Catholic Educators

Picture of Janaan Manternach & Carl J. Pfeifer

JANAAN MANTERNACH (b. 1927) and CARL J. PFEIFER (b. 1929): Becoming nationally known in the 1960s, these two Roman Catholic educators worked together as Assistant Directors at the National Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Center, an office of the United States Catholic Conference. They were initially charged with the task of writing a children's catechetical series to replace the widely used Baltimore Catechism. After they left the National Center and were married, they started their own business - LIFE, LOVE, JOY Associates. Their professional contribution of writing religious education textbooks and many columns, articles, and books enhancing catechist formation in this country spans four decades. They are now retired at their home in Arlington, Virginia.

Biography

Janaan Manternach

Shirley Marie Manternach was the second of seven children born to Jacob and Anita (Takes) Manternach of Cascade, Iowa. She grew up on a farm near Temple Hill, south of Cascade. Born on December 23, 1927, she was the first girl in the family and shared her birth date with her father. She attended a one-room schoolhouse near Temple Hill in Jones County where her father was the Director. She graduated from the eighth grade public school system with honors. During her second grade and seventh grade years, she attended St. Mary's grade school in Cascade where she received her mandatory sacrament preparations. In this rural area it was unusual for persons to continue their education after the eighth grade. She had a deep desire to continue her schooling and against her father's wishes, she went on to St. Mary's High School in Cascade with the expressed intention of becoming a teacher. Her education paved the way for her younger siblings to attend high school also.

Graduating from high school in 1945, she attended a ten-week normal training school for teachers at the University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa. She returned to Temple Hill to teach for three years in the same one-room schoolhouse where she spent her grade school years. The superintendent was adamant that all children in Jones county schools be able to read. He visited Shirley's classroom once each month to observe her work and assess the seatwork assigned to the children. Shirley shared the superintendent's commitment to reading education and later in her career would develop expertise in integrating children's literature into religious education.

Throughout her youth Shirley felt drawn to religious life. After a brief engagement to a local farmer, she acted on her calling to religious community life. With supportive words and heartfelt regret from the superintendent and some resistance from her parents, she left her teaching position at age twenty and entered the Order of St. Francis of Dubuque, Iowa in August of 1948. Her great aunt, Mother Mary Irmina Manternach, was the Superior of the community at the time of her entrance. After a year as an aspirant and postulant, Shirley became a novice and received the name, Sr. Mary Janaan.

During Sr. Mary Janaan's novitiate years in Dubuque, she studied for two years at Loras College and then began classes at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, a Franciscan institution. After her first profession in 1951, she was sent by the community to teach seventh and eighth grades at St. Francis DeSales school in Ossian, Iowa, from 1951 to 1954. In fall of 1954, she was transferred to Holy Trinity School in Dubuque, Iowa. This was a lab school for senior novices of the Franciscan and Presentation orders who were learning how to teach. Sr. Mary Janaan held a supervisory role at Holy Trinity and also taught third through sixth grades until 1957. That fall she was transferred to Corpus Christi School, an all-black Catholic school in southern Chicago. Teaching at Corpus Christi was a seminal experience shaping her career.

Growing up and teaching in rural northeast Iowa gave a person little occasion to experience cultural diversity and poverty. In Chicago, Sr. Mary Janaan experienced both. In her first year she taught fourth and fifth grades, but discovered that strategies that worked well for her at Holy Trinity in Dubuque were ineffective in Chicago because of the cultural and socioeconomic differences shaping these young learners. In her three years at Corpus Christi, she taught in various grade levels. Across these years, she made a commitment to read to the children. She read stories and poetry to them and exposed them to art.

It was customary at that time for Catholics to be instructed in their faith using the Baltimore Catechism. In Sr. Mary Janaan's view, this approach simply did not work. The question-and- answer routine of the catechism did little to inspire a faith-filled connection and ownership of the Christian story. The principal at the school mandated that she use the catechism and cautioned her that if she experimented with alternative approaches she was not to tell her about it. This tacit permission to innovate religious instruction was Sr. Mary Janaan's license to explore creative new teaching strategies. She incorporated poetry, art, and music in her use of the catechism. She discovered ways to integrate religious instruction with the school's Faith and Freedom Reader and its well-developed lesson plans. She began to see interdisciplinary connections between religion and language, history, and reading.

