About Julianne Stanz
Julianne Stanz is the Director of New Evangelization 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.

Social Media Struggles: Three Common Parish Pitfalls

Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—different platforms that present a variety of ways to engage parishioners and draw potential new members. Using social media as a part of your overall communications strategy for your parish is a smart move with lots of potential benefits. Many parishes initially see a decent amount of engagement in the first couple of weeks after establishing a Facebook page, but months later the page is languishing and as time goes […]

Making Mother’s Day Memories: Parish Suggestions

During Mother’s Day weekend there will be extra guests at our parishes: sons, daughters, and grandchildren all attending Mass with their mothers and grandmothers. There will be grandmothers, mothers with children of all ages, expectant mothers—whether for the first time or not—stepmothers, foster mothers, spiritual mothers, and substitute mothers. Mother’s Day presents us with an opportunity to connect the Scriptures, the Blessed Mother, and the dignity of all women. It is a time to celebrate […]

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Catholic Way

Having grown up in Ireland for the first 23 years of my life, I have a simple request: Stop the St. Patrick’s Day madness! For the love of St. Patrick, it is not Paddy’s Day (or Patty’s Day, which is even worse), but Saint Patrick’s Day. Some of the traditions that I see today associated with St. Patrick’s Day are so devoid of meaning to be almost comical. In Ireland, we do not celebrate St. […]

Historical Considerations for Why Catholics Are Afraid to Evangelize

The New Evangelization calls us to reclaim and attend to the traditions and language of Catholicism. But as I discussed in my previous post, many Catholics are afraid to use the word evangelization because they are not comfortable having a personal and lived relationship with Christ. But there are also three historical considerations that may explain why Catholics might be hesitant to use the word evangelization and why they are hesitant to witness to their […]

Breaking the Silence on Using the Word “Evangelization”

The word evangelize comes from the Greek word meaning “to bring the Good News.” Simple enough, right? And yet it seems that many Catholics are afraid of the word evangelization and barely use it at all. “Maybe we can call it something else,” I have often been asked, “something not quite so scary, so intimidating.” The word it in this context is the key and holds the clue to why many Catholics are afraid of […]

Lenten AWE: Reaching Out to Young Adults

Research indicates that young adults are highly likely to be present at Ash Wednesday services and to engage in Lenten practices such as abstaining from meat on Fridays and fasting. When I worked in parish young adult ministry we were especially attentive to those young adults who would come to Ash Wednesday services but were rarely seen at other times of the year. To reach out to this group, we started a Lenten initiative called […]

When Christ Comes, Let Us Welcome Him

The Christmas season is one of immense opportunity for us to re-engage those who come to church only sporadically. During this time, we should be especially effusive and warm in our welcoming efforts. Unfortunately, hospitality has become synonymous with coffee and donuts after Mass in many parishes. We seem to have relegated welcoming to a particular committee such as the Stewardship Committee or the Hospitality Committee. Not only has this mindset absolved our parishioners of […]

Advent: Of Elves or Angels?

Advent is a time of expectation and excitement as we prepare for the birth of Christ. Within Advent is the unfolding of beautiful readings that build from one week to another, along with complimentary music, colors, and the rituals surrounding this liminal time. The opening of Advent calendars or the many other creative ways of counting sacred time is amongst my favorite childhood traditions. Keeping pace with sacred time is becoming more and more difficult […]

Seven Principles of an Evangelizing Community

The Church which “goes forth” is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice. —Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, no. 24 How can we tell if our evangelization efforts are working? We know that many times we are called to scatter the seeds of Good News without ever reaping the harvest. Part of the difficulty in assessing evangelization efforts is due to the highly […]

The Welcoming Parish Family

As a mother of three young children, Mass can be a bit of an unpredictable experience at times. I remember one particular time when my pastor, Father Bill, called for a moment of silence during Mass and our two-year-old son Ian shouted at the top of his lungs, “Boo, boo, I scare me!” Needless to say, that moment of silence was shattered by a couple of giggles throughout the congregation. While I am always thankful […]

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