Any Topics You’d Like to See?

So this summer, I’m going to be working under Fr. Tom Aduri at Mother Teresa of Calcutta parish in Topeka, Kansas. I spoke with him yesterday, and he asked if I had any desire to do any faith formation presentations. Obviously, I do, and I have a few ideas for what might be enjoyable and fruitful to present on.

But I figured it might be helpful to open it up to all of you. After all, you probably have had experiences with good presentations, or not-so-good ones, or presentations that you wished you’d see, but never did. So here’s my question to you, readers: what sort of topics do you wish were presented on? What needs do you see? I don’t promise to take every suggestion (or any of them), but hopefully, it’ll give me something to work with. Whatever we end up deciding upon, I hope to record it and post it here for your enjoyment and (hopefully) edification.


  1. Well, I am not sure how popular this would be by itself, but I would really appreciate some instruction on “offering it up” as reparation and as a sacrifice as a prayer. I really am confused by it all — and I would also like to learn about the history of the teaching on it. Did the church fathers have a clearly defined ‘theology’ on it?

    I know it seems simple to so many people, but I get confused by it. Can I offer up a rosary? Or does it have to be something more painful (either physically or not)? For instance, let’s say I decide to forgo my glass of wine one night, could that be a sacrifice offered for the reparation of sins? or for a friend who is struggling with something? Or for my daughter’s salvation?

    I feel like I have a basic idea of what it means, but I would really like a better understanding.


    Good luck in your new (temporary) assignment!

  2. I like DH’s topic!
    I’m interested in the new evangelization and ideas for reaching groups that tend to consider themselves ostracized by the Church.
    I would also be interested in developing sanctity in everyday life – how to incorporate Christ into everything you do (parenting, jobs, socialization, liesure, etc.) in a healthy way – avoiding scrupulosity.

  3. Joe,You are one of the best, and my favorite, for explaining and advocating for the Catholic faith. Unfortunately, it is my experience that most Catholics do not understand their Catholic faith. Why does the Church believe what she does? I would enjoy a presentation or presentations on major doctrines, and when and why they were implemented. Where in scripture or tradition can these doctrine be found? I would recommend beginning with Peter becoming head of the Church, the institution of communion and confession and the other sacraments. Being a teacher myself, interactive presentations are the best if your audience gets comfortable in participating. I find that asking questions work well. For instance, “When did Peter become Pope?” or “Who was the first Pope?” This method also give the presenter an idea of the audience’s knowledge. An accompanying power point can be effective, but that takes a good deal of preparation.

  4. One of the topics that I would be interested in might be an in-depth analysis of how Jesus changed Old Testament exegesis. One example might be His reference to “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” We often read the O.T. with only our own perspective as it is given to us while reading, without the commentary of Christ to highlight the refined meaning. So, a look into the major areas of that He comments on in the Gospels would give a better understanding of the Old Testament.

  5. Joe, I am intrigued by the name of the parish. Blessed Theresa has not been canonized. Yet a parish under her patronage was approved? Is this a common occurrence these days?

  6. I don’t know how many people put it this way, but it’s the way I put it, and it makes sense out of things for me, and it’s something I would like to see addressed.

    One thing I’ve learned since returning to the faith and the Church is that Persons come before anything, even dogma–because dogma is based on the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity, not the other way around. That’s why Jesus was able to hang out with tax collectors and prostitutes without giving scandal by condoning (or appearing to condone) their sins.

    But this is making me appreciate a serious problem in the Church, and one that I fell into last year: the problem of so-called “Traditionalist Catholics” putting dogma (or perceived dogma) before persons. I’ve read a lot of blogs since returning to the Church by people with whom I agree, but they come down hard on so-called “leftists” and even on His Holiness Pope Francis. I know we’re not supposed to look the other way when even the Pope does something imprudent (or worse), and even Paul rebuked Peter, but there’s a difference between that and refusing to give His Holiness His dignity.

    I still consider myself to be conservative, “reactionary”, right wing, whatever you want to call it (meaning specifically a Catholic monarchist), based on the Catholic faith–but if even a tyrant can still be the rightful King and so deserve respect, certainly so can a liberal (or a perceived liberal) Who isn’t a tyrant. I have no sympathy for the Japanese soldiers who wanted to overthrow the Emperor Hirohito because He was going to surrender to the Allies, nor for anyone who thinks like them.

    I would like to see this addressed. Also the national curses and their corresponding counter-blessings (Cain, Canaan, the curse of Deicide).

  7. I’ve read Msgr Brunero Gherardini’s, “The ecumenical Council II A MUCH NEEDED DISCUSSION in which he subjects D.H. (Religious Liberty) to a severe scrutiny resulting in his observations that the content of DH can not be reconciled with the content of Pre V2 doctrine.

    And in asking this question – So there are two Magisteria then? he acknowledges the current confusion.

    Frankly, the praxis of the Church that I was born into in 1948 is widely different than it is now since DH and all one has to do is observe the frequent visits to Synagogues by Popes when such a thing was inconceivable prior to V2.

    And if one says that, well, Acts records Peter and the Apostles going to Synagogues, and the homes of Jews, then it has to be acknowledge that the First Pope and precursors of the Bishops were preaching Christ and conversion whereas that clearly ain’t happening now

  8. This has too limited an audience for the Parish, but I’d like to see a blog post on the morality of being a litigator in light of 1 Cor. 6. Is the attorney acting rightfully by seeking justice honestly and zealously even if the parties should seek a resolution amicably and/or turn the other cheek? Is the entire system immoral and to be avoided? Do these considerations only arise between two Christians (two Catholics?)? And so on. I’ve just been trying to sort that out without falling into a facile latitudinarian reading and think you, as a former litigator, are a great person to break it down.

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