Episode 016 – Getting Past the 5%


Two weeks ago I read an incredible new book. In Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus, Sherry Weddell tackles the challenges and opportunities facing evangelization and catechesis in the Church today. Weddell’s book is a synthesis of every deep conversation about catechesis and evangelization I’ve had with my local and national colleagues for the past four years. She was kind enough to take some time to talk with me about the book.

Sherry is the co-founder of the Catherine of Siena Institute in Colorado Springs. You can purchase discounted copies of Forming Intentional Disciples at their web site.

Photo by duncan/flickrCC

Episode 015 – A Constructive Spirit of Discontent

Encadre-Frederick-della-Faille-FlickrCCNote: We ran into some connection issues with Skype early in the recording; the sound does clear up after a few minutes. My apologies for the inconvenience.

This month I am pleased to welcome to the podcast John Rinaldo – diocesan director, podcaster, and founder of REAL Ministry, a web site about developing church leaders to serve the kingdom of God. We discussed what it means to be a leader in the Church, what we can learn from business leaders, how we can develop our leadership skills, and some of our favorite resources including

Leave a comment and let us know how you understand what it means to be a “catechetical leader!”

Photo Credit: Frédéric della Faille

Episode 014 – Penitential

penance-Fr.-Lawrence-Lew-OP-flickrCCHappy Ash Wednesday! To kick off the Lenten season I spoke with Lisa Mladinich — speaker, catechist, and founder of AmazingCatechists.com — about the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance. We covered children’s examination of conscience, whether parents project their own insecurities about the sacrament onto their children, and Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s new resource, Bring Lent Home with Mother Theresa; Lisa has written a free downloadable lesson plan resource to accompany the book.

As always, leave a comment to let us know what you think about the podcast or to suggest topics for future shows!

Click to Play – 014 – Penitential

Original photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP/flickrCC

Episode 013 – Hangin’ Out

google-maistora-flickrCCI had an interview all lined up for this month, but then my interviewee wound up sick (hope you’re feeling better, Lisa!). Instead I’ve got a round-table discussion on Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement of a Year of Faith to commence in October. This Year of Faith has been called to commemorate both the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The round-table was hosted as an open invitation Google+ Hangout. I was very happy to be joined by

  • Joyce Donahue, catechetical associate with the Diocese of Joliet
  • Lisa Hendey, blogger and host of CatholicMom.com
  • Russell Peterson, associate director of religious education with the Diocese of Belleville
  • Wendy Scherbart, director of catechetical ministry at the Diocese of San jose
  • Matt Smith, Faith Formation Director at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Princeton, West Virginia)

We discussed both the pope’s apostolic letter, Porta Fidei, which announced the Year of Faith; and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Note with pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith.

The podcast was recorded with my handheld audio recorder set up in front of my computer speakers, so there may be some background noise.

Click to Play – 013 – Hangin-Out

Episode 012 – The Catholic Briefcase

briefcaseMany Catholics experience a disconnect between their worship and prayer on Sunday and their “normal” lives the rest of the week. They may fail to see how their faith impacts how they live, or they may just not know how to integrate their spirituality into the rest of their lives. How can we help people live out their faith the other six days of the week — especially in the places where they spend the most time away from home, their jobs?

This month I had a conversation with Randy Hain, senior editor of the Integrated Catholic Life eMagazine, co-founder of the Atlanta Catholic Business Conference, and author of The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work. He talked about his book and about how the “average Catholic” can live the faith in the secular business world.

Click to Play – 012 – The-Catholic-Briefcase

Episode 011 – The Gift of Media

011This month we’re featuring an interview with Dr. Eugene Gan, associate professor of communication arts at Franciscan University of Steubenville and author of Infinte Bandwidth: Encountering Christ in the Media. We discussed the Church’s teaching on media, where to find good media, and how parents and catechists have a hand in forming children’s understanding and use of media.

Here are the links mentioned in the podcast:

As always, tell us what you think about the interview — and how you’ve used media effectively in your catechetical programs — by leaving a comment.

Click to Play – 011 – The Gift of Media

The More Things Change…

August greetings!

We’re getting ready to launch the second season of the Catechetical Leader podcast next week. But today we’ve got a clip that came too late to include in the NCCL convention episode. It’s the speech given by Greg Erlandson at the OSV luncheon in May.

Enjoy — and check back next week for an interview with Dr. Eugene Gan on faith and media!

Click to Play – The More Things Change

Episode 010 – Atlanta Memories


I just got back from the 75th annual NCCL convention and expo in Atlanta, Georgia. I had a great time meeting new friends, catching up with old friends, engaging in learning sessions, and experiencing TED-style general sessions.

I also took a portable audio recorder with me to talk with some of the presenters, attendees, and NCCL leaders at the conference. This “audio postcard” gives just a glimpse of what we all heard, saw, and felt during our five days in Atlanta. Enjoy!

Episode 009 – Practice Makes Catholic

009Welcome to episode nine of the Catechetical Leader podcast! This month I talked with Joe Paprocki of Catechist’s Journey about his new book: Practice Makes Catholic: Moving from a Learned Faith to a Lived Faith (Loyola Press, 2011). Our conversation ranged from the resurgence of sacramentals to why holding on to hope and joy are more important than ever in the life of the Church.

Joe is a 4th grade catechist, the National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, and well-known author of The Bible Blueprint, The Catechist’s Toolbox, and A Well Built Faith.

In addition to the book Joe is offering free resources for anyone who would like to use Practice Makes Catholic in a spiritual mentoring role; those materials are available on the Loyola Press web site.

Click to Play – 009 – Practice Makes Catholic

Episode 008 – St. Luke to the ER, Stat!

008This month on the program I’m featuring a topic about catechesis outside the parish and school. Most of the time when we talk about catechesis in the Church we’re referring to PSR programs, adult faith formation, or the Catholic school. But those aren’t the only settings in which the Church explains it teachings.

For this episode I recorded separate interviews with two administrators who “catechize” in Catholic hospitals:

  • Mary Homan, Mission Integration Coordinator at St. Francis Health Center (Topeka, KS)
  • Ben Wiederholt, Vice President of Mission Integration at Flaget Memorial Hospital (Bardstown, KY) and St. Joseph Mt. Sterling Hospital (Mt. Sterling, KY)

In the interviews they talk about what mission integration is, why it is important to Catholic health care, and how they explain the faith to the associates in their hospitals.

Click to Play – 008 – St. Luke to the ER Stat