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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Barbara Morgan-Queen of Catechetics

Because I double-degreed in Theology and Mental Health/Human Services I did not have the time to take Professor Morgan's excellent catechetical classes.

For those who do not know, Professor Morgan is acknowledge the world over as a reformer of Catechetical techniques and information. She is brilliant and has been teaching at Franciscan University of Steubenville for quite some time now.

I got my "Franciscan Ways" yesterday and found out that she was RETIRING! How??? Why???
What will everyone do without her? I'm sure her staff is outstanding, but let's get real here, she's the queen1

Well I did a bit more digging and it appears that she is going to go get her PH.D. Ok. We'll let her go, then. Just come back now. Y'hear?

Catechetical Information-Looking Towards Fall Planning

I think a lot of people are still being snowed by the likes of St Mary's Press and the Center For Ministry Development with their "Faithworks" and "Youthworks" programs.

For the uninitiated, Faithworks and Youthworkds are comprehensive volumes of information and details event plans for your youth ministry and Confirmation program. Avoid them.

Why? Well, some of the reasons I detailed here. The CMD site and found wanting. But whenever anyone refuses to use the pronoun "He" or "Him" in reference to God, get nervous. Or when the Confirmation program talks about being baptized in the name of "the Creater, Redeemer and Spirit" , run away.

I know I'm talking about throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but why do we put up with this garbage? Why can't we, as Catholics put together better stuff?!

Fine, tell me that the "Faith and Life" series are theologically correct. They are. But ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Sorry, there it is.

Why can't we come up with something that is BOTH theologically correct AND youth friendly? I'm still going to say that LifeTeen's R.O.C. is THE best program going. I know that LT is committed to obeying the Church, but also to the integrity of what a young person is all about. Becoming holy and learning about the faith does not have to be some pie in the sky, holy roller, have-no-fun experience. I don't have a website specifically for R.O.C. but contact LifeTeen at their headquarters: 480.820.7001 or go to their website:

Monday, July 25, 2005

Case For Women Priests

Now don't get all excited. I'm not challenging the Church's authority or have any belief that women are being discriminated against because we can't be priests. We have many other roles to fill in the Church.

However, for a long time now, I have wished that I were called to the priesthood. (Maybe my first wish would have to be to have been born male, but honestly, I love makeup and perfume and dressing up, so that wouldn't work out so well...)


Because I think that I have more guts than some of the men who have said the Masses I've attended.

Last week the Gospel was about the chaff and the wheat, so what does our pastor tell us "Don't judge, just let God take care of it". Seriously? I'd say: "DON'T BE THE CHAFF, FOLKS! And here's how!! " This past weekend the theme was the Pearl of Great Price. The homily was a bit stronger this weekend, but lacked in passion, and ended with a lame attempt at humor asking for money to publish a book. The Pearl of Great Price?!?! Let's talk about it!! Let's talk about how WONDERFUL the faith is, how amazing grace REALLY is! How making use of the Sacraments is not only beneficial and needed but HEAVENLY!! Extraordinary!!!

I get the sense from too many pastors that they feel that they have to play that line between preaching the faith and not offending the money givers. Honey, I'd rather a holy parish that is poor. Of course I'd exhort them (I almost typed "extort") to give their 10% because anyone working for the Church and is lay should not live in poverty, but my main goal? Souls. Into Heaven. Because they got the right information. And instruction. And discipline. And Love.

Well, that's my case to become a priest. Maybe I'll have to raise that kind of man. Ok, Lord. Let's get crackin'.

(PS "Open Letter to Priests" coming soon...")

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

CBS New Movies Include Pope Movie

I just hope they do him justice...

From the new service:
"It's a very exciting story.
He's a great character," (entertainment president) Tassler told the TelevisionCritics Association.

Gee, ya think?

Say, does anyone know anything about the rumor going around that Mel Gibson was at JPII's funeral shooting footage? Now that's who I'd like to see make this movie.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Why Do We Find It So Hard To Evangelize?

What is it about the Catholic Faith that we find so difficult to evangelize? I was catching up on my blog reading and I was intrigued with Amy's observation of Joel Osteen's Mega Super Duper Church (my words) . Why do the Mormans send out their men for two years door knocking? Why is Latin America being transformed by the Protestants? What is it about these Protestants who lack in their theology that is so appealing?

My first response is that most Catholics are not confident of their knowledge of the Faith, so to go around explaining it simply freaks them out.

Secondly, and alongside this, the basic message of Protestantism is "Jesus died for your sins and rose again. He loves you. Repent and be saved". If that is your only message, it's a little more easy to sell than "Mary is your mother" and "We follow the Pope especially-though not only-when he speaks 'Ex Cathedra' ".

But I'm still perplexed as to why we Catholics do not race out into the streets like the others if we are so radically convinced of the joys, graces and blessings of the Fullness of the Faith?

Send This To 10 People And Your Wish Will Be Granted


Working with kids I get inundated by them-AND their parents sometimes!-by those emails with all sorts of claims.

However, I recently got this email and it is the best chain email I've ever received: (And yes, I am sending it to EVERY person who EVER sent me those ridiculous emails!!)

Thanks to All of You...
I must add my thanks to whoever sent me the one about rats in the glue on envelopes cause I now have to get a wet towel with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, I scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason. I want to thank you who have taken the time and trouble to send me your chain letters over the past 12 months. Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer have any sneakers -- but that will change once I receive my free replacement pair from Nike.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

Thanks to you, I have learned that God only answers my prayers if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time).

