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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

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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A “Me First” Mission

This blog post corresponds to the mission priority of Encounter

It’s not often in Christian theology that we hear encouragement to live “me first.” This is one of those rare exceptions.

Fear not – this is not a heretical blog post about the virtue of selfishness. It’s about one of the six core mission priorities set forth for our Be Missionary Disciples pastoral planning process, the priority of “Encounter.” Read more

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Accompany: Where Are We Going and Who Is Driving?

Inevitably, when my wife and I are able to find a babysitter for our three delightful (read: crazy) children under five years old to go on a date, we sit in the car for fifteen minutes trying to figure out where to go for dinner. Neither of us has a clue what we are hungry for and what might satisfy that hunger. Similarly, the act of accompaniment can appear to lack direction as well. Read more

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Here’s to New Life Bearing Lasting Fruit in the New Year

“Do you have the Christmas spirit yet?”

As Christmas drew near, this is the question we asked one another as children. The “Christmas spirit” was something tangible and unmistakable: we knew if we had it or if we didn’t. Mounting excitement at the immanent arrival of Santa Claus and his sack of toys? Okay, yes, perhaps. But there was more to it. Read more

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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

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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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Leading Through Change

Our recently published Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan describes how we will be forming pastorates that “…will be centers of worship and prayer that promote lifelong conversion and reverence for the Catholic faith.” As parishes “come together,” as my colleague Daphne Daly wrote about a couple of weeks ago, and begin to work together to sustain a vibrant community that spreads the mission of the church, some changes will be inevitable. Read more

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Come Together Right Now

I freely admit that I am not the world’s biggest Beatles fan. However, over the last few months, the refrain from their song “Come Together” has been echoing in my mind. I like to imagine Jesus singing it over and over to us as we try to figure out how we can make pastoral planning bear lasting fruit. 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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Gap Years: Missing Young Adults Between Graduation and Marriage

A “gap year” between high school and college is supposed to be a time to “find oneself” and mark the important transition from young person to young adult. Unfortunately, as a Church, we have created our own “divide.” There is little to nothing present for young adults once they get past high school. This is the post-high school (even post Confirmation) gap that exists until marriage. It’s killing the Church. So, how did we get here? 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