Catechesis as Courtship

Does anyone remember courtship? Back in the day, the process of a young man and a young woman entering into an ever-deepening relationship followed a pattern. For some, this pattern still exists, however, with society’s casual attitudes about sex, for many the process is “out the window.” Anyway, courtship follows a definite pattern: the couple meet and introduce themselves the couple spends time getting to know one another as a relationship develops, the couple learns […]

An Excerpt From My New Book!

Here is an excerpt from my new book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe: Shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, there was a great deal of tension between Muslims and non-Muslims in many parts of the United States. In an effort to respond to the situation with Gospel values, I invited the Imam of a local Muslim community in the Chicago suburbs to meet with a […]

Become a Catechist

Here’s a link to a nice effort by some folks to recruit catechists for their parish:  

Summer Intensive R.E.

I’m hearing that some parishes are experimenting with a catechetical model that employs a summer intensive religious education program for K-8 (usually 3 weeks) while throughout the year, offering periodic intergenerational events and a weekly children’s liturgy of the Word. Sounds to me like an interesting alternative. This is not to be confused with a Vacation Bible School. it is the formal religious education program taking place in a 3-week intensive model. Instead of having twenty- […]

The Angel Sitting on the Stone

A very blessed Easter to you all! My wife and I had the pleasure of attending the Easter Vigil at St. Clement parish on the North side of Chicago. It was a beautiful and moving experience. It was doubly special because a friend and co-worker was being received into the Catholic Church that night. Fr. Ken Simpson, the pastor, gave an excellent homily. He spoke about what he called “the angel with an attitude” from […]

Living Stations of the Cross

Last night, the 8th graders did the Living Stations of the Cross and they did a beautiful job. They showed a reverence that was very refreshing. 4 of my students had prominent roles: narrator, Simon of Cyrene, Veronica, and one of the women of Jerusalem. I was very proud of them and of all the 8th graders, including the rest of my group that behaved well as part of the assembly. Kudos to our DRE, Arlene, […]

Confirmation Intensive Tonight

This evening is the first of 4 Confirmation “Intensives” planned for our 8th graders. Normally, our sessions are 75 minutes long. The intensives will be 2 hours, giving us a chance to do a variety of things and go into more depth with our young people. For tonight’s session, we will begin by having a prayer service in which we present the young people with their copies of Confirmed in the Spirit, their confirmation text […]

Intergenerational Catechesis

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending an intergenerational catechetical event at St. Raphael parish in Naperville, Illinois. The DRE, Jane Ehrlich, does a fantastic job of catechizing the entire parish! I was amazed at the amount of planning and coordination that must go into such an event for about 700 people! The evening began with dinner (pizza and salad) in the gym followed by an opening experience in the church. This experience served […]

Examination of Conscience – A Meditation

Last night, I prepared the young people to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation by leading them in a meditative examination of conscience. First, we talked about the practical steps involved in going to confession. I was pleased to find that in general, they were very familiar with how to go to confession and very relaxed about it. This can be credited to the program offering the sacrament twice a year: Advent and Lent. For […]

If the Grinch Stole the Sacraments

Tonight, I’ll be preparing the young people for the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (next Monday). I like to take this opportunity to deal with the question that is foremost on their minds: “why do I have to tell my sins to the priest?” To answer this, it’s best to put this one sacrament in the context of our entire sacramental outlook as Catholics. To be sacramental is to see the presence of God reflected […]

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