The Blogger Who Kicked Over the Hornets’ Nest: More Buzz and Sting about Religious Education UPDATED

Karoly Ferenczy, The Sermon on the Mount (1896)

Now I know how Jonathan Swift felt when he proposed ending English famine by eating Irish babies. Friday's post suggesting that we quit catechizing children touched more of a nerve than I expected, opened more worm cans, and (best of all) sparked some great conversations. Thank you for commenting here and on Facebook and Twitter, for sharing the post and linking to it. We're talking out loud about our larger hunger, and no babies have been harmed in the process.As clarification and … [Read more...]

What’s Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education? Everything. UPDATED

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You know that 40 Years of Bad Catechesis you've all been scapegoating for everything that ails the Church? That Babylonian Captivity of Sound Doctrine, that Wandering in the Wilderness of the Butterfly Banner for which I've been saying a grudging mea culpa ever since my reversion? Well, you're partly right. And partly really, really wrong.Bad Catechesis has been an integral part of our tradition for a lot longer than 40 years, and it still goes on. Our seeming inability to form Catholics who … [Read more...]

The Parable of the Papal Interview

Vincent van Gogh, Sower with the Setting Sun

Hear this!A pope went out to give an interview. And as he talked, some of his words fell to the media, and those birds gobbled them up before they could even be heard.Others of his words fell to those who didn't understand his context. They received his message with joy, but the first time it occurred to them how difficult it would be to live by those words, their enthusiasm withered like seedlings in a drought.Some of his words fell among cranky people who believed those words … [Read more...]

Fine Print on the Invitation: Who Is Welcome at the Table of the Lord?

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I am confused. This will probably seem disingenuous, or a violation of my fast from bile. But I truly am curious, not angry.How do I understand my call to mission---our common calling to evangelize? What kind of invitation do I issue, and to whom?This is what Pope Francis said to the bishops and clergy gathered in Rio today (h/t to Fr James Martin, SJ): Let us help our young people to discover the courage and joy of faith, the joy of being loved personally by God, who gave his Son Jesus … [Read more...]

Angry Birds Biblical: A Modest Proposal

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I am chewing on a couple of more serious and thoughtful posts, but in the mean time I can't resist wondering aloud why a critical marketing need isn't being met.After spending hours watching my 3-year-grandson level up through Angry Birds Original, Space, Seasons, Rio, and Star Wars (not to mention Bad Piggies) on his daddy's iPad, devouring endless EvanTubeHD videos in which a young boy with either something nasty on the toy manufacturers or the most overindulgent parents in the world opens … [Read more...]

Dear Lord, Baby Jesus: Black Friday and the New Evangelization

mall

Could Black Friday become a feast day of the New Evangelization? In this post from December 2010, I may have been on to something._____Tis the season when Christians collectively bemoan the commercialization of the holy day, reminding ourselves of the importance of turning away from the retail rat race and putting Christ back into Christmas. Yesterday, though, while tuning one ear to the Christmas muzak playing in one of my favorite coffee establishments (as it has been playing … [Read more...]


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