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 […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Sacramentality

We continue with our series exploring six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing by focusing on key #2: sacramentality. Simply put, Catholics have a “way of seeing”—a vision for reality that is informed by the presence of God in all things. We call this way of seeing sacramentality, a way of “seeing” the invisible and intangible presence of God through visible and tangible realities. Catholic faith formation is most effective when it teaches […]

Confirmation Scavenger Hunt

I read an article about researchers who analyzed data from hundreds of novels. They discovered that there are only six basic story types. I found this quite liberating; as a writer, I can have fun mixing the types of stories to create something new. I sometimes take a similar approach to my catechetical ministry and mix some ideas that were shared here at Catechist’s Journey. This past spring, I did that while hosting a virtual […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: If I Were a Church Hymn

One of my favorite musicals of all time is Fiddler on the Roof. Of all the wonderful songs in that musical, my favorite is “If I Were a Rich Man,” in which Tevye dreams about what it would be like if he were a wealthy man. Over the years, I have borrowed from that title to engage people in a fun activity I call, “If I Were a Church Hymn.” In this activity, participants think […]

Faith Reading Camp

Host a Faith Reading Camp for children at the parish, school, or right at home. Loyola Press makes it easy by providing a camp calendar with suggestions for five days of fun. Each day, wherever your camp is, read a children’s book together, complete activities based on the book, and pray for intentions inspired by the book’s themes. And since camp wouldn’t be complete without snacks, our calendar includes snack time suggestions inspired by the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Filling Your Home with Joy

The notion of a happy home can seem Pollyannish, given the complexities of family life in today’s very complicated world. Perhaps that’s because we tend to confuse the words happy and joyful. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that is influenced by exterior conditions, for instance sunshine makes me happy. But we all know that exterior conditions are not always favorable. Joy, on the other hand, is a deep-down gladness grounded in the love of Christ that […]

Pope Francis Announces Major Recognition of Lay Catechists

Pope Francis has announced that the role of catechist will now be recognized as a formal instituted ministry in the Church! While many, if not most Catholics, already considered the role of catechist to be a ministry, the Pope’s announcement in the apostolic letter Antiquum Ministerium raises it to a level of official recognition by the Church as an instituted ministry. The Pope’s letter making the role of catechist an official ministry in the Church is not […]

Catechists as Teachers and Mystagogues

I’m sure you’re familiar with the word guru, someone who acts as a spiritual guide for others based on the notion that the spiritual path—the quest to connect with the Divine—is best not traveled alone. St. Teresa of Ávila said as much when she wrote in The Interior Castle: It is very important for us to associate with others who are walking in the right way—not only those who are where we are in the journey, but also those who […]

The Question of Doubt

In a recent class, one of the young people asked if it was OK to doubt aspects of religion. I was happy for this question, because I think others probably wonder the same thing but are afraid to ask. I told the young lady it was absolutely OK—and normal even—to doubt, but that she also had to consider why she was having doubts about a particular issue. For instance, was the doubt due to struggling […]

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