Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Adding Some Again

I'm going to start adding some resources for your own soul and refreshment. After that last post I know that we all sometimes need to know that we're not alone and not crazy.

Well, most of us aren't crazy...

Internal Infighting

ugh. I just get so tired working in parish life sometimes. Y'know?

The politiking, the ignorance, my struggle between knowing when to speak up and when to keep quiet, often feeling like I'm being passive, afraid of what will happen if I do speak up, completely disheartened when staff and parishonors alike do not embrace the totality of the Faith.

There are enough problems in the world that we shouldn't be doing this-yet I find that I'm fighting to keep solid Catholic beliefs at the forefront of what we teach others. I'm tired of battling. I'm tired of singing "God" instead of "him". I'm tired of watching what I say. I'm tired of having others put out things that are questionable, of having the magazines "America" and such on our hospitality table.

I'm tired of not being able to trust catechetical material that we order. I'm tired of not having resources that I don't have to question, publishers that I wonder about and authors that are only 80% correct. I want it all, I tell you, I want it ALL!!

And I want the youth to have it all too! And I want the dissenters to have it all too! And I want our priests to have it all too! The Staff! Everyone!

The Church has such good stuff. Such beauty. Such salvation!! Why do some reject it? Why?

If you are in parish ministry, take heart. God is greater than our failures. If you are in a parish and have a solid faith, please, for the love of all that's holy, get involved. If you are reading this, then please, pray for us in parish work.

Can You Read Me

While I was at my parents home for Easter I checked up on this blog and found the type to be rather small. On my computer it's just fine, but I got to wondering if it's too small on most people's computer and if so, should I make the font bigger?

Is this too small? Is this font actually better??

Posting Problems

I apologize for the lack of posting. I've let know, and it's been a little frustrating. I'll keep trying though!

In Paradisum

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God finally rest in peace.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

How'd You Like A Ring Like This?

Instead of Beyonce's lastest song, how'd you like to have this ring on your phone?

It was just too funny not to share. (go to the "Preview" at the right side of the site) I have a hotmail account and at the sidebar was an ad for Jamster ring tones-and every time the curser goes over the frog, you hear: THIS!

Happy Easter!

Just didn't want you to think I was still in Good Friday mode...Happy Easter. He is Risen!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Dying-New Life

See that dash?

Yesterday I decided to fast for two women. One is dying. The other one to be baptized into new Life this Easter Vigil. As I sat in the chapel during Adoration last night, I was struck by the breadth of Christ's Sacrifice.

From the very brinks of death and misery to the hope and promise of new Life. Dying-New Life. Christ is everything in between, is FOR everything in between, is the REASON, the CENTERPOINT the ALL-Creator and Sacrificial Lamb.

Wherever we are at in that -God is there.

As Terri lays dying a horrible death and Lizz (and several thousand others) prepares for her entry into Life by virtue of her Baptism, let us remember that He is God. Merciful. Giver of Grace. And for both, for all:


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Invite, Invite, Invite!

While I know it is a time of year that we want to take in and refresh ourselves, may I urge you to remember to invite your youth to all of the Triduum events that take place. Send an email, invite them to sit with you, call them up, whatever it takes, Invite them! You might say something like this:

With all that goes on in your life-homework, cranky teachers, friends you like to hang out and chat with, the Sweet Sixteen College BB tournament, relationship issues, xanga blogging, college decisions, movies to go to and irritating little brothers or sister (or bossy older ones) let me invite you to the one place that has all the answers:

Holy Week.

What? Holy Week? “Boring!” or “More Church??” you say? To busy you think?

This week is the very center of our Faith. Remembering Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. THIS is what it’s all about. Jesus. Loved You. Went through all that.

For You.

So You didn’t have to.

Been stressed? Jesus has too. Been disappointed? Jesus has too. Been failed by friends? Jesus has too. Felt more alone than any human should feel? Jesus has too. Been making some bad decisions? Jesus takes that from you. Been wondering why this Church stuff is so important? Because it’s Jesus’ way of finding you, spending time with you, not only to tell you that it’ll all be ok when we trust him, but also because he GIVES us the strength and graces that we need to deal with everything in our lives.

