Walking with Youth – Preparing for the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment

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Note:In February 2018, the Center for Ministry Development will launch their annual workshop series entitled: "Accompanying Youth on Their Journey of Faith and Discernment." See the workshop outline, sites, and dates here: https://www.cmdnet.org/accompany (Excerpt from the journal article by the same title provided in Youth Ministry Access) In Octo...
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In This New Year, Let Us Be Open to Grace

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"In this day and age, unless Christians are revolutionaries, they are not Christians. They must be revolutionaries through grace." – Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy   The events of this past year have shown why we need to be open to grace moving in our lives. There were times when it felt like the news was continuously looping deadly shootin...
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Being Gifts to One Another

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I love Christmas! Celebrating the precious gift of Jesus, who perfectly embodied God's love for us, gives me such joy and hope. Just as God gifted us with Jesus, we too are called to be gifts to others. That's why I think it is so important that we encourage our young people to give of themselves to those most in need. Gifts can be self-serving and...
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Celebrating 20 Years of Renewing the Vision

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​"Where there is no vision, the people perish…" Proverbs 29:18 What's your vision for ministering with young people? I have been part of the interviewing group for hiring parish and diocesan youth ministry leaders and inevitably this question comes up. This is probably a question that we've been asked by a supervisor or by someone considering joini...
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Trusting Jesus Every Day

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Twice in the last several months I've had priests tell me to pray, "Jesus, I trust in you." One was to help me through my little sister's journey through pancreatic cancer into the loving arms of our heavenly Father. The other was in Confession, when I shared that it was a struggle to accept her death. I've been reflecting on trust ever since. The ...
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Compassion for a Hurting World

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The tugging of our heartstrings is important because a deep, lived, felt experience of compassion reminds us that we are all connected and we are one human family. Years ago, while traveling to Mexico on a mission trip, I came across a very young child who was naked and severely malnourished. She raised her arms up to me, like every child does, as ...
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Rapid Pace of Newsworthy Change

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Keeping up with the news can feel like a wild game of 'whack a mole.' Things pop up demanding our attention and we're struggling to whack it smartly on the head and mark it done or read. In the last three weeks, we've experienced a solar eclipse, earthquakes, wildfires, massive hurricanes, the repeal of DACA, threats of North Korean missiles...lots...
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Opening the Door to Sacraments for Families

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Sacraments and families are intimately connected in varied ways. The sacrament of baptism is all about joining the family of God. Reconciliation rejoins us to family; through grace we experience the freshness of right relationships. Eucharist calls us to the table to be joined with Christ as brothers and sisters. My grandson will be baptized next m...
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Created in the Image of the One God...

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Created in the image of the one God and equally endowed with rational souls, all men have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, all are called to participate in the same divine beatitude: all therefore enjoy an equal dignity. - CCC 1934 "What is going on?" seems to be the critical question of people today. Some, ...
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Catechizing Youth: Walking with Young Missionary Disciples

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At the recent USCCB Convocation for Catholic Leaders, I was asked to be a part of a panel that was addressing adolescent catechesis through the lens of missionary discipleship. We addressed two questions.  The first one was: "What are you passionate about within adolescent catechesis? This was my response: My name is Tom East, I am the di...
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