“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?”
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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.

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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?

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Choosing a Life of Light

Posted on March 7, 2018 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

Connect! Sunday Reflection: Choosing a Life of LightFor Sunday, March 11, 2018
Fourth Sunday of Lent

2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
Ephesians 2:4-10
John 3:14-21

As a military family, we often find ourselves living far from those closest to us and going at life alone. While some years have felt lonely, others have felt full depending where we were stationed. Right now, we live less than a mile from the ocean, which has guaranteed us one thing over the past three years: a steady flow of visitors. Each year, we’ve housed friends and family who are either traveling through, coming to vacation, or staying awhile to help. Our most recent guests were my parents, who trekked miles and miles to find reprieve from the snowy north. (more…)

The Recovery of Sacred Things

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

Connect! Sunday Reflection: The Recovery of Sacred ThingsFor Sunday, March 4, 2018
Second Sunday of Lent

Exodus 20:1-17
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
John 2:13-25

When is the last time you were alone — really alone — and how did it feel?” I asked a room full of teenagers. They discussed the answer amongst themselves. I crouched down into a conversation between a few boys and repeated the question. “I don’t actually know,” one of them said. “I can’t remember.” Teenagers reportedly fill nine hours a day with various forms of media. They’re not alone in their priorities. Netflix released their 2017 viewing statistics, and 109 million members across 190 countries stream 140 million hours a day.

For me personally, the trouble lies with scrolling through the popular photo app Instagram. Even there — where content provides no more than a quick visual hit — users average 24 to 32 minutes a day, depending on their age demographic. Are we captured in awe and wonder by beauty and good story telling? Or are we addicted to the physiological high that media consumption gives? (more…)

3 Things Your Church Can Learn From Hawaiian Hospitality

Posted on February 23, 2018 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

everyday hospitality

On a recent trip to Maui to visit family, I learned a word and fell in love with it! The word is ohana. According to the Urban Dictionary, “Ohana means nobody gets left behind. It can also refer to a close group of friends or class that resemble a family.” I was so happy to add this word to my vocabulary. As a parent of children who live far from home, this word gave me hope that they would find community no matter what.

Many of us have friends, colleagues or neighbors that are ohana to us. We just don’t have a word for them. They are people we call to share good news or invite for an impromptu dinner. They are the kind of people who don’t care if your house is messy, that you might have a horrible cold. They are the ones who comfort you after a loss or are included in celebrations and accomplishments. Beautiful, right?

This got me thinking about everyday hospitality and community and ways we can include, invite, and welcome in our parishes. (more…)