Freshly Brewed, Episode 51: MANPOD

Toph and Bill 2

Happy Thursday y’all! We are SO pumped to preview the first ever MANPOD on Freshly Brewed. In this episode Chris and Bill talk about, well, you guessed it…all things MANLY! Tune in for lots of laughs, some mustache-growing-insight, manly prayer, manly saints, famous last words of manly men, and much more! Listen here for some manful inspiration!

p.s. It’s highly suggested that you listen to this pod while chopping wood, wearing flannel, eating steak, and/or watching your mustache grow.


Who’s mustache is better?? Vote below!











Growing a Manly Beard


St. Lawrence




St. Michael the Archangel, 
defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Episode 49: The Real MLB

Friends! This week we are so blessed to share with you a conversation Chris had with a deeply loved priest in our Diocese, Monsignor Larry Bakke. Monsignor Bakke recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood! Throughout his 40 years of service within the Diocese of Madison, Monsignor has impacted many hearts and helped build some of the strongest apostolates in our Diocese. Listen here to learn more about his time serving as the Director of Camp Gray, his current service as the Director of the Apostolate to the Handicapped, and everything in between! He gives some incredible insight to the fruits of trusting in the Lord’s plan, you don’t want to miss it!

Topher and Bakke


The Power of Possibility – Topher’s blog about Monsignor’s impact on Camp Gray

Learn more about the Apostolate to the Handicapped!

“The Privilege of Service” – Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Fr. Larry Bakke’s Ordination


Freshly Brewed, Episode 47: You’ve Got My Attention

As an Edgewood College graduate, survivor of a traumatic car accident, former Legislative Aid at the Capitol, former member of a rock band, and current FOCUS Team Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jacob Rosemeyer has seen a lot my friends. This week on the podcast we decided to hear his perspective on continuous conversion, community, and our Blessed Mother! Listen to the podcast here for some serious inspiration!

Jacob (in the middle, back row) and his FOCUS team members at UW-Madison!
Jacob (in the middle, back row) and his FOCUS team members at UW-Madison!


12112181_10153808777878706_3479995377441296389_nFOCUS Blog: What the Karate Kid Taught Me About the Rosary – Jen Loser

33 Days to Morning Glory

October – Month of the Holy Rosary with St. Josemaría

How To Pray the Rosary

Worshipping a Hidden God – Luis M. Martinez

Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

Learn more about FOCUS here!

Freshly Brewed, Episode 25: I Take My Coffee Black, Like My Clerics

Happy Feast day of St. Joseph! This week on the podcast Father Greg Ihm shares some reflections on the life of St. Joseph and how he can inspire men to grow in virtue in order to become the spiritual or biological fathers they were created to be! Father Greg also talks about childhood memories with his father and how this relationship revealed to him the tangible realities and beauty of God’s fatherly love for him! Listen here for some awesome perspective on the role of men in the Church and in families! St. Joseph, pray for us!



Percolating Definitions:

Percolation.  Technically, any method of coffee brewing in which hot water percolates, or filters down through, a bed of ground coffee. The pumping percolator utilizes the power of boiling water to force water up a tube and over a bed of ground coffee.<>

Percolating. To brew coffee in a percolator; to become active, lively, or spirited; to show activity, movement, or life <>

The Mystery of Joseph

The Feast of Saint Joseph


Freshly Brewed: Episode 6 – Bless Us for the Journey

Bless Us for the Journey

Howdy friends! As Camp Gray continues to have huge impacts on individuals’ pursuits of holiness we decided to hear from the perspective of a long time camper, Erin Moran! Listen here as Chis talks with Erin about the many different programs Camp offers and how each different experience has played a role in how Erin continues to strive for sainthood!

Erin 4


Camp Gray Summer 2015 Schedule

Camp Gray Instagram

St. Francis of Assisi 

National Geographic Instagram

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.