Happy Feast Day, St. Ignatius!

This year’s celebration of the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola is more special to me than ever before. It was just a few months ago that I had the privilege of going on pilgrimage to Spain and Rome to follow in his footsteps with many of my Loyola Press colleagues! Of the many highlights of this trip, I’d have to say that the most moving was being in the spot where Ignatius spent month after month recovering from the cannonball injury to his knee. This event not only shattered his knee, it shattered his life and his dreams. Painful as the experience was for him on so many levels, it also served as the springboard for his conversion: from death comes new life. May each of us pay closer attention to the “cannonball” experiences in our lives, pray for the grace to grow in faith and let go of our past, and discover new life waiting for us in the Lord’s service!

Here I am standing next to a statue of St. Ignatius in the town of Loyola, where Ignatius experienced his conversion after being wounded in battle.

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 6: Real Presence

priest holding Communion host

This is the sixth article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Polls show that many Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. If so many adults don’t understand it, how can catechists help children to learn this and take it to heart? Begin […]

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Using the Extra Daylight of Summer

summer beach

At her blog Days of Deepening Friendship, Vinita Hampton Wright rejoices in the arrival of summer and all it bring with it. In one particular post, “The Correct Use of More Daylight,” Vinita writes that the “long days [of summer] are a gift,” and, “we would do well to consider how to approach the lengthened […]

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Teaching Young Adults to Pray

young adult woman smiling

When I look back on my faith journey as a young adult, I am extremely grateful for the older adults in my life who took the time to teach me how to pray. Their gifts of sharing their wisdom and teaching me the practical tools of our faith serve me well as I journey through […]

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Finding Middle Ground Between “Churchy” and “Secular” Events

theater - stage

Most adult faith formation activities seem to fall into two disparate categories. On the one hand, we find activities that are unabashedly spiritual in nature. Here are examples from various parish bulletins: First Friday Eucharistic Adoration Rosary Group St. Peregrine Novena Baptismal Preparation Divine Mercy Chaplet Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Christ’s Passion …and so on. […]

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Fruit of the Vine: Wine and the Spiritual Life

wine and grapes

Last week, I enjoyed my first-ever wine tasting tour in the Harbor Country of Michigan along with my wife and our kids and their significant others. It was a wonderful experience as we enjoyed the variety of flavors from a number of wineries in the New Buffalo area. The experience led me to reflect on […]

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Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 5: Sacrifice

offertory procession

This is the fifth article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. The Mass is both sacrifice and a meal. It’s not just Jesus’ sacrifice, but ours as well. However, in a culture where so many kids get anything they want, the idea of laying down one’s life for others […]

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Start-of-the-Year Parent Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

start-of-the-year parent gathering

As you plan for the new catechetical year, schedule a start-of-the-year parent gathering. This is a great opportunity to meet parents and encourage them in their role as their children’s first catechist. To help you, I’m offering a free PowerPoint presentation, complete with suggested script, for hosting a parent gathering. The message it conveys is […]

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How Saint Joachim and Saint Ann Can Inspire Catechetical Ministers

Saints Joachim and Ann - icon

The upcoming memorial of Saint Joachim and Saint Ann has me thinking about how these saints can inspire catechetical ministers. Tradition tells us that Joachim and Ann were the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the Saints Kit says, “They must have set the example that Mary followed to become the loving, gentle, faith-filled, […]

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Clearing Mary Magdalene’s Good Name

"Noli me tangere" fresco by Fra Angelico - public domain via Wikipedia

This Wednesday, we celebrate the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, who for too long has wrongly been labeled as a former prostitute, a label that was reinforced by her portrayal in various Hollywood films such as Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Passion of the Christ (portrayed as the woman caught in adultery), the […]

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