Author Archives: Benjamin Horbowy

About Benjamin Horbowy

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Our Faithful Friar was ordained

We have been praying for a spiritual leader for sometime.

Knights of Columbus | Tallahassee

Sir Knight and Deacon Matthew Busch was ordained to the Catholic priesthood by Bishop Gregory Parkes at the Cathedral of The Sacred Heart in Pensacola on Saturday, May 10, 2014.  Fr. Busch, one of the founding members of St. Louis the Crusader Council 12929 and a member of Father Hugon Assembly 0170 has recently been appointed Faithful Friar of that Assembly.  The Faithful Friar is the spiritual Advisor of the Assembly and we have been needing one. This is a blessing from God for him to bring us a Priest of valor.  The accompanying photographs reflect the support he received at his ordination from his fellow Fourth Degree Knights.  He has expressed gratitude to all Knights of Columbus and requests their continued prayers and support as he begins his priestly service at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on July 1st.Fr. Busch Ordination 2014 008Fr. Busch Ordination 2014 077Fr. Busch Ordination 2014 119

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Personal advice to me from Jim Hagel (Bill Gate's life coach)

I had the opportunity to met Jim Hagel (Bill Gate’s life coach) through two companies I was working for in Silicon Valley: Bridge Management Consulting and Social Genius. In the photo in San Jose, California, you see me with some former teammates, Jim next to me, and the CEO of BroadVision. We were providing digital social architecture for their newest product, Clearvale, the first cloud-based “network of networks” for the virtual, mobile, social enterprise.

During a personal coffee meet up with Jim (a man who charges 10s of thousands per hour of couching), he told me, “Benjamin, you are a walking iPad 11. If I were you, I’d write a book. It would be interesting for the readers to catch a glimpse of why you see things the way you do. After it publishes, you’ll be surprised at the doors that will open even if it doesn’t sell well.”

Retreat reflection: Helping others by helping myself.

For the Published article: http://blogs.tallahassee.com/community/2014/04/06/retreat/

It’s good to retreat from time to time for self reflection and regrouping. Sometimes we have to travel to an island to gain perspective of the main land. This weekend I went on the Annual Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocesan Men’s Retreat with about 80 other men with the mission of getting away, listening to hear a life lesson, and discerning my calling/vocation.

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Men’s Retreat at Camp Timpoochee

We had two days and two nights of spiritual talks, small groups, self time, prayer, church service, and recreation time with similar minded gentlemen. The small group questions were intriguing and engaging. We each had our individual matters to work on, but it was good to be around other masculine men. Fr Crawford had me laughing with his quirky personality that came along with prolific messages, “humility humility humility humility humility humility humility…. we’re not talking wuss here fellas.”

Personal Reflection Time

Personal Reflection Time

During personal space, we were encouraged to do something peaceful that we enjoy to do and listen to the quiet. I enjoy writing; I wrote God a letter while listening to the waves of the Gulf of Mexico. I almost put my letter in my empty water bottle to toss it into the water, but I didn’t want to litter. The thought was the same. It was healing to write down personal troubles and give it up to God.

Early morning by the water

Early morning by the water

Everyone received different take-aways. From the few guys I asked what they gained from the retreat: some took away how to be a better man in their personal relationships, others felt they were there to help others as leaders, some said they figured out how to better organize the juggle of time between work and home. I had a slightly different take-away. For years, I have focused on helping others as much as I possibly can. While still being motivated to help others, I feel like for a short time it will be best for everyone if I focused on helping myself. Before I can love others, I must love myself.

Young Man and The Sea

Young Man and The Sea

I’ve been working on a book idea for two years. The closer I get to a finishing story, the more the story changes. It’s time for me to quit a few community efforts and think about helping myself. I have to target what makes me happy, what makes joy, and do it everyday over and over. Maturity is being mindful about what we are doing and where our decisions will take us. Fr Tim gave us a homework assignment; he told us to go home and write down a goal for next year. Leave it up to me to take the writing assignment to the next level by publishing it. My goal for this time next year is to finish my book, “Young Man and The Sea of People”. In all truth, I need to hurry up and get this book out before I have to change the title to middle aged man and the sea.

