Are You Smarter than a “Prominent Catholic?” Archbishop Cordileone Rocks the Gospel.

The trouble with being Catholic is that there's not a quiz at the door.  One can thus rise to "prominent Catholic" status without knowing anything much at all about the Catholic faith, as readers of The Chronicle will have observed in the advertisement taken out by San Francisco citizens deeply concerned that Archbishop Cordileone is acting like a Catholic.It's not a particular surprise that the signatories are confused about their faith, since they also seem to think Pope Francis reads th … [Read more...]

The Best Catholic Speaker You’ve Never Seen or Heard

Follow-up to my previous post, here's Christian LeBlanc teaching the Catholic faith in a grainy video recorded without an audience in a first-take, just-spit-it-out presentation:Lovely example of how he integrates Theology of the Body into Bible history.While you wait for someone to break down and give this man a proper camera crew, here's the book you want: … [Read more...]

Three Great Ways to Help Parents Teach Their Children the Faith

In a follow-up on the topic of getting the parent-Church relationship right, here are three best practices to add to your arsenal: 1. Peanut Butter and Grace Susan Windley-Daoust writes: Jen, thanks for the Patheos article on what's wrong with parishes doing religious ed as first responders. A number of people have forwarded it to me, saying, PB and Grace is addressing this!Well, we hope so. If you want to take a look, its a new small Catholic press dedicated to making family faith … [Read more...]

Getting the Parent-Church Relationship Right

In private discussions of my post about the role of parents in catechesis, a number of variations on, "But parents like catechists!" came up.  I couldn't agree more.  I'm a parent, and I actively seek out opportunities to put my children into the hands of other faithful Catholic adults.The answer to supporting parents in their role as primary educators of their children isn't first kill all the catechists.  Absolutely not.Rather, it's a question of priorities and focus. Are we telling par … [Read more...]

The Hero Complex that is Destroying the Catholic Faith

Ninth grade is when our parish does confirmation, and my son indicated last summer that yes, he'd like to be confirmed.  Would it be possible, I inquired with Father E., for the boy to prepare for the sacrament outside the bounds of the usual parish program?  For various reasons Father said no, he really needed the kid to go through the youth group just like everyone else.I happen to like our youth minister, and because her gifts are so different than mine, I was happy for the boy to spend a … [Read more...]

Atheism, Beauty, and the Loss of Penance

My young daughter, whose cuteness makes her look even younger, sat on the stool at the jewelry store, stone still, waiting for the two gloved salesladies to punch holes through her earlobes on the count of three.  Stoic child, but if you can read her you knew she was nervous.  This was something she wanted, very much wanted.  She knew it would hurt, because we all reminded her of that fact, repeatedly.  She also knew two other things: Her older sister had done it and she was just fine now, and th … [Read more...]

Screwtape vs. Slubgrip: Fan-Fic? Or do GKC, Belloc, Knox, Lewis, & Tolkien Have a New Colleague?

Fr. Dwight Longenecker has released his second Screwtape-style novel, Slubgrip Instructs.  C.S. Lewis fans are understandably wary: Is it possible to write a follow-on work that's more than a pastiche?  The answer is yes, and there are good literary reasons why Longenecker has succeeded.Quick Background: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is a novel told from the perspective of the demons charged with tempting a young man.  It's a humorous and insightful look at the pitfalls and glorious rea … [Read more...]