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Scott BlogThe Catholic YM Blog has been referred to as "the 411 of Catholic Youth Ministry." Your blogger is D. Scott Miller, former director of the Division of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Baltimore... Read more...

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31Aug, 2010

August Top Posts

Here are the most popular blog posts from the month of August 2010.

31Aug, 2010

CYM News 08-31-10

greenmnmCHARLESTON, SC — Top 20 Blogger Alison Griswold recently wrote in her local newspaper about Honoring Our Bodies and Our World. It’s a great article and worth the read. She comments:

Yesterday I was listening to one of those internet radio accounts that links to your Facebook and reads your mind to deliver relevant advertising, and it kept spewing ads for contraception. I guess that since I’m a woman in my twenties — with great taste in music — they figured I needed birth control suggestions.

Accompanying the advertisement were the warnings and side effects. In addition to the typical nausea, cramping and irritability were a slew of unpronounceable issues. These are strong chemicals they’re promoting. Nice try, but I don’t even use Splenda. Read the whole Catholic Miscellany article.

TOLEDO, OH —An estimated 3,500 people attended the first Exclaim!Christian music festival Aug. 15 at the Msgr. Schmit CYO Athletic Complex. The daylong Christian music festival featured local musical groups Jacob’s Well and Universal Worship Experience and was headlined by Matt Maher.  (more…)

30Aug, 2010

So, I’m on the Santa Monica pier this afternoon, finishing up my vacation reading of Kenda Dean’s Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church. Awesome read. Important. Essential.

She expands on some of the need to offer young people a generative faith that has anchors for a lifelong religious identity which include a creed to believe, a place to belong (see parts one and two), a call to live out, and a hope to hold onto.

includemeburntBut, it was this passage from pages 145-6, that had me remembering a logo from a Mike Patin t-shirt:

In truth, much of what passes for Christian formation in American congregations – and a great deal of what passes for youth ministry is fake peripheral participation. 


30Aug, 2010

It is not more vacation we need – it is more vocation. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The blogcation began ten days ago- atop of news of the bloggiversary and a promotion.  Certainly, it may have seemed as if an odd time to “walk off stage;” but a scheduled break is good for both reader and blogger.  Thanks for coming back.

I’m in SoCal visiting family and friends, who, as they are all male has justified the branding of this weekend as a mancation. On Friday, my brother and I got in some kayaking and went to a local comedy club and saw Larry Miller who had an entire hour set about that dysfunction in all relations can be tracked back to differing styles of stacking the dishwasher.

Saturday, I went off to watch Mike Carotta offer a presentation in Orange, hung out a bit with diocesan director Armando Cervantes, went off to an afternoon of wine tasting and hanging out with Mike,


29Aug, 2010

A Blogger’s Prayer

And so, (with a h/t to Andy) we begin year seven with a prayer…


Lord, may this blog be a service in your name. May it edify and encourage.

May the postings and comments found upon this site bring light and clarity; echoing your truth and pointing to the beauty of your creation.

Send forth your Spirit that we all might foster understanding and harmony.

Through the intercessions of Saint Michael the Archangel, we ask all these through Christ, Our Lord.


27Aug, 2010

Yes, the bloggcation continues… and has actually become a real vacation as well… I’m writing from Southern California where it is sunny and the local temps are in the 80’s.

Anyway, I’ve spent part of my morning here reading Kenda Dean’s Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American ChurchIt is a follow-up on the NSYR research but has a clear sense of Dean’s analysis and diagnosis.

All of this is to say that CNN did a profile story today on Dean and the book and I wanted to break the self-imposed silence to share it with you.  For me, the money quote of the article addresses: “What can a parent do then? Get ‘radical,’ Dean says.

She says parents who perform one act of radical faith in front of their children convey more than a multitude of sermons and mission trips. A parent’s radical act of faith could involve something as simple as spending a summer in Bolivia working on an agricultural renewal project or turning down a more lucrative job offer to stay at a struggling church, Dean says.

But it’s not enough to be radical — parents must explain ‘this is how Christians live,’ she says. ‘If you don’t say you’re doing it because of your faith, kids are going to say my parents are really nice people,’ Dean says. ‘It doesn’t register that faith is supposed to make you live differently unless parents help their kids connect the dots.’”

20Aug, 2010

On August 20, 2004, what grew into the Catholic Youth Ministry blog began.

As always, I am ever-thankful for your readership, virtual friendship, comments, and support.

After the industrial sized posting below, we are going to take a full week’s worth of blogcation. A real vacation will start in the middle of that.. and it is so needed!  This past week, there has been some breaking news in the land of ArchBalt.  (and, if you pass on the hyperlink… you will be living our the expression that the lead was buried!)

Come back on August 29th as we virtually begin year seven, take on new real responsibilities,
. . . and attempt to discern if this will truly be the age of reason.

20Aug, 2010

At the beginning of the summer, blogger Adam McLane of Youth Specialties released a list of the top 20 youth ministry blogs of 2010.  I read it like a kid with a list of baseball cards or comic books… “Got it, got it, seen it, nope, nope, got it.”

A few days later, blogger buddy Roy Petitfils facebooked me with message that basically read something like “Dude… was disappointed to not see you on the list.”   And, (as is my nature) I just kinda shrugged it off.  But, weeks later, I did do a technorati search and realized that the blog you are reading (and, again, thanks for your patronage) was not far off of one of the sites identified as “a top five” site.

And, you know what? That’s still ok.  Maybe next year. I’m really not sure what difference it makes.

