Living the Sacraments Now Available in Spanish!

I was excited when my book, Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth, was published last year, and I was excited again when I learned that the book had received an award. Now, I’m excited yet again to announce that the book is available in Spanish! Introducing: Vivir los sacramentos: Encontrar a Dios en la intersección de cielo y tierra Here’s the description in Spanish: Demasiados católicos ven los sacramentos […]

Helping Catechetical Leaders to Be More Effective

One of the most powerful lines in the General Directory for Catechesis can be found in paragraph 234: “the quality of any form of pastoral activity is placed at risk if it does not rely on truly competent and trained personnel.” Unfortunately, because of inadequate funding and lack of human resources at the diocesan level, catechetical leaders too often go without the training and formation that they need and deserve. To remedy this situation, Loyola Press has teamed with […]

The Importance of Kindergarten

Among my earliest memories are the assassination of President Kennedy, the Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, and my first day of Kindergarten. I think that says something about the significance of Kindergarten! I know that we sometimes can overdo these things, as if our children will not get into the prestigious college of their choice later on unless we get them into a world-class Kindergarten program now. On the other hand, studies continue […]

Populating the Imaginations of Preschool Children

When speaking about the roles of parents, godparents, grandparents, catechists, and teachers in forming the faith of children, my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath, often emphasizes the need to “populate the imaginations” of young children with stories, images, signs, and symbols of our Catholic faith. At a very young age, children develop a “worldview”—a way of seeing the world. Some develop a positive worldview that recognizes truth, beauty, and goodness as more potent than that which […]

Making Our Faith “Simple-Yet-Not-Simplistic”

No doubt you are familiar with the “…for Dummies” series of books—instructional books designed to take complex topics and present them in a non-intimidating format for readers who are new to the subject. Ironically, the reason that these books sell so well is that readers know that the author will not treat them like dummies but rather as an apprentice in need of a mentor. The authors are experts in their fields, and the subject […]

How the Gifts You Give Can Help “Keep Christ in Christmas”

You can always expect to receive certain kinds of Christmas presents from certain people. For example, I could always expect to receive gifts of some kind of clothing from my mom, because she felt it was her duty to keep me properly dressed. And she made no apologies for that! As catechists, we should make no apologies for offering gifts to others at Christmas that focus on the centrality of Christ. In other words, the gifts […]

Now Available: Slide Presentations for the Effective Catechetical Leader Series

I am excited to announce that the slide presentations I’ve created for The Effective Catechetical Leader series are now available. When we at Loyola Press collaborated with the good folks at NCCL (National Conference for Catechetical Leadership), we talked about developing some ancillary materials that would enhance diocesan efforts to offer formation and training opportunities for catechetical leaders. It became obvious very early on that one such resource would be PowerPoint presentations—one for each of the […]

Are You Using the Leader Guides for My Books?

From time to time, I receive requests from people asking me for or recommending that I develop leader guides for my books. The truth is, many of my books already have Leader Guides! These guides can assist you in leading formation sessions or book discussions based on each book. They are especially helpful for small faith groups that wish to focus on a single resource for a period of time. Be sure to visit the page […]

Fishing for Men and Women

If Jesus wanted to choose the ideal person to lead his church into the future, where would he look for such a person? We might suppose he could find such a person in Jerusalem, among the priests of the temple or perhaps among the educated and talented nobles of the city. Yet the person Jesus called for the task was not found among the religious leaders or the noble families of the capitol city. Simon […]

What Book to Use for RCIA? Try A Well-Built Faith

While it is true that the “parish is the curriculum” (Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us) for the RCIA, and that the liturgical calendar should give shape and form to the “scope and sequence” of the catechumenate, the fact is, most RCIA coordinators and teams still desire to put a book in the hands of their catechumens and candidates. I have been delighted to learn that many such coordinators and teams have chosen to use […]

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