Faith that is CAUGHT, not TAUGHT – What Makes a Message “Contagious”

In ministerial circles, it is not uncommon to hear the phrase “Faith is caught, not taught.”The point of the phrase is that faith is something that involves more than just transmitting information. With that in mind, it might be helpful to know just what makes a message go “viral” – what makes a message “contagious.” Seeking answers, I recently read a very good book: Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger (Simon & Schuster) […]

Marketing Your Parish Religious Education Program

The New Evangelization calls us to utilize the proven techniques of the world of marketing. That is not a dirty word! In 1977, Pope Paul VI said the following: It is our wish also that the Catholic Institutions, in their various kinds and according to their specific character, will follow with constant attention the development of the modern techniques of advertising and will know how to make Opportune use of them in order to spread the […]

NCCL 2012 in San Diego – Embrace Grace

I had a wonderful few days in San Diego at the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL). I had the honor and privilege of doing a presentation drawing from my book 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness and had a wonderful audience…thanks folks for being so receiving! There were many highlights along the way including: Leisa Anslinger emphasizing the importance of relationships in catechetical formation. Martha Fernandez-Sardina reminding us that “it’s the MESSAGE, stupid!” John Roberto […]

The Jesus Approach to Evangelization

While at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, I had the pleasure of listening to a keynote delivered by Rev. Anthony Gittins, CSSp on the Urgency of Discipleship and Evangelization. In his talk, Fr. Gittins made some excellent points about evangelization. First, he identified 4 requirements for evangelization: Proclamation Witness (which he says is “proclamation with our mouths shut!” – I love it!) Dialogue (with an emphasis on listening) Liberation He also went on to explain […]

Catechetical Sunday, 2011 – Do This in Memory of Me

Information is now available about Catechetical Sunday, September 18, 2011, with a theme of Do This in Memory of Me. It’s never too early to start planning! Materials for Catechetical Sunday 2011 are available online in English and Spanish at www.usccb.org/catecheticalsunday/. Catechetical Sunday 2011 is September 18, and its theme is “Do This in Memory of Me.” You can order your Catechetical Sunday materials from NCCL. Watch for details. “By reflecting on this theme, we […]

Des Moines DREs Do it Best!

Thanks to all the good folks – catechetical leaders, youth ministers, RCIA and AFF coordinators, etc – who invited me to spend the day with them in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, March 3. We enjoyed a great experience of exploring ways to provide formation for our catechists. Thanks especially to John Gaffney, the Director of the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Des Moines, for making this event possible. Thanks folks…I […]

We Have Our Work Cut Out for Us

This is nothing that we didn’t already know, but a new 2010 survey (8000 respondents) compiled for the strategic planning process of the Archdiocese of Chicago identifies some key challenges that we face in the areas of evangelization and catechesis. Here are just a few findings (a complete summary is forthcoming)… Most Catholics who leave the faith do so by age 24. Further, in our survey, the one factor that correlated by far the most […]

Be an Evangelizing Catechist

As many of us are beginning our catechetical year, I thought it would be helpful to share some inspiration sent to me by my friend and colleague, Tom Quinlan, the Director of the Religious Education Office of the Joliet Diocese. Tom has written the following piece titled “Be An Evangelizing Catechist!” Thanks, Tom! Pray for your children, your families … and for yourself!  Pray privately and within the liturgical/sacramental life of your parish community. Provide a […]

Quote of the Week

“Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach…”  (Evangelii Nuntiandi – On Evangelization in the Modern World, 15)  

Catholics in a Secular World

My friend Sr. Julie writes: This morning I overheard some locker room talk at the gym. From what I could gather two of the women were school teachers. One mentioned that in her school (I don’t think it was Catholic) all of the religious holidays are no longer observed. Instead schools are going with national holidays such as International Women’s Day. While I am pleased that such national holidays are recognized, I do have some questions. […]

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