NCYC 2013 – Madison Diocese Information!


NCYC 2013 YouTube Promo Video

Youth from the Madison Diocese are ready to head to Indianapolis this fall for the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC). This will be an incredible three days of prayer, learning, fellowship, incredible speakers and more with over 20,000 other Catholic teens. The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis is helping with the organization of this great, faith filled adventure. Contact Lindsay with questions.

Please use the links below to start the registration process with teens from your Parish — or use them to sign up as an individual (if your Parish is not attending as a group). Start with opening the registration form, and everything else can follow from there.

A note to Parish leaders, the following will be important dates to keep in mind.
May 20 – Initial registrations + deposits are due!
* We need to have a minimum of 38 registrations to have one bus take off on the adventure! If more than 48 folks want to register, we will need to make it to 78 registrations to take 2 busses along.
* Lindsay will be setting up Google Docs to track registrations, as we will allow for these spots to be filled on a first come, first serve basis.
* If space is available after May 20th on a bus (or hopefully two!) we will take registrations as they come in.
September 8 – Remaining paperwork + payments are due!
* This early date is to make sure we have everything turned into NCYC in time!
* We will have meetings leading up this September 8th date and afterwards with Parish leaders to help communicate information and make specific plans.

Initial Registration Form
Madison Diocese Student Information Form and Waivers
NCYC Youth Waiver (Must be notarized!)
NCYC Adult Waiver (Must be notarized!)

Promote Love Begins Here in style!

We are very excited that you are interested in promoting LBH at your Parish this year. While there is a lot of information in the Leader Package on this topic, we wanted to expand on the idea of making a bulletin board or something similar to help promote LBH in your Parish. First, watch the video below. Then move on to some more detailed instructions — complete with links — on how to make this happen in your Parish or school.

Bulletin Board Supply List
– Bulletin Board
Bulletin Board Backdrop Paper PDF
– White Paper + Copy Machine
– 2 Sheets of Colorful Paper
– Glue Stick
– Stapler
– String/Yarn/RicRac/Something Similar
– Clothes Pins/Tape/Something Similar
– Initial Registration Forms (See example on page 10 of Leader Package)
– LBH Photos (Optional – You’re welcome to download any from the LBH Facebook page.)

How To
– Print a copy of the Bulletin Board Backdrop Paper PDF.
– Trim copies with circles on them.
– Cut apart one copy of the words “Love Begins Here.”
– Glue those words on colorful paper.
– Cut those words down with a colorful border.
– Staple the Background Paper onto your bulletin board.
– Don’t worry about making that paper perfectly line up. It’s meant to be artsy.
– Create a few lines to hang things on.
– Hang the words “Love Begins Here” that are cut out with the colorful border.
– Hang photos from LBH or other promotional material.
– Make your Initial Registration Forms available nearby.
– Enjoy your LBH promotional display!

If you do not have a bulletin board to use, here’s an idea for an alternative solution.


– Use two sheets of foam board.
– Score lines in each of them down the middle and create a crease to make a V-shaped board.
– Duct tape those two together with duct tape to form a larger board.
– Use duct tape to adhere the string to the back of the boards.
– Have tape on hand to stabilize the boards when you set them up on a table.
– Enjoy your transportable LBH promotional display!

As always, be in touch with questions and enjoy promoting Love Begins Here this spring! We’re only 87 days away from kicking off another incredible summer of local, life changing mission trips.

For those who are registering as individuals, act fast! We are anticipating space on the trips to fill quickly.

Wanderer Wednesday: Vatican News Style

Perhaps you’ve seen this —

love our Holy Father. His witness to this media savvy world where information can be shared with a click will change hearts. Many of them.

On that account, I wanted to share today a few (more) sources where you can access the latest and greatest from our Holy Father. Next week, perhaps we’ll get away from the Papal theme of Wanderer Wednesday. It’s hard to say.

Wanderer Wednesday

Rome Reports (The source of the above video.)
This fantastic YouTube channel delivers news from Rome typically a few times a day. Among the other great features of the channel, the best for native (and solely) English speakers like myself is that the commentary and translation is provided in our language! It is so powerful to share with the youth we teach, as well as our family and friends, what is happening at the Vatican and how real, authentic and humble of a Shepherd we are being led by!

Vatican Information Service
Wake up to great updates from the Vatican every day by subscribing to this daily e-mail newsletter from the Vatican’s news office. With the news being released every day at Roman noon, you can literally wake up with the latest from the Church in your inbox every morning. Included in the news bulletin are translated summaries of what the Holy Father said that day, what his schedule included, who he met with (which was extra exciting during the Bishop’s ad limina visit last fall), his monthly prayer intentions and any canonical updates of appointments of all varieties.

