Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Solemnity of All Saints!

The Saints go Marching in...

"When the Saints Go Marching In": detail from the 9th-century mosaics of Santa Prassede in Rome (click photo for more)
Photography from Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP.

Volunteer Fair Today!

November 1
3-5 pm
Hall of Fame Room
If you are even thinking about a year (or more) of volunteering after graduation, you owe it to yourself to attend this fair...ask questions about the type of work, where you live, stipends, handling student loan debt, etc.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Religious but not spiritual: The high costs of ignoring personal piety"

Interesting, researched article from the Association of Religion Data Archives: the reason many churches are declining is that they don't nurture spiritual growth.

Study after study shows what may appear to outside observers to be simple common sense: A major reason people attend religious congregations is to deepen their faith lives and draw closer to God.

The U.S. Congregational Life Survey found the percentage of weekly worshippers who reported growing in faith through their congregation was twice as high as the percentage of more infrequent attenders who experienced similar spiritual growth.

The survey also indicated that “grassroots evangelists,” those who feel at ease sharing their faith with others and invite people to worship, were far more likely to strongly agree their spiritual needs are being met in the congregation and to practice devotional activities every day or most days.

“Worshippers in strong congregations also regularly spend time on their own praying, reading Scripture or using other materials to help them better understand and deepen their faith,” survey researchers reported. “In other words, congregations where people spend time on their own cultivating their faith tend to have extraordinary worship as well. They’re bookend strengths.”

In a survey of megachurches, the No. 1 reason people gave for moving from a spectator to an active participant http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifin their congregation was this: “I responded to an inward sense of call or spiritual prompting,” researchers Scott Thumma of Hartford Seminary and Warren Bird of the Leadership Network reported in their new book, “The Other 80 Percent: Turning Your Church’s Spectators Into Active Participants.”

And the No. 1 reason people participated less in their congregation in the past two years? It was a tie between “had less time” and their faith had “gotten weaker,” according to a separate survey of parish profile inventories offered by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

More here. Discuss.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church"

From the Barna Group:

Many parents and church leaders wonder how to most effectively cultivate durable faith in the lives of young people. A five-year project headed by Barna Group president David Kinnaman explores the opportunities and challenges of faith development among teens and young adults within a rapidly shifting culture. The findings of the research are included in a new book by Kinnaman titled You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Church.

The research project was comprised of eight national studies, including interviews with teenagers, young adults, parents, youth pastors, and senior pastors. The study of young adults focused on those who were regular churchgoers Christian church during their teen years and explored their reasons for disconnection from church life after age 15.

No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15. ...

The six reasons (and more) here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Career Fair Today (October 4)

Dress up, bring a resume, and go see what this is about--even if you aren't a senior.

Career Fair
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
McCown Gymnasium, Winona State University

This annual fall event is sponsored by the offices of Career Services at Saint Mary's University, Winona State University and Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical. This Career Fair is open to all students, freshman through seniors, who are exploring career options or looking for internship and job opportunities. As a participant of Career Fair, you may wish to speak with employers about their organization in general, about coursework and extracurricular activities that are helpful or necessary for entry into certain fields, or about specific opportunities within their organization, including internships, summer jobs, and permanent positions. No pre-registration is required for students. Employers who would like to register, or students who would like to set up an interview, should contact Director of Career Services & Internships Jackie Baker at (507) 457-6695 or jbaker@smumn.edu.

Shuttle van schedule:
Departs Toner Center turnaround at 10:30, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00
Leaves WSU campus and returns to SMU at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:45

Link to a list of registered employers and graduate school representatives:

Happy Feast of St. Francis!

From a few years ago...recognize anyone?

The arrangement and performance is by Sarah Hart.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Food for Thought: Millenials Blissfully Unaware of "Church News"

Check out this article by the research institution at Georgetown University, CARA (aka Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate).

New Catholics, New Media: More 'Bread and Circus' than Eucharist

In a recent article in OSV, CARA researcher Melissa Cidade noted a surprising statistic: only 17% of adult Millennial Catholics (those born after 1981) are aware of liturgical changes that will occur at English language Masses on the first Sunday of Advent.

Millennials represent about one in five adult Catholics (19%) and the oldest members of this generation were in elementary school when the Internet began to gain widespread use in the United States. They are sometimes described as the digital or new media generation. Many in the Church assume that the way to connect with this emergent generation of Catholics is not through traditional print media, television, or radio but online—through blogs, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter accessed on smart phones, tablets, and e-readers. The hope is often stated that we may be able to use new media to get this generation “back into the real world pews” that are more often populated by their parents and grandparents. ....

