When Your Kids Don’t Want to Be Catholic

kids-don't-want-catholicWhat do you say when your son or daughter doesn’t want be Catholic?

When they don’t want to go to Mass or refuse to go to CCD?

To the kids out there, do you think your parents are forcing you to be Catholic?

Obviously, this parent/child conflict over religion is a real issue.

I know because I get a ton of traffic from parents and kids searching on this topic.

The statistics are pretty telling too. The majority of millennials are absent from the Catholic ranks.

As someone who’s been on both sides, a kid wanting to drop Catholicism and a parent wanting to keep my kids Catholic–here’s my take.
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How to Use a Catechism [Link]

Are you keeping up with your Catechism reading?

With so many of you reading the Catechism for the Year of Faith, it occurred to me that maybe some are not familiar with the intricacies of this resource.

There’s gold in there for catechists!

Here’s an post from a fellow Franciscan Catechetics grad, Edmund Mitchell, that shows how to get the most out of the Catechism by using the cross-references, indexes, and many other essential features.

He also has a similar post on how to read the Bible with the Catechism in order to understand the biblical passages in light of Sacred Tradition and interpret them within the heart of the Church.

The Catechism is a treasure trove of riches for catechists. It is the sure norm for teaching the Faith.

It’s important to understand how to use it well.

Happy reading!

Are You Accidentally Sabotaging Your Student’s Faith?

catechesis sabotageDid you ever consider that maybe you’re teaching the wrong thing?

Most catechetical programs try to give students a complete education in the Faith before 8th grade.

But does the textbook’s spiral curriculum really make a difference if the students don’t believe the teaching and leave the Church? What’s missing?

To me, apathetic 8th graders sitting bored in a Confirmation class are a sign of failure…not of the catechist so much as the system.

I think there is something missing from most catechetical programs that sabotage student’s faith. Here’s what it is and how to fix it.
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The Surprising Truth About Baptism and Why Catholics Fall Away

vigil faith response

Outside at the Easter Vigil…I finally believed

It was the Easter Vigil before my 33rd birthday and I was plagued by a question.

If Baptism does everything it’s supposed to do, why do people fall away?

If my soul was changed when I was baptized as an infant and I became a new creation, how could I be indifferent to God and walk away from him?

Is it the case that sometimes Baptism doesn’t work?

The answer to that question was tied up in my newfound faith and the Easter Vigil where I realized–for the first time in my life–that Jesus was really, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
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Why Catechesis is About Conversion, or It’s About Nothing At All

conversion landscape

Conversion–go beyond the mind that you have

Christian life is about conversion.

The National Directory for Catechesis says, “The Christian faith is, above all, conversion to Jesus Christ” (p. 48).

The first words out of Jesus’ mouth in Mark’s gospel are, “The kingdom of God is at hand, therefore, repent and believe the good news.”

This is the first thing he has to say. The kingdom of God is hand.

What would that mean to the people who heard him? Well, they all knew what a king was…and the kingdom is built up around him. The king sets the tone for the kingdom. He calls the shots.

If you come under the auspices of a new king, it means a new order, a new way of doing things. Now the Kingdom of God is here. God is in control.

So, what should you do? Repent! Convert!
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What is Salvation History: A Catholic Definition

Salvation history - the divine love story. Salvation history is the story of God and the story of man.

It’s how God has loved and cherished mankind since the beginning of time.

It’s how mankind has journeyed from Godly riches to rags and back again.

It’s how the hero-king, the rescuer Jesus Christ, came down from his throne to share his life and deliver mankind from captivity.

Quite literally, salvation history is the story of how we are saved–our redemption in Jesus Christ. But it’s actually much more than that. It’s the vehicle to understand who you are in this world and what you’re meant to be. [Read more…]

In Evangelization, It’s God Who First Reaches Out

Olivia Hussey as Mary in "Jesus of Nazareth"

It’s hard to reach people outside the Church with the message of Christ.

But that’s the people you’re supposed to reach with evangelization!

Most people that start in the RCIA (the process for joining the Church) already know something about Catholicism.

But, they’re the brave ones–the 20% with enough gumption to walk through the doors.

There’s probably another 80% that have questions but aren’t ready to take that step.

However, like God, we have to find ways to reach out to people that need a nudge in the right direction. And, I was convicted of this recently by watching the old movie Jesus of Nazareth.
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Joe Paprocki’s 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness Webinar

I want to let you know about a free webinar from Joe Paprocki coming up on Tuesday, April 24.

It’s for his new book  7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness.

This book is like preventative medicine for the soul.

We all know the things we’re supposed to do to stay physically healthy like eating right, exercising regularly (I’m talking to myself), and taking vitamins.

But how much do we know about staying spiritually healthy?
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11 Tips on Successful Lesson Planning and Preparation

Guest post by Joe Paprocki

In my many years of catechetical ministry, I have learned that there are many factors that go into successful teaching, not the least of which is planning and preparation.

Here are 11 tips I’d like to offer to help you with your approach to lesson planning:
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Why Religion Is Not About Being Good

Name the 10 Commandments. What’s the first one you think of?

Most of the time people say the “thou shalt nots.”

Thou salt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet.

What’s interesting is they don’t start that way! The first commandment is not a “thou shalt not,” and it holds the key to understanding the rest.

So why do so many people concentrate on the negative? It’s easy, we view religion through the lens of law, and laws make people good.

But is being good what Christianity is really all about?
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