Pop-Up Catechesis: A Walk Through the Mass—The Penitential Act

We continue our Pop-Up Catechesis series: A Walk Through the Mass. In this episode, we explore the Penitential Act. Have you ever been caught with your guard down? I’m referring to those times when people see the “real you,” such as when you run to the supermarket in your sweats and slippers, hair undone, and no makeup, hoping that no one will see you. As embarrassing as that can be, there is also something liberating about it. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: A Walk Through the Mass—The Entrance Procession

Today we begin a Pop-Up Catechesis series: A Walk Through the Mass. In this episode, we explore the Entrance Procession. If you’ve ever attended a parade, you know that it is intended to be a spectacle—something to be seen. The parade participants are certainly not heading to a specific destination; they are just walking by in order to be seen and cheered. Parades have their roots in military victories. When a victorious army would return […]

Proclaiming the Kerygma to Young Parents: A New Approach to Baptismal Preparation

Imagine you were best friends with a TV executive whose network broadcasts football’s “Big Game” each year, and he/she decided to give you a free, 30-second commercial spot to explain who Jesus is and why people should follow him. You’ve got this one chance to speak to tens of millions of people about Jesus, but you only have 30 seconds. What do you say? If done correctly, your 30-second spot would deliver what can be […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Why Do We Have to Go to Mass?

Kids ask a lot of questions, such as, “Are we there yet?” Some of their questions are harder to answer than others, especially when they ask, “Why?” One of the questions that most children eventually ask is, “Why do we have to go to Mass?” Parents struggle to find all kinds of answers to convince their children that going to Mass is important and is a good thing but all too often end up telling […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Doing a First Reconciliation Retreat at Home

With vaccinations arriving, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel as far as the pandemic goes. In the meantime, however, many of our in-person activities are still being limited. For many children, a First Reconciliation retreat is part of their preparation at the parish. Since the present crisis precludes such gatherings in many parishes, I offer some suggestions for doing a First Reconciliation retreat at home, in today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis. Here are some […]

Welcoming, Accompanying, and Evangelizing Young Families

In his book, Excellence in Ministry (part of The Effective Catechetical Leader series), my good friend Tom Quinlan makes a powerful plea for a significant shift in how we approach families when it comes to faith formation: I like to say that the “cement is wet” at Baptism and that by Confirmation (and even First Eucharist) the cement of family faith identity and practice has greatly or fully hardened. My strong exhortation for parishes today […]

Enhancing Sacramental Preparation with Engaging Videos

I have long been an advocate of using engaging videos to enhance faith formation, as long as they are never used to replace the catechist. In other words, videos should always be seen as a supplement to the faith formation experience—a way of reinforcing important content visually and/or a way of telling a story that invites the viewer into a deeper experience of the theme being explored. In my years at Loyola Press, I have been […]

Introducing Springs of Faith: A Catechumenal Approach to Infant Baptism Preparation

For too long, infant Baptism preparation has been little more than a “hoop” to jump through in order for parents to have their baby baptized. That’s why I am so excited to share the news about a wonderful new program from Loyola Press: Springs of Faith. I’m proud to be associated with this program as I contributed to the writing of a number of its components and did catechetical reviews of most aspects of the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Practicing Real Presence

During this pandemic, we’ve had to restrict our presence to virtual for occasions that we normally and preferably would be really and truly present. In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the concept of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist as we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). For more information about the Real Presence and the celebration of the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: First Eucharist Retreat at Home

With the ongoing pandemic and shelter-in-place restrictions, almost every aspect of our lives has changed, including major events such as graduations, showers, birthday parties, Confirmations, weddings, and First Holy Communions. For many children, a First Eucharist retreat is part of their preparation at the parish. Since the present crisis precludes such gatherings, I offer some suggestions for doing a First Eucharist retreat at home, in today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis.  Here are some resources to […]

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