Remember. Prepare.

It was a September Tuesday. I was driving into the parking lot of the DC office when the news broke – – seemed a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Towers.  In the office, a phone came in as I arrived at my desk.  A buddy from Connecticut called, we both made mention of the plane crash but did think much about it, not knowing the magnitude of it.  Most of the phone was trash talking about my then-Super Bowl defending Ravens and his NY Gi-AINTS.  As the call as completed, a CNN news flash email came through indicating a second plane crash.  Still the first into the office, I walked over to the break room, turned on the TV, fiddled with the rabbit ears for better reception and watched 9/11 unfold before me.

Whatever already on the to-do list changed that day.    We all moved back-and-forth from that static-y TV screen and our computer screens trolling the internet for resources as we built a web page for youth ministers to help young people process the tragedy.

Since that day, there has been a progression of similar dark days  times of horror or terror.  In 2004, an Indian Ocean earthquake the day after Christmas forms a tsunami killing many. August 2005 finds Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast. Virginia Tech goes into a shutdown as a shooter strikes in the spring of 2007. Four years later,  the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster impacts Japan.  In 2012, a summer’s night is disrupted by a joker shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado as is a winter’s morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  A bombing the next spring disrupts the Boston Marathon.  What’s next?  Will Ebola go beyond the African continent?  Will ISIS attack a western target?

If the next dark moment occurs… WHEN it occurs, based on past performance, look to these sites for resources:

As I drove home that September Tuesday afternoon, the streets were disturbing clear and empty. DC had evacuated long before we had left our offices.  In my memory, there was a positive feeling of having “done something;” the resources we had provided were implemented as early as the evening of 9/11, primarily on the west coast.

One of our roles in times of crisis can be a “content curator,” one who opts to do a portion of their pastoral care effort by ensuring that resources for programming, prayer, and response are placed in the hands of those in need empowering them to engage in the “catechetical moment.”

D. Scott Miller

D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.


D. Scott Miller


D. Scott Miller is the dean of Catholic Youth Ministry bloggers which is a polite way of either saying that he is just plain old or has been blogging for a long time (since 2004.)

Scott recently married the lovely Anne and together they have five adult young people and also grandparent three delightful kids (so, maybe he is just plain old!) Scott presently serves at Saint John the Evangelist in Columbia, MD as the director of youth and young adult ministry.

He has previously served on the parish, regional, diocesan, and national levels as well as having taught within a catholic high school. He is one of the founders of RebuildMyChurch and has returned to posting regularly (keeping regular is important to old guys) at ProjectYM.



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