Planning Your Adult Faith Formation Calendar

With all of the traveling that I do, sometimes my calendar can get a little crazy. I’ve gotten better at it, but I can remember some times when I asked myself, “What was I thinking when I said yes to this?” In parish life, we do this all the time. Even when we have calendaring […]

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Pope Francis on Catechesis Beyond the Scholastic Sphere

Pope Francis - image by Jeffrey Bruno under CC BY-SA 2.0

Recently, Pope Francis made some very interesting comments about evangelization and catechesis. In particular, he said that catechesis needs to go beyond just the “scholastic sphere” and lead people to an encounter with Christ. I’m thrilled to hear him talk about this because, as important as familiarity with doctrinal concepts is, it means nothing unless […]

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Three Promises for Vacation Bible School Week

children dancing

This is the last article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. Vacation Bible School is up and running, and my head is about to explode with all the details! Even with decorations finished and an excellent volunteer staff, I still feel like I have a […]

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Share Prayer: Breaking the Culture of Silence

two people sharing prayer

Pope Francis has spoken many times of the value and power of intercessory prayer in Christian life. “When evangelizers rise from prayer, their hearts are more open; freed of self-absorption, they are desirous of doing good and sharing their lives with others.” (The Joy of the Gospel #28) Have you ever run into someone who […]

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A Do-it-Yourself Summer Retreat

summer leaves and light

The summer months provide a perfect time for us catechists and DREs to grow in our own faith lives. Even if you still have fall planning or summer events like a parish VBS on your agenda, it’s important to intentionally set aside time to take advantage of sunny weekends and longer days for deepening your […]

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Making Our Parishes Spiritual Wellness Centers

labyrinth at spiritual center

On my way to work each day, as I ride the train from the south side to the north side of Chicago, I see a variety of storefronts advertising spiritual wellness—places to nurture one’s body, mind, and spirit in order to achieve serenity and calmness as well as answers to life’s questions. They offer Reiki, […]

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He Did Not Say Anything to Them Without Using a Parable

mustard seeds

This Sunday’s Gospel, for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B (June 14, 2015) is about the Parable of the Mustard Seed and includes the line, “He did not say anything to them without using a parable.” (Mark 4:34) Jesus’ use of stories/parables was not just some quaint medium of a simpler time. Even […]

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Summer Planning for the DRE

woman reading on summer day

As the weather gets warmer, the students are not the only ones who are restless! I love my ministry with passion, but the summer provides a wonderful opportunity to renew my programs as well as myself. During the year, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, I often cannot find time to discern what […]

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A School and Parish Pilgrimage

front door of church

During the last week of school, I take my third graders on a pilgrimage around our school and parish campus. I started this practice during the Jubilee Year of 2000, when I led a pilgrimage for my school community. We didn’t go far: we just walked the grounds of our campus. I loved this opportunity […]

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Not Every Year Will Be Like This One

teacher in classroom (illustration)

Another catechetical year has ended, and I have to admit that I am glad this one is over. I had a challenging class this year, and many of my tried-and-true methods didn’t reach this group. There were good moments, but there were more frustrating ones. So today I am writing especially to the first-year catechists: […]

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