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...]

Case Study: Best Practices in Parish Logistics

This is a follow-on to yesterday's post, in which I pointed out problems.  Big ones.  Today let's talk solutions.  Before I get on to the case study I want to share, here are a couple  links to the Jesus is Lord adult-discipleship program:Martina Kreitzer shares the first semester's experience at the parish-of-origin for Jesus is Lord. Marcel LeJeune has adapted it for campus ministry.This works.  If you want a parish full of adult disciples, click through and take notes.Something … [Read more...]

A Patron Saint for Rabble Rousers and their Bishops

When I answered Tom McDonald's How I Pray series, one of the pile of question marks in the black hole that is my prayer life concerned spiritual reading.  Two answers of late:1. The book I'm carrying around town and reading in snatches is Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper, by Brant Pitre.  So far, it's excellent. Recommended if you have a general understanding of the significance of the Mass and the Last Supper, and are looking for so … [Read more...]

The Antidote to both Clericalism and Nostalgia . . .

. . . is a thorough reading of the lives of the saints.  Don't pick up one of those sweet-tart packets of platitudes people try to pass off as hagiography.  What you want, if you wish to understand the Church and understand the nature of the Faith, is Butler's Lives, the big version.  Here are excerpts from the life St. Beatus of Liebana, who died circa 798, and whose feast came around just recently: . . . there was at Toledo an aged archbishop called Elipandus, who had been infected by that su … [Read more...]

Five Reasons I Love Ashtags. Actually Six. And a Youtube Video.

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I know these people who don't love ashtags.  People like Monique Ocampo, who is even giving up selfies for Lent.  I get it, but I am not these people.  Five reasons, six for the intrepid, and the first one will shock you:Reason #1: I like people.I particularly like the people I'm friends with on social media.  So I like to see photos of them.  It makes me happy to be able to see you with your cat, or your birthday cake, or your brand new, freshly-repentant ashes.  It's like getting Christ … [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...]

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...]


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