I am happy you're visiting this site, and apologize for the long delay in updating it. I believe I'll now be on track with Gospel reflection questions and commentaries. Thanks for your patience.
You are welcome to use the Gospel reflection questions at right in any way you'd like, without fee, for your small church community, or in a parish bulletin or for personal use. If you do include these regularly in your parish bulletin, I'd appreciate hearing it, for help with my marketing. To use the reflection questions in a diocesan newspaper or other subscriber-based publication, please contact me for approval. This material is under copyright, all rights reserved.
How small is small?
What is the perfect size for a small church community? Husband Jim and I have participated in groups as small as 5 and as large as 18, and all sizes can work. With the smallest groups, it seems people have an extra incentive to attend every meeting, knowing that each of them constitutes 20 percent of the group.
With the larger groups, it is extremely important to divide up into smaller breakout sections of 3-4 to delve into the discussion questions. Many people simply won't speak, even with six or eight others, because they're afraid their thoughts are not profound enough, or holy enough. I have discussed this before in this space, but it's important to keep this in mind if your "small" Christian community is really quite large. Also, when returning from those smaller-group breakout sessions, be sure to ask each group to share something from its discussion. That way, the comments that affected those in the breakout sessions can be shared with everyone.
From time to time we asked that group of 18 about dividing into two groups of 9, a more typical size, but they weren't interested. They all knew and liked each other and couldn't figure out a good split. So 18 it was, for a year or so. A large group like that does keep the energy levels up!
THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS
A personal note - About a year ago I was declared cancer-free, and am still in remission from non-Hodgkins lymphoma! Thanks to all for the prayers and good wishes. Thank God for oncologists and all the strides in cancer research and treatments!
THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW
On the First Sunday of Advent 2016, we began Cycle A in the liturgical calendar, the cycle devoted to the Gospel of Matthew. If your small group would like to walk through this first Gospel, please contact Liguori Publications at 800-325-9521 for copies of "The Gospel of Matthew." Note: This has been one of the most popular guides in the "Gathered In His Name" series.
THE GOSPEL OF MARK
On Dec. 3, 2017, we will begin our new liturgical year, Year B, with its focus on the Gospel of Mark. This Gospel is noted for its brevity and the sense of urgency on the part of Jesus and his disciples during His short ministry. Please contact Liguori Publications at 800-325-9521 for copies of my 6-meeting guide to the Gospel. Chapter outlines and sample reflection questions are on the menu to the left.
Unpublished Meeting Guides
Here is a list of my small group series that have not yet been published. I would be happy to send you a sample chapter and then print on demand if you'd like to buy them for your small groups. Six-session titles include:
The Gospel of Luke
The Gospel of John
Great Figures of the Old Testament
The Sacrament of Baptism (six-week session breaking open each word and element in the ritual)
Saints Who Changed the Church
There is one series written for 7 meetings:
The Liturgical Year (7 sessions - one on the liturgical calendar, one on each liturgical season)
Like the Gathered in His Name titles, these booklets are printed on 11x17 paper, folded to 8-1/2x11, and run 24-30 pages long. At this time, unless prices change at the print shop, the cost would be $5.00 per copy for the six-meeting series and $5.50 for The Liturgical Year, plus shipping. Please contact me at email@example.com if you're interested. Thanks!
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF VATICAN II
Recently we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. If your small group is looking for a resource that will help explore the Council and its major documents, please consider "The Spirit of Vatican II," one of the meeting guides in my "Gathered In His Name" series. The guide gives an overview of the Council, and then walks through each of the four Constitutions, looking at what it says and the effect it's had on the church and the world. There are also a few interesting anecdotes from the Council and the life of Saint John XXIII. Try it!
WHAT YOU'LL FIND ON THIS WEBSITE:
- See reflection questions for the Gospels of the next four Sundays (and sometimes for holidays or feastdays that come up during the week). Use them for fruitful discussions in your small groups.
- Discover more about the Gathered In His Name series for small church communities. Check the "Small Group Guides" menu at left. You’ll find synopses and sample questions from each meeting of every title in the series.
- Read articles I wrote for Church and Catechumenate magazines. Topics include RCIA sponsors, RCIA rituals, parish communications programs, leading a tour of the parish church/worship center, and “Faithful Citizenship” (written in 2004). You'll find them under the "Published Articles" menu.
- Keep coming back! The reflection questions will be updated regularly, and more material will be added as the site develops.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.