Month: June 2011

Confirmation Boot Camp and the YOUCAT

For six four-hour days this month, I was part of the teaching duo for our Confirmation Boot Camp. A lot of people responded to me on Twitter and Facebook, wanting details and more information, so I’ll outline it a little here and share my new favorite Catholic resource, the YOUCAT. Now, I know that there are some reservations about the YOUCAT. Smarter, more conscientious people than me have shared their reservations. I can’t help but think that it’s just like tractors: you don’t want the first run. There are always warranty issues. It’s just how things are. (Which does not make the things that are “wrong” with the YOUCAT okay, mind you. I will leave it to you to do your own research on that.) I had received my YOUCAT review copy and found myself using it instead of the (ahem, ahem) faith formation program books to build my lessons. I found that I wanted the kids to have a copy of their own, so that they could look things up and participate. My main resources for teaching Confirmation Boot Camp were the Bible, the Catechism, and the YOUCAT. I used the textbook for a couple of the lessons, to get an idea of what was covered, but found that going to the direct material was so much more potent. About Confirmation Boot Camp Each day of Confirmation Boot...

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Reviewing A Biblical Walk through the Mass

I’ve only been Catholic for ten years. The only Mass I know is the Mass we have now. And I love it. It speaks to me, no matter if the music is bad, the homily is dry, the whole thing full of distractions (in pew and out). I was especially interested to receive a copy of A Biblical Walk through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do in the Liturgy, by Edward Sri. Before I read it, I heard him interviewed on Catholic Spotlight, and I was touched by his passion. Reading this book, I was even more touched by his passion. Here’s a man who not only loves the Eucharist and the Mass, but who can speak about it. His writing is like a glimpse at a lover’s heart–and I mean that in the highest possible sense. I feel like I can talk about the changes that are coming up, thanks to this book. More importantly, I feel a kinship to other Catholics and to the lovely reality that is our Eucharistic celebration of the Mass. This book has facts, yes. It has catechesis and important information that we should all understand before the first Sunday in Advent. But what I love about this book, and what makes it invaluable and a share-with-everyone read, though, is the beauty it shares. It does a great job with its double...

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Mrs. Jesus

A Mary Moment Monday post A good friend posted on my Facebook wall the other day: Thought of you the other night when the 4 y/o mentioned “Mrs. Jesus”. I asked him who that is (almost dreading the answer), and he answered very delightedly, “Jesus’ mommy!” My friend is not Catholic. I don’t think she has any interest in becoming Catholic. She is, however, very devout. Her kids probably not only know Jesus, but they can probably act out as many Bible stories as I can. I have no doubt that Jesus plays a very real, very tangible role in their young lives. I don’t know (I’ve never asked) how often non-Catholics talk about Mary. In my own non-Catholic upbringing, she showed up around Christmas and then was pretty absent the rest of the year. Jesus was the important one. Period. But there was no Mary-bashing in my background. I love even that non-Catholics can share my love of Jesus’ mommy. She’s a non-partisan sort, after all. Mama Mary doesn’t discriminate on the basis of anything. While I’d like to think that’s a very motherly trait, I’ll be honest: as a mother myself, I’m very discriminatory. I don’t want my kids hanging out with the wrong sort of people; I don’t want them exposed to the wrong sort of things; I don’t want them hurt in any way. Even...

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Stormy and Overcast with a Guarantee of Writing

Outside my window: The leaves of the silver maple are blowing against a gray sky. Around the house: The girls are watching PBS; the baby is sleeping. The dishwasher (still a novelty!) is purring across the kitchen. In my thoughts: My three-year-old has been uber-whiny of late. My grandmother gently suggested that I need to take her into my lap more, cuddle with her, give her more one-on-one attention. I’m trying to focus on that this week. In my plans: I am in the home stretch, says my editor at Pauline, of the editing process for my book. This is the book I was writing last summer, pregnant with the baby whose naps punctuate my day now. I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying the editing process–I credit the lovely folks at Pauline for that. And beyond that? I have another big writing project I have to buckle down on and a week of “recovery” slated for next week. Two weeks of Confirmation boot camp (which I plan to blog about at some point) really wore me out and hampered my unpacking, cleaning, and, well, everything! It was, however, a time of great blessings for me. In thanksgiving: For the young people who will be confirmed in November. For the young children in my house who have been hugging me a lot in the last few days....

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