Freshly Brewed: Christmas Vacation Playlists


While you’re trimming the tree this Advent, traveling to see relatives, celebrating Christmas, and enjoying the merriment of this season, we would highly recommend that you fill up some time listening to Freshly Brewed, while traveling solo or spending time with loved ones.

Listen on ITunes

To this end, we have some recommendations for y’all. Make yourself a little playlist, inspired by one of the following categories!

Star Wars Pod

Pop Culture
These podcasts are all touch on relevant, pop culture related topics.

Episode 30: The Definition of Awkward – This episode feautures super hip, young guests who happened to counsel the Pathfinders at Camp Gray this past summer.

Episode 31: Born and Raised – Fr. Garret and Topher chat about the zombie apocalypse, among other Wisconsin themed topics.

Episode 43: Disney or Philosophy? – This podcast is the result of combining Disney fandom with an Introduction to Philosophy course.

Episode 51: The MANPOD – Bill and Topher teamed up to create the most manly (and hipster) podcast we’ve ever produced.

Episode 55: May the Force Be With You – If you’re a Star Wars fan, we trust that you will greatly enjoy this pod!

Episode 4.4

Camp Gray Alumni Love
These podcasts feature stories from Shady Lane Rd. and beyond that may have a special appeal to staff or camper alumni of CG!

Episode 4: Our Catholic Family Tree – Bill, Topher and Deacon Joe Baker talk about their trip to Ireland and meeting Msgr. Gray’s family. (Listen past the poor sound quality; the stories are incredible!)

Episode 18: Live Like Paul – Topher, Jeff and Rebecca share about living life to the fullest, in the wake of the loss of their friend and former staffer, Paul Coakley.

Episode 23: Throwback Thursday – Topher and Lindsay share about their favorite memories created while serving on Camp’s holy grounds.

Episode 24: Freshly Bruleed Tool-Aid – Kid Camp Director Andrew sat down with Topher for the most precious 12 minute podcast there will ever be.

Episode 39: Made for GRAYtness – Alumni will always enjoy hearing the summary of another life-changing summer at The Gray; this podcasts highlights the best of Summer 2015.

Episode 49: The Real MLB – Topher chatted with former Camp Director and longtime board member Msgr. Larry Bakke about the history of Camp and how to receive the gifts the Lord gives.

Tim Teaching Under Lights

Small Things, Great Love
This playlist highlights stories from the local mission field, Love Begins Here.

Episode 3: The Larger Perspective – This podcast is the first conversation had about Love Begins Here on the airwaves; during this pod, Lindsay and Blaine chat about how to live the spirit of mission trips in everyday life.

Episode 23: Throwback Thursday – Lindsay and Sara share about their favorite memories created while serving on the local mission field.

Episode 38: Come, Be My Light – Hear from each of the LBH2015 Core Team members in this super special, summer summary podcast.

Episode 54: Love Begins Here – 7 years and 48,000+ hours of service in, Bill sat down to chat with Lindsay about the history of Madison’s local, life changing mission trip apostolate.

Quote Lake Sunset

Family and Friends
These podcasts will help strengthen you to live happily with friends and families, whether you always see eye-t0-eye or not.

Episode 7: Live Out Loud – Sara chats with Andrew Kidd about creating communities of faith in the midst of our friends and families. (This also features the original edition of Positive Spinz.)

Episode 40: Saints In Sneakers – This back to school podcast will get you ready to pursue sainthood in the midst of every day life.

Episode 42: For Bonding and Babies – Hear from three wise and faithful individuals striving to live out their vocations to marriage in incredible ways within the Church.

Episode 45: You Do You – These three words are often heard in the world today. Hear the Freshly Brewed hosts talk about the weight they carry and what they mean in the light of faith.

Episode 50: The Cucipice – In honor of Episode 50, the hosts got together for one incredible, fun, and spirited podcast where we discussed how to live great lives in the midst of a monotonous routine.

