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Easter: A Time of Conversion and Encounter

In the last year, the Archdiocese of Baltimore began a renewal process that we call “Be Missionary Disciples”.  Read more

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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

In this 2008 photo, Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, second from left, travels on the subway in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bergoglio, named pope on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, was known for taking the subway and mingling with the poor of Buenos Aires while archbishop. Bergoglio chose the name Pope Francis and is the first pope ever from the Americas. (AP Photo/Pablo Leguizamon)

The Choice Before Us: Safety or Health?

This post corresponds to the Mission Priority “Send”

Not too long ago, I was speaking with some folks who worked at a parish. They were eager to discuss this whole evangelization thing. Suddenly, in response to what I thought was an innocent question, one of them exclaimed: “Wait a second! What if we do go out and start doing all these things? What if all kinds of people really do start coming? Read more

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Give Without Counting the Cost

In 2002, I was employed as an emergency interviewer at an outreach center here in Baltimore. One of the first people I met was a religious sister, whom we’ll call “Mary,” who was the AIDS/HIV coordinator. Sister Mary instilled in me a culture of encounter, the importance of being compassionate to people no matter their condition or situation, and the need to meet them where they are. Read more

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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

Haiti

Mission Matters… Near and Far

Pope Francis (and most popes before him) encourages us to focus on mission and evangelization. Something I had perhaps forgotten over the years, but I’ve been reminded that the bottom line is this: our mission as Catholics and as Christians is to love our neighbor, near and far.

Haiti is a near neighbor. Read more

compassionate outreach

Compassionate Outreach: Going Out to Meet Them Where They Are

One aspect of evangelization that takes on special meaning in this Jubilee Year of Mercy is compassionate outreach. The Church not only opens its doors as a sign of welcome, but also goes out to meet those who are apprehensive; those who are marginalized; those who feel rejected; those who are disabled; and those whom society does not value. Read more

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Two Ways You and Your Parishioners Can Be Faithful Citizens in 2016

Faithful Citizenship. What exactly does it mean to be a “faithful citizen”? In The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the US Bishops state: “In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation … Read more

Msgr. Adam Parker, Vicar General, Diane Barr, Chancellor, and friend washing dishes.

Entering the Year of Mercy (plus 54 ideas for celebrating it)

The Year of Mercy began this week, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Catholic Center employees were invited to spend that day, or at least part of that day, with agencies dedicated to one or more of the corporal works of mercy. On Tuesday, we had members of our staff dispersed at various Catholic Charities agencies, outreach services to persons with disabilities, and a number of other places. It was a great gift for me to spend a few hours with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society at Resurrection in Ellicott City. Read more