Pop-Up Catechesis: Letting God’s Word Sink In (Lectio Divina)

When giving directions to young people for completing a task, catechists and teachers have grown accustomed to hearing at least one participant respond with, “Wait, what?” Experienced educators know that, when giving directions to young people, we have to repeat several times and check for comprehension. We can’t assume that the first time we say something, it has been heard and received! The same holds true with the Word of God. Often, upon first hearing, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Who Do You Follow?

There are leaders, and there are followers. It’s important to know that being a follower is not a bad thing—that is, as long as you are following the right person or thing! Disciples are basically followers. To be a disciple is to adhere to the teachings of someone. In the Gospels, anyone who adheres to the teachings of Jesus is referred to as a disciple. Today, the Church is calling each of us to discipleship—to […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: What’s in Your Trophy Case?

In many of our homes, we can find a display of trophies and medals representing our accomplishments or those of our children. A trophy is a symbol of victory, of triumph over all opponents. As Catholics, we traditionally display a “trophy” of the ultimate victory: the Cross of Jesus Christ, which celebrates his victory over sin and Death. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we prepare for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Make a Wish and Blow Out the Candles

Among the many traditions that are part of a birthday celebration is that of the celebrant making a wish and blowing out the candles. This tradition most likely has its roots in ancient Greece, when people would offer cakes and candles as an offering to the gods. It was believed that the smoke rising from the blown-out candles carried the offering to the gods. On September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Our Hearts Are Restless

One of the things that I get a kick out of when watching our grandchildren is seeing how restless they can get—and knowing that eventually we will return those restless children to their parents to deal with! On a spiritual level, we never really outgrow that restlessness. We continually seek rest or fulfillment in any number of things. In reality, as St. Augustine famously wrote, “our hearts are restless, Lord, until they find rest in you.” […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Celebrating the Queenship of Mary

One of the traditional characteristics of royalty is someone who leads an army into battle. Before Israel had a king, they would go into battle led by the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the presence of Almighty God in their midst. Eventually, the Ark of the Covenant was lost to history. However, Christians see Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the new “Ark of the Covenant”—one who bears within her the presence of the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Feast of the Assumption

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the significance of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15). The feast reminds us of the seamless connection between body and soul, as Mary was assumed into heaven body and soul. Catholicism is not a dualistic faith that ignores the physical in favor of the spiritual. Rather, we see the two realities as intertwined. The Feast of the Assumption calls us to appreciate more deeply […]

Pop-Catechesis: The Transfiguration

I’m sure you can think of an experience in which you felt that someone you thought you knew showed their “true colors.” To show your true colors means to reveal yourself as you really are, for better or for worse. The Feast of the Transfiguration tells us the story of when Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the mountaintop and showed them his “true colors.” He revealed himself as he really is: the Son […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Holy Hiking and the Feast of St. James

Except for when we may be engaged in contemplative prayer or Adoration, we Catholics rarely sit still. Even when we worship at Mass, we sit, stand, kneel, genuflect, bow, cross ourselves, and walk in procession. We are a people “on the move“—pilgrim people. One of the most profound examples of this embodiment of our faith is the concept of a pilgrimage, and the “gold standard” of pilgrimages is, of course, the Camino de Santiago (Way […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: St. Mary Magdalene and Sharing the Good News

With the advent of social media, each of us now has the opportunity to be the herald of news, good or bad. And with that, of course, comes the desire to “break the story” and scoop everyone else. If there were a patron saint for this it would be St. Mary Magdalene, the first to announce the Resurrection of Jesus to others! In today’s Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene (July […]

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