The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #3 Decision-Making for Christ

This is part three of a seven-part series on discipleship. “Just make a decision,” I said to my two children as they were vacillating between two very simple options for dinner. If only all decisions could be so trivial! While some decisions in our life can be very simple, others will be pretty complex. This is especially true when making decisions in relation to our faith. In the last two parts of this series, we […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #2 Discernment

This is part two of a seven-part series on discipleship. In my last blog post, we discussed desire as a key to discipleship and reviewed a number of ways that we can keep the flame of our faith burning. We will now look at a critical spiritual skill to help us to grow as disciples: discernment. Being a disciple means that we must make the time to reflect upon our lives. Just as Jesus went […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #1 Desire

This is part one of a seven-part series on discipleship. In the past few years, the terms “discipleship” and “missionary discipleship” have become very familiar to those in ministry. But the concept of discipleship and mission is not new and has been a part of our Catholic faith for 2,000 years. The word disciple comes from the Greek word mathetes, meaning “pupil or student of the master.” The Master is, of course, Jesus Christ. Your […]

Asian and Pacific-Island Cultural Encounter and Dialogue

This is the fourth and final article in a series highlighting key statements from Encountering Christ in Harmony, A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters (ECH:API), approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2018. The Asian and Pacific Island population in the United States is the fastest-growing minority population, according to research referenced in Encountering Christ in Harmony. Yet this population “tends to go unrecognized in the […]

Forming Discipleship Among Your Catechetical Team

Our parishes include people in all stages of their faith journey. While each Christian shares certain characteristics in their spirituality as children of God, there are differences. Every person’s spirituality is unique, because each of us is a unique human being. Differences can depend on education, formation, geographical location, age, ethnic background, and so on. Each of us is at a different stage of growth in our spiritual life. How can catechetical leaders accommodate catechists […]

Retreat Ministry: Encounters with Christ

Discipleship is a way of life and is not bound by the constraints of programs or processes. It progresses at a pace willed by the Holy Spirit. Time and trust are the currencies of discipleship, but when the time we spend with our students is limited to one hour a week between September and May, our ability to be present in their lives is challenged. Finding ways to connect outside the classroom with students and […]

Service as a Catalyst for Missionary Discipleship

The corporal works of mercy play an important part in discipleship. When acts of service are planned to intentionally proclaim the Gospel and treat all people as if they were Jesus in disguise (see Matthew 25:34–40), they are a catalyst for initial and ongoing conversion. In her wisdom, the Church outlines a systematic and comprehensive process of evangelization and faith formation that nurtures conversion. This process of evangelization includes the following five stages. Pre-evangelization Initial […]

Jesus: Not What the Church Teaches but Who the Church Lives

“But how do we know Jesus was an actual person and not just made up?” John, one of my tenth-grade students, asked. “I know what the Bible says, but do we have any other evidence?” As catechists we are often asked this kind of question, and it can catch us by surprise. The temptation when faced with a question like this is to offer a standard response such as, “Well, the Catholic Church teaches us […]

Fishing for Men and Women

If Jesus wanted to choose the ideal person to lead his church into the future, where would he look for such a person? We might suppose he could find such a person in Jerusalem, among the priests of the temple or perhaps among the educated and talented nobles of the city. Yet the person Jesus called for the task was not found among the religious leaders or the noble families of the capitol city. Simon […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #8: Build and Deepen Commitment

Many advertisements not only entice you to purchase a product, but they invite you to re-prioritize your life around an idea. Some of the best examples of this are diet plans, which are no longer just about losing a few pounds but are about adopting a new lifestyle. When I stroll into the kitchen at Loyola Press during lunch time, I see numerous people meticulously preparing their dishes according to the philosophy and strategy of […]

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