February 11, 2013, Volume VII, Number 6
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Monday of Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
ASH WEDNESDAY – February 13, 2013
Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius – February 14, 2013
Valentine’s Day (USA) – February 14, 2013
YEAR OF FAITH - Oct. 11, 2012, through Nov. 24, 2013
Question of the Week
For the First Sunday of Lent, February 17, 2013
“…was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.” When have
you felt led into the desert? What are the circumstances that drove you into the desert? How
would you describe this desert? What is it about a desert that makes it easier for the devil to
tempt us? Which of the temptations was greatest for you? What ultimately caused the devil to
“depart from you for a time”?
Please “LIKE” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NCCLonline – we
have over 330 LIKES.
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going on in your catechetical environment?
Norma May Pokorny, Mother of Gary Pokorny is Born to Eternal Life
Norma Mary (nee Langen) Pokorny, passed to eternal life Saturday
January 26, 2013 age 89 years. She was the beloved wife of George and
the dear mother of Mike (Carol), Gary (Jeanne) Pokorny and Sandy
(Chris) Karcher. Mass of Christina burial was held Thursday, February 7
at St. Aloysius Church. Condolences can be sent to Gary at
[email protected] or you can sign the Guest Book at
A Valentine for God
Kathy Hendrix, in her We Believe and Share blog, sponsored by
Sadlier, notes “A bishop once said that he considered prayers of
adoration our “valentines to God.” In them, we express our utter
delight and fascination with being cherished by a God whom we
recognize in the smiles, hugs and “luv u” messages received from
others. She then offers us this Valentine and suggests that we write
There are also some thoughts on Lenten Grace. You can download the
Valentine in English and/or Spanish at http://info.sadlier.com/avalentine-for-god-prayer-download?hsCtaTracking=0403fc69-a2574ee5-af74-1f471ba88c91%7Cc65aa0d9-aed8-45ab-90c6336fba9d0310
New PCRC Chair Announced
President Bill Miller has announced that Joe Swiss has accepted
the responsibilities of chair of the NCCL Partner Certification
Review Committee (PCRC) and thereby a member of the
National Certification Review Committee (NCRC). We are also
pleased to announce that Carol Jadach has agreed to serve, along
with Chris Malmevik and Mary Jo Waggoner, as members of the
PCRC. At the same time, NCCL expresses its gratitude to Ken
Gleason who served as NCCL’s first chair of the PCRC and to
Charlene who recently resigned from the PCRC. Their work and
participation during this first year of national certification has
been fruitful. Anyone interested in national certification as a
catechetical leader can find all they need to know at
http://www.lemcertification.org/. The next deadline for applications is March 1, 2013.
Pope Benedict: 'The Church Has Confidence in Young People'
The Holy Father stated that the reality of youth today is very complex
and that it can no longer be understood within a homogeneous cultural
universe, but needs to be understood within a horizon that can be defined
as a "multiverse", determined, that is, by a plurality of views,
perspectives and strategies." "It is appropriate to speak of "youth
cultures", since the elements distinguishing and differentiating the
cultural phenomena and areas outweigh those which, though present, are
common to them," the Pope said.
"Several factors contribute to form a cultural landscape that is increasingly fragmented and in
continuous, rapid evolution, to which the social media are certainly no strangers, these new
communication tools that facilitate and sometimes themselves cause continuous and rapid
changes in mentality, customs, and behavior."
"The religious dimension, too," the Holy Father continued, "the experience of faith and one's
belonging to the Church are often lived from a privatistic and emotive perspective." Despite the
challenges, Pope Benedict XVI stated that there is also very positive phenomenon, describing the
"generous and courageous" youth volunteers who dedicate their lives to the needy as well as
those who "joyfully bear witness to their belonging to the Church."
While the problematic situations of the today's society can also affect
one's faith and sense of belonging to the Church, Pope Benedict XVI
renewed the Church's faith in young people.
Referring to the Second Vatican Council's address to young people, the
Holy Father called on the youth to serve as grounds for reflection and
inspiration for the new generation. The Pope renewed Paul VI's appeal
to you the world's youth to "fight against all egoism. Refuse to give
free course to the instincts of violence and hatred, which beget wars and all their sad train of
miseries. Be generous, pure, respectful, sincere. And build in enthusiasm a better world than
your elders had!"
"I, too, wish to reaffirm this forcefully: the Church has confidence in young people, she hopes in
them and in their energies, she needs them and their vitality, to continue to live with renewed
enthusiasm the mission entrusted them by Christ," the Holy Father said. For the full text of the
Holy Father's address, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-the-plenaryassembly-of-the-pontifical-council-for-culture
Theologian: American Youth a Ravaged But Promising Mission Field
In sexual morality, family life and education, the Baby Boom generation
ushered in a series of cultural changes that led to an "anthropological
crisis" in American society, leaving younger generations yearning
acutely for what the Catholic Church has to offer. That is the assessment
of Pia de Solenni, a Seattle-based writer with theology degrees from two
Vatican-chartered universities, who now serves as a consultant to the
Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. She spoke with Catholic
News Service in Rome while participating in the plenary assembly of the
Pontifical Council for Culture, which met in early February to address
the theme of "emerging youth cultures."
