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The Season of Making Pitches...

As we enter March, thoughts for many of us, honed over decades of watching spring come out of a usually grinding winter, turn to baseball. But those of us in the publishing business, especially in Catholic publishing, the coming of spring brings attendance at conventions where we are making our best pitches to those we are working hard to serve through developing and providing products that touch their lives.

Entranceway to the Mid-Atlantic Congress, Feb. 27-March 1, in Baltimore, MD.

Entranceway to the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Congress, Feb. 27-March 1, in Baltimore, MD.

Last weekend, five of us from Franciscan Media were in Baltimore, in the shadow is a baseball mecca, Camden Yards, and a few feet from the statue of Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson (see above), for the third annual Mid-Atlantic Congress which focused on “forming Catholic leaders for faith-filled service.”

Some 1,400 involved in Catholic pastoral ministry gathered to hear speakers and engage in workshops on faith, worship and witness, and to visit booths of publishing houses, like ours, to find those new resources to help them be more effective in their ministry for and with others.

For us at Franciscan Media, it is a chance to share the fruits of our labors as well as getting much needed feedback to help us create new products for the future. Talking to those in the front lines of parish ministry brings home to us what is working for Catholics in the pews and what misses the mark.

We got very positive feedback on two new Franciscan Media parish products:

*   Live Catholic: Practical Ways to Build Strong Catholic Families, a video-based program developed in conjunction with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that offers down-to-earth help and empowerment for parents working to raise children in a loving, faith-filled environment that nurtures not only their bodies, but their hearts, minds, and souls, as well.

*   Into the Heart of God: Jean Vanier Explores the Gospel of John in the Holy Land, a 14-part video and handout series from the founder of L’Arche, an international federation dedicated to the creation and growth of homes, programs, and support networks with people who have intellectual disabilities. This series looks deep into the gospel, and, in so doing, brings viewers further into the heart of God, whose boundless love for humanity manifests itself in the life and times of Jesus.

Barbara Baker and Mary Carol Kendzia work at the Franciscan Media book at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Congress in Baltimore, MD. (Photos by Mark Lombard)

Barbara Baker and Mary Carol Kendzia work at the Franciscan Media book at the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Congress in Baltimore, MD. (Photos by Mark Lombard)

We’ll have a larger contingent from Franciscan Media gathering in Anaheim for the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress next week where we’ll be again pitching, this next time to more than 40,000. And, again, it will be a time to listen, really listen, about the needs facing the church and Catholics and those seeking spiritual sustenance and to share what we do best – providing products in a variety of media that offers new perspectives on the spiritual life, personally connects and all created in the spirit of St. Francis, St. Clare and St. Anthony.

Maybe we’ll see some of you from California there.

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