Let’s Make Marriage Preparation Relevant

Too often, as lay ecclesial ministers, priests, and deacons, we complain that engaged couples require a great deal of time and energy from the parish but, in the end, many couples simply use the Church for their wedding after which they are never to be seen at the parish again.  Conversely, engaged couples complain about all the “hoops” that they are required to jump through in order to get married in the Church.

Both perspectives hold some truth. Read more

Mission Matters: July 26, 2016

This week’s “Parish Table Talk”: Pokémon Go to evangelize; Project Flashlight; The question of the Catholic vote; #ThanksNFP; plus this Thursday’s blog post. Read more

The Sound of Silence

I had the privilege of leading a couple of parish retreats this summer. The participants were parish volunteers from all different kinds of ministries. They gave themselves a gift of time with our Lord, and I was truly evangelized by their faith and their presence.

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Ephphatha! Be opened!

The New Evangelization challenges us to rethink what it means to be missionaries. Yes, ad gentes! To be disciples to all the nations is still a priority but, what about those who sit next to us in the pews or those who aren’t even there in the pews yet? We know there are many of our brothers and sisters who are baptized Catholic, but are not actively engaged in their faith.  This is one level of evangelization. And a large one at that! Overwhelming, even.

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Mission Matters: July 12, 2016

This week’s “Parish Table Talk”: Praying together for peace; Project AWARE; Cardinal Sarah and liturgical renewal; Pilgrimage in Catholic faith; Welcoming baby Grace Marie;  plus this Thursday’s blog post. Read more

Why They Leave. Why They Come Back – Survey Series #12

Corresponds to Question 19 and 20 of the survey

Everyone’s faith journey is unique. But I have to confess that in one respect my own journey could not be more average: when I stopped practicing the Catholic faith it was the result of gradually drifting away. My parents took us Mass every Sunday, we dutifully “got our sacraments,” and we attended “Sunday school.” But as I entered young adulthood, none of that stopped me from walking out the door. What’s so “average” about this? Over 70 percent of those who leave the Catholic Church also “gradually drift away.” It is by far the number one reason why people leave.

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Mission Matters: July 5, 2016

This week’s “Parish Table Talk”:  Prison Ministry Volunteer Appreciation Day; Natural Family Planning Awareness Week; Music competition for original settings; Transitions – New coordinator for the Office of Respect Life; plus this Thursday’s blog post. Read more