Adultery is Not the Only Option: Five Things You Can Do to Keep Your Vows Intact

Deacon Greg Kandra writes about a recent NY Times piece on priests who forsake their vows, and the women who help them do it.  You would think from the way people talk that there's something about a man in holy orders that just makes him irresistible. It's as if there's a force field emanating from that Roman collar that disables free will: Don't get too close, ladies, or you might have no choice but to fall in love! Well, the don't get too close part may be true, anyway.  But that's not bec … [Read more...]

Catholic Website Advises Parents: Obsession with the Occult is No Big Deal

The recently launched online Catholic magazine Crux has an advice column up, in which a parent is told that her child's obsession with the occult is probably no big deal:How would you feel if she were immersed in the Narnia books, written by the Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis, or in the dark and fantastical worlds imagined by J.R.R. Tolkein – a Catholic — in “The Lord of the Rings” novels? Many children in their pre-teen years find escape in fantasy.Yes, escape into fantasy is lovely.   … [Read more...]

Playground Evangelization: Making Parishes More Welcoming for Families

Two girls and I pulled into St. Mary's Greenville Saturday evening with half an hour to go before the vigil Mass.  Thirty minutes is too long for tired children to prayerfully admire the architecture, and too short to go anyplace else.  So we went to the playground across the soccer field, by the school.  It took about five minutes on that playground for my eight-year-old to start campaigning for us to move to St. Mary's and enroll her in the parish school.  I pointed out there'd be classes and h … [Read more...]

Small Groups: The Best Most Dangerous Thing That Can Happen to Your Parish

Today at New Evangelizers, I write about "Small Groups."  By that what I mean is a handful of parishioners -- say, less than 15 -- getting together to do Christian stuff together.  Learn about the faith, do a work of mercy, pray, whatever it is that particular group does.Your parish has to have small groups.  If it doesn't, everyone dies on the vine:But everybody – everybody – in your parish needs a small community.  Human beings literally cannot socialize in large gatherings.  You’ll not … [Read more...]

#Synod14 – Prostitute Nation and a Jar of Perfume

If you want to understand the clerical food fight portion of this month's Synod on the Family, what you need to know about is sexting.Not the Catholic kind, the other kind.Your must-read article for this month is The Atlantic's feature Why Kids Sext.  It's long, and you should read the whole thing.Points to ponder as you do so:Louisa County is normal America.  There's nothing "different" that explains why there was suddenly a website full of students' naked images running on I … [Read more...]

#Synod14 – The Universal Cure for What Ails You, Ecclesiastical Edition

Synod Survival Tip, and this works for parish and family life too: If you find yourself stuck on the grumpy loop, rehashing over and again the failings of Cardinal Clueless or Father Frustrating, pray for him as if he were dying.That's right.  Imagine your nemesis on his deathbed, about to face his eternal reward, and pray as if his very soul were at stake.  If you are correct in perceiving just how far he has strayed from his vocation, then his eternal soul truly is in grave danger even no … [Read more...]

#Synod14 — Annulment Talk: Resources for Beginners and Pundits Alike

Here are a handful of resources for those who are interested in following all the sex talk at the Synod, but are having a hard time making sense of the assorted news reports.For beginners, take a look at:This homily text from Fr. Jim Leblanc on marriage, divorce, and annulments. If I have my facts straight, Fr. Jim was a lawyer before he became a priest and canon lawyer; he's also a personable, genuinely pastoral guy.  He knows his stuff and will steer you right. Here's Fr. Jim's … [Read more...]