Lifelong Journey

Lifelong Journey


The Office for Lifelong Formation is the Archdiocese of Chicago's ministry office supporting Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry and Family Ministry.  The Lifelong Journey radio show highlights faith formation themes from early childhood to senior stages of life. A primary focus is on ministering to families. 

Clarissa Aljentera, Coordinator for Ministry Support, hosts Lifelong Journey. Listeners are encouraged to tune in every second Wednesday of the month to hear more about the Office of Lifelong Formation. 

Connecting with Youth Through Hip Hop

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
We learn more about how using hip hop culture to engage young people in the journey of faith. We speak with Cortez Watson Jr., founder of the Hip Hop F.I.R.M. about the organization's work in creating curriculum and methodology to help center lives and experiences through an Afrocentric lens.

Breaking Open the Sin of Racism and How Parishes Can Accompany People On The Journey

Wednesday, July 13, 2022
We learn more about resources available to parishes around the work of racial justice and the Sin of Racism. We speak with Noelle Collis-Devito and Andrew Musgrave from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati talking about resources available for those in parishes to use. They share a video series, discussion guide and leader materials.

The SPRED approach of forming small communities of faith

Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Guests: Elizabeth Kos and Joseph Quane

Engaging Young Adults in Their Journey of Faith Around the Environment

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
We learn more about inspiring young adults to go deeper in their faith through the lens of Laudato Si, a Papal Encyclical on the environment. We learn more about the Integral Ecology Retreat co-hosted by the Archdiocese of Chicago alongside Catholic Climate Covenant. We are joined by guests - Anna Robertson (Catholic Climate Covenant), Meg Boyle (Old St. Pat's), and Michael Terrien - Laudato Si Ecumenical and Interreligious Liasion for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Faith Hub and Go Forth Lenten Training Series

Wednesday, March 9, 2022
We speak with Rick Landry, who is a facilitator with Go Forth, a small group facilitator training hosted by the Faith Hub. The training process is a 5-week series that is offered in Spanish and English in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Simbang Gabi Novena

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
We learn more about the quincentennial of the Philippines and the annual Simbang Gabi Novena. The annual 9-day novena is back in-person this year. We hear about the opportunity to learn more about catechesis and evangelization through this this novena. Our guest is Fr. Tirso Villaverde. 

Adult Confirmation

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Guests: Jeanne Lassandrello and Kathy McNicholas

Building Up and Supporting Mothers as a Culture of Life

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Building up and supporting mothers as a culture of life - We learn more about the intentional housing focused around mothers and the programs formed through the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in the neighborhood of Back of the Yards.

Masses on the Streets in Little Village

Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Every summer parishoners at St. Agnes of Bohemia set up Mass for their neighbors on their blocks in Little Village. The opportunity is a time of witness, prayer and community outreach. We speak with pastor Fr. Don Nevins who shares with us the experience and transformative nature of doing what Jesus asks us to do in going out to be witness.

Engaging Ministry, Engaged Couples

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
We speak with Adrian Badillo and Anastasia Jakowbow-Rashtchian from the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation along with Deacon Kevin and his wife, Gysel Blindauer talking about working with engaged couples through PreCana. We hear about how Covid 19 has impacted how they minister to engaged couples as they prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage.

Engaging Young Adults as part of Theology On Tap

Wednesday, July 14, 2021
This program will take a look at how the Young Adult Engagement Team has been working with young adults today and through the Covid 19 pandemic. We speak with Pablo Padilla about the annual summertime event and how it might look a little different this year.

Summer Mission Cooperation Plan

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Megan Mio from the Missions Office talks about the importance of the Summer Appeal, and the importance of missionaries sharing their experience in the time of Covid-19, and how we are called to support our global Church.

Evangelization and our parish context

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Beth White joins Lifelong Journey for a conversation on Evangelization and the current parish context within the Archdiocese of Chicago. Beth is the director for the Office of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship.

Evolving ministry toward youth and our response as Church

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
We speak with Chelsea Baldwin and Emily McDonnell from the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation about how youth ministry has evolved since the beginning of Covid 19. We talk about digital responses and gathering opportunities for young people.

