“Yet, O Lord,
you are our Father;
we are the clay,
and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.”
FAITH FORMATION, says John Roberto, long time religious educator, “informs, forms and transforms the person – whether child, youth or adult – into a robust, vital and life-giving Christian faith that is holistic: a way of the head, the heart, and the hands.”
DISCIPLESHIP is a lifelong journey for Christians, a journey enfolded in a relationship of love and trust. The deeper our relationship with Christ becomes the more we begin to see how the Spirit has formed and is forming us through Scripture and Tradition, through the people we encounter and the experiences we have. Our discipleship is lived out through the spiritual practices we choose; practices that give substance and everyday practicality to our response to Christ’s invitation of friendship.
As faithful disciples we must continue to be open to the ways Scripture and Tradition, encounter and experience call us to move ever deeper into our relationship with God. Doing so we will become more and more attuned to the presence of God in creation, in our lives, in the life we share as members of Holy Family Catholic community and in the lives of those we minister to as catechists.
Catechist Specific Materials
Important Catholic Links
The Vatican Website – An incredible resource.
The Vatican Archives – Searchable versions, with dynamic concordances for
- The New American Bible
- the documents of Vatican II
- the Code of Canon Law
- the Catholic Catechism
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – A tremendous resource in every area of Catholic life in the U.S.
The Catholic News Service – The Catholic wire service
eCatechist – Ideas, Inspiration, Resources
Catechist’s Journey – Sharing the Journey of Teaching the Catholic Faith
This is a must have for all catechists. Joe Paprocki is one of the leading teachers of catechists. We have several of his books in the Faith Office and will be happy to buy books for any catechist.
Catechist Formation – Our Sunday Visitor – Alive in Christ
This website has wonderful sections on The Catechist, Child Development, Class Room Management And collection of short formation videos on a host of topics
The Archdiocese is now piloting catechist certification as an online program. For moreinformation go to http://www.formedcatholic.com/pilot-program. Many of the sessions can be done from your laptop or tablet. We are in the process of creating an online classroom here at Holy Family and will keep you posted. Please keep a record of any expenses you incur and turn them into the Faith Office. We will reimburse your costs but need a receipt.
This is a terrific site originally developed for Boston College alums now expanded to a larger audience. Here you will find online courses, articles, book reviews, video lectures and other materials that will help you learn more about the faith. Boston College’s reputation as one of the leading programs in Faith Formation, Catechetics and Youth Ministry is reflected in their offerings.
Of special interest for catechists is the STM Crossroads site STM Online website or http://www.bc.edu/schools/stm/crossroads/homepage.html
AUDIO & VIDEO PROGRAMS BY TOP PROFESSORS are offered. This has a definitely more academic approach, but if you are passionate about a subject it is a great resource. Once on their email list you will receive great discounts on the more expensive courses.
Catholic Courses – the great courses.com
College level courses geared to the more serious student. You have to type in key words in search (Catholic, religion, sacred scripture. . .)
Courses designed for both the novice and life-long learner. Good for catechists, especially parents doing home schooling. You will also receive a certificate upon completion of any course. Stimulating but less academic than college or university courses offered online.
The Catholic Toolbox – blog
Website offering many different kinds of resources. Worth spending some time browsing. You are sure to find something helpful.
Website dedicated to Catholic schools. Includes teaching tips, technology updates, blog posts, homilies. . .
Of special interest to catechists is a list of several Catholic blogs – http://www.nicksenger.com/csc/blogs-by-catholic-teachers-principals-and-catechists
This blog regularly reviews webinars, podcasts, books…
Prayer & Worship
Laudate – #1 FREE Catholic App
There is an impressive list of features in this app
- Daily Readings, complete with a search function so you can find a specific date
- Liturgy of the Hours
- Roman Missal Changes (new Mass prayers)
- Rosary and Chaplet, with choices for an interactive rosary, the mysteries only, podcasts (audio), and the interactive Divine Mercy Chaplet
- Stations of the Cross, with a podcast (audio) option
- A variety of traditional prayers
- Prayers in Latin
- The ability to enter your own prayers
- Different Catholic media links and resources
- The complete New American Bible
Here are some other features Dr. Peg loves:
- the ability, within the program, to bookmark different pages and areas so you can find them again quickly
- You can share from any screen in the program to your email or social media services.
- It’s easy to read and fairly easy to use
- the interactive features of the rosary and the ability to use an audio version too
iBreviary – app for praying the Liturgy of the Hours
Pray! (FREE in the iTunes App Store)
The Pray! app lets you set reminders to notify you of prayer requests. This is a go-to app to set reminders to pray for someone during their surgery, interview, or at any specific time of day. A small banner buzzes at the top of your screen reminding you to lift up others to the throne. This user-friendly application is a must-download.
Instapray (FREE in the iTunes App Store)
This app requires you to create an account and gives you an opportunity to pray for people you follow, global requests, or group requests. When a request comes up, you can select “PRAY” to notify that person that you prayed. You can also send them a message of encouragement.
