Articles Under: Adult Faith Formation

To learn more or to register for the St. John Bosco Conference, click here or call 740-283-6315.Read more
Several years ago, I was working as a parish Coordinator of Youth Ministry, and one of my responsibilities was teaching a high school religious education class. The class was arranged by the parish DRE and met as part of her programming each Wednesday night. There was no set textbook or program. We had a wide range of topics and materials available, and we were able to move as the class needed. The class was comprised of a diverse range of students with varying backgrounds and levels of catechetical formation. Mid-year, a new family moved to the parish. The parents only... Read more
In the second chapter of his Theology of the Body (TOB) catechesis, [1] Pope St. John Paul II underscores the special value of TOB for men and women seeking to understand the teachings of the Church in the area of sexual morality (TOB 59:5). The ultimate conclusion of these teachings is that, in order to conform to the demands of human dignity, a sexual act must be procreative and unitive in the context of genuine marital love. The full impact of this conclusion calls for careful reflections on each of the values in play. The special value of TOB rests... Read more
Born into a Catholic family and baptized when I was sixteen days old, I grew up accepting the Church, receiving from her, but not understanding much about her identity. True, I appreciated the beauty in the stained-glass windows and the rich wood of the pews of my parish church. And in Holy Communion at a young age, I remember on occasion experiencing deep peace and comfort. I also felt a sense of awe, of a holy presence, when I entered the chapels of the Catholic schools I attended. Never in my years of Catholic school (during the 70’s and 80’s)... Read more
Most people within the Catholic Church, as well as those who would consider themselves religiously unaffiliated, have some name and image recognition of St. Francis of Assisi. For many, the dominant image is the ubiquitous St. Francis birdbath nestled in the greenery or the flower garden. Others may think of Francis of Assisi’s particular love for the poor and the lepers of his day. For others, when they think of St. Francis, their consideration is drawn to the stigmata he received that resembled the wounds of the poor, crucified Christ. These images all have a true connection to the man... Read more
International Catechetical Study Weeks (1964–1968) We continue this series from the last issue of the Catechetical Review here in the From the Shepherds department because of its reflections on the writings of the bishops of the universal Church. The five decades between the Second Vatican Council and the publication of the third general catechetical directory in 2020 have been an extraordinarily important period in the history of modern catechetics. During this time the Church’s catechetical ministry has been afforded unprecedented support in documents of the universal Church as well as those of the bishops of the United States. This series... Read more
A frequently asked question from the young women I teach is, “Don’t you feel like it’s unfair that women can’t be priests?” As a woman working in the Church and teaching the faith, I think they expect me to feel cheated, as if my rights are being disrespected. While I have taken the time to consider the question and its implications, I would never change my answer: “Not at all!” The role I have is an absolute privilege and different roles do not mean unequal or unfair— they just mean different . My job as a Catholic middle school religion... Read more
The human heart loves mysteries. By mystery, I mean hidden knowledge that requires a sleuth to uncover the truth. We love the idea of discovering lost secrets that upend our entire understanding of our world. Think of space aliens and the secret Area 51 in New Mexico. Think of movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark where the “true purpose” of the Ark of the Covenant is revealed or National Treasure , which divulges the “real” mission behind the Knights Templar and features the discovery of an ancient, buried treasure. There are even “mysteries” about the Catholic Church found in... Read more
At a time when we know all too well the sins of our leaders, the “mark” of holiness raises questions. But insights from Saint Augustine can give perspective and hope—because even while the Church is “always in need of purification” (CCC 827), she is united with Christ and she is “sanctified by him; [and] through him and with him she becomes sanctifying” ( CCC 824). [i] Augustine Gives Perspective When Christians were being persecuted in the third and fourth centuries, many clergy denied Christ in order to save their lives, which caused great scandal among the faithful. So, when peace... Read more
The seventeenth chapter of John’s Gospel captures an intimate conversation between Jesus and God the Father. Jesus and his disciples will soon cross the Kidron Valley and enter into the Garden of Gethsemane. He will be arrested and enter into his Passion. “The hour has come” (Jn 17:1). Earlier in John’s Gospel, when Mary approaches Jesus at the wedding at Cana, Jesus responds by saying, “My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). Later, when Jesus heals on the Sabbath, the people seek to arrest him, but “no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come”... Read more