At the beginning of this week I received a call from a friend about a FREE resource that I had not yet heard about. I am sure that everyone is familiar with Dynamic Catholic, the organization run by Matthew Kelly that works to re-energize the Church and Catholics through books, programs, retreat, and parish events. I was familiar with all these, as well as many of the resources Dynamic Catholic offers.
What I had not heard about, and what I would like to share with all of you, is a program Dynamic Catholic offers called Parish Champion. What is a parish champion you might ask. It is a way to distribute FREE resources to people in your parish. Basically, every month, the Parish Champion receive a case (!) of free books or cd's in the mail, that you can then share with your pastor, your parish leadership team and fellow parishioners . In addition, you will receive materials and information about Dynamic Catholic Programs, as well as inside information about new programs and resources before they are released.
There is an application process to become a Parish Champion. Basically you have to fill out a form and the about you and the size of your parish. The application forms are reviewed at the end of each month after which Dynamic Catholic will contact you whether you have been accepted.
For more information see https://dynamiccatholic.com/parish-champion
Last week (or was it two weeks ago …Time is flying so fast) I posted a couple of recently read books. I thought I would follow it up with a couple of podcasts I have been enjoying on my commute to and from work:
The Cordial Catholic is a interview style podcast covering a wide variety of Catholic topics hosted by K. Albert Little. The host is a convert to Catholicism form non-denominational evangelicalism and the interviews are all expounding on why he is Catholic and what it means to be Catholic. Recent topics (and interviewees) include: an interview with Pat Flyn about Do Catholics have a personal relationship with Christ; and interview with Dr. Stacy Trasancos about Debunking the Science vs. Catholicism Conflict; and interview with Marcus Grodi about Why Become Catholic. The one with Marcus Grodi (Host of the Journey Home Show on EWTN) was very interesting since he is normally the one asking the questions.
St. Dymphna's Playbook: This is a podcast by Tommy Tighe (Author of the Catholic Hipster Handbook) is about the Catholicism and Mental Health. Tommy Tighe is a family councelor and the podcast covers things like therapy and answers questions from listeners about how to deal with family members and friends who suffer from mental illness and approaches to different treatments, about prayer, and about integrating Catholic faith with medical treatment of the illness. What I like about the podcast is that it opens the conversation about mental illness and how we can assist in de-stigmatizing the illness and assist people in getting the help they need.
The John Allen Show: This is a brand new podcast and part of the Word on Fire Institute. The show will air twice a week to discuss news from the Vatican. John Allen is a trusted Catholic Journalist and is the editor of Crux. The first episode aired on September 18, and covered the upcoming Synod for the Amazon. He gives the basic details of the story and then explains various elements, expounding on details of the story.
The Missionary Disciple Podcast This is a podcast by Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) a Canadian group whose mission is to evangelize students at university which produces great resources for evangelization such as the CCO Faith Studies Series. CCO is somewhat equivalent to FOCUS in the US. I started listening to the podcast in the summer, which means that they were on hiatus and re-running past talks from the Annual Rise-Up Conference. These talks were by such people as Fr. John O'Brien, Michael Dopp, Christine LaBrosse on various topics such as overcoming challenges in the spiritual life, parish renewal. I am looking forward to new episodes to learn more about evangelizing college students and young adults.
Additionally, there are quite a few podcasts available with Sunday Homilies. Most of you are probably familiar with Bishop Barron's homilies on the Word on Fire Podcast . At least two of our local pastors podcast their homilies: Fr. Bryan Stitt's homilies can be found on the Canton Catholics website and Msgr. Aucoin's homilies can be found on the Madrid-Waddington Catholics site .
Here are a few books that I have been reading.
Many of our parishes are distributing this little book to all their parishioners. It is an essay written from the heart of Bishop Barron that does not pull any punches about the current scandal in the Church as well as putting it in a historical and scriptural perspective. The essay acknowledges our pain and sadness and anger, but also encourages us to rise up and deepen our faith and commitment to holiness. It is in times of trial that Saint arise.
Yes, another book on discipleship. As you would expect from Jeff Cavins, noted scripture scholar and teacher, this book relies heavily on scripture and on the idea of discipleship in the time of Jesus, with the disciple following, and learning to live like, the rabbi. This is not an hour a week process, but rather and all encompassing, all-in, following of Christ that we are called to as disciples. It is a lifelong process requiring prayer, scripture, liturgy, sacraments, the Saint ..
There is a second volume (the Activated Disciple Challenge Guide) which I still need to purchase and review, but if it is anything as thorough as the book, I am sure it will be worth the price.
Of course, discipleship is more that reading about discipleship. We need to put what we learn into practice!
I reviewed this book recently on this blog HERE. Highly recommend, especially if your parish is considering running ALPHA.
This is a collection of essays from a variety of women about their own prayer lives. I is wonderful little book allowing us a glimpse in someone else's interior life, and then to reflect how we ourselves pray, and inspiring us to try new ways of connecting with God. This book would make a great book for a women's group or book club. Each essay ends with reflections to ponder, practice and pray and a wisdom from a woman saint.
This is a dense book which needs to be read slowly, written by a monk who is comfortable in his own skin. It is not so much a work where you want to take notes and use it to teach. It is more of a reflection on memories, literature, poetry, writings from the Desert Fathers and scripture. I found the book to bring to mind my own memories, ideas and see God's fingerprints in my own life's journey so far. It also made me realize that I need to re-read some of the classic literature that I haven't looked at since it was required reading in high school and college.
Currently, I am reading The Soul of the Apostolate by Jean Baptiste Chatard, OCSO written in 1946 but oh so applicable to today's life. I will write a review of than in a future blog post. What are you reading these days?
Today's resource is a website from the Archdiocese of Detroit. Archbishop Vigneron has called for a new Pentecost and Unleashing of the Gospel in his Archdiocese in a pastoral letter released on Vigil of Pentecost 2017. The website Unleash the Gospel is a repository for ideas, articles, resources to implement the plan in the Archdiocese of Detroit, but many of these ideas are useful anywhere in the Church.
For example some recent articles give ideas for sharing the Gospel with strangers or making the home a haven for faith by incorporating some simple faith practices. The website includes a digital magazine filled with articles, there is a podcast called the Open Door Policy which shares discipleship stories and discussions with people from the Archdiocese of Detroit who are living as missionary disciples.
Check out the website by clicking on the image above.
This week's highlighted resource is a workshop series offered by the Diocesen Department of Faith Formation called LEAD. LEAD stands for Leadership for Evangelization and Discipleship.
Each year the program offers three diocesan-wide events and several regional workshops geared to train and support parish ministers in their various apostolates to accomplish the diocesan priorities and goals. The LEAD events help parish ministers to develop their personal and professional skills as well as offer opportunities for prayer and networking with fellow ministers from across the diocese. There is a great opportunity to learn from each other and for collaboration.
Parishes can sign up for LEAD for an annual fee of $100 for which they can send one person from their designated leadership team, the most of the LEAD events are open to anyone working/volunteering in parish ministry for a nominal fee.
This year's (2019-2020) events include workshops built around the theme of "Holiness is possible by collaborating with God to create one holy moment at a time." The first of the three diocesan workshops is this weekend, but the other two events are:
March 9-10: The Catechumen's Journey: The Initiation Process in Lake Plaza
June 17-18: Recognizing the Challenge: Accepting the Mandate to Create Vibrant Parishes in Alex Bay.
In addition there will be three Easter Regional Events and three Western Regional Events.