It is worth reading the entire article, which starts slow but picks up a lot of steam at the end. Short version: if the Church is hoping to reach millenials (or anyone) through the new media (facebook, twitter, etc.), good luck with that. It isn't happening.

Thoughts on why? Or how to better communicate the gospel message? Discuss....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Silent Ignatian Retreats in 2011

Part of the Spirituality for the Vineyard "program" includes making students aware of offerings that help people grow in their spiritual lives, and discern vocations. A number of students last year did this through taking advantage of spiritual direction (if you want more information on spiritual direction, and who is trained in it in the Winona area, please contact Dr WD or Lynn Streefland in OCM). Small groups are also an option if people are interested in us setting them up for you.

This post is primarily about retreats. As usual, there are a lot of good retreat opportunities through Campus Ministry (Freshmen Retreat, TEC, more...contact them for details). But... if are you interested in a different type of retreat, one with more quiet, more focus on discernment...check out this is from the Broom Tree Retreat Center in South Dakota (approx. 5.5 hours from Winona):

What you can expect from a Four-Day Ignatian Silent Retreat at Broom Tree?

Starting on Thursday nights with registration at 6 pm, both our Men's and Women's Ignatian Silent Retreats generally conclude on Sundays at 5 pm.

The daily schedule contains four or five general conferences, each approximately a half hour in length. These conferences are based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Each conference is followed by a free period in which to reflect and pray on the given scripture presented and to apply them to one’s own life. There is also an opportunity for Spiritual Direction daily.

Each day the retreatant has the opportunity to participate in the Eucharist, the rosary, Sacrament of Reconciliation and Benediction. Being silent, waiting, and listening for God to speak - with nowhere to go, no agenda to keep, and no superficial social contact is the key ingredient for communicating with God. The beauty of the grounds also helps dispose oneself to hearing the Lord speak. Remember, Elijah did not find God in the earthquake, hurricane, or fire, but in the quiet breeze.(1 Kings 19:12).


Broom Tree Retreat and Conference Center is sustained by the donations of the retreatants. All are welcome at Broom Tree. No one is excluded because of inability to make a retreat donation. Broom Tree's cost to provide meals and lodging for a Silent Retreat is $240/person ($80/day). We ask that you prayerfully consider this when making your donation.

What to Wear?

Casual clothing is recommended- slacks, sweaters, sports shirts, make for a relaxing weekend. Also, wear comfortable walking shoes and bring suitable outdoor wear for taking hikes on our trails.

What are the rooms like?

Each retreatant enjoys a private room, with a queen sized bed, private bath, and chair for relaxing with an over-sized window to admire the beautiful scenery God has created at Broom Tree. An Adoration Chapel is also available to share quiet time with God. There is also a large dining room and exercise facilities. We also have a gift shop and bookstore located in the retreat center.

There is also a podcast with a couple of the conferences given there on the spiritual retreats page.

2011 Women's Ignatian Silent Retreats

September 15-18
October 20-23
November 3-6

2011 Men's Ignatian Silent Retreats

September 22-25

If you are interested (and OBVIOUSLY check your class schedule to see if this would be possible for you, because this will entail unexcused absences from class), contact Broom Tree asap. Contact information is on the website page.

Monday, September 5, 2011

John Allen on WYD and "Evangelical Catholicism"


John Allen is a widely respected journalist on all things Catholic. This is part of a column he wrote about World Youth Day, or more generally, young people in the Catholic Church. It seems to be generating a lot of buzz. What do you think?

Defining Evangelical Catholicism

“Evangelical Catholicism” is a term being used to capture the Catholic version of a 21st century politics of identity, reflecting the long-term historical transition in the West from Christianity as a culture-shaping majority to Christianity as a subculture, albeit a large and influential one. I define Evangelical Catholicism in terms of three pillars:

  • A strong defense of traditional Catholic identity, meaning attachment to classic markers of Catholic thought (doctrinal orthodoxy) and Catholic practice (liturgical tradition, devotional life, and authority).
  • Robust public proclamation of Catholic teaching, with the accent on Catholicism’s mission ad extra, transforming the culture in light of the Gospel, rather than ad intra, on internal church reform.
  • Faith seen as a matter of personal choice rather than cultural inheritance, which among other things implies that in a highly secular culture, Catholic identity can never be taken for granted. It always has to be proven, defended, and made manifest.

I consciously use the term “Evangelical” to capture all this rather than “conservative,” even though I recognize that many people experience what I’ve just sketched as a conservative impulse. Fundamentally, however, it’s about something else: the hunger for identity in a fragmented world.

