Tony Phillips's blog

Teens, Guns, and Walkouts

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Yesterday teens all over the country, and many in St. Louis, walked out of school for 17 minutes to honor the 17 students who died in the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida last month. In addition to honoring their fallen peers, they also were calling for stricter gun control. Next Saturday, March 24th, there will be a “March for Our Lives” in downtown St. Louis, ending at the Arch, with the same goal.

As you talk with your teens over the coming days, weeks, and months, you might find yourself confused about what to say, how to support them, and what the Church teaches on this very divisive topic. Hopefully this will help. Read more »

Avoid Politics at Thanksgiving Dinner. Talk Religion!

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Avoid politics at Thanksgiving Dinner. Talk Religion. Ok, well, not really. But we should be prepared to share our witness at any time. That’s what I learned a few days ago. Last weekend I went on a hunting trip with my father, brothers, uncles, and cousins. And even in a family where everyone was raised catholic, I’m often seen as the “Catholic guy.” I’m guessing that many of you can relate. Read more »

Less Nones

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We’ve all heard the research about the “nones.” More people in the US than ever identify themselves with no religion whatsoever. There’s no doubt many of them are coming from the Catholic Church. Youth Ministry can definitely help stem the tide, but how can we be sure that we are doing the most effective ministry we can? Read more »

It's the shortest verse in Scripture. It might be the most powerful.

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Today I’m going to the funeral of a friend of mine. Her name is Alison. She was 31. 31! She was married with three kids under the age of 7. Her youngest just turned 1 on Easter. She died in the middle of the night. She was very healthy, and the doctors can’t explain what happened. As you can imagine, her husband and the rest of her family are devastated. As I think about what is in store for them – growing up without a mom, explaining to a 3 year old why mommy can’t read her a story, having Thanksgiving and Christmas without your daughter – I can’t help but ask why. We all ask why when faced with something tragic. Read more »

I'm Done Wasting Time

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I can’t believe there’s only eight days until Christmas.  I’m not running short on shopping time; all my presents are bought and wrapped under the tree.  I’m not running out of time to decorate the house; that’s been done since the day after thanksgiving.  I’m running out of time to pray.  All the preparations I’ve done for Christmas and I forgot the most important thing I need to prepare, my heart. 

So here it is one week until Christmas and I haven’t done a thing.  It’s time to cram.  I have 7 days (in my family we start Christmas celebrations with breakfast on the 24th) to do the work I should have been doing for the last two and half weeks.  If I want Christmas to be a real time of encounter with the Christ-child who came to save us, I’m left with no other recourse than to take drastic measures.  Read more »

Do I stink?

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I was over at a friend’s house the other day, a friend that I know well and whose house I visit often.  And I noticed, as I notice every time I go over there, that their house REEKS of dog. 


I’m not passing any judgment.  They have a dog, the previous owner had dogs, there have been dogs living in that house for probably 30 years.  It’s not their fault that their house smells like dog.  But it smacks me right in the face every time I walk through the door.  Read more »