I’m a Catechist for the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). I lead the RCIA for Children class at my old home Parish. We provide catechesis (religious Ed) for the children of Catholic converts who are entering the church during the Easter Vigil. One of the things I find the most challenging about leading this group is that the children are of various ages (8-17) and have such diverse religious backgrounds. Some are just learning about Jesus for the first time; while others already have an intimate relationship with Him through their Protestant background.
We have recently been studying God’s Ten Commandments. Children, much like adults, don’t care for rules. Teaching others about God’s commandments is challenging because as a society we don’t like being told what to do; not even from God and especially not from His Church. I understand why children feel this way as they have yet to form their consciences. I admit to becoming a bit more frustrated with adults, who like me, struggle with pride and often neglect God’s laws. Continue reading
During the Christmas Vigil Mass, St. Brendan gifted one copy of The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, by Matthew Kelly to each household. It was a pleasant surprise and reminded me once again how awesome my home parish is!
Matthew Kelly studied parishioner’s church engagement and summarizes the following in his book:
- 4% of registered parishioners contribute 80% of the volunteer hours in a parish. 6.8% of the registered parishioners donate 80% of the financial contributions. There is an 84% overlap between these two groups.
- The aforementioned stats mean that 7% of Catholics are accomplishing more than 80% of what the Catholic Church is doing in America today. The Catholic Church is already the largest charitable organization in the world; imagine how engaging just another 1% of Catholics could change the world. Wow, chew on that for a bit.
- Highly engaged Catholics (the 7% who are accomplishing 80% of the Church’s work in America) are aptly named Dynamic Catholics and have four things in common. The four signs of a Dynamic Catholic are:
- Prayer: Daily prayer routine.
- Study: Students of Jesus who spend on average 14 minutes daily learning about Christ, His teachings and His Church.
- Generosity: Generous with their time, talent, & money. Generous with love in their daily lives.
- Evangelization: Invite others to grow spiritually by sharing your love of God with others.
Sheol, a barren womb,
land that never gets its fill of water,
and fire, which never says, “Enough!”
Yesterday I was at the Doctor’s office. I’m now a mature woman in my EARLY 40’s, but when I was a young girl I was diagnosed with endometriosis. It was the aggressive stuff that less than 2% of woman with endometriosis experience. I was stubborn and despite 3 nerve blocks and weekly visits to the pain management clinic, I would not have a hysterectomy. Over the course of the next 11 years I would have 13 surgeries. In my 20’s & early 30’s I just refused to accept that I would not give birth to my own children. It was not until I was 36 that I realized I was out of options and consented to a total abdominal hysterectomy. Uterus, ovaries and cervix are all gone. Immediately post operative, my physical pain was relieved and I was able to stop all pain management. In the years since my hysterectomy, I have been diagnosed with a general autoimmune disorder resulting in multiple bouts of pleurisy and other inappropriate immune responses. My Doctor’s believe that my autoimmune issues may have been what caused my endometriosis to be so aggressive; conversely, my endometriosis treatments (such has chemotherapy) may be what have angered my immune system. It’s a ‘what came first’ scenario.
Anyhoo, back to my Doctor’s appointment yesterday. I was meeting with an endocrinologist regarding my thyroid. He asked the same question as my internist and gynecologist before him, “Do you work?” I responded with the same answer I gave the other doctors and told him that I do work. He then gave me a familiar response, “Can you work less?” And there it was. The question my husband and I have been pondering for the past four years.
There were two predominant issues that kept me working full-time. One was my desire to adopt a child. Prior to my hysterectomy I was obsessed with preserving my fertility. Post hysterectomy I became obsessed with adoption. The second issue was that my step-sons were in chaos. I feel the need to define their chaos: their mother had a child with a married man, this man and his two-year old son were often spending overnights in their home, threats to be moved out-of-state, a cousin who is transitioning gender from female to male, depressive episodes, and everything else that comes with disorder in the home. I don’t have to tell any reader with children that when they are in chaos, it can be a financial strain that you will gladly carry to remove them from a state of disorder and place them back into a state of order. Both of these issues have since resolved (though not in the way I desired). Continue reading