Catechists as Mystagogues: Leading Others into the Mystery of the Cross

Jesus taught that, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) He then proceeded to lay down his life for us by dying on the Cross. We Catholics place crucifixes in our homes and places of worship and formation as a reminder of the mystery of our faith: it is by dying that we are born to eternal life. This is the kind of love that […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Easter and the Spiritual Works of Mercy, Part 2

All Christians are called to be a “Resurrection People,” and that means that in our thoughts, words, and actions, we are to embody and exemplify hope and joy and to share that with others, especially those experiencing despair. For this reason, the 50 days of Easter provide a wonderful opportunity for us to practice the Spiritual Works of Mercy—acts of compassion by which we help our neighbors with their emotional and spiritual needs. In a […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Easter and the Spiritual Works of Mercy, Part 1

The 50 days of the Easter season provide us with plenty of time to spread the hope and joy of the Risen Christ to others. One of the ways that we do this is by performing Spiritual Works of Mercy. While the Corporal Works of Mercy aim to help our neighbors with their material and physical needs, the Spiritual Works of Mercy aim to help people with their emotional and spiritual needs. All works of […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Experiences of Sharing God’s Mercy

We continue with our series exploring six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing by focusing on key #5: experiences of sharing God’s mercy. Scripture tells us that faith without works is dead. (James 2:14–17) Likewise, Jesus’ Parable of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25) tells us that we will be judged on our love for others. If we truly want to touch the hearts and minds of those we teach, we need to engage […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The World Day of the Sick

Let’s face it: being sick is no fun. Serious illness is one of the most depressing things we can face in life. Not only does it make us feel powerless, it also makes us feel alone and isolated. For this reason, the Church encourages us to practice the corporal work of mercy of visiting the sick. Even if we can’t care in-person for those who are sick—especially during the pandemic—we can let others know that […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Cleaning Out Closets and Drawers

One of the lessons we’re learning during the pandemic is how to “do without.” There are so many things that we would love to be doing that we are simply unable to do right now. And yet, doing without is a spiritual virtue. So why not turn it up a notch and find some more things you can do without? In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at cleaning out our closets and drawers […]

Teaching the Corporal Works of Mercy

Even though I have a lot of topics to cover in preparing second graders to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, I always make it a point to introduce the corporal works of mercy to my students. I start by reading Matthew 25:31–46, and together we list the actions listed in these Gospel verses. I then ask the children to answer the question, “What are ways you share God’s peace?” I point […]

Does Your Parish Have a Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy?

Recently, as I was searching for a video on the Corporal Works of Mercy, the following caught my eye. It is from St. Michael’s Church in Poway, CA, and features the pastor, Fr. John Dolan, introducing how the parish practices the Corporal Works of Mercy. Within the first few minutes of the video, we also meet Bridget Beas, who is the parish Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy. First, I think it is fantastic that […]

Ways for Children to Engage in Works of Mercy

I don’t think we can ever get enough ideas for how to engage children in Works of Mercy. This is something I have blogged about before and have provided resources to assist catechists in this endeavor. Now, the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) has put together a very nice PDF of ideas to engage children in Works of Mercy. Go here and select the Works of Mercy for Kids option. Founded in 1843, the Missionary Childhood Association (formerly Holy Childhood […]

Mercy Passport: Don’t Leave Home Without It!

As we celebrate Independence Day, I am conscious of the fact that many people are taking advantage of the summer months to get away. And, if your destination includes traveling abroad, you need to have your passport with you. Well, here’s another kind of passport to take with you as you move about this summer: a Mercy Passport! The Archdiocese of Louisville, KY, has created and made available a Mercy Passport to encourage people to become intentionally conscious […]

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