Carl J. Pfeifer, "Father" of the Contemporary Catechist – R.I.P.

I read with sadness the announcement of the passing of Carl J. Pfeifer who, with his wife Janaan Manternach, were, in the minds of many, the “father” and “mother” of the contemporary catechist. Their book, Creative Catechist, is a classic and inspired me early on in my career in catechetical ministry. Thank you, Carl, for inspiring so many of us to be creative catechists! Carl J. Pfeifer, 78, died of Alzheimers at 1:05 am, Thursday […]

Skills, Tips, and Practical Advice for Preparing the Learning Environment

My new book, The Catechist’s Toolbox, is now available to order from Loyola Press! I just received my own copies of the book and I’m really excited about it! Here’s another little peek inside: Skills, Tips, and Practical Advice for Preparing the Learning Environment If you were having people over for dinner, you would no doubt prepare the environment to heighten the enjoyment and express a mood of celebration and hospitality. When we teach, we […]

The Catholic Way of Seeing

I’m not one for believing that Jesus and Mary “appear” in tree barks, potato chips, window panes, and grease stains. We hear these kinds of stories on the news from time to time, of people seeing the image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary in the most unlikely places. I DO however, believe that it tends to be a Catholic  phenomenon because Catholics are taught to see in a unique way. In a sense, […]

Linking Faith to Daily Living

Pope Benedict XVI recently told bishops from Slovakia (June 15) that “only by helping young people make a connection between their Christian faith and everyday life can the Church help youths resist the temptations and illusions of consumerism.” I believe this is our sacred duty as catechists. Unless faith connects with daily living, it will remain a “subject” or “topic” for our young people instead of a way of life. What does this mean practically […]

My New Book Is On Amazon!

My new book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher is on Amazon.com for pre-ordering! Hint: bulk purchases will be much cheaper from Loyola Press…I’ll let you know when you can purchase online from LP, should you wish to buy in bulk (10 or more). In the meantime, you can call customer service at 800-621-1008.

Tasting – A Different Way of Knowing

It occurred to me that, as catechists, we teach a different way of knowing. Certainly we teach knowledge but we also teach wisdom which is a different way of knowing. Jesus said that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (MK 12:30). We are called to teach others to do just that and I think it is important to realize that the mind is only one way of knowing. […]

Catechists on YouTube?

A recent innovation on the Internet is the popularity of Catholic video podcasts (a.k.a. vodcasts) that show up on YouTube and other media as a means to spread the faith. For example, Philadelphia’s archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali used YouTube during Lent to provide brief video reflections on the gospels and recieved thousands of hits (visits). I’m wondering about how catechists might be able to use YouTube to reach those we teach, not in place of […]

Teaching to Generation Me: Part Seven

On May 18, I began a 7-part series, offering some thougts about how to teach the Catholic faith to “Generation Me” (those born in the 70s through the 90s; Generation Me, Jean Twenge, M.D.).Click on the following to read: Part One: The Decline of Social Rules Part Two: Excessive Individualism Part Three: You Can Be Anything You Want Part Four: The Age of Anxiety Part Five: The Attitude of “Yeah, Right…No Point in Trying” Part […]

Teaching To Generation Me: Part Six

On May 18, I began a 7-part series, offering some thougts about how to teach the Catholic faith to “Generation Me” (those born in the 70s through the 90s; Generation Me, Jean Twenge, M.D.). Click on the following to read: Part One: The Decline of Social Rules Part Two: Excessive Individualism Part Three: You Can Be Anything You Want Part Four: The Age of Anxiety Part Five: The Attitude of “Yeah, Right…No Point in Trying” […]

Teaching to Generation Me: Part Five

On May 18, I began a 7-part series, offering some thougts about how to teach the Catholic faith to “Generation Me” (those born in the 70s through the 90s; Generation Me, Jean Twenge, M.D.). Click on the following to read: Part One: The Decline of Social Rules Part Two: Excessive Individualism Part Three: You Can Be Anything You Want Part Four: The Age of Anxiety Today, we address another unique characteristic of Generation Me: the […]

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