Learn more about my latest book – All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters. Available now!

For the Men… a 10-min video on the genius of masculinity and the call to holiness in a man’s life

I do a lot of talking and writing about the feminine genius. Here’s some strong talk and holy vision from the Diocese of Phoenix regarding the gift of men, or the masculine genius, in God’s plan.

There’s a relatively new website devoted to calling men forward and deeper with the Lord. It’s called Into The Breach. In it Bishop Olmsted offers an apostolic exhortation to the men of his diocese and beyond. If you like this, please share it with others.

Ten Principles of Civil Communication: A great way to engage conversation and the new evangelization!

Ten Principles of Civil Communication: A great way to engage conversation and the new evangelization!

Yes, you too can be an evangelist in your own way.

Thanks to Catholic Voices, a lot more people are being trained in communication of the Catholic faith in the media and marketplace of ideas. I really benefitted from their training, and I heartily recommend Austin Ivereigh’s book, around which much of the training revolved: How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice.  

With this great  pamphlet, “Ten Principles of Civil Communication”, you’ll get a short cut to remembering the best ideas and best practices for sharing our Catholic faith in the media, and in conversations with family, friends, colleagues, and strangers.

The Top 3 principles are these:

1. Look for the positive intention behind the criticism.

2. Shed light, not heat.

3. People won’t remember so much of what you said, but how you made them feel.

P1703_300Oh, and look! Defending the faith with a combative chip on our shoulder does not make the top 3. Or the top 10.

Find a PDF version for your review here.  Go read it. It’s most excellent. Purchase it here.

A note of caution, you’ve got to buy this pamphlet in sets of 50, that’s just how its sold. Naturally, the publisher thinks the majority of people buying it are purchasing it for parishes, dioceses, or organizations. And if you work in a church, or a Catholic organization, you should share these principles with your membership. My bible study group and local friends are getting a copy of this as soon as my batch of 50 is shipped to me.

Meanwhile, I’m writing to the publisher today and suggesting it be able to sold in smaller quantities, too. But in the absence of actually buying a personal copy, by all means read through the PDF pamphlet and get a tune-up on your ability to witness for the Church.

This makes me think… and makes me value my baptism all the more…

As Catholics… we believe that original sin isn’t something committed, it’s something contracted. We recognize that we have received from Adam and Eve a human nature devoid of the divine nature God originally entrusted to them. As such, we don’t so much see original sin as a “thing,” as we do a lack of a “thing” — that “thing” being sanctifying grace. And sanctifying grace isn’t just religious rhetoric for something special. It is the Holy Trinity dwelling within the soul.

What that means for us is that we receive a human nature from the moment of our conception. But because we receive a human nature without a divine nature, we’re spiritually dead from the start. That’s our inheritance from our first parents: spiritual death. We’re physically alive but spiritually dead because God’s life does not dwell in us.

Baptism changes that.

Sometimes we talk about Baptism as “wiping away the stain of original sin.” But that’s a flawed metaphor. It inadvertently suggests that something is there before Baptism that isn’t there afterward — almost as if we could perform a spiritual x-ray of our soul, before and after Baptism, showing first a dirty soul, which is later made shiny and new. But again, it’s not the presence of something before Baptism that’s the problem. It’s the absence, the absence of divine life. 

That divine life is what baptism restores. It gives us back the divine life that Adam and Eve lost. 

Scott Hahn
Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization

What is the missionary impulse? Find out!  Details about Proclaim 2014!

What is the missionary impulse? Find out! Details about Proclaim 2014!

 

What is the missionary impulse?

This missionary impulse is implicit in our baptism. We Catholics are baptized into the Church. The blessing of our baptism is not only that it brings us into relationship with God, and into relationship with every member of the Church, but we are baptized into the mission of the Church.

What is that mission? Jesus made it plain.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

-Matthew 28: 19-20-

Our mission is to not only BE disciples ourselves, but to help MAKE disciples. The Gospel is not only an invitation, but also our marching orders: To be like Jesus by following him and imitating him. That’s the missionary impulse.

The emphasis is on “GO”.  We’re talking verb, not noun. We must go out and do this. We build the church by discipleship.

The missionary impulse is the church on the move to reach others, even the ones we may not like. It is a measure of our success or failure.

This is a most challenging and provocative call. And Pope Francis’ vision, above, above requires a kind of courage and boldness to not only be about our faith life, our own spiritual needs, but about the needs and hopes others. It is a call way outside of a private way… As if it is just me and God. It is a call to be with, to do for, and to grow alongside in relationship with others.

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Proclaim 2014 is a Catholic Missions Conference. Here’s the scoop from their press release.

