Is Your Parish Your Community? Or Not So Much?

The topic of loneliness and exclusion from parish life came up recently, and I threw down the gauntlet: I don't think most of us have a real community at our parishes.  Even those who seem so busy or involved or catered to don't necessarily have much going on in terms of genuine social and spiritual relationships.To which I propose the following quiz, to see if your parish really is your community.  Not counting close family members:Do the people you sit near regularly at Mass know your … [Read more...]

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Easy, Effective, No-Cost and Low-Cost Catechist Training

It's the time of year when desperate directors of religious education drag parishioners out of the pews and shove them into classrooms.  Someone has to teach these kids, and those someones usually come in three categories:Experienced teachers who don't know much about the faith; Knowledgeable Christians who don't know much about teaching; Really nice people who are willing to give it their best.Turnover can be high, and the last few volunteers tend to arrive about three weeks into … [Read more...]

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Resources for Small Groups: Life After Sunday

I've written before about the importance of discipleship and the ease with which you can start a small discipleship group.  (No, really! It's easy! Do it!)  Today Sherry Weddell writes:Life After Sunday is a beautifully written, very inexpensive, highly flexible adult small group process that fosters encounter and discipleship and is downloaded directly off Lumen's website. Inspired by Communion and Liberation. I know the authors! Take a look. There are 26 different topic modules which can b … [Read more...]

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Where Are You Going, Catholic Church?

Patheos is hosting a symposium on "The Future of Faith in America" and you can read the Catholic highlights at Elizabeth Scalia's place.  I don't do predictions, but I do like strategy, so let's talk about that. We Have Everything Going For Us If we want it, the Catholic faith could be on the verge of a renewal to knock the socks off all the other renewals.  In our favor:Being Catholic today is weird and countercultural.  It's not something you do out of habit or convention. Young Cat … [Read more...]

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Good Cause: Support Local Catholic Radio – Updated

UPDATE: Here's the link to the Quick Give form (hosted by OSV), where you can designate your gift to be used for Catholic Radio. From in the inbox, a request for help from St. Peter's Catholic Church in Columbia, SC, to fund a local radio station ASAP.  This was a bit of a surprise, and is a use-it-or-lose-it situation.  Details in the pastor's letter:At the end of the three Sunday Masses I celebrated last weekend, I announced that Saint Peter’s School has received a Low Power FM … [Read more...]

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Confederates and Conversion

H/T to Joe Long for the link to this history of the conversion of Nathan Bedford Forrest, which begins by explaining just how unconverted the man was: Nathan went on to become a very successful and wealthy businessman. Though uneducated and “backwoods” by nature, he was a skilled entrepreneur, albeit in an immoral trade. He made his fortune as a slave trader and as a plantation owner, and by the time the Civil War began in 1861, he was worth 1.5 million dollars, an astronomical figure, when con … [Read more...]

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Why Do We Evangelize?

When I wrote on evangelization and discipleship yesterday, an old question came to my attention: How do we justify this behavior?Very specifically, I want to talk about something that bothered me my from my tour through Protestant Evangelical world, and that I think is a reason many Catholics view "evangelization" with skepticism.Think, for example, of this illustration I gave in my previous post:And then, get this: After the mature Catholic hits “play” on the DVD, he or she steps out … [Read more...]

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