Sunday, April 3, 2011

Visit me over at Catholic!

Last month I was asked to join the team of amazing columnists at
I'll be writing about health and fitness from a Catholic perspective. I'd love your comments and feedback!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Going beyond the book: encouraging help for catechists

One of the greatest joys I have in sharing my faith is through teaching younger people about our Church. I began this journey as a newly married 20 something, helping with the Youth Ministry program at my parish and then after having children, as a religious education teacher starting at the 5th grade level.

I say that it is one of my joys because I gain a deeper understanding of God's love for us through the whole experience: the teaching material that opens my eyes to ancient truths, the relationships I build with my church family and the eager excitement of the students to learn about who they are in relationship to our Creator and their place in our world. But I also have to admit that it has been one of the toughest challenges in my spiritual walk. So often the students' probing questions and my lack of knowledge would collide (especially when I started teaching teenagers!) leaving me to wonder if I was fit to teach at all. I found myself withdrawing from the very things that would empower me to grow in understanding and confidence. I allowed my doubts to fester until I was left with a conviction that I was not "cut out" for this ministry.

Thanks be to God, I eventually saw a need to be proactive, rather than silently feeding my misgivings...there was hope outside of my head, that place where my doubts lay. I learned that it is through my efforts and my actions that I build confidence and knowledge, a "blessed assurance". Through this understanding, I am led to a place that I can share my faith confidently and encourage others to grow in their spiritual life as well.

Over the years I have found some fantastic resources to build my confidence, increase my understanding and most importantly, grow deeper in my relationship to Christ, the ultimate teacher!

Here are some resources that have helped me along the way:

1. The Sacraments. I can do very little on my own when I am discouraged and filled with doubts. The Holy Spirit wants so much to send us the grace we need to accomplish all tasks, from the little to the large: from greeting the day with a smile to answering tough teenager questions on the existence of God. The sacraments are food for our souls. They open our hearts and minds to living and loving and learning in the way God intended with Jesus at the center. Find a mass to celebrate and worship at visit,, go to reconciliation , discern your vocation and seek to learn more about our beautiful Church and the outpouring of grace available to you.

2. Surprised By Truth Series by Patrick Madrid. These books are compilations of conversion stories that gave me a profound appreciation for the Catholic Church and solidified my decision to convert many years ago. These books drew me into a desire to learn more about my faith and bring me back the fundamental teaching tools of the next two books.

3. The Bible (Douay Rheims version is my favorite) and The Catechism of The Catholic Church. Once I understood where the Church came from (Jesus!) and why it is the fullness of Truth, I was hungry to learn more. God's word in the Bible and the clarification and instruction found in the Catechism gave me a foundation for answering questions while at the same time opening my mind and heart to more questions from within. I began to see that the key to being a successful teacher was to keep learning myself! I found both books at

4. This website hosts some of the best Catholic podcasts. The voices of other faith-filled, spirit-filled Catholics sharing on a variety of topics help me to feel connected to other believers and encourage me to grow closer to God.

5. The Little Books of the Diocese of Saginaw, given to me by my spiritual director, led me to take time (6 minutes!) to pray, contemplate and find peace in my busy world which in turn gave me the strength and joy to share with others.

6. In the same way I enjoy listening to podcasts, I have gained knowledge, inspiration and consolation through the CD's I received from this company.

7. Catechists also need to learn and be encouraged by other catechists. At Lisa Mladnich has brought a wealth of free resources and encouragement to this fantastic website.

Peace of Christ to you,

Kerry, The Catholic Parish Media Liaison

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Make the Connection with Movies and more!

Netflix, Blockbuster and DVD avenue are among the top rated Online Movie rental subscriptions but did you know that their is a Catholic alternative?

Pius Media was created by a couple with 4 children who desired to "help families like ours to find great, wholesome entertainment for their families that is not contrary to the faith".

