Triumph from Tragedy: 18 years later Hope Prevails

As a junior in high school I was looking forward to going to prom in a week and celebrating my 17th birthday a few days after that.  But in one fateful morning all of that became inconsequential and my life was forever changed. It was a beautiful spring day and we begged the teachers to let us [...]

Caught and Not Taught

Think back to last summer. I know for some of us ministers this might be impossible, but humor me for a moment. Yes, since then there have been countless events, meetings, and distractions. But think back to those first few months of planning for this ministry year. Scheduling topics for particular nights, looking through your curriculum, [...]

The Maintenance of Mission

Our parish recently went through a revitalization of our vision. This led to a very successful capital campaign and a unified drive within the ministries of the parish. The tagline that kept our eyes focused on the vision was that we are moving from ‘Maintenance to Mission’. This idea is amazing, but often can be [...]

Preach the Gospel

This past semester at St. Joseph's, the middle school group focused on the sacred scripture. We started with basics, how the Church formed the Bible and what books make it up. Then we zeroed in on the gospels, learned what parables were, and looked at a number of Jesus' teachings and miracles. We also talked [...]

Continuing the Conversation

This post is based off of thoughts and reflections resulting from How Not to Hijack Your Youth. I encourage you to read that post, which shares how to facilitate discussions on controversial topics found in music, movies, or other media. The youth are able to think critically in a setting that allows for open and honest discussion. [...]

Bruised, Dirty, and Muddy?

This past Saturday, several good friends and I ran a race called the Tough Mudder. We had a lot of fun, worked hard, and got muddy. Afterward, I realized that this race makes an excellent analogy for what the beginnings of many new ministries feel like. Initially it's scary seeing the course that has been laid [...]

When the Youth are “Too” Catechized

How fun would it be that on youth nights we could break out St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica and have a deep theological discussion with anyone and everyone in our youth group, because they'd already have an awesome foundation in what we believe? Okay. So my friends tell me I'm a dreamer, but what a [...]

Those Turds

Maybe it’s just our ministries and you don’t have this problem, but we have some unique children in our programs that we lovingly refer to as “turds”. I sincerely mean that. We love them, but their behavior stinks. It’s ok though, they’re keeping us all on our toes, as well as sometimes on our last [...]