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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Matt Maher Video

YouTube is being difficult. It may have to do with the fact that I've moved to betaBlogger, don't know.

At any rate, go here. Hopefully soon I'll figure this all out.


Matt Maher Music

Ok, so I went to YouTube and sent a MM video to my blog. It hasn't shown up yet, but when it does, enjoy.

I "stole" (i.e. long-term borrowed) his latest CD "Overflow". I've been stuck on it ever since. I played it all the way home to Michigan-a 5 1/2 hour drive. What I liked most about it was that it was all in praise of God. Lots of Christian music that I've liked also tends towards the self, anything from whoa is me to God is great to me. What I liked about this CD is it's singability and that every single song is directed towards God, even the searching songs.

So there's my post on Matt Maher, Catholic singer/artist/guy.

He also does some of the Steubenville Conferences. I'd tell you which ones, but I can't remember and the Youth Office staff have already left for the day.


Ministry To Persons With Disabilities

A few weekends ago Sister gathered all of us taking Methods to a day seminar on ministry to persons with disabilities.

Notice, first off, how I said that: Persons with disabilities.

At first I had to admit to my jaded thoughts about "those people". I was tired of hearing them get special treatment and I'd come across one to many victimized individuals who were more interested in making sure others felt sorry for them. I wasn't sure what to expect.

I have to say, I learned a great deal that day.

First we had Dr Joseph White who is quite the expert on the topic. He has written several great books for Our Sunday Visitor which I encourage you to get and read. They aren't long, and they are quite practical, especially for Catechist training. The particular book on children with disabilities is called Catechists for All Children. He talks about the fearful or withdrawn child, the inattentive or impulsive child, the child with low intellectual functioning or learning disabilities, children with special physical needs and non-speaking children. All of his wisdom can be applied to high school kids as well.

His main point was that all of God's children deserve an education by the Church. It is not them who need to learn to adapt the the Church: They can't. It is the Church who needs to adapt and find ways to serve any child who has anything that might hinder them from hearing the Good News. It is our job to learn more about their needs and provide all we can for them.

One of the things I had a question on was whether or not you keep a kid who does have special needs in your classroom. For instance, the year after I left the 11th &12th grade class had a girl with Down's Syndrome and it was rough on everyone. I wondered if it would have been better to have her parents teach her.

Sister responded that persons with disabilities deserve to be a part of the classroom as much as any other person. We are not "normal" we are simply "typical". The other kids in the class room can learn a great deal about being unselfish and compassionate by having, say a teen with Down's Syndrome or a wheelchair or anything else in the classroom. It is just as important for this teen to have community as any other child. Wouldn't you think they have it hard enough in the world, at school and the mall, etc: Why can't we rise above and be a place of security and accaptance?

In the afternoon Kevin B, a former student and a frequent Bosco Conference contributer, spoke, and I found his presentation to be the most profound. He led us to remember that we are all, in some way, "defective" because sin makes us so. Not only sin, but our own limitations. I can't go run a marathon right now, I'd die. I don't have the greatest memory, so I have to look stuff up all the time. Kevin skillfully made us aware that we are in communion with our brothers and sisters who have observable disabilities, we are more able to hide our own defects and inabilities. It was a transformative moment for me. In the next post I'll give more of his outline because I loved his presentation.

In the end, it was a great and changing day. I learned things I discovered I was ignorant about. I was glad. I was glad to have my mind changed.


Ministry vs Job

We had a staff retreat today. It was quite good. The Boss gave us the following which I found rather good:

Some people have a job in the Church.
Others invite themselves into a ministry
What's the difference you ask?
If you are doing it just because no one else will, it's a job.
If you are doing it to serve the Lord, it's a ministry.
If you'll do it as long as it does not interfere with your other activities, it's a job.
If you are committed to staying even if it means letting go of other things, it's a ministry.
If you quit because no one thank you or praised you, it's a job.
If you stick with it even though no one recognized your efforts, it's a ministry.
It's hard to get excited about a job,
It's almost impossible not to get excited about a ministry.
If God calls you to a ministry, don't treat it like a job!
Lord, strengthen your servants and move us to a true sense of ministry and service, through your grace and mercy. Amen.


Monday, November 27, 2006

So Much To Say

I have not had the time to write and post everything that I've wanted to!!

