Tag: faith

Strong Practices for Leaders in Catholicism

To be considered a leader within the Catholic faith, one does not have to necessarily become a priest, nun, or deacon. Simply spreading the word of the Lord and embracing your Catholic roots to better the world around you can have a highly positive impact, and can help you develop the leadership qualities you didn’t know you had.

To define leadership, this a principle among those who are able to positively influence their surroundings, whether through service themselves or the service of others. The key to strong leadership is being able to focus on others rather than yourself. That being said, the following practices are just a few ways to grow your Catholic leadership abilities.

Disciplined Prayer Schedule

Maintaining a consistent prayer schedule and making time to do so is crucial to develop leadership skills within the faith. One who understands the value of devoting time to prayer and connecting with God is one who will be able to effectively guide others just as the Lord guides us.

Have a Clear Mission

Just as Jesus did himself, having a clear mission and knowing what you want to focus your efforts on is crucial. From Luke 4:18 – “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Catholic leaders must be willing to help others and show them the value of a life connected to God.

Practice Humility

Treating others as you would like to be treated is not a new concept. However, acting in a leadership position can easily stroke the ego of someone with little experience as a leader, thus potentially leading to arrogance or a sense of entitlement. A strong leader sees him or herself as nothing more than a servant of God. Remain disciplined, but confident.

Promote Catholic Culture

To lead those within the Catholic faith, and even those outside of it, you must study, understand, believe, and confidently defend the core principles and general beliefs of Catholicism. To have faith is to have wisdom, and to teach others this with confidence is one of the best ways to spread that. 

10 Ways to Enhance a School Leader’s Spiritual Life

Here are ten ways to enhance a school leader’s spiritual life by using beauty while having a conversation with God.

 

  1. Find a beautiful church to sit in. If magnificent cathedrals feel overwhelming or there are none nearby, find one with simple beauty—a statue, painting, stained glass windows, stations of the cross, crucifix, or beautiful tabernacle that you can soak in while in the presence of God.
  1. Use nature. Research shows that nature has a calming effect on us. Find a place to experience that—a forest, a mountain view, a creek, a garden…even a snow hill sparkling in the sunlight. Thank God for his care that he even provides for our senses.
  1. Art. Go to a museum, watch a video about art, look up beautiful art in the library on the Internet, sit before a picture in your home that you enjoy. Consider the talent God gives to people so to give glory to him and enjoyment to us.
  1. Music. There is a reason we say to “lift your voices.” Beautiful music seems to rise to heaven as it also lifts our spirits. Sacred music, glory and praise, choir, or beautiful symphonies, can lift our spirits to the harmony of our soul in union with God.
  1. Books. Look back over favorite book that have lifted your spirit. The Bible is a good start. Ask friend what their favorite book are. Order books you have always wanted to read.
  1. Find a beautiful prayer book. The prayers and litanies—old, new, and from the Mass—offer spiritual beauty in a book that lifts the senses just holding and looking at.
  1. Plan a pilgrimage to a holy site or take a simple car trip. Traveling to beautiful and holy places feeds the spirit and a sense of adventure at the same time. Since there are such places throughout the country, there may be something very near to you.
  1. Watch an inspirational movie. There are endless stories, documentaries, and lives of the saints on video or online.
  1. Get a beautiful rosary. Of course, it is not necessary because prayer is communication with God from the heart. Sometimes, I use a simple rosary finger ring, but a beautiful rosary adds an element of enjoyment by engaging my senses.
  1. Focus on your faculty/staff directory and pray for each staff member and their family – one at a time.

Not Letting Kids “Go Dark” from Faith During Summer

Originally published on NCEATalk.org

The following article is a re-posting of John Jimenez’s blog, NOT LETTING KIDS “GO DARK” FROM FAITH DURING THE SUMMER.

All around the country, the end of the school year is here. And to most children, that means only one thing: summer vacation. The normal routine is broken up for two and a half glorious months of sleeping in, summer camps, family trips, play dates with friends, or whatever unique joys summer vacation brings to a child’s life.

This regular break from regularity is a wonderful thing, but often children can see it as a break from everything they normally do, including the practice and growth of their Catholic Faith. Many parish ministries and religious education programs “go dark” for the summer, and of course, if a child is in Catholic school, that regular connection with the Faith is dormant for the summer months.

