Catechists as Mystagogues: Telling Stories of the Mighty Deeds of the Lord

People demand to see results. That’s nothing new. Before we purchase something, we want to hear and see unsolicited endorsements from previous purchasers. Before we vote for someone, we want to know about the candidate’s previous accomplishments. So, it should come as no surprise that, when John the Baptist found himself imprisoned for “campaigning” on behalf of Jesus, he (John) sent some of his disciples to Jesus to confirm that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. […]

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 […]

Catechists as Mystagogues: Helping Others Recognize the Path That Leads to Life

I’ve previously written about how a mystagogue helps others to recognize unhealthy paths or narratives that diminish and destroy rather than give life. In this post, we explore how catechists as mystagogues help others recognize the path that leads to fullness of life. The Directory for Catechesis explains that: Every person, prompted by the disquiet that dwells within his heart, by way of the sincere search for the meaning of his existence, is able to […]

Catechesis and the Paschal Mystery: Moving from Death to Life

The new Directory for Catechesis has many thought-provoking and powerful lines, including the following: “Everything [in faith formation] is oriented toward the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.” (64a) “Catechesis communicates the heart of the faith in an essential and existentially understandable way, bringing each person into contact with the Risen One and helping him to reinterpret and to live the most intense moments of his life as Paschal events.” (64a) I find it […]

The Three Rs of Our Salvation Narrative: #3 Reassurance

The New Evangelization seeks to simplify—without making simplistic—the central message of the Gospel so that it is accessible to all. With that in mind, I have summarized the gist of our salvation narrative in three words: rescue, restoration, and reassurance. This is the heart of the kerygma—the primary proclamation of the Gospel. Through the life, teachings, miracles, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, we are rescued, restored, and reassured. Let’s visit the last of the Three Rs, reassurance. […]

The Three Rs of Our Salvation Narrative: #2 Restoration

In an effort to make the central message of the Gospel (the kerygma) more accessible to all, I have summarized the gist of our salvation narrative in three words: rescue, restoration, and reassurance. This is the heart of the kerygma—the primary proclamation of the Gospel. Through the life, teachings, miracles, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, we are rescued, restored, and reassured. Let’s visit the second of the Three Rs, restoration. I like to say […]

The Three Rs of Our Salvation Narrative: #1 Rescue

One of the goals of the New Evangelization is to simplify—without making simplistic—the central message of the Gospel so that it is accessible to all. A person shouldn’t have to be a theologian to understand the Good News! With that in mind, I have summarized the gist of our salvation narrative in three words: rescue, restoration, and reassurance. This is the heart of the kerygma—the primary proclamation of the Gospel. Through the life, teachings, miracles, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: A Walk Through the Mass—The Readings

We continue our series, A Walk Through the Mass, today focusing on the Scripture readings of the Liturgy of the Word. What do you see when you look in the mirror? I’m talking beyond physical appearance. The truth is, too many of us see someone who is worthless, unlovable, shameful, inferior, untalented, unreliable, uninteresting, undeserving, or incapable of happiness. And it doesn’t help that we live in a culture that tells us that in order to be […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Tradition

We continue our series exploring six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing by focusing on key #3, which is Tradition. When we form relationships with other people, we ask them to reveal things about themselves (as we do about ourselves)—where they were born, what kind of work they do, what their hobbies are, what kind of family they have, what kind of music, sports, or other forms of entertainment they enjoy most, […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Sacramentality

We continue with our series exploring six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing by focusing on key #2: sacramentality. Simply put, Catholics have a “way of seeing”—a vision for reality that is informed by the presence of God in all things. We call this way of seeing sacramentality, a way of “seeing” the invisible and intangible presence of God through visible and tangible realities. Catholic faith formation is most effective when it teaches […]

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