My favorite hobby: Aviation

I received my private pilots license when I was 18 years, a senior in Dunbar High School, and the first graduating pilot from Fayette County Kentucky’s aviation program with AeroTek’s Flight School. I once flew from the Sporty’s Fly-in to the coastline from Mertle Beach to South Padre Island in “good ole’ Julie”; it was the time of my life. I haven’t flown in a few years, but I aspire to continue flying and eventually be certified to give flight lessons. It’ll be my passion/hobby that will pay for itself.

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[Video] Ave Maria sung by child brings crowd to tears

During a special Bishop mass honoring Our Lady, an 11 year old brought the full cathedral to tears with her performance of Ave Maria. Complete silence of awe came over the audience when Cecilia Malley took the microphone to sing as her mother, Almira, played the piano. Cecilia told me after the mass that she practiced for this event for one year. At the end of the mass, Bishop Gregory Parkes gave her a special thank you and the congregation gave her a standing ovation.

DSC_0784 Cecilia Malley at the microphone and Almira Malley on the piano

IMG_9498 Bishop Parkes gave the youth a few words of appreciation

DSC_0744 John Malley – age 12, Theresa Malley – age 9, Cecilia Malley – age 11

Watch the performance

Giving with Integrity: Record Setting Donations

Charity has always been a defining characteristic of the Knights of Columbus

Charity has always been a defining characteristic of the Knights of Columbus

Give to receive in order to give more” my former banking and finance colleagues would say. I admit that the phrase sounds appealing, but my Father taught me a better concept. It took me a long time to understand the wisdom of His simple philosophy- Give from your heart and expect nothing in return.

In my past, I’ve witnessed crooked charitable offerings. It was uncomfortable for me to give without knowing the accountability of the offering. I would ask myself, “how can I have faith in the organization that I’m giving to?” I trust God, but people will always be suspects. I started donating my time in order to ensure offerings of mine and others’ would truly go to its intended use. In 2009, I joined a charitable organization 1.8 million strong, the Knights of Columbus. Since I have been a Knight of Columbus for nearly five years, I can endorse with full confidence every penny donated is being spent honestly for the cause.

Judging by the numbers, I’m not the only one believes this. While charitable donations giving in the United States grew only by 2% last year, giving through the Knights of Columbus grew three times as much, 6%. Last year set a record of $167.5 million donated (Franciscan monastery). Over the past decade, the Knights have donated $1.475 billion to support charitable works with consecutively increasing for 13 years(EWTN). More valuable they have given more than 673 million volunteer hours to support charitable works (CNA).

Pope Francis also praised the integrity and loyalty of the Knights of Columbus during an audience in Rome October 2013, the Pope met with Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Charity has always been a defining characteristic of the Knights of Columbus … and committed to preserving, cultivating and passing on to future generations…” he said (Vatican Information Service).

From my banking days, I understand the finance culture of loopholes and backdoor giving. I saw so many gimmicks, tricks, and lies… I have zero tolerance for anything less than truth. I applaud those who give honestly from their heart.

@BenjaminHorbowy

Ambition vs Patience: God’s time has no clock

“Wow! What a great idea. This has to be done… NOW!” Have your ever thought that? I know I have many times. I would be half way complete with a task from a previous good idea and stop all of a sudden to begin working on the next project. At the end of the day, I would have incomplete work on two great ideas, but that didn’t benefit anyone.

I was overly ambitious. Although this helped in the type of work I was in, my personal life was unorganized. My spiritual advisor strongly suggested that I work on my patience. We came up with a plan to write down the idea and put a time on the calendar to start working on it.  This helped with time management; this helped my ambition become orderly.

