An Interview with March for Life Veteran, Aimee MacIver

Every January for the past fifteen years Aimee has taken a twenty-four-hour bus ride with about fifty high-school-aged girls to join hundreds of thousands at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.  She is an original gangster of our ever growing Archdiocese of New Orleans youth pilgrimage. (This year there are thirteen busses) You could say that she is…

A Field Note to Confirmation Catechists

When we began work on The Catechist’s Field Guide to Confirmation it was 2020, but not the murder-hornet-fire-tornado-riot-pandemic-2020 yet.  Writing began in January and it was a good month. LSU won the national BCS football championship, I made my annual trip to Fr. Mike country in the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota for their annual Theology of the Body Immersion for…

Youth Faith Formation Can’t Be All COVID, No Play

Some of us are jumping into in-person situations in parishes and schools, others are continuing to facilitate virtual formation. Many of us are doing a bit of column A and a bit of column B. In-person situations mean temperatures may have to be taken, masks and constant sanitizing will be required or at least strongly recommended, and a thousand considerations…

Chosen and Confirmation in 2020

What’s going to happen in the fall?  Will kids be in school? Will parishes be able to have face-to-face engagement with youth for sacramental prep or will that all be online or somewhere in between?  Might we be doing sacramental prep on a giant spacecraft as we are whisked away from our terrestrial home in search of another planet to…

The Technophobe’s Guide to Leading a Virtual Bible Study

Running an in-person Bible study or small group can be intimidating enough, never mind trying to conduct a group virtually. If you’re considering hosting a group, but have no idea where to start, this step-by-step guide is for you. For the technophobes out there—you know who you are—your first virtual Bible study group is only five steps away.  1. Measure…

Parishes Reopening: A Challenge and Opportunity

While my freshmen students and I, over video conferencing of course,  were reading the first several chapters of Acts and talking about the exponential growth of the early Church, I asked them what they expected would happen in the Church as parishes reopen over the next several weeks. Will people come back? Will the Church grow or shrink? I’m always…

Urbi et Orbi: At the Threshold of the World

A grey and empty square amid the steady fall of rain, The image of a sorrowful mother with child in arms, The impression of Blood and water  flowing down the corpus hung on an ancient crucifix. We watched through a portal, Kneeling on our kitchen floor and wept. 1,000 bells, 1,000 sirens, A frail man in white limps to the…

Life Isn’t Canceled: Staying Connected with Your Family, Parish, and School 

Life as we know it has been disrupted, uprooted, flipped, changed, and localized. For my school, parish, and family though—nothing has been canceled. School hasn’t been canceled. Prayer—not canceled. Praise and worship with my community—not canceled. Mass—definitely not canceled. Youth group, Theology on Tap-—not canceled. Family dinner, two-on-two kickball, bike rides and story time—none of them canceled. It’s all somehow here,…

A Faithful Response to Canceled Masses amid COVID-19

I was driving to daily Mass at the Cathedral in Cleveland a few days ago when I got the call from my mom who painfully related the message that Mass is to be suspended indefinitely in our area, with most dioceses in the country issuing similar mandates and dispensations for our Sunday Mass obligation. To be honest, I was shocked…

20 Out-of-the-Box Things to Do for Lent 2020

Are you tired of giving up chocolate for Lent? then here are some other creative ideas on what you can do for your Lenten commitment. To be clear, this is not a list of things to do instead of fasting and sacrificing during Lent. I’m always on guard for talk that sounds like, “I’m not doing a regular Lent, I’m…

It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas

I decided to show my philosophy class Frank Capra’s classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, as a way of inviting a good old-fashioned existential discussion with a Christmassy backdrop. As we watched I was, as usual, drawn right into the film and even misty eyed a few times. Today, when I showed up to sub for another teacher, my assignment was…

The Talk: Where to Start as a Parent

High on the list of parenting FAQs I’ve heard over the years is this: “At what age should I have the talk with my son or daughter?”  The phenomenon of the talk is pretty widespread, so much so that’s it’s a cultural cliche. Mom or dad sits down with daughter or son and begins with, “Sometimes when a man and…
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