I have a marvelous plan for catechesis but this worksheet margin is too narrow to contain it

cath b store

At the end of January, Patheos blogger Joanne McPortland made a modest proposal that the Church should stop focusing so much on Sunday School and put most of its efforts into catechizing adults, instead.  She wrote: The thing is, whatever method you use, from Latin recitation to puppet play, there is no way you can transmit adult faith to a child of 5 or 7 or 11 or 13 or (if you’re really, really lucky) 17. There is even less possibility of success when you expect the child to retain that ba … [Read more...]

Lost in the Weeds and the Wheat [Pope Francis Bookclub]

corn path

In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.This week's chapter was more difficult than those previous for me.  By the time I got up to this summary in the final pages, I was still at sea: In summary, then, we are confronted with two rival projects.  The first is the project of o … [Read more...]

Working Alongside Saint Zita


This month, Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator spun up Saint Zita of Lucca for me.She is apparently the patron saint of lost keys (and, lo, I've just gotten my keys to my DC apartment).   But, a little more to the point, she was a servant and is particularly known for the way her holiness shown through at work for the people she served: Born to a very poor but pious family. At age twelve she became a domestic servant for the wealthy Fainelli family in Lucca, Italy, a position she kept all her li … [Read more...]

Being Tutored by Saint Genevieve


I've been vulnerable to a bit of the New Year's enthusiasm and tendency to overreach, and have been actively trying to pace myself.  I've missed having a commute, since my metro ride pretty much guarantees I have the chance to say Morning and Night Office daily, and the cathedral right across from my office means I can go to Mass at lunch and say Midday Office right after.  But I've been mostly holding my prayer life to those guys, even though I liked having the Rosary and the Examen as a part o … [Read more...]

Drawing from a deck of Cards Against Humanity

Image by @bdmcclay

This New Year's, I didn't end up making any big resolutions, but I did wind up writing for First Things on a cognitive reframe that helps me spot actions or behaviors I should cut out of my moral diet. When I review my day in an Examen or if an action catches my attention in the moment, I sometimes like to get a better perspective on my choices by using a reframe. Instead of just asking what I should do right now, I ask what kind of habits this choice is reinforcing. Would I want to sign up for … [Read more...]

Missing the Cues for My Amens


For Catholics, the Christmas season is still ongoing (up until January 12th, the Feast of Christ's Baptism), so the days have been peppered with more feasts and solemnities than I've had time to write about.  But one holiday I particularly enjoyed was the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, which falls on New Year's Day.A group of Catholic friends and I went to the Dominican House of Studies on New Year's Eve for an hour of Adoration (prayer in front of the Eucharist), followed by a vigil … [Read more...]

New Routines with a New Saint

st genevieve

It turns out that my saint for the month of January (as determined by Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator) is Saint Genevieve.  And, conveniently enough, her feast day is January 3rd, so I'll make sure to attend Daily Mass this Friday in her honor.  In her life, she was perhaps best known for leading the people of Paris in sustained prayer in order to ward off an attack by the Huns.This will be my first month back in my old city with my new job, so I'm working on resetting my habits and routines o … [Read more...]