Historically speaking, Evangelical Catholicism isn’t really “conservative,” because there’s precious little cultural Catholicism these days left to conserve. For the same reason, it’s not traditionalist, even though it places a premium upon tradition. If liberals want to dialogue with post-modernity, Evangelicals want to convert it – but neither seeks a return to a status quo ante. Many Evangelical Catholics actually welcome secularization, because it forces religion to be a conscious choice rather than a passive inheritance. As the late Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris, the dictionary definition of an Evangelical Catholic, once put it, “We’re really at the dawn of Christianity.”

Paradoxically, this eagerness to pitch orthodox Catholicism as the most satisfying entrée on the post-modern spiritual smorgasbord, using the tools and tactics of a media-saturated global village, makes Evangelical Catholicism both traditional and contemporary all at once.


In that sense, World Youth Day is the premier reminder of a fundamental truth about Catholicism in the early 21st century. Given the double whammy of Evangelical Catholicism as both the idée fixe of the church’s leadership class, and a driving force among the inner core of younger believers, it’s destined to shape the culture of the church (especially in the global north, i.e., Europe and the United States) for the foreseeable future. One can debate its merits, but not its staying power.

In the real world, the contest for the Catholic future is therefore not between the Evangelicals and some other group -- say, liberal reformers. It’s inside the Evangelical movement, between an open and optimistic wing committed to “Affirmative Orthodoxy,” i.e., emphasizing what the church affirms rather than what it condemns, and a more defensive cohort committed to waging cultural war.
How that tension shakes out among today’s crop of church leaders will be interesting to follow, but perhaps even more decisive will be which instinct prevails among the hundreds of thousands of young Catholics in Spain this week, and the Evangelical generation they represent.

That’s the big picture in Madrid, whatever the individual brush strokes end up looking like.

There is a lot to think about here. What do you think of the term "evangelical Catholicism"? Do you think Allen is right in his characterization of WYD, young devoted Catholics, and the rest of the world? What about his forecast for the future?

Read the whole piece and discuss!

"What I did on my summer vacation...."

If you did anything "unusual" and Theology related on your summer break, we may want to hear from you! WYD? Totus Tuus? Interning? A really great retreat? Something else? If you have pictures, and/or you are willing to write a short piece about what you did and how you are "taking it to the classroom" at SMU, please drop me a line!

(Yes, I'm on sabbatical, but I'll be checking email regularly.)

And PLEASE encourage your "friends of theology" to follow this website through fb, email, or Twitter. Your choice. We just want to stay in good contact with you all about opportunities on campus, for jobs, volunteering, and other things to think and pray about....

--Dr WD
swindley at smumn dot edu

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"10 Things I Wish I Knew My Freshman Year"

From a Catholic campus ministry blog for Texas A&M called Aggie Catholics.


10 - Ask for help before you are in real trouble. This goes for all situations. If you are struggling in class, talk to a professor. If you are struggling spiritually, talk to a priest or campus minister. If you are struggling in another way, find someone to talk to. Remember that the older folks that work in and around colleges are there to help you.

9 - College is not just about getting a job. I am not saying that grades are not important. I am not saying you don't want to get a good job. I AM saying that college is about learning about the big questions - Who am I? What is life about? What plan does God have for me? etc. If you figure this out, college will be a success.

8 - You are NOT poor. You may not have as much money as your friends and you almost certainly don't have as much as your parents. This does not make you poor, so don't say you are. You are rich - you get to go to college, you eat as much as you need, you have a place to sleep, etc. Enjoy not having money and be creative with it.

7 - Sit up front. I am assuming that you are going to every class (which costs about $100 dollars per class you skip). If you sit up front in class you are bound to pay more attention to the prof and get better grades. You are also a more familiar face to the prof when you go ask for help (see #1). Sit up front in church as well.

6 - Meet new people and try new things. College is a great time to work on who you are. A great way to do this is to meet different kinds of people from different backgrounds and with different ideas. You need to stay grounded in your faith, morality, and family. But, you should also learn about the world through relationships with others.

5 - Good friends don't always make good roommates. Sometimes your best friend may not be a friend at all after living with them for a year. Choose your roommates wisely. If you want to study, don't room with a friend who has bad study habits. If you want to be responsible, don't room with a friend who is irresponsible.

4 - Don't go into debt on a credit card. Credit card companies are like vultures on college campuses. They are just waiting for you to say "yes" to the free t-shirt so they can have you ring up tons of debt and be locked into a crazy percentage rate that you carry for years and don't pay off until you are retired. Don't fall for it. Keep a budget and be smart about spending money. You don't need all the toys and latest gadgets.

3 - Shower shoes. All that needs to be said.

2 - Have fun! Balance your academics with a good (and healthy) social life. This means you have to do the following - manage your time, find friends who will make good decisions, and be smart about it all.

