Locusts & Wild Honey and the Life of the Parish

Last week, Deacon Presberry wrote about how “Church isn’t out for summer”. It does have seasons – liturgical seasons. And just like we gear up for sprinklers and strawberries in the summer and snow shovels and hot cocoa in the winter, we can prepare for the Church seasons of fasting and feasting through intentional liturgical living.

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When the Bell Tolls

On hearing the signal… the monk will immediately set aside what he has in hand and go with utmost speed… Indeed, nothing is to be preferred to the work of God. (Chapter 43, The Rule of St. Benedict)
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Why Do We Have to Get Married in a Church?

Often, I get asked: “Why do we have to get married in a church?” Read more

Are You Alive?

We don’t go through Lent, through the sacrifice, penance, and prayer to finish the forty days and continue to stay in the tomb. If we are preparing ourselves for the Easter celebration then it seems obvious that we’re preparing ourselves for joy. What does joy look like? How about … Read more

When D(iagnosis)-Day isn’t an End . . .

Rapid advancements in perinatal testing equip families with information about their newest members as they prepare to welcome them. This information can be so valuable for families to prepare their hearts and homes for children with special needs or to prepare emotionally for what might be a short time with their children. Imagine the range of emotions: joy, devastation, anticipation, fear, stress, and others that they may experience. Read more

Mission Matters: December 13, 2016

This week’s “Parish Table Talk”: Ministers of Communion resource; GIVEN success; Interpreters’ needs during Mass; Transitions; plus this Thursday’s blog post. Read more

Welcoming Those Who Grieve

When we think of “welcome” as a mission priority, what comes to mind? A user-friendly website? Parking attendants? A family-friendly Sunday experience?

Yes, yes, and YES! Read more

Our Young Adults: Single By Default

Two weeks ago, my colleague, Craig, wrote an excellent piece on bridging the gaps the Church is facing with the young adult population. It reminded me of an article on being single by default from America Magazine.  I found the author’s experience and reflections very helpful for ministering to young adults (YAs) discerning marriage and the consecrated life.

What is your opinion?

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

Why – and How – We All Need to Read ‘Amoris Laetitia’

There has been a lot of buzz about Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, “The Joy of Love” which came out last Friday. There’s a good reason for that. And it’s not the one you’ve seen in the headlines.

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Religious Educators: Who’s On The Team?

Ten minutes. That’s today’s petition.

If you are involved in any way with the task of catechesis (formerly known as CCD) in your parish’s religious education programs, take ten minutes to read and reflect on the two articles linked in this blog post. (Hint: if you are a catechist, DRE, youth minister, pastoral associate or pastor: that definitely means you. If you are on parish council, are a parent, know a family at your parish, or if you have been baptized: that means you too!) Read more

Lent and Marriage: A Match Made at the Synod

Pope Francis and the bishops at the Synod on the Family called for marriage preparation to take on a catechumenal form. What an exciting proposition! When preparing couples for marriage, I invite them to model their immediate marriage preparation after Lent and Advent. Read more