He invites you to spend time with him these next few days. I know you are busy-have lots on your mind. But bring it to Jesus and let him carry it all for a change.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Medical Ethics Discussion

With all that is going on in the media and on the internet about Terri Schiavo's case, I'm going to bet that the kids are at least wondering what the heck is going on. And if we leave it to the ding-dongs interviewing her seriously misguided and greedy husband the info coming out is incorrect which leads us to make incorrect conclusions.

It may warrent some discussion with your kids about what the Church teaches on such matters. The National Catholic BioEthics Center has great information. You will need to read it and formulate it into a lesson (maybe you'd like to share that with us when you do...!) but if you have any wonderings what the Church teaches, this is a start to some good resources. I have other books that I'll post as well.

Update: The site has some excellent recommendations as well.

Side Bar

I'm trying to keep a running list of excellent material along the side there. I update it whenever I get the chance. Check back often to see what's been added.

If you come across any good resources email me the information and I'll look it over and add it to the list. It can be anything from good orthdox teaching material to sites about music lyrics or games to play, good reads, etc. Just email me your resources and we can start sharing what wisdom we have with others!

Catholic Stats

I've been waiting for something like this to be published. There's lots of stuff from the Barna Group, but as I may have mentioned before, much of their research is geared not only towards Protestants, but have a way of asking questions that Catholic kids may just not get (i.e. identifying themselves as "saved" or "not saved")

NFCYM has done an analysis of Catholic kids and their parents. I'm definately interested in these things, but nothing replaces sitting and listening to the kids you minister to.

Has anyone gotten a copy of it yet? Can you give us any spoilers?

Monday, March 21, 2005

A 20 Year Old Just Kicked My A**

Sitting here dinkin' the time away because I don't really want to be here and I don't really want to work on my budget (still.) I started surfing. I came across this blog and this girl has it right:

If you're not committed to being passionate, then the passion dies. As soon as you settle for the routine, the mediocrity, your passion dies. You need to be committed to God (the source of your passion) and to His call, His plan, His purpose and then your passion will grow. Persevere through the hard times, through the times when you don't feel anything. Stay committed and you'll push through the brick wall. Once you can sustain the passion he puts within you to begin with, then your passion will grow, and so will your life, and everything you direct your passion towards will grow and flourish and be successful.

Your passion is sustained by your Commitment.

Thanks, girl, I needed that.


That's all I can say to this: Fashion Take A Vow Of Celibacy


Hey-has anyone else used to make their blogs? When I go to other site I see all the cool stuff that they can do-but I can't figure out how to do that.-pictures, graphics, etc. Yes yes, I did a bit on the side over there, but seriously-that's a fluke.

Anyone have any idea how to actually make those changes?

Difficult Personalities

I was recently approached by a parishoner who found my site from another site. I thought I was being careful, but clearly not careful enough. It has caused me to evaluate everything that I put on this blog. I want to have a place to share my struggles and for others to share in them too so that they know that they aren't alone, but I do recognize the need to ensure a rather high level of secrecy so as to not besmirch someone here at the parish or whom I work with.

Does this mean that I get along with everyone or cannot have a place to deal with it? I don't think so, but for anyone who comes across this site and thinks that they know who the author is, give me a bit of space to stand at the water cooler and groan and moan, have an opinion-or rejoice and celebrate as the case may be without trying to guess who I'm talking about or who I am.

Having said that, I will now launch into "Difficult Personalities" diatribe.

There is a difficult person with whom I have semi-regular contact on the job with. This person has taken issue with several things that I do, and in the realm in which she "helps" me, she has some specific "concerns" (her word, not mine).

What has happened is that she has gone to everyone except myself to discuss these "concerns". She went directly over my head as well as to several on the team who are part of this event. She has a reputation for doing so, but it's grating none-the-less.

When I finally heard from her, I asked her to put her concerns down on paper, figure out a few solutions that she thought I might consider and get back with me. This never happened. And I guess it's what really gets my goad about her.

I have come up with some of the solutions as has a few of the others on the team. But this one wanted to keep picking at the scab-and then brought up several more issues of complaint.

One thing I cannot abide by: Do not sit there and complain. I have neither the time or the patience to listen to you. If you want my ear, find me a solution that is workable for you and that you think I might consider. I'd listen then! But do not simply sit there and criticize and complain. If you don't like the decisions that were made before you came on board you are free to leave. Don't let the door smack you on the way out.