The Pope App
If you have a smartphone and you haven’t downloaded the free Pope App, you need to stop reading and do so right now. (For Android Users || For iPhone Users) If you haven’t been reading along with Pope Francis’ latest inspiration bombs, check out his homily from the Mass for the beginning of the Petrine Ministry of Pope Francis. It was incredible. If you had the handy app on your phone you could pull it up with two clicks, as well as the latest photos of what’s happening in his life and more. Take a look at a few screenshots below.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 7.05.06 PM


With that, enjoy checking in on the latest in Pope Francis’ life. This weekend promises to be an exciting one, especially as he visits His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for lunch on Saturday.

I am coming on LBH!

I Am ComingGreat! We are so excited to have you joining us for LBH’s fifth summer of local, life changing Mission Trips. This page will be updated frequently with exciting things like Core Team Member introductions, location guides to learn more about where you are headed on Mission Trip and practical items, like packing lists.

If you have any questions about your upcoming mission trip, e-mail

2013 Participant Documents
Youth Paperwork
Packing List

Wanderer Wednesday: Habemus Papam Edition!

Welcome to Wanderer Wednesday!


Photo from Word on Fire. Click the photo above to visit the original blog post.

HABEMUS PAPAM! Earlier this afternoon, the social media world was totally taken over by the news of the day, the election of our new Holy Father, His Holiness Francis. There is a lot to learn about our new Holy Father, so I thought it would be fitting to share a few more papal resources that will help you navigate the coming days.

First off, not only is Fr. Robert Barron providing correspondance for NBC, but he is also posting video blogs to the Word on Fire website. A few notable things about his perspective includes his evangelical spirit – always seeking to teach while sharing the news and how well connected he is – in one blog post, it sounded like he had hung out with the majority of the super cool (non-Cardinal) Catholics in town at one dinner!

Second, on a non-Pontiff related note, while you’re checking out Word on Fire for news from Rome this week, stick around for a while and see what else they have to offer, such as Fr. Robert Barron’s weekly homily audio recordings. Also, they are producing an DVD to help teach about the New Evangelization, in the same style as their incredible Catholicism Series.

Third on the list of resources to share this week is certainly the most important one you could have access to during the pontificate of His Holiness Francis – the Vatican’s website. While things are in a bit of a transition over there right now, in the coming days we are likely to see a page like the one below created for our new Holy Father. You will be able to access it from the front page of the Vatican website, by hovering over the words “SUPREME PONTIFFS” and selecting his name.

Screen Shot 2013-03-13 at 4.41.46 PM

From this one page, you will be able to read along with everything this great shepherd will say and write in the coming days, weeks, and (we hope) years and years to come. The Vatican website serves as a beautiful witness to the universality of this great Church, as speeches documents are regularly translated into at least five languages making the words and thoughts of our Holy Father accessible to a wide range of faithful.

As the media will have many things to tell us about this new leader of the Church, perhaps today is a good day to make a resolution to care relatively little about what they have to tell us about Pope Francis. Rather, let our new Pope tell you for himself what he is all about, especially as you now know exactly where to find the first hand source yourself.

(Congratulations to Wes for the win on last week’s Wanderer Wednesday Giveaway!)

I want to support LBH!

I Want To Support


Thanks for being interested in supporting Love Begins Here.

The first thing that you can do is offer up prayers for the young missionaries (over 300 strong in 2013), those we will serve and all of the adults who will be leading them on the mission field!

The second thing you could do is spread the word about LBH! Perhaps send someone to this very blog, our Facebook page, have them follow us on twitter or check out our video blogs. We are always excited to welcome new Middle and High School youth to the mission field to have a blast with us during the summer months!

Lastly, we would love it if you considered becoming a Shareholder in Love Begins Here 2013. Altogether, our Shareholders account for about 15% of the total operating cost for LBH each summer, which is about $8,000. Any donation – small or large – is greatly appreciated. Among the many benefits to becoming a shareholder are notes from missionaries during the summer and an invitation to the end of summer celebration (pictured below), where we take time to share about the successes of the summer with our supporters!

To become a Shareholder, click this link to download your paperwork or e-mail for more information.