While maintaining her teaching schedule, Sr. Mary Janaan graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a minor in History from Briar Cliff College in July 1960. In 1961 she was given permission to attend the National Catholic Education Association meeting held in Chicago. Wandering the display booths, she took special interest in the materials at the Catholic Students' Mission Crusade, U.S.A. The representative at the booth inquired whether she would be interested in writing a grade school study guide about Africa and Latin America. She agreed to write the guides without first receiving explicit permission to do so from her superiors, an action not in keeping with customary protocol for a young sister in a religious community. Her superiors, while not happy with the order of events, allowed her to fulfill her commitment to write the study materials. The first study guide was published in 1961 and the second in 1962. Sr. Mary Janaan's writing career had begun.

During the 1961-1962 school year at Corpus Christi, Sr. Frances Ruden came to Corpus Christi to visit Sr. Mary Janaan's religion class. She left without communicating the reason for her visit or the result of her observations. With her study guide already published, Sr. Mary Janaan was asked to speak at a conference for the Catholic Students' Mission Crusade at Notre Dame in Indiana. Sr. Mary Janaan was informed in spring of 1962 that she was to go to Dubuque to meet with Sr. Ruth Mary Kann, the Franciscan Mother Superior. On Easter Monday she met with Sr. Ruth Mary. Mother Superior was not concerned about the Mission Crusade activity. Rather, she told Sr. Mary Janaan that she would be going to Washington, DC in the fall and would begin graduate studies in religious education during the summer at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The Sisters of St. Francis in Dubuque were one of fourteen religious communities across the country to receive an invitation to send a community member to Washington to work under the direction of Rev. Joseph Collins, Director of the National Center for the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD), and his assistant, Msgr. Russell Neighbor, to create a national religious education textbook series for children that would replace the Baltimore Catechism. Sr. Mary Janaan was one of five women religious invited to work on the national project. That fall Sr. Mary Janaan took up residence in a House of Studies on Monroe Street near The Catholic University of America, where eventually she would take classes toward a master's degree in Religious Education.

Personal and pedagogical differences among the initial group of religious women brought together to write the new catechetical series in the National CCD Center hampered the writing process. After the first year and a half of launching the project, Sr. Mary Janaan was the only one of the team of five left. She suggested to the director that Fr. Carl Pfeifer would make a good addition to the project.

Sr. Mary Janaan first met Fr. Pfeifer during her graduate work at Catholic University where he was lecturing on Psalms. An account of their meeting was captured in a 2002 feature article on celibacy in the Washington Post: "It was in the summer of 1963, a tall thin Jesuit priest in a black cassock was teaching a course … on how to incorporate the Psalms into religious education. In the front row sat a confident Franciscan nun in a brown habit. After class the nun went up to the priest and said, 'What you're trying to do is marvelous, but the way you're trying to do it is dreadful.' Stunned, he replied, 'Sister, why don't we go over to the Shrine and get a cup of coffee and talk about this?' This initial meeting began a professional partnership that changed the way thousands of Catholic children receive their religious education."

In addition to her work at the National CCD Center and further study in religious education, Sr. Mary Janaan also served as an instructor at The Catholic University of America, St. Michael's College, Georgetown University, and Mundelein College. She also served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Gustave Weigel Society. She maintained membership with the Religious Education Association (REA), the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), and the National Conference of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education.

Carl J. Pfeifer

Carl Jacob Pfeifer was born on June 22, 1929, in St. Louis, Missouri to Carl J. Pfeifer and Emma (Heine) Pfeifer. Carl's father came to this country in 1923 at age nineteen under the financial sponsorship of Carl's aunt, who lived in St. Louis. Carl's father had been an apprentice baker in Germany; when he arrived in the United States, he worked briefly at a steel mill in East St. Louis before finding a job as a baker. After some years, the elder Pfeifer bought his own business from Mr. Adam Deck, an established baker. Above this bakery was a two-bedroom apartment where Carl grew up. While Carl's father baked, Carl's mother, Emma, sold the bakery goods in the storefront. Emma had been raised Lutheran, but joined the Roman Catholic Church before marrying Carl's father.

