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...]

The Kissable God

The feasts of the liturgical year intertwine.  At Christmas we adore the baby Jesus, cuddly, but it's on Good Friday that the liturgy invites us to come forward and give that grown-up baby a kiss.  God become man, a man we can hold, and touch, and thank.  And then on Easter, Mary Magdalene, apostle to the Apostles, mistress of tenderness, embraces that Man and is told to let go: There is more still coming.There is still more coming.  From the God who can be kissed.Happy Eas … [Read more...]

Two Foolproof Ways to Improve Church Attendance

Dear Pope Francis,Other people have shared their ideas with you on how to bring more people back to the faith or into the fold. Their ideas vary from the predictable (evangelization) to the ludicrous (changing Church teaching).  Today my son and I would like to urge you to implement two reforms that are nearly guaranteed to work, and which hardly cost anything at all. 1. Add More Sacraments I understand that we're or more less stuck with the seven we've got, but you are a Jesuit, so I feel … [Read more...]

New Entries for Our French-Redneck Dictionary

So I've got four high school students sitting at my kitchen table, and we're going over the passé composé today, that stalwart French tense that is the bane of first-year students.  I grab a random verb from the list in the textbook, renverser, to spill.  Because they have an evil instructor who gives difficult quizzes at the start of every class session (the better to learn from, my dear) I remind them that a phrase such as j'ai renversé . . .  [insert your own object, or wait five minutes and o … [Read more...]

Easter Season Internet Safety For Parents

The spouse sneaks back to the bedroom this afternoon and says in a low voice, "There are bunny things in my Amazon shopping cart.  Am I supposed to buy them?""I didn't put them there, if that's what you mean," I tell him.  A likely suspect comes to mind. "What kind of bunny things?""Lego, Playmobil.  Things like that."Ah yes.  I remember somebunny mentioning these things.  "You know that one-click feature?  We need to be careful about that or we're going to have some surpr … [Read more...]

Getting the Parent-Church Relationship Right

In private discussions of my post about the role of parents in catechesis, a number of variations on, "But parents like catechists!" came up.  I couldn't agree more.  I'm a parent, and I actively seek out opportunities to put my children into the hands of other faithful Catholic adults.The answer to supporting parents in their role as primary educators of their children isn't first kill all the catechists.  Absolutely not.Rather, it's a question of priorities and focus. Are we telling par … [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...]