Christian Community Renewal for Ordinary Moms

This story is for Melanie Bettinelli, who is far more thoughtful than I am, and her house is in better order.So just before Thanksgiving this year, me and another mom got an invitation.  We had a new friend who we'd met because our daughters played sports together and liked each other.  And she said, "I'd like to have you over to do a Thanksgiving craft with us."We said yes, even though we were not really looking for Thanksgiving crafts, but we knew that friendship and community life is i … [Read more...]

You’re Invited to Simcha Fisher’s Baby Shower – Updated with Drink Recipe

Rebecca is a throwing a baby shower for Simcha Fisher -- I think you get one every ten babies -- and it's happening at a website near you. So you should go.There are drinks, and games, and drinks, and the gift-giving format is organized so that you are guaranteed to never, ever, have your gift featured in one of Simcha's Top Ten Most Horrifying Baby Gifts columns.UPDATED: I forgot to bring my contribution to the potluck: Grown-Up Chocolate Milk 1 Part Meletti Cioccolato or: 1 Part … [Read more...]

How Do You Build a Community of Disciples Who Observe Catholic Liturgical Culture Together?

Earlier, I answered Melanie Bettinelli's post on the challenge of communal feast day observances with a calendar: Here's what we do to observe the liturgical year at our house.  If you read through my litany, you'll see that we enjoy a combination of private celebrations, parish-centered celebrations, and many observances involving a small community of Catholic (and other) friends.  We are, in all, quite blessed.  I didn't answer her deeper question, which is, "How do we get there?"She wr … [Read more...]

Liturgical Living: What Does It Look Like At Your House? – Updated

UPDATED with the bit about Fridays and Solemnities.Melanie Bettinelli writes about the awkwardness of trying to observe the Catholic holidays throughout the year when you have no community and no traditions for doing so.  Interestingly, I knew right away what the story was with the tangerines, though I was scandalized to learn there are people who don't love them. More for us, I suppose.Prompted by Melanie's post, I thought I'd run through what our typical year of feasting looks like. … [Read more...]

You Know Catholic Education Has Serious Problems When . . .

. . .  Father Barron can drop a quote like this: To see how quickly this transformation can happen, take a good look at the philosophy department at many of the leading Catholic universities: what were, in the 1950’s overwhelmingly theistic professoriats are today largely atheist.  And it's just some passing fact. The kind of thing everyone knows. A tidbit we mention in order to demonstrate some larger point.When the philosophy department is run by atheists, it's not Catholic education.  If … [Read more...]

Single-Solution Christian Formation is Guaranteed to Fail

In the on-going conversation on what works, and what doesn't, in youth ministry, here are two threads, seemingly disparate, that share what I propose is the #1 fallacy we Catholics cling to when it comes to Christian formation:Richard Becker argues here for changing the age at which we administer the sacrament of Confirmation.  It's the kind of article I'm inclined to like, for all sorts of good reasons. Meanwhile, Fr. Peter Daly in the Archdiocese of Washington was able to track down … [Read more...]

A Youth Group Story You Need to Hear

My recent post on my own youth group experience (when I was the "youth") has generated a pile of enthusiasm and a modest amount of panic.  So I'm going to tell you a story, brand new, that you need to hear.I'm chatting with a fellow mom this weekend, whom I'm just meeting for the first time ever, and it's not in a professional-Catholic context so she doesn't know what it is I do here, or really anything else about me other than that I'm another mom like her, dealing with the same … [Read more...]