Youth Ministry

Ideology is Moral Blindness

Many moons ago, even before Roe v. Wade, I taught an ethics class that consisted of 16 students. At the outset, I used an anonymous questionnaire to learn about their respective stances on abortion. The class was split in half, with eight accepting abortion and eight opposing it. By the end of the course, all [...]

Give Me That Old-Time Evangelization

Recently, The World Over host, Raymond Arroyo, interviewed Cardinal Wuerl about the Synod on the Family and asked the cardinal, in various ways, whether the Synod was changing the Church’s teaching on reception of communion by divorced and remarried Catholics. Cardinal Wuerl identified the Synod as a manifestation of the “New Evangelization.” “We’re seeing different [...]

Gay & Catholic Lands at Life Teen: A “Yes” or a Mess?

“These days I go back and forth on how well I think I grasp the theology behind the Church’s sexual ethic.” —Eve Tushnet Eve Tushnet, author of Gay & Catholic, gives this candid self-appraisal early in her recent post at the Life Teen youth-ministry apostolate blog. I’d like to hope that the following commentary, sincerely, will [...]

Catholic Sexual Ethics: An Unknown Treasure

Every other year I teach a course on Christian sexual ethics. Turns out, 19-year olds are interested in the subject matter, and despite the early-morning schedule the course suffers from remarkably low rates of truancy—and not because of some innate skill of mine, I wager. The class is always enlivening, with arguments crackling back and [...]

Jesus Christ Superstar Now

When I was a kid, the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” was all the rage.  Both the local high school and my parents’ church (a large United Christ Methodist affair) each put on large, well-attended performances of the “rock opera” that included the entire teen choir.  The biggest questions were always: Whose booming bass voice would [...]

Memories of Dissent in Catholic Youth Ministry

The recent articles by Austin Ruse on "Dissent at Catholic Youth Ministries" reminded me of my own wayward youth, when I was a Catholic dissenter. In fact, those articles by Mr. Ruse reminded me of one fellow-traveler in particular. Her name was Amy Wortmann. In 1995, Amy met Blessed Pope John Paul II “face to [...]

Dissent at Catholic Youth Ministries

Not long after I published my recent column about Robert McCarty and the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministries (NFCYM), I started receiving emails from concerned and in some cases very well informed parents. One of the emails included screen shots from Facebook postings of one of McCarty’s senior employees. On Facebook this fellow celebrates [...]

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