An Interview About Prayer with Author Jane Knuth

Our online book club starts on Monday! As we get ready to read together The Prayer List by Jane Knuth, I asked Jane to share more about prayer and the book with us. Joe Paprocki: When you inherited your family prayer list, your first reaction was, “Uh-oh.” Tell us more about that reaction. Jane Knuth: Frankly, it looked like a lot of work to me. Aunt Kay spent hours each day praying for people, and […]

A Catechist’s Summer Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, I come to you at the end of another year of faith formation. Thank you for all of the good this year: For the students you brought to my classroom, their laughter and participation and sharing. For my growth this year as a catechist and as a Catholic Christian developing her own faith. I ask blessings upon all of us as we go forth to summer break: For my fellow catechists and […]

Online Book Club: The Prayer List

Make plans to deepen your spiritual life this summer from the comfort of your favorite reading spot. Join us here at Catechist’s Journey for an online book club starting June 4. We’ll be reading Jane Knuth’s The Prayer List…and Other True Stories of How Families Pray. About the Book When Jane Knuth inherited the family “prayer list” from her aunt, she decided to continue the tradition of praying regularly with the list of needs and […]

Ascension Leads to Looking at Summer Spiritual Experiences

As we celebrate the Lord’s Ascension, just about all of us have moved into the more peaceful period between the end of the religious education year and the start of Vacation Bible School. When I worked in a parish, I savored each and every one of those days, and as I was praying, I turned to St. Luke’s version of the Ascension story (Luke 24:50–53). What struck me in those few verses is that Jesus’ […]

Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In her book, Cultivating Your Catechists: How to Recruit, Encourage, and Retain Successful Catechists (The Effective Catechetical Leader series), Jayne Mondoy reminds us that corporate America invests millions of dollars in coaching groups of individuals (employees or clients) to work together toward a common goal and to be fully engaged. The truth is, without engagement, people (especially volunteers) tend to burn out more quickly. In his book, Growing an Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman identifies three […]

Take a Deep Breath in May

The month of May might just be one of my favorite times of the catechetical year. May provides an opportunity for DREs to take a deep breath, a momentary pause between the conclusion of the school year and the beginning of the summer. We delight in empty classrooms and suddenly open calendars. We return supplies to their places, clean out the clutter, and organize the paperwork. After all the Easter celebrations, May Crownings, First Communions, […]

Expanding the Soul: Feasting on Hope Leads to Magnanimity

Gandhi once said, “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.” It seems to me that a simple way of doing a daily Examen is to ask ourselves, What did I do today that made my soul expand? and What did I do (or fail to do) today that made my soul constrict? Unlike our waistlines, which we struggle to prevent from expanding, our goal […]

Three Ways to Make Hope Real

Our world needs to hear the message of Christian hope. This hope is not mere optimism; rather Christian hope finds its source in a person, Jesus of Nazareth. St. Thomas Aquinas said hope is, “infused in us by God alone.” The universal call of the Church is to be a missionary disciple, to live as one who understands that we are sent forth to make hope real in our world today by sharing the Good […]

Holy Week: Entering the Passion Story

As we journey through this holiest of weeks, and especially the Triduum, I invite you to reflect and respond to one or both of the following questions: Which character(s) in the Passion story do you find most intriguing (whether they are inspiring or tragic) and why? If you could paint a picture or create a sculpture of one moment in the story of Christ’s Passion, what would it be and why? I invite you to […]

Beatitudes and the Catechist: Blessed Are the Pure in Heart

This is the sixth article in a series exploring the Beatitudes as they relate to being a catechist. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Happy are the catechists who are authentic, for the young people will see how much they rely on God. Some days, I find it very hard to be motivated to prepare for my faith formation classes. On these days, more than ever, I need […]

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