By now, virtually everyone acknowledges that Christians are victims of ISIS genocide in Iraq and Syria. What’s less well known is that the Middle East is hardly the only danger zones for Christians today. From India to North Korea, from Eritrea to Kenya and reaching even into Latin America, Christians today are by far the world’s most persecuted religious minority. John Allen, author of the “Globa..
Pope Francis gives us five clues to better understand how Jesus evangelizes. These five clues are the linchpin for the spirituality and the methodology of the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, a major initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Over the next four years, it promises to generate personal and pastoral conversion for the Church in the United States. Disc..
The “General Directory for Catechesis” insists that all catechesis in the Church is to be inspired by the baptismal catechumenate (GDC, #59). Many of us scratch our heads and say, “That’s nice, but what does it practically mean for my ministry?” In this session, we will explore what the GDC means when it points us to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). We will consider the many face..
The use of song in children’s catechesis is an effective and engaging way to teach and celebrate our faith. Music increases learning and enhances celebration. In this workshop, celebrated composer and educator John Burland will share a variety of music that deepens children’s understanding of sacraments, the liturgical year and major Church feasts/celebrations. These “easy to learn” songs are rich..
There’s something special about the generation of youth we work with. They are open to mentors, looking for a place to belong and are willing to share their gifts. They are also in need of the Good News of our Catholic faith as they take their place as missionary disciples. This workshop will explore a model and process for preparing youth for confirmation that engages youth today by involving fam..
Are you ready to transform the way you approach religious education with children? In this workshop, we will look at seven keys that will help you reach beyond just enlivening minds and get into the ministry of touching hearts. If you’ve ever wondered just how to begin to build faith in a meaningful way with children, then this workshop is for you!Steven EllairSteven Ellair is a national speaker w..
How can Catholic schools fulfill their Catholic mission and foster an environment where all are truly welcome? This workshop will explore the experiences of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students in public and Catholic high schools in light of Church teachings on homosexuality. We will share concrete tools and consider real scenarios to help educators discern a merciful balance bet..
Faithful Christians desire to do God’s will in their lives but often do not know how. In our Christian tradition, St. Ignatius of Loyola is the primary exponent of a practical teaching on how to discern God’s will. In this workshop, we will explore that teaching: discerning God’s will in the different kinds of choices we face; the foundation of discernment; the necessary disposition; the spiritual..
Our spiritual habits affect our physical and emotional health in a variety of ways. In this session, we’ll explore recent findings in neuroscience showing how these practices slow aging in our cells, keep our brains healthy and nimble, reduce stress and bring more health, happiness and compassion into our lives. We can then “rise up” to use all our God-given gifts to serve and enliven our communit..
Adult formation and evangelization are key to creating communities that attract and engage adults and young adults. How do we – both as parishes and individuals – evangelize adults and young adults, especially those who may not claim affiliation with any religion? How do we nurture and form adults and young adults in a faith that brings them life? We’ll examine current trends in society and in the..
Professional catechetical leaders across the United States have been commissioned to share the faith, yet our catechetical imagination may need to be re-invigorated. Rooted in a long history of creative thinking, the vocation of a catechetical leader is more than numbers, programs and curricula; it involves the Spirit shaking creativity that scared the first Apostles. Are you ready to be shaken up..
Saint Mary’s Press recently conducted extensive research with young Catholics who have left the Church. This session will identify the underlying dynamics that lead to disaffiliation, describe the factors that reinforce those dynamics, and examine the implications for parish life, liturgy and pastoral ministry. We will hear about these issues from young adults in their own words and voices. And we..
There is more to the rosary than the beads! This session is perfect for those who are searching for new ways to say old prayers or feel that praying the rosary is too monotonous. Using his own art and stories, Bro. Mickey McGrath will shed new and contemporary light on the themes highlighted in the traditional mysteries of the rosary. We will focus on all four sets of mysteries – joyful, sorrowful..
When I am lifted up, rise up! Falling into the ground and dying to rise. Bending to serve and rising to lift others up. Being deeply troubled and just as deeply sure of God as Father who will honor him. Suffering and glory – all paradoxes to describe Jesus’ life as Son of Man and Risen Lord. And we, as his beloved followers and friends living those paradoxes now in our lives, we are Jesus’ servant..
Pope Francis encourages, cajoles and challenges us to encounter! Encounters are not nice, tidy, seemly, proper or polite. Encounters are real, raw, intimate, vulnerable, mysterious and ... holy. Encounters awaken, provoke, stretch and ... heal. Encounters inform and infuse and mediate good church. Good church emerges organically and gracefully out of encounter. So, let’s risk encounter (and encoun..