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

Yes, I want to thank you so much for looking out for me that I will now return the favor!

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM(EDT) this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician!

Friday, July 15, 2005

3's A-What, Charm?

So I'm over at a friends home recently when we hear this loud BANG!. She flew outside and yelled back to her husband and I-"Call 911!". So we did and then went out to see what happened.

There in the street just beyond my car was an over- turned car and a woman struggling to get out of the car. "Stay on the ground! Lay down! Tell her to lay down!" I yelled. Having fallen down concrete stairs and getting a rather large concussion I immediatly thought-you just never know if you are seriously hurt or not.

The sirens could be heard as the driver's husband and daughter came along side and helped her to the curb. It was then that my friend turned to me and said "You do know she hit your car..."

So, now I have no job, no place to live and no car! If you keep coming to this site (and thanks so much if you do) and wondering why it's the same boring stuff, now you know why-I've been a tad bit busy lately. To say the least.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


If only this had been true when I WAS in high school!! (The picture isn't coming through very well at all, my apologies. And seriously, I don' really care what the outcome is. Hot? well, it is quite warm today...and sweat generally tends to not make one attractive, so, there it is!)

well it's been several days and folks clearly don't care that I'm hot-and let me tell you, in 90 degree weather I'm hot and ready to dive into a pool...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Courageous Young Generation

I hope this next generation blows mine away. Here is evidence that they are gettin' the job done. This goes along with this article I saw about the kids who are in Cardinal Mahoney's Diocese and are still, somehow receiving the Truth!! Go God! I hope their youth ministers and campus ministers also have a spine to not only teach what is right and holy but to support them in righteousness. No matter what your struggles in ministry are, let me encourage you to be bold!!

True Community

I think this is a relevant article for what I've been blathering...I mean blogging about lately. Stanton talks about what we are meant to be as community of Christ:
Finding true community isn't about abolishing sin, and true community isn't the goal that waits just around the corner following the success of our latest ministry plans. True community exists in sharing a relationship of forgiveness and new life in Jesus.

I would add that for us, as Catholics, the Sacrament of Reconciliation could do us a whole lotta good. Can you imagine what the Church would be like if we used that opportunity? Can you imagine if we only confessed the things that we knew hurt each other-like gossip and slander-what the Church would look like? Certainly that doesn't take away the other things in need of confessing, but holy smokes, talk about Drain-O. It would unclog all kinds of garbage holding us back!

How Does One Get Into This Work?

I received a letter from a reader and thought her question deserved more than my answer.

I have an 18 year old daughter, who just finished homeschool. She has only completed her GED and is studying for her PSAT/SAT. In the meantime, she is showing an interest in Youth Ministry. She has helped to plan and lead a few middle school retreats, she has assisted me as a catechist for 6th graders for a couple of years, plays piano for May Crownings and some little prayer closings after classes and loves youth... Basically, what I am asking you, is what are the stepsone must take to become a Youth Minister or how does one start on the path?I think it would be good to hear from one who knows the ropes a bit.

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in Youth Ministry?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

G8-Music's Great, But Pay Attention To Reality

I love popular music as much as the next person. U2, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Green Day, Will Smith, Bon Jovi ...I'm having fun listening to all these concerts.

But what bugs me is that popular entertainers and truth don't always go together. They are often standing up for what they think is true (remember our last campaign and everyone who sold out-I mean stood up for John Kerry). but not always much depth.

I came across an interesting article from World Magazine on the Live 8 Concert. It is critical of this massive concert and what the artists are saying needs to happen. Just forgiving the debt and "opening their checkbooks" (a phrase I keep hearing on MTV, yes I'm watching the concert) is not going to change things in Africa.

I will say that I have much more respect for U2 because they have done their homework and have partnered with several organizations to do a better job than what Bob Geldof is calling the G8 leaders to do. DATA stands for "Democracy, Accountability and Transparency in Africa". They have taken a lead understanding what is at stake and how to make a difference. While DATA is directly connected to the Live 8 concert (U2's Bono is the founder) I'm not sure that their message is getting out as strongly as it should.

From World's website: Debt relief is going to the governments, not the people. Troublesome when the governments are not held accountable. Troublesome when we have seen African nations with absolutely corrupt government. Yes I don't want to see 30,000 people die by the end of today, esp when most of them are under 5 years old, but are those children going to see a dime of that money? Are their governents going to use this money wisely?

"...Mr. Thornbury believes that the greatest problem with proposals before the G8 is their failure to acknowledge the success and prevalence of faith-based programs. And, he said, "without spiritual transformation, the cycle of poverty will only continue." Church leaders who endorse celebrity anti-poverty plans "have some naivete," he said, but actually undermine faith-based efforts." (World website)

It will take more than the opening of checkbooks. It will need to take a complete overhaul of governments, economics and thinking. It will take an insistance that those receiving the money follow strict guidelines or no go. It will not only take leaders of the G8 to rethink their unfair policies, but for the leaders of the African Nations to rethink their unfair treatment and use of the money.

If it were as simple as Mr Brad Pitt says it is there would be no poverty. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a complex and difficult problem. Can it be resolved? Sure, with the Lord, not with a Live 8 Concert.

Hat tip to Dom for the World Article