The theme for Catechetical Sunday 2019 is “Stay with Us,” quoting the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who invited Jesus to stay with them. (Luke 24:13–35) The following articles by Joe Paprocki, Julianne Stanz, and other catechists and catechetical leaders explore topics of discipleship and evangelization related to that theme.

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #4 Discipline

This is part four of a seven-part series on discipleship. In my last article, we discussed the importance of making decisions to say “no” to the things of the world so that we could say “yes” to Jesus Christ. Closely related to the key of decision-making for Christ is the key of discipline, which reminds me of a story about when I first immigrated to the United States. A couple of months after my arrival […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #3 Decision-Making for Christ

This is part three of a seven-part series on discipleship. “Just make a decision,” I said to my two children as they were vacillating between two very simple options for dinner. If only all decisions could be so trivial! While some decisions in our life can be very simple, others will be pretty complex. This is especially true when making decisions in relation to our faith. In the last two parts of this series, we […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #2 Discernment

This is part two of a seven-part series on discipleship. In my last blog post, we discussed desire as a key to discipleship and reviewed a number of ways that we can keep the flame of our faith burning. We will now look at a critical spiritual skill to help us to grow as disciples: discernment. Being a disciple means that we must make the time to reflect upon our lives. Just as Jesus went […]

The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #1 Desire

This is part one of a seven-part series on discipleship. In the past few years, the terms “discipleship” and “missionary discipleship” have become very familiar to those in ministry. But the concept of discipleship and mission is not new and has been a part of our Catholic faith for 2,000 years. The word disciple comes from the Greek word mathetes, meaning “pupil or student of the master.” The Master is, of course, Jesus Christ. Your […]

Forming Discipleship Among Your Catechetical Team

Our parishes include people in all stages of their faith journey. While each Christian shares certain characteristics in their spirituality as children of God, there are differences. Every person’s spirituality is unique, because each of us is a unique human being. Differences can depend on education, formation, geographical location, age, ethnic background, and so on. Each of us is at a different stage of growth in our spiritual life. How can catechetical leaders accommodate catechists […]

Fostering a Healthy Conversation Around Faith and Science

That young people are leaving the Catholic faith doesn’t seem to be “news” anymore as surveys continue to record diminishing attendance among the younger generations. What is news, however, is the age at which young people decide to leave the Catholic faith and the role that science plays in their decision to leave. According to surveys conducted by CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), the typical age for a young person to leave […]

Service as a Catalyst for Missionary Discipleship

The corporal works of mercy play an important part in discipleship. When acts of service are planned to intentionally proclaim the Gospel and treat all people as if they were Jesus in disguise (see Matthew 25:34–40), they are a catalyst for initial and ongoing conversion. In her wisdom, the Church outlines a systematic and comprehensive process of evangelization and faith formation that nurtures conversion. This process of evangelization includes the following five stages. Pre-evangelization Initial […]

Using Visuals to Evangelize in the Classroom

The expression “a picture speaks a thousand words” is particularly apt for the culture in which we live. Image-intensive social media platforms promote sharing through memes, stories, and snippets of information that go viral. For young people, images are not a distraction from the central message but constitute the message itself. Authenticity and thoughtful imaging of the Christian message are particularly important for us as a Church. For those who are in a pre-evangelization stage […]

Jesus: Not What the Church Teaches but Who the Church Lives

“But how do we know Jesus was an actual person and not just made up?” John, one of my tenth-grade students, asked. “I know what the Bible says, but do we have any other evidence?” As catechists we are often asked this kind of question, and it can catch us by surprise. The temptation when faced with a question like this is to offer a standard response such as, “Well, the Catholic Church teaches us […]

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist #9: Mentor Apprentices

I often tell my audiences about the book Creating Customer Evangelists by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell, not because I think they should read it, but because, as Catholics, we should be aware of the fact that a book that has nothing to do with faith, religion, or spirituality is using the word evangelists! The premise of the book is that customers should be so enamored with your product or service that they will become “outspoken […]

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