Pop-Up Catechesis: Pentecost and Our Need for an Advocate

Some years ago, when I was serving as a catechist for an eighth-grade faith formation group, I was blessed to have an outstanding catechist aide. Let’s call her Mrs. Kelly. As it turns out, Mrs. Kelly was a nurse at nearby Advocate Christ Hospital. When it came time for us to teach about the coming of the Holy Spirit—our Advocate—on Pentecost, I asked Mrs. Kelly to describe her work as a nurse in pediatrics and how she […]

The Glorious Mysteries: The Coming of the Holy Spirit

We reflect this Easter season on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. Imagine telling all your family and friends that the only thing you wanted for Christmas was a particular gift. You drop hints in every conversation to make sure that someone will get this perfect gift for you. When Christmas morning arrives, you race to the Christmas tree and dig through all the presents until you find that perfectly shaped box. You tear open […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Change Requires a Stimulus

How does water change to ice or steam? Well, it doesn’t do it on its own. It requires a stimulus, namely a change in temperature. When water is cooled, the molecules slow down and are bonded together to form ice. When water is heated, the molecules speed up and break free from their bonds, thus creating steam. But none of that happens without the stimulus of temperature change. In a similar way, if we hope […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #6 Dependence on the Holy Spirit

This is part six of a seven-part series on discipleship. Cultivating a dependence on the Holy Spirit is especially important for our continued intimacy with Jesus Christ. A good friend of mine often calls the Holy Spirit “the forgotten Person of the Holy Trinity.” When I asked him why, he remarked, “When Christians live as if their lives are not transfigured by the love and joy of the Gospel, then they have forgotten the Holy […]

Letting the Holy Spirit Lead When Your Lesson Falls Flat

We’ve all been there. You’ve planned the perfect lesson for the children or adults in your session. You’ve spent the week memorizing the material and making notes. You did the extra research to come with some great information not found in your regular curriculum. You’ve even prepared handouts or activities or songs. But once you got in the classroom, the lesson plan didn’t work at all. The group didn’t understand the material; your activities were […]

Pentecost Fire Drill

In one of my first years teaching, I was introducing the story of Pentecost to my group of fourth graders. The book had an illustration of the Feast of Pentecost, with the disciples gathered in a room, tongues of fire over each of their heads. They were facing an open door with looks of shock on their faces. One of the fourth graders asked if this was a picture of the first recorded fire drill. […]

Pentecost: A Renewable Source of Abundance

Imagine how you would feel if someone stepped into your life, paid off all of your debts, and set up a line of credit for you to draw from for the rest of your life! I know one thing: I’d like this person’s business card! This scenario may sound far-fetched, but in essence, this is what God has done for us, and this is what we celebrate on Pentecost. God not only relieved us of […]

Preparing for Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday is less than a month away! As we look forward to this wonderful feast, I thought I would share with you an excerpt from my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, that explores what happened on that first Christian Pentecost! As recorded in Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2, the apostles proclaimed the Gospel for the first time on that day. When all was said and done, […]

THANK YOU! – Under the Influence Webinar

A great big THANK YOU for all those who participated in last evening’s very successful Webinar on my new book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ! Congratulations to our trivia contest winner, Betty Kuvinka! She was selected at random from a pool of participants who answered the following question correctly: On Pentecost, what time of day did Peter say it was when he denied that the Apostles had been drinking? […]

Under the Influence of Jesus – My New Book is Now Available!

Yesterday was my first day back at work after the Christmas break and it turns out that Santa was still in the giving mood! I was surprised to receive a copy of my new book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ. I believe this book will be a wonderful tool for the New Evangelization! In it, I capture the essence of what happens to a person when he or she […]

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