Carl's early childhood formation revolved around life in the neighborhood of the bakery on Kingshighway Boulevard, which was just across the street from Blessed Sacrament Church in East St. Louis. Because of the location of the bakery and the early hours that bakers kept, it was natural for Carl and his brother, Richard, who was two years younger, to be altar servers for the 6:30 am weekday Mass during their grade school years. The boys would help out in the bakery greasing pans and measuring necessary ingredients. Because of the family's occupation, they were able to attend Sunday Mass only infrequently. However, when the bakery closed down at noon on Sundays, the family would gather all the leftover baked goods and spend the afternoon delivering them to persons in need and to various religious communities. The family would frequently drop off goods at the Carmelite convent as well as St. Vincent German orphanage for boys. This Sunday afternoon delivery ritual was deeply formative for Carl.

After grade school, Carl took a city bus that stopped in front of the bakery each day to St. Louis University High School. This is where he first encountered the Jesuits. Carl excelled in his high school studies, receiving high honors. During the annual senior year Whitehouse retreat, he decided to join the Jesuit community. Upon making this decision, he undertook two years of junior novitiate training at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florrissant, Missouri. In 1947, Carl began courses at Saint Louis University in the School of Arts and Sciences. After his novitiate training, he attended St. Louis University full-time receiving his A.B. (Philosophy) in 1953 and his M.A. (Philosophy) in 1954. As part of his Jesuit training during his undergraduate years, Carl spent two summers at the Indian Missions in South Dakota working alongside the Native Americans. Much of his time there was spent helping the Jesuits expand their school building. This experience of socioeconomic disenfranchisement suffered by the Native Americans engendered in him a profound awareness of the effects of poverty. Experiences like this would later shape his pedagogy.

From 1954 to 1957, Carl taught Greek and Latin at St. Louis University High School. During summer breaks he continued his studies at Georgetown University in preparation for theological studies. In the summer of 1957, he traveled to Laval University in Quebec to learn French and take a brief course in German so he could begin full-time graduate theology studies in the fall at Innsbruck University in Austria. As a result of his asthma and the intensity of his studies, Pfeifer's physical health deteriorated in Austria and he returned home to recuperate in St. Louis in 1958. He continued studies at St. Mary's University in Topeka, Kansas, while teaching at the Boy's Industrial School of the State of Kansas. Pfeifer was ordained to the priesthood on June 15, 1961. He completed his S.T.L. in the School of Divinity at St. Louis University in 1963.

During his training at St. Louis University, he was shaped by Fr. Aloysius Heeg, SJ, who stirred Fr. Carl's initial interest in religious education. Heeg popularized flip-chart paintings of Bible stories, which for decades were found in the classrooms of Catholic schools nationwide. Heeg told Fr. Carl that the secret to successful catechesis was to use pictures, tell stories, and ask questions. An avid photographer, Carl took Heeg's advice seriously. Use of pictures, research on media, audiovisual communication, and photography characterized his early theological and educational interests. These interests led to the titled publication of a slideset and trade book Photomeditations. Many of Pfeifer's own photographs were used in early religious education textbooks co-authored with Sr. Mary Janaan and have been published as late as 1999 in Catholic diocesan newspapers, trade books, and magazines.

In the fall of 1962, Fr. Carl began lecturing on topics related to scripture and catechesis. One year later, he began work on his doctoral degree in theology. It was his personal goal as a Jesuit to return to St. Louis and teach at the University. With coursework and comprehensive exams completed, he moved into his dissertation research focusing on the discernment of spirits. Carl recounts meeting Janaan: "Both of us were students in the Religious Education Department. She was also working on a religion curriculum at what was then known as the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Office. I became interested in what she was doing because I was experiencing little success teaching religion to 4th graders at St. Anthony Parish in northeast Washington. She gave me some rules and teaching suggestions which I followed and they worked. She, in turn, asked me to read lesson plans that she was writing and eventually I was asked to join the staff to work with her and do other writing at the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine office."