Freshly Brewed Square 3 (1)

Personal Favorites (from Lindsay, a Freshly Brewed host)
None of these podcasts fit into the nice and tidy categories already created, but they are most certainly worth mentioning. Each of these conversations stuck with me long after the podcast ended.

Episode 16: Love That Gives Life – This podcast with Sister Mary Gabriel, of the Sisters of Life, is life affirming and incredible beautiful.

Episode 19: Chevy Trucks, Kitchen Confidence and Women – This podcast was recorded in front of a live studio audience at Frassati Fest 2015, and it’s 20 minutes of joy.

Episode 22: This Girl Is On Fire – This is the podcast I usually hear most from, when it comes to positive reviews from my friends; it’s safe to say that Dr. Helen Alvare is incredibly inspiring.

Episode 47: You’ve Got My Attention – Jacob Rosemeyer’s life story and thoughts on practicing the faith were pretty transformative. Of all the Freshly Brewed podcasts, you may find yourself hitting the rewind button most often during this episode.

Episode 53: A Journey of Joys and Fears – Dr. Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, was a joy to talk to; her thoughts on mercy and discernment were spot on.

Celebrate Wins (and Transform Your … Meetings!)

Celebrate Wins - Tools for Rebuilding - Catholic Book Review

Welcome, friends. Today’s blog post is the first in a series that I’m writing to recap the inspiration that was shared at our recent St. John Bosco Youth Ministry/Formation Planning Day (SJBYMFPD). This way, folks from around the Diocese who couldn’t join us in person are able to reap the benefits of this time of learning, collaboration and planning! Specifically, today I’d like to share about an idea proposed in Tools for Rebuilding: 75 Really, Really Practical Ways to Make Your Parish Better: #64 – Celebrate Wins.

(Sidebar: I would not give this book a wholehearted, two thumbs up review. I think that many ideas are really incredible, others were off to a good start, and some may only provide for an interesting conversation. If you’re interested in reading it, I would love for you to get in touch with me and schedule a coffee outing where we can discuss its content! This way, we can filter out the okay, good and great ideas together.)

This particular idea (#64) we’re talking about today is one of those outstanding ideas proposed. The general concept is simple: the Holy Spirit is moving in the Church, and it is a great thing to recognize how the Lord is transforming hearts, with our cooperation. We should be celebrating wins with our parish staff, with our catechists and with our communities. Knowing how the authors define a “win” is helpful: “We define a win as any positive movement someone makes toward a relationship with Christ and his Church” (255).

Pope Francis supports celebrating wins, as he wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium “An evangelizing community is filled with joy; it knows how to rejoice always. It celebrates every small victory, every step forward in the work of evangelization” (24).

We began our recent SJBYMFPD by celebrating the small victories we’ve been a part of this year. It was inspiring to hear about the transformations happening throughout our parishes! This is a routine the Love Begins Here Core Team uses to begin every Sunday staff meeting. We start by putting ourselves in a positive state of mind through sharing the impact moments we witnessed the previous week. Give that a try at the next meeting you coordinate! (As the book suggests, make sure to define a win, and once you hear them, share them – in the bulletin, with parents and beyond!)

I’d love to hear about your might use this practical idea in your own parish or apostolate. Leave a comment to share your ideas! – Lindsay

Mentors for the New Evangelization (Discussion 1)

Sr. Johanna - Smaller

After a great convocation with Sr. M. Johanna, FSGM, we (Michelle and Lindsay) came into contact with many folks who were really excited to get started on her book Mentors for the New Evangelization. A handful of them were able to join us last Monday for our inaugural book club to chat about it. Our plan is going to be to share the thoughts and highlights with y’all, and then ask you to respond in the comments section! We look forward to interacting with in this digital media.

Let’s start with the Introduction, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. We’d suggest that you first read this section of the book and then engage with this discussion.

