And the winner is . . .


Congratulations, I’ll e-mail you in a bit.


For those who are curious about my method, I did this:

1) Added up the number of entries total.  So Petra had entries #1, 2, &3; Kate was #’s 4, 5 & 6, and so forth.

2) Googled “random number generator” and found this one. I put in the range of numbers, and tested it a few times to see if it did what I needed.

3) I debated exactly how I was supposed to do this.

4) I shut my eyes, clicked the thing 10 times, opened them, and noted the random number now up on the screen.

5) I counted down through the entries and ended up on Angela.  Yay!

Now I really do need to get ready for the dentist. Turned out I had more time than I realized.  But not that much.  Have a great day everyone, and thanks for playing!

More Funerals

Please pray for the repose of the soul of a recently departed kinsman, and the consolation of his family.  The deceased is the grandson (30-something) of the older gentleman whose soul you prayed for earlier this year.  Long year of grief for their family.


Kids are bringing along history and religion to read during downtime at the funeral, and I’m putting off a few self-imposed deadlines.  So if you’re wondering why it takes so long for me to _____________________, this is why.

Welcome, Go Away, and a Book Worth Reading

1. First of all, a warm welcome to the many readers who have popped in from Fr. L’s blog (or elsewhere).  Make yourself at home!

2. Secondly, The home you’re making yourself comfortable in is mine.  Let me remind you, I wrote a book on classroom management. I don’t put up with a whole lotta nonsense.  I will happily tackle thorny issues on this blog.  I will not mince words.  I will take on the honest opponent, and skewer what ideas need skewering.  But we don’t skewer people, and we don’t post rude personal attacks that are contrary to the dignity of the human being.


If I’ve tossed your comment into the trash, I haven’t banned you, you are always welcome to try again with better behavior.

And I do try to stick to my own rule, and will apologize and retract if you catch me crossing the line from vigorous debate to disrespect and ad hominem attacks.  Because sure, I’m human, I can get carried away just like anyone else.

3. Look, I wrote something!  My review of Sam Rocha’s book A Primer of Philosophy and Education, with favorite quotes and my personal thoughts on how Sam’s ideas relate to catechesis is up in two places:

Whichever you prefer.  It fit both spots, so I stuck it at both, and only the titles are different.  (So hey, click both links, so that you can be amazed by my incredible versatility in title-composing.)

4. Over at Catholic Writers Guild, I put up my latest update on the state of affairs at the CWG, VP-edition.  The coolest part is this photo:

File:Black hole.jpg

I love Wikimedia Commons.

Photo: By Chaos at ar.wikipedia (Transfered from ar.wikipedia) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

How much should an evangelist earn?

Elizabeth Scalia responds here to the accusations about enormous salaries being earned by professional Catholics.

Here’s my take on the evangelist’s pay scale:

If you work for free you’re just a volunteer.  You must not be very qualified, and anyway, what you’re doing isn’t work, it’s just a hobby.  It’s okay to impinge on your work hours.  It’s also okay to make you feel guilty for not doing more of it.

If you work for a pittance you must not be very good at it, or you’d be earning more.  Also, shame on you for accepting financial assistance from the government.  You should go out and get a real job.

If you work for a modest living wage, you probably couldn’t do any better in the private sector, anyway.  Also, how are your kids going to pay for college?  You should get a real job.

If you work for a respectable middle- to upper-middle class income, you’re in it for the money.  Don’t you know immigrants are living ten to a single-bedroom apartment?  Don’t you care about people?  Despicable professional Catholics. Also, you probably don’t care about the Gospel, just your paycheck.

If you work for a professional salary, commensurate with your skill and experience, you’re a sleazy money-grubbing con artist. It would be okay to work as an engineer, or an accountant, or a doctor, or even as a professor or an advertising guy, for that kind of money.  But you absolutely must not accept a professional salary for doing professional work of the top caliber, if that work is related to the Catholic faith.

