4th Sunday of Advent

by David Lins  |  12/24/2023  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

In the past, I’ve used the Christmas bulletin to address the amazing folks who often only join us for Christmas, Easter and special occasions. I do this because our family isn’t complete without them. But this Christmas, I’d like to do something a bit different. I want to dedicate this column to those of you who have attended Mass faithfully over the past year.


3rd Sunday of Advent

by David Lins  |  12/17/2023  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

Over the past seven years, I’ve occasionally either been asked why I think being Catholic matters—or told outright that it doesn’t. I’d like to think the sum total of my writing over that span has been my response, but I’ll boil it down as best I can.

I love our protestant and non-dom friends. I truly do. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to say, “It doesn’t matter, as long as you love Jesus.” Why? Here are a few reasons:


2nd Sunday of Advent

by David Lins  |  12/10/2023  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

This coming Friday (12/15) - the day of our parish Christmas Concert (don’t miss it!) - will be my last day as a member of the OLOJ parish staff. And it has been an adventure.

I notified Fr. Jess back in November that I’d be leaving as a result of my doctor suggesting I eliminate driving sixty seven miles for work each day in an effort to help with some ongoing health issues and coinciding with a job opportunity opening up much closer to home.


1st Sunday of Advent

by David Lins  |  12/03/2023  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

This Sunday’s Gospel is all about being alert for Christ’s second coming. But we rarely think about what that means.

We should spend our days doing our best to hear and follow his will for our lives. In big decisions and small choices. We must be attuned to his will and listening for his promptings.

Years ago, I was wandering around the airport in Houston - waiting for my connecting flight - when I looked at a man in a chair looking back at me. It was Contemporary Christian Musician Matt Maher (who has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and GMA Songwriter of the Year in 2015).


Jesus, Christ the King

by David Lins  |  11/26/2023  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

So many people who claim to have read the Bible, but have only read excerpts claim that the “God of the Old Testament” is angry, vengeful, and only cares about judgement.

They turn around and think his Son showed up two thousand years ago and flipped the script. Jesus was entirely focused on forgiveness, mercy, and love.

As if the two aren’t the same God…


Be a Good Steward

by David Lins  |  11/19/2023  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

We are “Blessing Blind.”

Virtually all of us. We have so much—and could do so much for others.

If we weren’t so “blessing blind.”

My mother grew up at the lowest end of rural Wisconsin’s financial spectrum. My maternal grandparents used an outhouse into the eighties! When you ask mom about it, she’ll just shrug her shoulders and say, “We didn’t no any different.”



Stay Awake

by David Lins  |  11/12/2023  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

I remember being a wee bit afraid of Santa Claus as a child. Not the breaking and entering, mind you. That was more than okay. (As a kid, anyone is welcome if they bring me Baba Fett’s ship and some GI Joes.) It was that I’d heard he had a list of all the good kids—and all the bad ones—and no one ever told me precisely where he drew the line.

I think we, as Catholics, sometimes struggle with the same ambiguity. Will we find ourselves on the eternal good list or the eternal bad list?


Blessings in the Chaos

by David Lins  |  11/05/2023  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

Last weekend, Amanda Vernon visited our parish to do a few songs at each Mass before leading a concert with adoration Sunday night. It was a blessed event and I’d like to thank everyone who came out.

During the night, Amanda spoke quite a bit about giving our chaos to the Lord. And it got me thinking…

Chaos almost always comes with blessing.