Reflection on the Song “Real Love” by Blanca

Reflection on the Song “Real Love” by Blanca

I was listening to Christian radio the other day and heard a quite catchy and beautiful song. Once I started really listening to the lyrics, I had both a raised eyebrow and a convicted heart. The song, “Real Love,” by Blanca, admittedly digs into some of the most common questions about our Catholic faith. Now, I’m not saying that Blanca had any intentions to specifically target Catholicism, but her song certainly gives us a good opportunity to examine what our Catholic faith is REALLY all about, why we do what we do, and essentially, what it is that we believe as Catholics. KEEP READING

Following Parkland – What’s Next?

Following Parkland – What’s Next?

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was the deadliest mass shooting since the devastation involving elementary school children in Newtown Connecticut. As of this writing (the morning after Parkland) this is the 6th school shooting in the 45 days of the new calendar year of 2018.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami expressed that “we all are understandably outraged when innocent children are made victims of senseless violence. The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, encouraged us “to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace.” But, following this school shooting, after recent church shootings and concert shootings, former FBI agent and now CNN analyst Phillip Mudd made it clear as he wept, “A child of God is dead.”  You can watch the video here KEEP READING

The Key to Giving a Successful Talk

The Key to Giving a Successful Talk

Whether you’ve been asked to deliver a talk, workshop, or other form of public speaking, you obviously want to take time to plan out what you want to say—right? Some will immediately disagree, arguing that your best ideas come “in the moment.” Why bother planning any talking points at all if they probably aren’t going to be the best golden nuggets you want to impact your audience the most?

Having observed and tried both ways, in a variety of settings, one thing has become evident to me: not planning your talking points in advance is the EASIEST way to get off-track, off-topic, and lose your desired objective of reaching and connecting with your audience. KEEP READING

Starting A Service Project Program

Starting A Service Project Program

Service learning is something that is near and dear to my heart. It is a form of ministry where both evangelization and catechesis take place. Service is of the head, the heart, and the hands. Engaging students in something that is tangible, like service, helps the faith to come alive in a real way. While service is a great way to get new teens involved in your program, how do you know where to start?

Find a Patron Saint

As in all things, we should begin in prayer. Finding a patron Saint to pray with you as you begin your service program will help you to keep your goals clear. KEEP READING

Meet Your Teens Where They Are

Meet Your Teens Where They Are

Ministry is great, isn’t it? The teens are always smiling and laugh at all of your jokes. They are super polite to every parent and volunteer who walks through the door. They eat all of their food and even help clean up after dinner. They never speak during the talks you give and always participate fully in small group discussions. The teens obey all rules of every game so that everyone can have a good time and receive the take-home message for the night.

What’s that you say? Your program isn’t like that? Let me try again. Here are some basic rules that nearly every teen in my program just seems to know innately.  KEEP READING

Happy Advent!

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Why You Should Register at the Parish You Work At

Why You Should Register at the Parish You Work At

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part 2 of the article that ran on Tuesday.  The author wanted to remain anonymous because they "believe firmly in 'keeping family business as family business', and [I] want to protect the reputations of my coworkers while being honest and...

The Breakdown of Perfection

The Breakdown of Perfection

In the Gospel of Matthew, right after the beatitudes and in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ speaks to his disciples about loving your enemies and then gives them the highest expectation: “Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5:48)...

Successful Meshing Public and Private School Teens

Successful Meshing Public and Private School Teens

What is the best way to bring public and private school students together in Youth Ministry? Good question. I wish I had a formula that would work for everyone. However, like so much that we deal with, there is no one answer. There is no fool proof method or program....

Stop Letting the Shy Kids Disappear

Stop Letting the Shy Kids Disappear

Youth Ministry is a place where those with outgoing personalities thrive. This is not a bad thing. But it is important to realize that youth ministry is meant to be a ministry for all youth, not just those who make themselves known. As YMs it’s our job to help all of...

How Do You Add A New Program?

How Do You Add A New Program?

Programs in Youth Ministry are a very common platform for providing fellowship, formation and overall growth in young people. Whether it’s a large group, discipleship group, or monthly small group they all have their place under the umbrella of ministry. Here are some...

Confirmation Prep After the Holidays

Confirmation Prep After the Holidays

Well, the first semester of Confirmation Preparation is over and the teens are getting ready to return from their long holiday break. What should youth ministers accomplish in the second semester to ensure all of the teens are ready to celebrate the Sacrament of...

Our Young People are Living Tabernacles

Our Young People are Living Tabernacles

It never ceases to amaze me how much we have to learn from the young people we are supposed to teach. Their moments of awe become our moments of “wow”! Their hurts tug at our hearts. When we walk along side them, and allow them to make an experience their own, we have...

