A New Look at the Phrase “Church Militant”

I was impressed by the Mass for Veterans that was celebrated at St. Barnabas parish in Chicago this past Sunday. Military personnel, past and present, from all five branches of the military were invited to participate in a rousing entrance procession complete with flags representing each of their branches. The music, which was splendid, was focused […]

First Reconciliation Parent Session

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of facilitating the First Reconciliation Parent Meeting at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Evergreen Park, IL, where I served as a catechist for a number of years. I had been the presenter at this meeting several times in the past, however, I was not comfortable just delivering a […]

A Little Help? Creative Ideas for Parent Reconciliation “Meeting”

I’m looking for some creative ideas for Parent Sacramental Prep “Meetings” for First Reconciliation. My goal is to get away from the all-too-familiar 45-60 minute talk given by the pastor, associate pastor, DRE, or guest speaker, during which the parents sit passively and listen and then are given some logistics about First Reconciliation and sent […]

Sunday of Divine Mercy – Taking Delight in Others

Recently, during one of my many airport experiences, I observed a young girl, maybe 4 years old, doing a little dance and calling out to her mother: “Mommy! Look! Mommy! Look at me! Mommy! LOOK!” Like every child, this little girl desperately wanted, not only her mother’s attention, but her mother’s approval and admiration. It’s […]

Great New Liturgy Apps!

Here’s some information about some great new Apps on the Liturgy! The first is the My Picture Missal App from Loyola Press. This App, available in the iTunes store at this link: My Picture Missal App, was developed for children with special needs and  for young children. The intent of this interactive app is to help […]

Creative Activity on “Full, Active, Conscious” Participation in the Liturgy

Here is a wonderful idea from Rocio M. for an activity to teach about “full, active, and conscious” participation in the Liturgy (as per the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 14). Thanks for sharing Rocio! Hi Joe, First, I want to thank you for all the support and materials you have shared with us. I […]

Apprenticeships Instead of Service Projects

I recently received this comment from Jared Anderson about something creative and outstanding he is doing with his Confirmation program: The way that we incorporate Mission into our Confirmation program is that I require the candidates to do 4 month long Apprenticeships in an already existing Parish Ministry. There are 12 ministries (including myself as […]

Contemporary Versions of Traditional Hymns

When it comes to playing music in class, I am always torn between my desire for children to hear and learn hymns they will hear in church and songs that have more “pop” to them: a more contemporary sound. I like some Christian rock but I feel that if I rely only on that, the […]

The Conversion Process – “Stirrings”

The New Evangelization is a renewed invitation to conversion. Unfortunately, conversion is a word that is often misunderstood. We tend to think of conversion as either the changing from one Christian denomiation to another or a dramatic bolt of lightning in which we hear God’s voice loud and clear, calling us to a major change […]

Come, Let Us Adore – Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration with Pope Francis

One of the most loved and famous Christmas hymns is O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) and it’s great refrain: “O Come let us adore him!” To adore someone is to desire to devote all of your attention to him or her. It means to think of that person as being above all others and […]