Understanding teen dating violence today

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
We speak with Fr. Charles Dahm who is sharing information about teen dating violence. The Archdiocese of Chicago Domestic Violence Outreach is facilitating a teen dating violence program in various parishes in the Archdiocese.

Getting to know the Tolton Spirituality Center

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
We are joined by Most Reverend Joseph Perry and Fr. Gerard Jordan in learning more about the Tolton Spirituality Center established in late 2020. The center is named for Venerable Father Augustus Tolton who ministered in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago. The center will be a place where parishes locally and nationally can come to know about the spirituality that guided Tolton's life.

Spiritual wellness in the time of Covid

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
We talk with Sr. Janice Keenan OSF and Sr. Kathy Sherman CSJ about how leaders can remain spiritually well. The demands of today's Church leaders are many from big tasks to small tasks especially as our world has shifted how we minister and how we lead. We examine what it takes to slow down, be present and learn to fill one's cup despite the worldly demands of today.

Supporting Families and Parents During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Host Clarissa Aljentera speaks with guest Yesenia Maldonado, Director of Social Emotional Learning with the Office of Catholic Schools. They talk about ways that parents can take care of themselves and their families during the pandemic.

Religious Education and Youth Ministry Reopening Guidelines

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
We speak with Kevin Foy and Deborah Breakey from the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation about re-opening guidelines of religious education and youth ministry and the new religious education pilot. We hear about how people in parishes can support their religious education programs in this time of unprecedented need for volunteers at every level.

Accompaniment and Formation Through Kolbe House Ministry

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
We speak with Emily Cortina with Kolbe House Jail Ministries in Chicago. The topic revolves around accompaniment of families and individuals who are affected by incarceration.

Theology on Tap and the New Reality

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Learning to support Theology on Tap in our new reality has meant shifting spaces and utilizing technology. Pablo Padilla of the Young Adult Engagement Team is working to set up a Theology on Tap experience to meet young adults in this new reality.

Accompanying Youth in the Time of Coronavirus

Wednesday, April 8, 2020
We speak with Cheslea Baldwin and Emily Macdonnell from the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation as they outlines ideas and resources for accompanying youth during this time. We walk through techniques and opportunities for youth ministers and pastoral leaders to work with families and youth using online opportunities and a myriad of free resources.

Faith Formation and Respect Life

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Examining opportunities for faith formation in the lens of Respect Life - Guests Dawn Fitzpatrick and Ray Pingoy discuss opportunities for all ages to deepen their faith and awareness around respect life issues. Various opportunities for faith-sharing, local events and even summertime camps can help people of all ages understand their role more deeply when it comes to understanding more around respect life.

A Spiritual Journey with the RCIA Catechumens

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Lent is more than a time for individual prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It can also be a time to reach out and build community especially with the RCIA Catechumens who are more present and visible as they journey toward the Easter Vigil. We discuss enhancing our Lenten journey by accompanying those in the RCIA process. Our guests are Todd Williamson and Wendy Silhavy from the Office for Divine Worship.

School of the Spirit

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Engaging young adults in a more intentional manner is the topic of discussion for Lifelong Journey in January. We are speaking with Eric Wandrey who details School of the Spirit and it's opportunity to evangelize and accompany young adults as missionary disciples.

Forming families through Immigration Ministry

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
The work of Immigration Ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago is committed to forming families and communities to take on principals of social justice in their daily lives. We speak with Miguel Salazar and Mauro Pineda from the Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity as they explain how families and individuals can dive deeper in their faith around Immigration Ministry opportunities.

Amate House - Putting Love into Action

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
We are spending the month of November discussing formational opportunities for young adults through the Amate House. The Amate House is a yearlong opportunity that gives young adults an opportunity to serve in the Chicagoland area, learn about their faith and live in community with others. We spend time talking with three young professionals connected with Amate House: Natalie Crary, Mark Piper and Sarah Miklius.