The sexual revolution, promoted by mass media and facilitated by
abortion and contraception, led to a breakdown of the family, so that an estimated 40 percent of
births in the U.S. today are to single mothers, de Solenni said. "There is something missing there,
in terms of a father for the child, the security of knowing that your mother and father love each
other," she said. Lacking complete or stable families, many raised since the 1970s have failed to
develop the capacity for strong and intimate relationships, de Solenni said. They have also failed
to receive religious education in the home, which the church teaches should be the primary site
of such instruction.
Yet the ethos of promiscuity is losing its luster for the young, de Solenni said, pointing to
evidence from popular culture. In the last decade the television series "Sex and the City"
portrayed a libertine lifestyle as a glamorous option for women, she said, but the current hit
"Girls" highlights the anomie and alienation that such behavior produces.
Vatican Invites Rock Band To Explain Youth Culture
When the head of the Pontifical Council for Culture said he wanted to
listen to what today's young people had to say, he wasn't afraid to hear it
belted out at 100 decibels. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi invited members
of the Italian rock group, The Sun, to speak their minds through music to
the cardinals, bishops, lay members and advisers of the council, as well
as to a large contingent of foot-stomping, cheering young fans.
It was the first time a Vatican dicastery had a rock group as the "opening
act" of its plenary assembly -- usually a routine, speech-filled, sit-down
affair where members come together a few days to discuss a relevant
theme. "We adults, older generations, and we priests have to make an
effort to not put (young people) under a sort of microscope, but go to their level and begin to
listen a little to what the rhythm of their mind, their heart is like," Cardinal Ravasi told Vatican
Radio. While Vatican VIPs weren't dancing in the aisles, many read through the lyrics and
applauded with smiles.
Asked "what helps attract young people to the church?" the
responses included, "credible and enthusiastic witnesses," but
also pilgrimages to the Holy Land, a chance to have a personal
spiritual guide and outlets for artistic expression, the booklet
said. "What do you want from the church?" evoked responses
like greater trust in laypeople, putting the great questions of life
front and center, and clear, sincere honest dialogue where
formality and abstract ideas get set aside now and then, it said.
"What keeps the church and young people apart?" elicited replies like not understanding the
reasons behind positions the church takes, "ostentatious wealth," a lack of answers to people's
questions and poor communication skills. "The church has lots of beautiful things to say" about
things young people care about, "but it needs to find a way to say it" and have that message reach
young men and women everywhere, Lorenzi said.
"A great speech without contact is at risk" of going nowhere, he said, while if it's coupled with
warm and genuine outreach, "the incredible can happen."
Our observance of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 13 this year, and is a
a day of fast and abstinence for Catholics. At Mass on Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes
replicates an ancient penitential practice and symbolizes our dependence upon God's mercy and
During this Lent, the U.S. bishops are encouraging Catholics to make
going to confession a significant part of their spiritual lives. They have
issued a statement, "God's Gift of Forgiveness: The Pastoral
Exhortation on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation"
can be distributed and shared in parishes. Dioceses are encouraged to
make the sacrament available often during Lent and to use these
resources (http://www.usccb.org/prayer-andworship/sacraments/penance/sacrament-of-penance-diocesanresources.cfm) to promote participation. USCCB is also providing
resources to help individuals (http://www.usccb.org/prayer-andworship/sacraments/penance/sacrament-of-penance-resources-for-individuals.cfm) who have not
been to confession in a while "rediscover" the sacrament.
The three traditional pillars of Lenten observance are prayer
(http://tiny.cc/0o05rw) , fasting (http://tiny.cc/8p05rw) and almsgiving
(http://tiny.cc/xr05rw). The Church asks us to surrender ourselves to
prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms.
The fasting that all do together on Fridays is but a sign of the daily
Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain
periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other
things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally—not
only through the distribution of money, but through the sharing of our time and talents.
The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link
to baptismal renewal. We are called not just to abstain from sin during
Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ.
We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ's death, died
to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ. At the USCCB website
(http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgicalresources/lent/index.cfm) you will find a variety of suggestions and
resources to support your Lenten practice, enhance your prayer, and embrace your baptismal
HHS Proposal Falls Short In Meeting Church Concerns
The Feb. 1 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services related to the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (PPACA) shows some movement by the
Administration but falls short of addressing U.S. bishops' concerns.
"Throughout the past year, we have been assured by the Administration
that we will not have to refer, pay for, or negotiate for the mandated
coverage. We remain eager for the Administration to fulfill that pledge and to find acceptable
solutions—we will affirm any genuine progress that is made, and we will redouble our efforts to
overcome obstacles or setbacks," said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in a February 7 statement.
"Thus, we welcome and will take seriously the Administration's invitation to submit our
concerns through formal comments, and we will do so in the hope that an acceptable solution can
be found that respects the consciences of all. At the same time, we will continue to stand united
with brother bishops, religious institutions, and individual citizens who seek redress in the courts
for as long as this is necessary."
He listed three key areas of concern: the narrow understanding of a religious ministry;
compelling church ministries to fund and facilitate services such as contraceptives, including
abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization that violate Catholic teaching; and disregard of the
conscience rights of for-profit business owners. These are the same concerns articulated by the
USCCB Administrative Committee in its March 2012 statement, United for Religious Freedom.
Cardinal Dolan said the new proposal seemed to address one part of the church's concern over
the definition of a church ministry but stressed that "the Administration's proposal maintains its
inaccurate distinction among religious ministries.
