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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute As I sit down to compose and compile this edition of The Catholic Leader, we find ourselves and our whole world amuck in uncertainty. On a global scale, there has been nothing remotely like this in any of our lifetimes. The stock market is trying to claw its way back from a 900-point drop Monday. Also on Monday, the nation’s confirmed Covid-19 cases hit a record daily high of 69,967 on a seven-day average, breaking the prior record set Sunday – and reflecting a roughly 20 percent increase compared to a week ago. Russia has seen a second surge in C...

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By Dan R Ebener Yeshua Institute Fellow Relationships are the stuff of leadership. A congregation is a web of relationships. To practice the people skills needed for leadership, ask yourself: What kind of a human being do I need to become… so that I can practice leadership? As Catholics, we are committed to inner change. Jesus calls us to form our hearts out of His love (Luke 10:27). Ashes during Lent are but one example of how we acknowledge that we are committed to change our hearts, our minds and ourselves to become better human beings. Research shows that we can become compassionate communicators ...

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By Owen Phelps, Ph.D. Director, Yeshua Institute Surely John Quinlan is spinning in his grave. John was the general manager of our publishing company in Denmark, WI, back in the 1970s and 80s. John had a gruff exterior. Very gruff. Although, fortunately, it was mostly an act. Mostly. But there’s no denying one thing about John’s management style: He wanted to keep an eye on everybody. When we moved into remodeled office space, John put his desk at the head of the office, looking out – and down, we thought – on everyone. We could all see him. And he could see all of us. In John&r...

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By Dr. Dan R. Ebener Yeshua Institute Fellow Editor’s Note: This is the fourth 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. * * * Pastoral leadership is a vocation. Anyone can be called to leadership. It is part of what Lumen Gentium called “the universal call to holiness,” a phrase quoted by our last seven popes. Recognizing this universal call raises the hope that the challenges of leadership can be embraced by clergy and laity – and that change will happen i...

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Steve McKee, author of When Growth Stalls and Power Branding, speaks to the huge difference between two similar words – and to the importance of fostering one of them in every organizational setting from family to global corporation. The two words are “consensus” and “contentious,” which sound similar and have a few things in common. Both come from Latin. Both are directions to which conflict can head. They both begin with "con" (Latin for “with”) and end in “us.” But what points to their differences is what comes in the middle. Consensus embraces &ldquo...

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As you may know, the pope traditionally announces a special prayer intention for each month of the year. For October, long observed as “Missionary Month,” Pope Francis has asked everyone to pray “that women be given greater leadership roles in the church.” And to highlight this intention, he has released a short video, that runs just over a minute in length. The video is a collaboration with the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. It highlights the role of the laity, whom Pope Francis considers “true protagonists in the proclamation of the Gospel.” Confronting a problem ...

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By David Coe Facilitator, Yeshua Institute After relocating to the mountains of Western North Carolina from Florida and before GPS systems became available, I was confused about how to get from point A to B. I needed directions. When I asked, the answer was, “You can’t get there from here.” Humorous? Perhaps. Frustrating? Yes. Today, all one needs is a smart phone, the proper application (“app”), an address and off you go with a guide to give you directions, assuring that you’ll arrive where and when you need to be. Despite the good news about simple geographic direct...

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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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