1 - Church shouldn't be optional. 80% of active Catholics in high school lose their faith by the time they graduate college. So, how do you expect to keep your faith if you don't get active in your parish or campus ministry in college? Do yourself a favor and get involved in the Sacramental, social, service, and faith life at your campus ministry. You won't regret it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

WYD 2011 Madrid by the numbers

To everyone going to World Youth Day--God bless and bring back digital pictures for our website! (Say hello to Fr. Beerman and Bishop Quinn!)

Whether you are or are not, looking at this interactive map of how many people are going from all over the world is fun and rather inspiring:

WYD 2011 Madrid - Official Site - Stats and Figures

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The LV riders still need $13500...

...to reach their $100,000 goal by the cross country ride's end, Saturday! They will be glad to reach the end, I'm sure...but they will be able to rejoice if they make the goal. It's the whole reason for the ride.

Please donate button here! Any amount helps this great cause.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Liturgy and Pastoral Ministry positions available

If you don't know of it, many pastoral ministry jobs (and more) are listed at www.CatholicJobs.com . Check it out. We also have their feed on the left sidebar of this blog (scroll down!)

Also, Saint Mary's Church in Winona is hiring a .5 or .75 time liturgist/music minister. If interested, contact that Church asap for more information.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Familiar Face on the LV Cross-Country Ride

Some of you know Kathy Pederson; she works in Student Services!

They're still raising needed money here: http://www.lvsride.com. Help them out if you can!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lasallian Volunteer Riders Raise Money Through Cross Country Bike Trip

...and they're coming through Winona! Today!

Glenna K. is a recent SMU alum (Human Services) and friend of theology, doing the LONG ride to raise $250,000 for this organization that places recent graduates to work with young people and the poor. Go Glenna!

More information, videos, and ways to donate at http://www.lvsride.com .

Monday, June 13, 2011

News article on one of our spiritual directors

Breaking into your summer vacation to let you about the Winona Daily News' a very nice front page profile on Laurie Watson, part of the Winona Catholic Worker community and one of our program's spiritual directors. Some alums also had her as a supervisor in their internships.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Congratulations to our graduates...

Andrew Brueggen, Corene Marco, Michelle Nietzke, Daniel Streefland, and Michelle Quinn! Well done!

(...and all our scads of minors who graduated as well!)

May God bless you; come back and visit soon!

The Summer 2011 Theology Reading List!

...Just a few suggestions of books we've enjoyed (or are enjoying) that may be fun to take to the pool or lakeshore this summer. We try to suggest books that may not be assigned in class, are relevant to theology-minded folks, and just good, thoughtful summer reads.

Sr. Judith Schaefer, OP:
Prof. Gregory Sobolewski:Prof. Susan Windley-Daoust:

More additions to the list as I receive them....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Question: How do I determine what I need to do be a lay ecclesial minister or teach theology?

(Answer: it's a bit more than taking the required courses and having a good heart.)

Don't be afraid of the technology--it's really quite easy, and you want to do this! And since you have now finished exams (woo hoo!), you have time to do it as well!

As you move through one of the Theology-affiliated majors (or minors) and your liberal arts education at Saint Mary's University, you will be discerning who it is God calls you to be--as well as which skills, educational choices, and formation opportunities you need to best fulfill that vocation. This 14 minute video explains the easy "fill in the blanks" concept map that will help you see for yourself (and show others!) what you have done in the effort required to discern vocation, what your natural interests are, and what work you still need to do. It is designed to be a help in your growing self-awareness, as well as a key to seeing if your desire to move into lay ministry or teaching theology is in line with the guidelines provided by the U.S. Bishops.

If you want to see the Prezi presentation in this video and move through it at your own speed (but without the audio), click here.

Ignore the somewhat lackluster first minute of the video and please watch!

Contact any of us in the theology department with questions.

--Dr WD

Monday, May 9, 2011

Senior thesis presentations, May 2011

Senior thesis presentations, May 2011

Michelle Nietzke, Ellen Bina, Michelle Quinn, and Dan Streefland presenting senior research May 4, 2011. Andrew Brueggen also completed senior research this academic year.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011-12 Ministry Opportunity: SPIRITUS, Wisconsin

From Leah Thibodeau, director:

Happy Easter! I am writing in hopes that you might be able to spread the word about our ministry opportunity here at Mount Tabor Center in Menasha, Wisconsin, called SPIRITUS.

We have an immediate need for young adults between 21-29 years of age who want to ignite the faith of thousands of young Catholics. Our SPIRITUS Team travels throughout Wisconsin giving retreats and programs to Catholic youth in grades 3-12. Not only is this an excellent opportunity to serve the Lord, but SPIRITUS Team members acquire many valuable life skills: proven ability to work in a team; increased confidence; and first-hand experience as a leader in our faith community.

