From: The Management Tip of the Day
From: The Management Tip of the Day
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 4 p.m. EDT
Learn more at www.Sadlier.com/ReligionWebinars
Open the virtual doors to effective catechesis. Effective catechists engage their students. Today, engaging students requires opening the virtual doors to our digital world. Join Don Kurre for a webinar on the benefits, opportunities, and tools available only when you open those virtual doors. You’ll leave ready to implement these digital strategies right away to enrich your ministry.
Don Kurre has served as a Director of Religious Education in parishes in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Diocese of Grand Island, as well as Supervisor of the North Platte Catholic Offices. Past President of NCCL and an author of many articles, Don was the 2013 recipient of the F. Sadlier Dinger Award for outstanding leadership and achievements in catechetical ministry. He earned his MA in religious studies from Indiana University.
During the worship service last Sunday at my church, we were saying the Apostle’s Creed together, and naturally in this Easter season I noticed especially the words focusing on the Easter event. “On the third day he rose again from the dead,” we proclaimed. And in the section on the Holy Spirit, we professed our faith in “the resurrection of the body.” Familiar, precious words. Suddenly it occurred to me, though: do we believe in the resurrection of the mind?
I had spent the week before helping my 85-year-old parents through the latest crisis. Dad had been in the hospital for bronchitis and then went to a nursing home temporarily for rehab. He’s still there now. The plan is to get him stronger through physical therapy and then get him home again, with daily visits from nurses and home health aids. We’re all hopeful that this will happen soon. The present crisis will resolve. But I have watched him for several years getting physically weaker and mentally more forgetful, more confused, more distant. The truth is, we may see occasional upturns, but the overall trend is downward. Diminishment is the unavoidable, relentless, cruel truth of old age.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is probably the most famous and most loved woman. This is because of her unique role as Mother of God. God chose Mary of Nazareth above all women to be the mother of the Savior, the Son of God. Luke’s Gospel reveals that the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary her role in God’s plan for salvation, and she agreed, calling herself the handmaid of God. As a result of Mary’s yes, the human race regained eternal life. For this reason she is called the second Eve. Certain privileges flow from Mary’s special mission.
I like what Archbishop Blasé Cupich has been about this past year. He is with his people at daily mass, visitations hither, thither and yon, an ongoing Twitter presence to engage people, significant statements and vision about immigration, family, Pope Francis. And now he has challenged the Archdiocese of Chicago to dream big.
While he is focusing on Chicago, I suggest that we as catechetical leaders take a serious look at his seven priorities for a vital parish community. What are the implications for us in our own parishes? What do we as parish catechetical leaders need to be about.
I am looking for individuals to share reflections on one of the seven priorities.
How can parish catechetical leaders contribute to the vision "renew my church" in parishes throughout the United States? What are you doing in your parish? What would you like to do next year? I look forward to hearing from you. I will include in future issues of www.eCatechist.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will share your responses with Archbishop Cupich.
Image from the National Catholic Reporter
“The secret to life is to want what you have.”
This sage advice is quoted from the famed philosopher, musician, song writer, and Margarita drinker, Jimmy Buffet. Surprised to see Jimmy Buffet quoted in Faith Magazine? Perhaps – but in my experience, wisdom often comes from unusual and surprising sources.
For example, why is it that adversity and suffering so frequently bring us closer to God and each other, while affluence often distances us? This phenomenon is demonstrated in the scripture readings for this year’s first Sunday of Lent. The Gospel (Mt 4:1-11) tells of Jesus, alone and starving in a desert. In contrast, the first reading describes Adam and Eve, living together in a lavish garden paradise (Genesis 2-3). Each story tells of people being tempted. Ironically, the “couple who has everything” falls, while the person with nothing makes the right choice. Why is it so tempting for us to want more than what we have?
In this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis calls us to conversion in our own lives so that we can be and bring the face of God’s mercy to the world. This booklet contains a series of reflections on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy with reflection questions for use by individuals or in a group setting. It is a source of reflection especially as we journey through the Season of Lent in this Year of Mercy.
Each generation attempts to fill the gaps in the generation that preceded it. In the pre- and Vatican II generations we have a situation where Catholics grew up in a religion. Everything was in place to enforce the rules and regulations that defined a good Catholic. There was an ideal to strive for. A bar to be reached. The line between good and bad behavior was clearly defined and publicly proclaimed. A good Catholic was one who toed the line. The gap in this approach was the lack of recognition that faith is a gift to be received, not a command to be obeyed. Faith elicits commitment, not subservience.
The post-Vatican II generations find themselves lost in place. Today's Catholic community is not stable. The values and practices it models are diverse and often contradictory. As a result, for many post-Vatican II Catholics there seems to be no firm ground to stand on. They are tired of an on-going search for faith which they believe is readily available in the formal teachings and traditional practices of the Catholic Church. Unlike their predecessors, they find value in rules and regulations and are drawn to more traditional practices and orthodoxy.
