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 Start with Jesus: How Everyday Disciples Will Renew the Church, Developing Disciples of Christ, and co-author, with Joe Paprocki, of The Catechist’s Backpack.

Releasing Regrets to Rest and Reset

This article continues a series in which we are exploring practices that can help each of us and our students to develop a space for grace. My last article focused on growing in gratitude and listed some practices that can spiritually strengthen us. Today we will focus on releasing regrets so that we can rest and reset. Release Regrets Releasing regrets is one of the keys to interior freedom and peace. Making peace with ourselves […]

Growing in Gratitude

In this series we will explore practices that can help us to develop a space for grace in our lives. As I explain in my book, Braving the Thin Places, the acronym GRACE can help us if we: G—Grow in gratitude R—Release regrets to rest and reset A—Authentic availability and acceptance C—Cultivate radical hospitality E—Embrace simplicity This article will focus on the first practice of GRACE, which is growing in gratitude. Encouraging our students to […]

Cultivating Peace in Our Classrooms in an Anxious World

We live in a fast-paced and increasingly anxious world that is clearly affecting the social, emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health of children. Studies published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics and based on data collected from the National Survey of Children’s Health indicate significantly increased rates of anxiety among children, youth, and young adults. Researchers found a 20 percent increase in diagnoses of anxiety for children ages 6–17 between 2007 and 2012. […]

The Saints as Missionary Disciples: St. Lorenzo Ruiz

This is part four of a series exploring saints who lived as missionary disciples. Jesus called ordinary people to become his disciples, and through the gift of faith, they accomplished many extraordinary feats. He transformed simple fishermen and merchants into men and women who utterly altered the society in which they lived. We might not think we are capable of the same kinds of miraculous deeds, but we are. If the thought of carrying out […]

The Saints as Missionary Disciples: St. Brigid

This is part three of a series exploring saints who lived as missionary disciples. Often called “Mary of the Gael,” St. Brigid of Ireland is one of Ireland’s most beloved saints and was an important part of my life growing up in Ireland. The parish church in my hometown is called St. Brigid Parish, and we celebrated her feast day on February 1 by making St. Brigid’s crosses and welcoming the coming spring. Much of […]

Disciples of Hospitality: Martha and Mary

In the Gospel of Luke, we hear the story of Jesus’ visit to two sisters, Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38–42). Martha and Mary are presented in contrasting ways, but are they two sides of the same coin? Let’s take a look by exploring their story and its implications from a discipleship perspective. Martha welcomes Jesus into her home. Martha’s sister Mary seats herself at the feet of Jesus to listen to him speak. Martha, who […]

The Saints as Missionary Disciples: St. Martin de Porres

This is part two of a series exploring saints who lived as missionary disciples. Amid all the upheaval that we have recently undergone and are still going through, we sometimes forget that the saints also lived during times of intense disunity, strife, and racial tension. St. Martin de Porres reminds us of the necessity of compassion, particularly during times of difficulty and division. What can his witness teach us about missionary discipleship? Let’s explore his […]

The Saints as Missionary Disciples: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

This is part one of a series exploring saints who lived as missionary disciples. When it comes to missionary discipleship, we naturally think of the saints. They lived extraordinary lives of holiness, often under great pressure or demanding conditions. The fruit of their lives resulted in miracles that were the fruit of their faithfulness and devotion to God, confirmed with “signs and wonders and mighty works.” (2 Corinthians 12:12) Of course, we might find it […]

Accompanying Children Back to the Classroom

“In his proclamation of the Kingdom, Jesus seeks, encounters, and welcomes people in their concrete life situations.” Directory for Catechesis #198 While the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, many states have seen the easing of restrictions around larger gatherings, and there has been an increasing sense that life is returning to some sense of normalcy. This fall, parishes and schools will find themselves welcoming students back to class after a much-needed summer of rest and […]

Five Ideas for Accompanying Catechists Back to the Classroom

“But, really, is there such a thing as a catechist who is not creative? Creativity is what sustains us as catechists.” (Pope Francis at the International Congress on Catechesis, September 27, 2013) Catechists and catechetical leaders have certainly proved themselves to be flexible and creative during this past year and a half of upheaval. Many catechists and catechetical leaders exercised great creativity and “stick-with-it-ness” in reaching out to their students and families with great enthusiasm and […]

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