The best feature of this app is the “GROUP” setting. You can create your own private group to share with your Faith class or IGNITE or FLAME group, HF catechists, or family and share prayers and updates instantly. Instapray reminds us of the twitter of prayer; a fun way to connect with brothers and sisters from around the world.
This is an app similar to Instapray in that you need to log-in to use it. It connects you with people in your contact list. Again, this app can be used to share prayer requests with individuals or private groups. In Ora, you need to be connected to someone via a request to see or share prayers. Instead of seeing a list of global prayer requests, you will only see requests of those people in your circles. Ora is an incredible tool you can use with your Faith class or small group or other catechists, families of your students… where you could upload prayer requests to be reminded throughout the week (even if you missed the meeting).
Organize your prayer life with this straightforward and distraction-free app.
Every day, Prayer Mate will select a person or topic that you’ve entered from each of your main categories (perhaps “My family” or “My small group at church”) and show them to you as a series of index cards – then just swipe between them to pray.
Prayer Each Day – Prayer Links – Prayer Websites
The Center of Liturgy – St. Louis University
Great resource for information on Sunday Mass each week. Includes interested art prints connected to the Sunday readings, Praying Toward Sunday, Spirituality of the Readings, Get To Know the Reading, General Intercessions.
The Georgetown Center for Liturgy’s interactive online resource concerned with liturgy, spirituality, and sacred art and architecture.
Sacred Space: You daily prayer online
Site sponsored by the Irish Jesuits
www.ignatianspirituality.com – excellent resource; multiple options
Great resource for all things Ignatian
Oblates are Christian lay people who study and practice the Benedictine monastic tradition as adapted to their everyday lives. Of particular interest is this entry – 16 Online Resources for Liturgical Prayer – Stories & Thyme www.amyrogershays.com/2013/11/27/16-online-resources-liturgical-prayer
Includes a small Benedictine library and an online book club.
The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé,Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. It is composed of more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions, who originate from about thirty countries across the world. Founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, in the midst of the carnage of WW II Taizé has become synonymous with peace, prayer ecumenism and youth (the community draws over 100,000 young people annually). Those who make the pilgrimage are immersed in the simplicity of the brother’s lifestyle, bible study, manual labor and the incredibly peaceful contemplative prayer marked by the interplay of simple chants which emphasize short phrases from scripture (usually lines from Psalms) which are sung repeatedly and periods of silence.
- See the podcasts available at the Taize website – www.taize.fr/en_rubrique12.html
- See www.amazon.com for several CD’s and MP# downloads
Centering Prayer, most closely associated in our time with Fr. Thomas Keating, “is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us. Centering Prayer is both an experience of our relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.
This site also gives a wonderful description and method for Lectio Divina a contemplative practice for praying with Scripture. You might also be interested in Contemplative Outreach, a spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel now serving over 40,000 people. www.contemplativeoutreach.org
An eclectic website on the Bible, Liturgy, Art, and Theology from a Catholic Perspective. Of particular interest may these entries
- Methods of Prayer with Scripture – www.catholic-resources.org/Bible/Prayer-Methods.htm
- A Brief Introduction to Biblical Meditation – www.catholic-resources.org/Bible/Prayer-Methods.htm#Meditation
- A Brief Introduction to Taizé-style Prayer – www.catholic-resources.org/Bible/Prayer-Methods.htm#Taize
- A Brief Introduction to Lectio Divina – www.catholic-resources.org/Bible/Prayer-Methods.htm#Lectio
Guided Meditation Sites
- Top rated YouTube Guided Meditations from Mindful Muscle – www.mindfulmuscle.com/5-top-guided-meditations/
- Fragrant Heart
- various guided meditations and classes on meditation. You must pick and choose. Always try before you use in your class
- Resources for Leading Guided Reflections/Meditations – found on Jo Paprocki’s website
- Catholic Meditation Apps
- Centering Prayer Meditations – CD from Sounds True – other CD’s available as well.
- Article on How to practice contemplative meditation from US Catholic magazine
Paraclete Press has many fine resources. If you find some that you think would benefit our program let Dr. Peg Hanrahan know. Browse at www.paracletepress.com
A Publishing Ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet providing several resources including online retreats. Several resources on Confirmation
Eclectic in the best sense, this website provides wide ranging examples of spiritual practices from across the world’s religions and wisdom traditions. A fun, creative resource
Explorefaith.org – A Guide to Spiritual practice – ecumenical resource
Catholics on Call – provides online retreats, podcasts and videos, reflections, etc. to college age youth
an online movement sharing Benedictine spirituality with contemporary seekers.
