Food for the Soul: The Mentoring of Chef Leah Chase

In his writings, (Sharing the Wisdom of Time, Christus Vivit, and elsewhere), Pope Francis has encouraged us to recognize the gifts of the elderly and to find ways to share stories between young and old. In order for us to to this, it helps to learn from examples. Loyola Press is excited to offer such a learning opportunity, courtesy of a man I’ve known and admired for over 10 years, Dr. Ansel Augustine. Join Ansel and […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Sharing Generative Stories

Did you ever notice how we take events or episodes from our lives and turn them into stories that we share with others? Why do we do this? Psychologists explain that we do it, not just to entertain people, but to make sense out of events that would otherwise seem puzzling or random. Such stories can influence our future behavior as well as the behavior of others. For example, if we share a story of […]

Bringing the World Meeting of Families to the Local Parish

On March 19, 2021, upon the fifth anniversary of Amoris Laetitia, the Apostolic Exhortation on the joy and beauty of familial love, Pope Francis declared the start of a Year of the Family, which will conclude on June 26, 2022, with the World Meeting of Families in Rome. One of the goals of this is to help families discover the joy of having a gift to share with the Church and society. Many would love to […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Storytelling

We start today a new series, in which I will explore six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing. We begin with the art of storytelling, which just happened to be Jesus’ favorite way of teaching! “Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” This Native American proverb captures the essence of the power of […]

Storytelling (Video)

Jesus’ preferred method of engaging others and teaching about the Kingdom was through storytelling. How can we get in touch with our stories of faith? Watch this video introduction to the topic. Read the post that inspired this video: Sharing Stories of Faith. Sharing the Wisdom of Time is a collection of stories about elders from around the world. From over 30 countries, elders share their wisdom carved from lifetimes of experience.

The Power of Witness and Appropriate Self-Disclosure in Faith Formation

St. Paul VI once wrote, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” (Evangelii Nuntiandi) As someone who recently transitioned from youth minister to third-grade teacher at a Catholic school, I’ve been seeking a balance between my identities of witness and teacher in order to bring my students closer to Jesus. I have been on too many retreats where “witness […]

Connecting with Other Catechists

Like the families we serve, catechists are a diverse group. We are of different generations (my fellow catechists include millennials, gen-X’ers, and baby boomers); we come from different backgrounds (some are cradle Catholics, others were baptized as adults, still others like myself came into full communion with the Catholic Church from another Christian tradition); and we grew up experiencing different cultural traditions (one friend of mine likes to share the traditions she learned from her […]

Sharing Stories of Family Faith

As I reflect on how my religion class has gone so far this year, I’m struck by how often my third graders tie the concepts they learn back to their families and their relationships with one another. With each concept taught, we share stories about our experiences with our families. Building a comfortable relationship within the class that leads to students sharing family traditions is my favorite part of teaching our Catholic faith. For example, […]

Storytelling as a Tool for Evangelization

Often, when I travel to different parts of the country, people quickly spot my Midwestern/South side of Chicago way of talking. The way we speak and act can often “give us away,” as when Peter denied Jesus after the bystanders said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” (Matthew 26:73) The big question is, can people spot us as being citizens of the Kingdom of God? Does the way we talk […]

Are We Still Sharing Stories?

As a starter activity for a recent session on parables, I asked the young people in my seventh-grade group to think about some of their favorite stories. A few people asked for clarification: what kind of stories? Wanting to keep the activity broad in scope, I told them, “Any kind. Personal stories, family stories, or a favorite story you read.” The kids turned their heads to their papers, and some of them jotted some notes. […]

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