A Popular Pentecost Idea

With Pentecost being about a month away (May 15, 2016), I thought it would be a good idea to remind you of an idea I proposed last year: Discipleship Pledge Cards for Pentecost. This idea flows from my most recent book, A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion. Here’s […]

Historical Considerations for Why Catholics Are Afraid to Evangelize

The New Evangelization calls us to reclaim and attend to the traditions and language of Catholicism. But as I discussed in my previous post, many Catholics are afraid to use the word evangelization because they are not comfortable having a personal and lived relationship with Christ. But there are also three historical considerations that may […]

Breaking the Silence on Using the Word “Evangelization”

The word evangelize comes from the Greek word meaning “to bring the Good News.” Simple enough, right? And yet it seems that many Catholics are afraid of the word evangelization and barely use it at all. “Maybe we can call it something else,” I have often been asked, “something not quite so scary, so intimidating.” […]

Beginning a Homily Prep Ministry

Is preaching homilies a challenge? Certainly. Any congregation can appreciate the fact that it is not possible to be spectacular week in and week out. By the same token, this is precisely why (theoretically) only specific individuals are ordained for this task: they are supposed to be individuals with a charism for preaching who have undergone […]

Ministry Burnout vs. Ministry on Fire

Several years ago, I read an article that truly hit the nail on the head regarding the ministry of directors of religious education. The article was titled, “Unsung (and Underpaid) Heroes of the Parish,” and included this paragraph: The U.S. bishops believe that the “single most critical factor in an effective parish catechetical program is the […]

Challenges and Successes of Being a Catechetical Leader

Every year as a Director of Religious Education has its own unique challenges and successes. I keep telling myself that if I’m doing the same thing as the year before, then I’m doing it wrong. Here are some continual challenges I face and the ways I have found success amidst them. Challenge 1: Recruiting Catechists […]

Prayer Blankets as a Component of Adult Faith Formation

As we continue to expand our notion of what adult faith formation is—taking it beyond the scholastic sphere—I’d like to talk about one idea that combines several aspects of the six tasks of catechesis. I’m referring to the practice of parishes creating a Prayer Blanket (or Prayer Shawl) Ministry. In this ministry, parishioners sew/create prayer […]

Would It Hurt to Put Up a Sign and a Balloon?

As I drive through various neighborhoods, I typically see no small number of lawn signs announcing yard sales, garage sales, or real estate open houses. Often, attached to the signs are a few balloons. The message is clear: this is where the action is! Contrast that with an experience I had recently (and all too […]

Helping Adults Deal with Holiday Stress

Advent is fast approaching and, along with it, the stress that comes with the secular holiday season. Often, the Church’s message for Advent is that we need to slow down and find some quiet time. Too often, that message is delivered as a scolding accompanied by a condemnation of the fast-paced and noisy secular celebration […]

Grace in My Role as a Catechetical Leader

Grace is such a packed topic for a blog post; I realized that I would have to narrow things a bit. So, I turned to the Catechism, and found my focus in Paragraph 2004: “Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the […]