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, April 27, 2006

World's Most Beautiful People

People magazine has published the "The World's Most Beautiful People" issue again this year. As Steve Doocy from Fox and Friends said "Really? Did they go to the bouroughs of the Netherlands to look?". No, they just take popular culture and decide who is most beautiful.

Topping the list is Angelina Jolie and the father of her child, Brad Pitt is not far behind. Really? This is the woman who has kept the blood of her current man around her neck, steals other women's husbands, gets pregnant by them and then travels to remote villages with her "family" in tow trying to look like Audrey Hepburn(ok, I'm not on board with UNICEF, but AH isn't a wack-job homewrecker either)?

I watch the 7pm news "magazines" and almost yack at their self-important pandering. Ugh. Those "reporters" fall all over themselves for the likes of these "beautiful people".

So, instead of griping and not doing anything about it, I've come up with my own "World's Most Beautiful People". Jesus and Mary are exempt because they have the "duh" factor. As in "Duh, they are our ideal". So here goes:

1. Pope John Paul II
Is it not obvious?

2. Fr Michael Scanlan
A man who said "Yes, Lord" so often, that now we have a Catholic University rooted in "dynamic orthodoxy". He also has toured the world spreading the Gospel, teaching and witnessing to the power of the Charismatic Renewal in the Church, praying over people-He has changed the lives of millions, either directly or because someone like me was influenced by him. All because he said "Yes, Lord". Gives you pause to consider your own response to the Lord, doesn't it?

3. Laure Krupp
In my day, the Queen of NET Ministries. When I was on NET she was the head supervisor-and no body had wisdom like that woman. She was well acquainted with pain and sorrow in her life and yet God used her dramatically in the lives of hundreds of "Netters". She took very little BS and had one of the best laughs ever.

4. St Therese of the Little Flower
Again. Need I explain? Talk about beauty outward and inward. Making little sacrifices throughout the day makes a soul beautiful. Especially since no one knew about it as she was doing it.

5. St Francis of Assisi/Pier Giorgio Frassatti
The man who hugged a leper. Who does that? The man who gave up his riches and family fame and fortune to embrace poverty. Who does that? The man who opted to bear the wounds of Christ and rejoiced to be worthy of such agony. Who does that? Hollywood? I hear crickets...

And Pior Giorgio? Holyhotness, batgirl! Have you seen him? Ok, that he's pleasant to look at aside, here is what John Paul II said at his tomb: "He repeats that it is really worth giving up everything to serve the Lord. He testifies that holiness is possible for everyone, and that only the revolution of charity can enkindle the hope of a better future in the hearts of people. " That, my friends, is beautiful in anyone.

6. Southie Kids
If ever anyone knew they needed God, it was the Southie Kids. What trials and difficulties they face. Yet those same kids came each week to minister to the elderly and feed the homeless. They are survivors.

7. Grace and Gabriel Michael (that kid had only one option for a Confirmation name: Raphael). My niece and nephew. Grace is strong willed and sensitive but she is the best friend to her friends. She asks kids if they want to play with her and makes sure that her friends get to have fun. Gabriel Michael is an 18month old flirt. Those big eyes and round cheeks with the long fluttering eye lashes and the big ol' goofy grin-how do you resist that?

8. Viggo Mortenson
Hello?! Aragorn? And have you seen his art? Holy moses.)

9. Every Secretary I've Ever Had. Those poor women. To put up with me is endurance that forms the soul.

10. The Women of the House of the Beloved
One is in Ireland serving with Kerygma Teams (and former Director of Student Life), one is the mother of 3 active and lovely children, another finally a mom after much suffering, another having lived through a debilitating illness has been the joy and laughter of our time together-so many others, beautiful women who I had the privilege of knowing, fighting with, loving, being loved by and growing closer to Jesus because of.

These are more beautiful than any Hollywood or American Idol star or starlet could ever be. And I hope to be as beautiful as them.

Forgot to ask:

Friday, April 21, 2006

DVC vs Barb Nicolosi

I'm guessing your kids, your volunteers, your kids' parents are reading that idiotic book the DaVinci Code and have plans to go see the movie.

How often have you heard, "I know it's not real, but..." or "It's just a story, but yeah, what about the Gospel of Mary Magdelene?..." "Y'know it could be true..." No it couldn't!!! Not if Jesus is Lord for crying out loud! Not if he established the Church and the Mass you attend each week!!