I wasn’t the poster child for patience. I repeated a saying, “why put off something you can do today until tomorrow?” After asking myself that question for many years, I finally have an answer: to think about it. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we can speak. By allowing time between the creation of the idea and starting to working on the idea, this gave me time to listen to God’s vision of the idea. Adding patience into my life has given my work diligence.

God’s time has no clock.  An example of divine timing happened to me this week. I had an idea of a fundraiser and I looked up the name of it online. The www.WorldYouthFund.org site was available for purchase. I called the number and spoke with the sales rep. She gave me all kinds of traffic reports and told me the number of counties that frequent the site. When she finally came around to quoting me a price, it was $15,000 only for the domain name. After praying about where I could raise the funds, I thought about putting my inquiry on a 3rd party webpage that would notify me when their rights were released from the domain name. I told myself, “When God wants me to have that domain, he will provide the funds at the right time when I need it.” Would you believe that it was only two hours later that I received an email saying that the website was available? The company who was selling it had a 6 year contract and did not renew the subscription even though they had a possible buyer submit an inquiry that afternoon. I bought the domain name for $18 that night. That’s God’s hand, there’s no other way to explain that timing.

I believe if we allow time for faith into our lives, we will be surprised with what we can overcome. Good will always win over evil, honesty will always trump dishonesty, and God’s timing will always be on time. Since believers will never give up, patience added to ambition gives our works wisdom.

@BenjaminHorbowy

Social Media’s Effects on Self Development in Youth

I grew up on the internet before it was called the internet. When I was 11, I helped the local librarian set up the town’s first community computer and taught her how to search for information online. 20 years later, I see how communicating online is a natural part of peoples’ lives, especially the younger population.

Making a hashtag trending, saying provoking statements for retweets, collecting social likes, and gaining a follower base… all these activities have their benefits. They help deliver or receive a message and emotionally connect people with a digital community. I am happy for those who enjoy this sort of influence, but I wonder how influencing a digital community affects a person’s actions in real life… especially how does being on social media effect youth and their personal development?

There are facebook pages, twitter handles, and instagram feeds for kids who aren’t old  enough to spell. By the time the children reach high school age, they could have more online subscribers than there are people living in their city. It’s not the kids putting this content on the internet; it’s their parents.  If a child is extroverted, they may enjoy this and gain social energy by the feedback. On the downside, they might behave more extreme in real life in order to have stories or photos worthy of massive feedback online. If a child is introverted, they could feel over exposed and have a stronger need for personal space than usual. What if a bully finds a photo from years ago and uses this against the youth? The victim could possibly be harmed with digital ammunition provided by the child’s own parent.

Personally, I am very extroverted. In my last business, using over 400 anonymous social channels, I gained more than 7,000,000 followers. After experiencing both positive and negative feedback from my interactions online, I started to feel a need to step back from the over exposure. I felt that my online community was distracting me from becoming the person I truly wanted to become. I deleted many of my accounts with the most followers because I was getting feedback from a population that I wasn’t interested in subjecting myself.

Finding energy and focus through self-awareness is always a good thing. Subjecting one’s self to the public is a conscious decision. I recommend to any parent who is considering putting their child online to consider my point of view.

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Middle Schoolers Engage in Spiritual Enrichment during College Football Gameday

DSC_0044 Good Shepard Middle School Youth Group
In a football town during any game day, the majority of the population can be found tailgating and partying before and during the game. Especially, when the home team is ranked the highest it’s been in years and we are playing our biggest arch rival. Today, Tallahassee is hosting FSU vs Miami. As for the middle schoolers of Good Shepard Catholic Church, you will not find them at the football fiestas, but rather at the church in Christian fellowship, participating in acts of faith, and in prayerful evaluation of self.

When the pastor saw the large turn out, Fr. Mike Foley smiled and said,  “It’s a blessing to see the presence and vitality coming from the youth.” More than 60 middle schoolers participated in the over night retreat. It was a true joy to be around the youth as they ran between different stations of activities that demonstrated works of mercy. The young teenagers were very excited to be learning more about themselves and their faith. “This is evidence and proof that the Spirit of God is still active and alive working in the church. The youth will be witness for the world,” Fr. Tom Dillon.