Cardinal Dolan highlighted problems with the proposed accommodation. "It appears that the
government would require all employees in our 'accommodated' ministries to have the illicit
coverage—they may not opt out, nor even opt out for their children—under a separate policy,"
he said. He also noted that "because of gaps in the proposed regulations, it is still unclear how
directly these separate policies would be funded by objecting ministries, and what precise role
those ministries would have in arranging for these separate policies. Thus, there remains the
possibility that ministries may yet be forced to fund and facilitate such morally illicit activities."
You can read Cardinal Dolan’s statement at http://www.usccb.org/news/2013/13-037.cfm.
Patch offers Scouts chance to 'delve more deeply' into Year of Faith
A Scoutmaster in Dodge City has developed what may be the only
Scout patch program in the nation for the Year of Faith. Bishop John
B. Brungardt of Dodge City was the catalyst for the patch, said
Scoutmaster Tim Wenzl of Troop 162 in Dodge City and spokesman
for the diocesan Committee on Scouting. "When Pope Benedict
announced the Year of Faith, Bishop Brungardt held a (diocesan)
directors' meeting and asked us to think of ways we could tie our departments and organizations
into the Year of Faith," said Wenzl, who also is diocesan archivist and media liaison.
He knew just the thing that would motivate his Scouts: a colorful patch. "Scouts like to earn
patches," said Wenzl, "whether it's for rank advancement or merit badges." Wenzl learned how
popular a Catholic patch program could be when he initiated a Year of the Eucharist patch in
2004 and got inquiries from Scout units in 39 states and one foreign country.
The patch may be earned by Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Venturers and their adult
leaders. Members of parish youth groups may also earn the patch. It is a self-administered
program monitored by adult leaders. The patch is earned by completing a series of requirements.
Separate requirements have been developed for three age groups: first through fifth grades, sixth
through twelfth, and adults. The patch can only be earned during the Year of Faith. The
requirements can be obtained by going to the website at: www.dcdiocese.org. Scroll down to last
half of homepage and click on the red-and-white Year of Faith patch.
Adult leaders have their own list of activities to complete to earn the patch. Patches can be
ordered by contacting Wenzl at: [email protected] or by writing: Year of Faith Scout Patch,
Diocese of Dodge City, P.O. Box 137, Dodge City, KS 67801. Patches are $5 each. Checks
should be made payable to the Catholic Committee on Scouting. Please list the number of
patches needed and the date of the awards presentation. For information, call Wenzl at (620)
Lenten Options from Loyola
What are you doing for Lent this year? Loyola Press offers some suggestions for ways to observe
Lent with the help of online offerings.
On People for Others, each Wednesday Paul will share a video post on a Lenten theme.
At Days of Deepening Friendship, Vinita Hampton Wright will host her
annual online Lenten retreat, with a theme this year of Praying
Freedom, drawing from her new book and inspiration from other wise
women authors. You can order Praying Freedom: Lenten Meditations
to Engage Your Mind and Free Your Soul.
• An Ignatian Prayer Adventure is an eight-week online adaptation of the
Spiritual Exercises and a wonderful way to go on retreat during Lent
and Easter. This year PFO friend Michelle Francl-Donnay and Greg Herrle will be
sharing their experiences with the retreat through posts on our sister blog dotMagis.
• Other6 Prays Lent provides daily prompts to help us broaden our thinking about where
God can be found.
• +3 Minutes for Lent returns for a second year for our Facebook fans, with reflections
based on the 3-Minute Retreat.
For even more Lent ideas, check out IgnatianSpirituality.com’s Lent resources or the ones at
52 Quotes from the Documents of Vatican II
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, and continuing each Wednesday, eCatechist will
present one of 52 Quotes from the Documents of Vatican II. These were selected
and prepared by Ed Hahnenberg, author of A Concise Guide to the Documents of
Vatican II. You can receive these quotes and other articles by subscribing to the
Monthly Email Update at http://ecatechist.typepad.com/.
It is their hope that these quotes will provide an overview of the themes of the
Documents and motivate catechists and catechetical leaders to read, study and use
the Documents of Vatican II for catechist formation and certification. These 52 Quotes will all
also appear on the eCatechist Page on Facebook. If you haven't already done so, please subscribe
to the Monthly Email Update (http://ecatechist.typepad.com/).
Learning to Pray Online
If growing in prayer was always challenging, today it is harder than ever. That's one of the
reasons Father John Bartunek decided to create "Do-It-Yourself Retreat Guides" as an online
resource for Catholics seeking a tool to help them "create space for the Holy Spirit" each month.
Father Bartunek's next set of retreats are to be released in the coming days, in time for next
week's celebration of Ash Wednesday.
When asked why he decided to create these guides, Father Bartunek responded:
We started producing the Retreat Guides for three reasons, basically. First, since Day 1 of
his Pontificate, Benedict XVI has been insisting on the primacy of prayer in the life of
every individual Christian, and in the life of the Church. If we aren't growing in our
prayer life, we simply can't grow in our friendship with God. But prayer is tough.
Especially in a post-Christian, post-modern world. An authentic spiritual life is radically
counter-cultural. So we all need help to go deeper in our prayer life. The Retreat Guides
are tools designed to help people do that.
Second, the Holy Father has also been insisting -- again and again -- on the importance of
finding creative ways to evangelize the Digital Continent: the new area of human
exchange that is being built by the Internet. The Retreat Guides bring nourishing Catholic
spirituality to people in a brand new way through this medium.
