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July 10, 2013     
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Summer Reading

Keeping up with all the reading material that crosses our desks and computer screens can be daunting. Take some time this summer to read something for YOU—whether it’s for enjoyment, spiritual growth, or professional formation. We offer a few “good reads” for you to consider.

Helping our parishioners understand the reasons we must pray for and assert our right to religious liberty is an important catechetical task right now. If you’re looking for a good resource that addresses this, check out the Catholic Update “Why Catholics Care About Religious Liberty.”

Be sure to consider the newly updated “Come and See” for your parish RCIA process. We’ve made efforts in the past few years to make it more user-friendly. The 2013 edition becomes available for purchase on July 15.

Good Reads
by Joan McKamey

Beyond the Swimsuit Challenge

Putting on that summer swimsuit is challenging. Many women are weighted down by the thought that they’re not thin, pretty, young, or good enough. While bookstores stock advice on how to overcome body-image problems, few books take a faith-based, much less Catholic, approach. Weightless: Making Peace with Your Body by Kate Wicker speaks to anyone who wants to live an abundant life, unencumbered by society’s obsession with thinness, physical beauty, youth, or food.

Weightless offers 
      -Personal stories that debunk cultural myths about beauty 
      -Spiritual tools to help address common struggles 
      -Meditations to reshape the way a woman views herself 
      -Discussion questions for personal or group reflection 
Living the ‘Good Life’

What if the “good life” you’re seeking has less to do with prestige and plenty and more to do with prudence, hope, and faith? Would you still want a guide to get there? Maybe the idea of a life based on the virtues creates an uneasy feeling. Too hard, you might think, too boring. Robert Lockwood sets the record straight in A Guy’s Guide to the Good Life.

Lockwood weaves Scripture, Church teaching, and everyday stories—from Babe Ruth’s funeral to the author’s doomed efforts to make the varsity basketball team—revealing the virtues for what they really are: a call to action and our tie to the living God. The virtuous life isn’t just the good life; it’s the best life, the life we were each made for.

A Great Listen
by Joan McKamey

It’s difficult to truly adopt and embrace God’s vision for us in a society that judges a person’s value according to his or her success, popularity, or influence. Our society’s upward-mobility focus clashes with Jesus’ and Henri Nouwen’s theology of downward mobility. We find ourselves stuck somewhere in between—many of us admit to being infected by the consumer culture yet we also recognize our call to care for the “least of these” and work for the common good.

Nouwen writes in Finding My Way Home: Pathways to Life and the Spirit,When you win and receive a prize, you know there is somebody who lost. But this is not so in the heart of God. If you are chosen in the heart of God, you have eyes to see the chosenness of others. . . . We’re living in a culture that measures the value of the human person by degrees of success and productivity. . . . Do we dare to look at weakness as an opportunity to become fruitful? Fruitfulness in the spiritual life is about love, and this fruitfulness is very different from success or productivity.”

This collection of four short essays looks at different aspects of the spiritual life:
      -The Path of Power
      -The Path of Peace
      -The Path of Waiting
      -The Path of Living and Dying
Listen to a sample clip here (Windows Media).

Summer Viewing
by Angela Glassmeyer

Instead of summer reading, I’m going to suggest some summer watching . . . through Catholic Update On Demand. There are currently many different videos for educational use—sacramental prep, Scripture, and more—but there are also inspirational videos and videos that make you think.

Recently, we’ve added a bunch of videos from Outside da Box—a company that creates videos for Catholic youth ministry. Check out these new videos this summer for personal inspiration and education, and also with the potential to use them this fall in your youth ministry program. When the school year starts, simply provide your parish code and let the kids watch the videos on whatever device they have handy wherever they are!

Faith Formation Forum

Share your ideas on faith formation at our online bulletin board, Faith Formation Forum. Our editors will screen and post your thoughts, and you can learn from others' ideas. Submit your ideas by clicking here.



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Faith Formation Update
is your bridge to a community of readers who share your passion for catechesis. For our part, we offer monthly encouragement, ideas, and resources to assist you in your catechetical ministry. We are honored to serve you in this e-newsletter and hope you find it useful. God bless you in your important ministry of sharing the Good News!

Angela Glassmeyer and Joan McKamey (Find out more about us by clicking here.)

We invite you to share your ideas and questions on our Faith Formation Forum; click here, or on the link at the end of each segment to leave your comments.
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