November 2016


November 2016

Greetings! whole_family_at_dinner.jpg

With this Sunday’s feast of Christ the King, the Year of Mercy formally closes. I have seen plenty of evidence that this theme has borne great pastoral fruit in a variety of ways in our parishes and communities throughout the year. As the year closes (see my article below) I hope we can keep the momentum of Mercy going long into the future.

Fr. Bill Edens continues his series on the imaginative young adult ministry he did in Portland, OR, over a two year period. Be sure to click on the “Aha-Portland” link that he provides to see one way they tried to bring religious language to a generation that grew up without a lot of it. The pastoral insight here is important: the language may be missing, but that doesn’t mean that some reality is not there.

Resources for spiritual growth with the new Living the Eucharist Daily Devotionals App, a link that explores images of religious beauty on Instagram, and information about a new resource on Young Adult Ministry will give you further things to reflect on. Be sure too to register for an upcoming webinar I am presenting this Thursday on Parish Ministry and Encounter.

Thank you for your commitment to bring the Good News of Jesus to the many who have not heard it, or heard it incompletely.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Frank DeSiano, CSP


Young Adult Evangelization & Ministry

By Fr. Bill Edens, CSP

00_young-woman-praying-eyes-closedIsaac Hecker had powerful mystical experiences of the Holy Spirit within. With the help of the Transcendentalists he found language to put words to his inner convictions. The Transcendentalists of Hecker’s day, whom he encountered at the utopian community Brook Farm, believed that the human being had everything he or she needed to live a fulfilled life.

But Hecker the Seeker did not believe that as an individual he had all he needed to connect with God. His search led him to the Catholic Church, where the Holy Spirit indwells the Mystical Body of Christ. There he found a home for his longing.

The “nones” of today are similar to the Transcendentalists of the nineteenth century, in that they have feelings of transcendence but do not believe they need Religion to fulfill their longings. We wanted to know, “Is there a language for the universal human experience of transcendence? A language that is not explicitly religious or spiritual that can connect the Seekers of our day?”

To find this common language we got together a small creative team and developed a website called It is a forum in which young adults are video-interviewed about an “Aha!” moment. They are asked to describe a moment in which the light bulb goes on. It may have come after a long struggle. It may be a moment of transcendence in which they felt connected to all humanity and the whole universe.

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Previous Essays in this series
The Year of Mercy:
Not an End…A new Beginning

By Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

As November passes by, we say farewell to the Year of Mercy. I’m old enough to have lived through a whole spate of special “Years”–Holy Spirit, Son, Father, Consecrated Life, St. Paul, etc. But I do not think any theme has had the impact, or contained the potential for further impact, than has this Year of Mercy.

No other theme has challenged Christians as deeply as this one. It has revealed a central paradox: that even though mercy–as the gratuitous gift of God’s love even the face of sin and evil–lies at the heart of Revelation, particularly as revelation has come to its climax in Jesus Christ, nevertheless it is still instinctual for Christians, and Catholics, to try to find the rules, borders, and systems so that everything will be orderly.

For how many centuries has Christianity-and especially Catholicism-played the lower end of the New Testament scale: sin, shame, law, guilt, punishment, hell? Of course, these are all in the New Testament one way or another, but to emphasize them before everything else is to distort what the Christian message is about. So the Year of Mercy insists that these notes on the scale need to be put into their relatively small space in order to strike the notes that form the key melody of Christian life.

What notes? How about grace, love, peace, forgiveness, assurance, and new life? Indeed, in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus starts off announcing a, “year of favor–an acceptable year,” in other words, a jubilee year, as the hallmark of his ministry. The jubilee perspective of Jesus means that we can all start over, that people who feel lost and scorned can now be invited and included into the Kingdom of God (See Luke 4:16 ff.) In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus then begins to enact his ministry–healing, bringing sight, liberating people, showing mercy–even before he calls his disciples.

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Previous Essays in this Series

Click Here to see all the essays in our series on the Spiritual Works of Mercy and Evangelization.

The Living the Eucharist Daily Devotionals App

Download for Advent Today!

Advent begins in less than two weeks, but there is still time for you to share with fellow parishioners and friends a powerful new tool to reignite faith, build community, and empower discipleship during Advent and the Christmas Season.

The Living the Eucharist App is a new resource that offers individual Catholics an inspiring way of praying with the scriptures and preparing for the upcoming Sunday Mass.

The App includes three free videos–Learn to Grow Spiritually, Learn Lectio Divina, and Learn About Seasonal Devotionals. These three videos help participants better understand lectio divina and how to deepen their own spirituality through daily reflection and prayer.

See it for yourself! 
Download the FREE Living the Eucharist app right now

including a free preview of the Advent devotional! 

7 Tips to Ignite Your Spiritual Growth During Advent and Christmas

The first day of reflections for the Living the Eucharist App begins next Monday! To celebrate we are counting down with seven tips to increase prayer and deepen spiritual growth during Advent and Christmas. Today we share the second tip with you. Follow along with the rest on Facebook, Twitter, or online!