When we were born, where we were born and the experiences surrounding our growing up not only shape our identity but also influence our theological vision and tactics. They are our generational "mini-narratives" that always travel with us. As a result, we, as catechetical leaders, have a professional responsibility to reflect critically on our generational tendencies and biases and to be aware of how they impact our theological vision and pastoral practice. God placed us all in the exact moment in time where he wanted us to be; now it is up to each of us to be aware of the crucial key of generational differences in our interactions with each other and in our formal efforts to share effectively the light of faith.
For Further Reading The Next America
I recommend Paul Taylor's The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and Looming Generational Showdown (New York: Public Affairs, 2014). It is well-written and provides an insightful picture of the generational shifts in America that are redefining who we are and where we may be headed. Paul Taylor is the executive vice-president of the Pew Research Center and a former reporter for the Washington Post.
Dr. Tom Walters is emeritus professor of Religious Education at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. His research interests have centered on parish and diocesan catechetical leaders in the United States: who they are, what they do and their effectiveness.
He has served as president of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL), Midwest Association of Theological Schools (MATS), and Association of Graduate Programs in Ministry (AGPIM), and a member of the board for the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education (APPRE).
His most recent book is A Crucial Key (National Catholic Educational Association, 2009), a study of generational differences among current and future catechetical leaders, which he co-authored with his wife, Rita. Tom and Rita are the recipients of the NCEA's 2012 C. Albert Koob Award for outstanding contribution to Catholic education.
Marilynne Robinson’s novel Gilead is the story of a 76-year-old Iowa pastor who is reflecting on his life and writing a long letter to his young son, born to him in his old age. At one point in the novel, the pastor recalls a moment from his own childhood when he watched the community come together to help take down a church that had been struck by lightning. They have one day to do this before harvest, and that day happens to bring pouring rain.
The narrator describes taking shelter from the rain under a wagon with the other young children, while the grownups worked. Then he writes:
The ashes turned liquid in the rain and the men who were working in the ruins got entirely black and filthy, till you would hardly know one from another. My father brought me some biscuit that had soot on it from his hands. “Never mind,” he said, “there’s nothing cleaner than ash.” But it affected the taste of that biscuit, which I thought might have tasted like the bread of affliction….
5 February is the 25th anniversary of the death of Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ, a much-loved General of the Society of Jesus and founder of the Jesuit Refugee Service. Michael Campbell-Johnston SJ, who worked closely with Fr Arrupe, offers a personal reflection on ‘the founder of the modern Society."
As a child, I was somewhat confused about death. I blame Star Wars.
The original Star Wars movie came out when I was three; seeing it with my family remains one of my earliest memories. My meditation on the movie continued over a comic-book adaptation of the story that I read over and over until it finally fell apart from over-reading a couple of years later. My first conscious experience of “death” was Obi Wan Kenobi cut down by Darth Vader in a dramatic lightsaber duel—and his subsequent disappearance.
Thus, I thought that’s what everybody did when they died: their body just vanished like Ben Kenobi’s.
Pope Paul VI and the United States Catholic Bishops addressed this very question in some of their writings. They suggest a three-fold process.
“The study of sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer.”
- Pope Francis. The Joy of the Gospel #175
All dioceses throughout the United States offer opportunities for the education, formation, and certification of catechists.
Such training is offered in a variety of formats for individual study, small group study, classes and conferences.
To assist diocesan directors and parish catechetical leaders, eCatechist.com introduces a process to educate catechists and other adults using two books by Steve Mueller.
The Catechist’s Guide to Reading Your Bible: A Catholic View
Who Do You Say That I Am? The Catechist’s Guide to Jesus in the Gospels
This is simple, low tech, and easy to facilitate.
To learn more about The Catechist’s Guide to Reading Your Bible: A Catholic View.
To learn more about Who Do You Say That I Am? The Catechist’s Guide to Jesus in the Gospels.
To download a copy of the “Catechist’s Learning Page.”
As you can see, this process of reading, understanding and application is simple and low tech. It can be used individually or is easily facilitated in small and large groups. Furthermore, eCatechist.com will recommend additional titles specifically selected for the education and formation of catechists in coming months.
This process of reading, studying, and using the “Catechist Learning Page” will be used with additional titles specifically selected for education and formation of catechists.
Please contact Dan Pierson with questions or for ideas about implementation in your diocese or parish. email@example.com or 616.956.5044
Let’s Get Ready for Lent!
Soon we begin 40 days of renewal, conversion, and sacrifice. Make the Lenten season more meaningful for you, your family, and your community with these resources:
All available in English and Spanish