Community & Discipleship

I can be easily captured by a good headline, and this one caught me today: “Have we lost our sense of discipleship during the pandemic? Here are ways to reengage.” I moved during the pandemic and find myself at a new parish. Getting involved when there’s nothing but Mass happening on a regular basis has been hard. I love my new parish’s Liturgical Style, I even see some familiar faces each week, but I haven’t found a strong sense of community yet. I haven’t gotten deeply ingrained in the community yet – and the reason? Maybe a bit of my introverted self, but also we don’t know how to build community in the middle of a pandemic.

Bearing False Witness

I began my career in ministry as a Confirmation Coordinator. I was tasked with ensuring all 200 of the candidates at my parish were properly prepared – knew their 7 Sacraments, 10 Commandments, 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit, and what Confirmation was and wasn’t (graduation). When I started I knew 2 of those 5, I’d never memorized the gifts or fruits, and beyond the half-a-class discussion about Confirmation I’d had in my Canon Law – Sacraments class, I’d never considered what Confirmation really was, even being a Confirmed Catholic.

Time to Innovate

A couple of years ago our OSV Institute for Catholic Innovation began something called OSV Talks around the same time they introduced the OSV Challenge. The goal of the challenge, the talks, and the institute is about INNOVATION in the Church. How can we have the biggest impact in sharing the message of the Gospel and living our mission.

Returning to Mass

As I was catching up on the Catholic news I avoided reading while on vacation the past few weeks, I saw these few paragraphs from an article by The Pillar about Mass attendance. While many people have returned to Mass, overall attendance is down 14% since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. It’s one of the largest declines we’ve seen. The question is why.

Reflecting on 2021

As I turn the calendar from one year to the next, I typically take some time to look at what worked and what didn’t so I can adjust for the new year. How often do you do this type of reflection in parish work? If you’re anything like me when I was in ministry, probably not all that often. If you do this already, great job!!

Even Better and Happier

Sharing the faith is a simple as sharing the story of our happiness, the cause for our joy, the reason for our hope! Although it’s simple, it’s not always easy! I love how this priest lays it right out in his email signature!!

Hospitality for Christmas Revisited

This is a re-post from a couple of years ago – and since we’re about to enter our second pandemic Christmas, I thought it was time to revisit hospitality! Many parishes had a reservation system last year because they were limiting seating due to local social distancing regulations. Some of you might be doing that again this year. However most parishes I’m speaking to are back to regular capacity with about 60 to 85 percent of parishioners returning to Mass.

Eucharistic Revival

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Bishop’s approving a plan for a three-year National Eucharistic Revival by now (read more here). A need for a deeper reflection and acceptance of The Real Presence has been needed for quite some time. Surveys show that even the most committed Catholics (those who attend Mass each week) do not all believe that Jesus is really, truly present in the Eucharist at Mass.

End of Year Giving

The end of the year is fast approaching, so I wanted to share a few thoughts on end of year giving to make it simple and easy for your parishioners.

Pass the Rolls

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving my former pastor always gave the same homily. Sometimes he incorporated his advice into that Sunday’s message as well. But it ended with “Pass the Rolls.”