Catholic Spirituality in Practice – Boston College – great article from C21 Resources
Spiritual exercises: Can other religious practices strengthen your Catholic core? – great article from US Catholic
Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old & New Edited by Colleen M. Griffith and Thomas H. Groome available at www.patheos.com/Books/Book-Club
Talks and Videos
This section will be updated monthly. If you wish to hear about particular topics or particular individuals or want to share a talk or video you have seen with others email email@example.com
- 12 INSPIRING TED TALKS ON RELIGION, FAITH AND HUMANITY – access at http://www.theologydegrees.org/12-inspiring-ted-talks-on-religion-faith-and-humanity
- 10 TED SPIRITUAL TALKS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE – access at http://leoniedawson.com/10-ted-spiritual-talks-will-change-life
- KEN WILBUR’S INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRAL SPIRITUALITY
- Integral Spirituality flows from Integral theory Ken Wilber‘s attempt to place a wide diversity of theories and thinkers into one single framework – a “theory of everything” This is fascinating, cutting edge material. Not for the faint of heart.
- Spiritual, But Not Religious? (with Father Thomas Keating)
- Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps – Fr. Richard Rohr
- Sister Joan Chittister at TEDxWomen 2012
- Sister Joan Chittister talks about new ideas in faith and contemporary science that are challenging the traditional hierarchical view of women’s place and role in society.
- The Spirituality of Hope by Sr. Joan Chittister
Creighton University Online Spirituality Resources – Online Ministries
This is one of the best online Catholic resources out there. Produced by the Jesuits it has a definite Jesuit flair but there are so many additional links, topics covered, simple to use sections and it goes far beyond Jesuit resources. It is dynamic and changes with the liturgical seasons. If you go to no other website go to this one, learn how to use it, check it frequently.
you will need a Facebook account to access this site. Fun, contemporary site with lots of helpful resources.
Born out of the “complementary and alternative medicine,” movement which emerged in the mid 1990’s this university website seeks to explore the connection between spirituality and well-being. The resources found here “focus on improving health and wellbeing through the lenses of spirituality, culture and integrative healing practices . . .”
This website comes from a decidedly Protestant perspective evangelical in flavor. Of particular interest to you may be the resources on the Sabbath – http://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/tools/sabbath-resources. The Sabbath is not only a day; it is a perspective that includes traditional observance of the ‘Sabbath Day’. This website will help you explore the richness of a spirituality which has developed (and is developing) around a contemporary theological understanding of Sabbath time or Sabbath living.
We must never forget that as Catholics we are part of a much larger Judeo-Christian tradition. This connection is often overlooked, and done so at great loss. Of particular interest in this website is the article, Seeking and Soaring: Jewish Approaches to Spiritual Guidance and Development access at http://www.reclaimingjudaism.org/node/536, however there are other instructive perspectives explored at this website.
Sponsored by Carnegie-Mellon University’s Student Affairs department this site provides various resources related to Spirituality and Interfaith programs, projects, and possibilities. Additionally, there is a small ‘lending library’ of books, articles, videos, etc. Obviously it is focused on the Carnegie-Mellon student community but you will find helpful tidbits here for your own spiritual well-being.
The Religious of the Sacred Heart – RSCJ – an order of religious women founded in France by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat in 1800 who today number over two thousand women and serve in 41 different countries around the world. They are remarkable educators (think Sacred Heart Academy/Hardy Prep, Woodlands Academy, and the former Barat College). Still active as teachers from pre-school through university students this is a website you will find helpful on both a personal level and in your work as catechists.
This website specializes in reflections from contemporary Catholic scholars on various dimensions of the vast tradition of spirituality/spiritualities that have arisen within the Catholic community. You can also access audio versions of Spiritual Classics (i.e. The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila). If you have never explored this rich tributary of Catholic thought or are passionate about discovering even more about our Spiritual traditions this is the website for you.
Of particular interest may be the section entitled Catholic Spiritual Directors – Catholic Spiritual Direction – http://www.discerninghearts.com/catholic-podcasts/catholic-spiritual-formation-catholic-spiritual-direction . This portal that will allow you to enter the Catholic Spiritual Formation rooms below and be taught by those, past and present, who have travailed the spiritual journey.
Think about creating your own online retreat from one of the great Spiritual Master. You can access these podcasts and audio books through subscribing on iTunes, on Android, by email or via RSS. Free apps for Android, iPad and iPhone are available.
Fr. Richard Rohr is one of the foremost Spiritual Mentors in the Catholic world today. T his website was designed “to empower individuals to live out their sacred soul tasks in service to the world through contemplative programs and resources. Resources you can access here include:
- Conspire Events Online Education: self-paced, online courses, including audio, video and discussion
- Living School – a two-year program combining onsite and online learning
- Webcasts – Adult Faith often offers these events here at Holy Family
- CAC Bookstore
- Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations – free daily or weekly email reflections by Fr. Rohr
Contemplative Outreach – http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org
This website is rooted in the word of Fathers Thomas Keating, William Meninger, and Basil Pennington, Catholic monks who now enjoyed an international reputation for their work in reviving the contemplative dimension of the Gospel in the lives of laypeople.
Of particular interest may be the Chicago chapter in this international network of contemplative communities – http://centeringprayerchicago.org