Attracting Adults By Telling Them They Are Needed

A popular idea for engaging adults in faith formation is to invite parents of children in RE to some type of enrichment at the same time that their children are in class – another way to combat the “drop-off” mentality. These efforts are often met with mixed results. Some parishes have had success with this approach while others get only a handful of parents to stay. Part of the problem is that we are often […]

A Little Help Brainstorming: Saints and Blesseds

I could use your help! I am trying to think of saints and blesseds who fit the following 3 characteristics:   Saints and blesseds known for their undying enthusiasm and determination Saints and blesseds known for innovation in proclaiming God’s Word Saints and blesseds (especially lay people) who founded movements in the Church Please send me names and brief descriptions of which category they fit and why (see Leave a Reply below). Thanks!

Using YouTube Videos to Lead Song

One of the techniques that I’ve used with young people to lead them in song, either in a catechetical setting or at a liturgy, is to project a YouTube video with the music and lyrics provided. This works especially well because young people are very visual and are more comfortable with this than with a hymnal or song sheet. Likewise, it is very effective when you don’t have a music minister present to lead song […]

Religious Education Family Mass

Yesterday, St. Cajetan’s hosted a Religious Education Family Mass to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of those involved in the RE program. All of the catechists were asked to make displays and we set them up in the back of the church. Before and after Mass, many people browsed the displays and had a chance to meet and talk to the catechists and enjoy refreshments (after Mass!) I had a chance to […]

Updates from a REAL Pilgrim: Dr. Joe Bound

I mentioned how some folks had been confused, thinking that I was truly on the pilgrimage to Italy when, in fact, I am home in Chicago, leading a VIRTUAL pilgrimage here on my blog! To confuse matters more, now I’m happy to pass along reports from a Joe who is ACTUALLY on the pilgrimage in Italy! His name is Dr. Joe Bound, and he is the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Green […]

VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy, Day 2: Rome

I can tell that some of you are dealing either with jet lag from the long flight yesterday or with a hangover from too much vino last night! Rise and shine! Today, as we continue our VIRTUAL pilgrimage to Italy, we arrive in Rome where we tour her sites, including the following for which I have provided brief video clips: The Roman Fora (3:20) httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfW551dxpVU&list=PL1YibWnqVd1wUbRAIfYr52GyZxcJ_DbjZ&index=18 The Coliseum (3:30) httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnUG09CjfWQ The Arch of Constantine (3:19) httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joR1LfQlduQ The […]

Pope Francis and a Change of Tone and Balance

Recently, my stereo just didn’t sound right: I was playing good music but it wasn’t coming across well. Then I realized some of the settings needed adjustment: the tone and balance were off kilter. Once they were re-set, the sound came through beautifully. In much the same way, Pope Francis’ recent remarkable interview is not calling for a change in doctrine but for a change in tone and balance. When the Holy Father said, ““We […]

The Engaged Catechist: Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In his book, Growing An Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman explains that, without true engagement, volunteers burn out quickly. He identifies 3 ways to make an immediate impact on the level of engagement of church members: clarify the expectations of membership help your members discover what they do best create small groups I think these can (and should) be easily applied to catechists, who, without engagement, do indeed burnout quickly. Those catechists who […]

Catholic Identity? It’s in the W.A.T.E.R.

This coming Monday (April 29) is my last evening with the 6th graders. Following the closing Mass in church, I should have about 20 minutes left with them and I plan to use that time to send the kids off with something concrete about how to live out their faith as a Catholic. First, I’m going to show them some images of Chinese artist Liu Bolin who is known for his “Invisible Man” images in which […]

Prayers for Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI on the Announcement of his Resignation

Just a few months ago, I read an interesting book titled The Pope Who Quit that tells the fascinating tale of the election and subsequent resignation of Pope Celestine V in 1294, the only pope to ever abdicate the Chair of St. Peter. That story provides a context for us to understand just how historic is the announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. Given the significance of this moment, it is evident that our […]

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