For only $2, you can put an entire digital Catholic library in the hands of an African seminarian…

In Cameroon, Africa, books are rare—especially the good ones. My friend Linus is studying at one of the seminaries, and he says the situation is even worse there. The seminaries are bursting at the seams with young men, yet most lack solid Catholic materials. The libraries are meager and while most of the seminaries have computers, internet is spotty at best.

But what if we could change that? What if we could provide good Catholic books for every seminarian?

I think we can. Through the power of the Catholic blogosphere, I’m convinced we can crowd-source a solution.

That’s why I’ve created the Africa eBook Project. The plan is to send 2,000 CDs to all the seminarians in Cameroon, each loaded with Catholic eBooks including:

Each CD will cost $2 to produce and ship to Africa.

Click here to help

Disclaimer for Catholics Coming Home: “Home” has changed a bit, since you left.


The Catholics Come Home TV advertising campaign is beautifully done, invoking imagery and concepts that Catholics have held near and dear, for some 2000 years.

Unfortunately, as is often the case in the advertising business, the reality is sometimes, far from the ideal.

Many/most Catholic churches look nothing like the ones in the Catholics Come Home commercials. Today’s Catholic churches often have much more in common with the architecture used in gymnasiums and/or civic meeting rooms.

Sacred art and statuary is also often similarly sparse and sterile. For example: Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral looks much more like a typical Presbyterian church, than a Catholic one.

Many/most Catholic parishes are short-staffed, lacking funds, and ill prepared to handle any increased “work” load. Little training has been done … other than perhaps, prepping one selected deacon to deal with the “massive influx” of returning Catholics (2-6 inquiries expected, per parish, per campaign.) And of course, convenient parking is already in very short supply.

Then there’s the “backlash” to be expected from already practicing Catholics … like in the story of the Prodigal Son … where the faithful one got ticked off about all the attention that was being lavished on his (now returned) wayward brother. (“I never went away and squandered my birth right. Where’s MY fatted calf?!”)

And let’s not forget the dismal spiritual “formation” of just about everyone … who in the finest, dumbed-down, post-Vatican II liberal tradition, received little or no real education in the authentic Catholic faith, other than “God is Love. Please place the money in the collection basket. Then leave quickly and quietly, after the Mass has ended.”

Truth be told … for these and various other reasons … many parishes are hoping that you might choose to “come home” someplace else!

But let’s not dwell on the negative. The upside potential of this campaign is huge!

For example:

Reverts and converts have not (yet) been conditioned to accept the status quo. 

Many actually believe what they learned about the Catholic Church way back in the 1950’s and early 60’s. They still think of the church as unique and special … not just one of many paths to God. (And of course, they would be precisely right!)

Many secretly crave the “smells and bells” of Catholic worship … even if they don’t fully realize it. At the very least, they are impressed (in some deep, essential way) by the dignity of the ministerial priesthood, the vestments, the crucifix, the centrality and practicality of the holy altar, the candles, incense, hymns and prayers. The Catholic Church (officially, at least) is still fully committed to all these things … and that’s good.

Sacraments are essential to the Catholic faith, and the Church (generally) still “does” sacraments very well. Let’s not dwell on the fact that the majority of today’s Catholics no longer understand who or precisely what they are receiving … or why. Let’s just stress the fact that sacraments … particularly Reconciliation and Holy Communion … typically accomplish exactly what God intends for us … personal sanctification and transformation, through his superabundant grace … and that is a really, really good thing … for everybody!

Newcomers and reverts are also typically more zealous for the faith than the average Catholic. This holds out a genuine hope for renewal … particularly in the area of Catholic organizations, Catholic education, and priestly vocations … as well as in general parish life … as even the most jaded cleric might be inspired by the urgent inquiries and sincere requests of souls who are truly “On Fire” for Jesus and the Catholic faith.

So … in spite of the negatives … Catholics Come Home really can’t miss. But let’s not fool ourselves … or our intended audience … because fibbing … even when attempting to promote the Catholic Church … is still a sin!

Catholics Come Home official site

Request a (free) Catholic Resource CD containing over 700 megabytes of the best Catholic stuff ever produced, including the Bible, the Catechism, beautifully illustrated presentations on the Mass, the Passion of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Original Christmas Story, and much, much more. Supplies are limited.

Transforming lives through education and formation in the theology of the body.

Using John Paul II’s theology of the body, Sacred Scripture, Christain mysticism, the arts and the liturgical heritage of the Eastern Catholic Churches the Tabor Life Institute helps people to transform their lives through the rediscovery of the original “ethos of seeing” the Sacramental-liturgical world veiw. This is a way of seeing life and the entire created order honestly, as it truly is and in turn learning how to relate honestly to the entire created order, most especially to the human person.

The Sacramental world veiw comes to its fullness in the human person where our human sexuality is seen as an icon of the very interior life of the Holy Trinity. It is precisely through our sexuality that we are able to enter into the “Spousal Mystery” to love as God loves. Through the theology of the body, Sacred Scripture, Christain mysticism and liturgy the Tabor Life Institute is dedicated to helping people to understand “why” they are human, male and female and consequently “how” to truly be human, man and woman and how to be for each other. We believe that the theology of the body and the Sacramental-liturgical worldview is indeed the answer to all of life’s questions.

Visit the site

Newman Centers – Best Bet for Keeping College Kids Catholic

Newman Centers have to be a source of spiritual growth and a strong community for Catholic students at a state school who are often far from family members and their local parish, Father Lowry said.

“Since we don’t have a Catholic university in the diocese, the Newman Center becomes the place where students have Catholic formation,” he said. “It’s a critical time in a person’s life. They leave home and parish and they need support for their faith.”

Read the article

Vatican finds U.S. seminaries in overall good health

seminary

The trouble spots highlighted by the report include: an “incomplete grasp” of the difference between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of the laity; faculty who subvert the Church’s teachings; the need to screen seminary candidates for irregularities and impediments at the beginning of formation; a lack of supervision of seminarians by the rector and the bishop and a discouragement of traditional forms of piety.

One area sure to receive attention from media coverage is the area of seminarian’s moral behavior. The report sums up its findings on the matter by observing:

“The apostolic visit was obliged to point out the difficulties, in the area of morality, that some seminaries have suffered in the past decades. Usually, but not exclusively, this meant homosexual behavior. Nevertheless, in almost all the institutes where problems existed, at least in the diocesan seminaries, the appointment of better superiors (especially rectors) has ensured that such difficulties have been overcome. Of course, here and there some case or other of immorality — again, usually homosexual behavior — continues to show up. However, in the main, the superiors now deal with these issues promptly and appropriately.”

Click to read the whole article, courtesy of Catholic News Agency

Want to understand the complete extent of the seminary problem? Click here.