When I travel, I typically make all of my own arrangements for flight, hotel, and rental car. Recently, however, I traveled to the East Coast to do a presentation for the Diocese of Wilmington, DE, and my colleague and friend Paul Gallagher, the Loyola Press Educational Consultant for the region, told me that it would make sense for him to pick me up at the airport and drive the three-hour trip to our hotel and event venue. Because of that, I only paid attention to my flight arrangements into Baltimore and did not pay attention to where we would be staying. As it turns out, the catechetical leaders of the Diocese of Wilmington, DE, were gathering for a two-day retreat in Ocean City, MD. What a surprise it was to be in such incredibly beautiful surroundings! This job has its perks!
Anyway, in addition to the beautiful surroundings, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with some really beautiful people—about 35 catechetical leaders and youth ministers of the diocese, organized by the director of the catechetical office, Colleen Lindsey. We spent our days reflecting on, discussing, and brainstorming strategies and approaches for doing faith formation outside of the “Catholic bubble” that many of us grew up in and in the “new normal”—a much more pluralistic, secular, mobile, individualistic, and increasingly polarized environment. We focused on ideas from my book, A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion. Thanks to all for an incredible couple of days!