Allowing Lent to Transform Our Perspective on the Experience of the Pandemic

For the last two years, I’ve heard many people say that they didn’t need or want to observe Lent because we’ve already been forced to give up so much. Believe me, I get it! Unfortunately, this is a misrepresentation of the true spirit of Lent. Sure, we have been taught to give up things for Lent. However, that is only one minor aspect of an entire season of renewal and enrichment that can truly transform […]

The Joyful Mysteries: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple and Finding Him in Our Lives

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary lead us up to and through the birth of Jesus Christ and his childhood. For that reason, they make for wonderful reflections during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Today, we look at the Fifth Joyful Mystery: the Finding of Jesus in the Temple. This mystery also includes elements of the Sorrowful Mysteries; there is nothing joyful about losing something, let alone losing a child! So much of Scripture, however, speaks […]

The Joyful Mysteries: The Presentation and Carrying the Light

Today, we continue our reflections on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary by looking at the Fourth Joyful Mystery: the Presentation. One of the distinguishing features of the Christmas season is lights. As December rolls along, more and more homes light up inside and out with Christmas lights, which serve to dispel the darkness of winter. As each Sunday of Advent reaches us, an additional candle is lit on our Advent wreaths, increasing the light […]

Christmas as the Feast Day for Catechists

If I were asked to choose a feast day for catechists, I’d have to choose Christmas. Christmas is the day that we celebrate the Incarnation, the Word made flesh. Throughout the year, catechists “enflesh” (i.e. give bodily form to; make real or concrete) the Word of God. I have no doubt that this is why Pope Francis chose to pray for catechists this December as his monthly prayer intention. Pope Francis is asking the Church […]

The Joyful Mysteries: The Nativity and Rejoicing in the Nearness of God

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary lead us up to and through the birth of Jesus Christ and his childhood. Today, we look at the Third Joyful Mystery: the Nativity. For my 50th birthday, my wife told me to splurge and buy a ticket to see Sir Paul McCartney live at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Even after John Lennon’s tragic death in 1980, I still held out hope that I might one day see one […]

Epiphany Journaling Novena Booklet

An Epiphany novena is a wonderful way of marking the Christmas season with prayer that is inspired by the Scriptural images of the journey of the Magi. This novena in anticipation of the traditional Feast of the Epiphany begins on December 28. This year, let’s take time to reflect on our own spiritual journey as we walk prayerfully with the Magi on their journey. Download my Epiphany Journaling Novena booklet for nine days of written […]

The Joyful Mysteries: The Visitation and Stirring Up Life

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary lead us up to and through the birth of Jesus Christ and his childhood. For that reason, they make for wonderful reflections during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. With that in mind, join me as we reflect on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Today, we look at the Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation. Mary had just received the biggest news of her life: she was with child […]

The Joyful Mysteries: The Annunciation and Encountering Mystery

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary lead us up to and through the birth of Jesus Christ and his childhood. For that reason, they make for wonderful reflections during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. With that in mind, join me as we reflect on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, beginning with the First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation. It’s not uncommon for contemporary people, when reading stories such as the Annunciation (the angel appearing […]

Traveling with the Shepherd This Christmas

For children, some of the most intriguing characters from the nativity stories are the shepherds, perhaps because at least some of the shepherds are imagined as being young. Catechists and parents can take advantage of the fascination that children have with shepherds and the nativity story by “traveling” with the shepherd from the wonderful book, The Shepherd’s Story, visiting local nativity scenes with a cutout shepherd boy. Invite children and families to take pictures of […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Advent and Looking Forward

We all need something to look forward to. Often we find the energy to get through today because of something that’s on the horizon for tomorrow. Perhaps we’re looking forward to a special event, like the birth of a child, a birthday or anniversary celebration, a much-needed vacation, or a reunion with an old friend or family members. Maybe we are looking forward to attending a major sporting event or a concert or theater performance. […]

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