Extraordinary Mission Month

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
As part of our call as disciples we think about our call to mission beyond our neighborhoods and into the world. We hear more about the Extraordinary Mission Month in October. Traditionally World Mission Month is celebrated in October and this year Pope Francis declared October as Extraordinary Mission Month. We are joined by Megan Mio, who coordinates mission appeals and education for the Mission Office.

Experiencing big Church as a young Catholic

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
In learning to meet young people where they are at our local Church has created an opportunity for middle school students to learn more about Christ. Our fall event, Holy Fire, is a response to the ways in which we can encounter and accompany middle schoolers. We talk about the format of the event as well as pointing to the research that supports large events as a venue for facilitating encounters with Christ in meaningful and diverse ways. The guest for the show is Chelsea Piper, senior coordinator of youth and young adult ministry.

Approaching Accompaniment

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Throughout our conversations around Renew My Church we are constantly speaking about accompaniment and ways in which we are approaching it. One way in which we are approaching accompaniment differently is through a process we are piloting in a handful of Catholic schools that is specifically for seventh graders. We are building in components to help parents, teachers, principals and students feel listened to as part of our process. This month's guest is Clarissa Aljentera and the host is Juan Pablo Padilla, both from the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation.

Blended Formation

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
We are building opportunities for individuals to learn about our Catholic faith at a speed and time that is more accessible for their lifestyles. Our content is put together by our Certification and Formation team after carefully listening to individuals needs and created to answer their questions. Senior Coordinator Kenneth Velasquez comes on Lifelong Journey to talk about new learning opportunities.

Running Theology on Tap as a collaborative process between parishes

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
We speak with Juan Pablo Padilla who guides our conversation about Theology on Tap and the collaborative approach parishes are taking to host this yearly summer event. We speak about accompaniment and collaboration in supporting the young adults in our parishes and within our communities.

Enrichment and Formation for today's adult

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Taking the time to participate in enrichment days for lay volunteers is an integral part of formation. In our busiest of days we learn to trust in the Spirit to get us through. Join us in conversation with guests Victor Vallejo and Maryvel Torres to explore what formation days can do to boost one's spirit and one's vocation especially in support of accompanying engaged couples toward marriage. Vallejo and Torres work on the family ministry team in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Creating Adult Formation Strategies

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
We take a deep dive and begin to learn more about the pieces about Adult Faith Formation that will shape how the Office of Lifelong Formation adult formation strategies will be created in the time of Renew My Church. We discuss some key Church documents that will guide our journey through this process of renewal. Our guest for the show is Adrian Badillo, who is the Senior Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation.

Accompaniment and Renew My Church

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Fr. Jason Malave, the Cardinal’s Liaison to Renew My Church and Cathy Walz Director of Pastoral Accompaniment for Renew My Church spoke on the theme of accompaniment. Both talked about what accompaniment is, how accompaniment has been important in their own personal lives and how accompaniment helped them be who they are today. We also journeyed into scripture and discussed how Jesus himself accompanied. Fr. Jason spoke one the importance of accompaniment within the Renew My Church process as we seek to make disciples, build communities and inspire witness. Our guests also shared practical applications for accompaniment moving forward.

Wisdom for All Ages

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Who are the notably wise among us? Guests Joellyn Cicciarelli and Santiago Cortes-Sjoberg of Loyola Press inspire listeners in conversation about a book release entitled, Sharing the Wisdom of Time. The book consists of a global collection of personal stories from elders empowered by faith with wisdom. This is a treasure-trove by Pope Francis and Friends to guide young and old with exceptional advice. Real life stories of Love, Hope, Struggle, Death and Work align with the Pascal Mystery relevant to our everyday lives. Fr. Greg Boyle, Leah Chase and Fr. Desmond O’Grady are featured. The faith lens of each story is where true inspiration for reflection is found. The show is hosted by Patricia Malinowski and co-hosted by Juan Pablo Padilla.

