Thanksgiving: Gratitude Is a Prerequisite for Discipleship

As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I’d like to share a few thoughts about gratitude. Today, more than ever, we are hearing the term discipleship used in Catholic circles, as we seek to breathe new life into the Church and advance the New Evangelization. It occurs to me that a prerequisite for discipleship is an attitude of gratitude—a virtue that leads us away from cynicism, pessimism, and indifference and toward hope, faith, and love (charity). I’m sure […]

Strengthening Your Spiritual Life

A healthy and vital spirituality defines who we are and helps us to grow and develop along the way of faith. The way we express our spirituality should be a support and a consolation to us; it should also afford enough challenge to keep us moving forward and to help us avoid complacence. —A Faith Interrupted, p. 127 The crucial thing to understand is that faith needs to be nurtured. No matter where I am […]

Catechist Formation: More Than a Path to Certification

Typically, when you fall in love with someone, you are eager not only to spend as much time with that person as possible, but also to learn as much as you can about him or her: “What’s your favorite food? Favorite hobby? What irritates you? What do you like to read? What are you dreams?” and so on. Ultimately, catechist formation, like all faith formation, is the way we seek to learn more and thus […]

Keeping Up Your Spirits

Hopefully, the dust has settled and all your programs are up and running. I don’t know about you, but I always breathe a sigh of relief about the fourth or fifth week of classes. By then, the latecomers are in classes, the new catechists are feeling a bit more comfortable, and we are all into the rhythm of faith formation. That being said, I also love the energy and excitement that comes with new beginnings. […]

Autumn and the Spiritual Journey

The natural course of the seasons can mirror the movements within our spiritual lives, and we needn’t be in mid-life by our calendar years to find ourselves in an autumnal season as we walk with the Lord. We come to autumn at any age. Autumn is a time of transition—green turning to gold, brown and blonde fading to gray. Autumn is the season for reaping. The fields are high. Our work is yielding its fruit. […]

Bringing an Ignatian Flavor to V Encuentro

It is no secret that the largest growing demographic in the U.S. Church is our Latino/Hispanic brothers and sisters. In order to better serve the needs of this vital and fast-growing segment of our Church family, the U.S. Bishops occasionally convene a process known as Encuentro—a multi-year process of ecclesial reflection and action that invites all Catholics in the United States to intense missionary activity, consultation, leadership development, and identification of best ministerial practices in […]

Confidence, Generosity, Joy, and Fearlessness: Four Ways Mary Inspires Catechists

Lord, give me Mary’s confidence and generosity of spirit. I ask not only to listen to your voice and do your will but also to do these things joyfully and fearlessly. Let me answer your call with an exultant “Yes!” because I know that my journey into the unknown will be made radiant by your transfiguring presence. —Sacred Space: A Little Book of Encouragement This extraordinary quote inspires me as a catechist. There is no […]

Give Praise Where It’s Due

Do you ever feel like this? I’m so tired of people looking weary and glum wherever I go. Is everyone having that bad a day? Am I stuck forever in this atmosphere? You’ll be surprised at how people respond when you simply make the first move and say something nice. A courteous greeting will do, but a real compliment is even better. Most people try hard to do well. Sometimes their attempts are awkward and […]

Ignatius Loyola’s Management Style Might Work for You

The “director” part of a DRE’s job description is a taxing challenge. “Director” means “manager,” and managing people and programs is never easy. It means achieving lofty goals with limited resources. It means dealing with people who often don’t behave the way you want them to behave. It means compromise, tough decisions, and juggling conflicting interests. Managing means meetings. Lots of meetings. To complicate matters, most DREs are teachers at heart who love students much more than budgets and […]

Inspiration for a Worried Teacher

If you’re feeling nervous about the approaching new catechetical year, you’re not alone. Read and pray with this excerpt from A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days by Amy Welborn. And let’s pray for each other as we prepare to meet our students. “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of […]

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