We ended the last catechetical year with many parishes asking parents to work with their children at home on faith formation because of the pandemic. Our hopes were, of course, that we would soon see a return to normalcy and that, come fall, young people and catechists could once again resume in-person sessions of faith formation at the parish. Alas, those hopes have been dashed in many parts of the country where the pandemic lingers […]
During this ongoing COVID-19 crisis, as families continue to find themselves hunkered down in their homes and unable to gather with others—including for church or faith formation—we at Catechist’s Journey thought it would be a good idea to provide some Pop-Up Catechesis. This is a new series of one-minute videos with bite-size suggestions for how to make faith alive in the home. These will appear here on Catechist’s Journey every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for […]
One of my favorite phrases at Loyola Press—”What a team!”—can be traced to our president emeritus, Fr. George Lane, SJ, who often reacted to success stories in this manner. This phrase captures the experience I shared earlier this year with a group of talented colleagues at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. If you’re not familiar with the L.A. Congress, it is the largest religious education gathering in the country, drawing about 25,000 people over four […]
I’m very excited to see the newest revision of Finding God becoming a reality! I was hired by Loyola Press back in 2002 to contribute to the creation of this wonderful faith formation program that is steeped in Ignatian spirituality—something that is near and dear to my heart as someone with 12 years of Jesuit education. Ignatian spirituality resonates with so many people, mainly because St. Ignatius developed his Spiritual Exercises for lay people, while […]
Many things are associated with Catholicism: novenas, rosaries, statues, holy water, scapulars, and so on. We call these “things” sacramentals. They are symbolic words or actions that remind us of the presence of God in our lives and draw us to the sacraments. One of my favorite sacramentals is the act of walking in procession. When our non-Catholic friends attend Mass with us, they very often comment on the amount of movement required of the […]
Finding catechists who are evangelizers and see themselves as such is the key to a faith formation process that forms disciples. The below video highlights five aspects of the process using the word GIFTS. Read the complete article that inspired this video: Recruiting and Retaining Catechists Who Evangelize with GIFTS. Take a moment and ask yourself: does every activity in my parish point more deeply to Jesus? Julianne Stanz wants to help you and your […]
The below video introduces nine strategies we learn from the kerygma—the first proclamation of the Gospel by the Apostles to people who had not yet encountered Christ—that we can use in our faith formation to be more evangelizing catechists. For details on these strategies, read the “How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist” series here.
Every symbolic action invokes a narrative—it tells a story. When a child falls down and scrapes a knee, he or she goes to Mommy or Daddy and asks her or him to “kiss it and make it better.” Now, we know that this act is symbolic and does not heal damaged cells at the molecular level, but we do it because we know that it does make it better! The symbolic act transports the child from a […]
Mary, as the first and best catechist, provides a model for the ministry of catechesis. Julianne Stanz, author of Developing Disciples of Christ, says that three aspects of the life of Mary, drawn from Evangelii Gaudium, serve as a guide for our ministries. Read the complete post that inspired this video: Three Lessons from Mary, the First and Best Catechist. Find Marian resources here to help you honor Mary during May or throughout the year.
We know the Stations of the Cross as a traditional Lenten devotion, but how can we connect the Way of the Cross to our lives? Author Gary Jansen suggests that by walking through each station, we see the unique ways in which Jesus responded to suffering, and we are challenged to react similarly in our own struggles. Jansen writes: Though Jesus seems passive throughout his Passion—he never lifts a finger against anyone and he barely […]