Captivating Young People

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Youth Synod 2018 and World Youth Day heighten outreach to engage young people in the church. These events are creating global milestones that offer astounding opportunities for today’s young people. The Church turns a listening ear to young people. In October, Yadira Vieyra delegate to the Synod of Bishops XV Ordinary General Assembly representing the Archdiocese of Chicago took to Rome as an advocate for young people. What do young people want from the Church? Find out as Yadira, a dynamic young leader shares her experience. As young people throughout the world are preparing for World Youth Day -Panama 2019, Robbie Anderson, an expert of youth ministry brings to light the life changing impact of World Youth Day. As three-time attendee of World Youth Day, Robbie advocates to inspire our listeners of all ages. The impact of Robbie’s encounter of the suffering Jesus Christ at World Youth Day is an incredible faith sharing experience. Marie Ramirez, is getting ready to participate in her first World Youth Day in Panama. Marie’s enthusiasm is expressed by hope -filled stories. Tune-in for more. Broadcast of Lifelong Journey is hosted by Patricia Malinowski and co-hosts Victor Vallejo Garcia and Juan Pablo Padilla. This show enlivens the inclusion of young people in the church.

Preparing the Way

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Advent theme of this segment of Lifelong Journey is wrapped in the fruits of the Synod on the Family. Notably, as Fr. Louis J. Cameli bridges the journey from the synod to pastoral attentiveness of families, in his new book A New Vision of Family Life, A Reflection on Amoris Laetitia. This book is a treasure for married couples and families. Fr. Cameli guides us into a greater awareness of the presence of God amid the daily lives of families, who are the formators of the domestic church. Listeners will discover how to spiritually internalize a family readiness for the coming celebration of Jesus this Christmas. Takeaways inspire reflection that lead to faith-filled action. Pre-Cana facilitators Jane and Tim OLeary engage listeners in personal stories of Catholic family traditions shared with their family during Advent. The show is hosted by Patricia Malinowski and co-host Victor Vallejo Garcia.

Jammin’ Holy Fire

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Over nine thousand middle-school students from Catholic schools and Religious Education Programs packed the UIC Pavilion in October for a radical faith-filled experience. Meeting Jesus has taken on new meaning. The encounter is a celebration of faith, fun, reflection, challenge and renewal. Patricia Malinowski with co-hosts Juan Pablo Padilla and Victor Vallejo Garcia talk with missionary disciples of lifelong formation: Sr. Alicia Torres, Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago, Fr. Peter Wojcik, Director, Department of Parish Vitality and Mission, St. Symphorosa teacher-catechists Eileen Akroush and Janet Funk. Guests bear witness to the glory of the Holy Spirit alive and well amongst Catholic youth. The call to religious life prompted by Holy Fire and the impact of Eucharist Adoration is remarkable. Tune in to catch the sparks!

Inspiring Catechists

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
The USCCB in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Chicago encourages parish recognition of catechists annually on Catechetical Sunday. To learn more go to About Catechetical Sunday. This year’s Catechetical Sunday theme is Enlisting Witnesses For Jesus Christ. Patricia Malinowski, Office of Lifelong Formation, Senior Coordinator Catechetical Ministry hosts inspiring local catechists. These guests share the joys and challenges in their catechetical roles to form missionary disciples. Guests from St. Joseph Church, Chicago are Kim Rak, Director of Religious Education, and Lisa Feriend, SPRED. Elizabeth Vogt, Director of Religious Education, and Amanda Wozniak, catholic school teacher are from St. Theresa Church, Palatine. Find out how these catechists are living out the call to enlist witnesses at their parish.

Life and Justice Conference/Golden Wedding

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Ryan Lents, director of the Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity shared his experience in ministry. He also spoke about the Life and Justice Conference that will take place on September 15th, 2018. Sister Helen Prejean will be the keynote speaker. Rafael and Olga Anglada shared their 37 years of experience of service to the Archdiocese of Chicago through the Pre-Cana marriage preparation. They also invited us to attend the Golden Wedding anniversary sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Mr. Rafael and Mrs. Olga will also be participating as delegates to the National V ENCUENTRO.

Life and Justice

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
On the Lifelong Journey show, guest Ray Pingoy of the Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity shared some information about the Archdiocesan office he works for and the Life and Justice Conference. It will take place on Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 9am- 3pm at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. Guest Alfredo Palafox a young adult minister from St. Gall Parish in the South Side joined us to speak about Theology on Tap in his community and an invitation to the Jeremiah young adult ministry retreat on August 17th-19th.

