My friends all know that I am a Catholic, because I have always been very open with them about my faith. So, when the news broke about Cardinal McCarrick, who long served in my home archdiocese of Newark, and the grand jury report was released in Pennsylvania where my father now lives, many people asked me, “How can you stay when the Church is so corrupt?”
The Catholic Church in America has been called an immigrant Church. How does that translate into meeting the needs of immigrants in our parishes?
Topics: Mission Matters
In a practical five-step process called: See, Judge, Act, Evaluate and Celebrate, parishes can realize Jesus’ gospel mission to serve immediate needs and alter unjust social conditions.
Often it is our deep faith that leads us to seek out those in need to offer them a helping hand. We want to put our faith into action. For some, it works the other way around and their actions lead them to a deeper faith.
A cool breeze with a blend of warm sun rays, topped with a handful of patience, is the recipe for a fruitful fishing experience. As we dive into the heart of summer, we are reminded of the fishing master, the expert of patience, and the designer of the breeze and sun, Jesus. Jesus called the disciples, and all of us, to be “fishers” of men and women. By outfitting ourselves with a variety of evangelization approaches, we can be sure our fishing expedition will result in a successful catch: in other words, new people open to a faith-filled encounter.
Topics: Why Evangelization Matters
Have you ever had an encounter with a total stranger – a person in an airport, a sales associate in a store, or someone on a city street--who went out of his or her way to help you? No doubt that experience made you feel special! Those who assisted you demonstrated some of the qualities of an evangelizer that Pope Francis describes in The Joy of the Gospel: “approachability, readiness for dialogue, patience, a warmth and welcome which is non-judgmental.”
We usually notice the people who come to our parish in great numbers on Christmas, Ash Wednesday, and Easter. But more frequently, people slip into a Sunday liturgy, a daily Mass, or a parish prayer service, and sit alone in the back of the church.
Sunday bulletins can be excellent ways to convey important information about ministries and happenings in and around the parish. However, the need to put the bulletins together each week on a tight deadline can turn them into catch-alls of articles, ads, and short blurbs.
Topics: Bright Ideas for Parishes
The Holy Spirit is constantly speaking to us in an effort to draw us closer to Christ. Sometimes it is an intuition, a fleeting thought, a strange coincidence, or the deep feeling that something is missing in our lives. Sometimes we may feel the Holy Spirit nudging us, but we decide to ignore it. Sometimes we forget to listen.
Are you feeling burned out?Frequently parish leaders feel discouraged by what they see as the lack of involvement of parishioners in parish activities. “I can’t seem to get anyone to help out!” is a very common complaint.
Topics: Planning Matters