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 […]

Professional Development Workshop: Reclaiming the Fire

In her book, Start with Jesus, friend, author, speaker, and evangelist Julianne Stanz states that “too often our approach to our faith lacks the fire or energy that it deserves,” and she issues a call for us to “reclaim the fire.” Faith formation programs can provide the spark needed to ignite this blaze! In a new, free professional development workshop, Reclaiming the Fire: Six Keys to Making Our Faith Formation More Evangelizing—which can be found below—I offer […]

Celebrating the Sunday of the Word of God, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

In recent years, I have been increasingly convinced of the notion that our lives are guided by a narrative that is shaped by many factors and influences from the day we were born. This narrative colors how we see ourselves, others, and all of reality, including God. This concept is very familiar to people participating in twelve-step groups, since the healing process involves eradicating unhealthy narratives (“stinking thinking”) and replacing them with a healthy narrative. As […]

“What’s Your Story?” Inviting Children into a Healthy Narrative

Among the many popular digital entertainment apps available today are those known as “interactive story” apps in which players “enter into” a storyline that is not predetermined and make choices that determine the story’s outcome. One such game, What’s Your Story?, invites players to choose from favorite movies and TV shows and to become a character in the story, making the story their own. The truth is, we all have a story or a narrative […]

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