Third, my own religious order has been making a lot of adjustments in how our men
spend their time. We have been consolidating small religious communities into larger
communities. As a result, we are no longer present at all in specific cities or geographical
areas where members of my order used to preach retreats on a regular basis. We are
hoping that the online, Do-It-Yourself-Retreat Guides can continue serving the people in
those places where we can no longer serve person-to-person.
A new Retreat Guide comes out every month. Each one is available in video format, but also in
audio and PDF -- so you can watch the Retreat Guide, listen to it, or read it. Each Retreat Guide
includes five elements: a two-minute video introduction, two meditation-starters, an eight- to 10minute video conference, a personal questionnaire and Scripture passages to foster personal
prayer. The next Retreat Guide, "The Colors of the Cross: A Retreat Guide for Lent," is
scheduled to be available by Ash Wednesday. Previous guides are all still available for free
online at www.RCSpirituality.org.
Lent in a Year of Faith: How to Proclaim the Gospel with Power-February 12
Loyola Press, A Jesuit Ministry, offers you A Webinar
for the New Evangelization that will be
facilitated by Joe Paprocki, DMin. Joe is
an author, a speaker, and a catechist in the Archdiocese of Chicago with over 30
years of experience in pastoral ministry. Joe Paprocki, national consultant for
faith formation at Loyola Press, has written numerous books, including the bestselling The Catechist's Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education
Teacher and A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic's Guide to Knowing and Sharing
What We Believe. He is also the host of the blog Catechist's Journey. This FREE
webinar will be offered on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00
Lent is a time for us to renew our baptismal
commitment to follow Jesus and to proclaim the Good
News to others. This experience is heightened by taking
place during a Year of Faith. In this Webinar, Joe
Paprocki, DMin, will identify the focus of Lent and how, during this
Year of Faith, it presents us with a unique opportunity to learn how to
proclaim the Gospel in such a way as to transform lives. Joe will
identify 9 key strategies for proclaiming the Gospel for the New
Evangelization. You can register for
this FREE webinar by going to Lent with Joe Paprocki
Operation Rice Bowl 2013
CRS Rice Bowl, historically known as Operation Rice Bowl, is
an opportunity to pray, fast and give alms in solidarity with our
brothers and sisters around the world. We pray as a community,
fast in solidarity with those who are hungry, and give concrete
assistance to those most in need, while we learn about the joys
and challenges in the lives of our brothers and sisters globally.
Participation can be simple and very fruitful. Order free materials
for your community, available in English and Spanish, on the
CRS website (http://www.crsricebowl.org/). A wealth of
materials are available to supplement the rice bowls, including
videos, recipes from the countries of focus, lesson plans, and
guides for parish leaders and educators.
CRS Rice Bowl Resources for
Parishes provides a rich spiritual experience for all people and
ministries in the parish during the season of Lent. You can
download the Coordinator's Guide (http://tiny.cc/x96drw). You
can view a short video CRS Rice Bowl is Growing
FREE Webinar: LENT: A Time for Conversion – February 19 at 1:00PM EST
The season of Lent is a time of conversion and
spiritual renewal. Powerful liturgies and
profound scripture readings call us to
encounter Christ in new and deeper ways.
What does Lent have to say to Catholics as individuals? What does it have to
say to our Catholic parishes? In this webinar we will explore central themes of
Lent for the Year of Faith, and discuss practical methods for whole-parish
"catechesis for conversion" in a distinctly Lenten mode. Join Rita Ferrone, an award-winning
writer and speaker in the areas of liturgy, catechesis, and renewal in the Catholic Church, on
Tuesday, February 19 at 1:00 PM EST for the Year of Faith Webinar: Themes of Renewal for
Lent. Rita is the author of the Bulletin Inserts and Small Group Participant Booklet for Adults for
Living the Eucharist, published by Paulist Evangelization Ministries and sponsor of this webinar.
Register here.(http://tiny.cc/qhwmrw). Learn more about the Year of Faith Webinars
Nominate a Young Adult Catholic Age 18-35 for Leadership Award
The nomination process is now open for the 2013 Cardinal Bernardin New
Leadership Award. This award honors a Catholic young adult (age 18-35)
engaged in efforts to end the root causes of poverty in the United States. The
winner receives $1,000 and is honored at an annual reception attended by
dozens of bishops. Watch a video about the 2012 winner. (Injustice Calls
Christians to Act). Help us celebrate young adult involvement in the mission
of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to fight poverty in the
United States. For more information, please go to
Nominate Young Adults To Be Conference Participants
Fostering new professionals into the catechetical ministry is a priority
around the nation. The National Conference of Catechetical Leadership
(NCCL) seeks to encourage young people to consider this ministry
through its Young Adult Initiative and its Young Adult Professional
Catechetical Minister Scholarship.
