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.

Friday, October 28, 2005


I was not able to go to the National Catholic Youth Conference this year, but I will say that I'm impressed with their line up of speakers .

Did anyone go and can they give me a report?


Has anyone used the resources at How do you find them? I'm quite interested to know how their stuff is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Unos, Dos, Tres, Catorce!

Hello, hello!

What a great concert!! WOW!!!!

The opening band was of little interest to most of us sitting together, but at 9pm, the lights went down and all of a sudden the whole place exploded. U2 had taken the stage.

They started out with some newer favorites from Vertigo, then some great oldies-even from their first album-then moved into themes of War, Human Rights and Dignity, then Pride (In The Name Of Love) and my all time favorite Where The Streets Have No Name. They did 3 encores that included Yahweh and finally ended with 40 (Psalm 40).

U2 is an enigma. A lot of people have wanted to pidgeonhole them into firmly into the "Christian" genre, while others think Bono is showman's charleton, complete with his own celeb cause. I think they walk a fine line between being artists and being preachers-of Scripture (of which many of their songs are right from or reflect) or of Christian behavior-treating others with respect and dignity.

You can say that their "One" campaign is yet another celebrity with feel-good intentions, but how many of the celebs actually starts organizations like Data ( and who knows what the heck he's talking about? You could say that Bono is the tie that hold the band together with his charisma, but who else sounds like The Edge (guitar player)?

For me, I think they are simply fellow journeymen. They don't claim to know all the answers, only that it's worth struggling to find out, as well as reaching out to those around us. Like us they are full of hopes and dreams and arrogant about thier abilbity to take their place in this world, then totally humbled before God when they see that they can't do it alone, or that they even know how to "fix" the problems of the world.

At any rate, it was such a great show by such a great band. If you are unfamiliar with their music, I'd encourage you to go to their website at at least look at the lyrics of their songs. I know I'm a huge fan, but mostly because I love their lyrics. Maybe I'll blog about a few of my fav songs and why I relate so strongly to them both as a Catholic Christian and a minister to and with God's people.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Moving Day

I'm moving today!

Well...beginning to move. I leave my current and wonderful residence, go to Detroit to the U2 concert, stay at the parents overnight, leave the next am, arrive in my new city and begin my new job the next morning!! I'll stay with friends for about a week and a half until my stuff arrives and I can move into my place.

So, say a prayer that all goes well. I'm happy, sad, elated, mourning-and I really haven't even had time to think about the U2 concert.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fear Of Being Caught

Do many of you feel like you have to hide being a Catholic-even when you work for a Catholic Parish?

I just found out that the RCIA director of the parish I formally worked at is teaching that Jesus did have brothers and sister, Mary and Joseph had other kids.


I guess then that the whole notion of Mary being "ever Virigin" as we know to be true is wrong. Or that Joseph and Mary lived a "Josephite" marriage, that they never sexually consumated their marriage but it was a true marriage nontheless. Or that the word "kin" that Jesus uses is the same that Abraham uses to talk about Lot: who is his nephew. Or that Jesus gave Mary to John who was not his blood brother, when the Jewish custom is for the brother of the deceased would take in the widow.

It is still quite fresh for me, knowing the struggle that it is to be able to fully celebrate being a Roman Catholic when even the parish staff you work with doesn't believe in the teachings of the Church-and the pastor doesn't require them too. I have worked on staffs where staff members are living with boyfriends or same-sex partners. I have worked with parish staff members who deliberately teach things that are not true, who use the National Catholic Distorter, I mean Reporter as though it were the Catechism.

It is one of things I mourn most about the average parish here in the States, at least. The blind leading the blind. And pastors not only not putting a stop to it, but engage in such foolish behavior as well.

To me, I am responsible for my brothers and sisters. If I hinder their entrance into heaven because I hurt them or taught them to believe something that was not true, it would be on my head.

