christina.semmens

97 posts

“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? […]

Choosing What To Do In These Times We Have Been Given

In light of all the many events that have gone on nationally and personally, it’s hard to believe that only 4 days has passed since I last posted. For those who may be unaware, the reports out of Washington DC and Pennsylvania regarding the abuse of minors by Catholic clergy during the last 60 years has been a punch to the gut for sure. Not because I am surprised by the depravity of human beings, but rather because to be confronted by the reality of evil in the world is always discouraging–if we only focus upon the evil. One of […]

Doing All Things In Him With Immaculata

Today is the Memorial of St Maximilian Kolbe. He was a Franciscan priest who was martyred in 1941 in the Auschwitz concentration camp when he volunteered to take the place of a husband and father who had been chosen to die by the Nazi prison guards. St Maximilian had a deep and profound devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. St Maximilian’s title of endearment for Mary was Immaculata, and he founded the Militia Immaculata–which has the goal of sharing with the world how Mary’s intercession and support help us on our journey towards holiness. Here is an excerpt from […]

Two Easy Ways To Put First Things First

I have found that beginning and ending each day properly, or “right ordered”, is one of the keys to experiencing peace in my life. To be “right-ordered” means simply to put first things first. And that means my first, and my last, thoughts are of God. My first thought in the morning is encapsulated in my saying “Good morning” as I offer the well known Suscipe prayer written by St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits: “Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. Whatever I have or hold, you have […]

No End to the Overflowing and Abundant Graces

I have now been blogging daily for more than a month (actually 38 days!) and I am in awe at how our Lord has sustained and helped me in this endeavor–just as He said he would when I first committed to 30 days straight. I admit that my hesitancy to a daily writing commitment was partially a fear that I wouldn’t be able to have anything to say, but also because I was forgetting that God is the One in charge to begin with! LOL But my willingness to trust and step out in faith has resulted by my life […]