An Easter Reflection for Catechists

As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ in this Easter season, it is a good time to reflect on the meaning of the Paschal Mystery in our lives and for our ministry. The Church proclaims that

In the sacraments of Christian initiation we are freed from the power of darkness and joined to Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We receive the Spirit of filial adoption and are part of the entire people of God in the celebration of the memorial of the Lord’s death and resurrection. (Christian Initiation, General Introduction, no. 1)

As catechists this is not only true of us personally, but it is also the basis of how we form those in our charge. All catechesis finds its root, its hope, its end in the Paschal Mystery, because it is through that mystery that God’s promises to his people are completed:

If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:8-11)

In the RCIA, Catholic schools, religious education programs, and adult faith formation sessions, the Paschal Mystery should have pride of place and be a constant touchstone for our teaching and formation. As catechists it is our privilege to lead people to a relationship with Jesus Christ. This relationship finds its culmination in Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist, because these sacraments unite us in an unchangeable way with the life of Christ.

My prayer for you in this blessed season is that your life and ministry will be increasingly touched by a radical encounter with Christ and his Pascal Mystery. Have a happy and blessed Easter season!

What our Students Should Know: Religion Curriculum Standards in our Diocese

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This week my office is rolling out our diocese’s first set of PreK-8th grade religion curriculum standards: These standards were developed over nearly five years with a committee composed of both parish and Catholic school representatives. We used as our basis standards from the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Orlando, as well as […]

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How I Work: Office Edition

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Thomas L. McDonald of God and the Machine recently invited fellow bloggers to post their own “How I Work” entry (modeled after the Lifehacker series of the same name) so I thought I would have a go. This week I’m featuring my work office; next week I’ll do the same for my home setup. Location: […]

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What Young Catechetical Leaders Need

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A couple weeks ago I responded to a request from a catechetical colleague and friend to consider working on a national project. After thinking and discerning about it I decided to politely refuse but found that, in doing so, I had some things to say. Indeed, what should have been a simple “no, thank you” […]

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Three Things I Learned from Russell Peterson

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My friend and catechetical colleague, Russell Peterson, passed away last Friday night after a sudden and brief illness. Russell was a man of great faith, warm hospitality, and incisive humor. He was also one of the first diocesan catechetical leaders I met after joining the curia staff at the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Russell […]

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Casting My Lots – Episode 4: Overabundance

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Yesterday I released an new Casting My Lots video reflecting on Ezekiel’s vision of water flowing from the Temple (Ezekiel 47:1-12) and what it reminds us about the New Evangelization:

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Fr. Barron Book Giveaway

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Today Fr. Robert Barron releases his new book Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture: Since the first century, Christians have detected “seeds of the Word” in the surrounding culture. No matter how charred or distorted the fragments, we can always uncover inklings of the Gospel, which can then lead people to God. […]

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Book Review: You Have Put on Christ

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At the root of all Christian discipleship is the Sacrament of Baptism, for it is in Baptism that we become a new creation and are clothed in Christ (cf. RCIA no. 229). Jerry Galipeau’s new book You Have Put on Christ: Cultivating a Baptismal Spirituality is an extended reflection on this reality, told mainly through […]

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Casting My Lots – Episode 3: Good Cheese

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This week I talk about the local nature of evangelization and catechesis: Edmund Mitchell, “The New Evangelization Must Be Good Cheese”

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Book Review: Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples

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Sherry Weddell’s 2012 Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus sent shock waves across the Catholic catechetical and evangelizing communities. At the time I wrote that the book has appeared at precisely the moment it is needed in the life of the Church… and I believe every bishop, pastor, evangelist, and catechetical […]

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