Pop-Up Catechesis: Celebrating Diversity

One of the most beautiful characteristics of the Catholic Church is its unique diversity, which has been present since the beginning of the Church on that first Pentecost. Today, there are between 1.2 and 1.3 billion Catholics in the world. In the Archdiocese of Chicago alone, where I live, Mass is celebrated every week in more than 50 languages. It is not enough for us, however, to simply recognize or tolerate this diversity; it is […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Eucharist as the Ultimate Meal

When the Church teaches us that the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our lives, it reminds us that God alone, who is present in the Eucharist, is our source of fulfillment. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves seeking fulfillment “in all the wrong places.” For Catholics, receiving Communion is the ultimate acknowledgment that God is our source of fulfillment. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the notion of the Eucharist as the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Understanding Mystery

Whenever we recite the Nicene Creed, we say that we believe that God the Father is the creator “of all things visible and invisible,” which means that we believe in realities that exist beyond what the eye can see. Simply put, we believe, not only in the physical world, but also in the spiritual world. This means that we are called to be open to mystery. Unfortunately, our contemporary understanding of mystery does not do […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Understanding Peace

Scripture tells us that, when Jesus was born, the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.” (Luke 2:13–14) In fact, in many of our Christmas carols, we sing of peace: “Sleep in heavenly peace.” (“Silent Night”) “And praises sing to God the king, and peace to men on earth.” (“O Little Town of Bethlehem”) “His law is love and His gospel is peace.” (“O Holy […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Thin Moments and Bread

Celtic spirituality speaks of “thin places”—locations where the veil between heaven and earth seems especially thin and God’s presence is palpable. I like to think of the sacraments as “thin moments”—those moments when heaven and earth intersect and God’s presence is so real we can taste it. The Eucharist, of course, is one of those powerfully thin moments when we truly taste and see how good the Lord is. That thin moment does not have […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Advent Reminds Us That We Need a Savior

From time to time on social media, we come across stories and videos of dramatic rescues (such as this one). In such situations, people who are incapable of saving themselves turn to first responders who intervene and save them from danger. This is the definition of a savior: someone who rescues another who is incapable of saving him- or herself. Aside from physical dangers, we encounter other realities in life from which we are incapable […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: An Advent Jesse Tree

With the season of Advent soon upon us, I want to share about a great Advent tradition that you can do as a family: the making of a Jesse tree. The Jesse tree, named after the father of King David, helps us to connect the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the events in our salvation history that lead to Jesus’ birth. It is, in essence, Jesus’ family tree. We adorn a Jesse tree with […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Beatitudes

Our eyes can easily be fooled by optical illusions and mirages. We may see one thing until our eyes adjust or someone points out another way of looking at an image. This is what Jesus’ Beatitudes are all about. He is saying to us, “Don’t be fooled by what the world says will make you happy.” In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the Beatitudes as Jesus’ way of teaching us to see in […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Eucharist and What We Crave

Researchers tell us that the majority of us experience regular cravings for specific foods. It’s important to remember, however, that hunger and cravings are not synonymous. The former is driven by the body, while the latter is driven by the mind. Hunger seeks to satisfy a physical need; a craving seeks to satisfy an emotional one. That’s why cravings are not limited to food. We can find ourselves craving any and all of the following: […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Speaking God’s Language Through Rituals

There is a fine line between routine and ritual. A routine is something we do the same way habitually, with little or no thought. Every morning, we mindlessly follow a routine: turn off the alarm, turn on the coffee pot, eat a bowl of cereal, brush our teeth, and so on. A ritual is something we do the same way habitually, with deep, intentional thought. Blessing ourselves with holy water, genuflecting, anointing with oil, walking […]

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