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.

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 […]

Revamping Your Parish Registration Process with the “Five W’s”

At a recent Theology on Tap event, I met a young woman named Jennifer. As we talked, I learned that she was a catechist at one particular parish but that she frequently attended Eucharistic Adoration at another parish. I asked her which one she was a member of, and she replied, “Neither. I’m multiparishional. My idea of a parish community is something that is fluid and customizable to my needs and time. Besides, what are […]

Share Prayer: Breaking the Culture of Silence

Pope Francis has spoken many times of the value and power of intercessory prayer in Christian life. “When evangelizers rise from prayer, their hearts are more open; freed of self-absorption, they are desirous of doing good and sharing their lives with others.” (The Joy of the Gospel #28) Have you ever run into someone who asked you to pray for him or her? Did you take the time at that moment to stop what you […]

Planting a Spiritual Garden: Three Ways to Help Others Grow in Faith

Spring has finally arrived after another harsh winter in Green Bay. As I turn my attention to my garden, I marvel at the hardiness of the tulips I planted before the ground hardened in the fall. Their bright green sprouts remind me that spring is a time for new life and growth. Helping others cultivate their own spiritual garden is one of the most rewarding aspects of ministry; it is also one of the most […]

Speaking to the Heart

Parishes report that Easter Sunday and Christmas Mass are the highest attended services of the year and our congregations are made up of people at many different places in their spiritual journeys. As ministers we have a whole litany of terms for people who do not attend Mass regularly: “Chreasters” and “Eastmasses” for those who attend Mass at Christmas and Easter and “PACErs” for those who attend services on Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Christmas, and […]

Stories, Not Labels

I work in the Office of New Evangelization for my diocese, and I remember a phone call from an 86-year-old woman named Gladys. She wanted to find out more about the “coming home” programs the diocese was offering for Catholics who had been away from the Church for a while. After a period of active listening and some gentle questioning, it became clear that Gladys herself wanted to return to the Catholic Church, but she […]

Reaching Parents on the Margins of Parish Life

A catechist friend of mine recently commented that there was a general attitude among parents. She called it the “drag-drive-drop” mentality: parents dragged their children into the car, drove them to the faith formation center, and dropped them off at class! While not true in every parish, the question of how we reach parents who are disengaged or disinterested in their children’s faith formation is becoming an increasingly difficult task for us all. There are […]

Show and Tell: Sharing Your Story of Faith

Children ask a lot of pointed and profound questions about God that can be difficult for us to answer. Right up there with the question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?” has to be the question “What’s your story of faith?” or “Why do you believe in God?” While our students might not ask such questions using exactly these words, they will often try to ferret out from us why we believe […]

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