church door The internet has been around for long enough that Parishes should really be on board with its benefits in communication. Most parishes have a website but many do not use it to its full potential. It is a brilliant platform for communicating what the parish has to offer. The website is an essential place for pre-evangelisation – it is an interface for the non-Catholic with your parish - impressions are made before the person even walks through the door. People do their research online and a shabby and uninformative website reflects on a Church unwilling to invest time in welcoming others.
DARET Jacques Visitation Next week we celebrate the joyous day of Christmas, Jesus’ birth. It is a beautiful time to walk with and pray with Mary who is a pivotal figure in this story, so much so, without Mary there would be no Christmas (and everything else that follows the birth of Jesus – like salvation...).  Jesus may be the reason for the season but Mary is the co-reason we have a season. 
Friday, 28 November 2014 09:39

The Google Christmas Trend: The Search for Jesus

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GoogleJesus  If you type “Jesus” as a topic in Google Trends an interesting result comes out. It is not a simple linear trend line but a graph that looks eerily like my daily mood swings... it has troughs and peaks. Unlike my mood swings, the troughs and peaks are not random events, there is some order to them. I invite you to look at the graph below. 
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 11:26

Should Catholics think about Christmas before Advent?

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christmas-234105 640 It's not even December and the Department Stores are already decking the halls with Christmas spirit.  Although premature and somewhat impertinent, maybe Catholics should be thinking about Christmas too - but not in the way you think.
Friday, 07 November 2014 14:21

Our Brave New World: Is Oprah a prophet?

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Oprah became a Goddess-like figure worshipped in the tabernacle called television. People latch on to her words as if they are from ‘the mouth of God’. 

Should Christians look to Oprah as a prophet?  Can people without faith lead us towards God?

"Oprah Winfrey at 2011 TCA" by Greg Hernandez from California, CA, USA - Oprah Winfrey at 2011 TCA. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Thursday, 30 October 2014 15:41

Should I celebrate Halloween?

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sqhallo  Halloween has become less of a commemoration of the human dead, their lives and the hope of the resurrection and eternal life but rather a festival of the subhuman undead with no recognition of a beautiful transfiguration but rather the end being a macabre dismemberment of body with no soul. This misaligned focus on Halloween is probably what causes deepest Christian concern and raises questions about whether it is good to participate or not. 
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Oh so that’s what I did wrong when I said to my friend, “Hey Jo, you’re intrinsically disordered!” I always thought that frankly highlighting the downfall of one’s virtue was good methodology to get them to Church!


"Sépulcre Arc-en-Barrois 111008 12" by Vassil - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Media can become the primary source of education, trouble is the student is only as good as the teacher, misguided teachers create misguided students. It would seem, in this world, the populus are the mis-catechised students of the media.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 15:54

The Church of Fast Food

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In-N-Out-Burger Sign San Francisco I had it all planned out. My Saturday night social life meant that I planned to wake up as late as possible on Sunday morning and as a result I had planned to attend Mass as late as possible. As I limped up the stairs late on Saturday wondering whether my heels had induced an early onset of arthritis in the ankles, I saw a flaw in my weekend strategy – my parish had first Holy Communion celebrations. I wanted Mass to be danced quickstep without the partner with two left feet.  Disgruntled I rethought my plans – this would mean losing sleep. 
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 11:56

How can Protestants help Catholics? (and vice versa)

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 wcc Part of my conversion as a Catholic involved the evangelisation and push from protestant brothers and sisters. I know I am not alone in this experience – I know other Catholics who would not have a living faith without other Christian denominations. For many years I sat in my parish and wanted more – more friends, more community, more formation and more opportunity to learn how to love Jesus. I spent 30 minutes in a Baptist Youth Group and I got the MORE I wanted and only wished that Catholics would get their act together. There was so much we could learn from this Christian community. 
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 16:28

Proclaim 2014: Seeds for Parish Transformation

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Proclaim  I apologise for the lull in blog activity but I have a good excuse!  Over the last few weeks our office has been busy with (or more appropriately consumed by) the organisation and operation of the ACBC event, Proclaim 2014, a national conference on the new evangelisation.  The conference had a particular focus towards parish evangelisation, the theme being Living the Joy of the Gospel in Parishes.
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 13:53

Poverty as evil & Poverty to be embraced

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Pope Feet Last week I attended a presentation by an American theologian Paul J. Griffiths on “The Poor Church: Pope Francis’ Poverty Artists”. Paul J. Griffiths is the Warren Professor of Catholic Thought at Duke Divinity School.

Taking something of a creative line Professor Griffiths explored what Pope Francis means by a poor Church. Professor Griffiths examined what he has identified as three significant influences on the pope’s thinking on poverty. The first influence is St Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis is the first pontiff to take the name of the poor man from Assisi.

Aparecida 150 by 150 It is fair to say that the meaning of the terms “Preferential Option for the Poor” and “New Evangelisation” have been a source of discussion and sometimes disagreement, during the 45 years that have passed since 1968. The first President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation Archbishop Fisichella reported that when he was appointed to the position in 2010 he discovered 27 different definitions of New Evangelisation.
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Dialogue working towards peace? Really? Then why is it whenever I try to speak to someone about religious issues it turns into a heated debate? Or I am on the receiving end of a passionate rant about how religion causes war?

Maybe what I need is a lesson from the Master himself.

Spirit  As the world has watched Pope Francis in action over the last couple of weeks, both in Israel and in Rome, his desire and his capacity to talk and pray with those who are not Catholic is worthy of comment. Such a practice is not new and nor is it restricted to Pope Francis. Saint John Paul II is rightly famous for inaugurating regular gatherings in Assisi of religious leaders from a whole range of faiths and traditions. Pope Benedict also prayed at Assisi with religious leaders from all over the world and we recently marked 50 years since Pope Paul VI met with the Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem.
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