Oddwalk Ministries


Sir We Would See Jesus


I started writing songs in 1995, when I was twenty years-old. I truly had no idea what I was doing, of course. I knew I liked the challenge of creating something new, but lacked any real knowledge of poetry and/or music theory. In those days, I would simply write the best song I could and…

Does God Remain Hidden If I Remain Silent?


Recently, I’ve ruffled a few feathers on my personal social media accounts.  While I certainly don’t enjoy making people uncomfortable, recent national and world events have propelled me to be a lot more politically outspoken than I had been before. My new mission has two parts. 1. Share my thoughts and views in an articulate…

Are You God?


School is back in session at the parish where I, Orin, am music director. Sometime near the beginning of each school year, we gather the entire student body, PreK-8th Grade, in the Church to go over some music that we’ll be using at some upcoming Masses; that day this year was this past Thursday afternoon,…

That’s Extraordinary!


In case you forgot…

You know what ordinal numbers are, right? Well, you probably do even if you don’t know that’s what they’re called. Ordinal numbers are the ones we put st, nd, and rd behind: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. They’re the ones that describe the position of something, usually in a list.

Ordinal numbers are the reason that the upcoming 6 month stretch of the Church year is called Ordinary Time — you know, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time and all that. Now, Ordinary Time following Pentecost does start with the celebrations of the Holy Trinity and the Most Holy Body and Blood, but it’s still Ordinary Time.

The point is, it’s not Ordinary Time, as in something commonplace or normal; it’s not Ordinary Time because it’s not Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter; it *is* Ordinary Time because the Sundays and weeks are counted. That’s all.

Yet, I knew one priest years ago who insisted on calling it “Extraordinary Time.” He didn’t get into all the mumbo-jumbo about ordinal numbers, he simply referenced what is indeed true about all these coming Sundays, particularly the Gospel passages we will hear at those Masses. The Gospels are always about what Jesus said and did in this world; these upcoming Ordinary Time Gospels are all about Jesus teaching us to be disciples. That’s why this particular priest liked the expression “Extraordinary Time.” It’s a 6 month length of time where, if we pay attention and are open, Jesus teaches us still today what it means to be his follower and his witness in a modern world.

I don’t know that I personally like the expression, but I appreciate the motivation behind it. How will this summer be extraordinary for you, as a person of faith, as we count our way through many weeks of Ordinary Time? I suggest by really focusing on what Jesus teaches his faithful Sunday after Sunday, and living it each week to the best of our abilities. Happy Summer everyone!


Don’t let the word get out, but…


I’ve always been uncomfortable with – and also not so good at – self-promotion.  Whether it’s the various ministries Oddwalk offers, or perhaps a piece of music I’ve written for the Church, or most anything else, it’s difficult for me to be too forthcoming about it.  For me, it’s a number of factors that come…

Scheduling Jesus


A day or two in the life…

This here is a great example of my wife Erin’s sense of humor: very sharp and not at all afraid to throw in a well-placed cuss word. Also, to answer her question, Erin knows A LOT of things I don’t. She’s very smart. That’s another blog entry, though.

In this case, the thing I knew was that I needed to prepare to write this blog article. Part of that preparation was creating a full day, week-long event entry last week, called “Jesus”, to remind me to pay more attention to where I encounter our Lord in everyday life. Erin didn’t know that, though. I hadn’t had time to tell her that I was writing an article, that Orin and I were planning to try and write something every week. There just isn’t enough time these days for Erin and I to talk about things that aren’t absolutely essential to helping our family function well.

The Cernekas, you see, are a very busy family. In addition to my work with Oddwalk, I work full-time for a parish and school. Erin works full-time as a nurse practitioner in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She also runs a craft business, making headbands, bows, t-shirts, etc. Erin and I have four kids, ages 4-12. The older three are all involved with sports and scouting. The youngest is in pre-school and is preparing to take over the world. I suppose I made that last part up, but when it happens, don’t forget you heard it here first. In addition to all of this, Erin and I try and share our musical and ministerial gifts as much as time and resources will allow. This means leading music for Mass, helping with retreats, and doing what we can to support our local diocesan youth and vocation events. It’s safe to say we have burned the candle at both ends and have ordered more candles.

All of this brings me back to that screen shot of my calendar. While I look to grow in Christ each and every day, I meant that calendar entry to be purely functional, something to help this article deadline not be just another well-intended goal that slipped through the cracks. Yet as I look at it now and think about the craziness that is my life, it occurs to me that I could use something like that. Every. Day. Maybe you could too. While I work for a Catholic institution, go to Mass regularly, pray, and take more than a passing interest in my Catholic faith, I know full-well that I often do not place Christ at the center of my life, at the center of my decision-making, at the center of my family. So, this coming week, I’m committing to spending extra twenty minutes with Jesus. Ideally this will be in church, but I know Jesus will be there for me wherever I am. I know twenty minutes isn’t much, but it’s something. Jesus shouldn’t be just another calendar entry. Jesus has to be everything.

What about you? How are things between you and JC? Is there room to improve that relationship? Ok, that was a trick question. Of course there’s room. There’s always room. What kind of time and space can you commit this week to strengthening that relationship?