The Fire and the Light

We are in the last week of Easter, which culminates in Pentecost. On the first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit “fell upon” the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and at that point the community of faith became home to God, each person a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. There was the “speaking in tongues,” with the Apostles proclaiming the story and work of Jesus in the languages of all people-groups present in Jerusalem at the […]

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 a snippet from the post from last year: What we need is a strategy for getting people to take the […]

Four Ideas for Celebrating Pentecost

Pentecost has long been one of my favorite feasts in the liturgical year. Who doesn’t love a story with fire, wind, speaking in tongues, and a bold proclamation of the Gospel? Unfortunately, though, by the time Pentecost rolls around in the calendar, many of our religious education programs have ended and our creative energy switches off into summer mode. Why not instead use this exciting feast as a way to end the faith formation year […]

Eight Ways to Teach Ascension and Pentecost

Ascension and Pentecost—the two great feasts that signal the end of the Easter season—often occur at the end of the school year. They may even occur after religious education programs have ended. We can easily forget about them. But understanding Ascension and Pentecost is essential if our young people are going to grow into what Pope Francis has called a Church of “missionary disciples.” Jesus gave us a mission to “Go into all the world and […]

Pentecost Fire Drill

In one of my first years teaching, I was introducing the story of Pentecost to my group of fourth graders. The book had an illustration of the Feast of Pentecost, with the disciples gathered in a room, tongues of fire over each of their heads. They were facing an open door with looks of shock on their faces. One of the fourth graders asked if this was a picture of the first recorded fire drill. […]

Ascension to Pentecost: The First Novena—Free Poster and Booklet

During the Easter season, we look at the Gospel stories of Jesus Christ’s appearances after the Resurrection. At the end of 40 days, Jesus ascended into heaven, promising to send a helper to the disciples as they took on their mission of spreading the Good News. That helper—the Holy Spirit—came 10 days later on the day of Pentecost. Between the Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles and Mary waited in prayer […]

Discipleship Pledge Cards for Pentecost

Pentecost is right around the corner, so it’s not too early to talk about how the parish can approach this important day in our Church calendar. Too often, we stop at the perfunctory: ask everybody to wear red, sing some Holy Spirit hymns, and invite people to read the Prayers of the Faithful in different languages. If we really want to form adult disciples, however, and honor this day for what it truly stands for, […]

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 God has done for us, and this is what we celebrate on Pentecost. God not only relieved us of […]

Preparing for Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday is less than a month away! As we look forward to this wonderful feast, I thought I would share with you an excerpt from my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, that explores what happened on that first Christian Pentecost! As recorded in Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2, the apostles proclaimed the Gospel for the first time on that day. When all was said and done, […]

Under the Influence of Jesus – My New Book is Now Available!

Yesterday was my first day back at work after the Christmas break and it turns out that Santa was still in the giving mood! I was surprised to receive a copy of my new book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ. I believe this book will be a wonderful tool for the New Evangelization! In it, I capture the essence of what happens to a person when he or she […]

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