Catechists as Mystagogues: Inviting Others to Take the Next Step

Part of the mystery of life is not knowing what the future holds for us. As mystagogues, we catechists lead others into their future life, a life clouded by mystery but with one thing crystal clear: God is with them on every step of their journey! I have said before that mystagogues are like sponsors in a 12-step program, who accompany their sponsee on his or her journey from one step to another as one […]

Replacing a Fear of Missing Out with the Freedom of Missing Out

One of the most famous cases of “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) can be found in the Gospels: the story of the rich young man (Matthew 19:16–22; Mark 10:17–27). Although the young man was interested in following Jesus, he couldn’t get past his fear of missing out on a life of material wealth. This story is no doubt included in the Gospels to remind us catechists that our invitations to follow Jesus will be met […]

Authentic Availability and Acceptance

We continue our series on developing a space for grace by focusing on authentic availability and acceptance. These two related spiritual practices can help us as catechists to fulfill our mission to share the Catholic faith joyfully with those around us. Authentic Availability Leo Tolstoy’s story of “The Three Questions” contains important lessons for us in terms of how to be authentically available to God and to each other. The story outlines three questions with […]

The Saints as Missionary Disciples: St. Lorenzo Ruiz

This is part four of a series exploring saints who lived as missionary disciples. Jesus called ordinary people to become his disciples, and through the gift of faith, they accomplished many extraordinary feats. He transformed simple fishermen and merchants into men and women who utterly altered the society in which they lived. We might not think we are capable of the same kinds of miraculous deeds, but we are. If the thought of carrying out […]

The Saints as Missionary Disciples: St. Brigid

This is part three of a series exploring saints who lived as missionary disciples. Often called “Mary of the Gael,” St. Brigid of Ireland is one of Ireland’s most beloved saints and was an important part of my life growing up in Ireland. The parish church in my hometown is called St. Brigid Parish, and we celebrated her feast day on February 1 by making St. Brigid’s crosses and welcoming the coming spring. Much of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Helping Young People See a Path by Setting Goals

I have long-argued that one of the problems with how we form people in faith is that we don’t present Catholicism as a “spiritual path.” Too often, we present it as a set of doctrines to adhere to or simply a way of belonging to a group of like-minded people. This explains why so many young people end up being attracted by New Age movements or Eastern religions that present themselves as a spiritual path […]

The Saints as Missionary Disciples: St. Thérèse of Lisieux

This is part one of a series exploring saints who lived as missionary disciples. When it comes to missionary discipleship, we naturally think of the saints. They lived extraordinary lives of holiness, often under great pressure or demanding conditions. The fruit of their lives resulted in miracles that were the fruit of their faithfulness and devotion to God, confirmed with “signs and wonders and mighty works.” (2 Corinthians 12:12) Of course, we might find it […]

What Does Discipleship Look Like for Children?

When we talk about discipleship, we tend to have adults in mind—and rightly so, since all of our efforts at forming disciples should be oriented toward adult discipleship. At the same time, all of the children who have been baptized and have been welcomed to the Table of the Lord (the Eucharist) must be considered fellow disciples. But what does discipleship look like for children? Let’s explore this! I’d like to begin by borrowing from […]

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