From the High of Pentecost to the Reality

In the First Letter of Peter to the Christian communities of Asia Minor, we learn that the communities appear to be struggling, and the writer makes frequent exhortations to remain faithful in belief and conduct to the teachings handed down to them. He reminds them of their hope in the saving grace of Baptism, salvation through faith in the Passion and Death of Jesus, and the promise of enduring love and eternal life. Christians in […]

Aren’t We Blessed?

At a reception after the Easter Vigil, one of the newly baptized came up to me. He’s an eighth-grader and was prepared to receive the sacraments through RCIA for youth. I’ve only met him a couple of times, but he seems like a great kid. He had been invited to attend one of our religious education classes by a friend. A personal invitation by another teen is what started the process. God took care of […]

Four Things My Mentor in Ministry Taught Me

Accepting the invitation to work full-time in ministry felt like coming home. My initial arrival into the full-time ministry world, however, was overwhelming at times. Thankfully, there was a wise teacher, boss, and mentor, Charles, to walk alongside me and “show me the ropes.” As I look back on those first six months at the Diocese of Baton Rouge, I can name four things that Charles was intentional about teaching me that I make sure […]

Ministry Is…

What is ministry? It seemed a simple question, posed to me by a pastoral ministry student who was interning at our parish. I began thinking of an eloquent response describing the beauty and joy of being the hands of Christ and building the kingdom of God, but later that day I found myself standing in a blizzard directing cars away from the church for an event that was canceled at the last minute. That is […]

Adult Faith Formation: It’s About Relationships!

I had the pleasure of chatting with a co-worker here at Loyola Press, Julie Berggren, about her role as a Minister of Care at her parish, St. Francis Xavier in Wilmette, and the ongoing formation that the ministers of care are involved in there. First a little background: SFX Parish has between 80-100 Ministers of Care who visit and bring Holy Communion to the sick and homebound, in hospitals and in homes and nursing homes. […]

“Meet the Staff” Day at St. Barnabas!

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with the staff at St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago where I will be assisting in adult faith formation! They were very warm and welcoming and we enjoyed spending about an hour together during which time I introduced myself to them and articulated my goals for working with them on adult catechesis and reporting on my blog. We then engaged in some give and take as they asked some […]

Finding God in Trenton, NJ!

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 […]

Apprenticeships Instead of Service Projects

I recently received this comment from Jared Anderson about something creative and outstanding he is doing with his Confirmation program: The way that we incorporate Mission into our Confirmation program is that I require the candidates to do 4 month long Apprenticeships in an already existing Parish Ministry. There are 12 ministries (including myself as Director of Confirmation and Youth Ministries) that provide an adult mentor to provide ministry-specific formation and opportunities to get their […]

Summer Vocation

Memorial Day, of course, signals the official start of summer. As we look forward to the coming summer months, we find that we have many plans: trips, to-do lists, a little down-time. I suggest you grow that list to include some ideas for what you plan to do to enhance your spiritual life, advance your ministry, and grow closer to God. Tell us what you plan to do this summer to renew your faith!

Faith that is CAUGHT, not TAUGHT – What Makes a Message “Contagious”

In ministerial circles, it is not uncommon to hear the phrase “Faith is caught, not taught.”The point of the phrase is that faith is something that involves more than just transmitting information. With that in mind, it might be helpful to know just what makes a message go “viral” – what makes a message “contagious.” Seeking answers, I recently read a very good book: Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger (Simon & Schuster) […]

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