Invited in 1965 by Rev. Joseph Collins to assist in the work of the National Center for the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine to develop their textbook series, Pfeifer accepted. He continued to lecture at Catholic University during the summers of 1965 to 1969. Shortly after accepting a position at the National Center, he became Assistant Director along with Sr. Mary Janaan. His dissertation research would remain unfinished. Carl noted years later that it was never his intention to write a children's curriculum, but he discovered in himself a gift for doing this work and his theological and biblical training was central to his success.

Early in his professional career, Pfeifer was a member of the editorial board of Theological Digest from 1958 to 1963, maintained membership with the Religious Education Association (REA), the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), and the National Conference of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education. He also contributed as a member to the Washington DC based group called Camerabugs.

Carl and Janaan: From Religious Life to Marriage

The years Pfeifer and Manternach shared at The Catholic University of America and at the National Center for the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine shaped the development of their personal lives together and their future professional careers as catechetical free-lance writers.

While at the University, Fr. Carl and Sr. Mary Janaan became friends with two great teachers, Fr. Marcel van Caster, S.J. and Fr. Gerard S. Sloyan. Pfeifer found their friendship and teaching on catechesis highly influential: "Belgian Jesuit Fr. Marcel van Caster taught us to listen for God's Word in our everyday experience as well as in the Bible, Liturgy, and Church teaching – and always to keep both expressions of God's Word connected. And Fr. Gerard Sloyan, besides teaching us that all catechesis is meant to help people learn to pray, encouraged us, at a time when we had everything to lose, to risk moving into the fresh waters of experiential catechesis with Life, Love, Joy, and later supported us as we chose a new way of life as a married couple."

Working in this vibrant catechetical community of scholars, Pfeifer and Manternach worked collaboratively and wrote the trendsetting series, Life, Love, Joy for grades 1-6 between the years 1968 and 1972. They also developed a topic-based program for secondary school students (Grades 7 and 8). Fr. Carl and Sr. Mary Janaan co-authored three of the six component topics in this secondary program: "A Case for Faith," "A Case for Jesus," and a "Case for Christianity." The program was prepared under the direction of the National CCD Center and published by Silver Burdett Company in 1968. The same edition was used by both parish programs and Catholic schools.

As assistant directors of the National Center, Pfeifer and Manternach did more than write textbooks. They were quite visible working on national catechetical issues and projects. During 1966 and 1967, they were involved in a series of intense meetings at the old Burlington Hotel in Washington DC with provincial diocesan directors of religious education, who were dissatisfied with the National Center's services. Pfeifer and Manternach recounted that Fr. Joseph Collins, Director, and Msgr. Russell Neighbor, Associate Director, chose not to participate but "allowed" Fr. Carl and Sr. Mary Janaan to represent the Center. The diocesan directors, headed by Jack Russell from Syracuse, sought a more dynamic and collaborative model of communication and work than was presently allowed by the hierarchical organization of the National Center which fell under the auspices of the Bishop's Conference. Pfeifer and Manternach were in on the formative meetings with the directors and their dream which eventually led to the creation of the National Conference of Diocesan Directors (NCDD).

As assistant directors, Pfeifer and Manternach served as consultants to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops Religious Source Book from 1967-1969. Pfeifer and Manternach served as delegates to the International Catechetical Study Week in Medellin, Columbia in 1968 and also attended the International Catechetical Congress in Rome, Italy in 1971. These meetings were deeply significant to them and to the growth of the catechetical movement in the United States. The couple also noted the importance of being delegates for the Bishops at the White House Conference on Children in 1971. Because of their positions at the Center, they were involved in work on To Teach as Jesus Did, the General Catechetical Directory, and the National Catechetical Directory. The National CCD Center was responsible for providing materials to diocesan directors for promoting Catechetical Sunday. Given a 1973 survey that elicited some dissatisfaction with materials, Pfeifer and Manternach created a more extensive and comprehensive Catechetical Sunday booklet that became the prototype for subsequent publications.

