Pop-Catechesis: The Transfiguration

I’m sure you can think of an experience in which you felt that someone you thought you knew showed their “true colors.” To show your true colors means to reveal yourself as you really are, for better or for worse. The Feast of the Transfiguration tells us the story of when Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the mountaintop and showed them his “true colors.” He revealed himself as he really is: the Son […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Celebrating Relationships and Trinity Sunday

We have learned many things during this pandemic, one of which is just how much we value relationships. For Catholics, that should come as no surprise, since we believe we are made in the image and likeness of a relational God—a community of Persons whose relationship is so intimate that they are One! In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the notion of celebrating relationships in anticipation of Trinity Sunday (June 7, 2020).  […]

Teaching the Trinity

Several of my students experienced a “light-bulb moment” in our recent discussion of the Trinity. So often we sow seeds never to see whether they take root, much less grow; seeing faces light up in understanding is always a fun moment. Our guiding text for the day was Finding God, Grade 7, Chapter 1. Even though this is the first chapter in the text, I usually skip over it until we’ve been in class together […]

Like Sheep Without a Shepherd

This coming Sunday, we will hear a number of references to the “shepherd” in the Liturgy of the Word. The First Reading (Jeremiah 23:1–6) speaks of the shepherds who are scattering the flock. The Responsorial Psalm speaks of the shepherd who leads us to green pastures. In the Gospel, Jesus has compassion for the huge crowds because they are like sheep without a shepherd. Pope Francis reminds us that this image of a shepherd and […]

Independence Day: Revisiting How to Create a Declaration of DEpendence

As we celebrate Independence Day, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit an idea from a lesson I taught several years ago about the Lord’s Prayer as our Declaration of DEpendence. Through the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, we express our dependence on what God provides for us: his name, kingdom, will, daily bread, forgiveness, direction, and deliverance. Have a wonderful and blessed holiday! Here’s how to make your own “parchment.” […]

Explaining the Holy Trinity

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”—these are words we use every time we pray the Sign of the Cross. Even young children know them. The prayer expresses the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, that God reveals himself in Three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is difficult for anyone to understand, especially young children. St. Patrick famously explained the Trinity by relating God in Three […]

Pentecost: A Renewable Source of Abundance

Imagine how you would feel if someone stepped into your life, paid off all of your debts, and set up a line of credit for you to draw from for the rest of your life! I know one thing: I’d like this person’s business card! This scenario may sound far-fetched, but in essence, this is what God has done for us, and this is what we celebrate on Pentecost. God not only relieved us of […]

A Father’s Day Message

I’m not one to claim mystical experiences of hearing God talking to me (as in actually hearing a voice and spoken words) however, I have had a couple of moments in life when I felt that God tossed a few syllables my way. One such occasion occurred some years ago on Father’s Day. Now, let’s be honest, Father’s Day pales in comparison to Mother’s Day (a cookout and a new tie often are considered sufficient […]

Grandparents and the Benignity of God

Last week, I spent a few days in New Jersey with about 65 catechetical leaders, reflecting on the 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. Among the many wonderful people I was privileged to spend time with was Ron Pihokker, the Director of the Catechetical Office of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ. In particular, I was struck by how excited Ron is about the prospect of becoming a grandfather in August! He is SO looking forward to […]

The Most Holy Trinity – A Feast of Heaven and Earth and Close Encounters

There seems to be no shortage of movies about the lives of human beings AFTER the earth is destroyed (Wall-E, Oblivion, After Earth, just to name a few). We seem to be resigned to the notion that our penchant for disposability will result in the eventual destruction of this planet. Unfortunately, too much of Christianity does little to combat this notion since the false notion persists that our ultimate destiny is to escape this planet […]

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