The purpose of this Young Adult Initiative is to:
raise awareness about professional catechetical ministry among young adults who might
be discerning ecclesial professional roles
foster arch/diocesan involvement in bringing forth strong candidates for professional
catechetical ministry among young adults
create an awareness in young adults of the benefits of gathering with NCCL, the
professional organization for catechetical leaders which includes parish and diocesan
leaders, academic members, and publishers
The purpose of the Young Adult Professional Catechetical Minister Scholarship is to:
raise awareness about a career as a professional catechetical ministry among young adults
who are currently employed in an ecclesial professional catechetical role
foster arch/diocesan involvement in affirming professional catechetical ministry among
young adults employed in the catechetical field
create an awareness in young adults of the benefits of gathering with NCCL, the
professional organization for catechetical leaders which includes parish and diocesan
leaders, academic members, and publishers
To nominate candidates, the person’s immediate supervisor should e-mail Mark Buckley
([email protected]) or Michelle Tomshack ([email protected]), NCCL
Membership Committee co-chairs. NCCL’s Membership Committee will determine the
awardees and notify them via e-mail no later than March 15, 2013. For specific requirements and
application procures, please go to NCCL website (www.NCCL.org) under the News and Events
The Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Symposium
This week, I am going to address Parish Life
Coordinators Ministry (PLC). Their research,
through CARA, sent a questionnaire in 2004 to all
persons who held that position. They discovered
there are 36 unique job titles for these ministers
with the most common being Pastoral
Administrator, Administrator, Parish Life Coordinator, and Pastoral Coordinator;
60% of parish life coordinators are women. 43% were women religious, 26%
were lay men and women, and 26% were deacons. The complete findings of the 2004 report are
available on the Emerging models of Pastoral leadership web site www.emergingmodels.org.
The report includes a diocese-by-diocese accounting of the use of the PLC model.
In Phase Two of the Emerging Models PCL research, they conducted two additional surveys.
The Conclusions/Findings include
1. While PLC parishes exhibit some shortcomings, they offer a viable option for preserving
a congregation’s life and ministry.
2. PLC parishes seem to excel at engendering in their parishioners a greater openness to
increased involvement in the parish and its ministry.
3. Along with consolidated parishes, PLC parishes have the highest percentage of attendees
(45%) who travel beyond a closer parish to worship there.
4. PLC parishes do slightly less well at providing quality Masses and liturgies in general –
most likely due to lack of the consistent presence of a resident priest
5. People are attracted to PLC parishes frequently by the quality of their programs and
6. In general, those who attend PLC parishes rate many aspects of their pastoral life at levels
that are comparable to how parishioners in traditional, multicultural, multiple and
consolidated parishes rate their experiences.
7. Parishioners and attendees of PLC parishes have a higher regard for many aspects of
parish life than do the leaders of those parishes.
You can read the complete report Parish Life Coordinator's Ministry (http://tiny.cc/ouu7rw).
Write a White Paper for the NCCL Annual Conference and Exposition
This is the fourth year that NCCL invites members to consider
developing a white paper around a topic of interest. White papers are an
opportunity for writers and thinkers to put their thoughts and ideas into a scholarly work that is
used to educate members, to help people understand an aspect of how theory might be translated
into practical ideas or even how to make decisions regarding changes they may wish to
undertake or even solve a problem or shed light on a dilemma. This year’s topic stems from the
USCCB document Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization
Anne Comeaux, a NCCL Past-President and former Director of the Office of Evangelization and
Catechesis in Galveston-Houston is serving as chair. All submissions and any questions can be
directed to her at [email protected] Further information on this year’s topic and the
requirements can be found at https://nccl.wildapricot.org/resource/papers. If you look further
down on the page you will find some of the White Papers that were accepted for 2011 and 2012.
Quick Fire 2013: Rapid Resources – Nominate Yourself and/or a Colleague
Mary Fran Needs Your Help! During the Christmas season she was ill
and out of the office long enough for her email-box to be full and shut
down. If you sent in your participation form for Rapid Resources, please
do it again and if you just thought about doing it, now is the time as
there is less than one month left to submit an application. Don’t hesitate.
Do it today.
Interested in presenting a Rapid Resources session?
Have you developed an effective program, resource, or other information for your diocese or
Have a book or a piece of research you would like to share with your peers?
Have an innovative response to a catechetical need?
Then NCCL wants you to present a Rapid Resource session at our 2013 Conference in
Quick Fire 2013 is a great way for conference participants to learn new ideas and network
This Rapid Resource gathering consists of four 10 minute sessions.
Presenters will give a fast 7 minute presentation to a small group
(up to ten people) followed by 3 minutes for discussion. At the end
of the ten minutes, presenters will give the group a one-page
handout that includes their contact information. People will then
move to another Rapid Resource session.
NCCL Committees will also present Rapid Resource sessions so that participants can learn
about NCCL's activities and how they can become involved.
To nominate yourself as a Rapid Resource presenter, please complete the Rapid Resource
nomination form available on the Home Page of the NCCL website (www.NCCL.org) or
you can download and complete the APPLICATION FORM. The Conference Committee
will review your submission based on the following criteria:
• clarity of description of the content and presentation methods
• relevance/audience interest, importance, focus
• presenter's experience, qualifications and expertise
(The review process does not apply to sessions by NCCL committees.)
Good Advice for Parents from a Mom – Hands Free Mama
I just came across this article. It was written on December 1 and
was targeted for Christmas but the message is good for all year
long. As I read, I went to this woman’s blog and was moved by
her sensitivity and insights about raising children. I have no idea
if she belongs to a faith community but I do know she prays. “I
prayed for each of my twelve students, but selfishly I prayed for
the strength to make it through the day.” Her actions are grounded in goodness and that’s why I
am sharing it with you. In her welcome statement on her blog she writes:
I’m going Hands Free. I want to make memories, not to-do-lists. I want to feel the
squeeze of my daughter's arms, not the pressure of over-commitment. I want to get lost in
conversation with my spouse, not consumed by a sea of unimportant emails. I want to be
overwhelmed by sunsets that give me hope, not by extracurricular commitments that steal
my joy. I want the noise of my life to be a mixture of laughter and gratitude, not the
intrusive buzz of cell phones and text messages. I am letting go of distraction,
disconnection, and perfection to live a life that simply, so very simply, consists of what
really matters. I’m going Hands Free. And if this sounds like a life you want to start
living, come along. A Hands Free revolution starts here! I hope you will join me!
