Making Our Faith Simple-Yet-Not-Simplistic: The Moral Life

As we continue looking at the four pillars of our Catholic Faith (Creed, Sacraments, Moral Life, and Prayer) through the lens of my book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe, we now move on to the third pillar, the Moral Life. Our goal, once again, is to make our Catholic faith simple-yet-not-simplistic. So, how do we make the moral life “simple-yet-not-simplistic”? We need to be especially cautious in this […]

Eucharistic Adoration Cards

Young people who are first being exposed to Eucharistic Adoration may wonder what to do during the silent time spent in front of the Most Holy Sacrament. Encourage them to have a conversation with Jesus with our downloadable Eucharistic Adoration Cards as a guide. The cards include prompts for conversation with Jesus, such as, “Tell Jesus what you are most excited about,” or, “Ask Jesus for the help you need in the days to come.” […]

Asian and Pacific Island Catholics: Identity and Our Gifts to the Church

In August 2018, Most Reverend Oscar Solis, Bishop of Salt Lake City, convoked a gathering of Catholic leaders from Asian and Pacific Island communities across the country. Our task: to produce a plan to disseminate and implement the document Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters (ECH:API). Developed by the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Islands Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) […]

Making Our Faith Simple-Yet-Not-Simplistic: The Sacraments

This month I’m revisiting my book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe, with the notion of keeping our faith simple without dumbing it down or making it simplistic. The truth is, while there have been many great thinkers and intellectuals throughout our Church history, the Church was founded by fishermen and tax collectors and a hodgepodge of men and women disciples who were everyday, common folks with little […]

Making Our Faith Simple-Yet-Not-Simplistic: The Creed

I have often said that, if a non-Catholic asked you to explain the Catholic faith to him or her, and you responded by reciting the Creed, listing and describing the seven sacraments, listing and describing the Ten Commandments, and reciting the Our Father, you would deserve a passing grade! Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer are the four pillars of our Catholic faith. The goal of catechesis should always be to make those four pillars accessible, which […]

Praying with Little Ones

Last fall, Joe Paprocki provided 20 tips for catechists. The ninth tip stuck with me: as catechists, we are not teaching a subject, but we are facilitating an encounter with Jesus. All of us encounter Jesus in different ways on any given day, and our students are no different. Offering a variety of prayer experiences for children can open up new ways for Christ to work in their lives. When I’m praying with my first-grade […]

Taste and See: Savoring the Liturgy

One of my favorite books in recent years is Thich Nhat Hanh’s Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, in which he introduces the concept of mindfulness—the practice of being fully present in each moment—as an approach to healthier eating and living. When we eat mindfully, we savor that which we are eating. To savor literally means to “give oneself to the enjoyment of.” It means to be mindful of that which we are eating and drinking—to unite […]

Downloadable Worksheet: Find the Signs and Symbols in Your Church

When children visit a church, they may see sculptures, paintings, objects, and gestures new to them but steeped in Church tradition. Help children begin to understand the Catholic imagery around them with this month’s downloadable activity, “Find the Signs and Symbols in Your Church.” Use the worksheet in the context of a classroom visit to the parish church, or invite children to complete it independently on Sunday. If children visit different churches throughout the year, […]

How Marian Feasts Teach Us About Jesus

As we approach the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, it is important to remind ourselves that Marian feasts are not primarily about Mary! In fact, the Blessed Virgin Mary would be the first to resist our efforts to draw attention to her. Her great Magnificat prayer proclaims that it is the Lord who is to be magnified. Like all Marian feasts, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is ultimately about Mary’s Son, […]

Praying with Second Graders

The longer I am a catechist, the more I feel the need to focus on prayer with the children in my classes. For so long I limited prayer to the start and end of class, and I encouraged the children to memorize traditional prayers. But I didn’t do much else. Now I lead the children in exploring new and varied ways to pray so they can grow in their personal relationship with God. Early in […]

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