Be an Amazing Catechist
Multi-media Way of the Cross at MAC
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal 6:14)
Welcome, Michael! Let's talk about what you do for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
I am the Coordinator for Adult and Sacramental Formation. That includes serving as the Archdiocesan RCIA Coordinator. My latest venture will be restructuring the archdiocesan music ministry and serving as the Director of Music Ministry for Archdiocesan Celebrations. I also serve as the Director of Music Ministry for the Catholic Community of South Baltimore.
What are your inspirations for the multi-media Way of the Cross you're directing for the MidAtlantic Congress for Pastoral Leadership taking place in Baltimore next month?
For eight years, I had the pleasure to serve as the pastoral associate of a parish in suburban Baltimore/DC. Resurrection of Our Lord Parish has a very high percentage of Hispanic parishioners, and their devotion to the Cross has inspired much of my ministry. I learned through their ministering presence to me that we are not alone on our life's journey. When we fall, we pick each other up. When we are persecuted, we press on. When we suffer and die, we rise in true glory.
Their celebration of the Cross inspired me to look at the way we celebrated Stations of the Cross at the parish. Instead of the "same ol'" service, I tweaked things a little bit and crafted my own experience. Instead of the same song fourteen times, over and over (like I remember from my childhood), I opened the treasury of traditional hymnody and contemporary music to select compositions that were a part of our regular worshiping ritual.
The service included scriptural passages, congregational prayers, poetry and even art! After one Lenten season, and much positive feedback, I decided to expand this prayer opportunity. The next year, I invited each lector to "give it a try" and offered this as an opportunity for the music ministry to do something for their own Lenten spiritual observance.
The third year, we had two to three lectors scheduled for each night, a full four-part choir and an increasing number of participants. As we meditated on the glory of the Cross throughout Lent, our Triduum and Easter celebrations were even richer.
What kinds of obstacles have you had to overcome, and what new insights have come from this project?
I would certainly not consider these obstacles—just pastoral challenges. We are blessed to have the Liturgical Press sponsor this event, including providing 8-foot banners for our liturgy. I wanted to make sure that the music of the Psallite collection was represented and featured.
Additionally, I wanted to honor those artists/composers that were in attendance at the Congress. When I was able to see their travel/workshop schedule, I was then able to look at the pieces they have composed. After prayer, thought and consultation, I was able to plug in the various elements.
Lisa Mladinich is a Catholic wife and mother, catechist and workshop leader, and the author of the popular booklets, "Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children," and "Be an Amazing Catechist: Sacramental Preparation" available from Our Sunday Visitor. She is the founder of www.AmazingCatechists.com.