Right from the start, the introduction offered some great insights on some desires common to all men and women, created in the image and likeness of God. Regarding the reflection, beginning on page xv, how can we use the topic of happiness to inspire both students in our classrooms and their parents?
This question sparked some really great conversation during our book club, thanks to John W. (one of our seminarians) bringing this section to light. We were all reminded of occasions when we had real, authentic conversations with folks about this fundamental desire for happiness and where happiness originates from. We know that happiness is most often a result of the pursuit of virtue and genuine relationships, which makes the jump to where our ultimate happiness is going to come from pretty simple. When we abandon ourselves and live in relationship with Jesus Christ our lives will find be filled with the most meaning and true joy. When it comes to presenting this concept to our youth and their parents, we recognized that throughout our life our capacity for happiness grows, so we should work within the parameters of where our people are at, knowing we can increase and deepen our capacity for true happiness found in Jesus Christ throughout our lives.

A reoccurring theme found in these chapters was that of inculturation, as the GDC describes (and Sr. Johanna quotes) this process is not simply “an external adaptation designed to make the Christian message more attractive or superficially decorative. On the contrary, it means the penetration of the deepest strata of persons and peoples by the Gospel which touches them deeply, ‘going to the very center and roots’ of their cultures” (Mentors, 22) . Of all of the examples of inculturation in these two chapters, which impacted you most?
While we certainly discussed how Our Lady’s appearance at Tepeyac Hill was one great lesson for us in inculturation, we spent even more time discussing the authentic ways in which the North American Martyrs helped the Gospel penetrate into the native cultures they came into contact with. In so many of the stories (especially those of St. Jean de Brebeuf and St. Gabriel Lalemant), we read of men who went to great strides to learn the language of the native people, relate to the things they loved, and identify with what was true, good and beautiful in their culture. This inspired an interesting conversation about what we should capitalize on, in order to work on the process of inculturation when it comes to working with today’s teens. A few (beautiful and good) aspects of teen culture that we recognized that we can work with are their desires for authentic, lasting relationships and their desire to give oneself away in service to causes larger than themselves.

What struck you about the evangelization of Mexico, stemming from Our Lady of Guadalupe’s apparition?
Without a doubt, what struck us most powerfully was the shear number of conversions that took place in the years following the apparition. We desire (in a big way) to have Our Lady’s intercession on our (new) evangelization efforts today. This conversation was coupled with appreciating Sister’s reflections on the importance of each individual soul growing closer to or farther away from the Church. There is a lot of work to do!

Regarding the witness of the North American Martyrs, how did their courage, bravery and hope in their eternal end inspire you?
As we talked about the stories of these martyrs, we were definitely impacted by their confidence in their relationship with the Lord and the hope of the world to come. In particular, this quote from St. Noel Chabanel stuck out to us and inspired us in big ways: “What difference does it make if I die or not. This life does not count for much. The Iroquois cannot snatch the happiness of heaven from me” (Mentors, 29).

Like we said earlier, we’d love to have you join us in this conversation. Of course, if you were struck by other things in these chapters, we’d love to hear them. We’ll be moderating the comments and chatting with you on this post all week!

Our next book club will be taking place on Monday, October 13th from 1:30 – 3:00pm at the Bishop O’Connor Center. You are more than welcome to join us in person for the discussion! No RSVP is necessary.

Canonization Preparation, Bishop Morlino and a Sweet Giveaway!

Today on the blog, we are doing a little round up of some sweet things that have surfaced in the past week!


First up, Tiffany Topel (the super sweet and talented youth minister in Jefferson) was featured on the Lifeteen blog this week! Go read it! Not only does it feature the story of Bishop Morlino’s visit with her Middle School Youth, but she also shares two important things she learned from the visit. Huge thanks to Tiffany for not only her passionate work but sharing her wisdom with folks in the Madison Diocese and far beyond.

