Pop-Up Catechesis: Crafting Faith

Did you realize that the Bible begins with a craft activity? The Creation stories of Genesis chapters one and two tell us that, out of the Divine imagination, God crafted the heavens and the earth, animals and plant life, night and day, oceans and sky, and human beings. That’s quite a craft activity! For this reason, crafts have always played a part in faith formation and deservedly so: when we craft something, we are imitating […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Doing a First Reconciliation Retreat at Home

With vaccinations arriving, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel as far as the pandemic goes. In the meantime, however, many of our in-person activities are still being limited. For many children, a First Reconciliation retreat is part of their preparation at the parish. Since the present crisis precludes such gatherings in many parishes, I offer some suggestions for doing a First Reconciliation retreat at home, in today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis. Here are some […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Change Requires a Stimulus

How does water change to ice or steam? Well, it doesn’t do it on its own. It requires a stimulus, namely a change in temperature. When water is cooled, the molecules slow down and are bonded together to form ice. When water is heated, the molecules speed up and break free from their bonds, thus creating steam. But none of that happens without the stimulus of temperature change. In a similar way, if we hope […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Lessons of the Magi at Epiphany

As we look forward to the Feast of the Epiphany, it’s important to realize that this is much more than a sentimental Christmas story for children, and its message isn’t limited to the notion that Jesus, the Savior, is revealed to the whole world, as critical as that point is. In this story, we also find a model for discipleship in the Magi (aka, the Three Wise Men or Three Kings). In this episode of Pop-Up […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: It’s Always About Joy! (Gaudete Sunday)

It’s unfortunate that Christianity is too often perceived by some as a dour religion. I’m reminded of the pop song that claims it’s preferable to laugh with the sinners than to cry with the saints! The fact is, at times, Christian spirituality has lost its balance by focusing solely on the suffering of Jesus and the saints and martyrs while losing the joy of the Resurrection. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore how […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Putting On Christ This Christmas

We often lament the fact that stores begin putting up Christmas decorations around the time of Halloween! Oddly enough, I find a link between Halloween and Christmas. On Halloween, children put on costumes and proceed to act like the characters they are portraying. My granddaughter, Livvy, two years of age, wore a kitty-cat costume and crawled about meowing and purring for a week. Well, on Christmas, we celebrate the person whose “costume” we have donned […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Thanksgiving and the Virtuous Circle of Gratitude

Have you ever found yourself caught in a vicious circle? For example, you find yourself feeling a little down, so you treat yourself to a snack, a drink, or a purchase—only to find that the extra weight you’ve gained, the trouble you’ve gotten into with excessive drinking, or the piling debt you’re being buried under leads you to feeling a little down—and to make yourself feel better… The cycle continues! Well, there’s a different kind of […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Christ the King and Noble Leadership

Recently, Americans went to the polls to elect leadership that they hope will serve the country well. Before democracy came on the scene, most nations were headed by royalty, dating back thousands of years. While we tend to think of leaders like kings and queens as rulers, in truth, leaders are called to serve, and this service is called to be noble (virtuous, dignified, distinguished, extraordinary). In short, it is a call to be heroic, which means […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Advent Hope

People seem to be interested in knowing what the future holds for them—so much so that some will do everything from reading their horoscopes to visiting a fortune teller. The truth is, we don’t know what the future will hold for us, except for the one thing that we can be sure of: Jesus will be a part of our lives! We celebrate the season of Advent with this confident joy, knowing that abundant graces […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: November, the Month of All Souls

For Catholics, the entire month of November (leading up to the First Sunday of Advent) is commemorated as the Month of All Souls—an opportunity to remember, honor, and pray for all of our deceased loved ones. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the practice of setting up a home altar of remembrance with pictures of deceased loved ones and candles to help us recall these special people and to pray for them throughout the […]

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