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By Father Chris Kuhn Pastor, St. Mary Parish, Elgin, IL Let me begin by sharing that my grandfather, Jimmy Burke, grew up outside of Joliet, IL. He had the hard experience of his father walking out on the family during his eighth grade year – this would have been around 1907 or so. His mother had all she could handle just taking care of them and taking small jobs to earn money. Soon Jimmy was forced to leave school and earn money for the family. Begging for food I mention our family story because during this crisis he and his sisters would beg for food from the black Pullman porters on the trains that ...

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By David Coe Facilitator, Yeshua Institute It was a hot, humid South Florida day on Sept. 4, 1994, at Joe Robbie Stadium. The field was a muddy mess! The Miami Dolphins were behind in the opening game of the NFL season, down 35-32 to the New England Patriots with just 3:25 left in the game. Even though the Dolphins had the ball, they also had a fourth down with five yards to go for a first down. Things looked bleak for the Dolphins. Instead of attempting to throw or run the ball five yards for the first down, the Dolphins decided to go deep. Dolphins’ quarterback Dan Marino found wide receiver Irvin...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute I’m old enough to remember being taught that the best decisions were always devoid of emotion. And I’m young enough to remember thinking that didn’t make any sense at all. (Although I didn’t get all emotional about it.) The problems with that advice are: It’s impossible to follow and foolish to aspire to. No one can completely separate their head from their heart – their thoughts from their feelings. We have thoughts and feelings – all the time. Granted, some people are much more emotive than others. But displaying ...

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By Dr. Dan R. Ebener Yeshua Institute Fellow Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles by Dan Ebener on leadership in the Catholic Church. They are excerpts from his latest book, Pastoral Leadership: How to Lead in a Catholic Parish. * * * Some people figure that only those with titles and positions can be leaders. Pope Francis believes that everyone can be a leader – pastor and deacon, women and men, young and old, parish council and finance council. For the past century, each pope has elevated the role of the laity in the mission of the church. All are called With the Great Co...

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By Dick Kunnert Yeshua Institute Board Member, Master Facilitator Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5 Everything tied to happiness is centered around trust. Happiness is very hard to experience in an environment where there is no trust. Trust gives freedom to thought and action. If I am constantly on the defense, I am not thinking of positive ways to use my gifts in serving other people. Traumatized kids are wary about relationships and trust. How do people who can’t trust build community? Building the kingdom of God is predicated on helping people trust tho...

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By Dr. Dan R. Ebener Editor’s Note:  This is the second in a series of articles by Dan Ebener on leadership in the Catholic Church. They are excerpts from his latest book, Pastoral Leadership: How to Lead in a Catholic Parish. * * * The pastor concluded, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.”  The people replied, “Thanks be to God.”    The end of each Mass is a new beginning. As the people of God, we are welcomed at the beginning of each Mass to “come and see” (John 1:39 and John 1:46) as disciples, members and stewards. By the end of the ...

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When it comes to being an effective communicator at home or on the job, the most important skill you need is to be a good listener. All the polished presentation techniques, in company with an incredible vocabulary, impeccable grammar and flawless syntax won’t make a bit of difference if you don’t know how to listen. Stephen Covey, author the best-selling classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, taught that there were five levels of listening: ignoring, pretending, selective listening, attentive listening, and empathic listening. Although all five are very common practices, only...

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Julie Winkle Giulioni has four basic tips for making your virtual meetings better. Giulioni is the co-author of the bestseller Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Organizations Need and Employees Want.   She notes that virtual meetings are here to stay even after the Covid-19 threat is behind us, but when meetings fall into a familiar rhythm, participants can be easily lulled or distracted, making the whole experience mind-numbing. She says that you can push back on that problem by learning a bit more about four features common to online meeting software platforms: Screen sharing; Te...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute In a time of astounding chaos and uncertainty, one thing is getting clearer by the day: “this thing” is a not going away soon. With Covid-19 flaring up here and there, again and again and again, we are in it for the long haul. In the spring people focused on the short-term, immediate adjustments they could make to avoid – or at least minimize – contracting the virus and possibly infecting others. Those who could began to work from home. Children’s school classes migrated home too. Trips to the grocery store were better planned and le...

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By Dr. Dan R. Ebener Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles by Dan Ebener on leadership in the Catholic Church. They are excerpts from his latest book, Pastoral Leadership: How to Lead in a Catholic Parish, published by Paulist Press and the Villanova University Center for Church Management.  This book is part of a series sponsored by Paulist Press and the Villanova University Center for Church Management. It is intended as both a textbook for Catholic seminarians and a guide for parish leaders. The premise is that the Catholic Church needs leadership – because we need change. We...

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