Terri-And Others

While this is a youth ministry blog and I try to keep all posts along that line I just wanted to say keep praying for Terry Schiavo and her family. Keep praying and keep praying. There are a million other sites out there and several blogs that are carrying up to date information, but if you come here and have missed all that-just keep praying. I am aware that her situation is not unique, which makes all of this more distressful.

But as we know, prayer changes things. So keep praying. And keep praying.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Bear With Me

I know, I know, it's Friday and I haven't blogged since Tuesday. Between getting sick and doing the budget for next year (maybe the two are related, I don't know...) I haven't gotten to it.

I'm also doing some experimenting with what the blog looks like. I have no idea what I'm doing, so it's trial and error. Any feedback at all would be helpful.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Budget Blahs

Yes, ladies and gentlemen it's that time of year again. Time to submit budgets. Of ALL the office work needed I loathe this the most. We changed Business Managers this year and it's been a tough switch. I am so used to the previous BusMan-she did so much for us! The new one makes us work a lot harder. Gr. I really should not be trusted with these things. Really!

What is cool is that I have a little wiggle room to order more books and supplies for the many kids that want to know more about their faith-the 11th and 12th graders. That's exciting stuff.

So, you won't hear from me much today or tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sunday: A Day Of R.E.S.T

Rarely Enjoyed Slow Time...
I have worked every weekend for the past 2 months. Today I spoke after all the Masses, worked on the class I was teaching, taught the class, and just got done meeting with the Social Committee for 2 hours. We have planned all the socials through next December.

My head hurts and I'm hungry. And Switchfoot is playing again. Thank goodness because I don't think I'd keep moving if it weren't blaring out at me!

Anybody else work weekends?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Does Age Matter?

I was surfing around over there at Youth Specialties and came upon a discussion about age. The original post writer talked about his first "pastorate" in youth ministy: He was 19 years old. It was interesting to read some of the early 20-somethings, some who retorted that a number could not possibly define the readiness of taking on a youth ministry position of leadership.

Oh, how I thought the same thing. When I was in my late 20's (I'm not far from that now...) my current pastor told me that he didn't think people are really integrated until they are 29 or 30. I was a little incensed at his comment. I am wise to this fact now.

I have had a lot of bumps and bruises, failures and joys. I wish I knew then what I know now.
But, does age make a difference? Is it better to be younger? Closer to their age and thinking? Older? With more wisdom and experience?

Again...My Boys ROCK!

Not that whoever i s inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is what I wait for each year, but to be recognized for their excellence!! The write-up on U2 (could I possibly be talking about anyone else?) on the website is great. Oh heck-just start buying their albums, you'll soon get why!
"Their creative restlessness has given each new record a never-before-heard style that influenced a countless number of artists. Songs such as "One," "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" address complex, compelling social and spiritual issues but still manage to be accessible."

Did I mention that they are adding 33 dates to their tour? Yeah, I'm going!

Dare You To Move

Ironically as I was creating that post this came on over my computer...I love Switchfoot! "Dare You To Move" has got to be one of the coolest songs on their album, though I also really really like "This Is Your Life (Are You Who You Want To Be?)" At any rate, I have the lyrics to DYTM posted above me on the wall to remind me to get out there.

Entering The World Of Teenagers

I really liked this article by YouthSpecialties. I have to admit, one of my biggest struggles is going to an event or to their school alone. Who wants to hang out with the loner? Funny, though, that's not how they see it, especially after I leap over that fear (with a prayer for grace to do so) and go up and speak to a student I know and introduce myself to their friends. At first they might be like "oh my Gaaaaaahd!" then, suddenly, they see that their friends like me...and it's all good. But that first leap----eeeek!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

History Lesson

I had asked about history resources below and I went and did a bit of investigating. I will put these titles on the sidebar as well. The books I'm using are "The Compact History of the Catholic Church" by the esteemed Dr Alan Schreck, "The Catholic Church: The first 2000 Years. A popular survey and study guide to Church History" by Martha Rasmussen, and "What Were The Crusades" by Jonathon Riley-Smith. I also found a great book on Heresies, "Dissent From The Creed: Heresies Past And Present" by Richard Hogan.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn't not mention Hilaire Belloc. He's a bit old school to read, but quite excellent. He has several books out. (I say that as if he were still alive and doing a book signing down at Barnes and Noble).


