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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Pope Francis on Missionary Discipleship

Was he contagious? The man had asked me to pray for him. He told me he had a mysterious fatal disease for which there was no cure. Overcoming my fear, I reached out and placed my arm around his shoulder, and began to pray for him. The year was 1990, and the man had contracted […]

What makes Discipleship Different

Would this have frightened you? Years ago, I was standing on the street in Rome when suddenly two vans full of heavily armed policia arrived on the scene. They quickly exited their vehicles and entered the street. Spreading out, they linking arms to form human chain across the street. Where they responding to a riot […]

Sacred Liturgy must be proceeded by . . . Revival?

In the previous post on Catholic revivals I pointed out how Catholic parish missions in the mid 19th Century used missionary preaching to accomplish mass evangelization. Thinking about this, I was struck by a note in the Catechism which reads, “The sacred liturgy does not exhaust the entire activity of the Church”: [SC 9] it must be […]

Revival Meetings: A Catholic Thing!

The Catholic Church in America began the 19th century in a perilously weak state, and ended the century roaring like a lion. How did this radical transformation occur? In 1815 only one hundred and fifty thousand Catholics lived in the United States. Literally thousands of Catholic immigrants abandoned their faith during this period. There was […]

Thanksgiving is Our Door to God’s Presence

Happy Thanksgiving! Today we participate in a national celebration that commemorates a feast by the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians who gathered in 1621 for a three-day feast of Thanksgiving to God for the harvest. Have you ever had the experience of working extra hard on something, and even of going well beyond the normal […]

Missionary Discipleship is not the same as Christian Education.

Education in or modern world has become a highly technical discipline. In the ancient world education was more like an apprenticeship which involved a personal encounter with someone who was a master of a skill or unique kind of knowledge.  To be a disciple in the ancient world meant something rather different from being merely […]

Missionary Discipleship is centered on Conversion

The call to discipleship begins with conversion. But what does it mean to be evangelized and converted? The National Directory of Catechesis defines conversion as, “the acceptance of a personal relationship with Christ, a sincere adherence to him, and a willingness to conform one’s life to his. (NDC, p. 48). To put it more simply, […]