Thursday, April 29, 2010

"We're not meeting next week?"

This question was posed last night by one or two of the students in the High School religious ed class. I was slightly shocked! Last night was our last class and some of the students expressed interest in wanting to come back next week! Instead of coming back to an empty room I suggested that they come hang out at our youth gathering on Sunday nights. They had no interest in coming during the year when I talked about it, but maybe things are different now. Sometimes they really do need that personal invite and how quickly I forget that. Don't we all need that personal invite? It's how things get started!

In high school my best friend went to a "Steubenville Conference" during the summer and the next school year she told me about it. I saw her excitement in it and it sounded like fun. Although, like most people, I thought she said "Stupidville" at first. I ended up going to four Steubenville North Conferences and I chaperoned one later in college.

When I transfered to a new college during my freshman year, a girl I was friends with in high school invited me to daily mass, and ever since that it became a pattern for me: mass with friends and then lunch after. It was that feeling of love and support that I felt in the beginning that led me to be a leader for many campus ministry activities in my college years. And it was a friend who told me about the ECHO Faith Formation program through the University of Notre Dame.

It's amazing to think about the impact that people have on us and the impact and influence that we can have on others. Who are you impacting today? Who is being influenced by your daily actions?

Monday, April 26, 2010


A high school religious ed class was asked to write down their answers to four questions on prayer and these are the answers that they came up with. Sometimes it's amazing to see what they come up with and to realize they have been listening in class all along!

Prayer is...

when you speak to God/a way to talk to God
important! And it's awesome to pray and God is always there to listen to us!
a way to communicate with God
when you want to make something good for someone else.

Prayer is important because...

we can ask for God's forgiveness
it helps us communicate with God
you can ask for help
it makes us closer to God
it makes you feel better
it can express our feelings
it's a way to talk to God whenever you need help
it gets a lot off my mind and makes me feel better and takes stress off my back and talking to God is great!

God communicates with us through...

our hearts
other people
our prayers
our minds
the Bible
everything that happens in our life

We respond to God's communication with us by...

praying to him and listening to him
helping others
talking to others
communicating with God
giving money to the church

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Live from NCCL!

I have been in Las Vegas for two days and I have one more full day left at the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. Time seems to slip away here, probably because the days are packed with so many speakers and functions to attend. This afternoon was kind of chill and I just woke up from an hour long nap. Oh it was good.

I have really enjoyed myself so far. I have met so many people whose names I will probably not remember and have visited a plethora of publishers exhibits, seeking only the free resources and catalogs I can pick up. One of the best parts of NCCL has been receiving all the free books that I have! Turns out that if you attend a publisher's showcase (where they present their material, usually a new product), you get free stuff. This morning I woke up bright and early so I could attend the Saint Mary's Press showcase at 8am, but it was sure worth it because I received their newest bible: The Catholic Family Connections Bible. I love it! There are so many resources inside of it and it truly will make a great addition to any family's home. My thought is to give it to families who are preparing for baptism. This afternoon I also received The Catechist's Toolbox, which I was extremely excited to get. I'm hoping it can help me in the future when planning and presenting catechist trainings and meetings.

Coming to this conference has really boosted my motivation to become a catechesis expert. Well, I don't know about expert, but I would like to continue learning so that I can help others to learn and grow and help them to better teach our young ones at the parishes. Hopefully I can carry this enthusiasm into work next week when I get back to reality and sit back in my desk chair, eyes wondering out the window...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easter and Beyond

I love the Easter season: signs of new life, singing Alleluia again, celebrating the Risen Christ. It truly is a joy-filled season... but why does it have to be so busy!? So much going on at work and socially! But being busy isn't what I wanted to reflect on today.

Last Sunday we had a mystagogy session for RCIA. Unfortunately not even half of our "class" showed up, we ended up with 8 people that morning. It was still a great time, for we got to hear more testimonies from everyone. Several people mentioned how Mass that morning (one week after Easter) was more special than the actual Easter Vigil. They also said the Vigil was special in itself, but the following Mass held more meaning for them. I wouldn't have thought of that. To me it was another Mass on Sunday, although it was in the Easter season. These people were able to go to Mass with their families and receive the Eucharist. No special bells and whistles, but a normal Mass, and it was extremely special to them. How many times do we take Mass for granted? It's amazing what we can learn from those in RCIA.