Living the Resurrection

Posted on March 28, 2018 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

Connect! Sunday Reflection: Living the ResurrectionFor Sunday, April 1, 2018
Easter Sunday

Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
John 20:1-9 or Mark 16:1-7

In his book, “The Dwelling of the Light: Praying with Icons of Christ”, Rowan Williams (the former archbishop of Canterbury) reflected:

“Orthodox theologians have said — surely rightly — that the moment of resurrection could not be depicted, any more than you could depict the moment of creation or the moment of incarnation. You cannot paint a picture of the simple act of God … You can only show the effect of God’s action: the creation itself carrying the mystery of God in its very being, the human situation transformed by God. So you can depict the Risen Christ, but not the event of the resurrection.”

“So the classical Easter icon shows something more than an historical event: it shows, you might say, the effect of God’s action on human history up to that point, and implicitly, the effect of God’s action on all history … this icon shows Jesus bringing Adam and Eve out of the realm of death into the same light-filled presence.”


Hospitality as a Way of Life

Posted on March 22, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

hospitality as a way of lifeThe slumbering church is awakening. We are realizing that our pews are empty, our familiar way of doing things isn’t working, and we are facing an unexpected future. We are asking how we will be viable in the years to come. How will we bring back our young people, our Gen -Xers and a growing number of mature women who are finding the need for organized religion a thing of the past? The studies are telling and we aren’t sure what to do.

In all of the proposed solutions on the horizon – Intentional Discipleship, Divine Renovation, Alpha, Rebuilt, Strategic Coaching – the idea of hospitality is consistent.

He Emptied Himself

Posted on March 21, 2018 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

Connect! Sunday Reflection: “He Emptied Himself”For Sunday, March 25, 2018, Palm Sunday

Mark 11:1-10
Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 14:1—15:47

Over the past few decades, what has become known as the “Prosperity Gospel” has gained popularity among televangelists. It claims that following Christ should result in increased financial success for the believer as well as improved health and well-being. For those who follow such a doctrine, religion is a way to win friends and influence people. The word of God becomes a means to reach our goals and fulfill our potential.

While there is no doubt that Jesus wants us to be happy and to live an abundant life, there are many problems with interpreting Christianity as a program for material prosperity or psychological well-being. First and foremost, it is not the example that Jesus left for us. He did not come to earth to fill himself with wealth but to empty himself for us. He did not come to claim places of honor for himself but to take the lowest place. If Jesus’ primary concern was his well-being, he would never have accepted the humiliation of the cross, and we would never have been forgiven of our sins. (more…)

Catholic Photos: 3 Ways to Find Images You Need

Posted on March 15, 2018 by - Catholic Tech Talk

catholic photos

Incorporating photography into your parish communications enhances your message and inspires your parishioners. But where should the images come from? Google has made many things easy for us, but simply typing “church pictures” and using what you find might not be ethical. Since 1989, copyright is presumed on all creative works, which includes photography. The Church has taught for centuries that a laborer has a right to his or her work. With a little know-how, it’s easy to find great images that respect the rights of the artists.

“With My Own Eyes”

Posted on March 14, 2018 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

Connect! Sunday Reflection: “With My Own Eyes”For Sunday, March 18, 2018
Fifth Sunday of Lent

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Hebrews 5:7-9
John 12:20-33

I remember the first time I was in the exam room as the ophthalmologist tested various prescription strengths for glasses. “Which is better … 1 or 2 … 2 or 3?” Soon afterwards, my first prescription eyeglasses arrived, and I was amazed that the blur in my vision was gone! I no longer had to strain to see the chalkboard at school or road signs as I was driving. No longer did I get dizzy when I looked through binoculars or sat in the nose-bleed seats at stadiums. I could see, and seeing no longer troubled me.

I think the same is true in our spiritual life. Allow me to assume that we all want to see Jesus, just like the Greeks who asked Philip in this week’s Gospel (Jn 12:21). Isn’t that the point of Christianity? We need help to see him, and we need people in our lives to help make that initial introduction. I had many “first introductions” to faith in Jesus when I was younger. I grew up in a strong Catholic family and went to Catholic schools. I was involved in many activities in my home parish and have led hundreds of retreats around the country telling people about my faith in Jesus. But I wondered if I had really seen Jesus when I was a young adult doing all these things. Even now, in monastic life, I’ve asked myself, “What is the instrument to use so I can see Jesus?”

Springing Forward with LPi Events

Posted on March 9, 2018 by - LPi News

LPi events

March is off to a busy start as LPi works to help church customers nationwide build their vibrant parishes. From stewardship days to seminars, LPi offers churches the best practice tips and practical tools they need to engage their parishioners and evangelize their community.


From Visitor to Parishioner: Online Registration for Easter

Posted on March 8, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

parishioner registrationA young family is new in town and they found your Easter Mass times online. When Easter morning comes around, they arrive at your doors and are greeted warmly by your hospitality team. They look around to see the flowers and decorations. They are inspired by the music and dynamic homily. They’re moved by the joyful reverence of the liturgy. The family wants to become parishioners. Are you ready?