Opening Mass Tonight; Thinking Ahead to Next Week

Tonight, our religious education program celebrates our Opening Mass in the Church which means that I will primarily be supervising my 6th graders as they gather for Mass and then throughout the Mass. This afternoon, I plan to go over their names so that this evening I will be able to greet them and talk to them by name. As we wait for Mass to begin, I thought I would do some Q & A […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 2: Learning the Language Spoken in the Kingdom of God (Mystery and Sacramentality)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 2: Learning the Language Spoken in the Kingdom of God (Mystery and Sacramentality) Recently, I did some research into my ancestry, uncovering stories of forefathers and foremothers who came to the shores of the United States from Poland in the late 19th century. In particular, I was impressed with the story of my great, great grandmother (on my mother’s side), Julia, who, as it turns out, spoke 7 languages […]

A Call for HELP!!!

I received the following email from a volunteer catechetical leader named Barbara who is in need of our help and support. Please offer your suggestions by leaving a comment at the end of this post (click be”Leave a Reply”). Thanks! Hi Joe:I am DRE in a very small parish in the Diocese of Allentown, PA. We have approx 100 children in CCD. The parents are lackadaisical at best regarding their children’s faith formation.We hold CCD […]

Savoring the Liturgy

Savoring seems to be a lost art in our fast-food culture. We usually associate the word savor with food or drink. We savor a delicious bite of food or a sip of good wine. To savor literally means to “give oneself to the enjoyment of.” It means to be mindful of that which you are eating and drinking – to unite body and mind in the present moment of tasting. I believe that we are […]

What Are YOU Doing to Maintain Your Spiritual Wellness?

In last night’s Webinar on The 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness (if you missed it, a recording will be available here on my blog within a few days), I began by asking what folks are doing to maintain their spiritual wellness before I added my suggestions. Here’s a sampling of what folks are doing (I love the variety!)   What are YOU doing to maintain your spiritual wellness? Daily mass Daily prayer active participation in […]

A More Robust Liturgy – More Discussion

Last week, I posted a link to my recently published article, 7 Steps to a More Robust Liturgy, in Ministry and Liturgy Magazine. I received an excellent response from Jeffrey Pinyan, author of Praying the Mass. The reason I consider it excellent is not because he agrees with everything I said (in fact, he disagrees with me on a variety of points) but because he furthers the discussion, contributes to it with well-thought-out ideas, and […]

A More Robust Liturgy – My Article In Ministry & Liturgy Magazine

Here’s an excerpt from an article (“7 Steps to a More Robust Liturgy”) I just had published in Ministry & Liturgy Magazine: On a recent trip to Hawaii, I visited the Polynesian Cultural Center and got a firsthand glimpse of the ritual expression of the Polynesian people: bold, dramatic, rich, deeply expressive, highly energizing. I found my imagination stirred, my heart moved, and my senses stimulated as young people explained and performed ancient rituals to the […]

Catechists in Action – Katie Elwood Prepares Her 2nd Graders for First Holy Communion

In this segment of Catechists in Action, we observe 2nd grade catechist Katie Elwood as she helps her students prepare to learn about the Mass. Watch as Katie… alerts the children to the fact that they will be going over to the church for a tour by the pastor shows the children a picture in their book of the sanctuary and all of the sacred vessels and furniture and tells them that the pastor will […]

Catechists in Action – Dan Ward Reflects on Having a “Breakout Year”

In this final installment of Catechists in Action featuring Dan Ward, Dan reflects on what he was hoping to be his “breakout year” as a catechist. Listen as Dan reflects on… what he means by having a “breakout year.” his frustrations that have prevented him from doing so. the fact that now he no longer “beats himself up” when things don’t go as he had hoped. his plan to have a Mass in the classroom […]

Catechists in Action – Dan Ward Reflects on His Experience

We’ve had the privilege of watching 7th grade catechist Dan Ward in action over the past week or so…thanks Dan for inviting us into your classroom! Listen now as Dan reflects on his experience, especially… his frustration with kids not going to Mass his goal of doing the Mass Flip-books and his frustration at not being able to do it because of a change of schedule running out of time to do a mock confession […]

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