A while back, I was approached by a team of Catholics to see if I would be interested in taking on the task of developing and maintaining a website for them. As soon as I heard about it, I said, “Absolutely!”
The endeavor is titled “The Amazing Parish” and is the fruit of the collaboration of well-known and respectable leaders in the New Evangelization and catechetical efforts in the English-speaking world, including, but not limited to: Matthew Kelly, Jeff Cavins, Lisa Brenninkmeyer, Curtis Martin, Chris Stefanick, and Patrick Lencioni.
(As a side note, Patrick is the author of “Death by Meeting” which you may have heard of if you’re into reading books about great versus not-so-great administration.)
The website can be viewed at AmazingParish.org. On it, you’ll discover information about an incredible (or should I say: “amazing”) conference they’ll be hosting this August 27-28 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center in Denver. [Read the rest of this blog entry]
One of the simplest and easiest ways a parish can effortlessly evangelize and catechize is to embed quality Catholic videos with high production value on its website, like this one:
Below, I have captured the direct URLs for various videos produced by Fr. Robert Barron’s ministry, Word on Fire, which you may follow to preview and embed those videos on any page on your website.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux: http://youtu.be/stGZQupuT9Y?t=17s
Our Lady of Lourdes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlQSCXiwBdk&t=17s
The Eucharist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2CB-x-6dkk&t=17s
Who is God?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRcpaFArz6Y&t=17s
The Resurrection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=391EKSs1n0M&t=17s
Jesus Compels a Choice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3P87vzU1Fs&t=17s
The Infallibility of the Pope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmv3B6LLDrQ
The Desire to Be a Saint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slCkmsMq4ec&t=10s
Confession / Reconciliation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tvo0OCcp600
The Trailer to “Fishers of Men” (Vocations): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNVzkEcf1uk
To embed any of these videos, visit the URL to that video, then (1) Click “Share”, (2) Click “Embed”, and (3) Copy the embed code. Then, on your website, you will need to paste this embed code on the source of your page.
If you are using MyParishWebsite.com, you can easily click the “Source” button on any page, then you can paste this code into the page. Click save, and the video is now viewable and playable right on your parish website!
The Sower is a quarterly catechetical journal that you receive in your mailbox four times a year. It is beautifully designed and contains articles on a wide range of topics related to the Church’s mission of evangelization and catechesis. Personally, I have published six articles in this journal, and I cannot recommend it highly enough for those who work and/or volunteer in the Church.
Yesterday, I launched its new online presence at TheSowerReview.org where anyone can purchase a subscription online. Your paid subscription comes with instant online access (in addition to the print edition!) to current and past articles published in The Sower. [Read the rest of this blog entry]
As I travel to speak to audiences at various conferences, one of the topics I address is often that of podcasting.
What is a Podcast?
A podcast, in a nutshell, is a collection of audio files that people can listen to on their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer (as well as even more devices than those!).
Podcasts allow you to record audio presentations and make them available for free to anyone anywhere.
They may consist of a priest’s homilies, lectures given during the parish R.C.I.A. process, presentations during a Bible study, etc. A unique aspect of this medium (audio) is that it may be consumed while jogging, driving, and performing other mundane tasks, such as cleaning the dishes.
In the steps below, I show you how to generate a podcast and have it appear in Apple’s iTunes Library so that anyone may easily access it, whether they are using a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. [Read the rest of this blog entry]
Google Apps is described by Google as
“a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect and get work done from anywhere on any device. It’s simple to setup, use and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters”
It is mostly widely used for email because you get all of the power of Gmail (especially the spam protection) with the branding of your own domain name. For example, I use Google Apps for carsonw.com, and I use the Gmail interface to receive, send, and manage email for my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also have set up various email aliases such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. When someone sends an email to one of these addresses, it is automatically routed to my one and only email address: email@example.com.
Google Apps for Business (as of September 2013) is priced at $50/yr per user. For a staff of 10, this amounts to $500/yr, which, for all the power and amazing features of Google Apps, is a sweet, sweet deal.
However, what if you could get the entire suite of Google Apps (and more! – such as Google Grants, for example) completely free because your Catholic parish is a 501(c)3 non-profit?
Well, You can! And, I’m going to show you how below. [Read the rest of this blog entry]
On Thursday, August 8th, I was privileged to give the highnote for the C3 Technology Conference sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles for its parishes and schools at Loyola Marymount University.
In other news, check out this beautiful trailer of a new film sponsored by Ignatius Press titled Mary of Nazareth (official website).
What do John Henry Cardinal Newman, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Winston Churchill all have in common?
They used standing desks.
I chose a sit-stand desk to raise my energy level, increase my life expectancy, and improve my quality of life. When you sit down at your computer, fat-reducing enzymes drop by 90%, calorie burning slows to 1 calorie per minute, and you double your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Here’s a little demonstration video I created today:
You might also enjoy the following related online articles:
- Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?
- Stand Up While You Read This
- Study: The longer you sit, the shorter your life
With the national debate on so-called “Same Sex Marriage” raging everywhere you turn (Facebook, newspapers, websites, television, etc.), I’m reminded of the pertinent question that is often ignored.
“What is the essential, public purpose of marriage?”
The answer to the above question is absolutely crucial, and if you have not thought through this question thoroughly, then you should because all other considerations are ancillary.
I want to introduce you to a presentation by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, who poses this essential question and provides a clear answer, followed by a detailed analysis.
I believe that once we answer this fundamental question and consider the answer thoughtfully, we’ll come to see clearly why so-called “Same Sex Marriage” has never, before just recently, existed in the course of human civilization.
If you’d like to go deeper, I encourage you to read “Rebuttals to arguments for same-sex marriage – Examining the most common arguments for redefining marital unions …and understanding why they are flawed” by Brandon Vogt.
On the afternoon of March 14th, Pope Francis delivered his first homily while celebrating the Missa pro Ecclesiae in the Sistine Chapel.
Below, I have reproduced the full translation, provided courtesy of Vatican Radio:
In these three readings I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, professing.
Walking: the House of Jacob. “O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” This is the first thing God said to Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless.” Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his promise. [Read the rest of this blog entry]
I spent exactly 5 years working on the diocesan level in evangelization, new media, and catechesis (for the Diocese of Sacramento, California). During that time, the team I worked with accomplished some pretty amazing things, such as establishing the annual On Fire NorCal Kick-Off for Youth & Young Adult Ministry, implementing a diocesan-wide Catholics Come Home campaign, and bringing marriage preparation to the parish level, just to name a few of many endeavors.
I learned something significant during those years that I would like to share here: Today, most of the great evangelical and catechetical efforts of the Church are not initiated and run by the hierarchy and diocesan offices, but rather, from the apostolate of the laity. [Read the rest of this blog entry]