Catholic? Like to Write? There’s a Conference for That

I have always enjoyed writing.  In school and then at work as an accountant, I was the person who ended up with the writing jobs.  If you leave me with no computer for more than about a day, I will somehow get hold of pen and paper and start writing stuff.  But I didn't necessarily think of myself as a writer.  I didn't know how to make the transition from "person who likes to write" to "writer."Obviously I've made that transition now, and the people responsible for making that change happen … [Read more...]

Traps for Catechists and How to Avoid Them

It's new-catechist season, and if you know such a person, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you about the book you want.  It's Classroom Management for Catechists, by me.  It's cheap, short, readable, and gives you a 101 on how to avoid all the stupid things I did as a new religious ed teacher, and instead go directly to putting together a decent class even if you aren't a genius with magical superpowers.There's a Spanish version, too.  If you are buying in bulk for your parish or diocese, call … [Read more...]

So You Want to Bring Your Kids Back to the Catholic Church?

I spent this weekend with as fine a portion of the Knights of Columbus and the Columbiettes as you could hope to meet.  Super group, truly a privilege to be among them. Thank you, prayer team, for your support in making this weekend work, you made all the difference.My hosts told me I could use the lunch hour to talk about anything I wanted, so (surprise!) I talked about evangelization.And thus a follow-up, which I've cross-posted over at my personal blog:If you'd like to continue t … [Read more...]

Real Things from Fiction

Happy New Year everyone!  I'm doing fine, a bit tired and a lot busy with regular life, which finds me offline more than usual lately.  I'm looking forward to getting back to more blogging in the weeks ahead.  Meanwhile, as often happens in winter, I've been writing fiction.  It's a hobby, and addictive enough I probably need a National Don't Write A Novel Month.  First drafts are my specialty, thanks.In a rare bit of online reading today I came across Brandon Watson's well-timed post at Siri … [Read more...]

Return by Brandon Vogt – When Your Child Has Left the Faith, or Before

I had a chance earlier this fall to preview Return by Brandon Vogt.   I haven't seen the video series (information here) but I did read the pre-release version of the book cover to cover.  It's about what to do if you have a child who's left the Catholic faith, and it is extraordinarily good.   Not a project I'm involved with personally in any way, other than that I did a happy dance just reading the table of contents on my review copy.  The book delivered on its promise.Here's the endo … [Read more...]

True Radiance Chapter 6: The Beauty in Every Vocation

My friend Lisa Mladinich asked me to write today on chapter six of her beautiful new book, True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life.Lisa's going to be doing a giveaway of her book for readers of this blog over at her place, and yes, I completely forgot to ask whether that will be at or Water into Wine, so check both!  I'll update here when I have the direct link.(I explained to her that me putting things in the mail was not a good way to make sure it … [Read more...]

The Coolest Thing About Being a Catholic Writer . . .

. . . is the people you get to work with.Here's a snapshot of the table of contents for Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, of interest because Sarah (the author) suggested we contributors get our names added as co-authors on Amazon.Backing up you can see just what kind of company I'm in, and that's just page 1.  Hint: If you don't know some of these names, maybe you should.If you just can't get enough of me, check out my freshly-updated Publications Page.  In ad … [Read more...]