The National Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Center was reconfigured and closed in 1974. Under the reconfiguration plan, the National CCD office would be incorporated into the United States Catholic Conference Department of Education as a religious education division. Pfeifer and Manternach continued to work for one year at the religious education division desk and then left to begin their own free-lance writing business, LIFE, LOVE, JOY Associates in Arlington, VA in 1975. They focused their work on revising and improving the Life, Love, Joy series.

Their work led them to travel extensively to dioceses around the country introducing the Life, Love, Joy curriculum. A deep interweaving of their lives eventuated calling them toward marriage. Sr. Mary Janaan had been with the Sisters of St. Francis for 27 years and Fr. Carl had been a Jesuit for 29 years. In March of 1976 Carl received his laicization and in September Janaan was released from her vows. They went on their first date and were married two months later on November 20, 1976, at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown.

Upon leaving the priesthood Carl could not teach, as scheduled, in the 1976 summer session at St. Michael's in Burlington, Vermont. Similarly, it was problematic for Janaan to speak at a conference in New York since she was already in process of being released from her vows. In leaving religious life the couple feared they would be cut off from the Catholic education writing and speaking work that had become their shared vocation. A defining moment occurred when Carl received expressed permission by Most Rev. William D. Borders, Archbishop of Baltimore, to speak at the second Annual Baltimore Congress on Liturgy, devoted to the theme of "The Praying Church," held at the Baltimore Civic Center from October 7-10 in 1976. Carl gave a talk titled, "Praying with Media" which addressed how media is a help to prayer. He joined other nationally recognized liturgists, theologians, and catechists being brought in for the conference to address this theme of prayer. Borders' ecclesial acceptance made it possible for Carl and Janaan to continue their conference speaking and writing work as laypersons elsewhere.

In a 1977 revision, Life, Love, Joy was renamed the Silver Burdett Religion Program: Grades 1-8. Carl and Janaan had established national reputations and were highly respected for their work with Life, Love, Joy. To the delight of their publishers, their curriculum was still in demand "even though new editions lacked 'Rev.' and 'Sister' before the authors' names." They were invited to give presentations and workshops in practically every diocese across the United States. When Archbishop Philip Hannan announced that his diocesan Office of Religious Education would hold the first Gulf Coast Religious Education Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana from November 3-4, 1978, with the theme, "Pathways to New Horizons: The National Catechetical Directory," Pfeifer and Manternach were asked to speak at major conference sessions. Janaan offered a session titled, "Catechesis and Children's Literature." Carl dealt with how religious truths can be communicated to children in his session titled, "Theological Content in Elementary Level Catechesis." People recognized the pair's educational specialization and witness as a lay married couple in the 1970s. This gives testimony to a shift in ecclesial culture after the Second Vatican Council that entrusted more and more laypersons with the educational ministry and work of the church.

The demands of their work in the 1970s left Pfeifer and Manternach hungering to learn more. Carl and Janaan decided to return to school and begin studies in the Doctor of Ministry Program (DMin) at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, MD in 1981. As a prerequisite to doctoral studies, Janaan had to formally request a Master of Divinity equivalency from St. Mary's in May of 1980. She began DMin studies prior to notification of the equivalency being granted through the Institute for Continuing Education at St. Mary's on April 2, 1982.

The Doctor of Ministry program, led by Dr. Thomas Little and Rev. Mark E. Grimes, DMin., co-directors of the School of Theology's Institute for Continuing Education, was highly collaborative and designed to assist program participants in maximizing their own learning. This was beneficial to Pfeifer and Manternach, given the background and experience that they brought to the program. Participants entering the program with Carl and Janaan selected topics that would be beneficial for their ministerial growth and development. Instructors were procured by the co-directors to teach these topics in a week-long, 30-hour seminar format. Within two years after beginning their course of study in the spring of 1981, Carl and Janaan had covered nine core topic courses at St. Mary's University: "Human/Spiritual Growth," "Leadership in Ministry," "Psychological Dimensions of Ministry," "Community Building," "Christian Prayer and Spirituality," "Social Justice and Ministry," "Pastoral Use of Scripture," "Evangelization," and "Adult Education."