The original piece I read, The Gift that Matters (http://tiny.cc/ifw8rw),
includes five (5) important concepts about “what makes the way children
give so meaningful.” This piece is towards the end of the blog so you will
have to scroll down a bit. Before you scroll down, you might take a
glance at the February 6 posting, On the Other Side of Fear
(http://www.handsfreemama.com/ ) for a great lesson on how to deal with
fear in your own child. And if you are like me, you will probably stop and read a few more
before you get to The Gift that Matters (http://tiny.cc/ifw8rw). If you are not too tired and you
are willing to shed a few tears about the power of presence, then take the time to read Loving a
Child Through the Challenges of Life (http://tiny.cc/s0w8rw). Here are her concluding lines.
I think of Kyle in those moments when I don’t know what to do or what to say when I
look into my children’s troubled eyes.
That is when I see Kyle’s face and remember I don’t always have to have the answer.
Because sometimes there is no clear-cut answer.
And I remember I don’t always have to “fix” their
troubled hearts. Because there will be times when I can’t.
I think of Kyle and remember the power of presence.
Because it’s possible to say, “I won’t let you go through
this alone,” without muttering a single word.
Thank you, Kyle, for revealing the key to loving a child
through the challenges of life.
Sometimes our mere presence is enough.
Sometimes it is exactly what is needed to change a
dismal situation into one of hope.
There is a follow-up to Kyle’s story and it is at the end of When Life isn't Pretty
StoryCorps: A Life Defined Not By Disability, But By Love
Myra says she always protected her mother, who’s intellectually disabled, from
rude stares. In this StoryCorps episode she interviews her mother who also
interviews her as well. Listen to Bonnie and Myra Brown’s story at
Coping With The Loss Of A Newborn Child
I have friends who lost a child at birth and we still celebrate
Samuel’s birthday. But until I heard this program I had never
thought about how difficult it would be to carry twins knowing that
one of them would die shortly after birth. This is a story to give you
an insight that may help you in your ministerial role. Sarah and Ross
Gray play with their son Callum on a playground in Washington,
D.C. They lost Callum's twin, Thomas, a few days after the boys
were born. You can listen to this eight (8) minute segment at
The Bible Series is coming 3.13.13!
This past week, I joined about 200 other Christian leaders in the DC area for a
preview of The Bible. The scenes were introduced by the executive producers
Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and Mark Burnett (The Voice, the
Survivor series). He initial showing will be on the history Channel with the last
segment on Easter Sunday evening. This is a 10 hour program and they are
telling a story about God and Jesus. Good stories are about emotional connections and the Bible
is a good story. Let’s hope these ten hours will come across as a response to one of the hopes
with which Cardinal Wuerl left the synod when he said the Church of today is “very much facing
our world like the early Church, like those early disciples, aware that we have a wonderful story
to tell, the story of Jesus Christ.”
If you are looking for an exact rendering from the Bible you will be
disappointed. While I did not feel they misrepresented any of the words
of Jesus, they did take some literary license. They also appear to use a lot
of flashbacks. Remember they only had 10 hours and they didn’t want to
confuse people who may be unfamiliar with the Bible; so they made
decisions like Peter is called Peter all the way through and Paul of Tarsus has the same name
throughout that sequence. I did note that Herod is present at the beheading of John the Baptist.
The movie opens on the Ark with Noah telling his family the story of creation to calm their fears.
They referenced a quote from Michelangelo that there has been
enough criticism, now we need creativity and that story is
designed to evoke thought but the Church, as teacher, helps
people to untie the knots. With that understanding, I feel the
movie will tell a compelling story and we may have to untie a few
knots. You can check out their Faith Resources website for more
information and sign up for exclusive clips, behind the scenes,
images and videos at www.BibleSeriesResources.com. You can get a new EXTENDED look at
“The Bible” Series with never-before-seen footage at http://bit.ly/XVBgF2
Pope Benedict XVI: Creation Story Isn't Science But Reveals God's Love
The biblical account of creation isn't a textbook for science,
Pope Benedict XVI said. Instead, the first chapter of Genesis
reveals the fundamental truth about reality: that the world is not
the result of chaos, but is born of and continually supported by
God's love. In an age of science and advanced technology, how
are Catholics supposed to understand the Old Testament account
of creation that says God created the heavens and earth in six
days, and rested on the seventh? the pope asked.
"The Bible isn't meant to be a manual of natural science. Instead it is meant to make
understandable the authentic and deep truth of all things," the Pope said. The creation account in
Genesis reveals the fundamental truth that "the world is not a collection of opposing forces, but
has its origin and steadiness in the Word, in the eternal reason of God, who continues to sustain
The creation story also points to the fact, he said, that God has a plan for the world and for
humanity, a plan that gives people "the courage to face the adventure of life with trust and hope."
It shows that everything God creates is "beautiful and good, filled with wisdom and love; God's
creative action brings order, leads to harmony and gives beauty," Pope Benedict said.
