“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 […]
I’ve always had a feeling of synergy when working with my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath. All he has to do is open his mouth and share some insights and wisdom and I immediately feel like I can turn it into an activity that others can use and benefit from! Recently, Tom led a reflection for a small group that I was participating in. He invited us to think about the qualities and characteristics of […]
I am very excited to share this news with you: discussion questions for my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, ARE NOW AVAILABLE! Thanks to my good friend and co-worker, Carrie Freyer, and to the Marketing Department at Loyola Press for designing this resource and making it available for folks! These discussion questions make it possible for small faith groups and book discussion groups to spend some time reflecting […]
Ah, there’s nothing like traveling through the cornfields of Illinois on my way downstate! My blog tour today takes me to the state capitol of Springfield where Jonathan Sullivan serves as the Diocesan Director of Catechetical Services. Anyone know who the bishop is down there? 😉 I’ve spoken of Jonathan before on my blog and continue to admire him and see him as one of the brightest minds in catechetical ministry in our country today. […]
Last night, we celebrated the Eucharist to bring closure to this catechetical year at St. Cajetan. The pastor, Fr. Frank, did a wonderful job of making it a celebration of growth and thanksgiving for many blessings…he is so good at speaking to the children! It occurred to me that I might be able to help the 7th grade catechist who will “inherit” my class next year, by telling him or her what my students learned […]
About a month ago, I sent a signed copy of my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, to every Catholic bishop in the U.S. Since then, I’ve received dozens of cards and letters from the bishops in response! Many of them are commenting about this book being an excellent resource for the New Evangelization!
As we enter and proceed through Holy Week, it is important for us to remember that we know how the story “ends!” And, of course, the story of Jesus’ Passion does not end with his death but is followed by Resurrection. It’s like this. Recently, I had a chance to watch a DVD that re-tells the experience of the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup last June. Last Spring, experiencing the actual games was excruciatingly […]
I had a wonderful experience this past weekend with many good folks from the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey! On Friday, I enjoyed lunch with the staff of the diocesan catechetical office, Fr. Douglas Freer (Vicar for Catholic Education, Director of the Ministry of Catechesis and Evangelization), Jill Kerekes (Associate Director for Parish and School Catechesis), and Matthew Poole (Coordinator for Adult Faith Formation and New Evangelization). It was great to take the time to […]
I enjoyed spending the day on Friday with about 65 catechetical leaders of the Detroit Society of Catechetical Leaders exploring what it means to live Under the Influence of Jesus. Thanks to all of the great folks who came out to spend the first full day of spring together exploring how we can more effectively evangelize and catechize!
Here is a wonderful idea from Rocio M. for an activity to teach about “full, active, and conscious” participation in the Liturgy (as per the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 14). Thanks for sharing Rocio! Hi Joe, First, I want to thank you for all the support and materials you have shared with us. I teach Confirmation (8th grade) and I want to share with you an activity I recently did with my class. My […]