Yahoo Group — This is one of the most active and
worthwhile Catholic discussion group available. It is "for
Catholic catechists (religion teachers) to share lesson
plans, hints, ideas and activities. It is not a place to
debate (or even too deeply discuss) theology or doctrine.It
is a list for teachers, by teachers, about teaching."
The "Files" section of the site offers a large
number of downloadable files and some of these are appropriate
for the Lenten and Easter seasons. Free registration is
"The Catholic season of Lent 2007 begins on Ash
Wednesday, February 21. Our feature includes a Lenten
calendar, activities, readings and reflections updated
daily throughout Lent, from Ash Wednesday through Holy
Week and Good Friday."
Resources for RCIA
The americancatholic.org Web site contains two articles of interest
on the RCIA:
A New Look at the RCIA Journey for the Entire Parish by Rita Burns Senseman
The Web site of the Archdiocese for the Military Services,
USA also offers an excellent RCIA
Manual called Crossing the Threshold of Faith. This manual
is very well done and is well worth exploring. The introduction
to this manual states:
The RCIA Manual offers a systematic presentation of the
content of faith as summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic
Church in a sequence of segments that may be used by pastors
and RCIA leaders over the course of an RCIA program. The
overall goal of these segments is to provide RCIA participants
with a substantial introduction to the tradition of the
Church’s teachings and beliefs. The goal of this Resource
is to inspire a “living, conscious and active faith” in
the lives of RCIA participants. Each segment is designed
to invite participants to a personal encounter with Jesus
Christ in and through their study, reflection and discussion
of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Pastors and RCIA
leaders are offered a content-based pastoral resource to
assist in their proclamation of the mystery of Christ to
inquirers and catechumens making their RCIA journeys of
faith and conversion towards the sacraments of initiation.
This web resource is a partnership between Church Resources
and the Loyola Institute to provide resources fostering a
faith that does justice.
Going Global with Youth is a gateway to lesson plans,
simulation activities, prayer services, stories, web links
and opportunities that looks at global issues through the
lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Use this resource to invite
young people to see the world with new eyes and to challenge
them to respond to our faith call to global solidarity.
Resources for Catholic Educators Web site also has a large
section listing resources available under the following headings:
The Vatican Web site now has the complete version of the
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, that "has
been drawn up in order to give a concise but complete overview
of the Church's social teaching."
The presentation at the head of important this document states:
"The reading of these pages is suggested above all
in order to sustain and foster the activity of Christians
in the social sector, especially the activity of the lay faithful
to whom this area belongs in a particular way; the whole of
their lives must be seen as a work of evangelization that
produces fruit. Every believer must learn first of all to
obey the Lord with the strength of faith, following the example
of Saint Peter: “Master, we toiled all night and took
nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets”
(Lk 5:5). Every reader of “good will” will be
able to understand the motives that prompt the Church to intervene
with her doctrine in the social sector, an area which, at
first glance, does not belong to the Church's competence,
and these same readers will see the reasons for an encounter,
for dialogue, for cooperation in serving the common good."
Other Web Sites Worth Exploring
Journey is a new and interesting blog maintained by Joe Paprocki
who was a religion teacher at a high school seminary, a director
of religious education and a pastoral associate at a parish, the
consultant for catechist formation on to the Office for Catechesis
of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and is now working for Loyola Press.
Be sure to visit and bookmark this blog. It is a great new resource
page on the Web site of the Archdiocese of Toronto offers a
large selection of useful resources. The introduction to this page
reads as follows: "We express our faith through public worship in
the liturgy of the Word and Eucharist, song, prayer, devotions,
sacred rites and the Sacraments. The resources below help tell the
story of our sacred traditions."
Godzdogz is an internet-based project of the student-brothers
of the English Dominican Province. This
blog was launched at the beginning of this month (december 3, 2006).
