Lent 2016

Yes, my friends, it’s that time of the year already! Can you believe that Lent is only a couple of weeks away? (Ash Wednesday is February 10.) We’ve barely had time to take down and store away our Christmas decorations. As always, this season of Lent promises to be full of abundant graces for us and for all those we serve in the catechetical ministry. And, as always, Loyola Press is ready to assist you in […]

Faith, Knowledge, and Service: Celebrating Catholic Schools Week

The last Sunday in January always begins a special week that Catholic school teachers find both exhilarating and exhausting: Catholic Schools Week. This week is sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association, and this year Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated from Sunday, January 31 to February 6. As a teacher who has spent her entire career teaching in Catholic schools, I know how much we can celebrate! Catholic Schools Week is unlike any other […]

Advent Is Just Around the Corner!

With Advent being just around the corner, I want to let you know about a number of great resources at your fingertips to enhance your faith community’s experience of this wonderful season! Advent Moments of Mercy This Advent coincides with the beginning of the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared. What greater act of mercy is there beyond God sending his only Son Jesus to save us from sin? The Advent season provides […]

Looking for Ideas for Do-it-Yourself Service Projects

I’m looking for ideas for “do-it-yourself” service projects—things that can be done on site at the parish with 20 or 30 adult volunteers in a couple of hours. One such idea, albeit quite ambitious, is the Helping Hands project from Catholic Relief Services. This requires 40 volunteers and a minimum of two hours to package 10,000 meals! For the upcoming Year of Mercy, I hope to work with a local parish to organize opportunities for […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Feasting More Than Fasting

In the Church year, Easter, our season of feasting, is longer than Lent, our season of fasting! While the 40 days of Lent lay out a program of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we often don’t seem to have a game plan for how to celebrate the 50 days of Easter. I suggest that we focus on the concept of “feasting” during the 50 days of Easter. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore six […]

Catechesis and the Paschal Mystery: Moving from Death to Life

The new Directory for Catechesis has many thought-provoking and powerful lines, including the following: “Everything [in faith formation] is oriented toward the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.” (64a) “Catechesis communicates the heart of the faith in an essential and existentially understandable way, bringing each person into contact with the Risen One and helping him to reinterpret and to live the most intense moments of his life as Paschal events.” (64a) I find it […]

The Saints as Missionary Disciples: St. Martin de Porres

This is part two of a series exploring saints who lived as missionary disciples. Amid all the upheaval that we have recently undergone and are still going through, we sometimes forget that the saints also lived during times of intense disunity, strife, and racial tension. St. Martin de Porres reminds us of the necessity of compassion, particularly during times of difficulty and division. What can his witness teach us about missionary discipleship? Let’s explore his […]

Sunday : The Week :: The Triduum : The _________

Many standardized tests use the formula seen in the title for word analogies. If you are not familiar with the formula, it is “translated” accordingly: “Sunday is to the week as the Triduum is to the ______.” And the answer is: year. I learned this analogy years ago from the great liturgist, Gabe Huck, who made it a point to assert that, “Sunday is to the week as the Triduum is to the year.” In […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 6: Invite, Invite, Invite!

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we come to strategy #6. Strategy #6: Invite, invite, invite! Ultimately, an advertisement is an invitation; after presenting all the information about their amazing product or service, the sponsors invite potential customers to join “other satisfied customers.” They then provide a phone number, a website address, and convenient locations so that potential customers can avoid being left out. […]

Preparing Hearts and Minds Strategy 5: Proclaim the Resurrection as the Cause of Our Joy

As we continue our summer series, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, we come to strategy #5. Strategy #5: Proclaim the Resurrection as the cause of our joy. One of the most often-used phrases in TV commercials is, “But wait, there’s more!” Just when you think you’ve heard it all and that it can’t get any better, the seller doubles down and tells you that it’s about to get […]

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