The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden and the Myth of Self-Sufficiency

As we venture deeper into this season of Lent, let’s reflect upon the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary—those events that lead up to and culminate in the Crucifixion and Death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. In this first installment, we reflect on the Agony in the Garden. The Book of Genesis introduces us to the Garden of Eden—that place where Adam and Eve enjoyed absolute intimacy with God. It is within that paradise that everything […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Stations of the Cross

One of the hallmarks of Catholic spirituality is the practice of going on a pilgrimage, a spiritual journey to a location of significance to our faith. In the centuries following Jesus’ Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, it was common practice for people to visit Jerusalem and retrace the steps of Jesus as he was led to his Crucifixion on Calvary. As time passed and Christianity spread, it became increasingly difficult for people to travel to the Holy Land for this pilgrimage. As […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Dealing with Temptations

You know what it’s like to have a mosquito bite that you want so badly to scratch! Of course, the more you scratch, the more it itches and, eventually, you risk breaking the skin. It’s not easy to avoid the temptation to scratch such an itch. Similarly, in life, we sometimes grow restless or “develop an itch” that we are tempted to scratch in a variety of ways, not all of them healthy. These temptations […]

Lent: Promises Made, Promises Kept

There are many ways to enter into Lent and to draw from the riches of the season and its Scripture readings. One very effective way is to focus on the Old Testament readings for each Sunday of Lent (this year, Cycle B). During Lent, the Old Testament readings stand by themselves in many ways, which means that we shouldn’t try too hard to bend and shape them to connect with the second reading or the Gospel, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

One of the hallmarks of Catholicism is sacramentality, which means that we rely on tangible, visible objects in our prayer and worship to raise our awareness of the intangible, invisible graces of God. One popular example of this sacramentality is our use of candles for prayer and worship. We know that we’ve entered into a Catholic church when we see the flickering of vigil candles and smell the scent of burning wax. These burning candles represent the […]

Liturgical Year Family Activities

The Church’s liturgical year forms us so that we more closely reflect the image of God. Families can facilitate this formation by observing the liturgical calendar and by engaging in family rituals and activities that mark the seasons and feasts of the Church year and remind us of their significance. To help families in observing the liturgical calendar, download our Liturgical Year Family Activities. This resource is full of ideas to draw families more deeply […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Practicing the Lenten Disciplines

With Lent coming upon us very soon, it’s a good idea to begin thinking about how best to observe this wonderful season of renewal. Too often, it seems, we rack our brains trying to think of what to do during Lent when the formula is laid out for us: we are to pray, fast, and give alms. While that may sound like the “same old, same old,” it’s important to know that these three practices, […]

Catechists as Proclaimers of a Promise Kept: Merry Christmas!

Hope is built on promises, and Christian hope does not disappoint. Why? Because our hope is based on a promise kept. The birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of a promise that God made to his people long ago, to send a Savior through whom God would always be present. On Christmas, we celebrate a promise kept! As catechists, we are proclaimers of a promise kept. We are proclaimers of hope! Those we teach are […]

Traveling on the Advent Train; Next Stop: Christmas!

Someone once asked me how we go about “switching gears” from Advent to Christmas. After I thought about it for a moment or two, I realized that we don’t switch gears, but rather, we allow ourselves to be transported by the liturgical calendar from one season to another. Liturgical seasons are defined not so much by what we do during each season, but rather by what that season does to us. We are formed by the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Lessons of the Magi at Epiphany

As we look forward to the Feast of the Epiphany, it’s important to realize that this is much more than a sentimental Christmas story for children, and its message isn’t limited to the notion that Jesus, the Savior, is revealed to the whole world, as critical as that point is. In this story, we also find a model for discipleship in the Magi (aka, the Three Wise Men or Three Kings). In this episode of Pop-Up […]

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