Catechist Corner

It's all about sharing the faith.

Spiritual Wellness

7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness

As catechists, one thing that is important for us to remember is that for us to best enrich the lives of the disciples entrusted to us, we must remember to take care to of our own spiritual needs too.  If your life is anything like mine, you are very busy and that makes it easy to get stuck in routines.  We can have a tendency to put our own spirituality on the back burner as we focus on our students, our families and our friends.  Additionally, in going through our hectic lives, we can pick up some bad habits that impact our spiritual health in a negative way.

I recognize these tendencies in myself and I’m sure that I’m not alone.  I’m always looking for opportunities to strengthen my own spirituality, not only to help me grow closer to God, but to be able to share Him more effectively with others that I come in contact with.  So, you can imagine my excitement then when I found out that Joe Paprocki was having another one of his free webinars, this time on this very topic.  If you don’t know Joe, his blog, Catechist’s Journey, was the first blog for catechists that I found on the web.  I consider him a sort of online mentor for me based on the content on his blog, not only regarding ideas and techniques for being a good catechist, but also by reflecting on his comments as a way of seeing where I need to improve in my ministry.

Joe’s upcoming webinar is titled “7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness” and is based on some of the information found in his new book by the same title.  While I have not read the book (yet), based on the description I was able to find on the Loyola Press website, it looks like a great resource for catechists, but it is clear from the description that this would be valuable for all sorts of people looking for spiritual renewal, whether in a formal ministry or not.  This webinar will cover some of the principles from the book and will similarly be a great resource for those looking to strengthen their spiritual health.

Like Joe’s prior webinars, this one is free.  It is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 6pm EDT and should last about an hour.  If his prior webinars are any indication, the time will be well spent.  Below is a link to the post on Joe’s blog describing the webinar and that page also contains a link to sign up for the event.  You will need to sign up to get the link to the session.

 

7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness: A Webinar for Easter People

 

I know we are all on a spiritual journey and as human beings, we can have a tendency to not give our journey the attention it deserves.  This should prove to be a great opportunity to refocus ourselves on our spiritual wellness and can take us another step closer to our Lord.  I hope you’ll have the opportunity to attend.

Until next time, keep sharing the faith.

The Christmas Story

With Christmas approaching, I thought I’d share this cute video that’s been flooding the social networks today.  It was put together by some children in New Zealand (with some adult help, I’m sure).  Enjoy!!

 

 

I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!!

Until next time, keep sharing the faith!

Post CNMC MMX

As my readers know, I attended the SQPN CNMC MMX this past weekend.  I have to admit, the initials are better then having to say the Star Quest Production Network Catholic New Media Celebration 2010.  This was a gathering of the best minds in Catholic Podcasting and Blogging, and I was hoping to learn a thing or two from the creativity that could be found there.

I will not recap the events of the event.  Many others have done that already and are much better at that sort of thing then I am.  I will highlight a few things that were most powerful for me.  First, I met people … a lot of people.  Many of these individuals I know from Twitter, Facebook as well as the podcasts and blogs that I follow.  I was amazing to talk to these individuals in person and to witness their drive and energy first hand.  People like Barb Gilman (a.k.a. Barb in Nebraska), a 3rd grade teacher in a Catholic school who has so much energy that she probably puts her 3rd graders to shame; and Maria “Bego” Johnson from another cup of coffee, who is the classic Cubanita and a hoot to be around.

There were so many others that I met and had the opportunity to chat with, including Pat and Brian Padley from In Between Sundays, Dr. Paul Camarata from The SaintCast, Fr. Jay Finelli from iPadre, Fr. Jim Tucker from The Catholic Creativity Community and even Dane Falkner who leads the team at DivineOffice.org.  I even made some new local friends while I was there too.