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The retreat was full of fun things to do, spiritual engagement, religious education, arts and crafts, and they even watched some video clips from World Youth Day Brazil 2013. Deacon Tom McBrearty provided a short talk about his efforts in prison ministry. During questions from the audience, he assured the middle schoolers, “we are all called to love God and sometimes it takes some good time to learn that.” Then, the middle schoolers choose names from a list of inmates who the deacon ministers to and wrote them personal Christmas cards with very short witnesses of faith.

Reactions from the youth about the weekend:

 “The best part about being here is experiencing the love of Jesus with my friends and meeting new brothers and sisters of Christ. Hashtag OMG #CatholicSwag.” – 8th grade girl

 “Adoration was really really… like really cool. Being there with God… He made me feel like He took all my troubles away and, at that moment, nothing else mattered.” – 8th grade boy

 “I love the feeling after confession and during adoration. #GodIsAwesome.” – 7th grade girl

 “Regular people can be saintly too. You don’t have to be the same religion to learn about other groups of faith.” – 7th grade boy

 “This weekend was great. I learned that it’s better to light a single candle than to be mad at the darkness.” – 6th grade girl

 “It was cool that the minister from prison told us that he sees inmates becoming Christians even while they are in prison.” – 6th grade boy  

DSC_0165 Tryptichs made by the youth and Christmas cards to inmates

By Benjamin Horbowy

Tallahassee.com “Respecting Parents… what’s that?”

http://blogs.tallahassee.com/community/2013/10/26/respecting-parents-whats-that/

In today’s modern comedy shows, we see the image of what family is or what people think it should be. In these shows, the dad is a goofball who never seems to get anything right and the mother is an emotional control freak who rules the home. There’s humor in these scenarios, but they lack to show the Truth.

From my education in social sciences under the political science department, I can ramble off the political correctness of gender roles with the understanding that traditional families are not the most common or effective if you view the meaning of family from a scientific perspective. I understand that I am very blessed to have a functional family who is still together. The meaning of family according to the dictionary: a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. By that definition, it sounds like there’s a few people stuck together under a single roof. I would like to suggest a slight modification to this definition. Family is a group of people who are affiliated by marriage, birth, legalities, and co-residence who respect each other.

What does it mean to respect each other? As a 31 year old bachelor without children, I will not address showing respect to your spouse or kids. I will talk about  respecting parents. I could mention the secular understanding that respecting yourself is one way to honor your parents, but my understanding of respecting your parents is to learn from them. They spent time teaching us proper ways of how to communicate, socially interact, and make decisions. Their interest is that their children are healthy in mind, body, and soul. It would be disrespectful to disregard that time and act like a fool.

Ask yourself the next time you are doing something foolish such as lying, gossiping, driving home buzzed, or sitting in a tattoo parlor is this respecting myself, my family,… my parents?  Our fourth commandment tells us to honor our parents. This is the only commandment that comes with a promise… you can find it in Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long…” God wishes us to live long… with wisdom!

Benjamin Horbowy

Rare Full Moon Lunar Eclipse Caught on GoPro time lapse

I noticed the full moon was so bright that I could see my shadow. I looked up and saw the clouds moving at a fast pace. I wanted to capture the moving clouds during time lapse; I set up the GoPro camera to take a photo every 20 seconds and left it outside for 15 minutes. I hadn’t a clue that I would capture the rare full moon lunar eclipse. I didn’t even know there was going to be an eclipse that night. When I looked at the images after, I realized my timing was perfect and caught the rare full moon eclipse.

