Christ in the Winepress

The Can’t-Be-Bothered Method of Anti-Evangelization

So you’re standing around before Mass and the priest says to you, “Listen, I’m busy. So I’ve decided to draw a line.  I know you’re properly prepared to receive Holy Communion, and there’s absolutely nothing in Church teaching or discipline…

Culture and Evangelization: Working with the People You’ve Got

One of the realities of parish and community life today is that we nearly always have a meeting of multiple cultures.  My own parish is home to first-generation European, Asian, Latin-American, Middle Eastern, and African immigrants, born-and-raised Americans from several…

What Makes a Small Discipleship Group Different from Other Groups?

Last month I wrote about the critical importance of small groups in parish life.  Even though we may feel a sense of belonging in a large community, genuine social interaction, including evangelization and discipleship, can only occur on the micro-scale….

The Feast of Dives Medieval Manuscript

Small Groups: The Best Most Dangerous Thing That Can Happen to Your Parish

I was recently invited to sit in on a small-group faith formation session at a parish in my diocese.  It was everything you could hope for, truly a picture of what is best in the revival of the Catholic faith…

Catholicism Is for People Who Don’t Fit in

I recently visited a nearby Evangelical congregation where everyone had a particular “look”. It wasn’t a bad look.  It was good. They were delightful people who clearly loved God and loved their neighbor.   There was a certain clean-cut wholesomeness to the…

What is Discipleship?

At a discussion forum for Sherry Weddell’s book Forming Intentional Disciples, someone asked, “What does discipleship look like?”  It’s easy to talk about the need for discipleship without having a clear grasp of what it is.  If you did not grow up in…

Anatomy of a Liturgically-Centered Evangelizing Ministry

Last month I wrote in broad terms about how scheduling decisions affect our ability to evangelize. This month I’d like to look at a case study to show how these principles can be applied in real life. Background: The Apostolate …

Scheduling Evangelization into Parish Life

If you want to make something happen, put it on the calendar. Want to exercise more? Set days and times aside for exercising. Can’t seem to find time for prayer or Bible study? You can’t just hope you’ll “find the…

Come to Mass Ugly, Please

For the last twenty years I’ve kept a working cat around the house, which means I know exactly what they’re talking about in the expression, “You look like something the cat dragged in.” That something is not necessarily dead. More…

Mid-Easter Evangelization

Every Easter there’s drama at my house: When, oh when, will we finally have that Easter Egg hunt?  My poor children have heard the dreaded words too often to count: “It’s not Pentecost yet, kids, we still have time!” Way…