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Encounter Jesus, Without the Holy Spirit?

by Dcn. Ralph

When we look at the call from our bishops and cardinals for a New Evangelization, we see many describing this encounter with Jesus that people should have. This kind of encounter is a conversion of the heart that people appear to have once they encounter Jesus. A great example of this kind of conversion is […]

Born Of Water

by Dcn. Ralph

In His conversation with Nicodemus in John, chapter 3, Jesus revealed to him what one must do to attain Heaven. His first of two elements was this interesting term: “born of water.” (3:5) The reference to water immediately leads us to Baptism. However, I don’t believe we (church catechists) are effectively catechizing our students well […]

Parishes Need to Rivers Not Reservoirs

by Dcn. Ralph

As I examine the landscape of most Catholic parishes, I think it is fair to say that most parishes have more of a defensive posture than offensive. Our parishioners speak of Jesus publicly within the protection of our church walls and gathering spaces. When there, we can speak boldly of Christ and His work in […]

The Power of the Parental Model

by Dcn. Ralph

I remember when I was a little child, hearing the popular phrase “Don’t do what I do, do what I say.” The parents thought that their instruction of their children would be more powerful than their own actions. However, one need only to examine their lives and just how much they replicate their own parents’ […]

Sharing Challenging Times With Kids

by Dcn. Ralph

Loving parents make it their constant care to protect their children from harm. This is a natural part of love that always wants what’s best for their children. While this makes perfect sense for most people, I have come to realize that protecting our kids may not always be the best. Of course, I am […]

Real Faith Can’t Be Learned From A Book

by Dcn. Ralph

As I travel around the country, I am encouraged to see many faithful Catholics returning to adult catechesis. Some have been involved in it for quite some time. This is a trend that I pray will continue to develop as the Church works to form authentic disciples. We are in the Faith dissemination business! If […]

On a Need-to-Know Basis

by Dcn. Ralph

Imagine you’re working in your parish and it’s time to go home. While on your way, you get into a horrific car accident that takes your life. Moving through your death process and transitioning into the next life, you find yourself in a plain, well-lit room. Someone enters the room and informs you that you […]

Refocusing Your Parish Core to Evangelize

by Dcn. Ralph

While reflecting on the state of the Church and where we are going, it is exciting to see that the local parishes are starting to focus in on Evangelization and Discipleship. There are great programs like Cursillo, Alpha, ChristLife, and Life In The Spirit Seminars breathing evangelistic life into the Church. One of the questions […]

Targeting the Parish Fringe

by Dcn. Ralph

In just about every parish I visit these days, I am hearing about the dramatic and consistent drop in attendance at Mass and other activities. Everyone is describing to me the reality that our churches are declining and we must start to prepare for this drop in numbers. Most people would say that we are […]

A Lack of Conviction

by Dcn. Ralph

When I a young teenager, going through my religious education, I recall going on a Diocesan retreat. There was a notable surprise about the retreat that meant nothing to me at the time, but in hindsight explains much of our current struggles to pass on the Faith. Most of the weekend (70%) was doing fun […]