About Julianne Stanz
Julianne Stanz is the Director of Discipleship and Leadership Development for the Diocese of Green Bay and a consultant to the USCCB Committee on Catechesis and Evangelization. Julianne infuses her talks, retreats, and seminars with humor, passion, and insights from her life in Ireland. A popular speaker, storyteller, and author, Julianne is married with three children and spends her time reading, writing, teaching, and collecting beach glass. She is the author of Developing Disciples of Christ and co-author, with Joe Paprocki, of The Catechist’s Backpack.

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #2 Discernment

This is part two of a seven-part series on discipleship. In my last blog post, we discussed desire as a key to discipleship and reviewed a number of ways that we can keep the flame of our faith burning. We will now look at a critical spiritual skill to help us to grow as disciples: discernment. Being a disciple means that we must make the time to reflect upon our lives. Just as Jesus went […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #1 Desire

This is part one of a seven-part series on discipleship. In the past few years, the terms “discipleship” and “missionary discipleship” have become very familiar to those in ministry. But the concept of discipleship and mission is not new and has been a part of our Catholic faith for 2,000 years. The word disciple comes from the Greek word mathetes, meaning “pupil or student of the master.” The Master is, of course, Jesus Christ. Your […]

Forming Discipleship Among Your Catechetical Team

Our parishes include people in all stages of their faith journey. While each Christian shares certain characteristics in their spirituality as children of God, there are differences. Every person’s spirituality is unique, because each of us is a unique human being. Differences can depend on education, formation, geographical location, age, ethnic background, and so on. Each of us is at a different stage of growth in our spiritual life. How can catechetical leaders accommodate catechists […]

Handling Sensitive Conversations

I will never forget a moment in my tenth-grade classroom when the students were sharing all the different ways that our parish family and our own families have helped us to grow in faith. During the conversation one of my students tearfully burst out, “You all keep talking about your mother and father! But my mother is in jail, and I have never met my father. The Church isn’t a family; it doesn’t care about […]

Engaging in Dialogue with Your Students

“I know why many religious education programs at parishes are struggling and yet why youth ministry is growing in some of those same parishes,” my friend Sarah said to me one day at a coffee shop. “I’m sure that some of these parishes have various factors involved,” she continued, “but I have found a common issue in my 12 years of being a youth minister. It’s pretty simple too.” I urged her to tell me […]

Fostering a Healthy Conversation Around Faith and Science

That young people are leaving the Catholic faith doesn’t seem to be “news” anymore as surveys continue to record diminishing attendance among the younger generations. What is news, however, is the age at which young people decide to leave the Catholic faith and the role that science plays in their decision to leave. According to surveys conducted by CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), the typical age for a young person to leave […]

Retreat Ministry: Encounters with Christ

Discipleship is a way of life and is not bound by the constraints of programs or processes. It progresses at a pace willed by the Holy Spirit. Time and trust are the currencies of discipleship, but when the time we spend with our students is limited to one hour a week between September and May, our ability to be present in their lives is challenged. Finding ways to connect outside the classroom with students and […]

Service as a Catalyst for Missionary Discipleship

The corporal works of mercy play an important part in discipleship. When acts of service are planned to intentionally proclaim the Gospel and treat all people as if they were Jesus in disguise (see Matthew 25:34–40), they are a catalyst for initial and ongoing conversion. In her wisdom, the Church outlines a systematic and comprehensive process of evangelization and faith formation that nurtures conversion. This process of evangelization includes the following five stages. Pre-evangelization Initial […]

Using Visuals to Evangelize in the Classroom

The expression “a picture speaks a thousand words” is particularly apt for the culture in which we live. Image-intensive social media platforms promote sharing through memes, stories, and snippets of information that go viral. For young people, images are not a distraction from the central message but constitute the message itself. Authenticity and thoughtful imaging of the Christian message are particularly important for us as a Church. For those who are in a pre-evangelization stage […]

Jesus: Not What the Church Teaches but Who the Church Lives

“But how do we know Jesus was an actual person and not just made up?” John, one of my tenth-grade students, asked. “I know what the Bible says, but do we have any other evidence?” As catechists we are often asked this kind of question, and it can catch us by surprise. The temptation when faced with a question like this is to offer a standard response such as, “Well, the Catholic Church teaches us […]

1 2 3 5