 

 

The World Class Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra graces Florida

The World Class Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra graces Florida

Small town with a world stage

The World Class Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra graced the capital city of Florida on a Monday evening as FSU hosted Seven Days of Opening Nights. It was a classy treat to be able to hear such a world known orchestra live in the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Watching the award winning artistic director and conductor, Jacek Kaspszyk, was beyond a treat. It was a honor for FSU to host guest who have preformed for royal & numerous national philharmonics on nearly every continent, The European Chamber Orchestra, and the Teatr Weilki Poland National Opera. Tallahassee is not used to this level of arts coming to our community. There was a moment during the symphony I fixated my vision on the conductor, closed my eyes, and imagined I had his view point. For the rest of the show, I dreamed that every note was at the tip of my fingers. Standing ovations!

#7days @floridastate

The World Class Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra

Seven Days of Opening Night

7:30 on monday night, I was going through my stack of promotional pamphlets I gathered from the weekend when I first found out about the one time performance at 8. I saw ” Wrocław” … that’s the city my cousin ,Zbigniew Horbowy, lives who works in the arts as a director for the university. 1) How did I not know of this sooner?! 2) I couldn’t miss this! I jumped to change clothes and at the last minute made it to the box office. The last minute rush was worth it. Listening to the wonderful piano solo from Garrick Ohlsson‘s Ludwig No. 4 in G major in live person has no limit like music we hear on an iPod or the best electronic sound system. Receiving every note fully and watching the musicians heavily involved in their performance of the art was simply beautiful. There couldn’t have been no better way to bring together inner harmony than to be there and feel it. The piano sang, indeed. Bravo!

#7days @FloridaState intermission

Seven Days @FloridaState

A taste of fine culture

Among the few students in the crowd, my 1st impression was “how did FSU pull off getting such a world known orchestra to preform in Tallahassee?!” We aren’t a community used to such a presence or culture. It was shown by a hardly full concert hall and even my last minute outfit that would have been disrespectfully underdressed in any other city seemed ok here. When the pianist came to play, the piano was not ready for him. He had to personally go downstairs to the pit, put the piano on the lift, and bring it to stage. A fellow Tallahassee Polish person who I met back stage afterwards voiced the embarrassment of the capital city. The conversation between her and a few others had a consensus that this should have been a packed house, a showcase performance, honored guest in the balconies, and formal dress in the crowd. What happened to “stay classy Tallahassee”? Although, I see their point, I would like to look at the experience in a positive light; it was an honor to be a part of in this small southern town I call home. It was a nice culture injection shot in the arm for our community. Well done Florida State for bringing us this gift and hopefully we continue to grow with this level of prestige.

#7days #tallahassee barely filled the house

Among the few students in the crowd

Que Bonita esta VIDA!!! Road trip from Barranquilla to Cartagena Colombia @SocialBenjamin

This is a day in the life of @SocialBenjamin who traveled to Colombia. He took the most dangerous road between beautiful Barranquilla and Romantic Cartagena for American ambush and organ theft according to the US Department of State. God was with him on this trip. This is a witness of faith that Colombia has good and great people. We should not live in fear.

I translated the words…

Music by Jorge Celedon Jimmy Zambrano snd: This Life

I like the smell that is tomorrow. I love first sip of coffee. It feel like the sun peeks in my window and I’m filled in my eyes a beautiful sunrise.

I like listening to the peace of the mountains, watching the sunset colors, feel the sand on my feet from the beach, And sweet cane when I kiss my wife.

Oh what a beautiful life!!
Although sometimes hurt so much despite the sorrows
There is always someone who wants
There is always someone who cares
Ay Ay Ay que bonita this life
Although not forever

If I live with my people, it’s nice to die with brandy and tequila.

I like hearing the voice of a guitar. Provide for that friend who needs. Feel the hug in the morning and fill. The look of another beautiful sunrise.

Oh that beautiful life
Although sometimes hurt so much despite the sorrows
There is always someone who wants
There is always someone who cares
Ay Ay Ay que bonita this life
Although not forever

If I live with my people
It’s nice to die with brandy and tequila.

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Puerto Velero, Barranquilla Colombia

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Northern Coast

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4 lanes with no lines

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Come to the island on yacht, boat, or raft

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In BAQ a year before Joe Arroyo passed. Te Amo Colombia

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At the foot of the Mountain for John Paul II