I absolutely love catechists!
I have been involved in the catechetical ministry for over 40 years. When I was in high school, I wanted to become a teacher, and I really felt called to teach religion. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I served as catechists at our parish, and I enjoyed helping others learn about their Catholic faith in a way that was engaging and imaginative.
I went to Loyola University Chicago, where I studied theology and history and entered the secondary education program. I became (and continue to be) certified to teach social studies in grades 6 through 12. However, since day one, I have used my teaching skills to teach religion. In recent years, I have served as a catechist at Most Holy Redeemer (Evergreen Park), St. Cajetan (Chicago), and Christ the King (Chicago/Beverly).
I began my professional teaching career as a religion teacher at a high school seminary in Chicago, where I taught for nine years while pursuing my master’s degree in pastoral studies at the Institute of Pastoral Studies (Loyola University Chicago).
When the school I was teaching at closed, I became a director of religious education and a pastoral associate at a parish on the southeast side of Chicago, where I served for seven years. I loved working with the catechists there and learned so much from them.
When a new pastor came along and decided he didn’t need a DRE, I moved on to the Office for Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Chicago. There I served as the consultant for catechist formation, working with my favorite people in the whole world: catechists! I had the opportunity of directing the faith formation program for catechists, leading to their certification.
After five years at the Office for Catechesis, I had the opportunity to join up with Loyola Press to work on creative and cutting-edge catechetical resources. I have been here since 2002 and now serve as the National Consultant for Faith Formation. During that time, I have presented in over 150 dioceses in North America. In 2018, I was honored to receive the Catechetical Award of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) during the annual meeting of the Conference that took place in Chicago!
Along the way, I have had the privilege of authoring a number of books published by Loyola Press, including:
- Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth
- A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion
- Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ
- The Catechist’s Backpack: Spiritual Essentials for the Journey
- Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox: Catechesis That Not Only Informs but Also Transforms
- The Bible Blueprint: A Catholic’s Guide to Understanding and Embracing God’s Word
- Living the Mass: How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life
- The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher
- A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe
- Practice Makes Catholic: Moving from a Learned Faith to a Lived Faith
- 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness: Enriching Your Faith by Strengthening the Health of Your Soul
- Called by Name: Preparing Yourself for the Vocation of Catechetical Leader (The Effective Catechetical Leader series)
Oh, by the way, I also completed my Doctor of Ministry degree in 2008 at St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein, Illinois. My wife and I have been married since 1982 (you can do the math!) and we have two grown children (both married) and one grandchild.
Perhaps there is something you wish to contact me about that you would prefer not to share with the entire universe. Maybe it’s a sensitive issue. Maybe it’s a confidential matter. Or maybe you just prefer communicating in a less public venue. Whatever the case, feel free to send me an e-mail, and I’ll do my best to respond to you promptly.