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) […]

Where Have You Gone, Thomas Groome? The Role of Experience in Catechesis

When I was a mere “babe” in the catechetical ministry (early 1980s), I was introduced to the notion of the catechetical process. At the time, those 2 words could not be spoken without also mentioning the name of Dr. Thomas Groome and his groundbreaking work, Christian Religious Education: Sharing Our Story and Vision . At the heart of Groome’s approach is an unmistakable connection between lived experience and the faith Tradition of the Catholic Church. […]

A Different Kind of Big MAC!

  I had a great time at the MAC (Mid Atlantic Congress) conference in Baltimore this past week and enjoyed numerous opportunities to meet and talk to so many wonderful people. Thanks to all the people who worked so hard to make this conference such a success, especially the Association of Catholic Publishers. For me, the highlights were: getting a chance to listen to Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, once again and to chat with him […]

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 […]

Young Adult Ministry in a Box

I recently came across a new resource that looks very interesting for those seeking to improve their young adult ministry. It’s called Young Adult Ministry in a Box and it’s put out by Busted Halo. Take a look.  

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 – Meet Nick!

This year, I’m excited to bring a new feature to Catechist’s Journey – Catechists in Action – in which I will be visiting, observing, and videotaping catechists teaching their classes and blogging about the experience. This will give you an opportunity to see fellow catechists “doing their thing” so that you can compare styles, learn some new strategies, and become a more effective catechist yourself. I already have 5 catechist visits lined up for this year. […]

They’re Here! The “New Generation” of Catechetical Leaders

One of the many benefits of my frequent travels around the country is the opportunity to meet so many diocesan catechetical leaders. I am especially excited to meet young leaders – forty-ish and younger – who make up what I call the “new generation” of catechetical leaders (not the “next” generation, because they are already HERE and making their presence felt!). The Church, and the catechetical ministry per se, is blessed to be energized by […]

Stories on the Journey – Week 2: Kids Say/Do the Darndest Things

Welcome to Week 2 of Stories on the Journey as we continue to share stories about our experiences in the catechetical ministry. This week’s topic is, “Kids (adults too) Say/Do the Darndest Things!” Let’s hear about those unforgettable moments when one of your students (whether a child or an adult) said or did something that cracked you up, made you smile, or simply blew your mind! Share you story here on my blog by typing […]

A Weekend of Stories on the Journey – How Did I Get Into This?

As we enter into this first full weekend of June, I invite you to share your story (and enjoy reading others’ stories) about becoming a catechist. This summer experience – Stories on the Journey – is off to a great start! Thanks to so many of you for sharing such inspirational stories about your calling to the catechetical ministry. If you’re just joining us, here’s what we’re up to. All summer long, I will be […]

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