I have been immensely frustrated by this book. I loathe it, that is no secret to those who know me. I think it DOES do damage. I think the sheep ARE being led astray. If you don't believe so, remember that Satan is the Great Deceiver. He makes evil look holy and holy look evil. Just look around at what is exalted and praised in culture today. He deceives when we aren't even looking. That's his ace.

Please read Barb's rant. I don't think I couldn't say it better.

Don't go see this stupid movie. Don't pay money to have the insidious lies of the enemy introduced into your heart and mind.

Othercott DVC on May 19th. Go see Over the Hedge instead. And pray for everyone associated who is dancing with the devil through this movie.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Is Pedro There?

I just wanted to thank you for being my friend (look to the left...) Gosh. Oh. and Vote for Pedro.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

God or the Girl:Interview with the producer

Got the National Catholic Register in the mail today. Had this interview with Tim Drake:

Tim Drake: How did you come up with the idea for this program?
Darryl Silver: Two years ago my co-creators Stephen David and David Eilenberg and I were sitting around coming up with ideas for shows, trying to think of the craziest thing we could come up with . As a joke we came up with the idea of a show based on someone who is making the decision to become a priest. Within a minute or two, we said, "What if we did it like this?" That was the genesis of the show.

TD: What is your own faith background?
DS: Jewish. We had a bunch of Jewish guys making this show.

TD: Do you think that your own faith background was an asset or a hindrance?
DS: I think that coming at it from a Jewish perspective was the best thing that could have happened to this show. We don't have an agenda toward the Catholic Church...

TD: What did you learn about the Catholic Church as a result of doing the show?
DS: Before we started, we purchased 20 copies of Catholicism for Dummies. ...We talked to a lot of priests to understand the process for becoming one. ... One of the things I learned is that the Catholic Church, to its credit, really wants to get the right guys in there. If a guy isn't sure, they say, "You need to go back and figure it out".

TD: How "real" is the show?
DS: All we told the men is that this was a very internal decision, so we encouraged them to find ways to externalize it. It's very easy to hide your internal feelings. We told them that they would need to work with family and friends to work that out... Anything that these guys were asked to do was from a suggestion from family, friends or their spiritual guide.

TD: The series seems more genuine than most "reality shows" Why is that?
DS: It's not a "reality show". It's a "docu-series". The prize here is an internal prize. I didn't tell Dan DeMatte to carry that cross or tell Joe Adair to go to World Youth Day in Germany or Steve Horvath to go to Guatemala for a foreign mission. These were things they were already doing.

I still well up when Steve Horvath cries as he prepares to leave Guatemala. It doesn't matter whether you're Catholic, Muslim, Jewish. This is a great story. You're getting a view into the lives of guys that you never normally get a view of.

I thought it was great. In my opinion, they should have taken the risk and made it longer. To read the rest of the interview pick up a copy of the National Catholic Register. Had the interview been online I would have linked it. But buy a copy. You'll be supporting a great paper anyway!

Monday, April 17, 2006

God or the Girl?

I really liked it. Wow!

The only critique i have it shy are they using such old music? Jars has had newer stuff come out, not to mention several other artists...but that is a minor point.

You could order this series and keep it in your library when you talk about vocations to the priesthood. These are all normal guys going through pretty normal decisions.

Verdict: I'm stayin' tuned.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

God or Girls?

I'll be watching. Seems I heard about this series some time ago and that the spin would actually be a good one. The best thing going, I'm going to bet, is that these men are JPII formed.

The four are a varied bunch. There's Joe Adair, a 28-year-old procrastinator from Ohio who has already been in the seminary twice but can't decide about a lifelong commitment, particularly when there's a warm and attractive girl who could be waiting for him in Germany. He's so infuriatingly indecisive, however, you may just want to shake your television set.
There's Steve Horvath, a 25-year-old Virginian who chucked his lucrative consulting job, luxury home and girlfriend to become a campus missionary at the University of Nebraska. Steve is probably the most emotional of the four, his quivering sensitivity coming to the fore when he reluctantly accepts the challenge to go solo to Guatemala, where his worries range from the crime rate to his lack of Spanish. (Never mind that he'd be accompanied by a camera crew.)

The 24-year-old Mike Lechniak from Scranton, Pa., felt a calling at age 17, but has such a natural rapport with sympathetic girlfriend Aly that it's clear why he's highly conflicted.

