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.

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 […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part IV): Echoes of Mercy

This is the final article in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (2015–16) was an opportunity for the Catholic Church—and for each one of us—to reflect on the merciful love of God the Father (Luke 6:36). Holy doors were opened in every diocese throughout the world as symbols of hope, healing, and love to announce the mercy of God, “the beating […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part III): Echoes of Truth

This article is the third in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” “What is truth?” This is a question that we as a culture continually wrestle with; in the last few years, it seems that the truth has been put on trial and found guilty. It is a time when what is presented as true is actually false, and what is false is considered true. Truth seems […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part II): Echoes of Love

This article is the second in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” Choosing a name for a child or yourself is one of the most important choices that we make in life. Behind a name might lie a family story or a connection to a person of influence. A person’s name might have been inspired by an experience or a specific place. We receive a name generally […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part I): Echoes of Hope

The word catechist comes from the Greek word “to echo.” As catechists, we echo the teachings of the Church. We also echo our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ through our words and deeds. This series of blog posts will look at the ministry of catechesis through the lens of the word echo. We will explore what it means to be a catechist who echoes hope, love, truth, and mercy. First, we begin with four […]

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