• The power of image

    by Father Jim Schmitmeyer

    We’ve heard the adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. In an essay for Image, A. G. Harmon probes the spiritual connections between viewers and photographs. According to Harmon, photography’s use of the “raw stuff” of the… read more

  • Principled ministry: be comfortable with conflict

    by Carroll Juliano, SHCJ and Loughlan Sofield, ST

    If your actions inspire others to dream more, to learn more, to do more and to be more than they are, then you are a leader. —John Quincy Adams Effective leadership is similar to being a good chef. You have to know the right amounts of spices … read more

  • Practical pastoral planning builds community

    by Deacon Eric Paige

    As parishioners, nothing makes us feel more a part of the parish community than when we can help the parish do good work. Not surprisingly, if we know specifically what things the parish needs us to do, we are more likely to do them. By setting realistic goals, we … read more

  • Sacrament of Reconciliation

    by Ted Fleet

    “I fought with my sister.”  “I forgot to feed my dog.”  “My brother picks on me.”  “Um … um … I don’t remember.”  Yes, it’s time once again in our parish for… read more

  • Realism Gives Power To Pastoral Planning

    by Deacon Eric Paige

    When we begin a pastoral planning process, it is natural to dream of all the good things that our parish could do and it can be exhilarating to imagine all the possibilities. Unfortunately, no matter how noble or beautiful, parish plans and goals can… read more

  • Case study: Preaching preferential option for the poor

    by Mark G. Reamer, O.F.M.

    The caseMany of the gospel readings lend themselves to preaching about the social teaching of the church. But every time I even touch on this topic, several of the parishioners get upset. They tell me I should keep politics out of church. How can I help… read more

  • Three keys to a successful church renovation

    by Marilyn Morgan, RSM

    Are your parishioners tripping over a worn carpet in your worship space? Is your worship space cramping the way you would really like to celebrate the sacraments? Have you heard some “horror stories” of parishes that have been involved in… read more

  • Case study: Master the parish budget process

    by Mark G. Reamer, OFM, and Kevin C. Mullins, OSA

    The case: How do I get the budget under control so I can do what I was ordained for?I don’t have much financial expertise. But now I have to manage a large parish budget, and I’m sinking under all the numbers and spreadsheets. There must … read more

  • Reeling in free-form worship

    by Ted Fleet

    I can’t blame people for not knowing what’s appropriate for liturgy when they see so many instances of free-form worship in our culture (some, alas, in Catholic churches). This leaves me in a tough spot when I’m asked questions like… read more

  • Create compassionate congregations

    by David DeLambo

    Is your parish considering becoming more involved in social outreach? If not, perhaps it should. A recent study by the Hartford Institute for Religious Research found that congregations emphasizing social justice and offering a variety of outreach ministries… read more