To all those working in parish life and feel like they have to hide being a Catholic, you have my prayers and sympathies. You are not alone! Keep going! Pray, use the Sacraments, find fellowship, know that God knows how bad it can get and that you are responsible to always do the right thing. May you be strengthened with many graces and blessings!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

On Our Way Up Or On Our Way Down???

I saw this article that is about teen girls' casual attitude towards sex, and then I saw this article. So which direction do you think the culture is going??? I gotta sit down, I might need to go out and get a Starbucks coffee...

Prayers To Ease The Mind

This is a little known prayer that a priest passed along to the family I'm staying with. It is called The Resurection Prayer. I love it because it makes me calm to be reminded and actually talk about Jesus being present before we even get where we are going-whether on a journey or making a decision or whatever the future holds.

Dear Jesus
I know you are waiting for me to
(name destination or future plans/decisions etc)
and I ask in your Holy and Precious Name,
through the intercession of
the Blessed Mother’s Holy and Immaculate Heart,
all the angels and saints and the poor souls in purgatory
that you will lead me through this time
safe, sound and healthy
and grant all of these prayers, petitions and intentions
if they are in Your holy and divine will.

Quiet Here-Chaos Out Here!

One of the worst things you can do to your blog is to not blog. Who'd come read something that you haven't written??!!

While I'm making some big changes in life amuse yourself with this, and imagine you are a fish. Or a drop of water...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Conference

This past weekend I went to the National Charismatic Conferences in St Paul, MN as I noted below. I will be blogging a bit more on it as time goes by, but wanted to give a quick update first.

Why blog about it on a youth ministry blogsite? Because I believe that what I call the "2nd Generation" is looking for something and they aren't always sure what that is.

For instance, many of my generation who are coming back to the Church are wanting the "smells and bells" so to speak-and I mean that in a good way. They want the traditions, they want to understand. For 30 years we have been gyped of good catechesis by the liberal-and I don't use that word often-fluff that's sucked the richness and beauty out of our Churches and formation. So we come back and want all of the good stuff.

But there are some who would demonize the Charismatic Renewal because they see it as too reliant upon emotions, to "out there" to weird, to fluffy without substance. This bothers me a great deal because the Renewal is at the heart of the Church. It serves the Church and is from the Church. The Charismatic Renewal seeks to renew the Church through the charisms of the Holy Spirit. It seeks to evangelize, instruct, deepen the faith lives, introduce a very real relationship with Jesus Christ and make use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in everyone's lives.

Then there are a group of us who have grown up with it or came to be a part of it in high school or college and are saying "The old ways don't really work for us anymore-does this mean we can't be a part of it? We want it, but not in the exact same way-what do we do now?"

Something is up here. The Holy Spirit has begun a work in the four of us young women who attended the Conference. There are murmerings and wonderings going on. I can't wait to see what the Lord has up his sleeve, but I believe that if we are all open the Lord is going to continue to do a great work in the Church through the "2nd Generation".

We'll see!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Women In Ministry

As a woman who has been in ministry for several years now, I sometimes wonder if my path would have been different had I been a man. That is, in my battles with some priests, would it have made a difference?

I don't want to seem like I'm accusing the entire priesthood or Church of sexism. I've worked with some great men-and women. But sometimes I find I have to work harder to be believed, have to be a little louder, a little more mmm-stronger, stubborn, firm.

Even with the good ones, I have to do this. I often wonder if I were a man speaking to them I'd be validated just on that point.

I was just wondering if others encountered this and how they dealt with it.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference

I'm packing up and getting ready to leave to go to St Paul MN for their conference on the Charismatic Renewal and the Catholic Church.

I'm totally excited about it because for a long time I've wondered just where the two fit together.

I grew up in the Renewal, so I am extremely comfortable with it. However I have always wondered what it means to be a Charismatic Catholic-at least in theology. That is, when we speak of being "baptized in the Holy Spirit" how does the jive with Catholic teaching that we receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism and the work of the HS is deepened in our Confirmation. However, scripture also talks specifically about being baptized in the Holy Spirit-so...?

