Beginning a Homily Prep Ministry

Is preaching homilies a challenge? Certainly. Any congregation can appreciate the fact that it is not possible to be spectacular week in and week out. By the same token, this is precisely why (theoretically) only specific individuals are ordained for this task: they are supposed to be individuals with a charism for preaching who have undergone extensive training and formation to hone that skill for the good of God’s People, the Church. Thus, homilists have no […]

Prayer Blankets as a Component of Adult Faith Formation

As we continue to expand our notion of what adult faith formation is—taking it beyond the scholastic sphere—I’d like to talk about one idea that combines several aspects of the six tasks of catechesis. I’m referring to the practice of parishes creating a Prayer Blanket (or Prayer Shawl) Ministry. In this ministry, parishioners sew/create prayer blankets or shawls for adults or children experiencing serious illness or transition (preparing for surgery, recovering from an acute illness, […]

How Two People Can Change a Parish

It is no accident that Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7, Luke 10:1). Think about it: if you want to convince people of something or be persuasive, it helps to have another person backing up your story. In a trial, it helps if there is more than one witness to testify. In the Old Testament, no one could be convicted of a crime based on the testimony of a single witness. The […]

Adult Faith Formation – Laying the Foundation

I met this morning with Maryellen, the staff liason for Adult Faith Formation at St. Barnabas, for our first meeting to begin laying out a vision for what we hope to accomplish in AFF this year. We both agreed that the place to begin is NOT with a program but with a VISION and a PLAN! With that in mind, we are looking to meet with the Faith Formation Commission of the Parish Pastoral Council […]

Fr. Barron’s Catholicism

This is a MUST SEE for catechists! Fr. Robert Barron’s CATHOLICISM series premiers (in the Chicago area) on PBS this evening. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I believe this epic series will be the greatest contribution to the Catholic faith of our generation. It tells the story of the Catholic faith from the inside with depth and intellect and beauty. Catechists will find much to inspire them in their own ministry and […]

Practice Makes Catholic Podcast via NCCL

I was privileged to be interviewed for a Catechetical Leader (NCCL) podcast about my new book, Practice Makes Catholic recently. The interview was conducted by Jonathan Sullivan, the Directof of Catechetical Ministries for the Diocese of Springfield, IL. Jonathan is one of the “rising stars” in the catechetical ministry and if you haven’t checked out his blog or his technology webinars, you need to do so! NCCL provides timely and relevant information and support for catechists […]