About Paul Gallagher
Paul Gallagher is an Educational Consultant at Loyola Press. Previously, he was the DRE at St. John Catholic Church in Westminster, MD, for over 10 years. Deeply rooted in Ignatian spirituality, Paul blogs about transformation and taking care of ourselves, body, mind, and spirit at www.makingallthingsnew.com.
Contact: Website

Aren’t We Blessed?

At a reception after the Easter Vigil, one of the newly baptized came up to me. He’s an eighth-grader and was prepared to receive the sacraments through RCIA for youth. I’ve only met him a couple of times, but he seems like a great kid. He had been invited to attend one of our religious education classes by a friend. A personal invitation by another teen is what started the process. God took care of […]

Sacred Spaces

Do you have favorite places to pray? I know I’ve got several, and depending on what’s going on at the time, I will seek out my little locations and get connected with God. Since I’m a morning person, one of my favorite places to pray is my little patio right outside my kitchen. I’ve equipped this patio with comfortable chairs, a table, and a beautiful little terra cotta image of the Madonna and Child. Coffee […]

Keeping Up Your Spirits

Hopefully, the dust has settled and all your programs are up and running. I don’t know about you, but I always breathe a sigh of relief about the fourth or fifth week of classes. By then, the latecomers are in classes, the new catechists are feeling a bit more comfortable, and we are all into the rhythm of faith formation. That being said, I also love the energy and excitement that comes with new beginnings. […]

Feeling Peace on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary

I moved to Maryland on August 14, 1989. I left my home in California to attend grad school at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and I was so excited to get started on this adventure. As I look back, I’m amazed at my lack of apprehension about leaving my family and friends and flying across the country. Ah, youth. Since I knew I had to find an apartment quickly, I had made a reservation at a […]

Lent as a Catechetical Leader

Our annual Lenten journey has begun. I don’t know about you, but it seems like I always start this penitential season really well, but then quickly fall into the same old busy-ness of parish life. In fact, for most catechetical leaders, Lent is our busiest time of the year. How do we counter that? First and foremost, we have to make a commitment to prayerfully focus on what the season means. It’s a time to […]

Building a Productive Faith Leadership Team

How do we build a productive faith leadership team? Here’s my story. For most of my career as a DRE, I was blessed to work with a great pastor who was also my friend. I had known him before I took the job, and when the day came when he asked me to take on the leadership role in faith formation, I felt very comfortable with the decision. I haven’t regretted a minute of it. […]

Chance Encounter Leads to St. Ignatius of Loyola

Ten years ago, I really didn’t know anything about St. Ignatius of Loyola, nor of the Jesuit order, which he founded. A chance encounter with a Jesuit priest changed that for me, and since that dinner conversation, I’ve incorporated Ignatian spirituality into my daily life. I met Fr. George Lane, SJ, who was then the president of Loyola Press, during my first training as a ministry consultant. By chance, Fr. Lane sat next to me […]

Saint Anthony of Padua

I was sitting in a meeting at my parish, and in the corner of the room sat a life-size statue of Saint Anthony of Padua. Several years ago, the statue was moved up from a basement storage room, and there he now sits, with the baby Jesus in his arms. Our image of St. Anthony is a bit chipped and the paint has faded, but it’s always nice to know that he’s around. Maybe some […]

Why Reconciliation?

I know there are many people who are downright terrified of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. They are scared for different reasons, but ultimately, I think, it comes down to the belief that they view themselves as unforgivable. How could God ever forgive me for doing this or that? Sadly, such thoughts keep people from having that deep, intimate, and loving friendship that Jesus came down from heaven to restore. Let’s face it, St. […]

Keeping Focused This Advent

Ah, it’s Advent. I don’t know about you, but it sometimes looks as though Christmas is already here, with all the Christmas sales and all the holiday decorations. As I sat in the pew on Sunday, I kept thinking about all the shopping I still had to do—there are only so many shopping days left before Christmas! I hope we’ll all be able to refocus now on our Advent journey. The craziness of Black Friday […]

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