A Blog of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Daily Scripture Devotion for Teens--by Text

Teaching kids--or adults for that matter--to develop a daily quiet time with Scripture is one of the most challenging and rewarding habits of intentional discipleship.  I have long lamented the lack of good materials to help kids to do this.

This week, I stumbled upon something that could be a real answer to prayer.  It's a website called Carpe Verbum (Sieze the Word), and it offers a daily dose of scripture plus a little reflection and application to life.  You can have it sent directly to your text if you want, just text CARPE to 84576 to check it out for yourself.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Re-Routing: A Disciple's GPS

Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit is laying out a path of discipleship for it's parishioners.  Fascinating, Creative, and.........well let's just say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.



You can check out the whole plan HERE.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

USCCB Releases Strategic Priorities


The United States Catholic Bishops have identified the priorities for the strategic plan that will guide the Church over the next several years.  The plan is based on the theme “Encountering the Mercy of Christ and Accompanying His People With Joy” and sets five key priorities.  According to the USCCB website:
The plan is centered on five strategic priorities approved by the full body of bishops a year ago, and are aimed at encountering those in need, bringing them hope, and nurturing them spiritually and physically. These priorities are:
  • Evangelization: Open wide the doors to Christ through missionary discipleship and personal encounter.
  • Family and marriage: Encourage and heal families; inspire Catholics to embrace the sacrament of matrimony.
  • Human life and dignity: Uphold the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death with special concern for the poor and vulnerable.
  • Vocations and ongoing formation: Encourage vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, and provide meaningful ongoing formation to clergy, religious and lay ministers.
  • Religious freedom: Promote and defend the freedom to serve, witness and worship, in the U.S. and abroad.
The identified priorities are also an invitation to diocesan and parish leaders into the collective work of the bishops at the national level. "Where there are opportunities at all levels of the Church to work together, the strategic plan will truly find its deepest meaning," reads the report. "So too, the identified priorities are an invitation to the broader people of God, whose generosity and prayer give lifeblood to the apostolic life of the Conference and the Church."
  It's not going away folks!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Best Practices for Involving Parents in Kids Formation

It has long been lamented that the parish is bearing too much of the burden for the faith formation of children.  Parents are the primary educators of their children in the faith, so devoting time to their formation and support can only enrich the work done by catechists in the parish.

Jen Fitz shares some insights into things that are working.  Read the whole thing HERE.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Glimmers of Light

Last month, the Center For Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) released the results of a new study on sacramental practice.  While the numbers are not entirely encouraging, there are some gleams of light.   Among Generation X folks (called “post Vatican II” in the study)  Mass attendance has surged from 15% to 22% since 2008--a whopping 7 percentage points.  (22% is nothing to write home about--still, could it become a trend?)  Another key finding was that 23% of millennial Catholics were not baptized as infants. 7% were adult converts, 13% were baptized or received as children, and 3% as teens (which is 3 times the number of teens found in the 2008 survey).  So apparently, a significant number of parents are not having their children baptized until later. 

Sherry Weddel offers this analysis:
Here is a direct quote from the 2008 study:
"Differences by Generation"
Respondents who belong to the oldest generation (the Pre-Vatican II Generation) are particularly likely to say that they attend Mass at least once a week (45 percent compared to 20 percent of the Vatican II Generation, 13 percent of the Post-Vatican II Generation, and 10 percent of the Millennial Generation)."
And here's the results for weekly Mass attendance from the 2016 study:
"Pre-Vatican II (roughly the "Silent" Generation): 55%
"Vatican II" (Boomers): 23%
"Post-Vatican II (Gen X) 22%
Millennials: 14% (in 2008, a significant portion of millennials were not yet adults so the sample was smaller and the margin of error larger).

If both these published CARA study figures are accurate and representative, we would seem to be looking at a pattern of GROWTH IN MASS ATTENDANCE ACROSS THE GENERATIONS between 2008 and 2016.
"Pre-Vatican II": from 45% in 2008 to 55% in 2016
"Vatican II": from 20% in 2008 to 23% in 2016 (within margin of error)
"Post Vatican II" from 13% in 2008 to 22% in 2016
"Millennials" from 10% in 2008 to 14% in 2016
Note the BIG increase in Pre-Vatican II and Gen X generations - far beyond the margin of error. Is becoming more religious as one ages a factor? Possibly. Although other studies seemed to find that that was no longer inevitable.
Gen Xer's were the quintessential JPII generation.

I don't think we are out of the woods yet, but there are good reasons to hope the tide might be turning.  Let's don't let up on the gas.

Monday, 12 September 2016

If Jesus is God.......That Changes Everything

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with Jeff Casey, a recent convert to the Catholic faith.  He shared his testimony,  in which he discloses that he spent many years as an agnostic.  After the death of his wife and son, one day he stumbled onto Oklahoma Catholic Radio.  He happened to hear a talk given by Fr John Riccardi.  It was about the reasons why we believe Jesus is God, giving the classic argument of C.S.Lewis, "The Lord, the Liar, or the Lunatic."  You can listen to the whole thing here

Never underestimate the Holy Spirit's power to reach people through radio.

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