It also means, he said, that "we all carry in us the vital breath of God, and every human life, the
Bible tells us, is under the specific protection of God. This is the most
profound reason behind the inviolability of human dignity against every
temptation to measure a person's worth using criteria of utility and
power," he said.
The description of the Garden of Eden means that God gave humanity,
"not a wild forest, but a place that protects, nourishes and sustains," he
said. "Man must not see the world as his own property to pillage and
exploit, but as a gift from God" to safeguard and develop with respect "following the rhythms
and logic" of God's plan. But while God created "a universe of goodness, harmony and beauty,"
human beings freely chose to believe in lies over the truth and, in that way, that brought evil into
the world, the pope said.
The text of the pope's audience remarks in English will be posted online at
Just How Much Is Sports Fandom Like Religion?
With organized religion in the decline in the U.S., what is filling
the void? asked Michael Serazio. The Baltimore Ravens. The
Red Sox. The Miami Heat. And so on. Even in our increasingly
secular country, people still crave the sense of tribal belonging
and mass transcendence that they once found in churches and
temples. And “if you look hard at sports yu can’t help but see the
contours of religion.” Todat the cathedrals are called Wrigley Field, Madison Square garden, and
the Superdome; there, fans with allegiances that often date to their forefathers fill the pews, don
the revered team’s sacred vestments, and melt into a collective identity. We even imbue relics
like players’ jerseys, autographs, and Curt Schillings’s bloody sock with iconic significance.
Through sports we fill in the empty places of our lives. We identify with something larger than
ourselves. The salvation our devotion provides many not be everlasting – but is sure looks like
religion to me. You can read the complete article at
So God Made a Farmer: Paul Harvey and the Power of Religious Language
There was a lot of talk this week about the Dodge Ram
SuperBowl commercial. Some called it a “testament to the power
of religious language.” What do you think? You can read the text
below and you can watch the commercial at
And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a
caretaker." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in
the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a
meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it
die, then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year,' I need somebody who can shape an ax
handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out
hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will
finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in
another 72 hours." So God made the farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle
enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his
mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark."
It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to
seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and
strain the milk, . Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of
sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son
says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. "So God made a farmer."
The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica
I read my first Kathleen Norris book, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, and was
hooked. From growing up in North Dakota and spending the summers on my
godfather’s farm, she had explained my spirituality. In "The Holy Twins" she
examines the lives of St. Benedict and Scholastica from childhood to their
deaths, the book is a careful examination of the path to spiritual enlightenment.
On could call this a picture-books-for-adults. Illustrated by Tomie de Paola, the
book is also bound to garner some interest amongst the Strega Nona fans as
well. You can order The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica.
A Manifesto for Living
After spending a year writing and mailing over 400 love letters to
strangers across the world, Hannah Brencher launched The World
Needs More Love Letters in August 2011—a global organization fueled
by volunteer “letter writers,” now in fifty states and forty-seven
countries. Here are some excerpts from her Manifesto for Living.
Here’s to the ones who were never normal. Never conforming. Never able to sink into the
soles of a follower.
Here’s to the ones who were told to stop. To give up. To quit trying. To shove themselves
into a little box because the world never needed their arms stretched out wide.
Here’s to the ones who have uncovered the recovery from darkness. Who have cried on
bathroom floors. Who have found pockets of strength in cracks in the sidewalk. Who
have declared new days and brighter days and lovelier days than this.
Here’s to the ones who laugh within the thunder. Cry within the mud. Dance when the
bagpipes of sorrow play. Here’s to the ones who hear music, even when the sacred songs
of childhood get stuck in the throat, stifled by fear.
Here’s to the ones who know their calling and that it’s greater than a cubicle or a
paycheck will ever be. A calling to be a light. To be a lantern. To be a match in the
darkness. A flashlight in the power outage. A bright star in the sky of a night that
You can read the entire Manifesto for Living at
Read more about her letter writing campaign at The World Needs More
Love Letters (http://www.moreloveletters.com/) or if you are interested in
Lessons Learned From Writing Love Letters to Strangers, go to
(http://tiny.cc/xxs3rw). You can also watch her in a 4 ½ minute video as a
global finalist for the TED2013 Global Talent Search.
First World Problems Read By Third World People
This one-minute video is BRILLIANT! - It so encapsulates how
most of us in first world countries forget - in our frustration that the things that irritate us would be part of FANTASY
LIVES for people in third world countries.
"First World Problems read by Third World People" is by the
non-profit "Water is Life" to ironically focus on the REALLY-CRITICAL issue of clean water.
They enlisted Haitian children and adults to read the everyday gripes and minor irritations first
world citizens post on Twitter with the popular #FirstWorldProblems hashtag.
"Access to water will be one of the most critical challenges of our time,"
actor Matt Damon said in a statement to USA Today in December.
"There are a lot of ways to tackle it, but for me, ensuring that every
human being has access to safe drinking water and the dignity of a toilet
... is one of the most urgent and pressing causes in the world today."
According to UNICEF, the lack of safe water and sanitation is the world's
single largest cause of illness, with young children and the elderly at
particular risk. Here is the link to the video:
Here's the link to Water is Life: http://goo.gl/ZegVd
and Water is Life's website is: http://WATERisLIFE.com/
How To Be Yourself
Some days, you need to remind yourself about what's truly
important in life. So sit back with a cup of your favorite
beverage and give yourself a few minutes to savor this sweet
video, which gives you a prescription for happiness in two
minutes, starting with "show up." One might consider this a
good reflection before entering the Lenten season as many of these ideas could strengthen your
relationship with God. Watch this video at http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=3342
Paperman – Just in Time for Valentine’s Day
This is an Oscar nominated film in the Animated Short Category.
