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Getting From the Car to the Door

40 million adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder. Thirty percent do not even know they have a disorder or do not seek help for anxiety. Read more

Christ Bell Catholic Church Tower Of The Church

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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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

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Keeping Our Eyes On Christ

Recently a story was shared with me about St. Mother Teresa.

She held the hand of a young child who was hungry and approached a man who was well off asking him for assistance. The man’s reply:  he spit in Mother’s face. St. Mother Teresa’s response: “That was your gift to me, now do you have anything for the child?” Read more

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All Are Welcome

We are familiar with the hymn All Are Welcome which many of us sing regularly in our parishes. As followers of Christ, our mission is to proclaim the Gospel to ALL people and truly ensure that All Are Welcome. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly one in five Americans – over fifty-five million – has a disability. Thus, disability is in fact the norm for many Americans. Read more

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They Are Coming Home

In February 2011, after many years of working in the criminal justice system and still many more at an outreach center in Baltimore, I accepted the position of Director of Prison Ministry for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. It was a position that I knew would eventually consume much of my time in the area of people returning home from prison: the returning citizens. Read more

welcome mat

A Culture of Hospitality

Two weeks ago my colleague Stacy Golden wrote in this blog about the importance of welcoming the stranger through the ministry of hospitality. While most parishes would say they are “welcoming,” the challenge is to make hospitality truly a part of our parish culture. So what are a few things we can do  to begin making that cultural change? Read more

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I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me

How do we become an inviting church? It begins with hospitality. That is what the six hundred guests who visited St. Benedict parish in Halifax for the Divine Renovation conference witnessed.

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dinner party

12 Ways to Be the “Hostess with the Mostess” – Survey Series #8

Corresponds to Question 42 of the survey.

Recently, my brother and his family came for an overnight visit that, even though it was short, inevitably brought out my latent desire to be the “hostess with the mostess.” So, just before they arrived, I found myself stocking the bathrooms with clean towels and plenty of toilet paper, as well as randomly touching up paint where someone’s shoe had left a huge scuff mark, and frantically changing out the gross shower curtain liner for a new one. Read more

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Faith is Not a Smoothie – Survey Series #5

Corresponds to Questions 14-17 and 20 of the survey.

When we experience something wonderful, something life-changing, when we have met someone who has changed our whole world, it is natural that we want to share it. And so it is with our Catholic faith.

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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner- Survey Series #2

Corresponds to questions 9, 10, 11, and 12 of the survey

In the classic 1967 movie, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a liberal couple’s values are challenged when their daughter comes home with her African-American fiance. It’s true, this wouldn’t shock us today. In fact, we couldn’t be more grateful for the great gift of diversity we have in our Church. However, we have to admit that even today not everyone feels welcome in every parish. Read more

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New Easter Catholics: Why Too Many Leave Too Soon and What We Can Do About It

One of the joys of Easter is witnessing the entrance of new sisters and brothers into the Catholic Church. Just like beaming newlyweds remind older married couples of when they first fell in love, these new Catholics remind us what a precious gift our Faith really is. But what happens when the celebration fades into memory and the challenges of being an active Catholic in today’s world kick in? Read more