Catholic Talk Like a Pirate Day 2017

It’s September 19 so it must be, what, Tuesday of the 24th week in Ordinary Time (or the quickie Twitter version)? As sure as I’m Cap’n’ Marrrrrk, it’s also International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Celebrate with this updated treasure from ChurchMojo.com we’re diggin’ up for this here special occasion.

Catholic Talk Like a Pirate Day
#TalkLikeAPirateDay

Share in the celebration and share this list with a matey.

The Rum ‘n’ Catholic Guide to Talk Like a Pirate Day #TLAPD

  1. Say an Aarrr Father and Ahoy Mary
  2. Say far, far away from Pontius Pirate
  3. Lubber neighbors as yerself
  4. Ponderrr the lives of Saint Godric of Finchale and St. Olaf, the pirate saints
  5. Shout “Bring me the blood of Christ!”
  6. Extend an outstretched hook during the Sign of Piece(s) of Eight
  7. Dad men’s tales we’ll tell
  8. Cry “Ahoy there, me sacred hearties!”
  9. Cannon-ize yer enemies.
  10. Remember always that ours is an awesome grog.
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How Church Imitates Baseball #OpeningDay 2017

As the 2017 season starts, every team has a prayer of making it to the World Series. And speaking of prayer, did you ever notice that going to church is a lot like baseball?

Top 10 Ways Going to Church Imitates Baseball 10. Sometimes you stand and sing, other times you sit. 9. It can go into extra innings. 8. Hard to follow without a program. 7. Organ music. 6. Uncomfortable seats. 5. Sometimes you spend more than you want to. 4. Gotta know how to read the signs. 3. Long line for alcohol. 2. You’re preparing for post-season play. And the number 1 way going to church imitates baseball… 1. Ultimately, if you screw up, you get sent down.
Church prepares you for baseball. Or maybe it’s the other way around?

Leo Durocher said, “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” But my wife, sister-in-law and I found many more similarities between church and baseball that we’ve noted before. We were welcoming a friend and baseball fan into the Church one Easter through RCIA and came up with this list:

Top 10 Ways Going to Church Imitates Baseball

10. Sometimes you stand and sing, other times you sit.

9. It can go into extra innings.

8. Hard to follow without a program.

7. Organ music.

6. Uncomfortable seats.

5. Sometimes you spend more than you want to.

4. Gotta know how to read the signs.

3. Long line for alcohol.

2. You’re preparing for post-season play.

And the number 1 way going to church imitates baseball…

1. Ultimately, if you screw up, you get sent down.

If you’re making a good Lent, you’ll have a clean slate just like all the Opening Day teams. Enjoy your season and step up to the plate to add to the list with your own similarities.

Catholic Mass Madness Brackets

March Madness Brackets for Catholics

In this year’s Mass Madness brackets for Catholics, who do you have going to the Faithful Four? (Click to enlarge)

[You might like: How Going to Mass Imitates Baseball]

#FishFriday Graphic Hack <‘ ))))><

Fridays in Lent mean no meat so sometimes we call them #fishfriday.

Remind your parishioners in a subtle-but-cute way to abstain by using this little emoticon:
<‘))))><

No fancy keyboard or graphics needed, just the shift key.

You might post this on social media or your church website, along with:

<‘ ))))><   No meat today, but you can have your alms-giving well done and make your Scripture reading not a rare event! 

Want more emoji and emoticon help for Lent?

How Church Imitates Baseball – #OpeningDay

Opening Day in 2014 falls right after Laetare Sunday, giving us two opportunities to recognize that our long winter will not continue indefinitely. Last night’s flurries in DC, I must confess, briefly shook my confidence in that previous statement.

So how are church and baseball connected. Leo Durocher said, “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” But my wife, sister-in-law and I found many more similarities between church and baseball that we’ve noted before. We were welcoming a friend and baseball fan into the Church one Easter in the early 1990s when we came up with this lis:

Top 10 Ways Going to Church Imitates Baseball 10. Sometimes you stand and sing, other times you sit. 9. It can go into extra innings. 8. Hard to follow without a program. 7. Organ music. 6. Uncomfortable seats. 5. Sometimes you spend more than you want to. 4. Gotta know how to read the signs. 3. Long line for alcohol. 2. You’re preparing for post-season play. And the number 1 way going to church imitates baseball… 1. Ultimately, if you screw up, you get sent down.
10 ways church imitates baseball.

