christina.semmens

51 posts

3 Reasons I Believe Dumbledore’s Sexuality Will NOT Be a Highlight of the Fantastic Beasts Movie Franchise

Recently, I was sharing with a friend my excitement about the upcoming November 16th release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. His response was very subdued, and when I queried him as to why, he responded, “I’m just not interested in seeing the whole Dumbledore-Grindelwald love story on screen.” I quickly assured him that I highly doubted that such a thing would happen, particularly since J.K. Rowling is the one writing the screenplay. Although my comments seemed to mollify my friend enough that he was willing to go see the movie, his reaction caused me to reflect that perhaps […]

A Time of Joy and Hope

Am currently traveling back from the V National Encuentro (which is taking far longer than I expected since my flight got cancelled and I was rerouted!), but it’s given me the opportunity to reflect and process on these last 4 days in which I was privileged to accompany 3,000 others from across the United States. For those of you who might be unaware, the Encuentro “process” was initiated more than 2 years ago by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops when they requested that the Hispano/Latino Catholic communities gather together to reflect, discuss, compile and then present the needs […]

“Never Underestimate What One Saint Can Do To Change The World”

Today is the conclusion of my series inspired by a conversation with Everett Fritz, author of the recently released book, The Art of Forming Young Disciples: Why Youth Ministries Aren’t Working And What To Do About It. Everett had just shared with me the methodology of “think small, to grow big” and although I understood why, I was wondering whether this process has proven to be effective. Instead of responding with a yes or no, Everett shared with me the story of Jan Tyranowski. Jan was a tailor in Poland in the beginning of the twentieth century. As a young […]

“Train The Ministers First”

Today I continue sharing insights from a conversation that I recently had with Everett Fritz, author of the recently released book, The Art of Forming Young Disciples: Why Youth Ministries Aren’t Working And What To Do About It. After our discussion about the realities present in ministry today, how the current models of youth ministry in the Church are not meeting the needs of youth, and the shift in mentality necessary in order to be open to doing things differently, my next question to Everett was “What’s the first step if you decide you want to try and change how […]

“Can’t Judge Success By The Number of Warm Bodies”

Today I continue sharing insights from a conversation that I recently had with Everett Fritz, author of the recently released book, The Art of Forming Young Disciples: Why Youth Ministries Aren’t Working And What To Do About It. Everett and I had spoken about the reality occurring in the Church regarding the loss of young adults, and why that was happening—primarily, because the pastoral needs of young people are not being met within the current structures and practices of the Church, especially in how the Good News is being shared in youth ministry and catechetical programs. Religious education-based ministries—like a […]

“Can’t Instruct People Into Discipleship”

Yesterday, I began sharing parts of a conversation that I was privileged to have with Everett Fritz, author of the recently released book, The Art of Forming Young Disciples: Why Youth Ministries Aren’t Working And What To Do About It. Today, I will focus upon an aspect of our conversation that I myself have intuitively known, and have been searching to find an answer for how to do it, when Everett said, “You can’t instruct people into lifelong discipleship.” Because my own experience of working with youth and adults has reflected that exact reality, I immediately asked Everett what he […]

“Someone Needed To Speak The Truth”

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with Everett Fritz, author of the recently released book, The Art of Forming Young Disciples: Why Youth Ministries Aren’t Working And What To Do About It. As we began our conversation, I asked Everett what had prompted him to write his book. “I felt that it was important that someone speak the truth about why we are losing young people (from practicing the Catholic faith), and to offer suggestions about what needs to be done. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that a Catholic publisher (Sophia Institute Press) was willing to publish it […]

Sharing Best Practices in the Vineyard

For those of you who may be unaware, part of my own efforts to say yes and pursue holiness in my personal life is through my work with high school students and young adults. Part of what drives me is the reality that so many people are “turning away” from the very thing that will bring them purpose, peace and abundance in their lives, but the “siren call” of what the world offers–money, power and pleasure–lures many of us, but especially young people, on to the rocks of depression, despair and addiction. These lures are particularly overwhelming in our culture […]

Whose Standard Are You Choosing?

Bishop Robert Barron’s Reflection for today, this Feast of Mary as Queen of Heaven, is absolutely brilliant, so wanted to share it. In particular, Bishop Barron refers to the “two standards” meditation that is part of St Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. The “two standards” are a reference to the battle pennants that are flown at the head of an army, and St Ignatius invites all people to meditate upon whose army are we a part? God’s with all the angels and saints who fight for the good, true and beautiful and the things of eternity like love and friendship? […]