Please visit us at www.spiritusonline.org to learn more about this vital ministry. The videos on the website really give you an idea of what SPIRITUS is all about.

(Flyer available in the Suite!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Catholics On Call" youth conference August 2011: application deadline extended to June 6th

From their website:

Summer Program: August 9-13, 2011

Is your PDA overflowing with appointments and events this summer? Work, weddings, family vacations, ballgames, business trips...it seems to never stop.

Maybe you need some time and space away from the pace of your everyday life, an alternative vacation. Time to learn how to discern and how to listen -- to yourself, and to God.

Every summer, Catholics On Call hosts an annual four-day program at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago. This experience is designed for women and men (ages 18 to 30) who may be thinking about a life of service in the Church as a lay minister, religious sister or brother, or priest, and those who are undecided and want guidance in determining how God is calling them.

* Pray together, share your stories, dreams, and concerns, andenjoy the company of like-minded young adults.
* Hear nationally-known speakers offer insights about how to listen to God’s call in our lives.
* Meet outstanding church ministers who share the stories of their service and how they came to hear God’s call.
* Learn discernment skills and different styles of prayer.

The summer program provides a relaxed, comfortable environment for your personal discernment. It won’t be an experience of recruitment to any church group or community. Rather, it is a chance to listen to the voice of God, as God speaks within you and through others.

Learn more about the 2011 conference and download the application form!

This is what participants say about the conference:

“It was an amazing experience, one that I cannot fully express the enormous impact on my life and my relationship with God.”

“It gave me time to intentionally reflect, in community with others, on God's will for my life--where I've been, where I'm going.”

“Catholics on Call allowed me, for the first time, to be open to God's call in my life and not be afraid of what that could mean.”

All the information and application here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blessed Holy Week! Are you becoming holier?

This is an interesting summary of an article that provides a thoughtful checklist for people discerning the priesthood--although it seems obvious to me that the categories are appropriate for any growing Christian!

A snippet from the online summary:

Here are Fr. Cole's indicators, simplified in the form of nine questions, which suggest the key areas in which we should honestly look for continual growth:
  1. Am I God-centered? This addresses the question of whether we think ourselves the center of the universe, in which case we are likely to be tense, negative and critical. We discern progress here if we come more easily to see the good in others, to accept the dispositions of Providence cheerfully, and to trust in God even in the midst of trials and temptations.

  2. Do I take joy in serving others? There may be times when either our normal duties or interruptions in our routine demand that we occupy ourselves with tasks we do not particularly enjoy, primarily for the benefit of others. We are growing in charity if we find such services easier to perform over time, especially with a sincere desire to be of benefit, and if we gain the ability to remain recollected and prayerful even when doing something we do not naturally enjoy.

  3. Do I hate sin? As time goes on, if we are growing spiritually, we should be increasingly averse not only to great sins but to lesser ones. We should be developing a progressively stronger resolve to avoid anything – including objectively innocent pursuits – which can be an obstacle to our union with God. And of course we should be actively seeking the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are the opposite of the disposition to sin.

  4. Is my conscience delicate? This is closely related, and refers to the need to become ever more sensitive in discerning what is displeasing to God. In the beginning, for example, we may wish to avoid adultery but think nothing of flirting or stealing the odd kiss or two. In time, true growth demands that we more clearly perceive the sinful attitudes at work across the board. Then we will become more watchful over our virtue, even in our thoughts, and we'll also more easily distinguish among degrees of sin, and between temptation and sin.

  5. Am I humble? To use Fr. Basil's own words, a sense of humility "means a submission to whatever God desires in the moment, even if it means being unknown or unrecognized." Pride and vainglory lead us to be calculating in all that we do, in order to increase in stature before the world. But God wants our personal surrender to Himself and to those who, in each moment, represent His will.

  6. Am I faithful in prayer? If we prefer to lose ourselves in a constant whirl of activity, and find that we are uncomfortable being alone with God in the silence of our hearts, we'll go backwards. Spiritual growth is marked by a growing willingness to put ourselves in the presence of God, even if we suffer from dryness or distractions in prayer.

  7. Do my decisions reflect truth and prudence? As we grow spiritually, we should become more adept at knowing when to seek counsel, yet we should also be increasingly able to advise others, or act quickly and decisively ourselves, in ways that will still seem spiritually right after the fact. We should grow in our capacity to size up each situation properly and apply the right virtue and the right solution to each challenge.

  8. Is my heart undivided? Simply put, this question asks whether we allow various interests and attachments to conflict with our thirst for God or whether we are gradually developing a more ordered appreciation of all good things in, through and for God, in proper relationship to Him. Especially with things we particularly enjoy, we should be praying and working to see them in the light of Christ.