Second, Noah is coming out this weekend, and we have collected a number of things to read, if you are thinking about seeing it. The first recommendation would be to read the actual account of Noah and the ark in scripture; start in Genesis 6 and continue through Genesis 9. (A quick, or thorough, reading will tell you that there must be some additions or cinematic choices made to make the story into a feature length film.) There is a thoughtful review on the National Catholic Register that provides some context for the movie and thoughts on the production and retelling of the story. Catholic Online movie reviewer Scot Landry makes a case for 8 Reasons Why Catholics Should See Noah. And, Catholic Vote has a blog post on 100 proudly Catholic films, whether or not you feel like Noah is going to bring you to the theater.


Third, while we’re still in the midst of Lent, let’s not forget to prepare for the great feast of Divine Mercy that is coming our way one month from today! Along with the great feat in the midst of the Easter season, on April 27th of this year, two canonizations will take place, of Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II. Now is the perfect time to learn about these great saints-to-be. Here are a few suggestions:
– Journal of a Soul: The Autobiography of Pope John XXIII 
– Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert (Learn about this incredible brand new book here! From there you can download a chapter of it, place a bulk order for them in paperback, pick one up in hardcover, and get the links to buy them on your iPad, Kindle or Nook!)
Pope John XXIII Vatican Webpage
Pope John XXIII Beatification Homily
Pope John Paul II Vatican Webpage
Pope John Paul II Beatification Homily

Fourth, thanks to the great support for the Camp Gray fundraiser at Orange Leaf (the Old Sauk, Middleton location) last night. See the recap from the event on their Twitter account.

Fifth, go Badgers!

Sixth, if you want to win a copy of Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves, you have a chance to do so today! Just leave a comment with your name and Parish. We’ll draw two winners at 10:00am on Monday, March 30th!

Wanderer Wednesday: What’s the Holy Father saying?

Wanderer Wednesday

If you’ve been reading along with Wanderer Wednesday posts from the beginning, you would know that among the sources that I go for my Church-y news the blog, and even more often, the Twitter feed of Rocco Palmo is at the top of my list. Feel free to join me and follow along for the highlights of who’s saying what, which Bishops are moving about and if the Holy Father has been up to anything exciting (which is a daily occurrence).

However, if you find the news wire on such a variety of Catholic related topics to be overwhelming and you are just looking for what’s at the heart of the matter, over in Rome, we have another recommendation. A bonus of looking into this sources of news would be that you will have an unfiltered opportunity to see what Pope Francis has really been preaching, saying and doing, rather than the mass media’s interpretation of it.

1381718_611106608953360_316312886_nPhoto Source:’s Facebook Page

Through the Vatican Information Service (VIS), you can get the latest from the heart of the Church shortly after Roman noon e-mailed straight to your inbox. That convenient timing means you can begin your morning with checking in with Pope Francis! To subscribe, visit the VIS blog, click the Receive VIS link at the top of the page and enter in your preferred e-mail address. While I do not thoroughly read this e-mail top to bottom every day, I make sure to scan the headlines and read what is of greatest interest in my life and of utmost relevance in my work. A few highlights lately include the Pope’s address to catechists a few week’s back, his homily on Mary this past weekend (while he consecrated the world to our Blessed Mother!) and his address this week to some members of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

Enjoy the latest and greatest, friends!

Forming Intentional Disciples: Week 1

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Over the next few months, Youth Ministers, DREs and other interested adults are reading through the book Forming Intentional Disciples together. While we are doing so, we are specifically thinking of ways in which the content can be applied to our High School teens and working towards the New Evangelization with them. After every meeting, we will post a summary of what we had chatted about. We would love it if anyone who is reading along with us but cannot make the meetings would post comments and discuss out here in the digital sphere!

