Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 4: Learning to Detect Patterns (Social Justice)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 4:  Learning to Detect Patterns (Social Justice) The children’s show Sesame Street has a feature called One of These Things is Not Like the Others in which they show a series of images, inviting the viewer to identify which of the things was different or doesn’t match or belong to the group. The activity is accompanied by a song with the following lyrics: One of these things is not […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 3: First-Aid (The Works of Mercy)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 3:  First-Aid (The Works of Mercy) What would you expect to find in a typcial first-aid kit? No doubt bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, burn ointment, and so on. What would you include in a spiritual first-aid kit? The fact is, we provide first aid for people when they have an urgent physical need. Some physical needs that people have are ongoing and are not the result of a medical emergency. […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 2: What’s Your Secret? (The Commandments, Beatitudes, and Virtues)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 2:  What’s Your Secret?  (The Commandments, Beatitudes, and Virtues) Did you ever try to find out if someone was planning a surprise party for you or try to find out what kind of gift they may have gotten you for your birthday or Christmas? It’s not easy to pry a secret out of someone!  Thankfully, we have a God who does not keep secrets. In fact, God is quite the opposite. God […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 1: Before They Were Famous (Human Dignity, Sin, and Mercy)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 1: Before They Were Famous  (Human Dignity, Sin, and Mercy) httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWmZ98dOEEA Every so often, on the Internet, you come across these fun features that show pictures of celebrities when they were young – before they were famous – and ask you to guess their identity. Try your hand at some of these. Recognizing someone’s true identity can be challenging. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 5: Because It’s the Right Thing To Do (The Sacraments at the Service of Communion)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 5: Because It’s the Right Thing to Do  (The Sacraments at the Service of Communion) I once took a group of high school youth to visit Fr. Larry Craig, who was the chaplain at Cook County Jail in Chicago. Fr. Larry was a pretty tough cookie with a chiseled face like Clint Eastwood and a husky voice like Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). One of the kids asked him […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 4: We Are All Broken (The Sacraments of Healing)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 4: We Are All Broken (The Sacraments of Healing) No doubt you are familiar with Horatio Alger. Horatio Alger, Jr. was a 19th century American author who wrote a number of what came to be known as “rags-to-riches” stories, which embodied what became known as the American Dream—that is, the idea that through hard work, determination, and courage, anyone could lift themselves up out of poverty. This kind of thinking is […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 3: “I Just Melted” (The Sacraments of Initiation)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 3: “I Just Melted” (The Sacraments of Initiation) I remember asking my Dad before he passed away how it is that he and Mom never fought throughout their nearly 50 years of marriage. He said that, when they were dating, Mom once stood him up because she was unable to get back in time from another outing. He said he was all set to ream her out the […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 2: Learning the Language Spoken in the Kingdom of God (Mystery and Sacramentality)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 2: Learning the Language Spoken in the Kingdom of God (Mystery and Sacramentality) Recently, I did some research into my ancestry, uncovering stories of forefathers and foremothers who came to the shores of the United States from Poland in the late 19th century. In particular, I was impressed with the story of my great, great grandmother (on my mother’s side), Julia, who, as it turns out, spoke 7 languages […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 1: Aligning Ourselves with God (Worship and Liturgy)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 1: Aligning Ourselves with God (Worship and Liturgy) httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp8cqIVUntk The secret to winning the game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey is to line yourself up as best you can with the picture on the board. This is not easy to do when you’re blindfolded and have been spun around several times! We tend to miss the mark.  The goal of the upcoming Year of Faith is […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 1, Day 5: You’ve Got the Network (Church, Mary, Saints, and Eternity)

WEEK ONE: The Creed DAY 5: You’ve Got the Network (Church, Mary, Saints, and Eternity) I’m sure you recall the Verizon ad with the message “It’s the Network,” showing people on Verizon wireless phones backed up by a huge crowd of Verizon workers who represent their support network. The message is clear: wherever you go, the network is there with you and you are never on your own. A huge part of our Catholic faith is our […]

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