacrament’s Youth Ministry Program has been steadily growing. Thanks to the efforts of Ben Fleser, the last 12 months have seen a consistent increase in volunteers and youth. Ben has worked hard to develop the youth programs and has rounded up a strong group of dedicated volunteers, along with growing numbers of both middle and high schoolers. Next weekend, November 8th to November 10th, Ben will be leading a group of high schoolers from the parish on a retreat. Please pray for him!





    CNU also had its student retreat at Sandbridge this year. Additionally, They hosted a faith-filled concert from Audrey Assad with over 320 attendees on September 27.


    John Hopke introduces Audrey Assad at a concert at CNU

    They are enjoying the use of the new university chapel. Every month, Fr. John David (pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel) comes for adoration and confession with the students.

    They have also started a new strategic planning for long term growth at CNU’s CCM.

    Furthermore, OLMC is carrying over the boys group, called “Brother’s that Worship,” or “BTW.” They are starting a yearlong reflection of the “The Bible,” the shortened movie version.


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