Excellent Resources for LifeLong Formation…. pastoralplanning.com

Dreams and Visions: Pastoral Planning for Lifelong Faith Formation Regular price: $14.95 When you buy online: $13.45, 7/$83.72

The Way of Faith: A Field Guide for the RCIA Process Regular price: $16.95 When you buy online: $15.25, 7/$94.92

Welcome the People: Ways to Gather & Nourish Adult Catholics Regular price: $12.95 When you buy online: $11.65, 7/$72.52

Good News Parish Leadership Regular price: $19.95 When you buy online: $17.95, 7/$111.72 Forming Generous Hearts:

Stewardship planning for lifelong faith formation Regular price: $14.95 When you buy online: $13.45, 7/$83.72 When They

Come Home: Ways to Welcome Returning Catholics Regular price: $9.95 When you buy online: $8.95 PDF-book of a Classic:

Rethinking Sacraments: Holy Moments in Daily Living Regular price: $14.95 When you buy online: $11.21 PDF-book! A New

Look at Prayer: Coming to Grips with Your Inner Guide Regular price: $14.95 When you buy online: $11.21 E-Book! Driving the

Speed Limit Regular price: $14.95 When you buy online: $11.21 Grace: God’s Greatest Gift Regular price: $10.95 When you buy online: $9.85, 3/$24.64

The General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) in Plain English Regular price: $12.95 When you buy online: $11.65

Whole Community Catechesis in Plain English Regular price: $10.95 When you buy online: $9.86

La Catequesis para toda la comunidad Regular price: $12.95 When you buy online: $5.18

The Pastor’s Guide to Whole Community Catechesis Regular price: $9.95 When you buy online: $8.96

Whole Community Liturgy Regular price: $16.95 When you buy online: $15.26

Handbook for Success in Whole Community Catechesis Regular price: $19.95 When you buy online: $17.95

Here Comes Everybody! Regular price: $10.95 When you buy online: $4.38

The Seven Key Principles for Whole Community Catechesis — DVD Regular price: $24.95 When you buy online: $22.46

Becoming A Church of Lifelong Learners — CD included! Regular price: $24.95 When you buy online: $22.45

Book Review: Gateways to God: Celebrating the Sacraments

I just finished reading the book Gateways to God; Celebrating the Sacraments by: Fr. Robert J. Hater from The Catholic Company.

Fr. Hater has a way of explaining things in very simple yet in depth ways.  I like the way the book was laid out. In chapter one we find an overview of our life of sacramentality and the sacraments.  We often hear that the Sacraments are the gateway to our faith but no one ever tells you why.  Then as this chapter ends, he leads you on a walk inward as he suggests many ways to reflect on God and the many roles you may find yourself and God engaged within your soul.

The next seven chapters cover each of the seven sacraments.  Each chapter begins with a story, and then explains the sacrament as a Gateway to God, followed by the History of that Sacrament, The Basic Church Teaching of the Sacrament, the Human Need of the Sacrament and finally Communal and Personal Implications of the sacrament.

The book concludes with yet another story.

I believe storytelling is so much, of who we are as Catholic People of God and when we can connect with one another’s stories then we can connect with ourselves and our God.  As the Director of Religious Education, I have used many of the stories, ideas, and information contained within the pages of this publication.  It is both informative and spiritual.  The implication sections of each chapter encourages the reader to not only have a better understanding of each of the sacraments but also encourages us to go inward and deeper in our understanding and celebration of each sacrament.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the implications of the Sacraments as well as grow deeper in their faith.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Gateways to God. They are also a great source for a baptism gifts or first communion gifts.

7 Quick Takes Friday Post Volume 3

Do something special for Lent Online….

— 1 —

Pray for someone special

 

— 2 —

Pray together as a family

— 3 —

Attend Stations of the Cross

— 4 —

Read a spiritual book

— 5 —

Participate in a bible study

— 6 —

Attend Adoration

— 7 —

Attend Daily Mass

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Lent- a reflection to consider as we prepare our hearts for the season.

Lent is just a few days away and we are preparing our hearts for the season. I will be hosting a book review on my wiki space for lent as well as participating in a book review on The Hol;y Longing by Ronald Rolheiser. As I prepare my heart for the season.We are all called to live our life the Jesus way. What does this mean…. I turn to the Gospel of John to help us reflect on this meaning. In John 6:1-15 we hear John’s count of Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee.

 

After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee [of Tiberias].*2 A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.3Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.4The Jewish feast of Passover was near.b5* When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip,c “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”6* He said this to test him, because he knew what he was going to do.7Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages* worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit].”d8One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,9“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves* and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”eJesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass* in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.f11Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, with as much fish as they wanted.g12When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.”13So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets* with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.14When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet,*the one who is to come into the world.”h15Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.i

 

John often wrote in layers… as we look at this passage one may be inclined to look at it from a Literal point of view…. As Jesus approaches the mountain he realizes he is being followed by many disciples who want to hear  him preach. Now as the story unfolds we become witnesses of John in action….John first let’s us see the  ways Phillip responds by saying” Where can we buy enough food for them to eat” making it sound like an impossible task…then John shows us another point of view in Andrew by reminding Jesus that there is a boy with a few loaves and a few fish… Now realistically what is Jesus going to do with such a few pieces of food for so many…Just when you think it is hopeless John gives us a peek into the awesome God that we have…As the people are reclining God suddenly prepares not only enough food for all that were there but even with some left over… and low and behold we have just enough left over to fill twelve wicker baskets…. The same number of the original 12 disciples that God called to follow him….Now God could have performed this miracle with just enough to feed all those present but no he had enough left over to gather… What better way to help us realize that we must care for all especially those insignificant and inadequate. What better way to symbolize these people but in the form of a small child. Despite all the scenarios that could possibly have happened Jesus chose to have the food come from the very young. Out of the hands of a child comes enough food to feed 5000 of his grateful followers. What better way to have the simple story of a few loaves and a few fish turn into enough to feed many as Jesus looked up to heaven… What action takes place during the Mass each week as the Priest raises his eyes towards heaven he breaks the bread and blesses it and then he feeds all that come to partake just as Jesus fed all that came to the mountainside that day were fed. This leaves me with one more symbol of this story and that is the 5000 along the mountainside. Who else could the 5000 stand for except all the people of mankind. In those days 5000 were considered many to partake just as all of mankind are many to care for and respond to God.

 

As you can see there is much symbolism in Joh and there is so much for us to learn, however quite often we are always led back to the Risen Lord to teach us what his symbolism may mean in the lives of us all!


Technique for Reading the Bible for people of all ages

Try this 4 step process in reading the bible…..

 

1) Ask yourself, what does the Passage Say; Consider what the writer intended to say. What is the literal translation of this passage.

2) What does the passage mean?

3) What does the Passage mean in my life?  What connection can I make to my own faith life? Today? Tomorrow? and into the future?

4) Apply what you learned about this passage and apply its meaning to the lives of those you interact with!

 

With Lent coming take the time to make a plan for lent! Perhaps taking a few minutes to develop a reading plan for yourself and your family.

 

Read with an open mind.

Read with a sense of context.

Read with a purpose. What is your goal?

Read with care. What is the writer’s meaning and how does it apply to my family?

Read with sensitivity. Am I being open to God?

Read with application and connection wit your life. How does this apply to our family?

 

Make a plan:

 

My purpose for reading the Bible is……

The time of day that I will do my reading is…..

I will read the bible _________times this week.

I will read for 20 minutes in each sitting…….(change the number of minutes to suit your  lifestyle)

I will read from_______________

I will begin with______________(decide in which book you will begin)