I am intruiged as well to see where the Renewal is going in the United States. It seems that a great deal of my compadres who are committed to an orthodox Church reject the Charismatic Renewal as a bunch of emotional ya-hoos, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact most every Charismatic I've met -no, I'll say every Charismatic I've met-are very loyal to the Holy Father and the teachings of the Church. They desire to be in line with Church teaching. It's just that we express our joy and delight in God in a well, expressive way and are drawn into the throne room of God through our Worship of Him.

At any rate, I am very excited to go-even more excited to be spending this time with my sister-in-law and my sister. St Paul is a great city and I'm looking forward to a great weekend.

PS Bishop Sam Jacobs from Houma-Thibbdaux, LA is the lead speaker.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

St Mary's Press

If I can, I am going to try and review publishers, writers and books so that some of the guesswork in ministry is done for you. If you don't like my analysis, so be it.

However, I know that when we are called upon to teach the Truth of the Church that is exactly what we need to do, free from our own idiological misgivings. Those we teach deserve to get the whole story and then they can make a full decision on their own. But when we muddy it with our own-or with a publishers' -opinions, we do them a HUGE disservice. (if you think I'm wrong, go read Dom's site about Fr Cuenin's parish/cult of personality and as evidence read this poor parishionor's (krf) poorly formed defense)

I went to review St Mary's Press. A good place to go when reviewing publisher is how they pray:
The dynamic of trinitarian love is not restricted to God in the image of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Some Christians call the three persons Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. The aspects of the Trinity--Lover, Beloved, and Shared Love--can be imaged in many ways.

and later

The masculine image of Father is often used in referring to God as the source of everything, but the Scriptures often describe God using feminine metaphors as well. God is neither male nor female, but in our human way of speaking of a personal God, we often think of God in terms of gender. In the Book of Isaiah, Israel is addressed by God imaged as a woman:As a mother comforts her child,so I will comfort you;you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

Not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, they do start out talking about the Trinity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The author does take good scriptural references to the Trinty to explain the mystery of the Trinity.

But what bothered me about this article was not only the inclusion of the "femininity of God" (by the way, did anyone notice that the feminine of God is ALWAYS referred to as "like" a mother, not directly called "Mother".) but that it sets up the idea that faith is about you. It is about your imagery of God. It revolves around the self.

I am quite aware that we have no knowledge of God except what he reveals to us. I know that we talk about "experiencing God" and that at different times in our lives He reveals a different side of Himself to us. However, just as we know that there is objective reality to knowing that God even exists, we can know that He exists in the way that He reveals Himself to us.

Did Christ ever call God Mother?? Some of the others scriptures the author lists as revealing a "feminine God" is actually referencing the Church.

We know what we know because of what God reveals to us. To make up things that are not of His plan leads us astray and leads others astray.

Again, don't thrown out the whole article, but with St Mary's Press, be aware of their shortcomings.


Blogging will be on short hiatus today as I watch Michigan State kick Michigan back to Ann Arbor with their tails between their legs.

Ok, blogging has been nil because I've been in bed sick with a silly cold. Which may have been brought on by the fact that it rained the whole day of my interview and I ended up walking a great deal in high a business suit! Ack!

GO STATE!!!! (10 minutes til kick-off!)

uuuuuuuuggghhhhhhh!!! Don't say it, just don't say it.
Our defense the first quarter-ah, where were they?? Not on the field. Our heads were not in the game. Not when Michigan gains 2 count them 2 touchdowns on us. We got a few lucky breaks one being in the 3rd quarter when Michigan fumbled (though it was almost called an incomplete pass, it was a very very close call) and Domata Peko picked it up and ran 61 yards to a field goal. 4th quarter-31-31 into overtime. First offense was ours, we couldn't get the job done. Michigan was next and-you guess it. Michigan won: 34-31. In OUR stadium.

I'm going to go cry for a little while...