Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 5: Proclaim the Resurrection as the Cause of Our Joy

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we come to strategy #5. Strategy #5: Proclaim the Resurrection as the cause of our joy. One of the most often-used phrases in TV commercials is, “But wait, there’s more!” Just when you think you’ve heard it all and that it can’t get any better, the seller doubles down and tells you that it’s about to get […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 4: Invite a Leap of Faith

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we explore apprenticing those we teach in laying down their lives for others. Strategy #4: Invite a leap of faith. It is a fairly common practice in advertising to garner attention by making a claim about a product or service that is counterintuitive and requires a “leap of faith.” For example: a diet plan promises that you […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 3: Proclaim Jesus’ Mighty Deeds

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith (drawing from my new book of the same name), we move on to strategy #3. Strategy #3: Proclaim Jesus’ mighty deeds. Many ads and TV commercials include a claim about the product or resource being sold, followed by testimonials from satisfied customers, and finally an invitation to potential customers to “find out what _____ can do for you!” This strategy […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 2: Introduce Jesus as Someone You Can Trust

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith (based on my new book of the same name), we explore establishing a climate of trust. Strategy #2: Introduce Jesus as someone you can trust. Advertisements seek to gain your trust. The goal is to convince you that your money will be well-spent on whatever product or service is being sold. In a similar way, […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 1: Focus on Brokenness

Welcome to my summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith. Today we look at the first strategy for tilling the soil of people’s hearts and minds: Strategy #1: Point out that potential believers’ current “way” is broken or unsatisfactory and needs to be repaired or replaced. In other words, we need to begin the faith formation journey by drawing attention to our human brokenness, and we proclaim […]

Summer Series: Preparing Hearts and Minds

Now that June is here, it’s time to welcome summer! And with summer comes the opportunity for me to share a new series with you: Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, which draws from my new book of the same name. With the warmer weather, many of us are spending more time in our gardens. After a long, hard Chicago winter, I find that the soil in […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Posting a Message of Faith on Social Media

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at posting messages or pictures of faith on social media. St. Pope John Paul II famously referred to social media as the “new Areopagus,” referring to the cultural center or gathering place of the learned where St. Paul preached the Gospel in Athens. (Acts 17:16–34) Today, especially during a time of social distancing, we can use social media to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to the world.  […]

What a Team! Speaking in the Arena at L.A. Congress

One of my favorite phrases at Loyola Press—”What a team!”—can be traced to our president emeritus, Fr. George Lane, SJ, who often reacted to success stories in this manner. This phrase captures the experience I shared earlier this year with a group of talented colleagues at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. If you’re not familiar with the L.A. Congress, it is the largest religious education gathering in the country, drawing about 25,000 people over four […]

Lenten Disciples: Martha and Mary at the Raising of Lazarus

In this Lenten disciples series, we have explored the stories of Jesus and the woman of Samaria (John 4:1–42) and the man who was blind since birth (John 9:1–41). We now turn to the dramatic story of the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1–45). Set in the small town of Bethany, which was about two miles from Jerusalem, we hear that Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was very sick. The sisters sent word to Jesus, […]

Lenten Disciples: The Man Born Blind

In the Scriptures, we see examples of disciples at different stages of their faith journeys. Through the story of Jesus and the woman of Samaria (John 4:1–42), we explored the early stages of the discipleship journey. Later in the Gospel of John, we hear the story of Jesus restoring sight to a man born blind. (John 9:1–41). This story represents the next stage in the journey of discipleship. In this story, a man who was […]

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