Like Sheep Without a Shepherd

This coming Sunday, we will hear a number of references to the “shepherd” in the Liturgy of the Word. The First Reading (Jeremiah 23:1–6) speaks of the shepherds who are scattering the flock. The Responsorial Psalm speaks of the shepherd who leads us to green pastures. In the Gospel, Jesus has compassion for the huge […]

Independence Day: Revisiting How to Create a Declaration of DEpendence

As we celebrate Independence Day, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit an idea from a lesson I taught several years ago about the Lord’s Prayer as our Declaration of DEpendence. Through the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, we express our dependence on what God provides for us: his name, kingdom, […]

Explaining the Holy Trinity

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”—these are words we use every time we pray the Sign of the Cross. Even young children know them. The prayer expresses the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, that God reveals himself in Three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This […]

Pentecost: A Renewable Source of Abundance

Imagine how you would feel if someone stepped into your life, paid off all of your debts, and set up a line of credit for you to draw from for the rest of your life! I know one thing…I’d like this person’s business card! This scenario may sound far-fetched, but in essence, this is what […]

A Father’s Day Message

I’m not one to claim mystical experiences of hearing God talking to me (as in actually hearing a voice and spoken words) however, I have had a couple of moments in life when I felt that God tossed a few syllables my way. One such occasion occurred some years ago on Father’s Day. Now, let’s […]

Grandparents and the Benignity of God

Last week, I spent a few days in New Jersey with about 65 catechetical leaders, reflecting on the 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. Among the many wonderful people I was privileged to spend time with was Ron Pihokker, the Director of the Catechetical Office of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ. In particular, I was struck […]

The Most Holy Trinity – A Feast of Heaven and Earth and Close Encounters

There seems to be no shortage of movies about the lives of human beings AFTER the earth is destroyed (Wall-E, Oblivion, After Earth, just to name a few). We seem to be resigned to the notion that our penchant for disposability will result in the eventual destruction of this planet. Unfortunately, too much of Christianity […]

Teaching About the Kingdom

My lesson tonight includes the concept of God as king and of how we pray for the coming of the Kingdom. In American society, we sometimes have trouble teaching about the concept of the Kingdom of God – afterall, we won our independence from the “tyranny” of the King of England. Our present day understanding of […]

Images of the Holy Spirit

Tonight, as we begin our first of five Confirmation Intensives (class will be for 2 hours instead of 75 minutes, comprised of 5 different mini-sessions), I will be teaching about images of the Holy Spirit: water, anointing, fire, and a dove. To introduce this concept, I am bringing in a blank red octagon that I […]

Jesus, I Want to Get to Know You

Tonight, we will complete our unit on Jesus. I have completed the Powerpoint that the young people began work on in class last week which covers the various aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry: the world of Jesus, the people of Jesus, the words and actions of Jesus, and the death and Resurrection of Jesus. I’m […]