So, here's the short version, more to come:

1. Catechesis to students with special needs
2. Matt Maher Music
3. Begin discussing the Ecclesial Method in greater detail
4. Tell you what Sister gave me for a grade on my "Teaching Saints" project
5. Gripe about idiot drivers during my drive home to Michigan for Thanksgiving.
6. Christ The King!!! And Advent!!! HELLOO????? Can I get an "Amen"?!
7. Catherine of Siena Institute
8. I miss ministry. Maybe that's all I'll say. I miss the ministry. LOVE my job, really I do. But I miss that cross eyed kid who dares me to be friends with him and make the Church relevant to his live. That's the good stuff.
9. Oh, and I get to talk to the Youth Ministry class on Wednesday. I'm so excited.
10. I might be looking for someone to share this blog with. There are certain criteria to be met, details later.

So, if there's anything else to discuss, better tell me soon. Girl's got lots to say!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Between class, my new commitment to exercising and work, I've been a little busy. However I'm taking a break for a few days and will post more soon!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Movies and Teaching Saints

Ok, I've got a good handle on my lesson plan. Thanks for the input.

Now, do you have any movie clip ideas that could help impart knowledge about the saints?

I have to do a project for class. The project is to come up with a way to teach saints, a group of saints, one saint. I opted to teach the theology of saints-how the Church determines who a saint is, why we need saints, what saints do for us and the Church, introducing terms such as "Communion of Saints", "dulia" "canon".

I'm not really interested in a particular clip about a saint, unless the movie is far from cheese and is really a fine piece of work. I'm more interested in a clip that shows the theme of the Communion of Saints, or the Intercession of Saints. I have two ideas, but wondered if off the top of your heads you had any other ideas.

Thanks. I'll let you know how the project gets graded!!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Teaching Saints

Hey, I need some help.

Have any of you ever taught a class on saints? How would you do it? Have you ever taught a particular or a group of saints? What did you do?

I'm serious here. I'm looking for some wicked creative ideas.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Some Fun For Your Friday

I about wet my pants when I saw this! Some folks didn't get it, maybe you had to be a community kid or have grown up in the Charismatic Renewal. I just think this is hilariously funny.

PS Did you know that he really is a Catholic and teaches Sunday School? Poor kids...


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Birthday For Grace

About 6 or 7 years ago, I was in ministry, but failing internally. I was a wreck most days and barely able to keep my head above water. Ironically doing ministry kept me going, but I often felt like I was just clinging to God's grace and mercy by my fingernails.

Then Grace came.

When my brother called to say that he and his wife were expecting, I was delighted. Who wouldn't be? I know that the newlyweds weren't really crazy about getting pregnant so soon, but I belive in God's plans being bigger than ours-and this plan directly worked for me.

Grace came into this world today 6 years ago. I lived away from home and wasn't able to see her until her baptism. I fell in love instantly. She was the first baby on either side and of course, adored and doted by everyone.

You know how there have been some girls who are always in trouble and then they get pregnant and straighten up for their babies? Many people say "That kid saved her life". Well, this kid, this little precious baby saved my life. My brother sent me a picture once that I put up on the refrigerator. Just to see that sweetness, that innocence, that goodness gave me hope. Gave me a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other. God's grace came through Grace's life and I'll ever be thankful for my wonderful niece.

Today I'm doing much better. Life is good. I have had the chance to move home and spend a great deal of time with Grace. She is sensitive and very aware of caring for her friends. She loves her family and takes good care of her little brothers. She has had a long struggle with obedience which she and I have often talked about. (PS I'm sure her parents would greatly appreciate it if you offered up a prayer for her!) She is loads of fun to hang out with and with each passing year it is fascinating to watch her learn more about the world around her, more about God and I hope that her little sensitive heart isn't wounded too much by others. Her parents are excellent in her formation and I have no doubt that she will grow up to be a beautiful woman, inside and out.

Gracie, Happy Birthday. Thank you for being one of the greatest joys of my life. May God bless you with an openness to love and give you a special grace of obedience today!
Happy Birthday, Peanut!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

An Evangelists' Dream

I consider myself an evangelist. I know, this evoke images of Jimmy Swaggert and the now demoted Ted Haggard but let me explain.

I love proclaiming Jesus. I'm not a great teacher, though I can do it. I love being Jesus to other people, but I'm not a cloistered pray-er. It just gets my motor going to proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord both in word and deed, through relationships with people and in talks that I'll give.

So today's reading from the Philippians was just a dream: And I was the reader for noon Mass today:

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and, found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess thatJ
Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.

Of course I couldn't get up and say how excited I was to give the reading, but the thought did cross my mind. Thank goodness for blogs!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

What Would You Do?

If you disagreed with a particular Church teaching, would you tell your kids? (Not sons and daughters "kids", I mean the teens you work with)

Would you teach the fullness of the Church teaching?

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