” … be bold and creative …”

According to a 2015 Pew Research report, for every one Catholic convert, more than six Catholics leave the church. Church administration and pastoral work, including catechesis, as usual isn’t going to reverse or even halt the trend. As Pope Francis says, we have to “find new ways to spread the word.” Here is some very specific advice…

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Confirmation Prep Online

Most of the parishioners of my church live at least a 60-minute train, bus or drive away. They usually only make this trip to church on Sundays to attend Mass. Afterward, some will spend the rest of the day in the area eating, shopping and visiting friends and relatives. Very little happens at the church…

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The Virtual Church

The video posted above introduces you to a virtual church. The church’s target audience is people who are open to the Word, but who, for various reasons cannot or do not attend a ‘brick and mortar’ church. I also use it to meet with children [who find it difficult to meet at our Manhattan-based church…

Read more The Virtual Church

Bringing the Word to Life

According to the Washington Post, Sesame Street has stuck to a super-successful principle: If you tell a story, and tuck information into it, kids will remember that information. “Storytelling is critical,” [says] Jennifer Kotler Clarke, Sesame’s vice president for research and evaluation … “If you organize information in storytelling, children are more likely to learn…

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Church: a Tourist Destination

Many churches have a local historical significance such as oldest building in the community, first ‘such and such’ church, etc. Such a distinction can be leveraged to build traffic and visitor donations. Our church was built in 1801 and sits in the heart of the infamous ‘Five Points’ [think of the movie Gangs of New York]…

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First Impressions Matter

These days, I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone or any organization why having a website is important. If you’re not convinced, just Google “ten reasons why my organization [or program or church] should have a website.” A website can be a great repository of administrative and educational information your children, their parents and potential…

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Back to School

When I tell friends that I recently took a specialized business management course online, I suspect they’re thinking, “online? … must be dumb-down and boring.” Nothing could be further from the truth in the case of the Villanova School of Business Master of Science in Church Management online program*. [And no, I haven’t been paid…

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Parish Management Group

After graduating from the Villanova Church Management program, several classmates and I established the Parish Management Group; a think tank and management consultancy focused on the application and continued development of the new science of parish management. Central to successful parish management is professional and moral ethical behavior, fiduciary responsibility, environmental stewardship and social justice. The work…

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The Catholic Church in China

Located in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown stands Transfiguration Church; the church I attend.  Built in 1801, the church building was first used by Dutch Lutherans. As Manhattan became less Dutch and more English, it evolved to serve an Episcopal congregation. The Roman Catholic Church bought the building in 1853 to serve a…

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The Face of Catholic America

“The face of Catholic America is changing. Today, immigrants make up a considerable share of Catholics, and many are Hispanic. At the same time, there has been a regional shift, from the Northeast (long home to a large percentage of the Catholic faithful) and Midwest to the Western and Southern parts of the U.S.” —…

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What is Church Planting?

Not that it is a criteria for creativity, but I find most creative people I know are also open-minded; curious, for example, about what our evangelistic brothers and sisters in Christ are doing to spread the word. Take, again for example, the growing popularity of church planting. If you’re unfamiliar with the movement, here’s the…

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Pastoral Planning Playbook

Can you answer these questions? If your Director of Religious Education suddenly took ill and was unable to perform his/her duties, would a successor immediately be able to pick up where his/her predecessor left off? If your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system shut down and was beyond repair, would you have the money in…

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CST/One

For those who leverage entertainment (like sports, movies and music) to lure young people into the church, video gaming should be among your options. Over 80% of American teen boys (12-17) and 59% of teen girls play video games. (1) In the eyes of many people who don’t play video games, video games are seen as…

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When they stop coming

As I have mentioned before, a growing number of young people and adults no longer find the Catholic church relevant to their lives. In recognition of this, I gave the following talk to parents of children in our religious education program.                              …

Read more When they stop coming

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