  9. Do I love the Church? To again quote Fr. Basil, "the institutional Church is the unsullied Bride of Christ through which He gives Himself and His graces to a flawed people in need of enlightenment and purification from sin." Each day, each moment, we should find ourselves loving the Church more and more wholeheartedly, despite her all too evident human flaws. If that is not happening, it is a sure sign we are backsliding.

Again, food for thought...especially this week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"How Catholics Work Together: Ten Common Strengths and Weaknesses of Church-Based Organizations"

Written by a group that focuses on Catholic leadership

The Spitzer Center has worked with dozens of Catholic organizations, from parishes and dioceses to schools and health care systems.  Our experience has shown us that there’s a constellation of traits – both strengths and weakness – that define the type of culture more typically found in a Catholic workplace. There are areas in which Church-based organizations do well but businesses tend to struggle. There are also practices more common in the business world that Catholic leaders might wish to emulate.

Please bear in mind that what follows are generalizations. They aren’t true of all the organizations we’ve worked with, or all groups within a given organization.  Let me start with the strengths and move on to the weakness, since the latter sometimes results from taking the former a bit too far.

Read the article to see what the strengths and weaknesses are.  Some food for thought.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Happy Feast Day of St. John Baptiste de la Salle!

Who is this?  A major Lasallian scholar, Br. Gerard Rummery spoke at SMU last year. He has a lovely reflection on St. John Baptiste de la Salle here. Worth the seven minutes!

Happy Feast Day of St. John Baptiste de la Salle! And tell that to a brother today as well.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy de la Salle week!

See you at the Founder's Day mass and convocation, Tuesday!  If you can, please participate in some of the many, many events going on this week on campus....

ESTEEM: "The Church's Future. Now."

Interesting new movement for Catholic college seniors, piloting at (mostly) secular schools with Newman programs...but of interest to college students thinking about lay ministry anywhere?

From the website: ESTEEM is a nationwide program to develop the leadership skills of young Catholics. Employing a multifaceted approach, ESTEEM provides college students with the inspiration and tools for deeper engagement in the life and witness of the Church. An initiative of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management and Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale, ESTEEM focuses on the core competencies of spirituality, education, community and service.

There is also more about the new program here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Position Opening: Youth Ministry

St. Rose of Lima Parish, Roseville, Minnesota


POSITION TITLE: Youth Minister for the Parish of St. Rose of Lima Church

FLSA Non Exempt

Reports to: St. Rose of Lima Director of Religious Education and Faith Formation

Direct Reports: None

Provides work direction to: Volunteers

Receives work direction from: Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church or his staff delegate and St. Rose Director of Faith Formation

Resource Person to: St. Rose of Lima Faith Formation Committee, Joint Youth and Adult Advisory Committee/Board/Team and others as requested

This position is part time with personal days and other leave as defined in the Employee Handbook.

Hours hired to work: 16 hours per week, 52 weeks

Purpose of Position: to provide leadership and coordination for the pastoral and spiritual development of youth, and their families; to provide opportunities for their full participation in all aspects of parish life; and to foster their total personal and spiritual growth as guided by the two parishes’ mission statements.


The rest of the job description is available in the Theology Suite.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Franciscan Outreach Volunteers website: want to volunteer next year? Want a job?

We recently received this email from PYM major and alum, Kendall Marsden Grant '06:

...I'm now working for Franciscan Outreach Association as the Volunteer Coordinator [in Chicago]. I run a full time volunteer program like Lasallian Volunteers or many of the others...but on a much smaller scale! Only about 12 volunteers and they work on-site at either our soup kitchen site or the overnight shelter site.

...We're also accepting applications for our volunteer program if you know of any students considering post-grad volunteering I could send you more info. Here at least is the start of our blog, we're trying to use it as a new site for prospective, current and alum volunteers.

Her website:


Thanks, Kendall!

She also sent a listserve to a jobs list, and I should be posting some of those opportunities soon. If you want to sign up for the listserve yourself (a list of ministry jobs available nationally, funneled through the St. Vincent Pallotti center, sent about once a week), I believe you can subscribe here. If you are looking NOW--this is a great resource.

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Aquinas, MacIntyre, and the Reform of Catholic Liberal Education" lecture March 24th

Guest speaker Thomas S. Hibbs will present “Aquinas, MacIntyre, and the Reform of Catholic Liberal Education,” Thursday, March 24, as part of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Lecture Series.

