Greetings, Australia!

What an amazing world we live in that a catechist in North America (me) can somehow connect with a potential catechist in Australia, some 10,000 miles away! I received the following comment from a prospective catechist in Australia after she viewed my catechist recruitment video. Joe, Viewed your video clip as I am considering the call to become a catechist in my Parish in New South Wales Australia.As you would be aware we have just […]

Greetings To/From Gurnee, IL!

I spent a good chunk of Saturday with about 30 catechists at St. Paul the Apostle parish in Gurnee, IL, not far from the Wisconsin border. The catechists were from 3 or 4 parishes within the area and they were there for a catechist certification module on the theological foundations of catechesis (10 hours, spread over 2 Saturdays). We had a very productive day, looking at the vocation of the catechist, the ministry of catechesis, […]

What's Your Catholic IQ?

I’m proud to announce that I will be authoring “What’s Your Catholic IQ?” – a regular feature of Catechist Magazine, beginning with the September, 2008 issue! This feature – 20 multiple choice questions (and insightful answers) about all aspects of our Catholic faith – is a self-assessment for readers’ fun and enlightenment. For years, this popular feature has been written by Page McKean Zyromski. I’m honored to be following in her footsteps to provide this […]

My Chat with Cardinal George

At my D. Min. graduation ceremony Saturday, I had a brief moment with Cardinal Francis George after he handed me my diploma and we waited for the photographer to snap a picture. After we shared greetings and pleasantries, we enjoyed the following exchange: Joe: “So, I’ll see you again this Tuesday night at the Catechetical Ministries Awards Banquet.” Cardinal George: “Oh, that’s right.” Joe: “After all, I am a catechist. And that’s more important than […]

What's Up Doc? – My Graduation Day

Today is my graduation from the Doctor of Ministry program at St. Mary of the Lake University, Mundelein, Illinois! I thank God for this wonderful opportunity to grow in faith. I’ll share some pix in the days to come!

My Speaking Engagements

I’ve updated my list of speaking engagements (see the link to the right). Here’s where I’ll be in the weeks and months to come: MAY(2008) 19 – Diocese of New Ulm, MN “Spring Fling” – Tentative title: “Enter the Journey of Love: The Catechetical Ministry as a Ministry of Love” (mini-retreat for catechetical and youth leaders) JUNE (2008) 7  – St. Paul the Apostle (Gurnee, IL), Fostering Faith Catechesis Module 16 – St. Julie Billiart […]

The Liturgical Catechist

The March, 2008, issue of Catechist magazine includes an article written by yours truly! The article is titled The Liturgical Catechist: 10 Ways You Can Make Your Lessons More Liturgical. I hope you get a chance to read it and send me your comments. Speaking of comments, I’m still trying to resolve a backup in the Comments moderation queue so if you recently sent a comment and it’s not showing, hang in there!

Tell Me One Thing You Learned

Last night, I had the pleasure of doing a Lenten reflection on the Mass with the good folks at St. Bruno parish on the southside of Chicago. The very hardworking and talented DRE, Lois DeFelice, organized the evening and had the confirmation class join us for the presentation. They were so well-behaved and attentive that I just have to send along my compliments to them, to their catechist, and to Lois…you can all be proud! […]

A Well-Built Faith

I’m excited and proud to tell you about my upcoming book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe, to be published by Loyola Press (available late this summer). Here’s how I describe the purpose/goal of the book in the Introduction: We Catholics seek to be people who have the right tools and a firm foundation to serve God and others. How do we do this? Through faith formation. Catechesis […]

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