Taste and See: Savoring the Liturgy

One of my favorite books in recent years is Thich Nhat Hanh’s Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, in which he introduces the concept of mindfulness—the practice of being fully present in each moment—as an approach to healthier eating and living. When we eat mindfully, we savor that which we are eating. To savor literally means to “give oneself to the enjoyment of.” It means to be mindful of that which we are eating and drinking—to unite […]

Evaluating Your Catholic School/Religious Education Liturgies

Recently, I was invited by a pastor to observe his parish’s weekly Catholic school liturgy, which leads me to this post suggesting that it would be a good idea for every Catholic school and parish religious education program to evaluate the liturgical experiences they invite their young people to participate in. Before I go any further, let me ask you, what is your overriding concern about your school’s or religious education program’s liturgies? I’d love […]

Using YouTube Videos to Lead Song

One of the techniques that I’ve used with young people to lead them in song, either in a catechetical setting or at a liturgy, is to project a YouTube video with the music and lyrics provided. This works especially well because young people are very visual and are more comfortable with this than with a hymnal or song sheet. Likewise, it is very effective when you don’t have a music minister present to lead song […]

Great New Liturgy Apps!

Here’s some information about some great new Apps on the Liturgy! The first is the My Picture Missal App from Loyola Press. This App, available in the iTunes store at this link: My Picture Missal App, was developed for children with special needs and  for young children. The intent of this interactive app is to help children learn, understand, and fully experience the Mass. Children with special needs have spiritual lives and, with communication assistance, can […]

VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy: Time to “Fly” Home!

My how the time has flown! It seems like just yesterday that we arrived in Italy for our VIRTUAL pilgrimage and now, here we are, packing our virtual bags and getting ready for our virtual flight home! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey! It’s been nice traveling with you. Before we leave, we will celebrate a wonderful liturgy with our Holy Father, Pope Francis and then one more exquisite dining experience! Today, we’ll gather […]

The Engaged Catechist: Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In his book, Growing An Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman explains that, without true engagement, volunteers burn out quickly. He identifies 3 ways to make an immediate impact on the level of engagement of church members: clarify the expectations of membership help your members discover what they do best create small groups I think these can (and should) be easily applied to catechists, who, without engagement, do indeed burnout quickly. Those catechists who […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #2: Promoting Knowledge of Liturgy & Sacraments

Recently, we began a series here on my blog about the six tasks of catechesis, focusing on the notion that God is calling each of us to fulfill a role that he has planned for us. Just as actors rely on certain strategies to immerse themselves in character, we too rely on certain strategies to “immerse” ourselves in the role that God is calling us to fill: the “best version of ourselves” (to borrow a phrase from […]

A Summer of Faith During the Year of Faith

The Year of Faith that we have been celebrating continues through November, 2013. The summer months present an excellent time for marking the Year of Faith, perhaps in a more leisurely manner such as over the course of several weeks. Here’s a resource that can help your parish do just that:                     Days of Faith conveniently provides everything you need to host a mini-retreat or faith-formation […]

Lenten Family Mission – Mary, Seat of Wisdom Parish, Park Ridge, IL

This week, I have had the privilege of preaching a Lenten Family Mission at Mary, Seat of Wisdom parish in Park Ridge, IL, on the theme of the Mass (drawing from my book, Living the Mass). It has been an extraordinary experience of grace and I thank the good people of the parish for their strong turnout each evening of the Mission. Last night, I focused on the Liturgy of the Word and how it […]

Helping Young People to Proclaim God’s Word

This year I am going to make a concerted effort to have a Scripture reading proclaimed from the Bible by one of the students during every class. I plan to have the Bible enthroned in the middle of the Prayer Center as always and, when it comes time to hear a Scripture passage, one of the young people will get up, bow before the Bible, and proclaim the reading from the Bible (I will have […]

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