Confessions of a Catholic Missionary

I’m often faced with a heart that is racing and sweaty palms when I’m sitting in the presence of the Lord because I question if this was right. But just at that moment he whispers “Hey, look at me! I’m right here; don’t run from me I’m not done with you yet.” In that moment of clarity, I stare at Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament I feel all the weight life off my shoulders. This choice I have made is right because it’s exactly what Jesus is asking of me right now.

Everyday Evangelization: Locker-bays and Catacombs

The word “evangelization” reminds me of a time I was ambushed in a parking lot. One summer afternoon I was sitting in the parking lot of Starbucks with my windows rolled down, ready to pull out. I had my iced coffee, I buckled my seatbelt, turned on my country music, glanced in my rearview mirror […]

My Heart Can Hope Again

The reason behind my anxiety was that of a former soldier. It was just in 2011 I was on a patrol in Afghanistan. With our armored vehicles pinned between a high flowing river and a road that had just given out. We had dismounted to set perimeters on the heights around us as well as check the layout. But none the less, we were sitting ducks and this was a perfect place for an ambush. The ride there had already shot my nerves. We had gotten Intel that the Taliban had been very present there as well as the road side bombs that accompanied them.

Now What?: Advice for After a Youth Conference

When you wake up, you look at your floor, strewn with t-shirts, phone numbers of friends, and your journal. You remember the moments that challenged you, the resolutions you made to make changes in your life: to delete the songs on your computer, to change who you hang out with, and to basically be the Mother Theresa of the tenth grade.

How to Win at LTLC: Getting the Most Out of Your Week

The biggest thing I learned from last year at LTLC was to get out of my comfort zone. Whether that means being more open to prayer and allowing Christ in your life, or going out of your way to say hi to other people. I’m a naturally shy person, but once you get to know me I won’t shut up.

Confessions of a (Reformed) Catholic Hipster

I loved (and still love) being Catholic. I loved belonging to my parish, to my youth group, to the choir, and to the picnic committee. I wanted to be involved in anything that allowed me to express my faith. However, I now realize that sometimes my zeal for my faith made me act like I was part of an exclusive club — not the Body of Christ on earth, commissioned to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

The Sidewalk Missionary: My Divine Appointment from Finland

It was a scorching hot summer day. We left the shade of the high Barcelona city buildings and crossed over a plaza on our way to the pier. It was while we were joking around, probably complaining about the heat and our naive decision not to bring water bottles that God provided a divine appointment.

An Open Letter to Brent: On the Power of Words

Dear Brent, My first year at Life Teen I was the awkward freshman in the corner of the room, trying to go unnoticed, so I understand if you didn’t see me. I saw you, though. You were a confident senior and the center of attention. It seemed like everyone admired you, and with good reason. […]

In Name Only?: When Your Catholic School Isn’t Very Catholic

“All-school Mass today? Sweet, that means no math class first period!”“Pro-Life March? You mean three days off school and a trip to D.C.!”“Would anyone like to say a prayer to start class?” *crickets*Man . . . do any Catholics even go to this school?!I went to Catholic schools my entire life, and I’m not gonna lie: sometimes, I wondered. It often felt like we were Catholic in name only – and even then, it’s not like we wrote it boldly across our t-shirts.

I’m Walking Away: Standing up against Immorality

I’ve always lived a rather sheltered life. I was raised Catholic and sent to Catholic School — there was never any moment when my faith and belief in God was truly tested. But now that I’ve entered college and am studying at a school that’s far from Catholic, within the first week of orientation God […]

Silence is Impossible

The Apostles couldn't explain how Jesus rose from the dead but they still spoke the truth because they experienced His rising in person. I couldn't intellectually or scientifically prove the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (see CCC 1374) yet I proclaimed it as true because I have experienced what Jesus has done for me through the Eucharist.

Type Nice: Digital Evangelization

If you're on any type of social media and have an opinion about anything, you've probably experienced this. You type, 'Wendys fries are so much better than McDonald's' as a status update. You walk away from your computer and return to find World War III has broken out on your wall, with friends declaring their allegiances.

10 Ways to Share Your Faith

What's your New Year's resolution? Are you going to study more? Eat your vegetables? Finally watch all those episodes of Honey Boo Boo clogging up the DVR?

How about a resolution to proclaim your faith a little more?

You know, proclaim. To state publicly, to announce, to shout from the rooftops. In his letter on the Year of Faith Pope Benedict XVI writes that,

'The Church on the day of Pentecost demonstrates with utter clarity this public dimension of believing and proclaiming one's faith fearlessly to every person.'

That Awkward Silence: Sharing Your Faith With Your Family

The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things 'wrong' with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so 'mindlessly' follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?

That Awkward Silence: Sharing Your Faith With Your Family

The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things 'wrong' with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so 'mindlessly' follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?

Stop Yelling At Me

St. Peter said that we should always be ready 'to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence' (1 Peter 3:15). It's important to know what the church teaches and why, so that we can explain it in class, in debates, and defend the Church’s position, even to our friends.

Stop Yelling At Me

St. Peter said that we should always be ready 'to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence' (1 Peter 3:15). It's important to know what the church teaches and why, so that we can explain it in class, in debates, and defend the Church’s position, even to our friends.

Fight Like a Saint

My goal in life is to be a saint, and I hope yours in too, so we need to ask ourselves … how do I treat people when I disagree with them?

Look actions 1 – 4 above and replace ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏSt. Peter' with whomever you disagree with. Are you more likely to gossip about the person, tell other people how wrong they are, or even fight with the person? Or are you mature enough to respectfully talk with the person and still give them the honor they deserve?

I Am Catholic

Did any of your family or friends think you were crazy for becoming Catholic? How did you respond?

My family was supportive, but my friends were not in the least bit. Most of them doubted that I could ever change or stick with it. They were just waiting for me to fall again. In a way, that doubt from other people pushes you harder. I looked at their doubt in me as an extra source of motivation.

Standing Up For Truth: It’s Worth It

However, I've heard so many people attack what they think the Catholic Church is saying about homosexuality and gay marriage that I want to clear things up a bit.