Excitement is building for Family Missions Company’s 2nd annual Proclaim – Catholic Missions Conference. Join us for a powerful weekend, November 1-2, at the Ramada Conference Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Come and be a part of the missionary impulse that will transform the world. This year Proclaim has something for everyone; individuals, families, youth leaders, and even whole parishes will be infused with new life and passion for the Gospel. Dynamic conference speakers include Bishop Sam Jacobs, Fr. Louis Merosne, Dr. Carole Brown, Michael Gormley, Frank and Genie Summers.

This conference will challenge you to deepen your faith, and leave you with a heart and conviction for evangelization. At Proclaim, hunger for Jesus becomes zeal for the Gospel. Inspired by Pope Francis’s exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, Proclaim is uniquely committed to being a catalyst in the missionary transformation of the Church. Fuel your missionary zeal and be inspired to passionately live Gospel joy!

Eager to learn how to share the Gospel? This breakout session: Gospel Catholicism is for you! Learn the basics for sharing God’s word, and be transformed into a modern-day evangelizer.

Pope Francis calls us to “transform everything”. Is your church parish, ministry, or family, ready to embrace the missionary impulse? Learn how in this breakout session: The Church’s Missionary Transformation.

Feeling Called to greater commitment to Christ? Be inspired by full-time Catholic lay missionaries in the session The Challenge of Missionary Spirituality. Discover why the Gospel is the Good News that is worth giving everything for!

This year, Proclaim includes a Youth Leaders’ Track and Children’s Ministry and promises to be unlike any other conference you have ever attended! Beyond inspiring you to embrace God’s mission in your life, Proclaim will reach hearts and lives around the world! Every penny of profit from this conference will be used to advance the Gospel in Asia.

To learn more about Proclaim – Catholic Missions Conference, visit www.Proclaim2014.com or call 337-893-6111.

Family Missions Company is a Catholic ministry founded in 1996. This ministry is dedicated to spreading the gospel and serving the poor both here and globally. FMC trains and sends out families, as well as single men and women who have heard the call of Jesus to leave everything behind and follow Him. FMC relies totally on God’s providence through the generosity of others who support our ministry and works of charity. FMC’s home base is in Abbeville, LA. For more information, go to www.fmcmissions.com or www.facebook.com/fmcmissions.

You might also appreciate this video:

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To be honest, I’ve never traveled to a foreign country to evangelize or be part of a mission trip. When I was growing up I was never encouraged to do that, but I do have a Catholic school memory of collecting funds and praying lots of prayers for the missions. When I was older, I didn’t travel much because of its expense. I took my first plane ride when I was 22.

In the years of working and raising a family, my husband and I tithed to support the mission of the church. Part of that support has always gone to those in need, and some of that support has gone to mission work in foreign countries. These days, many Catholic school encourage mission-mindedness among their students. I’ve been inspired by my children’s participation in mission endeavors and by the works of others.

We have financially supported the missionaries we know, whether they traveled for a short-term trip or for a long-term placement. That brings me back to Family Mission Company. Among Women listeners and readers of this blog may recall my conversations last year with Jonathan and Kristen Weiss, my friends who live the missionary lifestyle with their two boys.

Thanks to the internet, I have had the experience of having my written words and my recorded spoken words reach to foreign nations. About 20%  or 10,000 of the last 50,000 downloaded Among Women podcasts have reached listeners in countries outside the USA. 3% of that number have reached into Canada, and the 17% remainder have reached listeners on other continents. So as one little catechist and a microphone, I’m learning the ways of online evangelization, one download at a time. Yet online evangelization never can replace face to face conversations. That is why we must meet people in person. That is how the church first came into existence and it is the way of evangelization still today. Someone shared the good news with me. I must, in turn to do the same.

Share this with your parishioners and friends. Share the video on Facebook and Twitter or whatever social media network you enjoy. Help us spread the word about Proclaim 2014.

The world is waiting.

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Photos and video courtesy of Family Missions Company.

Celebrate World Communications Day ! Get Catholic TV! Discover other media resources!

Celebrate World Communications Day ! Get Catholic TV! Discover other media resources!

 “The Church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication, in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ.”

– Pope Francis –
World Communications Day message, 2014

If evangelization is part of church’s identity, then spreading the message of the gospel is what we need to be about. I’m a fan of all Catholic media: radio, television, print, film, and internet and digital media.  I’ve been very fortunate to work in media.

Today let me invite you to Get Catholic TV! — an easy way to see if Catholic TV is in your area. It’s simple: just input your zip code here, and find which channel gives you access!

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I also invite you to read my previous post on World Communications Day, and Pope Francis’ message for today.

Finally, bookmark my Catholic Resources page at Among Women. You’ll find my recommendations for the best Catholic books, media, and more.

This makes me think… what is my spoken and silent witness saying?

