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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 […]

Developing Effective Community for Yourself

by Dcn. Ralph

When a predator moves in on a flock of sheep, its goal is to single out one of the sheep and separate them from the flock. Once they are removed from the safety of the flock, they are almost always powerless to defend themselves. Without some outside help, they get devoured in short order. While […]

Not Just Learning But Living

by Dcn. Ralph

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” Matt. 7:21 NASB My standard practice for preparing to present a parish mission is to ask the parish leadership a set of questions. This enables me […]

Getting Grounded in the Disciplines

by Dcn. Ralph

Three Weeks! ? Three Weeks! ? Three Weeks! After a person encounters Jesus Christ through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, all that Satan needs to get someone back to living the lives they lived before they encountered Him is three weeks. This is what I help audiences around the country understand while I […]

Time For Staff Training and Planning

by Dcn. Ralph

Having worked for three Catholic churches, ranging in size from 500 – 3,100 families, I have a very good understanding of the rigors of ministry life. Like any other job, it comes in waves and can be quite taxing at different times of the year. For most churches, the summer is a time to catch […]

Catechizing for Action

by Dcn. Ralph

In response to what appears to be a tremendous lack of knowledge of the Catholic Faith in Catholic adults & teens, the Church has greatly improved its efforts to instruct their faithful with solid teaching. The Holy Spirit has called numerous ministries, like NEM, to service the Church with new methodologies and presentation content. It […]