Archive for 2013

Celebrating 2013

By : December 31, 2013

The year that is coming to a close was an interesting one from many perspectives. Personally it was one of the most consequential and fulfilling years of my whole life. And though there were some grave disappointments and set backs, I would say I enjoyed 2013 as much as any and more than most. Here […]

Christmas Eve 2013

By : December 27, 2013

Nine years ago we did something unexpected and, to many, unwelcome. We moved Christmas off campus. We decided to end the annual exercise in dysfunction and disappointment that was our Christmas Eve. The plan was to relocate our celebration in a setting that could accommodate our parishioners and allow us to welcome the visitors and […]

Patience & Complaint

By : December 16, 2013

Be patient. James 5.7 Patience is the virtue held high esteem in virtually every religious tradition: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. And it is a key characteristic of holding and having hope. It is about: –       accepting delay peacefully –       remaining calm through disappointments –       not getting annoyed with distractions –       not getting angry […]

The Bond of Acceptance and Hope

By : December 9, 2013

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to building him up. Romans 15.1 Instead of getting annoyed or angry with other people’s faults and failures, the Bible says we ought to bear them, and build them […]


By : December 2, 2013

I remember back before we started going to the fairgrounds for Christmas Eve we would try and have it at church. And everybody came to the early Mass and it was overwhelming and chaotic and it was a horrible experience. And then everybody would rush out as soon as communion was over. Side note: Some […]

Christ the King & Stewardship

By : November 25, 2013

Every year we take one Sunday (and only one Sunday out of the whole year), to talk about giving to our local church. We talk about money regularly, because Jesus did. But we only talk about giving to this church once a year, we call it Stewardship Sunday. And it is all about remembering and […]

The Giving God Notices (and wants)

By : November 16, 2013

Today, I want to address another obstacle we face that keeps us from giving to God. In Luke 21, we read, Jesus  looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. Luke 21.1 So Jesus is hanging outside the Temple on one of the last days of his life, and here’s how […]

The Kind of Church We Want to Be

By : November 11, 2013

Friday, November 8 we hosted our first ever conference for other churches. We called it “matter.” The purpose of the conference was to inspire, encourage, equip and challenge Catholic parishes to awaken the faithful, reach the lost and make church matter. The conference sold out 550 seats; we added 50 more and they sold out […]


By : November 1, 2013

The Matter conference is now less than a week away, and the official countdown is on. I’ll take this opportunity, probably my last given the way the week is shaping up, to give you a peak behind the curtain about what you can expect. A crowd. Organizers capped attendance at 550, which was all we […]


By : October 29, 2013

From time to time I like to give my faithful blog readers information on what’s new and what’s next. So, in no particular order, here goes: Travel/Speaking Stuff Tom and I were most recently in Dallas (second trip there this fall) presenting at a huge conference for religious educators and parish ministers. Earlier in the […]