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 […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: It’s Always About Joy! (Gaudete Sunday)

It’s unfortunate that Christianity is too often perceived by some as a dour religion. I’m reminded of the pop song that claims it’s preferable to laugh with the sinners than to cry with the saints! The fact is, at times, Christian spirituality has lost its balance by focusing solely on the suffering of Jesus and the saints and martyrs while losing the joy of the Resurrection. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore how […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Putting On Christ This Christmas

We often lament the fact that stores begin putting up Christmas decorations around the time of Halloween! Oddly enough, I find a link between Halloween and Christmas. On Halloween, children put on costumes and proceed to act like the characters they are portraying. My granddaughter, Livvy, two years of age, wore a kitty-cat costume and crawled about meowing and purring for a week. Well, on Christmas, we celebrate the person whose “costume” we have donned […]

The Shepherd’s Story Scripture Activities

From Psalm 23 to the Nativity story as told by Luke and more, shepherds appear in the Bible numerous times. Explore the role of shepherds in Scripture with activities inspired by the new children’s book, The Shepherd’s Story by Jimmy Dunne and illustrated by Ivan Kravets. “Shepherds in the Bible” invites young people to look up Scripture verses about shepherds and then express what they learn in creative ways. Younger children will enjoy the “Christmas […]

Advent: The Season of Hope That We Really Need

It is an understatement to say that 2020 has been a challenging year! We can’t wait to turn the page and move on to a new year. For Catholics, that turning of the page happens a month before the secular holiday of New Year’s Day on January 1. We celebrate the beginning of our liturgical year on the First Sunday of Advent, which is only a few weeks away, on November 29. Advent is always […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Advent Hope

People seem to be interested in knowing what the future holds for them—so much so that some will do everything from reading their horoscopes to visiting a fortune teller. The truth is, we don’t know what the future will hold for us, except for the one thing that we can be sure of: Jesus will be a part of our lives! We celebrate the season of Advent with this confident joy, knowing that abundant graces […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: November, the Month of All Souls

For Catholics, the entire month of November (leading up to the First Sunday of Advent) is commemorated as the Month of All Souls—an opportunity to remember, honor, and pray for all of our deceased loved ones. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the practice of setting up a home altar of remembrance with pictures of deceased loved ones and candles to help us recall these special people and to pray for them throughout the […]

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