I’ve got a wonderful interview to share with you, this month. I had the pleasure of talking with Fr. Juan R. Vélez, a co-author (with Mike Aquilina) of a sharp new book that I think busy catechists (and their friends) are going to love. Constructed in short readings and meditations for daily use, “Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman,” presents excerpts of the talks and writings of super-catechist, Blessed John Henry Newman along with a scripture passage and a “thought” for the day. This is a very well-researched and written little book, a real pleasure to use and just the right size for tucking into your briefcase or purse. Enjoy getting to know a great priest and fearless catechist while growing in holiness!
I’d also like to remind our readers that many of our columnists post new work each month. These are folks with a wide array of catechetical experience and expertise who can help you live and teach your faith more effectively. They’re a lot of fun, great catechists, and able communicators, and we’re very grateful to have new articles from: Ellen Hrkach on NFP; Christian LeBlanc on middle school catechesis; Christine Capolino on home education; Alex Basile on evangelizing high schoolers; William O’Leary on catechesis; Steve McVey on evangelization; Msgr. Robert Batule on Sacred Scripture; Peggy Clores on RCIA; and Alice Gunther on Catholic culture in the home.
Next up, I have been a real noodge the last few years, trying to get people to love their Bibles like our lovely Protestant Evangelical friends do. If we learn to love it, we’ll be more likely to live it. But to love it, we must first know it. The Bible is the holy and living Word of God with the power to transform our lives. Let’s turn to its pages often this year; finding favorite passages, committing them to memory, dog-earing and underlining the Good Book until it feels like the old friend it should be.
I found a great new Bible recently that I want to tell you about. It’s called “LIVE Youth Bible: Catholic Edition,” and it’s by the folks at Harper Collins Publishers, which is now owned by Our Sunday Visitor. It’s one of the most creative and successful attempts I’ve seen in recent years to present Sacred Scripture in an appealing format designed to invite interactions from young readers. First off, I like the multiple-meanings of the word “LIVE,” in the title; as readers are called to live out their faith in a personal and passionate way, through an appreciation of the living reality of the life of God within the pages of their Bibles.
Scattered throughout its pages are creative works by young people, including poems, photography, and other works of art; meditations on faith in visual and verbal language teens and young adults can relate to. Blank columns are interspersed for use in note-taking and are called, “Creative Space.” “Text Messages” (large callout boxes) are used to highlight facts about the Bible in engaging, contemporary language, while “Profiles in Faith” give brief stories of saints and others who model faith and virtue — introducing young people to a variety of exciting and interesting examples of lives lived heroically for God.
Opportunities to interact with other young people of faith will soon be available at the LIVE Youth Bible’s new website (still currently in demo mode), which has articles, events calendars, links to music and podcast segments and much more coming soon.
There are so many features I couldn’t possibly describe them all here. I hope to be writing about this terrific new presentation of the Bible and ways to incorporate it into your parish programs in more detail later this month at my Patheos column . I’ll keep you posted.
Check out our “Tips & Insights” page and share some of your favorite teaching ideas, techniques, and stories with us. And please do stop by my weekly catechetics column at Patheos, where I break down super-effective methods for teaching the Faith to children in easy, exciting steps.
God bless you, and happy New Year!
Sincerely in Christ,
Author, “Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children”