A few generations back, you can understand why many Catholics didn’t see the need to evangelize. They could live their faith in their homes and parishes, and when they walked outside — going to work, or school or the playground — the cultural temperature didn’t feel that much different than it felt inside. For all appearances the gap between the Catholic way of life and the American way of life didn’t look that great.

Today, however, when Catholics walk outside our homes and parishes into the culture at large, we feel the difference. It hits us in the face like a slap of ice-cold wind. The culture has turned toxic, and the gap between how the Church calls us to live and how the culture tells us to live has grown so wide, we can no longer bridge it. 

But while we can’t bridge the gap, we can attempt to close it. That’s what the New Evangelization calls us to do. It calls us to transform not just individuals, but the entire culture, recognizing that just as the de-Christianization of culture led countless men and women away from the Church, so can the re-Christianization of culture lead en and women back to the Church. 

That’s what we’re doing when we share our faith, through both our silent and spoken witness, with the people in our neighborhoods, and communities, schools, and workplaces. We’re transforming culture by introducing the individuals within it to a Person who will transform the very fabric of their lives. We’re welcoming them into a family of believers who will walk with them as they strive to live the life to which God calls them.

That’s something your parish priest can’t do. He can’t bear witness to the guy in your office who has never stepped foot in a Catholic Church. He can’t strike up a conversation at the gym or the coffee shop with the person who stopped going to Mass a decade ago. Your priest’s reach is limited… they can’t go where you can go.

-Scott Hahn-
Evangelizing Catholics, 2014

This makes me think… about how prayer fuels evangelization

The key to sharing your faith is living always in the presence of God. In the first place this means living a sacramental life of frequent Communion and regular confession. You must also have an active prayer life. Being aware of God’s presence in your life means you will always be asking, “Lord, what do YOU want me to do in this situation?” And I must tell you that living in the presence of God is essential in order to practice virtue and to keep away from sin.

The Catholic Church needs laypeople who want to live in the presence of God, who know the truths of the Faith, and who are willing and able to share them with others. I often tell the story of a five-year-old boy I met at a conference. He tugged on my pants leg and asked, “Hey, mister, do you know who made you?”

“Yes.”

“Who?”

I answered, “God made me.”

“That’s right,” he beamed, “and God made me, too!”

This little fellow had just learned the answer to his first catechism question and was already sharing it with others! The point is that 99 percent of the Church that is laypeople all need to be like that little boy: ready, willing, and able to share our Faith… there is no substitute for personal contact. One-on-one evangelization is very powerful.

-Terry Barber-

How to Share Your Faith with Anyone

Lisa Hendey on Inter Nos on Catholic TV– a great synopsis of her life and work!

Lisa Hendey on Inter Nos on Catholic TV– a great synopsis of her life and work!

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 2.41.56 PMI first met Lisa Hendey at the end of 2004 through an email. Who would have known what would become it? Eventually I was writing regularly for Catholic Mom, back then when there was a little more than a dozen of us offering columns there. Today there’s close to 150 writers at CatholicMom.com and over the years, and I’m still there.

But I’m more than happy to be one of Lisa’s friends in real life.

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She’s been a friend in the trenches of motherhood, writing, and podcasting. I was pleased to write a sidebar for her back when her first book came out, The Handbook for Catholic Moms. And I was even more pleased when Ave Maria Press asked that I record portions of the Audiobook version for it too. And I’ve been a cheerleader for her successive books along the way.

What began as a small apostolate in her kitchen at her computer has mushroomed into a writing and speaking career, with travels around the USA, Canada, Rome, the Holy Land, and most recently, to Rwanda with Catholic Relief Services. Yes, she’s impressive, but she’s really got both feet on the ground, and a heart that is truly grounded by her love of God, the faith, and her family.

You can learn about Lisa, her family, and her work, in this television profile of all that we love about Lisa Hendey on Inter Nos, hosted by Fr. Bob Reed, the president of Catholic TV.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 2.41.01 PMWatch the episode on Catholic TV. 

 

Meet Missionaries Jonathan and Kristen Weiss – Married Twenty-Somethings with Family Missions Company

Meet Missionaries Jonathan and Kristen Weiss – Married Twenty-Somethings with Family Missions Company

Catholic Missionaries: Jonathan and Kristen Weiss and family

Catholic Missionaries: Jonathan and Kristen Weiss and family

Today is World Mission Sunday. Missionaries are on the front lines of the new evangelization!

Meet Jonathan and Kristen Weiss, a young married couple with two small children who are part of the lay community of missionaries with Family Missions Company. 

Listen to a podcast where Jonathan and Kristen Weiss share their story of how they became missionaries, and the rewards and challenges they face in the missionary life.

This post is part of the Bloggers on a Mission Campaign.