Director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis
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.
Episode | March 16th, 2021 | 48 mins 4 secs
When I hear the word stewardship, I think of money...and I bet most of you do as well. But stewardship is more than fundraising and fundraisers. A good steward connections people with the mission and ministries of the Church. Today, I talk with our Stewardship and Development Office, and they challenge us to stop selling magazines and start selling the mission. Fundraisers are transactional, but when a parish raises money, it should be transformational because good stewardship can lead to deeper conversion.
Episode | March 9th, 2021 | 57 mins 23 secs
How well do you know your neighbors? Do you want them to know Jesus and be his disciples?
The Thresholds of Evangelization give us a mental framework to approach our neighbors and to engage them in conversations about faith, but at the level they are comfortable with. Today, I want to share with you a conversation that I had with some old friends. Aaron and Brooke Keller have committed themselves to not only making friends with their neighbors but to bringing Jesus into the lives of their neighbors. And, I promise, they aren’t weird!
Episode | March 2nd, 2021 | 45 mins 55 secs
hope of the poor, living mercy, poverty
Have you ever been on a mission trip? Chances are, if you have, that you went to a different state or even a different country. On today’s EquipCast, I talk with Hope of the Poor. While they do have a ministry to the poor in Mexico, their mission is first to evangelize. Yes, they bring Jesus to the poor that they serve, but more than that, they also help the Americans that they bring to Mexico to see Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor. The goal is then to help these same Americans find a mission field in their own backyard.
Episode | February 23rd, 2021 | 55 mins 49 secs
I've been on many teams throughout my career with FOCUS and at the Archdiocese. One thing I've learned is that for a team to be truly collaborative, it must have prayer as a foundation. This foundation of prayer not only leads to greater trust among team members, it also keeps our team goals focused on God's mission for us. Effective team prayer offers the opportunity for teams to grow and discern together. Today's podcast offers 5 principles for effective team prayer.
Episode | February 16th, 2021 | 1 hr 3 mins
Have you ever wondered about the difference between a ministry and an apostolate? Until recently, I hadn’t. These words seem like synonyms, and talking about their differences feels a bit like quibbling or semantics. However, because we’ve forgotten the difference, most of the energy in our parishes goes toward building up ministries. But without the apostolate of the laity, the Church becomes a country club, only concerned with serving its members. So what is an apostolate? And how does remembering help the lay faithful evangelize?
Episode | February 2nd, 2021 | 52 mins 49 secs
Do you meet resistance when you talk about your pro-life beliefs? Do you find it hard to understand why anyone would be in favor of abortion? The truth about abortion seems so obvious, and yet, so many of our family and friends don’t agree with us. The fact is since the passing of Roe vs. Wade, our American culture has changed considerably, and we must be willing to reframe the debate in order to reach people.
Episode | January 26th, 2021 | 41 mins 31 secs
Have you ever had something important happen in your life and had no one to share it with? Did you know that the average American hasn’t made a friend in the last five years? As Catholics, we know that community is integral to the faith, and yet, so many in the Body of Christ feel disconnected and alone. I’d like to propose a solution: small groups. Small groups give us the opportunity to enter into life with individuals and to form relationships. They allow us to live and grow in the faith in a way that is otherwise impossible when we do not have a consistent and intentional way of journeying together.