5th Anniversary Celebration – Guest Blogger #3: Lisa Mladinich

To help celebrate the 5th anniversary of my blog, The Catechist’s Journey, I’ve invited a number of people to be guest bloggers here over the course of a week! Today, I am featuring Lisa Mladinich, a Catholic wife and mother, catechist and workshop leader, and the author of the popular booklets, “Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children,” and “Be an Amazing Catechist: Sacramental Preparation” available from Our Sunday Visitor. She is the founder of Catholic Writers of Long Island, www.BeAnAmazingCatechist.com and www.AmazingCatechists.com, a website devoted to providing encouragement and community to all who teach the Catholic Faith. Thanks, Lisa, for sharing with us and for participating in my 5th anniversary celebration! Here’s Lisa’s guest post.

Fired Up

by Lisa Mladinich

When I teach my workshop for catechists, the thing that lights people up the most is the notion of our supernatural partnership with Christ; the conviction that we’re never alone in the classroom, especially when we are prayerful, and that the work is always His.

Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen was a brilliant and inspiring teacher of the faith, a man of many gifts, great knowledge, poise, and charisma. And yet he fervently prayed every time he was preparing to teach, “Lord, send me Pentecostal fire!”

Isn’t that beautiful? A guy who surely could have relied on himself and gone pretty far on his own steam understood that in order to bear fruit in a deep and lasting way he needed God’s help. And so do we.

Daily prayer, faithful sacramental life, small sacrifices for the children and their parents, and a willing heart, are all that is needed for God to work powerfully through us. With all our failings, with the little bit of time left over after family and work, God can take it all and make something beautiful happen.

It’s a great comfort when you’re tired, ill-prepared, or the kids are somehow in a tangle you can’t get smooth. Some days we walk away thinking, “I accomplished nothing in there.” And that’s okay. As long as you follow it up with this thought: “But I trust that YOU accomplished something.” And then give God a little smile of confidence.

Because where we sow, He waters. And where He waters, He tends. Our imperfect efforts, offered to Him with the expectation that He will enhance and complete them, can bear fruit that will last. We may not see it in this lifetime, but it is there. And when we enter heaven some day, we will meet all the immortal souls we have helped along the way, by doing what we can and giving the rest to God.

Imagine what a reunion that will be!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Really nice post Lisa! I like how you said if we give our effort, prayers, and sacrifices over to God he can work with what little we have to accomplish great things. Doesn’t it feel like that sometimes? And often, when I’m feeling like nothing is happening, that’s when he starts to work. Isn’t it great that we can have confidence in him to make up for our failings?

    • Yes, Marc! Thank you so much for such a great observation. Yes, it’s wonderful and necessary to have that confidence. Of course we must do our best to teach the Faith accurately. I’m certainly not saying that it’s just a lot of good intentions. But we are all SO busy, and teaching religious ed is a sacrificial act, no matter how much we enjoy it, since it takes time from our families and from our rest. But when we do our very best with the time we have, God makes up for our humanness, and greatly blesses our efforts. Praise Him!

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