Saints and S’mores

This past year inspired many catechetical leaders to use their creativity to reach out in new ways to parishioners. One success story is Laura Soldner’s summer event, Saints and S’mores. Laura is the Coordinator of Family Formation (K–6) at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Parish in Monona, WI. She shares about the program in the following interview. Denise Gorss for Catechist’s Journey: What is Saints and S’mores? Laura Soldner: Saints and S’mores is a drop-in […]

Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness

“Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness” is the theme Pope Francis chose for the World Meeting of Families that will be held in Rome in 2022. This theme was inspired by the Pope’s exhortations Amoris Laetitia (2016) and Gaudete et Exsultate (2018). It reminds us that family love is a vocation and a way to holiness. We cannot overlook the importance of understanding and sharing the profound and redeeming significance of family […]

Engaging Our Little Ones in Service: It Is the Way

One of the first lessons we teach our children when they begin interacting with other children is to share. Even if something belongs to them, we encourage them to share with others. To borrow a phrase from The Mandalorian: “This is the way.” Indeed, sharing with others is integral to “the way” of Christian life. We call this way of living stewardship—the sharing of our time, talent, and treasure with others. I would contend that, […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Entering Through Their Door

Welcome to our final installment of Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis, as we look at the notion of “entering through their door” and focus on using technology in faith formation. St. Ignatius of Loyola said that, when teaching or speaking to a group, it is always best to “enter through their door, but be sure to leave through your door.” His advice is that we need to meet learners where they are and […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Experiences of Sharing God’s Mercy

We continue with our series exploring six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing by focusing on key #5: experiences of sharing God’s mercy. Scripture tells us that faith without works is dead. (James 2:14–17) Likewise, Jesus’ Parable of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25) tells us that we will be judged on our love for others. If we truly want to touch the hearts and minds of those we teach, we need to engage […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Spirituality and Prayer

We continue exploring six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing by looking at the importance of spirituality and prayer. It is my contention that too many of us have grown up with a notion of God as a powerful, angry being who is to be feared—much as Dorothy and her companions trembled as they approached the Wizard in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, to ask for a favor. Or, we […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Tradition

We continue our series exploring six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing by focusing on key #3, which is Tradition. When we form relationships with other people, we ask them to reveal things about themselves (as we do about ourselves)—where they were born, what kind of work they do, what their hobbies are, what kind of family they have, what kind of music, sports, or other forms of entertainment they enjoy most, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Sharing Generative Stories

Did you ever notice how we take events or episodes from our lives and turn them into stories that we share with others? Why do we do this? Psychologists explain that we do it, not just to entertain people, but to make sense out of events that would otherwise seem puzzling or random. Such stories can influence our future behavior as well as the behavior of others. For example, if we share a story of […]

Bringing the World Meeting of Families to the Local Parish

On March 19, 2021, upon the fifth anniversary of Amoris Laetitia, the Apostolic Exhortation on the joy and beauty of familial love, Pope Francis declared the start of a Year of the Family, which will conclude on June 26, 2022, with the World Meeting of Families in Rome. One of the goals of this is to help families discover the joy of having a gift to share with the Church and society. Many would love to […]

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