I find it to be an exciting and rich new resource. This is certainly
partly because my studies in philosophy and theology at a Dominican
college have given me an awareness and appreciation of the rich
tradition handed down by the Dominicans. It is also because the
blog, even after so short a life span, is already rich in beautiful
images, Gregorian chant sound files, solid commentaries on daily
scriptures, inspiring meditations... I highly recommend you take
time to explore this blog!
BustedHalo.com — There is much to explore in this Web site, but I want to
point out the following excellent features that can be found in
the Faith Guides section:
Boot Camp contains a brief synopsis for each of the books
in the Bible;
Class discusses the meaning and importance of the Eucharist;
to Pray explores various forms of prayer.
The diocesan resource center of the Diocese of Reno has over 4000
books and 500
videos. Their Web site has made available a commented bibliography
of all of these resources providing a short description for each
of them. This online reference is organized by topics and provides
a valuable tool to help you discover useful resources.
for US Breaking Open the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults — What does it mean to be an American Catholic in the 21st
century? The American bishops have published the new, 637-page United
States Catholic Catechism for Adults. No time to read it? Catechism
for US is an appetizer and a companion to the new catechism. Each
month, learn more about your faith—and how to live it.
Timeline — The Evangelist, the official publication of
the Diocese of Albany, has a section called Countdown to 2000 that
offers a brief history of the Catholic Church. The six web pages
(approximately 20 printed pages) offer a good brief overview of
Church history in simple language.
The Center for Ministry Development
"The Center for Ministry Development is an independent,
non-profit organization whose core purpose is to bring the Good
News in new ways to the people of God. Our mission is to empower
faith communities and their leaders for effective ministry with
adolescents, young adults, and families through ministry education
for leaders, ministry development training and resources, programs,
and publications. The Center is funded through a combination of
fees for services, publication sales, and foundation grants."
The Center's Web site offers training programs, publications and resources for various
areas of ministry:
Youth Ministry Young Adult Ministry Family and Intergenerational
Although most of the resources are for a fee, there are quite a
number of free resources that can be downloaded in PDF format. You
do need to provide your name and email address to access these free
to Reach Inactive Catholics" is a Pastoral Statement written
by Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli of the Diocese of Wilmington in
2000. Bishop Saltarelli cites 9 of the reasons diagnosed by the
Bishops' Evangelization Committee on why Catholics become inactive.
He reflects on how the Church can respond to each of these.
Day in the Life of a Trappist Monk is a beautifully made Web
site offering a glimpse of the daily activities of a monk and the
spirit behind it. The introduction to the site reads as follows:
The online version of Religion
Teacher's Journal from Twenty-Third Publications offers free
articles from the current issue as well as a selection of features
from past issue, plays for your classroom, stories and teen topics.
Have a Language All Their Own by Marlene Sweeney , Catechist,
January 2007 — "In the early church, sacraments were
seen as part of a sacred commitment to live as a disciple of Christ.
Inviting today’s Church to take up this calling is a vital
part of all sacrament preparation. Sacraments call for a response.
How can your candidates say “yes” to God’s invitation?
How can you evoke a response that will prolong the sacrament into
their daily living?"
Wednesday By Rev. Mark Connolly , Spirituality Today,
February 2007 - Volume 11, Issue 6 — "Ash Wednesday starts
the sacred season of Lent for Catholics all over the world. There
will be all sorts of reminders of that first sacred season of Lent
when Christ underwent an agony, scourging and a crucifixion. During
this time each one of us is reminded that this sacrifice that Christ
made during his life was for us. Lent is a reminder whether we give
up smoking, give up candy, give up movies that in our own way, we
are making a sacrifice for Christ."
Freedom!, The modern global slave trade and those who fight it by David Batsone, Sojourners, March 2007 — "Twenty-seven
million slaves exist in our world today. Girls and boys, women and
men of all ages are forced to toil in the rug loom sheds of Nepal,
sell their bodies in the brothels of Rome, break rocks in the quarries
of Pakistan, and fight wars in the jungles of Africa."