Teaching Young People How to Meditate

Just as Jesus taught his disciples to pray, catechists are called to teach young people how to pray. As a Secular Franciscan, prayer is not something I do; prayer is who I am. When I teach young people how to pray, I am sharing with them the essence of who I am. I recently had the privilege to share my prayer life with a group of eighth- and ninth-graders. Specifically, they invited me to teach […]

Parent-Teen Date Night

Editor’s note: This summer, we will be highlighting success stories from the field. Let’s share our stories of what works to inspire each other to great things in faith formation ministries! Today, Megan Arteaga tells us about Parent-Teen Date Night in youth ministry. As youth ministers, we want more parental involvement. We want more parents as adult leaders; we want more parents driving carpools; we want more parents as chaperones; heck, we’d be happy with […]

Chicago Catechetical Ministries Awards Banquet

Last evening, I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministries Awards Banquet at the Drury Lane Theater in Oak Brook, IL. In particular, I had the honor of introducing my DRE, Arlene Astrowski, who was a recipient of one of the archdiocesan awards! There were over 600 people in attendance, mostly catechists and catechetical leaders along with many pastors and pastoral staff, to honor the efforts of numerous catechetical ministers in the […]

Why Go to Mass?

My friend and colleage Denise shared the following video (“Why Go to Mass?”) with me, from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, for youth ministry. I see it as a refreshing take on the “Catholics Come Home” campaign because it comes across as less “triumphal”  and more inviting to those who are hesitant, doubtful, and hurting. (Love the “girly-men” scene/comment). What do you think? httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saN4m3OZ3wE

Des Moines DREs Do it Best!

Thanks to all the good folks – catechetical leaders, youth ministers, RCIA and AFF coordinators, etc – who invited me to spend the day with them in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, March 3. We enjoyed a great experience of exploring ways to provide formation for our catechists. Thanks especially to John Gaffney, the Director of the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Des Moines, for making this event possible. Thanks folks…I […]

Surrounded by Cheeseheads! (And I say that affectionately!)

I enjoyed spending the day yesterday with about 50 “Cheeseheads” which of course is the nickname given to Green Bay Packers’ fans. As they celebrate their Superbowl victory, they were gracious enough to welcome this Chicago Bears fan into their midst for a Being, Knowing, and Doing professional development workshop. We had the most wonderful day together and talked about so many ideas and strategies for taking care of our catechists. Thanks to Gary Pokorny, […]

Sweet Home Chicago!

I had the honor and privilege of doing the keynote presentation today with my friend Fr. Dom Grassi at the Chicago Catechetical Conference held at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont! Our topic was “Living the Mass: How We Go Forth Rejoicing FROM the House of the Lord.” Of course, Fr. Dom and I drew heavily from our book, Living the Mass: How One Hour a Week Can Change Your Life. It was wonderful […]

Dinner with 600 (give or take) of My Best Friends!

Last night, my wife and I had the pleasure of attending the annual Chicago Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministries Awards Banquet at the Drury Lane in Oak Brook. This wonderful affair is a celebration of all things catechetical and is attended by over 600 catechists, DREs, pastors, and archdiocesan officials, including Cardinal Francis George, OMI, the Archbishop of Chicago. The evening is an opportunity for the Archdiocese to recognize 8 Archdiocesan honorees as well as a bevy […]

Chicago: 81, San Diego 65

No that’s not a basketball score! They are the temperatures in these respective cities! It just so happens that I am in San Diego right now and while it is a beautiful sunny day here, I can’t believe that Chicago is 15 degrees warmer! Anyway, I’m not complaining. It’s my first time in San Diego and it is beautiful! I’m looking forward to speaking to a group of junior high catechists and youth ministers tonight […]