A Healing Journal

In honor of this year’s Catechetical Sunday theme of “Say the Word and My Soul Shall Be Healed,” we offer a spiritual journaling exercise to help teachers, catechists, and parents reflect on the tensions of life and identify places in need of healing. The journal prompts are excerpted from Writing to Be Whole: A Healing Journal by Eddie Ensley and Robert Herrmann. As we continue to emerge from the isolation the pandemic forced upon us, […]

Daily Examen Journal

The daily Examen is way to pray through the events and emotions of the day to find God with us. When practiced regularly, the Examen can help those who pray it identify God in all aspects of the day and see the patterns of God’s presence over time. It is a key way to pray in Ignatian spirituality. Introduce teens and adults to the Examen with our daily Examen journal—printable and foldable as a booklet. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: An Ignatian Way of Proceeding

When my wife and I visited Hawaii some years back, we were shown around one day by our dear friend Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy. As I was doing the driving with my wife riding shotgun, Jayne sat in the back seat and played the role of tour guide and navigator to perfection. At one point, we got stuck in a little traffic. Jayne sensed that I was getting a little frustrated and feared that I might honk […]

Why Catechists Should Care About the Ignatian Year

Five hundred years ago, a cannonball changed the world! It was on May 20, 1521, that Ignatius of Loyola was wounded in battle, a cannonball shattering his knee. During his long period of rehabilitation, Ignatius read the only literature available to him: books on Jesus and the lives of the saints. Upon reflection, he realized he was fighting for the wrong army and fighting the wrong battles. He eventually laid down his sword and dedicated […]

Mystagogy: The Art of Asking Questions of Life

In a recent post about mystagogy, I quoted Orthodox bishop and theologian Kallistos Ware, who said, “We see that it is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.” I also wrote that mystagogy is the task of becoming progressively aware of mystery. In order to […]

Mystagogy: Becoming Progressively Aware of Mystery

When it comes to inspiration about faith formation, one of my favorite quotes comes from Orthodox bishop and theologian Kallistos Ware, who said, “We see that it is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.” The task of becoming progressively aware of mystery is known […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Washing Feet

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. You might also like: Holy Thursday’s Hidden Graces 3-Minute Retreat: The Lord’s Supper (also in Spanish)

Classroom Spiritual Breaks

We can all practice self-care during these days marked by social distancing, remote learning, and disruptions to our cherished routines. Here are a few spiritual practices that catechists can incorporate into sessions to help nurture the spiritual and physical well-being of young people. Calls to Mind God’s Presence in Our Lives Invite young people to sit up tall, with both feet on the floor. They may close their eyes if they want. Tell them to […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Scripture and Tradition

This prayer originally appeared in my book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. See the related article: Promoting Catholic Identity: A Reverence for Scripture and Tradition.

Pop-Up Catechesis: Change Requires a Stimulus

How does water change to ice or steam? Well, it doesn’t do it on its own. It requires a stimulus, namely a change in temperature. When water is cooled, the molecules slow down and are bonded together to form ice. When water is heated, the molecules speed up and break free from their bonds, thus creating steam. But none of that happens without the stimulus of temperature change. In a similar way, if we hope […]

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