Hibbs is a distinguished professor of Ethics & Culture and dean of the Honors College at Baylor University. The presentation — scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Salvi Lecture Hall — is generously sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, the Dean of Humanities and Sciences, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, in cooperation with the minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. For more information, contact Dr. Joseph Tadie at jtadie or Ext. 6652.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Have you RSVP-ed?

...for the March 18th workshop with Rich Curran?

...do so today in the Theology suite or with Sr. Judy Schaefer....

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lent starts March 9th

...while you are on Spring Break!

Some good Lenten options online:

The USCCB has a nice Lent 2011 page as well, with suggestions and links.

And of course we have many things going on at SMU as well, especially through Campus Ministry (go see them to sign up for small group reflection on Lenten themes). Happy Fat Tuesday, blessed Ash Wednesday, blessings to those going on SOUL trips, and see you after break!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Workshop on Youth Ministry with national consultant Rich Curran, March 18

March 18, 2011
President's Room
Lunch provided with RSVP (email: jschaefe or sign up in the Theology suite!)

A workshop for ALL Pastoral and youth ministry and Theology majors: If you had the chance to ask a ministry expert questions about life in ministry, especially youth ministry, what would you ask? Is there a best “program” to run at a parish? Are all pastors easy to work with? How long does it take to get 100 teens involved? Do they serve Ramen noodles at staff meetings? How do you get other adults to help? Will I burn out? What are the first five things I should do when I get hired?

--Come and spend the lunch hour with national speaker and youth ministry consultant Rich Curran. Rich is a funny, energetic and experienced lay minister who has served in ministry for over 20 years at the parish, diocesan and national level, and now speaks to over 50,000 youth and church workers each year. Rich is also a SMU alum! Bring your questions and spend two hours positioning yourself for a fruitful life in lay ministry. See a clip of Rich in action at www.richcurran.com .

p.s. if you need to miss class to attend, please let us know. We will send a notice to your professors asking them to allow you to attend and make up your classwork.

Also--if you are thinking "but I'm not interested in youth ministry, exactly"--come anyway. Many of the questions have to do with lay ministry in general, culture and theology, and frankly, if you work in a parish, you will be working in youth ministers! And you will be working with young people! This is a workshop that will be of value to everyone in the program. Clear your calendar, RSVP, and see you there!

p.s. Youtube link to Rich in action.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Apply now for Catholics on Call summer conference

August 9-13: A five day conference in Chicago with major theologians and Church leaders to help young adults across the nation, ages 18-30, discern their call.  Only $100 (I believe that includes room and board!).  Apply and get more information here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Retreat options this semester (or summer)

Hello everyone!
We've taken into account the students retreat survey from December 2010, and have decided to postpone a discernment retreat until Fall 2011. In short, the upperclassmen were not as interested in an SMU retreat as the 1st year folks, and because Th 209 had to be canceled for this semester, we will be offering it in the Fall...along with a retreat option for students who are interested in growing their discernment of vocation and "trying out" lay ecclesial ministry.

In the meantime, if you want to do a retreat this semester off campus, here are some options:

Of course, there are other options out there as well!

These retreat centers are rather different from each other, and you may want to do some research before making a reservation and hitting the road.

Also, if students are interested in spiritual direction, Dr. WD and Lynn Streefland in OCM each have a list of directors in the Winona area to contact.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Calling all seniors

If you think there won't be anything here for Theology/PYM/Re.Ed majors, look at the hiring list--and they have internships and volunteer-stipended positions at a number of Church-related nonprofits.

Attention SMU Seniors, Juniors and Sophomores:

Register NOW to attend the Minnesota Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair. This fair is specifically designed for you, students of Minnesota's Private Colleges.
When: Tuesday, February 22, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday, February 23, 8:30 - 4:00 (interviews only)

Where: Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis MN

How much: There is a non-refundable registration fee of $14.00. Pre- registration is required.
Registration deadline is February 18.
To register:
1) stop by Career Services and Internship, 136 Saint Mary's Hall
2) or call ext. 6996
3) or email vmcdonal at smumn dot edu

Meet with over 150 company representatives!!!
During this time, employers will be collecting resumes and some will be scheduling interviews for that same day and the next day. The list of employers currently registered for the fair is at www.mnpcfair.org. It is also recommended that you send cover letters and resumes to employers ahead of time to pre-arrange an interview at the fair. In addition, you can post your resume for employers to view at www.mnpcfair.org.

Prepare for the fair.
A "How to Prepare for a Job Fair" workshop will be held Tuesday February 15th, at 3:30 in Saint Mary's Hall Room 132. Plan to attend to help you prepare for the fair!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fr. Lasuba on the Conflict/Vote in the Sudan

The Peace and Justice Club will present Father John Lasuba, who will give a presentation about the unrest in the Sudan at 7 p.m. on February 17th in the Presidents Lounge. Father Lasuba lost his father and his five brothers to war in Sudan. He was separated from his two sisters when he moved to the United States in 2004. Now he ministers to 22 new Sudanese families at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in downtown Rochester.