An assorted collection of notes follow from our discussion on Chapters 1 + 2:
– It was a shock to read the statistics about how quickly people are falling away from the Church. By the time our young people are 18, a third of them have fallen away from the practice of the faith. The number only grows and grows as they enter young adulthood.
– While we slightly disagreed with the estimated percentage (5%) of people in the average Catholic Parish who have a personal, lived relationship with Jesus Christ, it was powerful to reflect on how small the number is and how we want to grow that important statistic.
– In order to do that, we know that we need to work to continually incorporate into our lesson planning, events, sacramental preparation programs and conversations the theme of conversion and turning our hearts back to the Lord, again and again in our lives.
– We should use the language of journeying and growing more often when we talk about the life of faith and walking this path of loving Jesus and His Church more throughout our lives.
– Doug provided us with analogies about fishing; Kevin delighted us with the imagery of a sponge. All of the analogies ended with the same point: cultivating disciples is indeed an intentional matter.
– We want “Normal List” on page 60 to really be the normal in our lives, the lives of our teens and our Parishes.
– In order to accomplish all of this, we’ve got to have the support of the entire Parish committed to living this life and witnessing it to our teens.

Of course, we’re not sure how we’re going to help make all of this happen yet. We do know it will entail a lot of prayer, sacrifice and creativity. As for everything else, we will come back to the discussion in 2 weeks when we meet again. Please do think about joining us. Come caught up on your reading! We’ll discuss Chapters 3 + 4 on Monday, September 23rd from 1:15 – 3:00pm at the Bishop O’Connor Center.


Wanderer Wednesday: Leadership Edition

Well. Today’s Friday. Our apologies for being another couple days late in giving you this week’s Wanderer Wednesday post. Again, it’s been worth the wait, mostly because the editor of this post was on a road trip to Berlin Wednesday night, where there were almost 50 folks at All Saint’s first youth group meeting! We all had a great time learning learning about hope and the virtues. As a bonus, feel free to download the handout we used, and share it along with the stories about the lives of the following saints. While you’re at it, highlight some of the following virtues they exemplify.

Saint Maria Goretti | purity, faith and forgiveness

Bl. Miguel Pro | passion, perserverance and standing up for the faith

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati | detachment, service and commitment

Feel free to use the inspiration as you wish.


Now onto the subject at hand. We’re bringing you some books this week that may help to build up you up as a professional and cultivate your leadership skills. (Sidebar | I’ve heard of a co-worker in a Parish in our Diocese who spends one hour, every day reading for professional development purposes. Any topic, any genre, but always something that will help her become better at what she does and more informed about the faith. What a great example?! It certainly takes discipline in the work day to set aside that time and make it happen, but what great benefits it would reap.)


Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek ($12)
This book is a bit different from the three books that will follow, in that it does not focus specifically on the area of leadership. However, before we find ourselves in a place where we are leading others, we have to recruit folks to work with us. Here’s a taste of what the book offers —

By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?

Think of it this way, you could invite people to be a catechist by telling them WHAT you do — try to control a rowdy group of 20 8th graders, work through lesson plans, administer assessments and teach the faith. Or, you could start inviting people to be a catechist by leading with the WHY — we inspire and engage the youth of the Church, so they can lead happier, holier lives and seek to change the world in the future; we form future saints; we engage in one of the most inspiring apostolates happening in this Parish. Obviously the details of WHAT the catechist does follows, but we surely do not have to lead with it. This book inspires the reader to think about how they share their message and mission — and encourages you to start with WHY. (As a bonus, they hold up Apple as an example of how a company implements this theory well. All Mac lovers — or those who know one — will appreciate it.)

Super Staff Supervision by Michael Brandwein ($25)
This book was created for leaders in the camp world to get the best out of their staff, but the principles can carry over well into working with volunteers or a staff in the Church setting. Michael Brandwein has been an inspiration for the Camp Gray staff for years, and his influence has helped so many young counselors develop into great staff members at Camp and beyond, as many of them have landed jobs coordinating apostolates in our Parishes. Highlights of this book include 6 Paths that every person you’re supervising should be following, including adding creative twists to programs and caring for kids’ safety, and very specific examples of what those good leaders say and do when they are leading activities and teaching. Michael is a master at behavior management and staff development. His books typically leave the reader bursting at the seams with good ideas and being ready to implement them!

First Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman ($17 + Many used and in great condition for less on Amazon!)
My dad is a very talented, well respected business man who I really enjoy learning from on the topic of leadership development. He is GOOD at it, and while a lot of that skill has been developed naturally, he also has done his fair share of reading and studying on the topic. The number one book on the list he made for me this past year to read on the subject was this one. And, I have loved it. Again and again, it repeats the following mantra —

People don’t change that much.

Don’t waste time trying to put in what was left out.

Try to draw out what was left in.

That is hard enough.

A couple things that follow from that mantra are that you have to put significant time and effort in to find the right people for the job. And, once you have committed volunteers or staff, you have to use the strengths, passions and talents God has given them to help them do their job well. Easier said than done. Read the book. Enjoy the learning.

Strengths Finder 2.0 ($14) or Strengths Based Leadership ($16) by Tom Rath
One of these two books are used each summer in the formation of the Love Begins Here Core Team. Both of the books include a code to take the Strengths Finder Test (so make sure to not buy the books used). Upon taking the test and reading over your results, you will learn to see your top 5 strengths in the working world and learn how to develop them. Typically, the Core Team will use Strengths Finder 2.0, and the directors use Strengths Based Leadership. The first is an introduction to the individual strengths and the second deals with how to manage them. These books would be a very worthy investment for any catechist or member of your leadership team, or among co-workers — as long as you take the time to have conversations where you learn about the strengths and how to implement them.

The basic idea of these books, which follows from the wonderful First Break All the Rules, is that you have to let people be who they are. Everyone has strengths. You need to learn what they are and give them opportunities to use them. Only then will teams and leaders find success, especially in the area of helping their people develop and grow.

Wanderer Wednesday: Frugal for the win!

Wouldn’t it be nice to bring in the latest and greatest speakers on the circuit for the Catholic teens in each and every parish in the eleven counties of the Diocese? Yes.

Does any youth formation program in the Diocese have a budget with about $4,000 to drop on one of said speakers in a given year? Probably not.

In light of this predicament, today’s Wanderer Wednesday is going to feature how you can access content and inspiration from the best at your very own computer. (And, in light of this Wanderer Wednesday appearing on Thursday, there’s a BONUS resource included at the end of this post!)

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Jackie and Bobby’s Wedding Prep Blog
Jackie Francios (a talented, faithful speaker and musician will be a keynote at this fall’s NCYC [information about attending can be accessed right here on the blog]) is engaged. She and her fiance, Bobby, are documenting the journey to their wedding day on their blog. It includes a real testimony to the power and grace available to those who are willing to explore and live out the truth behind the teaching of the Theology of the Body. The only downfall is that the posts are sporadic, and it may not be worth your time to be constantly checking for new updates. On that note, please consult the resource below.

| Sidebar Resource |

If you are a regular blog reader or just getting into them, you realize how it can take up a lot of time checking the various blogs you like to read — and if you like to read many blogs, you could forget about some of them time to time and go weeks or months without checking them. To help, the website Bloglovin’ (with simple, compatible apps to use on the go!) is available! You simply create an account, search for the bogs you want to follow (if you can’t find it, manually add it!) and read away. Every time you go to your bloglovin’ homepage at your computer or by using an app on a mobile device, you can see the list of posts that are new since you last visited and mark when you have read them. (Sidebar: There is only one follower for Madison Catholic Youth, two for and 34 for Whispers in the Loggia. Obviously, the Catholic crowd has been slow to reap the benefits of bloglovin’!)

Chris Stefanick’s YouTube
This faithful, dynamic and energizing speaker really knows how to break down what the Church teaches for his online audiences (and in person, if you ever get the chance to see him). Similar to Jackie and Bobby’s engagement blog, the only downfall is how randomly and rarely Chris posts, but knowing about this resource is a must. For a taste, watch the video posted yesterday on the topic of the difference between disagreeing and discriminating. Also similar to J+B, Chris is a master on sharing the truth about Theology of the Body with the masses.