St. Mary's Seminary's Doctor of Ministry program required doctoral students to present and teach a cohort what they had learned in their readings and discussion within two weeks of the seminar's conclusion. Pfeifer and Manternach extended an invitation to friends they had made at Good Shepherd Parish in Alexandria, VA while doing consulting work at the parish. This cohort of learners assisted Janaan and Carl in applying all that they were learning in their doctoral program, and through regular contact with the group the couple established deep and lifelong ties with many of them.

While enrolled at St. Mary's as degree candidates, Carl and Janaan were invited by Rev. Thomas Reese, Director of Pastoral Theology and Field Education, to teach the course Introduction to Catechetics to seminarians at St. Mary's University and Seminary in the fall semester of 1982. This introductory catechetics course would form the basis of their thesis, which was proposed and accepted on September 10, 1984. The primary concern of the thesis was the dichotomy between content and method that existed in many catechist training programs. Pfeifer and Manternach focused their efforts on designing a more integrated catechetical training course for seminarians who would have future supervisory responsibilities for catechesis in their parish ministry. With the help of their thesis advisor, Dr. Eleanor Lewis, Carl and Janaan wrote A Program for the Training of Catechists and Catechetical Supervisors. Through teaching and reflecting on this introductory course for seminarians, Pfeifer and Manternach modified their basic pedagogical process for catechesis. The aim of catechesis shifted from an individual discernment process of integrating life experience with the Church's tradition to one which extends an invitation for the individual to take action in the world. This shift and growth was shaped by their research and exploration of Latin American base communities as well as a heightened social consciousness. Pfeifer and Manternach received their Doctor of Ministry degrees from St. Mary's on May 11, 1985.

In 1982 the Silver Burdett Religion Program: Grades 1-6 was revised and renamed Growing in Faith: A Catechetical Program for Parochial School and CCD. At this time religious educators expressed their need for more material suited to school-based religious education programs. Pfeifer and Manternach expanded their parish edition to meet this need which culminated in the 1987 Silver Burdett revision This Is Our Faith Parish Edition: Grades 1-6 and This Is Our Faith School Edition: Grades 1-6. The publisher was experiencing a downturn in sales, and under the leadership of Kim Eiler-Duty, who worked closely with Carl and Janaan, a new editorial and marketing approach was implemented. The company shifted from a corporate-based sales team for marketing textbooks toward a local, diocesan-based representative sales force that had direct experience teaching religious education and many local parish contacts. The new marketing strategy was highly successful. Carl and Janaan traveled extensively across the United States teaching Silver Burdett week-long summer seminars to local representatives and the many catechists they brought with them to the seminars.

An enhanced edition of This Is Our Faith was published in 1992. Carl and Janaan's reputation continued to grow as they taught, lectured, and offered workshops. In a 1992 listing of their public speaking titles, differences in their professional training and research interests are evident. Carl typically lectured on catechetical themes related to Catholic doctrine, Jesus and the gospels, catechetical history and catechisms, visual media, aesthetics, justice and peace principles, and multiculturalism. Janaan lectured on themes related to the use of children's literature and story, children's spirituality, using the Bible as a source of instruction, enhancing imagination and creativity, prayer, saints, learning and teaching styles, nurturing understanding for the role of parents and family, and probing the religious dimensions of daily life experience. This Is Our Faith and their longstanding relationship with Silver Burdett & Ginn took them abroad to Europe, Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, Central America, and Guam. Their work was translated for the blind by several different societies. Their 1987 tradebook, People to Remember, a book on modern day heroes who inspire Christian faith and living, was published in Italian in 1989.

