Finding the Faces of Jesus in Your Life

I’ve always had a feeling of synergy when working with my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath. All he has to do is open his mouth and share some insights and wisdom and I immediately feel like I can turn it into an activity that others can use and benefit from! Recently, Tom led a reflection for a small group that I was participating in. He invited us to think about the qualities and characteristics of […]

Getting Away from the Presentation/Lecture Method for Adult Faith Formation

One of the patterns that we need to break in order for ongoing Adult Faith Formation to take root and grow is the bad habit of lecturing to adults for 45 minutes or an hour and calling that adult catechesis. In many parishes, adult faith formation takes the shape of a staff member (pastor, associate pastor, deacon, pastoral associate, DRE) deciding that he or she will offer a series of classes for 6 to 8 weeks. […]

Discussion Questions for Under the Influence of Jesus!

I am very excited to share this news with you: discussion questions for my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, ARE NOW AVAILABLE! Thanks to my good friend and co-worker, Carrie Freyer, and to the Marketing Department at Loyola Press for designing this resource and making it available for folks! These discussion questions make it possible for small faith groups and book discussion groups to spend some time reflecting […]

My Blog Tour Heads to Downstate Illinois: Jonathan Sullivan

Ah, there’s nothing like traveling through the cornfields of Illinois on my way downstate! My blog tour today takes me to the state capitol of Springfield where Jonathan Sullivan serves as the Diocesan Director of Catechetical Services. Anyone know who the bishop is down there? đŸ˜‰ I’ve spoken of Jonathan before on my blog and continue to admire him and see him as one of the brightest minds in catechetical ministry in our country today. […]

Dear 7th Grade Catechist…

Last night, we celebrated the Eucharist to bring closure to this catechetical year at St. Cajetan. The pastor, Fr. Frank, did a wonderful job of making it a celebration of growth and thanksgiving for many blessings…he is so good at speaking to the children! It occurred to me that I might be able to help the 7th grade catechist who will “inherit” my class next year, by telling him or her what my students learned […]

Bishops – Under the Influence of Jesus

About a month ago, I sent a signed copy of my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, to every Catholic bishop in the U.S. Since then, I’ve received dozens of cards and letters from the bishops in response! Many of them are commenting about this book being an excellent resource for the New Evangelization!

Knowing How the Story Ends, Changes How You Experience the Story

As we enter and proceed through Holy Week, it is important for us to remember that we know how the story “ends!” And, of course, the story of Jesus’ Passion does not end with his death but is followed by Resurrection. It’s like this. Recently, I had a chance to watch a DVD that re-tells the experience of the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup last June. Last Spring, experiencing the actual games was excruciatingly […]

Bishop David O’Connell’s 5 “i’s” For Effective Catechesis

I mentioned that when I was in the Diocese of Trenton, NJ, last week, I was inspired by Bishop David O’Connell’s homily in which he outlined, among other things, what he considers to be 5 essential elements for effective catechesis and effective catechists. Here are his 5 “i’s” –   Identity: get in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ through his Word, through prayer, through meditation, through the sacraments especially Penance and the Eucharist, through […]

Finding God in Trenton, NJ!

I had a wonderful experience this past weekend with many good folks from the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey! On Friday, I enjoyed lunch with the staff of the diocesan catechetical office, Fr. Douglas Freer (Vicar for Catholic Education, Director of the Ministry of Catechesis and Evangelization), Jill Kerekes (Associate Director for Parish and School Catechesis), and Matthew Poole (Coordinator for Adult Faith Formation and New Evangelization). It was great to take the time to […]

A Great Day in the Motor City

I enjoyed spending the day on Friday with about 65 catechetical leaders of the Detroit Society of Catechetical Leaders exploring what it means to live Under the Influence of Jesus. Thanks to all of the great folks who came out to spend the first full day of spring together exploring how we can more effectively evangelize and catechize!

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