Reviewing the Mass Before Christmas

I love the excitement, expectation, and joy that is abundant in my class as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth. As we get ready for Christmas with crafts and cookies, I also prepare my students for Christmas Mass. Many of my students do not regularly go to Mass, and they aren’t familiar with the Order of the Mass. I find that everyone benefits from a review of what happens at Mass before attending with their […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Eucharist and What We Crave

Researchers tell us that the majority of us experience regular cravings for specific foods. It’s important to remember, however, that hunger and cravings are not synonymous. The former is driven by the body, while the latter is driven by the mind. Hunger seeks to satisfy a physical need; a craving seeks to satisfy an emotional one. That’s why cravings are not limited to food. We can find ourselves craving any and all of the following: […]

Eucharistic Revival Begins Soon!

In just a few weeks, the Catholic Church in the United States will embark upon a three-year Eucharistic Revival in hopes of rekindling within Catholics “a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” The revival will officially start with diocesan celebrations on the Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ), June 19, 2022. In 2023, the focus will be on parishes and resources that will deepen Catholics’ understanding […]

Great New Liturgy Apps!

Here’s some information about some great new Apps on the Liturgy! The first is the My Picture Missal App from Loyola Press. This App, available in the iTunes store at this link: My Picture Missal App, was developed for children with special needs and  for young children. The intent of this interactive app is to help children learn, understand, and fully experience the Mass. Children with special needs have spiritual lives and, with communication assistance, can […]

Practice Makes Catholic – Finalist for “Excellence in Publishing Awards”

I’m very proud to announce that my book, Practice Makes Catholic is a finalist for the Excellence in Publishing Awards given by the Association of Catholic Pubishers in the category of Resources for Ministry. I’m honored to receive such consideration and am very proud of this book which is being used by so many people in parish ministry, especially in the areas of catechist formation, RCIA, and general adult formation. I’m also proud to be […]

Praying with the Trinity

The Trinity is a beautiful mystery that cannot be fully explained or understood through human language, which makes it a challenge to communicate to children when we rely on words in our catechesis. The early Christians came to know God as trinitarian through their lived experiences of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We can help children to identify their own experiences of the Persons of the Trinity and therefore come to a […]

Disciples of Hospitality: Martha and Mary

In the Gospel of Luke, we hear the story of Jesus’ visit to two sisters, Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38–42). Martha and Mary are presented in contrasting ways, but are they two sides of the same coin? Let’s take a look by exploring their story and its implications from a discipleship perspective. Martha welcomes Jesus into her home. Martha’s sister Mary seats herself at the feet of Jesus to listen to him speak. Martha, who […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Holy Hiking and the Feast of St. James

Except for when we may be engaged in contemplative prayer or Adoration, we Catholics rarely sit still. Even when we worship at Mass, we sit, stand, kneel, genuflect, bow, cross ourselves, and walk in procession. We are a people “on the move“—pilgrim people. One of the most profound examples of this embodiment of our faith is the concept of a pilgrimage, and the “gold standard” of pilgrimages is, of course, the Camino de Santiago (Way […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 1: Focus on Brokenness

Welcome to my summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith. Today we look at the first strategy for tilling the soil of people’s hearts and minds: Strategy #1: Point out that potential believers’ current “way” is broken or unsatisfactory and needs to be repaired or replaced. In other words, we need to begin the faith formation journey by drawing attention to our human brokenness, and we proclaim […]

Creating a Climate of Encounter in Faith Formation

Today, more than ever, we are keenly aware of the term climate because of the issue of climate change. Climate refers to the prevailing weather conditions in a region over a long period of time. In a climate-controlled environment, we can control those conditions (heat, humidity, barometric pressure, etc.) to suit our purposes, such as growing plants and flowers in a greenhouse. A faith formation environment must be “climate-controlled,” not so much in terms of temperature—although we definitely […]

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