Shareholder Dinner

Wanderer Wednesday: Dolan Edition + A GIVEAWAY

Wanderer Wednesday

Welcome back to Wanderer Wednesday! Today we’re bringing a few recommendations from new evangelization master, Timothy Cardinal Dolan. He knows his people and loves his people. After all, look at how comfortable he is with reporters —

Cardinal Timothy Dolan laughs with reporters after holding a prayer serviceAbove all, he is a man who desires to conform his life with Christ’s and encourages others to do the same. One way he does this is through his twitter feed — @CardinalDolan. He knows how to use 140 characters up well, with tweets like the following:

“Our relationship with the Lord: to nourish it, develop it, intensify it is the goal of a lifetime.”

Another recommendation, especially pertinent to the next few weeks, is the SiriusXM radio channel (The Catholic Channel) where he is giving daily interviews on the goings on at the General Congregations, as the Cardinals prepare for the Conclave. Listening in every day for a few minutes will be time well spent in understanding what is happening and why. Yesterday’s interview covered the question of why the Cardinal’s have not yet decided on an official date to start said Conclave.

Called To Be Holy

The last recommendation today of Cardinal Dolan’s is his book Called To Be Holy. (Yes, it is best read with a cup of coffee drank out of an equestrian themed mug.) This book is a rendition of the first section of his great book Priests for the Third Millenium. Simple, straight forward, spiritually challenging and full of anecdotes is how this great man prefers to deliver his message. With topics such as faith, hope, humility, love and chastity, human formation, patience, penance, joy, obedience and devotion to Our Lady, there is something for everyone who is seeking holiness. (Read: there is something in this book you probably need to hear.)

An example of the great words included in this book, as found in the chapter on hope —

You see, a vibrant hope is contagious and will attract people. Its fruits are calmness, cheerfulness, tranquility, a good sense of humor, freedom from anxiety — and these traits people find very attractive. So, people can be attracted to Jesus and his Church through her hopeful members. This is not some Pollyannish, cheerleading, shallow optimism. This is   a realistic sturdy trust in God based on deep faith, born in experience, and bolstered by reason.

You may understand why “spiritually challenging” was one of the phrases chosen to describe his style. Living the Christian life is not the easiest task minute to minute, day to day, but it is what we are called to do. This book, appropriately enough, is a fitting field map when we want to actively, ardently pursue our call to holiness.

Head over to Amazon and pick up a copy for yourself.

Better yet, leave a comment on this post with an idea of a topic you would like to see covered on a future Wanderer Wednesday post, and you will be entered to win a copy of this very book.

Thanks for tuning in. Enjoy wandering less aimlessly today!

NOTE: Giveaway will be open until Sunday, March 10th at 11:59pm CST!

Reclaiming the Truth

We are thrilled to share that coming in April, we are not only having our typical rockin’ rEVOLution of Love event for high school students and their parents, but we are also going to be hosting a day retreat leading up to that event for interested high school students.

April Event Blog

Both events will be happening at the Bishop O’Connor Center on April 14th.

Reclaiming the Truth Retreat
1:30 – 7:30pm
The retreat includes two sessions led by incredible young adults from the Madison Diocese. The first is on the truth about high school dating and relationships, how fast is too fast and some fundamentals of the Theology of the Body. The second will be on the real definitions of man and woman. This session will explore how to live out the truth of one’s identity in today’s world. Also included in the retreat is time for prayer, games, small group discussions, planning for the future and fun! At 5:00pm, all retreat goers will have a pizza dinner before joining the Reclaiming the Truth Event with Vicki Thorn.

DSCN0352Reclaiming the Truth Event
5:30 – 7:30pm
Donations accepted.
Vicki Thorn (pictured above), founder of Project Rachel and director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing, will be speaking on the topic of The Biology of the Theology of the Body. The event includes her presentation for high school teens and their parents, followed by a question and answer session with the parents. Vicki brings passion, knowledge and great story telling capabilities to the talk. She will be breaking open the truth of this topic not often discussed in today’s world. Teens will have an opportunity for discussion and Adoration after the talk.

Help us spread the word about this event by sharing the link to this blog post, having ads run in your Parish’s bulletin and talking with your friends and/or teens about it!

On April 14, at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison, there will be a rEVOLution of Love event for high school teens and their parents. For teens who want to dive into the teaching of Theology of the Body and how to bring that truth into the world, they can attend the retreat, from 1:30 – 7:30pm. For those who are interested just in hearing Vicki Thorn, an incredible international speaker, give her presentation on The Biology of the Theology Body can come to the event from 5:30 – 7:30pm. For more information, visit

Get your copy of the poster for the event, right here.