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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

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Join a Vibrant Community of Evangelizers at the ChristLife National Training Conference

The ChristLife process is a proven method of evangelization and renewal used by Catholic parishes across the country. The upcoming ChristLife National Training Conference is an opportunity to be inspired, equipped, and connected so you can bring ChristLife to your home parish. Read more

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Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross according to the method of Saint Francis.

We adore you O’ Christ and we praise you.

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Pope Francis speaks during a penitential ceremony on March 13, 2015 at St Peter's basilica in Vatican. Pope Francis declared an extraordinary jubilee year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a landmark Vatican council and said the Church was bound to continue its  reforming work. The year will be dedicated to the theme of mercy and begin on December 8th, the date the Vatican II council closed in 1965, Francis said in St Peter's cathedral on the second anniversary of his election as pope.  AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI        (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Lent and Pope Francis

And just like that, Lent is upon us! If you’re looking for some suggestions for how to live this Lent, Kevin Cotter from FOCUS selected some tips from Pope Francis. Maybe some (or all) of these will help direct your Lenten practices this year.

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Called to be Stretched

This post corresponds to the Mission Priority “Encounter”

Have you ever heard this definition of insanity? In·san·i·ty: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

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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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Got Kerygma?

That’s kerygma, not charisma.

Yes, a personality with a lot of charisma is a great gift when it comes to evangelization. But what we’re talking about here is even more powerful and essential to evangelization. Read more

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How’s Your Elevator Speech Coming?

I spend a lot of time helping to form volunteers and ministers in parishes and schools. We have spent time in prayer and reflection, time learning about our rich faith, time redefining our priorities, and time learning how to do the ministry to which we have been called.  However, as I reflect on encountering these wonderful people and accompanying them on their journey with Christ, I fear I have been missing an important step: the proclamation of the kerygma. Read more

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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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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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At the Heart of Worship – Survey Series #11

Corresponds to Question 27 and 28 of the survey.

Worship is often at the center of our conversation with family, friends, and co-workers when we discuss spiritual and religious practices. Sociological and psychological studies and recent polls indicate that most people accept the existence of God. However, difficulties arise when talking about ways to relate to God, experience God, know God, or follow God’s call. This is precisely where the topic of worship makes a grand entrance, and how it occupies center place in our musings.

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