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Showing posts from May, 2015

Watching our Children Stumble

Our babies. When they arrive they are helpless. We take care of their every need. Love them, change them, bathe them, feed them. Rock them. Sing to them. Hold them. Love them. And they grow… We read to them. Teach them. Pray for them. Pray with them. And they grow… We step back a little, let them fall, let them get back up, let them go. We hope they’ve learned how to handle life’s disappointment and hurt, while seeking life’s joy and pleasures. Our steps back, though important, are sometimes difficult.  When we see them stumble, we want to rush to catch them. We want to kiss the hurt away and make things better. Sometimes we can’t. My daughter has a beautiful soul. She’s not perfect, but she is responsible, prayerful, caring; A Godly young woman who selflessly serves others. Last week she experienced one of those moments in high school that really hurt. Even knowing that these moments shape and mold us, didn’t make it a

Tips for Planning a Catholic Women’s Retreat

My parish hosted our first Catholic Women’s retreat earlier this year. When we started planning the retreat, we decided to start from scratch and create a retreat to best reflect and meet the needs of our parish women. None of the organizational retreats out there really met the goals we wanted for our parish ladies. Creating a Catholic women’s retreat from the ground up was a bit overwhelming at first and we learned much along the way. Since this was my first time planning a retreat, I thought I would share a few tips we learned and will use in planning our next Catholic women’s retreat for 2016. 1. Create a Retreat Planning Team – Invite a group of women who will represent the women in your parish or the potential audience for your retreat. Identify people who will work well together with respect, but don’t necessarily think exactly the same. A unique and different perspective is beneficial to creating a retreat that will appeal to more women. Create opportunitie

Do you Binge Watch?

My husband and I like to watch tv. There, I said it. We really enjoy sitting on our comfy couch in front of our flat screen tv to watch hours of mindless entertainment when we can. Sometimes we watch together, sometimes by ourselves and sometimes with the whole family. (Don’t get me wrong, we also watch a lot of football and soccer.)  I can hear you now – “There’s NOTHING on TV!” So true. But, we’ve always been binge watchers. You know, the people who will sit and watch episodes of tv back to back for hours on end. Yep. We do that usually late into the night. In the days before DVRs and streaming services, we would buy our favorites on DVD and watch tv shows season by season. Lost, 24, Heroes, Stargate SG-1, and Band of Brothers to name a few. I guess you could say we were binge watching before it was called binge watching! When streaming tv services went mainstream with Netflix and Amazon Prime, we found many shows that were new to us and it just fed into our tende

Challenged as a Catechist by Third Graders

With the school year winding down, I have said my final farewell to my third grade faith formation class at my parish.  I love teaching third grade CCE.  Guiding these kids in the faith has brought me joy, tears, frustration, a desire to drink wine, gratitude and immense peace.  They have taught me so much about myself and challenged me in all the best ways possible.  Thinking about this year's class and my previous 3rd grade classes inspired me to list out how they've challenged me.  All the good and bad. They challenge me - ...to know my faith ...to have fun ...to demonstrate patience ...to get better at classroom management ...to think of new ways to teach ...to grow in holiness ...to answer really, really tough questions ...to admit I don't know the answer ...to explain my faith ...to reflect God's love to them ...to help them find peace and comfort in prayer ...to really believe what I teach them ...to live my faith out loud in my actions and wor

Rediscovering The Prodigal Son

Most of us are very familiar with Jesus' parable of The Lost Son in Luke 15:11-32 about the son who takes his inheritance early, runs away, spends all the money and eventually hits bottom.  When he comes back home, his father greets him with excitement and announces a celebration to honor his son's return home. The prodigal son has never been one of my favorites.  To me, the son is ungrateful, runs away, gets into trouble, comes back and is rewarded.  I've always identified more with the older brother who was there beside his father doing the "right" thing the whole time and wasn't celebrated.  Even as a child the Gospel story left me wondering if Jesus was telling us that Life isn't Fair.  After all, that's what my father told us all the time. But something finally clicked with me reading The Prodigal Son in preparing to teach it to my 3rd grade faith formation class. I've been looking at the story wrong all these years.  I've always