Why I Love Facebook and the #1 Secret to Radio Success

This Saturday (Sept 5th) I'll be on Outside the Walls with Timothy Putnam talking about parish community-building, the part discipleship plays in that, and how you can go about making it happen.  We'll also be giving away a copy of Sherry Weddell's book Forming Intentional Disciples, so listen in to find out how to put your name in the hat.So you want to be on the radio one day, too? Let me tell you the number one thing you need to do in order to make that happen: Turn your ringer on. … [Read more...]

Pro-Life, Married, and Contracepting: Is There a Problem?

In light of the recent Planned Parenthood videos, I've been thinking about a group of pro-life friends who don't fit the Catholic categories.  These are staunchly pro-life Christians who believe sex should be saved for marriage, that marriage is a lifelong, exclusive union between one man and one woman, but who take contraception as the 'default mode' for marital relations, and sterilization as an acceptable way to avoid pregnancy indefinitely.There are variations within that broad … [Read more...]

CORRECTED: US Bishops Have No Case in Court If They Won’t Stand for the Faith at Home

CORRECTED:  Kathy Schiffer graciously reminds me that Bishop Finn has asked NCR to stop calling itself Catholic.  So on to the next step, then.  My original post below.***Remember when "Real Catholic TV" was told to drop the word "Catholic" from its name?  Quick refresher from CNA:During its time as “Real Catholic TV,” the apostolate was told by the Archdiocese of Detroit that it did not have permission to describe itself as “Catholic.” The Roman Catholic Church's current Code of Cano … [Read more...]

English Majors File Lawsuit Against UT Citing Hostile Environment #satire

KNOXVILLE - Outside of the University of Tennessee's student center, demonstrators have gathered to stand in solidarity with a minority group facing a hostile reception from school administrators: English majors.  Sophmore Laura Branson takes the megaphone and leads protesters in chanting, "A Loving Pronoun NEEDN'T / Disagree With Its ANTECEDENT!"Senior Tom Jackson holds a sign saying No Time for Panic We'll Defeat the Lexiphanic! while he explains, "This is about inclusion.  This is about ge … [Read more...]

What I’m Reading: For the Union and the Catholic Church by Max Longley

Worth noting from the review pile: For the Union and the Catholic Church: Four Converts in the Civil War by Max Longley, McFarland & Company, 2015.So far so good.  It's a look at the civil war through the eyes of four notable Union-side Catholic converts - the first black American priest; a general and his brother a bishop; and the editor of a Catholic newspaper.  Already the fight is getting good here: Nor was Rosecrans hesitant to mingle religion with antislavery views.  The previous y … [Read more...]

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...]

What ISIS Can Teach Us About the HHS Contraceptive Mandate

The courts are back and forth on whether the current HHS rules violate the religious freedom of non-church religious employers. (You, for example, have some kind of religion or philosophical system.  If you were an employer, wouldn't you want to follow your principles, even if it was just a public car wash or a daycare you were running? You are the kind of people these cases are talking about.) Kathy Schiffer writes on the latest in the ping-pong:A federal appeals court ruled August 21 that n … [Read more...]