Using Visuals to Evangelize in the Classroom

The expression “a picture speaks a thousand words” is particularly apt for the culture in which we live. Image-intensive social media platforms promote sharing through memes, stories, and snippets of information that go viral. For young people, images are not a distraction from the central message but constitute the message itself. Authenticity and thoughtful imaging of the Christian message are particularly important for us as a Church. For those who are in a pre-evangelization stage […]

What Is a Mass Mob and How Does It Work?

In today’s world of social media, we often have to learn new vocabulary for various phenomena that occur by way of the digital world. One such phrase is “flash mob,” which refers to a large public gathering organized via social media, at which people “instantly” arrive to perform some unusual or random act and then quickly disperse. Here’s an example of a flash mob performing part of Handel’s Messiah at a mall in Amsterdam. Before […]

Storytelling as a Tool for Evangelization

Often, when I travel to different parts of the country, people quickly spot my Midwestern/South side of Chicago way of talking. The way we speak and act can often “give us away,” as when Peter denied Jesus after the bystanders said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” (Matthew 26:73) The big question is, can people spot us as being citizens of the Kingdom of God? Does the way we talk […]

Saint Paul and How to Evangelize in the 21st Century

By now, you are probably aware of a new movie about to be released: Paul, Apostle of Christ, starring James Faulkner as St. Paul and Jim Caviezel as St. Luke. The movie, to be released next week, is rated PG-13 and tells the story of how “two men struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to live out the Gospel of Jesus.” (IMDB) As happened when the Church celebrated […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #5: Proclaim That Jesus Is Alive!

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 even better—beyond your wildest dreams! (“Order now and get a second set free!”) In our proclamation of the Gospel, we have a “But wait, there’s more!” moment: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! Just when […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #3: Proclaim Jesus’ Mighty Deeds

Some years ago, TV commercials for a food-processing appliance proudly proclaimed that this new innovation “slices, dices, and makes Julienne Fries!” Today, that phrase continues to be used, tongue-in-cheek, to convince people of the amazing capabilities of any new gadget and is emblematic of what we refer to as the advertising “claim”—the part of the ad that seeks to create a perception of superiority. It is the job of the advertiser to then convince consumers […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #2: Introduce Jesus as Savior

We began our series on how to be a more evangelizing catechist by talking about the need to proclaim an alternate reality (the Kingdom of God) to our brokenness. Today, we continue by emphasizing that the way to this alternate reality is Jesus Christ and that we are incapable of getting there on our own; we need a divine intervention. I’m sure you are familiar with the concept of an intervention: a carefully planned gathering […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist (Series Intro)

I am happy to announce a new series of posts that I will be writing right here at Catechist’s Journey titled “How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist.” I’d like to begin by introducing you to Claude C. Hopkins, an advertising pioneer and the reason you brushed your teeth this morning! To make a long story short, Hopkins made brushing one’s teeth popular in the early 20th century, when few felt the need to do so. […]

The Centrality of Evangelizing Households

Right before the holidays, I had the pleasure of enjoying a long, lazy lunch with my friend Tom Quinlan, Director of the Religious Education Office for the Diocese of Joliet and author of Excellence in Ministry: Best Practices for Successful Catechetical Leadership, part of the Effective Catechetical Leader series from Loyola Press and NCCL. Over a period of almost three hours, Tom and I chatted about a myriad of issues related to our shared passion—the catechetical […]

What, In God’s Name, Are We Doing?

There is a great scene from the classic sitcom, Seinfeld, in which Jerry and George sit in the diner lamenting a particularly frustrating day. Jerry begins to question the direction of their lives: “What is this?” he asks. “What are we doing? What in god’s name are we doing?” He and George go on to lament their pathetic lives before Jerry resolves, “Well, this is it. I’m really gonna do something about my life, you know? George, […]

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