Articles Under: Leadership & Catechist Formation

As a young boy, my grandfather ( kupuna kāne : KOO-poonah KAH-nay) taught me important and practical knowledge that was unique to island-living: fishing, taro farming, herb collecting for traditional Hawaiian medicines, and underground cooking with lava rocks and banana leaves. He also taught me, as generations before him had done, those ethical principles that guide Hawaiian culture. Some of these include: the importance of song ( mele : may-lay) and storytelling ( mo’olelo : moh-oh-lay-loh) in handing down our culture, the necessity of caring for the land ( Mālama ‘Āina : MAH-lah-mah AE-nah), and the indispensability of reconciliation, healing,... Read more
“Behold, the Lamb of God!” Following Christ’s baptism, the Gospel of John recounts how John the Baptist recognizes Jesus walking by and proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” Two of the Baptist’s disciples, including Andrew, immediately follow Jesus and ask him, “Where are you staying?” to which the Lord replies, “Come and see.” And “so they went … and stayed with him that day” (Jn 1:35-39). The passage beautifully illustrates the “dynamism of vocation” and the process of discernment among the first disciples of Jesus. Specifically it offers a paradigm for the manner by which Christ invites men to share... Read more
En el año 2005, la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos publicó el documento titulado, The National Directory for Catechesis [El directorio nacional para la catequesis], lo cual declara, “toda persona con discapacidad tiene necesidades catequéticas que la comunidad cristiana tiene el deber de reconocer y satisfacer. Toda persona bautizada con discapacidad tiene el derecho a una catequesis adecuada y merece los medios para desarrollar su relación con Dios.” [1] Mi interés y participación en la formación religiosa de niños con discapacidades tiene sus raíces en mi experiencia personal. Al buscar respuestas acerca de lo que mejor nos... Read more
In 2005, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published The National Directory for Catechesis, which states, “each person with a disability has catechetical needs that the Christian community must recognize and meet. All baptized persons with disabilities have a right to adequate catechesis and deserve the means to develop a relationship with God.” [1] My interest and involvement in the religious formation of children with disabilities has its roots in personal experience. As I searched for answers about what was best for our family, I found that our story was common; and though some students are being catechized at... Read more
Luego de una larga sucesión de documentos magisteriales orientados a la importancia de un ambiente comunitario que fomente el cultivo de la vocación de cada miembro [1] , el Documento Preparatorio de la próxima XV Asamblea General Ordinaria del Sínodo de los Obispos, “Los jóvenes, la fe y el discernimiento vocacional” [2] , declara: Toda la comunidad cristiana debe sentirse responsable de la tarea de educar a las nuevas generaciones y debemos reconocer que son muchas las figuras de cristianos que la asumen, empezando por quienes se comprometen dentro de la vida eclesial. […] En todas las partes del mundo... Read more
Following a long line of magisterial documents that address the importance of a communal environment conducive to fostering one's vocation, [1] the Preparatory Document of the upcoming XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” [2] states: The entire Christian community should feel the responsibility of educating new generations. In fact, many Christians involved in this work deserve recognition, beginning with those who have assumed this responsibility within ecclesial life...Everywhere in the world, parishes, religious congregations, associations, movements and ecclesial realities exist which can devise and offer young people significant experiences of... Read more
Examinamos las implicaciones concretas de una catequesis inspirada por la pedagogía de Dios. En la última edición de The Sower notamos la centralidad del concepto de la pedagogía de Dios en el Directorio General para la Catequesis . Vemos que el Pedagogo es el mismo Dios y que los catequistas trabajan dentro de la pedagogía de Dios . “La catequesis, en cuanto comunicación de la Revelación divina, se inspira radicalmente en la pedagogía de Dios tal como se realiza en Cristo y en la Iglesia” (DGC 143). Como Pedagogo, la labor de Dios es la de disciplinar, o ‘discipular’ a... Read more
Entering the silent sacred space called an atrium to prepare for the children, I become aware of God’s peace. So many gifts. So much love. Six other catechists and I take turns serving small groups of three to six-year-old children (80 in all) in the atrium. But my peace was disturbed recently, when I discovered that the environment I prepared so carefully had been invaded. The children had just begun to work when five-year-old Cristina held out to me a silver tray on which sat four white ceramic bowls. The now empty larger bowl was supposed to contain about a... Read more
Victory Over Death and Darkness Ten years ago I woke up from a medical coma in Billings, Montana. Five days earlier, while I was working at a Catholic ranch for delinquent youth in northwest Wyoming, I was nearly killed. One night, while we were camping out at a site in the middle of the Wyoming high desert, in an attempt to steal the keys to a truck so they could escape from the ranch, four teenage boys waited until I fell asleep. I was in a sleeping bag under the stars. They snuck out of their tent and picked up... Read more
Since its initial presentation almost forty years ago, Pope St. John Paul II’s catechesis Man and Woman He Created Them (henceforth “Theology of the Body” or TOB) has borne inestimable fruits in the personal faith lives of countless men and women, in the life of the Church and its theology, and in the world at large. In my own work, I have seen firsthand just how transformative the TOB vision of sex, love, marriage, human personhood, and the mystery of redemption in Christ can be for those answering Christ’s call to discipleship. So much good has come from St. John... Read more