Christmas and Easter may be your church’s busy days of the year, but Ash Wednesday is the busiest day for your parish website. Why? It makes sense if you think about it. Most parishioners know—or should!—when Easter or Christmas Masses take place. Typically these holidays follow the typical Saturday and Sunday Mass schedule, but not Ash Wednesday! This means parishioners and visitors will be looking one main place for their Mass time information—the parish website. (more…)
Job 7:1-4, 6-7
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Part of the genius of Saint Benedict of Nursia was his emphasis on a balance of work and prayer. Saint Benedict, who founded 12 monasteries in Italy in the 6th century, brought together the wisdom of generations of monks before him but re-shaped those teachings in the light of his own understanding of the human psyche. This is part of the reason that the way of life he established remains a vital part of the Church today. (more…)
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
When I reflect on the many years of my life, there are many people who were influential on my development as a person, a student, and a Christian. Through their graciousness and generosity, I was able to work through challenges and difficulties, becoming stronger in the end. They pushed me to become better than I was at the time and helped me to see what I could eventually become. Without them giving of themselves to me I am unsure where I would be today. (more…)
We live in a changing religious landscape. Areas that once featured a Catholic Church on every block now find themselves unable to support the infrastructure while suburban parishes boom and expand. New immigrant arrivals mean ethnically and linguistically diverse parishes. Newly ordained priests don’t always replace the numbers who retire.
In many dioceses, this means adaptability and collaboration on the part of the average parish. These collaborations often bring tensions between staff and parishioners, even perhaps the fear that one day a beloved parish will close or lose it’s unique identity.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Imagine what the scene would have been like 2,000 years ago when Jesus preached at the synagogue in Capernaum. Right before their eyes, demons were being cast out, convulsing and shrieking as they left. We can imagine how shaken up and amazed they would have been. What if such a thing were to happen in the middle of Sunday Mass? It would either make us want to come back next week to see what else would happen or make us so afraid that we would never want to come back again.
By such a display of power at the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus is demonstrating that, with the Kingdom of God now among us, the reign of Satan has come to an end. As Son of God, He will undo all the evil that the devil has wrought in the world. By forgiving sinners who come to Him, He will show His power over sin. By healing the lame, the blind, and the deaf, (more…)
So your church selected an online giving program and rolled it out to parishioners. Great! This was the right decision!
More than 50% of churches now offer online programs, up from 11% in 2011, and there is potential for your parish donations to increase by 30%. (more…)
For many parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Carmel, Indiana, “stewardship” was synonymous with fiscal generosity. On Saturday, January 20th, Tracy Earl Welliver led over ninety staff members and ministry leaders in a daylong immersive exploration of stewardship as a way of life.
An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
I use GPS wherever I go and it serves me well most of the time. However, sometimes it leads me to a place that does not exist. Then there are those times when I am about to turn and the man inside my phone shouts out, “GPS signal lost” or “Rerouting!” The problem is when the area is unfamiliar to me, I have no choice but to listen. I could try to get where I am going by simple intuition or pulling over to look at a paper map, but I don’t trust my sense of direction and haven’t bought a paper map in close to a decade.
Many people move through life without any direction. (more…)
With Catholic Schools Week right around the corner (January 28 – February 3), we celebrate what makes our parochial schools so great. Your parish school provides an excellent, well-rounded education with Jesus Christ at the center of it all. That’s something to celebrate! There are always new ways to learn, grow, and expand as a school:
- Field trips spanning multiple days or to more expensive locations
- New sports equipment for athletic teams
- Student life activities
- Academic or need-based scholarship funds
- Facilities updates for computer labs, theaters, libraries, gymnasiums, chapels, or sports fields
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
My favorite childhood movie is The Three Amigos. In this comedy, three American cowboy-actors come to the realization that their movie career is dwindling and there’s not much waiting for them in America. They receive a curious telegraph from a small town in Mexico inviting them to put on a show. Soon after their arrival, they realize that this is not a movie they are in, but a real-life scenario of a villain who is harassing a tiny villa. Instead of leaving the town to its fate, they help the village in their plight against the menace, El Guapo. In a poignant scene before the final showdown, the villagers are asked, “What is it that this town really does well?” An elderly grandmother responds, “We can sew!” This is met initially by a quizzical look from our would-be heroes, but then the actors begin to brainstorm.