That being all said, here is my own listing (totally subjective) of top blogs (sans rankings) that I’m suggesting are of influence to Catholic Youth Ministry. But, hey, we will still acknowledge non-Catholics as well who were on Adam’s YS Top 20 list. And, so you know, I’m not gonna be shy about including the Catholic Youth Ministry Blog on this list!

  >> Alison Griswold “tweets” (which is micro-blogging and so it counts – – my rules!) her life and parish youth ministry experiences out of South Carolina.  Always entertaining! Go, Team Catholic!

  >> Bob Rice  Singer, Comedian, College Professor, Dad, Catholic, and a blogger. There is a depth here which I always find authentic and challenging.

  >> Catechist’s Journey  Over the past year, Joe Paprocki (brother to this bishop) has been growing on me.  He plays on some different levels as a eighth grade catechist as well as an author and presenter.

  >> Catholic YM Blog … now six years in service!

  >> Catholic Youth Work  Jack Regan over in the UK administrates this discussion board that shares communication for the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation, is prepping for the Pope’s visit, and is presently touring diocesan web sites (a concept he readily admits he lifted from here.)

  >> Clayton Imoo is Canada’s contribution to the list.  His video reports regarding the Vancouver Olympics and the Canucks failed Stanley Cup run were viral insanity. Clay loves his wife, kids, and Catholic Youth Ministry; you really don’t need to know anything more.

  >> Cultivation Ministries We are crossing our fingers and hoping that Frank Mercandante and company can keep up with the posting pace they started. If that turns out to not be the case, then I would readily move up the Prepared Catholic into this list.

  >> In All Things America Magazine has a blog that features posts from some of their authors who include the always insightful James Martin, SJ.

  >> John Rinaldo blogs consistently as diocesan director for San Jose with worth-while content that not only has implications for the local but on a broader scale as well. Earlier this year, John posted as to how coordinators of youth ministry might better serve by viewing themselves as administrators

  >> Jesus Goes to Disney World Father Austin Murphy (a fellow ArchBalt blogger) does a great job of connecting popular culture and the gospel messages. 

  >> Life in Student Ministry Tim Schmoyer is not writing about things Catholic, but is all about youth ministry He is the full-time youth pastor at Alexandra Covenant Church in Alexandria, MiN and offers a variety of media in service to the field of youth ministry. [YS top 20]

  >> Life Teen (www.catholicyouthministry.com) Randy Raus is joined by a wide variety of bloggers (full disclosure – – including this one, though not recently)  Your best bet for Catholic female writers can be found here!

  >> Mike Patin has recently re-picked up the blogging bug. Welcome back, Mike!

  >> More Than Dodgeball  Josh Griffin is not writing about things Catholic, but is all about youth ministry,  As the High School Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA, Griff offers insights into the possibilities in organizing and programming ministry.  [YS top 20]

  >> Roy Petitfils The Big Bald Counselor has a heart beating strongly for the the Catholic youngchurch

  >> Seth Godin probably does not care at all about things either “Catholic” or “youth ministry” but he does “get”  tribes, organization, management, linchpins. motivation… and so should we!

  >> Tech Tips for Catholic  I appreciate the value that the Tech Tips team has regarding maximizing the latest technologies in ministry.

  >> Whispers in the Loggia Rocco Palmo from Philadelphia is not writing about youth ministry, but is about all things Catholic.  While he is a twenty-something blogger, he has a unique insider’s view into what’s moving and shaking into the Church.

  >> Why Is Marko Following his tenure at YS, Mark Oestreicher is now an author, youth ministry coach, and speaker. Marko blogs about the future of ministry and his own challenges. He is also been a long time virtual friend who I recently met in real life.  [YS top 20]

  >> Youth Specialties  These guys are all about youth ministry and you should be paying attention to them… I do! [YS top 20]  Primary author of the site is Adam McLane [YS top 20], a lifelong Notre Dame fan, so ya’ know, he’s got some Catholic sensibilities about him. Maybe, the Catholic YM Blog might even be included on his list in 2011.

If you believe that you know of a blog (including yours) that should have been included and/or want to call attention a site that you read, e-mail me, please. The spam censor gets sensitive regarding hyperlinks.  I promise I will look and put you into consideration for a future post and/or next year’s list.  Further, comment away about your love for any of the above sites!

19Aug, 2010

Kenda Creasy Dean was recently interviewed regarding her new book, Almost Christian: What the Faith of our  Teenagers Is Telling the American Church.

The interviewer concluded asking why she left the research for the book “strangely hopeful.”  She responded “(What) gives me hope is all of the people who are committed to kids in the church. Youth ministers are an irrationally hopeful breed. I have the privilege of working with youth ministers all the time, and they are constantly ignoring what’s impossible and doing it anyway, and that’s the “one radical thing” that keeps the church alive. God shows up under conditions like that.”

God bless Youth Ministers, one and all!

18Aug, 2010

The Soul of Madrid

World Youth Day – – We are one year (or so) away.

Seemingly, this site is reasonably noteworthy enough to have been sent this notice – – three times

Dear Sir, I’m Miriam, web manager of the official website of World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid.

I’m writing to you as I saw you had the link to the WYD 2005 in Cologne official website on yours. I would like to kindly ask you to include the link of our site: http://www.madrid11.com.  This is the link to download banners.

Feel free to contact me with any question about WYD 2011.

Best wishes,  Miriam

With under 400 days remaining before the World Youth Day celebrations open in Madrid, the organizers of the event are reporting that over 600,000 pilgrims from countries outside Spain have pre-registered to take part in the week-long encounter with the Holy Father. See the Catholic News Agency article.

Oh, and pass the word along… everyone leave your vuvuzelas at home, please.