Category Archives: Parish Life


The east balcony looks almost normal. However, the plants and furniture haven’t returned, nor the image of Saint Jude from the old Reconciliation Chapel. It was a sunny Spring day when we did a walk-through of the building Monday. I … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Ministry, Parish Life, Rites, spirituality | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Ghost of a Pew

Our cleaning company said they couldn’t ice-blast the “shadows” out of the balcony wall like they did for all the soot accumulation from last Fall’s fire. This struck me as being slightly creepy. The balcony floor was replaced totally–asbestos. The … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Parish Life | 1 Comment

Cleaning The Font

If all goes according to plan, the cleaners will hand us the keys to the church building in fifteen days. Will we make it? We’d better–all our temporary places of worship are booked solid Sunday the 21st of April. The … Continue reading

Posted in Parish Life | Tagged | Leave a comment

Nearly Midnight

I have a mixed heart today. This afternoon I heard the encouraging news of the Holy Father’s Mass in the Roman youth prison, which included washing the feet of young women and Muslims. Surely this must be throwing some of my … Continue reading

Posted in Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Parish Life, Scripture | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Pope Francis On Liturgy II

What strikes me most about this image posted at PrayTell is the predominance of women, perhaps as many as four generations represented. Contrast that with the images of popes at liturgy–nearly all surrounded by men. Fawning men. Here, the focus … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, evangelization, Ministry, Parish Life | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Pope Francis On Liturgy I

Let’s talk baptism … When Cardinal Bergoglio was asked about the baptism of children whose parents were not married, he responded: To us here that would be like closing the doors of the Church. The child has no responsibility for … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry, Parish Life | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Pope Benedict’s Retirement Party

The students have planned a social after our weekly Thursday night Mass tonight. They’ve requested people bring cats. My cats don’t like to travel, so I brought a stuffed tiger from my very early childhood. Here he is posing with … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Parish Life, Scripture | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Momentum of Non-Change

We’ve been fairly fortunate since our church fire to have consistent worship in one place on Sundays. Today, however, was the only exile weekend (late September to mid-April) in which our usual venue, the Iowa State Center’s Benton Auditorium, was … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Parish Life | Tagged | 5 Comments

The Technological Door Into Lent

My colleague Cody set up a Facebook challenge for our staff and peer ministers, and other student leaders. Our goal is 1500 invitations and 500 going. This is a good start for using social media, but I think in 2014, … Continue reading

Posted in evangelization, Lent, Ministry, Parish Life | Leave a comment

MR3 Skin Deep

I had an interesting observation last night at Mass. But first, some backstory … Our parish’s third MR3 Mass setting is a revision of Steven Janco’s Mass of Angels and Saints. The Sanctus has been a bit rough. The “learning” to … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgical Music, Parish Life | Tagged | 3 Comments

Beware the “Little” Prayer

Our student small group coordinator booked me for an in-service to the small group leaders this week. They have two meetings to catch our twenty-five leaders, and they wanted me to speak on prayer, especially on the skill of leading … Continue reading

Posted in Parish Life, spirituality | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Auxiliary Worship

Some of you may have had this experience … having an auxiliary room associated with the main worship space. In our temporary Sunday worship, we have chairs and a video/audio feed set up in the lobby outside of the auditorium. … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Parish Life | 4 Comments


At the end of today’s sound system meeting, our committee chair and consultants wanted a closer look at the church ceiling. I tagged along. Scaffolding has been up for weeks. First to facilitate asbestos removal. Now the ceiling is stripped … Continue reading

Posted in Parish Life | 1 Comment

Hard Work Continues

The Grinch has hit our parish. A Christmas return from fire damage and repair was always up in the air anyway. We don’t have the final timeline with the subcontractors yet, but we’ve been told a March return is more likely … Continue reading

Posted in Parish Life | 1 Comment

Counting At Mass

October is the month for counting people in my archdiocese. We had a “storm surge” for the university’s homecoming observances this past weekend, especially at our later morning Mass. Overall, with merging our Saturday liturgy into the other parish’s, numbers … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Parish Life | 4 Comments