How Do You Build a Community of Disciples Who Observe Catholic Liturgical Culture Together?

Earlier, I answered Melanie Bettinelli's post on the challenge of communal feast day observances with a calendar: Here's what we do to observe the liturgical year at our house.  If you read through my litany, you'll see that we enjoy a combination of private celebrations, parish-centered celebrations, and many observances involving a small community of Catholic (and other) friends.  We are, in all, quite blessed.  I didn't answer her deeper question, which is, "How do we get there?"She wr … [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...]

So, Jennifer, How Do You, Ahem, Pray?

Over at Tom McDonald's blog today, you can find out all kinds of things about how I pray.Something I mention but don't elaborate on there, because I didn't want to overwhelm a perfectly good blog:The reason writing is so bad for praying is that there's always a story or an argument in my head, and it can absolutely own me.  Arguments aren't too terribly bad, in that you can get away with sort of "bringing them to the Lord," which is part prayerful reflection and part excuse to keep … [Read more...]

What to Do When Your Child is Denied Communion

Here's the story:  Christmas morning at Mass we were doing really good, not getting fussy that the church was a tiny bit crowded, not complaining about the hymns (which were good, so that was easy), even thinking about Jesus and stuff.  I received Communion.  As I was walking back to my seat, I sensed a disturbance in the force.  I glanced back, and there's my kid, standing before the Blessed Sacrament, and she looks like she's about to burst into tears.  Not in a way that would impress the hagio … [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...]

Friends in High Places: Get Yourself a Saint for 2015

Matchmaking time.  Jen Fulwiler's Patron Saint Generator is up and running. If you haven't done so already, go get yourself an assigned saint for 2015.I did this in 2014, and got Don Bosco on my case.  We had started out with a rocky relationship some years ago, so I was a tad nervous when we were paired last winter.  But we've come to an understanding and we're friends now.Still, I had to hold my breath when I clicked the button this year, because I'm always secretly afraid I'll get so … [Read more...]

10 Reasons It’s Safe to Come to Mass this Christmas

You've no doubt seen Saturday Night Live's chillingly (hilariously) accurate tour of what you can expect at Mass this Christmas, but you might still be thinking, Hmmn.  Is it really a good idea for someone like me to go to place like that?  With Jesus in it and stuff?The answer is yes.  Here are my top ten reasons why:10. It really is the Church for anybody at all.  There might be other religions where you're expected to have your act together from day one.  Catholics, on the other hand, … [Read more...]