What Would Be Your Parish’s “Go-To” Songs to Sing?

I posted recently about two issues that have made a connection for me: Singing as an Expression of Faith and my Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola. While on the pilgrimage at our stop in Avila, I encountered a group of pilgrims in the town square joyfully singing hymns and clapping their hands, a scene I have encountered before from groups of different ethnicities. On the next bus ride, I lamented to my […]

Four Tips on How to Survive Vacation Bible School and Still Have Fun

While Vacation Bible School is one of the most high-energy weeks of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful. Lots of volunteers you may or may not know well combine with dozens of children of all age groups bouncing around and being kids in organized chaos. Here are a few tips to help you keep your head when it seems like everyone else in the room is losing theirs. Remember that […]

Understanding Church Tradition—Free Catechist Meeting Resource Packet

When journalists report, listeners or readers want to know the source of the information and whether or not those sources are reliable. When it comes to religion, it helps to know the source of the information we are being asked to embrace as the truth. For Catholics, we identify our source as Scripture and Tradition—not two sources, but one single source that comes to us in two ways. Scripture, of course, is the written Word […]

St. Paul, Conversion, and Mission

As the year winds down, we’re taking a session to talk about St. Paul and his conversion and missionary journeys. Our guide is Finding God, Grade 7, Chapter 23, but as usual, I’m using that as a jumping off point rather than following the book’s lesson plan word for word. We are all called to conversion and mission in our ongoing faith journeys, and that’s the point of this lesson (the “big idea” as Joe […]

A Great Video for Baptismal Prep: Ritual Matters

One area of adult faith formation that is always in need of more attention is baptismal preparation, especially when it comes to helping young parents recognize how they can help their family to grow in faith. A great resource to keep in mind is something that has been around for a few years: the “Ritual Matters” video that is part of the Come and See DVD in the God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist program from Loyola Press. This lovely, brief […]

A Glimpse of My Pilgrimage to Spain and Rome

As I mentioned earlier this month, I had the privilege of enjoying a pilgrimage to Spain and Rome to follow in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. I can’t thank Loyola Press enough for making this sacred journey possible! Here are some pics I took that help to capture the essence of the dramatic story of St. Ignatius of Loyola.    

Four Ideas for Celebrating Pentecost

Pentecost has long been one of my favorite feasts in the liturgical year. Who doesn’t love a story with fire, wind, speaking in tongues, and a bold proclamation of the Gospel? Unfortunately, though, by the time Pentecost rolls around in the calendar, many of our religious education programs have ended and our creative energy switches off into summer mode. Why not instead use this exciting feast as a way to end the faith formation year […]

Planting a Spiritual Garden: Three Ways to Help Others Grow in Faith

Spring has finally arrived after another harsh winter in Green Bay. As I turn my attention to my garden, I marvel at the hardiness of the tulips I planted before the ground hardened in the fall. Their bright green sprouts remind me that spring is a time for new life and growth. Helping others cultivate their own spiritual garden is one of the most rewarding aspects of ministry; it is also one of the most […]

The ABCs of God’s Love

Jesus calls each of us to spread the Good News. One way we can do this as Catholic Christians is to show God’s love to those we encounter no matter if they are friend, family, or stranger. This concept can be tough for many adults to live out. How do we teach the children in our faith formation classes to show God’s love to all those we encounter? I recently wrestled with this concept in […]

Misery Loves Company

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my frustration with regards to not finding the “secret formula” to attracting adults to faith formation. I was tickled to receive the following e-mail from a good friend of mine who has been a catechetical leader for years and is one of the smartest people I know: To tell the truth, I’m sort of glad you didn’t find some secret I’ve missed my whole career. Because I would […]

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