Their intro states: "We are your source for movies depicting the lives of the saints, children’s movies, educational tools for Religious Education teachers, conversion stories from the greatest apologists, Catholic-friendly Hollywood movies, and some great old television series.
Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion. Catechism of the Catholic Church 2525 "
I am excited to start my own subscription and share these great movies with my family while supporting a business that strives to uphold our common virtues and help make the world a better place.
Check them out at
If you have questions or suggestions about "Make the Connection", feel free to contact me!
Peace of Christ to you!
Kerry Madden

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Review of L'Angelus Concert

Jump up and dance with L'Angelus!

L'Angelus is the self described "Power Trio" from Louisiana and that is a very apt description!
Their music is filled with joy and humor, as well as a deep sense of tradition and love of family.
My heart was truly blessed by encountering these fabulous musicians! (and my toe was tapping too!).

For a dance around the house fun filled adventure....check out their Ca C'est Bon CD. My daughter says every song is her favorite! (quickly forgetting Hannah Montana!). It's available on their website (I downloaded through Itunes).

For relaxing, worshiping and meditation fill you heart with their latest CD: Sacred Hymns through Ignatius Press. I don't recommend downloading the music on Itunes because the CD case is wonderful and I would have been sad to not have the lyrics and beautiful pictures of the Rees family and friends.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Make the's time to run with the nuns!

It' time to register for the 13Th Annual St Charles Children's Home 5K

Last year's St. Charles Children's Home 5k was a blast! Runners from all walks of life came together on a beautiful late summer day to raise funds and awareness for the great work done by the Daughters of Mary Mother of Healing Love. Their website states that they are "A private association of Roman Catholic women dedicated to the healing of the abused & neglected". These sisters are a beautiful witness of their consecrated life given in service to God and His children!

*USATF certified course
*$1,000 Cash award pool
*Champion Chip Timing
*Fun Run and Activities
*Great food and raffle
*Special PR awards for best personal times

Join me as I run with the runs on Sept 7, 2009! To register visit

Make the Connection....Catholic summertime fun!

I was so excited to hear about this event. I saw L'Angelus on EWTN recently and they are so much fun! Hope you can join us!
Kerry, The Catholic Parish Media Liaison

Our Lady of Guadeloupe Family Picnic and Christian Concert
Saturday August 1, 2009 Sanderson Hay Farm 682 Post Rd Greenland NH

12-2pm Games for Kids and Volleyball for big kids and adults
2-3pm Canoe races for teens
3-3:30pm Family Rosary
3:30-4pm Prepare for Mass
4pm Holy Mass
5-6pm Cookout (Please bring your own food, paper goods, utensils, beverages, and blankets. Grills provided)
6-8pm Concert with L'Angelus (my favorite New Orleans band! Recently appearing on EWTN...check them out at
8pm Bonfire

Family camping available at no charge. Don't forget sunscreen, bug spray, campfire chair, fishing pole, sports equipment, etc. Tickets only $20 per family To register for picnic and buy tickets got to to download form Mail with payment to Mary Sue Sanderson, PO Box 283, North Hampton, NH 03862 more info, email

See website for more details

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Make the Connection: Dynamic Catholic Speakers!

This past week I was blessed to have the opportunity to attend the workshops of 2 dynamic Catholic speakers.

The first was Anna Scally who presented a fun, lively and engaging retreat for our 8-10th grade students. She guided the teens through lessons on the gifts of the Holy Spirit using popular music, interactive games and reflections. Anna received rave reveiws from parents and students alike. You can find her at

The second was Kitty Cleveland who gave powerful testimony to Divine Mercy. She was brought to us by Cathoic Quest,, an organizations whose goal is to empower Catholics to embrace, defend and learn more about the Catholic Church. Kitty told the moving story of her faith journey that includes the heartbreaking, wrongful imprisonment of her father, a prominent Catholic deacon and lawyer in Lousiana. Kitty highlighted God's providence in her life through song and adoration time with the attendees of this evening. There was also opportunity to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and receive reconcillation. This evening was a true gift that refreshed my soul.

You can find more infomation about Kitty and her music at