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Promoting Catholic Identity, Part 1: A Sense of Sacramentality

The purpose of our catechesis is not simply to teach facts about the Catholic faith, but to pass on the Catholic faith. It is not enough for our children to know about Catholicism or go through the motions of being Catholic without identifying themselves as Catholic. Our identity is the orientation of our lives, our sense of who we are and our place in the world. If we want our children to fall in love […]

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Being a Catechist

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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Valentine’s Day: Using Signs to Share a Narrative of Love

I find Valentine’s Day to be a wonderful opportunity to talk about Catholic sacramentality. It is a day on which signs, symbols, gestures, and rituals are used to convey feelings of love and, when it comes to signs, symbols, gestures, and rituals, we Catholics are the experts! Catholic sacramentality basically expresses our belief that the invisible God can be recognized and encountered through the physical world. That’s why we use water, oil, bread, wine, flame, […]

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The Sights and Sounds of Pope Francis’ Election – A Primer on Catholic Identity

The election of Pope Francis last month provided the world with what can be called a “primer” on Catholic identity. The images from St. Peter’s Square leading up to and including the introduction of Pope Francis were rich but often subtle…too subtle for the media to catch and articulate. In my book, Practice Makes Catholic, I identify 5 characteristics of Catholic identity: A Sense of Sacramentality – making the intangible, tangible; the invisible, visible (signs, […]

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An Example of Catholic Sacramentality

As part of my presentation in Alabama, I talked about the Catholic sense of sacramentality: how we learn to recognize God’s presence in all things. During the break, I stepped outside and saw a garden in between the church building and the parish center. In the middle of the garden was a little sign that read as follows. It’s a very good example of the Catholic sense of sacramentality: A kiss of the sun for […]