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 […]

Lenten Disciples: The Woman at the Well

In the Scriptures, we see examples of disciples at different stages of their journeys. For the next few weeks of Lent, we will explore three different encounters with Jesus and what these encounters tell us about discipleship. We will focus first on perhaps one of the best-known stories in the Bible: Jesus and the woman of Samaria (John 4:1–42). In this story, Jesus approaches a Samaritan woman and strikes up a conversation with her at […]

Start with Jesus in Your Parish

Serving parishes in her diocese as the Director of New Evangelization, Julianne Stanz has recognized a practical and motivational way to restructure a parish’s mission: start with Jesus. To help you do that, Julianne’s book Start with Jesus is about people, process, and culture, rather than an emphasis on quick fixes or unsustainable efforts. Embrace discipleship in your parish by reading the book and using the additional resources that accompany it: implementation tools for parish […]

Reclaiming the Fire: Six Keys to Making Our Faith Formation More Evangelizing

Today, more than ever, faith formation needs to be more evangelizing—not only informing, but also transforming hearts and minds. In her book, Start with Jesus, author, speaker, and evangelist Julianne Stanz states that “too often our approach to our faith lacks the fire or energy that it deserves,” and she issues a call for us to “reclaim the fire.” With that in mind, I have identified six keys to reclaiming this fire so that our […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #7 Doing

This is the seventh and final post in a series about discipleship. We have explored the following keys of discipleship—desire, discernment, decision-making, discipline, dwelling in the Word, and dependence on the Holy Spirit. With this article, we will conclude our series by focusing on a key element of discipleship: doing. Essential to our growth in discipleship is our disposition (being) in relationship to God and how to put our faith at the service of others […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #6 Dependence on the Holy Spirit

This is part six of a seven-part series on discipleship. Cultivating a dependence on the Holy Spirit is especially important for our continued intimacy with Jesus Christ. A good friend of mine often calls the Holy Spirit “the forgotten Person of the Holy Trinity.” When I asked him why, he remarked, “When Christians live as if their lives are not transfigured by the love and joy of the Gospel, then they have forgotten the Holy […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #5 Dwelling in the Word

This is part five of a seven-part series on discipleship. So far in this series, we have covered desire, discernment, decision-making, and discipline. In this article, we will talk about an essential and critical key to discipleship: Dwelling in the Word of God. A couple of years ago, I spoke with a group of students about the importance of remaining connected to God through prayerful reading of the Scriptures at home. After the class, a […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #4 Discipline

This is part four of a seven-part series on discipleship. In my last article, we discussed the importance of making decisions to say “no” to the things of the world so that we could say “yes” to Jesus Christ. Closely related to the key of decision-making for Christ is the key of discipline, which reminds me of a story about when I first immigrated to the United States. A couple of months after my arrival […]

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