If you run a vast and highly accomplished organization, and accept a salary that vaguely approaches something sort of like a shadow of what senior managers and CEO’s in the private sector earn, you’re working your way straight to Hell, one paycheck at a time.  Good Christians run car dealerships if they want that kind of money. Also, even though you’ve essentially walked away from millions of dollars in would-have-been wages had you worked with the same diligence in the private sector, you can’t be trusted to be generous and intelligent about how you spend your spare income.  You might be able to sneak into purgatory if you pay enough taxes (leftist critic) or contribute to the pundit’s cause (right wing critic).

So, how much should an evangelist earn?  About 25% less than the pundit.


FID Last Week: Proclaiming the Kingdom

Joe Wetterling, who is a more responsible blogger than I am, wrote a good post for last week’s intentional discipleship study.  An excerpt:

In her discussion questions for this week, Sherry asks us “are you practiced in sharing the Gospel story?” I bet most of us aren’t. I’m practiced at reading it, at teaching it, at writing it. But sharing it? Noooo no no.. Sharing is that bad thing where people talk back and don’t like what you’re saying. I don’t like that part!  We need to practice. Perhaps we need a Toastmasters for evangelization – the safe environment to practice our pitch, to get comfortable talking about the person most important to us. But we need to practice, however we do it.

Read the whole thing at CWG.

Also, if you ever get a chance to meet Mr. & Mrs. Wetterling . . . do it.  I got about 5 Wetterling Minutes altogether during the CMN conference, and knew I liked these people.  Then I saw them coloring t-shirts together, and yeah, that explained it. Not just intelligent.  Fun *and* intelligent.  Best possible package.

Home Again

And happy to be here.  On the agenda for this week:

  1. Finish out the Family Honor course.  Funny how being on the road for ten days will cut into homework time.
  2. Get over this lovely cold I brought home from VA, so that I’m fit for society come Friday – parish homeschooling group’s kick-off Mass and pot luck.  (Yes, prayers appreciated.)
  3. Make a respectable showing for first week of school.  So far, so acceptable.  Despite two sick kids and one very welcome but perhaps a tiny bit bored house guest.
  4. Catch up on 10,000 post-conference to-do items.
  5. Write stuff.
  6. Other things I can’t remember right now.

In good news:

A.  The conference was excellent.  Seriously fun.  Loved it.  Met and re-met a bazillion very cool people.  Presentations went well (I’m told), gave out a pile of books, and confirmed that yes, my handwriting is that bad.

B.  Local Catholic bookstore tells me they’ve already sold 25 copies of the new book.  In a couple days.  Typically they do not sell 25 copies of any given book.  Luckily they laid in a big stash. (Why yes, you can order my book by the case of 100.)

C.  I re-read the book.  It’s really good.  My copy-editor and I disagree on which set of comma rules are the ideal set, but if you are like me and are a bit thrown by Liguori’s style sheet, let me just challenge you: There is a set of rules they are following, and it is logical and all that.  So I tentatively approve, even though when I’m the editor, I use the list Jen Fulwiler put up on Pinterest the other week.  (Um, no link, I’m being speedy here, you just go search “Jen Fulwiler” + “pinterest” + “comma rules”.)

Back to homework.  If I owe you an e-mail, my goal is to be caught up with all pressing internet chores by the end of the week.  Phone if it’s urgent.

Updated to toss in a picture and a link, because I see my side bar is having a bad book day.  Picture of the book here:

Classroom Management for Catechists

And link to Liguori’s site, where at this very moment (9:45 AM on 8/13) they are showing $3.50 for the sales price.  Half off. Sheesh.  Crazy marketing people.  (I approve!)

Bleg 2: Favorite Tax / Bookkeeping software?

I realized people are probably going to ask this question. I do all my accounting-chores in Excel, but not everyone wants to write a giant re-usable tax spreadsheet, so I thought I’d collect some recommendations from normal people. 

If you use a personal tax or small-business bookkeeping software, what do you like?  What do you hate? What’s worth the money?  What’s overpriced for what you get?