Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The O Antiphons: A Catholic Faith Tradition

Catholic Icing provides a simple and thorough explanation for children, youth and adults:


Sorry, for some reason Blogger is not putting links in...hopefully, they will fix soon.

Jesse Tree Symbols and Readings

For several years, the Diocese of Erie, through Faith Publishing, has provided for free (with credit given to them) two sizes of downloadable Jesse Tree ornaments as well as the readings to go along with the ornaments. Visit them at:


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ten Simple Ways ot Evangelize During the Advent Season (courtesy of John Boucher)

The Advent Season presents us with new opportunities to bring "the Good News of Jesus into every human situation" (Go and Make Disciples, section. 10). Here are ten simple ways to evangelize during the holidays.

Learn about the origin of Santa Claus in St. Nicholas, whose feast day is Dec. 6. He is a Catholic Saint, who cared for the poor and worked many miracles out of his love for Jesus Christ. Discover traditions from other countries at www.stnicholascenter.org.

Keep a small empty manger in your workplace during Advent. This can be a symbol of a heart that is open and empty. Pray for others to be open to meeting Jesus this Christmas. For the story of the first crèche see “Bringing Christmas to Life Again.”

Plan a birthday party for Jesus with your family, small group or parish. Sing a few Christmas carols, read Lk. 2:1-20, and sing "Silent Night." End with cake, candles, ice-cream and soda, singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. For words and music go to
Send Christmas cards that celebrate Jesus' birthday, not just a generic winter holiday. Pray and ask God for special words of love, encouragement, and wisdom to write in those cards. For ideas, see Christian cards at www.dayspring.com.

Gather family, friends and/or parishioners to sing Christ-centered Christmas carols as part of a meal or gathering. Print words and music, since people under 40 do not know them. Share stories of family Christmases and their spiritual meaning for you. For more ideas see

When you decorate the outside of your house, plan to have Christian symbols at the heart of your display. Let the other decorations point towards these Christian symbols. See http://wilstar.com/xmas/xmassymb.htm.

Invite both practicing and non-practicing family and friends to join you at Christmas Mass. Afterwards ask them how it went for them (i.e. likes, dislikes, feelings, etc.). Just listen with understanding and compassion. Share what it was like for you to go to Christmas Mass together.

Pray aloud before meals and use the sign of the Cross, even when eating in restaurants. Or use a verse from a Christmas carol like, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” with a different verse every day around a simple Advent Wreath. See The Essential Advent and Christmas Handbook.

Set up a Nativity Scene in a prominent place in your home, and let the figurines make their way slowly across the room during Advent, arriving on Christmas Eve. Pray together with family or friends at the creche (i.e. night prayers with children, weekly Advent prayers and songs, etc.). Keep manger scene up through the Feast of the Epiphany in January (12th day of Christmas, like in the song).

Buy Christmas gifts for their usefulness and as an expression of love rather than for their commercial popularity or status. Give things that enhance the receiver's life, much the way Jesus Christ came to give us new life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NCCL's New Episcopal Advisor

NCCL is pleased to announce that Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, has been appointed Episcopal Advisor to NCCL. Bishop Coyne is the latest in a distinguished line of Bishops who have served in this capacity. The appointment was made by Archbishop Leonard Blair, Archbishop of the Diocese of Hartford, who serves as the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. Archbishop Blair served for the last six years as NCCL’s Episcopal Advisor.
Bishop Coyne, one of seven children of William and Rita Coyne, was born in 1958, in Woburn, MA. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1986. In addition to various assignments as a pastor for the Archdiocese of Boston, Bishop Coyne also served as professor of Sacred Liturgy and Homiletics at the diocesan seminary. He was ordained a Bishop in 2011 to serve as the Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. In addition to his strong theological and pastoral background, Bishop Coyne brings a wealth of experience in communications to his new role, including maintaining his own blog. Additional details regarding Bishop Coyne can be found by visiting the website of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Mini Faith Formation Day

There will be a mini Faith Formation Day in the western part of the diocese on Saturday, January 31st from 10:00 am – 2:15 pm. The day will be held at Queen of Peace Parish and registration forms will be available as soon as I have speakers confirmed. Our Sunday Visitor will sponsor part of the day. Proposed schedule for the day:
9:30 am Doors open
10:00 am Opening Prayer and short presentation
10:30 am Session I
Noon Lunch
12:45 pm Session II
2:15 pm Day closes

Registration now open on our website:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sister Marie Celinie Joubert Award for Catechetical Excellence

The National Directory for Catechesis (NDC) calls for the recognition of excellence in catechesis. I am pleased to announce that the Diocese of St. Augustine will have an annual recognition of those involved in catechesis within schools and parishes who are exemplary in their mission of forming disciples. These annual awards will be determined by nominations submitted by pastors, DREs and school principals and are being named in honor of Sister Marie Celinie Joubert, one of the original 8 Sisters of St. Joseph invited by Bishop Agustin to teach the African American students. Sr. Celinie served in all areas of the diocese as both a teacher as well as a nurse. She was chosen because of her widespread service in all areas of the diocese. It is most appropriate that as we prepare for the 450th anniversary of the diocese, that we recognize those who have had a tremendous impact on the spread of the Catholic faith. Nomination packets will be mailed shortly.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Eucharistic Congress Basic Schedule

Friday, March 13, 2015

6:30 p.m. Official Opening by Bishop Estévez

6:45 p.m. Presentation by Scott Hahn

7:30 p.m. Stations of the Cross with Parish and Ministry participation

9:00 p.m. Young Adult Track

Confessions and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (throughout Congress)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

8:00 a.m. Eucharistic Procession with parish and ministry banners

9:00 a.m. Keynote address by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York

10:00 a.m. Mass with Cardinal Dolan, Bishop Estévez and Bishop Snyder concelebrating

12:30 p.m. Spanish, Children, Tweener, Youth and English tracks running simultaneously

4:00 p.m. Closing Ceremony