Follow-up: Catechesis for Teens, Year-by-Year Benchmarks, and a Rant

In response to my post the other day, I had a few comments from friends in the catechetical world.On the topic of good resources for teens, Charity Horinek writes: When Mark and I taught high school for six years, we used these books, and *I* think they are awesome:We did the first three in three-year cycles, then repeated, but used the fourth as a framework for discussing issues of morality that arose quite frequently since the teens in our group (anywhere from 26 to 33 kids at a t … [Read more...]

Catholic Education: You Can’t Serve Two Masters

One of the reigning errors of our insecure, perpetually-offended culture is the Approval One is the Rejection of All Others fallacy.  So allow me to be perfectly clear: My love of homeschooling is in no way a rejection of our Catholic schools.Not for a moment.  Those who pay attention in real life know that I put quite a lot of effort into steering families towards their local Catholic schools whenever I can.*Thus in the busyness of getting the new school year going, I was dismayed to ha … [Read more...]

Get Young Adults to Join Your Parish in Two Easy Steps, Guaranteed.

The question came up at Sherry Weddell's Intentional Disciples discussion forum: How does one attract and keep "young adults" in the parish?  I've been that young adult and I've spent a fair bit of time talking with the faithful Catholic young adults who don't show up at the St. Moribund's of this world, so I've got a pretty good grasp on the dynamic.  I'm sorry to report the answer is exceedingly simple:1. Be serious about following Jesus.2. Get out of the way.Don't believe me?   … [Read more...]

Something Good: Christian Soul Music with Actual Poetry in It

Just finished listening to the rough mix of Sam Rocha's freshly released album, Late to Love.  In my effortless knack for sticking with the "late" theme, I finally got around to listening to my review-files oh, you know, long after they'd arrived and a few days after the album came out.  Nothing against the feast of St. Augustine, I promise.What you should know:Do you listen to soul music? I'm not up on the genre.  Lately, in the unlikely event that I get silence, the last thing I want t … [Read more...]

How Much House Should a Bishop Inhabit?

I live in a relatively small house.  Not Third World Shack small, but the square footage per person makes most first-world "Small Houses!" fans gaze longingly at off-site storage options.  I have friends who squeeze way more children into way less space, and friends who do it the other away around.  We're happy with where we fall on the real estate spectrum, grateful for what we have and making the best use of it we can.CNN, on the other hand, is very worried about People Whose Homes Are the … [Read more...]

Tax Collectors and Other Sinners: Family Life & the Place of Wayward Catholics in the Parish

Rebecca Hamilton has written a beautiful and moving testimony on the nature of family life, and I think it gives us exactly the answer to the problem of Catholics who struggle with the Catholic faith.  What's the right thing to do with our fellow Catholics who don't quite have it all together?  People who are egregiously mistaken in their understanding of serious matters?Our Lord answers the question quite plainly: Treat them as you would the pagans and tax collectors.Before you sharpen t … [Read more...]

Three Reasons Not to Own a Gun, and a Fourth I’ll Concede

Please recall that prudential decisions involving firearms are a matter on which Catholics are free to disagree.  If I write here, in this adult-swim corner of the Catholic internet that is Patheos, on the gunlandian cultural perspective, trust me I have no illusions that I'm proclaiming the indisputable truth on faith and morals.  Speculation has its time and place, and that's what any of us writing on these topics are doing: Speculating.Today, though, I speculate very firmly on the i … [Read more...]