I just put a new resource on the sidebar: FunExpress. It is associated with Oriental Trading Company (who loan companies should hire to find people-the get me their catalogue WHEREVER I MOVE.) and most all of the catalogue numbers are the same. However, sometimes you will find them at a cheaper rate or more in bulk.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Some Questions For Young Catholics

Mark from "You Duped Me Lord" (btw I love the title of this blog!) posts an interesting discussion starter. Post there and let's see where this conversation takes us! I would be wholly intrigued to find out what others' answers are.

Next Year's RelEd Prep...Already

Can you believe I'm starting prep work for next fall already? whew!

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Next Generation: Orthodox Or Myth?

Amy Welborn has a posting about whether or not this generation of young people are orthodox or if it's a case of "wishful thinking" as Joe Feuerherd claims.

I am of the opinion that they could be solid integrated Catholics, living the fullness of the faith so long as we don't drop the ball. Even one of my well-meaning catechists has been known to use questionable literature during class (Catholic Updates-sometimes they are good, sometimes...well...just look at who publishes them and you'll get the idea).

We also cannot drop the ball when it comes to inviting them in. I think that there may be a danger that as we become more "conservative" both as a nation and as a Church, the next group will rebel against this. Already we have youth who bash Bush because of the war, and youth who are used to questioning every authority figure because who can be trusted? The Church whose priests touch kids??

True, they are immature, their minds are not fully formed and they live in a bubble of reality. However, this reality can still impact their lives if they are never challenged to think through some of the idiocy that is our American Culture. We have lost the capacity to reason in this nation and everything is authority-or nothing is authority. Y'know, whatever. Who's to say who is right? Does it really matter as long as we're just good people?

Folks: WAKE UP. We cannot afford to loose. Souls are waiting, waiting for Christ! We gotta get this right!!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Stations Of The Cross

Tonight I'm practicing with about 12 Middle and High school students for the Stations. Each staff member takes a week and has people from the various ministries we run do the Stations. This week is my week.

I had a few kids who missed the Confirmation Retreat, so they are on duty to do the Stations. Fortunately, they were all drama kids, i.e. creative kids, and we've come up with what I think is a great way to pray the Stations.

Last week the little ones acted out each Station. This week, the teens are doing freeze frame behind a curtain-shadow style. One of the girls (actually, my secreatary's daughter) is quite creative-and quite bossy. She came up with the poses for each station and has taken over directing-with my oversight, of course.

But she's really doing a fantastic job. She found stations that both adults and youth can relate to, came up with the idea, and has even gotten more kids involved in doing the stations. She's just a hoot in action.

I'm excited to see them do this-they will do an excellent job of presenting and keeping the mood prayerful and inviting the people into the prayer of the Stations. They really are doing a fantastic job.

Halo 2

Some of the boys from our parish want us to host a LAN party-it's where everyone brings their computers and they hook them up together and they can play games with each other. The kid who has been taking charge has told us that if we don't allow "M" games, no one will come.

So last night, after RelEd, he hooked up "Halo 2" and showed me what all was involved. Halo 2 is an M rated game. (I'd liken the rating, which means "Mature" to an "R" rating, though many many many of the kids own and play "M" games).

The game does involve killing one another-but there is very little blood, no body parts go flying off and you actually look more like an android than a human. You are in this bulky body armor and are rather maching like. There are no women in this (meaning no nudity) and no profanity. After viewing the game, I think I'd put it somewhere between a PG13 movie and an R rated movie.

But-it's rated "M". Do we have a LAN party with this game?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Lunch-For Two Hours!

So I went to lunch with this mom (See "What Did I Just Do?" below) and all worked out. I have always sensed that we could get along, and we did-for two hours! She has the edge about her that she knows-she will speak her mind and not mince words. However, my goal was to simply get to know one another, so we sat and chatted for awhile. I hope she sees it as I do-that it went well.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Fun With Video

This is off subject slightly but so dang funny I had to post it. I'm wiping tears from my eyes---

Lord Of The Rings: Fun With Video