Director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis
Episode | July 20th, 2021 | 57 mins 48 secs
The rate of culture change in the last 20 years has been swift. This has created a gap in how well adults are able to relate to the youngest in our communities. And unfortunately, this inability to understand and walk with the youth has also led to many leaving the Church. In fact, the median age that a youth lives the faith is...13. So how do we accompany Gen Z? Today, my guest, Jodi Phillips, offers a model for youth ministry that advocates discipleship.
Episode | July 13th, 2021 | 40 mins 30 secs
This is the first time in a many years that no priests were ordained in our diocese, and it's during times like these that people throw around the phrase "vocations crisis". I'm sure the idea that there is a vocations crisis will come as no surprise to you, but I think the solutions that we propose in this episode will. Today, I talk to Fr. Roza, our Vocations Director, and he suggests that the ultimate solution lies in reviving the faith of the laity.
Episode | June 22nd, 2021 | 59 mins 18 secs
Imagine if you were defined by the worst thing you ever did, the worst moment of your life. Jesus came to preach freedom to captives. He offers mercy, healing, and miracles to those who just reach out in faith. For most of us, this means freedom from sin. But my guest on the EquipCast today preaches freedom to literal prisons. Through Alpha, men in our local prison who have never experienced love in their life, are for the first time receiving love with no strings attached. Witness it for yourself.
Episode | June 15th, 2021 | 55 mins 24 secs
We talk a lot on this podcast about evangelization and mission. I can cast vision all day long, but the reality is…actually going on mission is scary. How do I recognize the people in my life that are ready to hear the Good News of Jesus? How do I get over the fear of stepping outside of my comfort zone to share my faith? There’s no one answer that will work for every person. But today, I want to hold up for you the story a parishioner in this Archdiocese. Michael Doerneman is unassuming, and so is his story. But I think there are powerful lessons to be learned. Tune in to hear the simple story of a man on mission.
Episode | June 8th, 2021 | 53 mins 22 secs
catholic, catholic ministry, catholic social teaching, ministry, ministry leaders, mother theresa
When you imagine yourself Living Mercy, what comes to mind first? Do you think of the saints who gave up everything for a life of poverty or service to the sick? Does that seem impossible or very far from reach? Today, I talk to Dcn. Omar Gutierrez about Catholic Social Teaching and the lay person’s role to live ordinary mercy. He tells us, “All teachings of the Church start and end in the same spot: know Jesus so you can love him and so that you can be with him now and forever.” The daily care for those in need starts with caring for those whom the Lord puts in our pathway. But what does this look like practically, and how do we get started?
Episode | June 1st, 2021 | 1 hr 24 secs
On a scale of 1-10, how missional would you say your parish is? In October 2020, the Archbishop launched the Big Goal that “Each parish in the Archdiocese of Omaha would become missional by the end of 6 years”. Implicit in that goal is the recognition that none of us are there yet. So, I invite each of you to ask, “Is my community dying, declining, swelling, or growing?” While these categories sound depressing, an honest conversation about where we are at is designed to help us receive the grace of pastoral conversion and to be invited deeper into the mission of the Church.
Episode | May 11th, 2021 | 1 hr 4 mins
Sometimes the idea of discerning God’s will can daunting. Sifting through the emotions, desires, and the high and low points of each day, and then listening for God’s voice in the midst of it all, can at times be an intimidating task. Now add to this task of discernment, the dynamics of a team. When you have multiple people who bring their thoughts and feelings to the table, discernment can get messy. Today, Fr. Paul Hoesing gives some tips and tricks on how to discern as a team.
Episode | May 4th, 2021 | 1 hr 8 mins
Preparation for the sacrament of marriage used to happen at the dinner table. The best preparation came from the family that you grew up in. Unfortunately, with the changes in our culture, including the very high divorce rate, couples often receive this sacrament without ever seeing a healthy marriage relationship. Today's marriage prep process, while trying to provide what couples are lacking, has regrettably become a check-list, hoops to jump through in order to get to the altar. Rachael Tvrdy walks us through the gaps and offers a vision for marriage prep that drops the divorce rate of couples who go through it to 5% and increases the parish's rate of retaining their couples after marriage to 70-90%.
Episode | April 27th, 2021 | 13 mins
A very real obstacle to changing culture and building a missional church is my own ability to stay organized. I can set all of the lofty goals that I want, but if I never revisit them, I am very likely to never achieve them. In this month's Skill Demo, I outline my favorite method of staying organized, the Weekly Review. It's a time where you can gather all of your thoughts and processes, review the past week, and get ready for the next one.
Episode | April 20th, 2021 | 1 hr 15 mins
Have you noticed? Talking to your neighbor about faith has gotten harder over the past few decades. For our grandparents, it was enough that they taught daily devotions to their children by example. And our experience of education, the law, government, and art supported our beliefs. Now, the culture is in direct opposition to our faith. We find ourselves, to quote Pope Francis, in a "change of age". So how do we "mind the gap". How do we transition well into this new age?
Episode | April 13th, 2021 | 1 hr 9 mins
“And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:11-12) Today, I invited an old friend and biblical scholar to unpack the meaning or this verse. Here are just a few of his gems of wisdom:
Our leaders, the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers should not be doing all of the church ministries. These are gifts are for leaders of the Church to equip and call out all of the other gifts.
Every believer has a Christ given charism, a ministry gift – something that Christ gives us and enables us to offer to His body, the Church, in order to make it fuller of Him and so more effective at filling the universe with His glorious presence. If the Church isn’t all that it should be…perhaps my ministry is what’s missing.
A Production of the Archdiocese of Omaha
Editor: Taylor Schroll (ForteCatholic.com)
Episode | April 6th, 2021 | 1 hr 56 secs
Happy Easter! I pray that you receive all the graces God has on offer during this season. As St. Paul says, "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain". And so, I want Easter to have lasting meaning to each of our lives. Thus today, I give you a moment to pause and reflect. For this EquipCast, we invited Fr. Taylor Leffler to reflect on the resurrection, the road to Emmaus, and what all this means for our life. May it be as fruitful for you as it was a joy for me to record.