And finally there's Dan DeMatte, a 21-year-old Ohio Dominican University student with an obvious talent for youth ministry who lives with nine other celibate young men in a house they call "Fort Zion." His relationship with girlfriend Amber is as amiable as Mike's is with Aly. The tug between collar and wedding ring promised by the title seems most vivid with Mike and Dan. (CNS)

Should be interesting.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Holy Week

I have not forgotton to post something...

I'm just flat-out-crazy-insane busy.

Anyone know how that feels???

Youth Ministry Resources

I'm hoping to review some texts again in the next little while.

However, here is an opportunity NOT TO BE MISSED.

I know we think we are too busy and that we know it all, but consider going to Franciscan University's Bosco Conference the week of July 19-23.


Because it's not just for Religious Education people anymore ! ("and there was much rejoicing YEAHHHH!!!" -Monty Python)

They've got one for Youth Ministers!! You can go and hang out with all kinds of wicked cool people, get rejuvenated by getting the good stuff, uplifted by the amazing prayer times, spend time in the bookstore, the Port or anywhere on the grounds-learn and get refreshed. Besides, maybe your parish will pay for it as well!!

Here's the gig: You can do it as a Certification Course, but I think maybe you can go without doing the Certification. The (snip) is all the info you need for Certification. Go, go, go , go GO! And tell your friends and Spread Fred!!

Basic Youth Ministry (pdf file):

Basic Youth Ministry Certification Track
This is an introductory program developed to provide the essentials for building an effective parish youth ministry. Believing that the most significant factor in the catechetical endeavor is the individual catechist passing on a lived faith, Franciscan University has committed itself to assisting in the preparation of men and women equal to the task of catechesis in a youth ministry context.
This is one-year program that includes 6 workshops plus seminars and general sessions. The workshops correspond to the vision of youth ministry in the Church as communicated in the Bishop’s document, Renewing the Vision.


Year I (2006)
Four General Sessions on Jesus Christ
Being an Effective Youth Minister
The Vision for Relational Ministry to Teens
Understanding Teens and their Culture
Evangelizing Teens
Disciplining Teens through Small Group Catechesis
Steps for Building a Successful Youth Program

Advanced Youth Ministry (pdf file):

Advanced Youth Ministry Certification Track
This is an in-depth program developed to provide deeper formation for the youth minister, including presentations that are practical, academic, theological, and spiritual. Believing that the most significant factor in the catechetical endeavor is the individual catechist passing on a lived faith, Franciscan University has committed itself to assisting in the preparation of men and women equal to the task of catechesis in a youth ministry context.
This is a three-year program that includes 18 workshops plus seminars, youth ministry events, and general sessions. It follows a three-year rotating cycle that participants can enter at any time upon completion of the Basic Youth Ministry Track. It assumes a basic familiarity with youth ministry, including its goals and structure. The workshops fall into the following ten categories: evangelization, catechesis, Scripture, liturgy, doctrine, adolescent development, spirituality, leadership, morality, and family.


Workshop Schedule for Youth Ministry Certification

Year III (2006)
Scripture 1: A Catholic Understanding of Divine Revelation
Scripture 2: Salvation History 101
Evangelization 1: John Paul II and the New Evangelization
Catechesis 1: Christ, the Center of Catechesis /The Catechism Unlocked
Catechesis 2: Analyzing Doctrine
Catechesis 3: Faith Development/Packaging and Delivering the Truth/Moving Teens from Evangelization to Catechesis

Year I (2007)
Morality 1: Christocentricity of Catholic Morality
Morality 2: Intro to Theology of the Body
Morality 3: Teaching Catholic Sexuality
Leadership 1: Baptism, the Church, and Christian Leadership
Leadership 2: Management Issues with Pastor, Staff and volunteers
Family 1: Forces Affecting Today’s Family

Year II (2008)
Liturgy I: An Overview of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Liturgy II: Fostering Teen Participation at Mass
Adolescent Development I: Introduction
Adolescent Development II: Crisis Intervention
Spirituality 1: The Universal Call to Holiness
Spirituality 2: Adolescent Spirituality


I know, I know. I can get preachy, like the post below.

I'm passionate. Yeah, that's what I'll call it...Passionate!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Terri Schindler Schiavo

Last night I had the remarkable and unforgettable chance to hear Terri's brother Bobby speak.

I can't begin to understand or fathom their pain and I don't know how they continue each day-but for the grace of God.

While not a polished public speaker, Bobby was irrisistable to listen to because SHE was his sister. He is her brother. He can speak to things that we will never hear in the newspapers and news shows. He and his family more clearly than anyone undertand what is at stake.