I think this is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about unrest in another part of the world. Since Fr. Lasuba will be speaking from personal experience, students will have a better understanding of the seriousness of the situation. He will also be addressing the recent secession that was voted on January 9, 2010. We would greatly appreciate it if you could spread this information on to your students. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email me at bmcoff07. Thank you so much.


Bridget Coffou

Class of 2011
Peace and Justice Facilitator

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aquinas lecture cancelled, will be rescheduled

Due to arctic conditions in Texas. The irony of it all!

We'll announce the rescheduled date as soon as we have it.

26 Years of World Youth Day in Two Minutes

Faith Formation Director position available

Faith Formation Director: The Tri-Parish Faith Communities of St. Joseph, St. Leo, and St. Martin are seeking a Full-Time Faith Formation Director to focus on the faith formation of the youth and the adults in these 3 parishes. Qualifications: Practicing Catholic, Bachelors degree. Preferred: Degree in Religious Education. Send your resume, references and wage requirements to Fr. Gerald Kosse, St. Leo Catholic Church, PO Box 36, Pipestone, MN 56164 or pastor at triparishmn dot org by March 15th.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Doing research? You want to know about this.

Ever heard of Zotero?  It's a downloadable add-on to use with the Firefox browser that helps you organize and collect the documents you are using in your research.  I cannot communicate how great this little program is.  It is powerful point and click technology, and more importantly, can really help with research work throughout your college career.

Dr WD is in the thick of Zotero right now for a research project, so you can ask her how to use it. The librarians (especially Carol Daul-Elhindi) can help you out as well.

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Aquinas, MacIntyre, and the Reform of Catholic Liberal Education" lecture on Feb 10

Guest speaker Thomas S. Hibbs will present “Aquinas, MacIntyre, and the Reform of Catholic Liberal Education,” Thursday, Feb. 10, as part of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Lecture Series.

Hibbs is a distinguished professor of Ethics & Culture and dean of the Honors College at Baylor University. The presentation — scheduled for 7 p.m. in the President’s Room — is generously sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, the Dean of Humanities and Sciences, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, in cooperation with the minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. For more information, contact Dr. Joseph Tadie at jtadie or at Ext. 6652.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New position listing

Church of St. Andrew, Elk River
Director of Music and Liturgy: Immediate opening for a full-time energetic and creative Director of Music and Liturgy to further develop present music ministry and liturgy in 2,000+ family parish. Responsibilities include liturgy planning, choir direction, and liturgical minister support. Desired background includes BA (required; MA preferred) in related field; parish experience preferred; current theology and liturgical background in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council; and proficiency in organ, piano and voice. A broad
knowledge of contemporary and traditional music is necessary. Send resumes to Fr. Joseph E. Korf, Church of St. Andrew, 566 4th St. NW, Elk River, MN 55330; e-mail to ; or fax to (763) 441-1485.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lost? continued....

Remember this post? There is a twenty-something response:

Agree or disagree, this is fascinating stuff. Carry the conversation into the classroom.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Retreat Center position available

We're passing this opportunity along. Please feel free to apply if you are graduating or have graduated, and contact them for more information.


WHERE: LaSalle Manor Retreat Center
Plano, IL (55 miles southwest of Chicago)

WHEN: Starting July 2011
TITLE: Retreat Staff Member

DESCRIPTION: Working with a team of 4 ministering to high school
students, mainly during two day retreats.

BENEFITS: Room and board; full medical/dental; vehicle usage and

SALARY : Negotiable

QUALIFICATIONS: Youth ministry experience preferred.
College degree preferred.
Theology courses a definite plus.

CONTACT: Bob Dressel
(630) 552-3224 x101 or

John Donahue Grossman
(630) 308-8281

(631) 552-9160 Fax or

Email: bobdressel at lasallemanor dot org
Website: www.lasallemanor.org

RETREAT STAFF MEMBERS: Well established program looking for faith-filled team members beginning July 2011. Work with a 4 person team ministering to high school students during 2 day retreats at LaSalle Manor Retreat Center located in a beautiful log cabin setting in Plano, IL (55 miles southwest of Chicago). Benefits include room/board, complete medical/dental, vehicle usage, salary and more. Youth ministry experience preferred.

Contact Bob Dressel at (630) 552-3224 x101 or John Donahue-Grossman (630) 308-8281;
Fax at (630)552-9160; or Email bobdressel at lasallemanor dot org. Website www.lasallemanor.org