Catechetical Sunday (9/15/13) – Open the Door of Faith

This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 15, 2013, and will focus on the theme “Open the Door of Faith.”  As always, and appropriately so, catechists will be called forth in their parishes to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday […]

The Visitation: Model for the New Evangelization

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. In this great story, we find a model for evangelization: fresh from her encounter with God, Mary swings into action (she went “in haste”), joyfully carrying (literally) the Word of God to others and being of service to someone in need. Mary’s visit to Elizabeth was not to brag about her new-found status as the Mother of the Savior. Mary did […]

“Keystone” Habits – How Change (Conversion) Happens

In his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg talks about how we form habits and how we can change them. He specifically describes habits that he refers to as “keystone habits,” explaining that “success doesn’t depend on getting every single thing right, but instead relies on identifying a few key priorities and fashioning them into powerful levers.” Keystone habits are those that, when changed, […]

Proven Evangelization & Catechesis Strategies From….

Here are some excellent and proven evangelization & catechesis strategies. At the end, I”ll tell you where they are from and you will probably be surprised. Appeal to young people since youth is a time of idealism. Make demands on people and you will get a heroic response. Convince people that change is necessary and that they can contribute toward changing the world. Attract people not only by words but by action. Make sure your […]

Evangelization and Catechesis: Enough About Content, Let’s Talk Tactics!

Over the past couple of years, in an apparent effort to ensure orthodoxy of content, some Catholic dioceses in the United States have invested countless man hours and who knows how much money implementing lengthy and tedious processes to mandate a limited number of catechetical textbook series in their dioceses. This, despite the fact that dozens of textbook series have gone through rigorous scrutiny and have already been determined to be in conformity with the […]

Multicultural Ministry and the New Evangelization

I know this is last minute, but I just became aware of this Webinar being offered tonight by a friend of mine, Ansel Augustine, on “Multi-Cultural Ministry and the New Evangelization.” Ansel, a greatly talented pastoral minister in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and an excellent speaker, will present and lead a conversation on the implications of the New Evangelization for multicultural ministry and vice versa—how can Catholic multicultural ministry shape and strengthen the New Evangelization? For […]

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 […]

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