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Autor: Scott

~ 13/09/12


A priest cannot be a servant
of an ideology or a faction.
He is the servant of the truth.
Good shepherds don’t need fences.

Fr Ron Knott

This quote was shared from our Priest’s Convocation this week. It is as true for them as it is for we who are co-workers in the fields of the Lord.

> Catholic High Schools are requested to register their participants by September 19 for the Conference on the New Evangelization held at Msgr. O’Dwyer on September 25.

> Reservations for the Youth Rally and Mass for Life on Monday, September 17. All reservations will be addressed on a first-come, first serve basis. We ask for the amount of tickets requested, but these are national gatherings and we do not anticipate receiving our full allotment.

> Reservations for BYCC, the Baltimore Youth Catholic Conference have already surpassed 125, filling approximately one-quarter of our room reservations. Please continue to ensure that your parish / school is represented when the youngchurch ASSEMBLEs.


Our buddy John Rinaldo in San Jose recently asked Are you engaging parents in your ministry? The posting is great as is the video interview with Cincinnati’s Sean Reynolds.

> Thanks to all who attended last Saturday and will be attending this Saturday’s Youth Contact meeting. We anticipate having additional resources available to you on the website soon. Special thanks as well to Lauren Arroyo McKeegan for her assistance with presentations.

> First meetings of the year are coming for the AYAC

(Archdiocesan Youth Advisory Council) as well as for APYM (Association of Professional Youth Ministers.)

> First trainings of the year include Coaches Training September 20 at Sacred Heart, Glyndon; Created to Love training on September 26; Seminars in Youth Ministry via Equip beginning Oct. 3 at St. Katherine Drexel in Frederick; and a webinar on Pastoral Care related to Bullying will be October 18.


Early registration for the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry is due 10/14.


> Looking for a good video which explains the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Well, you’ve got one now!
> Jesuit Fr. James Martin is offering up Forty Days of Funny on YouTube. Here is Tuesday’s first joke.
> Ray Lewis eulogized Art Modell earlier this week and asked all to reflect upon their legacies. (Some scripture finds its way into his stories.)


Autor: Scott

~ 21/08/12

In the past few weeks, I’ve had some long trecks and uploaded a few podcasts for a listen.

For the record, I enjoyed the daylights out of Jon Rinaldo and crew (is the Deepu pictured?).  The have youth ministry sensibility (which means they are corny, funny, and sometimes both) as well as a heart for ministry.

The podcasts is aimed as a support for volunteers.  They sometimes talk about stuff happening within the San Jose region but I find that ok ‘cause it gives you a flavor about ministry in the bigger church.

Anyway, you can find all their podcasts listed out here.  Good stuff!


Autor: Scott

~ 14/06/12

I have been described as a bit of an iconoclast, someone who looks at a sacred cow, a traditional way of doing thinks and like to “blow it up” for a new way or method.

And that sometimes can just be pretty damn annoying.  I get that.

Folks don’t usually come to workshops to hear a new philosophy. Some, with very busy, important lives, just want the next thing to do, thank you very much, and to get on their way.

What I have learned in my advancing years is that you have got to not only provide a direction but to enunciate the practical on ramp towards that direction. It is not enough to get folks a’thinking. They need to be a’doing as well to grow into the new direction.

Don’t be the pointy haired boss who claims to be visionary but cheaply delegates away the hard work of implementation.

h/t John Rinaldo.


Autor: Scott

~ 11/04/11

Partnering_with_Parents_Main_Pic Especially for a 20something youth ministry type, it can be somewhat intimidating to partner with a parent. After all, they remind us so much of our own!

Neil Young recently suggested a few notes regarding being a childless or single youth worker. They included spending time getting to know parents, asking a lot of questions, being humble enough to being an expert in what you are an expert in and not needing to know-all, finding others who can help you, providing resources to parents, and remember to start with what you have in common – all parents used to not have kids. 

John Rinaldo called attention and provided a good list regarding partnering with parents as well.  Some of the suggestions he provided included: Have an evening committed to prayer for families and the ministry, distribute a list of helpful parenting websites/podcasts, have a retreat just for parents, take parents out to coffee and connect with them, and (my favorite) at parent meetings, don’t serve normal youth ministry food (i.e. pizza). Go all out and offer some good stuff, like chocolate covered strawberries. UPDATED:  Christopher Wesley also has some great tips regarding parent meetings!  <image source>


Autor: Scott

~ 20/01/11

chivalry I pretty much “Yes, ma’am” all women, no matter if they are a generation older than me or a generation (or two) younger than me… Now, the ladies in my office will tell you that I also freely “babe” each and everyone of them which would be seemingly sexist but for that I also will randomly “babe” my Army son, my Paulist priest boss, and my buddy guys in general as well.

