Eucharist is the center of Faith Formation and Sacramental Preparation

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I am excited to lead this retreat and workshop for ministry leaders in the Archdiocese of Seattle.

Eucharist is the center of Faith Formation and Sacramental Preparation
A Retreat and Workshop for Ministry Leaders in Faith Formation, Sacramental Preparation, and Youth Ministry – February 7, 2024 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Eucharist gathers us, nourishes us, and sends us out in mission to become Christ’s presence in the world. Parish communities can transform the faith formation and sacramental preparation of children, youth, adults, and families by placing the Eucharist as the center of all formation. This workshop and retreat will provide an opportunity to reflect on the richness of the Catholic faith’s teaching about Eucharist along with a chance to explore ways to implement a Eucharistic vision for ministry to engage people of all ages who seek to grow in faith and receive the Sacraments. This will include practical ways to help members of our parishes to encounter Christ and live the Eucharist as disciples.

Listening to My Masters Voice

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“Behold, I am making all things new.”

Revelation 21:5

When I was 13, my middle school required six-week courses to explore the various electives.  This included spending time in Shop class.  I was nervous and unfamiliar with working with tools. The shop teacher was a bit of a curmudgeon and he seemed to take an immediate dislike to me.  He chose to give me an “F” in his class, which triggered a meeting with me, my mother, and the shop teacher.  My mom, who is quite persuasive, convinced him to change the grade, but not before he told her in front of me that I was hopeless and should never be allowed around tools.  I believed him and I was OK.  Even at that age, I thought to myself, “I can be good at other things, and if I need to, I can ask for help or pay someone to help me fix things.” 

Then, COVID 19 hit and the rules changed. I couldn’t just simply hire a repair person. To take care of my family, I needed to figure things out. When the refrigerator door broke, I watched a YouTube video, ordered the parts, got out the tools, and fixed it.  Then the dishwasher broke, and I enlisted the help of my daughter to repair the racks.  Then the icemaker broke and after several videos and lots of hours, I repaired it.  This Christmas, the seal got caught in the trunk of our car that was hiding several Christmas gifts and we couldn’t open it.  I removed the seal, opened the trunk, and replaced the seal. 

I believed the voice of my shop teacher and I shouldn’t have.  This made me think that there are many voices I believe that I shouldn’t, including my own inner critic. 

Any voice that tells me I am not enough, I can never do it, or that I am hopeless is not the voice of our loving God.  His voice says, “you are my beloved child and I love you beyond your imagination.” The voice of our Spirit led conscious calls us to do better, to avoid sin, and to reconcile, but that voice doesn’t degrade or devalue us. That voice does not deny our intrinsic value in the eyes of the God who created us and longs for us. This year I will strive to be new by discerning my master’s voice and by putting the other voices to the side.

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27

Christ Holding a lamb.

Christ is the Center of our Confirmation Ministries with Youth

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I am excited to announce that I have been working in partnership with dioceses to explore the potential for parishes to transform their Confirmation ministries in ways that promote encounter with Christ, engagement of youth in the parish, family faith sharing, and accompaniment. I have been amazed at the creativity of parishes and the commitment of ministry leaders for forming youth as disciples. These workshops and projects are based on a vision for catechesis and accompaniment drawing upon the direction provided by Christus Vivit and the Directory for Catechesis.  This includes an exploration of a Eucharistic vision for parish life and sacramental ministries in support of the National Eucharistic Revival. 

These partnerships include diocesan projects, clergy workshops, as well as conference presentations and day-long workshops for parish leadership.  Workshops include the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, The Southeast Catechist’s Conference in Atlanta, Dioceses of Altoona-Johnstown, Cleveland, and Victoria, and the Archdioceses of Detroit, and San Antonio. I was also asked to be the author for the Confirmation article written for the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops:  “Christ is Alive in Confirmation Ministries.”

Upcoming Workshops: 

February 15, 2023 – Archdiocese of Seattle (Information below)

March 7, 2023 – Diocese of San Diego

To schedule workshops, or for more information please contact me:  [email protected]

The Children are Listening

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On Catechetical Sunday, I was sitting with my 5 ½ year old grandson at mass.  He was looking at a Children’s Bible and then at the hymnal.  I wondered about his experience of liturgy.  What does this mean to him?   

He asked me to hold him during the prayers of the faithful.  He seemed sleepy as he put his head on my shoulder. The prayer leader shared a petition for the catechists, families and children that are starting faith formation this week.  His head popped up and he whispered in my ear, “that’s me!” 

He was listening all along.  This experience reminded me how important it is to have children with us as we live out our life of faith and participate in Church.  Parents struggle to get children to mass, to keep their attention, and to avoid embarrassing outbursts.  This struggle is a holy and essential part of parenting children for faith.  As a faith community, we need to encourage and affirm parents as they keep children close.  We can experience the giggles, squirming, crying, and occasional outbursts as signs of life in our parishes, and pray for families and for the budding friendship with God that is being nurtured as children are close to the holy.  We need to always remember – they are listening and they are watching more than we know.