Recommendations for Summer Reading

Last week, I posted about the importance of ongoing catechist formation, whatever shape that may take, including reading books! Well, at Loyola Press, we’ve published more than a few good books to engage your spirit and soul. I encourage you to take advantage of the summer months to enjoy some inspirational and thought-provoking reading. And the nice thing is, these books I’m highlighting today are easy on the budget—each one is available for only $9 […]

Growing as a Catechist: A Self-Evaluation

Take the opportunity to evaluate yourself as a catechist over the course of this past year with the help of Growing as a Catechist: A Self-Evaluation Based on Seven Critical Tools from The Catechist’s Toolbox. This short evaluation asks you to evaluate yourself using a five-point scale on the seven critical tools and then invites deeper reflection with several open-ended questions. Share your evaluation with your catechetical leader, or discuss it with a group of […]

How Will You Grow This Coming Year?

I’m enjoying watching all the new life bursting forth from the earth this spring—a reminder that nature seeks to grow! As part of God’s creation, it is in our nature to grow as well. Unlike plant life, however, we can be tempted to ignore that natural tendency. Such is the nature of the deadly sin of sloth: it is not just laziness; it is spiritual laziness. Sloth causes us to be distracted from that which […]

Praying the Daily Examen

Becky Eldredge, author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, loves praying the Examen, a method of prayer that involves reflection on the past 24 hours of your life. She explains the steps of this defining Ignatian prayer in the below video. Pray this way with young people using Finding God Grades 7 and 8. The Examen is also a great prayer for families, as Eric Gurash explains in his article Where Have You Been, Lord? […]

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year A: Encountering the Profound and Holy

This Sunday we begin Holy Week, the days during which we journey with Jesus on his Way of the Cross and anticipate his Resurrection on Easter. These days are indeed profound and holy. There are many vantage points from which to engage in Jesus’ Passion. In the characters of Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 27:11–54), we find reflections of ourselves and the many ways in which we sometimes respond to Jesus. Sometimes we are like Judas, who […]

Grace-Filled Moments Disguised as Stress

The three o’clock hour arrived. The rooms were ready for the children. Packets of Holy Week coloring pages were counted out. Then the first text came in: “The sitter is not coming. I cannot teach this afternoon.” Then the second text: “So sorry, I forgot about an appointment; I cannot teach this afternoon.” Yikes! Now came the stress. But being experienced, my overdrive kicked in, and I gathered my wits and combined groups, shuffled some […]

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A: Hope in the Resurrection

The scene described at Bethany (John 11:1–45 ) is a sad one. Martha meets Jesus, weeping, and says that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Yet she remains confident that God will do whatever Jesus asks. Martha affirms her belief that there will be a resurrection of the dead in the last days. Then Martha’s sister, Mary, comes to Jesus with the same confidence, saying that Jesus could have cured Lazarus. […]

Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A: Coming Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

As in last week’s Gospel about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, this Sunday’s Gospel reading (John 9:1–41) has many allusions to Baptism. The washing of the man in the pool of Siloam is a prototype for Christian Baptism. Through the man’s encounter with Jesus, the man born blind is healed, his sight is restored, and his conversion to discipleship begins. The man born blind gradually comes to a greater understanding about who Jesus is […]

Third Sunday of Lent, Year A: Mercy Without Limits

In this Sunday’s Gospel (John 4:5–42), the dialogue between Jesus and a woman from Samaria is among the most lengthy and most theological found in Scripture. The most startling aspect of the conversation is that it happens at all. Jesus, an observant Jew of that time, was expected to avoid conversation with women in public. The animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans should have prevented the conversation as well. The woman herself alludes to […]

Second Sunday of Lent, Year A: The Promise of Glory

When you get down to it, each of us is walking around with a vision of a hoped-for reality—an alternate reality—for ourselves, for those we love, for our community, for our world. We imagine a world that exists somewhere beyond what our eyes can presently see. We have a choice: we can either approach life as a problem to be solved, a contest to be won, or as a mystery to be entered into more […]

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