Articles Under: Liturgical Catechesis

It happens more than we like to admit: after a joy-filled Easter Vigil, many new Catholics skip out on the post-baptismal catechesis sessions. Our best plans for a riveting exploration of the rich theological and historical meaning of the sacred signs of our faith serve only a few. Like other RCIA directors, this trend in my own parish has given me much cause for reflection. Was it something I did or didn’t do? There may be any number of reasons why someone does not attend mystagogy, but there are also good reasons why people do show up. Last year, our... Read more
Once, now many years ago, I met the chalice. Of course, I had seen many, but I met one when I was at Beuron, when a friendly monk, who had charge of the sacred vessels, was showing me the treasures of the sacristy. It stood on a broad foot, firm and secure on its base. Sharply the stem rose up, very slender. One felt the uprising, compressed, carrying power. Just above the middle was the clear-cut form of the knob or node; and then, where a smaller ring gathered the noble strength into a last concentration, there sprouted fine strong... Read more
In the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults there are several aspects of formation and many moving parts that all contribute to the overall formation of the catechumens and the candidates. The pastoral aspect of formation concerns itself with the overall discipleship development of the catechumens, while the catechetical aspect helps them come to know the Word of God and brings them into intimacy with Jesus Christ. However, it is sometimes easy to forget that the RCIA is a liturgical rite and that the liturgical rites provide the grace and supernatural power that transforms the catechumens to become more like... Read more
Recientemente, en una conferencia para dirigentes católicos, me preguntó un joven sacerdote a qué me dedicaba. Le dije que ayudo a las parroquias a inventar estrategias para crear una cultura de discipulado en su parroquia. Me preguntó cómo hago eso. Le contesté que nos gusta enfocar principios, no balas de plata, y capacitar a un grupo de dirigentes en la parroquia para producir un cambio cultural al proyectar una visión, edificando un camino claro hacia el discipulado, movilizando a los líderes, y alineando ministerios claves con una visión orientada hacia el discipulado. Decayó su semblante. ¡Me preguntaba qué había hecho... Read more
Recently, at a conference for Catholic leaders, I was asked by a young priest what I do. I told him that I help parishes strategize around how to create a culture of discipleship in their parish. He asked me how I do that. I told him that we like to focus on principles, not silver bullets, and train a group of leaders in the parish to create culture change by casting vision, building a clear path to discipleship, mobilizing leaders, and aligning key ministries with a discipleship-oriented vision. His face fell. I wondered what I had said to offend him!... Read more
In Lumen Gentium , the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, we are taught that “all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (40). If wit and brevity are more your speed, perhaps Mother Angelica said it better: “if you’re breathing and you’ve got two legs, you’re called to holiness.” [1] This is an important thing for every catechist to remember, especially on days when students seem extra bitter, extra ornery, and extra closed-minded. God still loves each of them profoundly... Read more
By definition, Catholic schools are an extension of the Church’s saving mission of evangelization, with a special responsibility to provide “a privileged environment for the complete formation of her members” within that context. [1] That “complete formation” must have as its goal a lively and enlivening relationship with Christ specifically in the Eucharist, around which all apostolic work and even the other sacraments are centered (CCC 1324). Turning that belief into practice is one of the most critical activities in which a Catholic school must engage if it is to fulfill its own identity within the larger context of the... Read more
On November 2, the Church commemorates the Feast of All Souls. In contrast to the Feast of All Saints the day before, the All Souls liturgy remembers all who have died, not just the saints in heaven. As such, it is a much more somber occasion. After all, many souls will never be saints in heaven: they have elected an eternity separate from the love of God and must therefore suffer the torments of hell. But even though “it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost” (Mt 18:14), the punishment of... Read more
En nuestro número anterior, Dr. Kreeft exploró varios asuntos importantes que se suscitan cuando consideramos las preguntas de “¿quién?” y “¿dónde?” en cuanto se refieran a Cristo en la Eucaristía. En este artículo, el autor examina las tres preguntas finales con tal de ayudarnos a mejor comprender la enseñanza de la Iglesia sobre nuestro Señor Eucarístico. ¿Qué? ¿Qué actividad realiza Cristo en la Eucaristía? Obviamente, Él actúa sobre nosotros y dentro de nosotros en la Sagrada Comunión, tanto en nuestro cuerpo como en nuestra alma, ya que Él nos penetra en Cuerpo y Alma, no solamente para estar allí, para... Read more
In our previous issue, Dr. Kreeft explored several important issues that arise when we consider the questions of “who” and “when” as they relate to Christ in the Eucharist. In this article, he will examine three final questions, to help us better understand the Church’s teaching concerning our Eucharistic Lord. What? What activity is Christ performing in the Eucharist? Obviously, he is acting on us and in us in Holy Communion, both in body and soul, since he enters us both in body and soul not just in order to be there, to be actual, but also to be active... Read more