About Joyce Donahue
Joyce Donahue, MA, MPS, serves as Catechetical Associate in the Diocese of Joliet Religious Education Office. A former parish DRE and liturgy director, she currently volunteers as parish catechist and musician at St. John the Baptist Parish, Joliet, IL. She blogs at Liturgy and Catechesis Shall Kiss and maintains The Liturgical Catechist website.

Living the Liturgical Year at Home: Lent

The disciplines of Lent offer an annual chance for spiritual housekeeping, a time to reflect on our faith in every aspect of our lives. Lent is also a 40-day journey that, like any journey, benefits from having a well-planned itinerary. Know your destination. Lent’s destination is Easter, when we renew our baptismal promises to be the light of Christ in the world. The penitential practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving cleanse us and prepare us […]

Living the Liturgical Seasons at Home: Winter Ordinary Time

As we put away the Christmas decorations and enter Ordinary Time, things might seem just a bit drab. This isn’t just a bland waiting-period for Lent. These weeks are an opportunity to focus on the public ministry of Jesus through the readings of the new cycle’s Gospels. Ordinary Time is about spiritual growth. Just as in Ordinary Time during summer and fall, engaging in family prayer, having a home altar or a prayer centerpiece on […]

Celebrating the Christmas Season at Home

The Christmas season—which begins on December 25 with Christmas and ends with the Baptism of the Lord—offers many opportunities to celebrate Jesus’ Incarnation. Here are a few ways to celebrate Christmas that will bring you closer to Jesus and to the ones you love. Prepare During Advent. The time spent preparing for the coming of Christ during December will affect our experience of Christmas when it finally arrives. Attend Mass and a meal with family […]

Six Ways to Celebrate Advent at Home

Advent offers unique and beautiful opportunities to make family memories in the home. The traditions of this season allow Catholics to practice our faith more deeply and with greater attention and intent. Here are some simple ideas to celebrate a faith-filled Advent. 1. Savor the darkness. During Advent, the days are short and the nights are long. Just as we long for the warm and sunny days of summer, we long for the light of […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: Moses, Deliverer of His People

This is the third article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. Moses’s name might conjure up images of Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments or the 1998 animated film The Prince of Egypt. Moses’s life was so dramatic that it still inspires us today. His story is also part of our Salvation History. Through Moses, God saved his people. This tale is so important that it is retold […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: Abraham, Our Father in Faith

This is the second article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. Every catechist is probably familiar with some of the stories about the patriarch Abraham. Abraham—originally known as Abram—was a wealthy man in the ancient city of Ur. God called Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: Adam and Eve

This is the first article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. Every catechist should be able to tell the timeline of Salvation history, because it is so important to understanding Jesus, the Bible, and Catholic doctrine. Salvation history is the story of our faith. Familiarity with important characters from this story helps us form a foundation of our belief in Christ. Jesus associated himself with major figures from […]

Celebrate, Remember, and Appreciate: Mystagogy for Children

Mystagogy is a time for the community and the newly baptized to “grow in deepening their grasp of the paschal mystery and in making it part of their lives through meditation on the Gospel, sharing in the eucharist and doing the works of charity.” (RCIA 244) Mystagogy is clearly a period of encounter, accompaniment, and integration. Both the community and the newly initiated grow together. Unlike adults who are instructed and mentored prior to Baptism, […]

7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness: What Do You Have That Cannot Be Taken Away?

Editor’s note: This post is one in a series inspired by Joe Paprocki’s book 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. In the book, Joe introduces each key with a fun or thought-provoking question. Each Friday we’ll share an excerpt from 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness that poses a question, followed by a response by a catechist or catechetical leader. What do you have that cannot be taken away? If you can identify and cultivate the answer […]

Living the Liturgical Seasons at Home: Summer/Fall Ordinary Time

The liturgical year is 365 days a year, and the season of Ordinary Time is a course of instruction in the Christian life. Ordinary Time after Pentecost and before Advent is a period when we celebrate no particular aspect of Christ, but honor him in the fullness of his mystery. (Universal Norms of the Liturgical Year, 43) We spend time with Jesus and let him be with us and in us as we grow closer […]

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