And what is at stake? That evil is called good and good called evil. One of the pro-death groups have given Michael Schiavo an award for his heroic battle. His lawyer got another award from some other group. When asked why this case got such attention, both of them said that "this is happening to thousands, ours is just one little case"-and then in the end the lawyer talks about what a beautiful and peaceful death she had (as she lay starving and parched).

Also, did you know that the term "Peristant Vegitative State" is not a real medical term? In all of their research and asking doctors all over the answer that always comes to them is that is was created so that doctors have the legal right to take out someone feeding tube and let them starve to death.

At the end of the evening there was a bit of question and answer time. One woman asked "What can we do?" Bobby said that they get emails and phone calls all the time asking that same question. His response was to volunteer with them if you live in Florida or help them financially, as they do not have the funds to hire someone for their foundation.

I'd like to go one step further and say that because this is such a vile and selfish act of her ex-husband and society in general, what WE can do is recognize that this life is not about ourselves but about the beauty and dignity of everyone that crosses our path.

Think about it: How many times have you been in the Doctors' office and thought "why can't they hurry up, don't they know I'm on a schedule?" or glared at someone who had 13 items in teh 12 items only checkout or who didn't turn on their blinker before turning? How often do we make an effort to go out of our way for others? Why do we think we are so gawd-awful important?

Bobby pointed out the hypocrisy of our society and the popular press. When Dana Reeves passed away recently she was lauded as a heroine for spending her life on her husband and working towards his rehabilitation. Her husband was the very handsome and popular Superman star, Christopher Reeves. Did you know that her husband was on more life-support machinary than Terri? Yet popular society kept pushing for Terri's family to let her die, no-not to just let her die, but to take an active part in making sure she died. She was not beautiful after this accident, she didn't have popularity in Hollywood, she was never in pictures-she was useless to society, so really, she should just die.

Don't we sometimes say the same about others who we don't find attractive? Maybe not to the extent that we think they should kill themselves, but we certainly don't want to be associated with them.

When I did my piece on Justice and Service in Youth Ministry, I had several people get upset with me. Who am I to say what is service and what isn't? We should just let the kids do what they are talented at! Yeah, let them do what makes them feel good, what they feel comfortable doing!

Has anyone ever read the Parable of the Good Samaritan? I referenced it then and I'll do it again. SERVING IS NOT ABOUT US. The Good Sam didn't stop and go "Hmm. What are my gifts? Am I being called to help this man?" NO! He stopped and cared for this man without regard to his time, money or ability.

Why are we called to anything less?

Today, challenge yourself and challenge your kids. Begin doing as St Therese of Lisieux did: do little acts of kindness. Remind yourself that the universe does not revolve around you, it revolves around God's people. Remind yourself that others in need superceeds your desire to be comfortable. Find 3 ways to make room for others today and 4 ways tomorrow.

Contribute to a kinder society. See every person you walk by how God sees them. See beauty in each person. Step aside for someone even if it inconveniences you.

And train those you are in charge of to do the same.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Refuge Clothing

A line of clothing initially started for girls/teens who wanted something better than "Porn Star" or "B**ch emblazoned across their chest. I like it, I like it!

PS They have also started a line for men and several shirts with Pro-life messages.
Check them out at:

Sunday, April 02, 2006

It's A Beautiful Day

I still mourn Papa JPII. I miss having him leading us here on earth-not that our German Shepherd isn't enough, I just miss the Papa we had for so many years.
However, I also know what a day when he could finally leave his excellent service here on earth for an eternity of all that he had been trying to explain to us. With that in mind, I'm sitting here at the computer listening to U2 and thinking about how similar Bono and Pope John Paul II were: courageous, bold, charismatic, inviting, challenging, purposeful, insistant on change for the I'm listening to U2 and give my tribute to my hero, my teacher, our papa.
The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground
But there's no room, no space to rent in this town
You're out of luck and the reason that you had to care,
The traffic is stuck and you're not moving anywhere.
You thought you’d found a friend to take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand in return for grace
It's a beautiful day, the sky falls
And you feel like it's a beautiful day
It’s a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
Touch me, take me to that other place
Teach me, I know I’m not a hopeless case
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things
Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

More Tributes

Play this beautiful tribute from L'Osservatore Romano (well, the pictures are anyway)

I can't bring myself to go to any of tributes going on. I still bawl like a little baby.