It’s by the Disney Animation team and it tells the charming love
story of a man who uses paper airplanes to contact a woman he
met on the train platform. You can watch it at
Head Over Heels - Oscar-nominated Short Film – Another Valentine Hit
The 2013 Academy Award nominated Animated Short Film
directed by Timothy Reckart and produced by Fodhla Cronin
O'Reilly. After many years of marriage, Walter and Madge have
grown apart. They don't even bother to argue anymore, even
though they can't agree which way is up—literally. Walter lives
on the floor, and Madge lives on the ceiling; or if you ask Madge,
it's Walter who lives on the ceiling. They live separate, parallel lives in the same house, never
talking, barely even looking at each other. You can watch this ten (10) minute video at
Handbook for Adaptive Catechesis: Serving Those with Special Needs
The author of this book is a graduate of Notre Dame’s Institute for
Church Life’s ECHO program. The book is part of Liguori’s Parish
Resource Handbooks, which we have featured at different times in CL
Weekly. If you currently desire to do more in serving those with special
needs, this is a good place to start. Michele understands the challenges
you face and offers support in how you might get started. This book and
the catechetical program she developed for individuals with special
needs is a testament to the ECHO program which along with Jerry
Baumbach received our highest award, the NCCL Catechetical Award in
2008. If you just need a little push to take the next step, this is a good
place to begin. You can order Handbook for Adaptive Catechesis: Serving Those with Special
The Life of Dorothy Day
This week’s edition of Religion & Ethics
NewsWeekly features a story about Dorothy Day.
She founded the Catholic Worker movement 80
years ago and became an advocate for the poor as well as a radical who
protested against war and injustice. Today she is on the path to canonization in
the Catholic Church. Dorothy Day once said the models to follow are the saints,
and it is the saints who constantly replenish the church.
The eight (8) minute piece can be viewed/read at
ary-8-2013/the-life-of-dorothy-day/14669/. Watch an extended (twenty
 minute) interview with Orbis Books publisher Robert Ellsberg, editor
of " The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day.” If you are a lover
of art and beauty, you might also consider purchasing Brother Michael
O’Neill McGrath’s book Saved by Beauty: A Spiritual Journey with
99 Blessings: An Invitation to Life
About Brother Brother David Steindl-Rast’s book, Father James Martin wrote,
“These elegant and concise prayers focus our attention on all the blessings, big and
small, that we tend to overlook in our rushed lives. Slow down and taste gratitude,
and see how blessed you are.” You can pray a page a day for the entire Lenten and
Easter season and still have some left over. You can order 99 Blessings: An
Invitation to Life.
15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy
As I was thinking about Lent and the concept of giving up things, I remembered an article I had
read last spring by Luminita Saviuc. If you care to read the complete post you can go to
Luminita believes that “We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress
and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free
and happy – we cling on to them.” This is her invitation to “give up on all those things that no
longer serve us.” And isn’t that one of the purposes of Lent; to give up those things that no
longer deepen our relationship with Jesus. If you think some of these things hamper your
relationship with the Lord, then you might consider removing them from your life this Lent.
1. Give up your need to always be right.
2. Give up your need for control.
3. Give up on blame..
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk.
5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or
cannot do, about what is possible or impossible.
6. Give up complaining.
7. Give up the luxury of criticism.
8. Give up your need to impress others.
9. Give up your resistance to change.
10. Give up labels.
11. Give up on your fears.
12. Give up your excuses.
13. Give up the past.
14. Give up attachment
15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations.
Quote for Pondering: Eucharist
“Where else in our society are we all addressed and sprinkled and bowed to and
incensed and touched and kissed and treated like somebody -- all in the very
same way? Where else do economic czars and beggars get the
same treatment? Where else are food and drink blessed in a
common prayer of thanksgiving, broken and poured out, so that
everybody shares and shares alike?"
~ Robert W. Hovda (April 10, 1920 – February 5, 1992) A
North Dakota prophet~
Knowing Jesus and His Message – Conociendo a Jesus y su Mensaje
This is an excellent resource.
Immediately following the Learning
Session on this resource at the NCCL
Conference and Exposition in San Diego,
the NCCL Bookstore sold over twenty
(20) copies of the book in English and
Based on the protocol used to evaluate
elementary religion series, the book used
fifteen standards for Pre-K and K
through Grades 7 & 8. Included with the binder is a CD with all the materials available for
duplication. This is an ideal help for any elementary catechist regardless of the series you might
be using. Check out the following and use the Order Form.
PREFACE - Knowing Jesus and His Message (http://tiny.cc/nysql)
EXPLANATION - Knowing Jesus and His Message (http://tiny.cc/xuvw8)
Standards - Explained (http://tiny.cc/65wmc)
Normas y Fundamentos (http://tiny.cc/zfrg2)
ORDER FORM - Knowing Jesus and His Message (http://tiny.cc/9j0mb)
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directly to our bookstore. It doesn’t matter what you buy, as long as you enter through the
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We are just building our bookstore and adding titles every day, so if you have any suggestions
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