Carl and Janaan made two additional major revisions to the series before they retired. The first was in 1994 when This Is Our Faith Parish Edition: Grades K-8 and This Is Our Faith School Edition: Grades K-8 were published. This revision was marketed and published prior to the 1994 promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). The timing was unfortunate. This universal catechism is a vital point of reference for all persons who are responsible for catechesis including bishops, priests, catechists, teachers, and authors. In response, Pfeifer and Manternach worked with Silver Burdett & Ginn to create a supplemental bulletin correlating doctrinal themes of the CCC with This Is Our Faith. It was distributed to everyone using the series to ensure them that This Is Our Faith was in conformity with the doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church. This development led to the second and final published revision of the series by Pfeifer and Manternach in 1998. This Is Our Faith School Edition: Grades K-8 was the first edition by a major publisher that received official approval from the Ad Hoc Committee of the USCC Office for the Catechism as being in doctrinal conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Approval of the parish edition followed a year later.

In 1996, Carl and Janaan made another major publishing contribution with Silver Burdett Ginn titled Getting Ready for Sunday. This curriculum was designed to prepare children in grades K-8 to better hear the word of God at Sunday liturgy. According to Dave Galusha, Acquisitions Editor for Silver Burdett Ginn, this lectionary program was popular and well-received in the U.S. catechetical community, but short-lived because of changes in publication priorities at Silver Burdett Ginn.

Pfeifer and Manternach have influenced catechesis in the United States beyond the sphere of instructional materials. Their contributions, noted in the next section, include many columns and features spanning nearly forty years that assist the parish catechist, coordinator, and religion teacher to better do their work. Through all of their professional ministry years, Carl and Janaan have volunteered as catechists in the parish across every age group. They desire to remain close to the work that they do because it is there that they find inspiration and creativity to keep writing. They served as members of their local parish Education Committee at Holy Trinity in Washington DC from 1996 to 2000.

Pfeifer and Manternach served together on the editorial board for the Religion Teacher's Journal from 1978 to 1988. From 1987 to 1992 they were members of the education board for the Holy Childhood Association. In those same years they were Councilors at the Dominican Word of God Institute. They served as members of the board of directors for the Bauman Bible Telecasts in Washington DC from 1991 to 1996.

Carl and Janaan, as they were affectionately known by all, received recognition for their work in the field of religious education in several ways. On April 19, 1993, at the 57th Annual Conference for Catechetical Leadership held in Pasadena, CA, Carl and Janaan were presented the prestigious annual award from the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership. They were recognized for "their long and illustrious contribution to catechetical ministry" which "helped shaped the direction of catechesis in the United States." They were the first married couple ever to receive this award. As part of its celebration of twenty-five years of publishing, Catechist magazine editors recognized Carl and Janaan, among others, as outstanding national leaders. Pfeifer and Manternach received the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors (NPCD) Emmaus Award for Excellence in Catechesis on April 19, 2001, at the national conference meeting. This award was given to them because of their international reputation and contribution to the field of Catholic catechesis through writing, publishing, and teaching.

In 2000, Carl was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Janaan cares for him and continues to write catechetical books. She was prompted by a good friend, Barbara Vasiloff, to co-author a text related to Alzheimer's and pastoral care. Radically challenged to care for Carl in his needs, in this text she shares her struggle and wisdom in dealing with this disease and why she now writes about it: "During our active professional lives we wrote articles, columns, and books mostly for catechists and religion teachers … It seems a bit ironic to us now that a key ingredient in all of our writings was life experience. Through this prism, we tried to help the learner discern truth and wisdom and insight to be more than they were at the moment. Carl and I find ourselves doing something of the same on a daily basis as we cope with Alzheimer's. This is why our first attempt at making a difference is through writing a chapter for this book."

Carl and Janaan still reside in Arlington, Virginia, where they have lived and worked as co-directors of LIFE, LOVE, JOY Associates for over thirty years. In their retirement they delight more than ever in spending time with family and friends, especially their two grown godchildren, Angela and Miguel Barbieri. Janaan and Carl own a home in Dubuque, Iowa, where they travel to visit Janaan's mother. Janaan continues to write. Really Good Books for Kids: A Guide for Catechists and Parents will be published by Paulist Press in 2007.


Contributions to Christian Education

Replacing the Baltimore Catechism

When evaluating the contributions of this married couple in the field of catechesis in the United States, Carl and Janaan, as Assistant Directors of the National Center, are undoubtedly a part of the confluence of people and events in Washington DC after the Second Vatican Council that shaped the direction of catechesis in the United States. Religious education was being shaped at the National Center in and through conversations with scholars teaching at The Catholic University of America.