Top 10 Ways Going to Church Imitates Baseball

10. Sometimes you stand and sing, other times you sit.

9. It can go into extra innings.

8. Hard to follow without a program.

7. Organ music.

6. Uncomfortable seats.

5. Sometimes you spend more than you want to.

4. Gotta know how to read the signs.

3. Long line for alcohol.

2. You’re preparing for post-season play.

And the number 1 way going to church imitates baseball…

1. Ultimately, if you screw up, you get sent down.

 

If you’re making a good Lent, you’ll have a clean slate just like all the Opening Day teams. Enjoy your season and let us know any other similarities we can add to the list!

10 Steps to Prepare Your Church Website for Advent

Lego Advent Calendar
Lego Advent Calendar

Santa’s checking his list at this time of year — and so should you if you’re running a parish website. Here are the 10 steps to prepare your church site for Advent.

  1. Pick a permanent URL for all of your Advent content. Use the same page year after year so search engines—which really means first-time visitors—can find you. That’s your best chance for reaching those who are thinking of returning home for Christmas.
  2. Make that permanent URL short, relevant, easy-to-remember name for that URL. Hint: work in “Advent” into the name, such as YourChurch.com/advent. Including unnecessary subdirectories in the name is as sloppy as leaving the price tag on a present. So skip /seasons/recurring/advent/ or /ministries/liturgy/advent. Double check that someone could say this address out loud to a friend and have it remembered. Also confirm that the address can fit on one line in your bulletin.
  3. Include your Christmas Mass schedule on your Advent page as soon as possible. Again, you might have only one shot at first timers. All of your other Advent events should be here too, of course, along with your daily Mass schedule.
  4. Incorporate an Advent theme for your entire parish. If you don’t have one, go with Year of Faith. Some churches adopts a single theme for all children’s religious education programs that carries over to the parish as a whole. If the theme already is in place for the kids, get some more mileage but expanding it across your community. When I used to run my parish’s website, we took this approach, such as in this 2006 theme, “Sent Forth in Hope” from 2005, 2004 and 2003.
  5. Add a poll asking how your parishioners are celebrating Advent. A one-question, multiple checkbox survey is a fun way for visitors to see the activities you’re offering. Include the basics:
    – Using an Advent wreath
    – Attending additional Masses
    – Doing extra good deeds
    – Going to the parish Christmas party
    – ____ << here’s where you add some other event that applies to your parish), etc., plus list those events that are unique to your parish–especially the minor ones that need more publicity.
  6. Assemble your pastor’s best Advent and Christmas homilies.
  7. Include Advent reflections. Lots of good choices are available, including American Catholic’s Advent page, Catholic.org’s Advent resources, Creighton University, my own parish’s archived Advent reflections (new ones were discontinued), and Our Sunday Visitor.
  8. Link to daily Scripture readings. The US Bishops’ daily readings site is a good start and try out other RC.net, EmmausJourney, Creighton University, EWTN and @todaysreadings (a Twitter account I run). The readings are available as podcasts, too, including one of my favorites: Pray As You Go.
  9. Review last December’s analytics to identify search terms your visitors used and incorporate these keywords into your site.
  10. Share your Advent information on social media and link back to your main Advent page. On Twitter and Google+, include the #Advent hashtag. Collect interesting images of Advent wreaths on Pinterest.
  11. BONUS STEP: Take some time for yourself to prepare for Jesus. It’s easy to focus on getting the church website ready for everyone else while neglecting your own journey. Remember to use some of the reflections above for yourself!

Are these the kind of steps you’re taking? Let us know what your online preparations are in the comments.

You might also like: 40 Ways to Keep Parishioners from Giving Up Your Church Site for Lent and
Why Your Holiday Bulletin Cover Makes Newcomers Flee

Veterans Day Posters 1978 – 2012

Looking for some Veterans Day graphics to go along with your prayers for veterans? Share this animated gif:

Veterans Day Poster animated GIF 1978 - 2012
Veterans Day Posters 1978 – 2012 from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Animated GIF by Mark Alves

The VA Dept. has individual posters for downloading here. More posters are available from:

Thank you to all those who’ve served.