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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Discerning the Joy of the Gospel in America

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Over July 1-4, 2017, the Center for Ministry Development participated in the important and historic USCCB Convocation for Catholic Leaders in Orlando, FL.  It was a gathering of over 3,500 delegates representing parishes, dioceses, religious orders, movements, and national organizations.  Over these moving few days together, we explored t...
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Accidental Discernment

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Since Pope Francis announced the 2018 synod on young people and discernment, youth ministers have been reflecting on how we can support youth in discerning their life vocation and their daily choices. I personally have focused on how well I discern, since I can't help youth if I don't discernment myself. And that brings me to a life-changing event ...
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Ministry and Autism Spectrum Disorder

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A few days ago, the Center for Ministry Development received an inquiry for resources to help an autistic child prepare to receive the sacrament of Eucharist. The person wanted to know how he could teach someone with autism to understand the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Honestly, there is not a lot of information and res...
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Don't Crowd the Pan

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I'm not a chef by any stretch but I've learned some important lessons in the kitchen. One lesson I believe adds lots of insight into ministry planning is "not crowding the pan." I've learned the hard way that if you put too much food into the pan, the food doesn't cook correctly. It won't cook evenly or won't get crispy. It usually happens whe...
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Planning a Year of Ministry for Young People with Youth Ministry Access [YMA Webinar]

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In this webinar, we will share ways you can create and implement an effective plan of ministry with young people. Youth Ministry Access is a subscription resource filled with hundreds of sessions and resources for middle school and high school youth ministry. Youth Ministry Access (YMA) is a subscription website designed especially for Catholic you...
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