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 […]

Why the Title “Where Have You Gone, Thomas Groome?”

I had to chuckle at the follow-up email I received from Dr. Thomas Groome, asking why I chose to title my post, “Where Have You Gone, Thomas Groome?” I can understand why he might take exception to that title since he is still very much on the scene! The truth is, the title was intended to be provocative (you know how we bloggers are always trying to capture attention!) The question, “where have you gone, […]

Opening Mass Tonight; Thinking Ahead to Next Week

Tonight, our religious education program celebrates our Opening Mass in the Church which means that I will primarily be supervising my 6th graders as they gather for Mass and then throughout the Mass. This afternoon, I plan to go over their names so that this evening I will be able to greet them and talk to them by name. As we wait for Mass to begin, I thought I would do some Q & A […]

Off to a Good Start!

I was very pleased with my first session of 6th grade religious education last evening! 🙂 Here’s a rundown of highlights and lowlights: Since I teach in the later session and someone is in the room before me, I don’t have much time to set up (15 mins…if I’m lucky) so it is a real whirlwind trying to get things ready. I have this notion that the kids will walk into this very serene and prayerful […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 1, Day 5: You’ve Got the Network (Church, Mary, Saints, and Eternity)

WEEK ONE: The Creed DAY 5: You’ve Got the Network (Church, Mary, Saints, and Eternity) I’m sure you recall the Verizon ad with the message “It’s the Network,” showing people on Verizon wireless phones backed up by a huge crowd of Verizon workers who represent their support network. The message is clear: wherever you go, the network is there with you and you are never on your own. A huge part of our Catholic faith is our […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 1, Day 2: Trusting God’s Word

WEEK ONE: The Creed DAY 2: Trusting God’s Word (Scripture and Tradition) If someone claims to have authority to perform a very important task, we want to know that we can trust that individual. If someone pounds on your door and says, “Open up! Police!” you certainly want to verify that they have a badge before you let them in. Authority and trust go hand in hand.  When it comes to our faith, the question of […]

Hey Catholics! Public Relations is NOT a Dirty “Word!”

When discussing catechesis and evangelization, I am very comfortable using the phrases such as  “public relations” (PR) or marketing, and find that I often encounter push back. “The Church is not trying to win a public relations battle!” “Proclaiming the Gospel is not a popularity contest!” “The Church is not about public relations!” The conclusion that many people draw is that public relations and marketing necessitate altering the content of your core beliefs. That is a […]

Learning the New Nicene Creed By Heart

One of my Lenten promises this year is to learn by heart (memorize) the new Nicene Creed. Of all the Roman Missal changes (people’s parts), the changes to the Nicene Creed (and the Gloria) are by far the most significant. I think it’s important to be able to recite the Creed from memory so I am attempting to learn it by heart this Lent. I spent time on the train this morning working on it […]

Catechists in Action – Katie Elwood Prepares Her 2nd Graders for First Holy Communion

In this segment of Catechists in Action, we observe 2nd grade catechist Katie Elwood as she helps her students prepare to learn about the Mass. Watch as Katie… alerts the children to the fact that they will be going over to the church for a tour by the pastor shows the children a picture in their book of the sanctuary and all of the sacred vessels and furniture and tells them that the pastor will […]

Catechists in Action #4 – Dan Ward Explains Roman Missal Changes

In this segment of Catechists in Action, we see 7th grade catechist Dan Ward talking to his class about Advent and the introduction of the Roman Missal changes. Watch for the following as Dan… directs the young people to open their text books and look at the liturgical calendar talks about Advent as the beginning of the Church’s new year asks the young people about their experience of the changes in the Mass invites a […]

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