The Ignatian Key to Opening Doors of Faith – or – Going Contagious with Ignatius!

The theme for Catechetical Sunday (September 15, 2013) this year is…

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It just so happens that St. Ignatius of Loyola holds the key to unlock and open the “Door of Faith!” St. Ignatius taught that the most effective way to persuade someone to your way of thinking is to “enter through their door but be sure to leave through your door.” What he means by this is that we need to make a connection between the Gospel and the real lived-experience of those to whom we preach. (Here’s a recent example that is delightful and amusing). In other words, our message needs to be pertinent to peoples’ everyday lives.

This notion, espoused by Ignatius over 500 years ago, is at the heart of the advice given by author Jonah Berger, in his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, in which he explains why some things “go viral.” Of the 6 points that he describes as being necessary for something to go viral, Berger’s 2nd point echoes Ignatius’ philosophy: if something is “top of mind” it will be “tip of tongue.”

In other words, this means that it is crucial to us as catechists to know what is “top of mind” for those we teach; i.e. what we find when we enter their door on our way to leading them through the open door of faith. This is another way of saying that we need to speak their language. In my recent Webinar, Forming a 3-Dimensional Catechist, I invited participants to identify what can be found when they enter the doors of the age group they teach. The response was phenomenal (boy, did I learn a lot!)! I’ve assembled their ideas in the following PDF for your convenience: (note – you may not approve of some of the things listed; this is not a list of what is appropriate for various age groups; this is a list of what they are into whether we like it or not!)

What’s Hot? per age group

What would you add to this list? Send in your suggestions below and I’ll update the handout accordingly.

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2 Responses to “The Ignatian Key to Opening Doors of Faith – or – Going Contagious with Ignatius!”

  1. Barbara Guerin Says:

    Where did this quote come from? St. Ignatius taught that the most effective way to persuade someone to your way of thinking is to “enter through their door but be sure to leave through your door.”

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Barbara, here is the actual quote and source: “Whenever we wish to win someone over and engage him in the greater service of
      God our Lord, we should use the same strategy for good which the enemy employs to draw a good soul to evil. He enters through the other’s door and comes out his own.”
      (Letter to Salmeron and Broet, Sept. 1541)

      Reply

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