Download Today!

Learn to Grow Spiritually

Watch one of the free videos included in the Living the Eucharist App below and imagine how the app can transform your prayer life this Advent! 
Learn to Grow Spiritually
Learn to Grow Spiritually
Upcoming Webinars

Register today for our upcoming, free webinar later this week! All registrants will be sent a webinar recording so even if you are unable to attend live, we encourage you to register and watch the recording at your own convenience.

Parish Ministry and Encounter

November 17, 2016, 3:00 (ET)

“Encounter” has become a key word in evangelization. How can this idea help sharpen and strengthen our ministry as parish communities

In this webinar, Fr. Frank DeSiano helps us all explore the many dimensions of encounter and how these can be amplified in our parish both for renewal…and also for stronger outreach to the large numbers of people on the periphery of our parish life. Fr. DeSiano combines larger pastoral ideas with practical approaches.

Presenter: Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

Register Here

Webinar Recordings
The Living the Eucharist Daily Devotionals App: 
a New Way to Ignite Your Spiritual Growth 

From November 2, 2016

“Great app! So well designed and passages well written,” wrote one parishioner. Another said, “Thank you for creating this tremendous resource. I will be sure to tell others!”

The Living the Eucharist app is designed to provide life-changing encounters with Christ. Wach the recording for the webinar today to:

  • Discover how the Learn Lectio Divina video on the app can transform the Sunday Mass experience of parishioners.
  • Learn the ways in which the daily devotionals on the app can ignite spiritual growth during the liturgical seasons of Advent and Christmas, Lent, and Easter.
  • Find out how the Living the Eucharist app enables parishioners to become more intentional disciples of Jesus and let the light of Christ shine brightly in their lives.

Presenter: Rev. Kenneth Boyack, CSP.<

Watch Here

Best practices to Implement Living the Eucharist,
a Transformative Lenten Ministry That Gets Results!

From October 19, 2016

Living the Eucharist was one of the best experiences of my life,” wrote one parishioner from West Hampstead, NY.

Over 1,000 parishes in 93 dioceses in the US have used this dynamic Lenten ministry. The webinar provides an overview of Living the Eucharist and 10 best practices to equip your parish to implement this ministry successfully and with confidence in Lent 2017.

Presenter: Rev. Kenneth Boyack, CSP.

Watch Here

These Catholic Instagram accounts that show beauty really will save the world

From Aletia and Colleen Duggan – © Copyright 2016 Aleteia SAS all rights reserved.

A priest recently quoted me the words of famous theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar who once said there are three things that can save the world: truth, justice, and beauty. It was beauty Father was encouraging me to focus on in my photography hobby, because contemplating beauty inspires the human person towards the pursuit of what’s good and true.

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a lot of ugly in the world, but photography gives both the artist and the viewer the opportunity to see in picture form God’s majesty in our mundane and sometimes drudgery-filled lives.

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What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts? How does what you post and share on social media reflect your faith?

New resource for young adult ministry

Young Adults and the Church…

It’s a huge topic of discussion, and also a source of great frustration. Parishes want to reach out, but they don’t know the best way, and they don’t have a model.

The new book, 20s/30s Ministry: A Guide for Parishes, is just the tool you need. Practical, specific, clarifying – this book can guide a parish into beginning and growing a ministry to young adults. Written in the direct, knowing, and clear style of Fr. Nicholas Lombardo, OP, from his own broad experience in Young Adult Ministry, this book can help parishes zero in on basic approaches to this ministry that will work.

Doing this ministry is absolutely necessary today and we hope this book, Co-published with Paulist Press, will help you and your parish as you grow your young adult groups!

Order Here for just $14.95

Have you started The Journey?

Now is the perfect time to bring The Journey to your parish!

The Journey/El Camino is our newest resource! It is designed to help Catholics today deepen their personal relationship with Christ – it’s a simple and direct way to encounter Jesus in our lives.

The Journey is perfect for faith-sharing groups and there are many ways it can help your parish today!

In Part 1* each session focuses on the link between our lives and Jesus’ life. Participants read from a selected Scripture passage and then watch a powerful video produced by the award-winning Outside da’ Box. In the videos we see how the issues that were affecting those who Jesus healed and ministered to, are not so different from the ones we face today.

Mix and match the components of The Journey to best fit your parish’s needs:

  • Faith-sharing small group materials for adults in English and Spanish
  • Small group materials for youth in English
  • Daily Devotional for participants and parish-wide use
  • Weekly Bulletin inserts to unite the whole parish
  • Prayer Cards

Click Here to order your Parish Preview Pack or call 1.800.435.7116 to place your order over the phone!

* Parts 2 coming Fall 2016

We have a new look!

Over the last month we began transitioning to our new logo! The logo is based on the new Paulist Father’s logo, which uses the Paulist “P” as a speech bubble with the Holy Spirit represented as a dove. For our new logo we incorporate this “P” and added the flame for the Holy Spirit in keeping with our current logo.