Saturday, April 23, 2011


During my recent trip to Korea, a few of us were given a private tour of the convent that is located on the grounds of the Cathedral in Seoul. Sr. Catherine, a spry 70 year old nun who is also a priest (it is interesting to see her in her habit with a clerical collar!) gave us the tour.

We came to a door that had the sign pictured in the photo in this blog entry. ENGAZED! I think they meant to write "engaged" -- but I was fascinated by this "new" word. It isn't in the dictionary -- I checked.

Gaze -- to fix the eyes in a steady intent look often with eagerness or studious attention.

Hmmm. Maybe a working definition of engazed could be: to fix the eyes in a steady intent look on our inner life or soul; self reflection. Or, better yet: to become so fully attentive to something that nothing can take ones eyes or thoughts off the object of the gaze.

I wonder if, on this Holy Saturday, we can engaze and look at the tomb so intently that we see the stone being rolled away, our Lord resurrected.

On this most Holy Night, may we be engazed as the paschal fire is lit, as we process into the darkened sanctuary -- the paschal candle cutting the darkness with its light. May we be engazed as we hear the stories of the history and of our Lord's passover from death to life. May we as we cry out "Alleluia! The Lord is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia!" find our lives transformed through self-reflection (engazement!) by the great loving act that was done for us.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I had a wonderful afternoon with Bob William's class on communication (web, blogs, email blasts, etc.) today at Bloy House. I talked with the class about consistency in presentation and information. Some things we talked about:

  • Does your parish distribute your newsletter electronically? Paper only? Electronic and paper?

  • Why provide a weekly email blast with information about upcoming events?

  • Is there "payback" in terms of attendance or participation with what we're doing electronically?

  • Making sure events and the dates/times of the events in the bulletin, email blast and webpage are consistent and accurate (how often we slip on one or more!)

  • What is the purpose of a blog? What kind of information should a blog contain, and how should it be displayed?

  • Facebook as a tool for sharing information (or not!) and sharing what parishes are doing on the diocesan Facebook page.

  • What NOT to post on Facebook, and how to delete comments that some may leave that are rude.

We went through and looked at the features offered on Constant Contact, the vehicle the Diocese uses to deliver the weekly email blast. It was fun to see how an email blast is developed and used, and the stats that Constant Contact provides. I used to work on the email blast at St. Clement's, as well as the old website. Speaking of websites, we went on various websites in differing denominations talking about what just the home page says about that church as it comes up and into our view. Each spoke volumes about the community of faith it represented (or not, depending on the website). So much fun!

This was a wonderful class, with great questions and even better ideas. I learned a lot from this group. I think that's what teaching really is about: learning as we share what we learn with others. These students are talking about keeping in touch and sharing ideas/information/best practices. I'm grateful that I was invited to be part of this group this day, sharing what I know.

I wonder what it would be like if we ALL shared what we knew, what works well and what doesn't, freely with one another. I'm going to have to wander onto the websites of these students in a few months to see what they have done.