So, Mr. Jesus. We Meet Again.

This Sunday's Gospel has Jesus out for a walk on the beach, and he sees these fishermen and tells them to drop everything and come become apostles.  To hear it preached sometimes, you'd think they'd all never met before.  But take a look at last Sunday's Gospel:John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, … [Read more...]

A Youth Group Story You Need to Hear

My recent post on my own youth group experience (when I was the "youth") has generated a pile of enthusiasm and a modest amount of panic.  So I'm going to tell you a story, brand new, that you need to hear.I'm chatting with a fellow mom this weekend, whom I'm just meeting for the first time ever, and it's not in a professional-Catholic context so she doesn't know what it is I do here, or really anything else about me other than that I'm another mom like her, dealing with the same … [Read more...]

Pastoral Care on the Radio, Love of God & Neighbor in Print – Updated

UPDATED to fix the link.  My apologies! *** I was amused at some of the reactions to my post about my formative youth group experience.For those who are concerned that I haven't got a pastoral side to me, tune in to the Mike Allen Radio show this Friday morning (or catch it on podcast later), where we'll be talking about how the Church can navigate the challenges of employees who publicly reject Catholic teaching.  Hint: You can get an idea of what I think by reading this post.For tho … [Read more...]

How My Parish Youth Group Helped Me Leave the Catholic Faith

Every week at Mass, I see this really nice couple.  I think we first met in about 1990 or so, because their daughter was part of the crowd I ran with in high school.  She and I were in our Catholic parish's youth group together, and we had mutual friends at school.  I went to their house once for a post-dance party.  I met the parents again a few years ago -- we'd both long since moved from our old town, and now happened to run into each other at our current parish.  And the news was this: Their … [Read more...]

Piety Police on Patrol: Try Some Civil Disobedience

In a private forum we're discussing a sad and decidedly personal (so no, I'm not going to link to it) article by a woman who was seeking God in her native Catholic faith, and was told at every turn, "Quit acting so holier-than-thou!"  It is no surprise that, isolated and mocked for practicing the very religion she'd been reared in, she eventually decided it was not the place for her.I wish I could say hers was an unusual case, but it isn't.  I've known families who won't tolerate relatives w … [Read more...]

Catholic School Principal Learns $2 Million Catechism Lesson

The IVF case that generated as much heat as light earlier this month has been decided, a jury determining that the Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend was indeed guilty of discriminating against a female employee in firing her for seeking IVF treatments.  When I initially commented on this case, working only from a few anecdotes told from the plaintiff's side, I wrote: Terrible handling of the situation.  There should have been no doubt, long before Ms. Herx ever began her job at St. Vincent’s, t … [Read more...]

Atheists Advise: Don’t Watch Just Anything, Be Discriminating to Safeguard Your Faith

The Washington Times reports that American Atheists have figured out what Catholics have long proclaimed: American Atheists unveiled Wednesday the “War on Christmas” line-up on its television channel, AtheistTV, featuring “original programs proclaiming the truth about Christmas on December 24 and December 25, featuring scholars and celebrities from the atheist community.”“Christmas is hard for many atheists, so we will provide programming free from superstition and fairy tales that allows  … [Read more...]