As parents, though, we don’t want our children to take a break from their Faith during the summer. We don’t want them to take nearly 25% of every year to stop praying, learning, or growing closer to God. But we may find ourselves more on our own, without as much help from the school or parish during the summer. Thankfully, Catholic Brain does not go dark for the summer; the following are some ideas of how it can help.

Building A Summer Faith Routine

The break in routine during the summer gives the opportunity for some special religious opportunities. We can take our children to visit local shrines, participate more in service projects, or even make a pilgrimage. But in order to help our children continue to make the Faith an integral part of their daily lives, many people find making some summer routine helpful.

One simple thing to do is make use of the daily Scripture presentations from Catholic Brain. Each morning children can start their day by reading a child-friendly translation of the day’s readings at Mass, followed by a simple five-question quiz. This allows them to join the mind of the Church in pondering God’s Word throughout the summer.

The saints are our constant companions throughout our journey in life. Each day children can learn about the Saint of the Day. This way, throughout the summer, they will be able to make many new heavenly friends. In the morning, at meals, and before bed, children can be encouraged to ask that day’s saint to pray for them. By incorporating the daily Scripture readings and saints, the Catholic Faith can continue to be part of the rhythm of our children’s daily lives.

“Faithful” Screen Time

One of the things that many children spend more time doing in the summer is watching television. Catholic Brain has many wonderful videos for children, about the life of Jesus or other Bible stories, about the saints or virtues. If children will have more screen time this summer, perhaps it can begin with one of the videos found on the site. Have them share with you what they learn each day.

Of course, there are all sorts of things that can be found on Catholic Brain, from games and other activities, to printables and music. The extra time this summer gives children an opportunity to search the site on their own and find things that interest them.

Summer Catechism Study Program

One of the best opportunities Catholic Brain is offering this summer is its eight-week Summer Catechism Study Program, beginning June 18, and running through August 10. This child-friendly approach to the truths of our Faith is built to become part of daily life.

The 38 videos correspond to the 38 lessons in the Baltimore Catechism, and are accompanied by activities, games and quizzes. Children can track their progress by earning badges throughout the program and each child will earn a certificate of completion when they finish. They will also take a final quiz, and those with the highest scores can win Catholic Brain store gift cards, trophies, and free Biblezon tablets. Best of all, the program allows kids to end the summer with a deeper understanding of the Faith than they began it with. Just go to the Catholic Brain site, and click on the pink “Summer Catechism Study Program” tab to sign up!

Bishop Encourages Men to Stay Connected to Church

bishop-hyingIn many areas the Catholic faith is well practiced and there’s a strong sense of religious involvement among the entire community. There are also many area where the Catholic faith has fallen short and is not practiced as regularly unfortunately. The Catholic Church does spend a considerable amount of time trying to reach out to as many people as they can in order to bestow the gifts of the Catholic faith upon those willing to receive it. The Church as a whole tries its very hardest to encourage communities and individuals to stay connected with the Church but recently Bishop Donald Hying is targeting men specifically.

Bishop Hying preaches to his Catholic community that it’s a wonderful time to be Catholic and follow the faith as well as challenge spiritual leaders to develop specialized spiritual plans to really know and understand Jesus Christ. Bishop Hying reminded the spiritual leaders about the importance of becoming role models and suggesting men increase their efforts and get children more excited about the Church community. He was recently interviewed about his lessons and said, “We have to go back to the beginning and preach about Jesus Christ as if nobody has ever heard of him. We have to re-energize the world. We have to do it through engagement.”

Bishop Hying went on in the interview to point out the disconnect college age students and other young adults have with the Church. He wants the spiritual direction of today’s youth to be corrected and brought back to a place of faith. Bishop Hying wants the Catholic Church to “intentionally live our faith” and stresses the need to be “dynamically engaged” so that the communities of faith don’t lose integral members.

I find it very interesting what Bishop Hying is doing. I agree with his view on keeping men interested and engaged with the Catholic faith and the communities that practice Catholicism. His encouragement and commitment to serving others and the faith as a whole stand testament to his love for Jesus Christ.

 

Thank you for reading!

Steve Virgadamo