Discovering the Nearness of God: Eucharist: What Do You Crave?

Welcome to the fourth installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of the Eucharist, with the theme of “What Do You Crave?” Researchers tell us that the majority of us experience regular cravings for specific foods. It’s important to remember that hunger and cravings are not synonymous. The former is driven by the body, while the latter is driven […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: Confirmation: What’s Come Over You?

Welcome to the third installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of Confirmation, with the theme of “What’s Come Over You?” We use the phrase, “What’s come over you?” when someone appears to be affected by something. The phrase captures our belief that it is possible for something outside ourselves to affect us within and transform the way we […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: Baptism, A Whole New You

Welcome to the second installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of Baptism, with the theme of “A Whole New You.” In some traditions (Celtic spirituality, for example), certain locations have been identified as spaces where God’s presence is heightened and therefore more easily encountered. These spaces are referred to as “thin spaces,” referring to the belief that […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision

Welcome to the first installment of an eight-week series I’m doing this summer here on Catechist’s Journey on the Catholic sacramental vision. “Discovering the Nearness of God” will draw from my book, Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth. I’d like to begin by stating emphatically that the most urgent message for us to spread today is the good news of the nearness of God! We live during a time […]

A Play: Paul, the Apostle

Bring St. Paul to life in your school or parish by producing the three-act play Paul, the Apostle. Young people can perform each act for their peers in the classroom, or adults and youth can work together to perform the entire play for a community audience. The acts introduce in a fun way: Paul’s Youth Saul’s Conversion Paul’s Missionary Journeys Perfect for a summer gathering around the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (June […]

Sunday Mass: “Why Do We Have to Go?” (Part Two)

Recently, I posted about the challenge of convincing our children that going to Mass is a priority in our lives, especially when they push back and tell us that it’s boring or that they don’t get anything out of it. Rather than trying to convince them that it will be fun and exciting, it is more important that we concentrate on helping them to appreciate the deeper reasons why Sunday worship—the Eucharist—is so central to […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: The Prophets

This is the final article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. What is a prophet? The word prophet means “to speak for.” A prophet, then, is someone who speaks for God. When God wanted to speak to his people, he often chose someone to remind them of the covenant and its promises. Catechists can help students get to know these important spokespersons for God so they can become […]

Sunday Mass: “Why Do We Have to Go?”

We’re all familiar with the question that children ask when we are taking them somewhere they are excited about: “Are we there yet?!” Unfortunately, when it comes to taking our children to church on Sunday, the question often turns into, “Why do we have to go?” It can be challenging for parents who want their children to develop an appreciation for the centrality of Sunday Eucharist, when they receive “push-back” instead of enthusiasm. Try as […]

Hosting a Bible Boot Camp

With the end of the catechetical year quickly approaching, you may be looking for ways to engage older children, youth, and adults in faith formation over the summer. One great idea is to host a “Bible Boot Camp” using my book The Bible Blueprint and the free online Leader Guide to increase Bible literacy, leading to a deeper appreciation of Scripture. Most programs that are labeled as “Bible Boot Camp” are Vacation Bible School programs […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: David—Hero, King, and Sinner

This is the fourth article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. David, King of Israel, is possibly one of the most interesting characters in all of Scripture. He was a shepherd, the Lord’s anointed, giant-killer, loyal friend, singer of psalms, ambitious king, repentant sinner, and founder of the House of David, from which Jesus was descended. Because David is such an important person from the Old Testament, it’s […]

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