John Rinaldo recently posted about Ministry to Girls, encouraging guys to “reach out to young women in a safe and healthy way and to let them know that they are created in God’s image and that they are worthy of love, God’s and ours, not because of the way they look, but because of who they are, a unique and wonderful human being. A women of God.”

How? Here are his couple of recommendations:



Autor: Scott

~ 09/12/10

I’m a “late arriver” at the NCCYM in New Orleans…

which means I’m actually showing up in time for tonight’s opening session!

There were pre-conferences yesterday. Including one on Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Technology and Ministry . . . But Didn’t Know which Button to Push!

The presenters were Ministry Training Source’s Dr. Charlotte McCorquodale and Leigh E Sterten, the GregCast’s Greg Thompson, 2 Small Coins‘s Chris Weber, DisciplesNow‘s Sherry Raspa and fellow blogging diocesan director John Rinaldo.

Watching the web, you can see that they showed the Did You Know 4.0 video (which, just saying we referenced on this site in September.)

They have a facebook page for the tech pre-con with additional resources. Tweeters TSCasteel, ziggykt, and Dohyouth commented… oh, and Chris Weber posted the attached slide-share…

Sorry, I missed it!


Autor: Scott

~ 11/10/10

leadershipsignJohn Rinaldo, from the Diocese of San Jose, recently blogged for Today’s Parish on Leadership Practices for Youth Ministers. While the whole list counts out to ten, let’s focus on these two:

“1. You are the keeper of the youth ministry vision. Own it, articulate it, spread it, share it, let the world know what the vision is.” This was said in the youth contact meetings as well – Communicate, communicate, communicate!

“4. You are the face of the church to many people.” Archbishop O’Brien said something similar at the ArchBalt Together in Mission gathering: “You are the face of the Church, You are the voice of Christ.” We should consider how our statements, actions, and Facebook updates reflect, not only on us, but upon our service.

Make sure to read John’s whole list.


Autor: Scott

~ 20/08/10

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!


Autor: Scott

~ 08/08/10

Father Austin, my blog’s spiritual advisor, recently tagged me with this meme, after he got it from Deacon Greg, who I read regularly. The deacon broadcaster got it from Julie who received it from another of my blog reads, the IronicCatholic.

IC received it from Mary who got it from Kate who got it from Fr. John Boyle who got it from Karen who got it from Dominic Mary who got it from Mac McLernon’s Mulier Fortis  who started the whole thing July 19th and begat it to all of us.

The rules, as stated by the sources, are: Name your three most favourite prayers, and explain why they’re your favourites. Then tag five bloggers – give them a link, and then go and tell them they have been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you’ve completed the meme… The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. I’m more interested in people’s favourite devotional prayers.

Here we go:

> The Classics:  When leading public prayer, I default to involving others in completing prayer with me by reciting together an Our Father, a Hail Mary, or a Glory Be.  With Catholic identity factors as a consideration, it seems a fitting inclusive way to complete spontaneous prayer.

> The Rosary: In tough patches of life, when negative thoughts can overwhelm my attention, a decade of the Rosary proves to be a good palette cleanser. (Yea, I know that seems like doubling up… but deal with it… different purposes make for different prayer.)

> Prayer before Meals: It is a simple little prayer but when reciting it, a mental connection is made between that salad or steak, or BLT sandwich and the company with which it is shared to the Eucharistic supper… 

And, now, to pass it forward…  Hey, Roy Petitfils, Randy Raus, Bob Rice, Judy McDonald, and John Rinaldo… Tag, you’re it!   YOU ALL ARE IT.  Everyone can play in the comments section-What are your favorite (spelling it the non-British way) prayers???


Autor: Scott

~ 14/06/10

check-up-on-health-care-professionals-afSummer is a great time to pause for a quick check-up.  Do you have a healthy youth ministry?

John Rinaldo in San Jose recently posted about characteristics of healthy youth ministry adapting concepts from Doug Fields’ book, Purpose Driven Youth Ministry.

1. Do you put relationships first?

2. Are you continually seeking fresh sources for ideas?

3. Is there strength in the leadership beyond personality?

4. Is there an ongoing follow-up system?

5. Is there clarification of the purpose and audience of the ministry?

Doctor’s in, folks, any other questions that we should be asking?

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