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Read the Cat
Popular, humor rock Catholic musicians Dan Harms and Kyle Heimann of the group Popple have been reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, along with their friend (and Kyle’s brother) Cory. While reading the Catechism at a rate of about 40 paragraphs at a time, they prepared weekly podcasts, about 10 minutes in length, to discuss and process what they had read. (Disclaimer: They made it through about 75% of the Catechism, and I’m not sure they are going to finish the series. What’s there would take a while to get through, so maybe they will start up again by the time you finish. Or, you may be so jazzed about it that you’ll finish the reading on your own.) This is a great resource to make use of during this Year of Faith!

Bonus: Just for the Youth Coordinators!
re:Build My Church
This is an archived, online set of talks given to Youth Ministers to help them grow in their work and seek out advice from some big names out there. After an initial preview of about a dozen of these videos, I would personally recommend about half of them. The video quality is not very great, some of the speakers’ dynamism doesn’t come across over the computer and I wish they would use a word other than ministry most of the time. On the list of whom to watch first, I would suggest Mark Hart, Bob Rice and Fr. Leo. Though, feel free to search around to see what topics stick out most to you and would be helpful to your work!

Planning day has arrived!

Note: This post will make full sense come Monday, February 11th. We decided to post it a day early in order to have the right links ready to go for the e-mail in the morning!

Welcome to this year’s St. John Bosco Planning Day! We are happy you are here. Below is a link to the CoverItLive event, where you can see the play by play of the day as it happens. Please follow along when you are able. Also, you will be able to come back and read through this transcript whenever you would like.

If you let us know at any point today that you are reading along or participating from a distance, we will enter you in for a door prize —


Pretty cool items up for grabs this year, right? Feel free to join the conversation whenever you are able, ask questions and give your feedback.

No worries if you are not able to join in during the day. We will be sending along a follow up package in the mail to everyone who did not attend to gather information and give everyone a voice in the planning for the future of Madison Catholic Youth.

Click Here to join the Planning Day Session Online!

Rejoice! Rejoice!

O come, desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of humankind:
bid ev’ry sad division cease
and be thyself our Prince of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

Happy Advent and Happy New Year, one and all. Thanks for stopping by Madison Catholic Youth’s blog today. In case you’ve been a faithful follower for quite a while, sorry for that draught we just experienced. November was quite the month. It was great seeing almost 100 great co-workers in the vineyard at Regional Gatherings in November, and we held our Unveiled retreats for the first time. (If you missed them, check out the facebook and twitter for a few little highlights. Though, we will get some on the blog soon, too.)

Back to this New Year in the Church we just began. In the name of resolutions, please find our plan for the blog this December. It promises to be a mix of reflection, happily awaited information, photographs and inspiration.

Calendar - Blog Smallest

From today until December 31st, we are promising a (week) daily update right here on these pages. Please enjoy.

To help you navigate this month, we’ll be linking up all of the December blog posts right here —

12 | 3 – Marian Advent Reflection
12 | 4 – LBH Theme Reveal: Come. Go.
12 | 5 – Guest Blogger: The God Who Waits
12 | 6 – St. John Bosco Day Announcement
12 | 7 – Film Contest Launch

12 | 10 – Frassati Fest – Catholic Herald, Part I
12 | 11 – Frassati Fest – Catholic Herald, Part II
12 | 12 – Frassati Fest on Twitter
12 | 13 – Frassati Fest Workshop Previews
12 | 14 – Frassati Fest – Keynote Speaker Surprise

12 | 17 – LOVE BEGINS HERE – Special, Part I
12 | 18 – LOVE BEGINS HERE – Special, Part II
12 | 19 – Cardinal Virtue Spotlight
12 | 20 – MYSTERY
12 | 21 – Lindsay’s Christmas Gift

12 | 24 – CHRISTMAS
12 | 25 – CHRISTMAS, Guest Blog
12 | 26 – New Evangelization, Part I
12 | 27 – New Evangelization, Part II
12 | 28 – New Evangelization, Part III

12 | 30 – New Evangelization, Part IV
12 | 31 – New Year’s Resolutions