The highlight for me was being able to chat briefly with His Eminence, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, the “Blogging Cardinal” and who happens to be the shepherd of my Church.  He is such a humble man!  The Archdiocese of Boston is truly blessed to have him. His blog , Cardinal Seán’s Blog, gives you a peek into the life of a bishop and is a great way to stay on top of all the good work happening across our diocese.

Reflecting on the events and speakers of the CNMC, I have decided to add a new segment to my blog that will focus on catechesis.  I will select a topic monthly and write a reflection on the catechesis behind that topic.  Ultimately, I would not be using this blog to it’s fullest potential if I did not use it to share the Gospels in some way.  I hope this proves helpful to those that have questions about the faith and the Church’s teachings.

For those interested, you can view recording of the various sessions at SQPN’s uStream Archive and you can see pictures at the Archdiocese’s Flickr Page

Until next time, keep sharing the faith!

CNMC MMX

CNMC MMXAs you all know, I’m a fan of a number of Catholic podcasts and blogs, a few of which can be found on my blogroll and such.  I use the information from these various podcasts and blogs, not only to further my own knowledge and faith, but also to help me supplement and creatively deliver catechesis to my religious education students.  Things that I have used in class like the Three Js, my room setup and ways to vary lessons from week to week, have all come from bloggers or podcasters.

The Catholic New Media Celebration is an annual gathering of podcaters and bloggers where ideas are shared, newbies are inspired, and old friends (whether virtual or physical) get together.  This year, the CNMC will be happening in Boston, right in my neck of the woods.  I decided that I just could not pass up this opportunity, not only to meet the people behind the voices and the text, but to learn a thing or two from those in attendance.

The CNMC MMX (i.e. Catholic New Media Celebration 2010) will be happening on August 7th at the Pastoral Center for the Archdiocese of Boston.  Will you be there?

For more information, watch the video below or go to http://www.celebration.sqpn.com.

Until next time, keep sharing the faith!

Ask Sister Mary Martha

I follow a number of Catholic blogs in the blogosphere. They range from priests to religious to laity and cover a number of topics from catechesis to living an everyday Catholic life. One of my absolute favorite Catholic bloggers is Sr. Mary Martha from “Ask Sister Mary Martha” where her tagline is “Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.” Sister is hilarious to say the least. Her online personality reminds me of the role of the nun in a performance of “Late Night Catechism” I saw a few years ago, and I mean that in a good way. Have I mentioned how hilarious she is yet?

Anyway, Sister usually answers reader-submitted questions on her blog. Last week, she answered a question from a catechist around the use of the left hand for making the sign of the cross. This post really got me thinking about the various traditions and devotions that exist in the Catholic Church. Our faith has so much to strengthen us as we progress through our faith journeys. I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten through high school and was constantly exposed to ways of expressing our faith, not only through prayer but through action as well. I can clearly remember learning the Hail Holy Queen in 3rd grade, learning how to pray the Rosary, walking the Stations of the Cross every Lent, attending First Friday Mass throughout the school year, learning how to follow along using a missalette (talk about confusing!) and having Benediction periodically. (Boy, I hated the smell of incense back then!!)

All of my students go to public school and therefore they get none of that exposure. For example, I was shocked to find out that none of my students had ever done the Stations of the Cross before!?! Many of these traditions are opportunities to better understand the meaning of our faith and to strengthen us spiritually. Additionally, they are beautiful, especially when you understand their history and meaning. I would love to be able to expose my students to these practices as tools to further their understanding of Catholic faith.

I have two challenges here. The first is time. How does one go about giving their students exposure to some of these traditions and devotions when one is limited to 1 hour a week with a full lesson’s worth of material to cover? The second challenge is the fact that while they are not exposed to this at school, most are not exposed to this at home either. Even if I could find the time to do at least a cursory review of some of these practices in class, there is very little expectation that it will stick without exposure to it outside of class.

I guess I have a whole summer to figure this out. Have any of you found successful ways of exposing your students to the beautiful devotions of the Church and its faithful (and making them stick)?

Until next time, keep sharing the faith!