The Pope Speaks to Young People

The Pope Speaks to Young People

The Pope speaks to young people - all the time! Papa Francisco continues the traditions of his predecessors and makes a point of communicating regularly to young people. We in Catholic Youth Ministry should make it a continued practice, or tradition, to make sure to...

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Reflection on the Song “Real Love” by Blanca

Reflection on the Song “Real Love” by Blanca

I was listening to Christian radio the other day and heard a quite catchy and beautiful song. Once I started really listening to the lyrics, I had both a raised eyebrow and a convicted heart. The song, “Real Love,” by Blanca, admittedly digs into some of the most common questions about our Catholic faith. Now, I’m not saying that Blanca had any intentions to specifically target Catholicism, but her song certainly gives us a good opportunity to examine what our Catholic faith is REALLY all about, why we do what we do, and essentially, what it is that we believe as Catholics. KEEP READING

Following Parkland – What’s Next?

Following Parkland – What’s Next?

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was the deadliest mass shooting since the devastation involving elementary school children in Newtown Connecticut. As of this writing (the morning after Parkland) this is the 6th school shooting in the 45 days of the new calendar year of 2018.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami expressed that “we all are understandably outraged when innocent children are made victims of senseless violence. The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, encouraged us “to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace.” But, following this school shooting, after recent church shootings and concert shootings, former FBI agent and now CNN analyst Phillip Mudd made it clear as he wept, “A child of God is dead.”  You can watch the video here KEEP READING

The Key to Giving a Successful Talk

The Key to Giving a Successful Talk

Whether you’ve been asked to deliver a talk, workshop, or other form of public speaking, you obviously want to take time to plan out what you want to say—right? Some will immediately disagree, arguing that your best ideas come “in the moment.” Why bother planning any talking points at all if they probably aren’t going to be the best golden nuggets you want to impact your audience the most?

Having observed and tried both ways, in a variety of settings, one thing has become evident to me: not planning your talking points in advance is the EASIEST way to get off-track, off-topic, and lose your desired objective of reaching and connecting with your audience. KEEP READING

Starting A Service Project Program

Starting A Service Project Program

Service learning is something that is near and dear to my heart. It is a form of ministry where both evangelization and catechesis take place. Service is of the head, the heart, and the hands. Engaging students in something that is tangible, like service, helps the...

Meet Your Teens Where They Are

Meet Your Teens Where They Are

Ministry is great, isn’t it? The teens are always smiling and laugh at all of your jokes. They are super polite to every parent and volunteer who walks through the door. They eat all of their food and even help clean up after dinner. They never speak during the talks...

Why You Should Register at the Parish You Work At

Why You Should Register at the Parish You Work At

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part 2 of the article that ran on Tuesday.  The author wanted to remain anonymous because they "believe firmly in 'keeping family business as family business', and [I] want to protect the reputations of my coworkers while being honest and...

The Breakdown of Perfection

The Breakdown of Perfection

In the Gospel of Matthew, right after the beatitudes and in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount, Christ speaks to his disciples about loving your enemies and then gives them the highest expectation: “Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5:48)...

Successful Meshing Public and Private School Teens

Successful Meshing Public and Private School Teens

What is the best way to bring public and private school students together in Youth Ministry? Good question. I wish I had a formula that would work for everyone. However, like so much that we deal with, there is no one answer. There is no fool proof method or program....

Stop Letting the Shy Kids Disappear

Stop Letting the Shy Kids Disappear

Youth Ministry is a place where those with outgoing personalities thrive. This is not a bad thing. But it is important to realize that youth ministry is meant to be a ministry for all youth, not just those who make themselves known. As YMs it’s our job to help all of...

How Do You Add A New Program?

How Do You Add A New Program?

Programs in Youth Ministry are a very common platform for providing fellowship, formation and overall growth in young people. Whether it’s a large group, discipleship group, or monthly small group they all have their place under the umbrella of ministry. Here are some...

Confirmation Prep After the Holidays

Confirmation Prep After the Holidays

Well, the first semester of Confirmation Preparation is over and the teens are getting ready to return from their long holiday break. What should youth ministers accomplish in the second semester to ensure all of the teens are ready to celebrate the Sacrament of...

Our Young People are Living Tabernacles

Our Young People are Living Tabernacles

It never ceases to amaze me how much we have to learn from the young people we are supposed to teach. Their moments of awe become our moments of “wow”! Their hurts tug at our hearts. When we walk along side them, and allow them to make an experience their own, we have...

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