Ask the Master of the Harvest: Evangelizing for Vocations – Survey Series #9

Corresponds to Question 34 of the survey.

When I was considering what to do with my life as a young adult I had various ideas, some more grounded than others. I wanted to make it big as a rock drummer but my ambition exceeded my chops. (I also had trouble doing fancy stick twirls.). I also had hopes of making big bucks in the business world or in a prestigious career in law. It was in the midst of this search that I began to see that my life was missing something. The options laid out for me just didn’t seem to be fulfilling or meaningful. Sure, such options provided a comfortable income (okay, maybe not the rock drummer option), but would I be happy – truly happy – doing any of these? I began to realize that life meant more than that, that I wanted to do something greater with my life: I wanted to live for someone other than myself. Read more

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

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.

Read more

Nothing Else Matters – Survey Series #4

Corresponds to Question 21 of the survey.

If Jesus Christ is not the center, nothing else matters.

It may sound drastic, but our whole parish survey may come down to Question 21: Which of the following best describes how you practice your faith and relate to Jesus Christ? Read more

The Ants Go Marching: Children’s Faith Formation – Survey Series #3

Corresponds to questions 13 and 28 of the survey

My niece is fascinated with all furry, feathered, or crawling creatures. When I visited last week, ants were the new obsession. Lucky for her, someone had spilled some snacks on the driveway. Lucky for me, certain topics stay in our heads long after we’ve left the office, so the ant-watching turned into a parish reflection. Read more

How to Eat an Elephant: An Introduction to the Be Missionary Disciples Review and Reflection Process – Survey Series #1

Corresponds to questions 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10 of the survey.

When a task’s so daunting I don’t know how to tackle it, I remember the riddle:

Q. “How do you eat an elephant?”

A. “One bite at a time.”

When trying to tackle the Be Missionary Disciples parish survey results, recently received by pastors and pastoral leaders, this riddle comes to mind for three reasons: Read more

Developing Young Missionary Disciples

Thanks to Pope Francis, much of the Church- including our own Archdiocese – is talking about Missionary Discipleship. That’s a really nice catch phrase, but what does it look like?  How do we do Missionary Discipleship and how do we create a young church full of Missionary Disciples? Here are three ways to start: Read more

Some Thoughts on Rebuilding Your Parish from Up Close

As a parishioner at Church of the Nativity, I have seen up close what an evangelizing parish looks like, at least when it’s located in Timonium, Maryland. But there are some things that every parish needs in order to become an evangelizing parish. In this week’s post, I would like to introduce you to one of the great sites on our resources section: the Rebuilt Parish Association (RPA). The pastoral leadership at Nativity is pretty excited about RPA and they believe you will be too. Read more

Caring for God’s Creation: A Passion for the Lost and Forgotten

Laudato Si  is Pope Francis’ powerful and prophetic encyclical aimed to awaken us to the reality that if we do not care about our planet then it will not be able to care for us. 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

Spiritual Accompaniment: Transitioning from the Mountaintop Experience to Reality

There are some amazing conferences happening in our Archdiocese this week.  The Mid-Atlantic Congress (MAC) begins today! This is the fifth year that the Archdiocese has offered pastoral leaders the opportunity for skills development, networking, and prayer with other pastoral leaders. Also happening this week is Mount 2000, an intense retreat for high school students. It provides young people with an opportunity to pray in community and be formed more deeply in their faith. Both the MAC and Mount 2000 can be intensely moving. Some call these type of occurrences “mountain top experiences” because on the top of the mountain you feel spiritually and physically closer to God, and in hindsight these moments can be seen as climactic. Read more

Just One Step to a More Generous Community

Step 1 of 1: Gratitude

I could end the blog with that one word. But I’ll continue and hit a higher word count so I get invited back to write again. Read more