Jenn Delvaux

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
On the Lifelong Journey show today, guest Jenn Delvaux from the Office of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship at the Archdiocese of Chicago shared her role and her journey in ministry. She also shared with us some exciting projects the office is working on and the coming of the World Youth Day symbols to the Archdiocese of Chicago. Co-host Victor Vallejo also spoke about the Office of Lifelong Formation Facebook page. Invitations to Theology on Tap sessions were also shared during the show.

Theology on Tap

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Fr. Tom Rosica joined the show to talk about the Theology on Tap kickoff event on Monday June 25th, at 6:30pm at the Fremont. Fr. Tom also shared his experiences from past Theology on Tap seasons and last year’s kickoff. Maria Tatiana Aranda, Gabriela Garcia and Maria Siap also joined and invited us to attend their unique first time sites for young adult married couples at St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Pascal. Tatiana and Gabriela also will have a unique site in the South Side for young adults that are dealing with tough issues related to addictions, violence and other similar circumstances and how we are called to faith in action. Elisabeth Roman closed the show with a powerful witness of the V ENCUENTRO process at the Archdiocesan and Regional level.

Summer Institute for Youth Ministers/Echo Chicago

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Anne Wicker, from Queen of Angels parish in Chicago and Matthew Goto, Youth Minister at Ascension Parish in Oak Park, join Anna Dudek to speak about the Summer Institute for Youth Ministers. Together they share experiences of the benefits and the fruits based on their own lived experiences with the Summer Institute. Jeremy Medrano a young adult heading for work in Ireland with Net Ministries alongside St. Joseph College Seminarian Andres Tejeda join Ray Pingoy to speak about ECHO Chicago 2018. All three spoke about their own personal experience with ECHO and how it has formed them deeper in their faith journey and how it be a great resource for other young adults and youth.

Pascua Juvenil

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Cathy, Cesar, Alberto and Ruby from across the Chicagoland Area share with us the experiences they lived as they celebrated and reflected on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They shared stories and experiences that occurred during the Easter retreats known as Pascua Juvenil and how they saw the lives of youth and young adults be transformed in the Waukegan, Gage Park, Nashville and Joliet areas. They expressed a genuine witness to the transforming power of Love in Jesus Christ and we can be formed in Jesus’ Love.

The Season of Lent

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
We discussed the Liturgical Season of Lent and the different ways we can live out the season. Victor spoke about the ten important things to observe in Lent and we also invited people to consider ways that they can sacrifice to better connect with God. Susan L. Amann, the Associate Director for the Office of Lifelong Formation shared experiences on how Lent can be lived as a family and creative ways families can consider experiencing Lent.

Intergenerational Lifelong Faith Formation

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Guest Mr. John Roberto from the Talbot School of Theology spoke about the importance of inter-generational Lifelong Faith Formation. Mr. Roberto also touched on the importance of digital media to encounter people where they're at. Mr. John Roberto will be a keynote speaker at our Chicago Faith Congress on February 10th, 2018.

Catholic Faith Congress

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Guest Co-Host Jesus "CHUY" De Leon Director of the Office of Lifelong Formation joined Victor and Pablo to talk about the Catholic Faith Congress taking place on February 10th, 2018. Also on the show were Keynote Speaker Bishop Frank Caggiano from Bridgeport Connecticut and workshop facilitator Denise Utter, writer, educator, and speaker who presents topics of faith for Our Sunday Visitor and Vibrant Faith. Learn more about the Chicago Faith Congress by listening to the Lifelong Journey Radio Show.

Catholic Medals in Scouting and Catholic Dreamers Ministry

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Guests spoke about the Catholic Youth Medals specifically about the American Heritage Girls, Camp Fire (Girls & Boys), Girl Scouts (GSUSA) and Junior Daughters & Junior Knights of St. Peter Claver. We also had a conversation about the Catholic Dreamers Ministry and who they will be serving. There was also an invitation to a retreat that will be hosted by the Catholic Dreamers Ministry on November 11th.
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