In the decades preceding Pfeifer and Manternach's work on Life, Love, Joy at the National Center, historian Mary Charles Bryce (1983) notes much episcopal dissatisfaction with the Baltimore Catechism. While the U.S. Catholic bishops still desired a national catechism that would be suitable to replace the Baltimore Catechism and approved its creation at their November 1964 meeting in Washington, they recognized in the years following that a catechism should be a sourcebook rather than a textbook. It was the American catechetical giant influencing Pfeifer and Manternach, Gerard Sloyan (1968), who claimed the Baltimore Catechism failed pedagogically by its question-and-answer method and also failed theologically by presenting the faith to children in language difficult for them to conceptualize and understand. New pedagogical methods as well as the liturgical and biblical renewal of the 20th century were shaping contemporary catechetics. Faith education and formation must engage children in terms of their life experience. With a deep knowledge of these catechetical developments and exposure to international conversations on catechesis, Carl and Janaan were uniquely positioned to create a competitive textbook series for the U.S. bishops.

Other companies like Herder and Herder, Paulist, and Sadlier published religious education textbooks and ancillary materials. Part of the bishops' desire for a new catechetical textbook series was to provide textual uniformity for the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine movement in this country. According to Bryce (1983), replacing the Baltimore Catechism meant replacing the growing number of manuals and additional volumes of the catechism that threatened sound orthodoxy and adequate presentation for children. The bishops desired a fresh series that adequately incorporated the new approaches for educating the whole child and reflected a conciliar perspective on catechesis. The creation of Life, Love, Joy accomplished this and also brought in royalties from the sale of the texts to the National Confraternity of Christian Doctrine office.

The Life, Love, Joy series for both primary and secondary students included a Pupil's Book, Teacher's Manual, and Parent Notes. In addition to these components, the series used music and rich photography throughout. In and through this series, Pfeifer and Manternach influenced thousands of Catholic children and their families, inviting them to reflect on their life experience in dialogue with the faith of the Catholic tradition.

Life, Love, Joy gave prominence to forming the catechist by providing a comprehensive teacher's manual with extensive support materials to aid parents in the religious education of the child. This inclusion of support material in a textbook series remains a hallmark of Pfeifer and Manternach's catechetical contribution. Consciousness of the catechist's training was fairly recent, as Collins (1983) notes that "formal training of catechists to teach religion in a professional manner did not begin generally until the late 1930s or early 1940s." Within a short, twenty-five-year timeframe, this commitment to formal training of catechists was well integrated into the publication of this nationally sponsored curriculum.

In the foreword of the very first text in the series, Life, Love, Joy 1: Teacher's Manual, the authors state: "Each lesson begins with a section entitled 'Reflections for the Teacher,' a key element of the Life, Love, Joy series. These Reflections are aimed at the teacher's own theological and spiritual enrichment, not classroom use. They present the theological and spiritual understructure of the particular lesson and give the teacher as firm a grasp as possible of the concepts involved. They will thus not only enrich the teacher's personal spiritual life but also increase her classroom effectiveness. Because of this dual character they can serve as an in-service training program for the teacher" (Pfeifer & Manternach, 1968, p. 5).

Formation of the catechist was integral to the couple's methodology of educating a child in faith: "throwing Light on Life through Love" (Pfeifer & Manternach, 1968, p. 2). Every aspect of human life experience must be brought into the light of Christ to discover that Christ is life and offers fullness of life. Coming to this awareness is facilitated through relationships of love. A love relationship, shared in creative dialogue between the catechist and the young person, is integral to knowing Christ's love in an ordinary and real way. Giving primary attention to the spiritual enrichment of the catechist in his or her relationship with Christ, prior to practical concerns of the lesson plan, shows the primary importance Manternach and Pfeifer have given to promoting growth in the catechist's faith.

In their popular tradebook, How to Be a Better Catechist, they reiterate this commitment beautifully: "Again your textbook gives detailed ways of relating Catholic tradition to contemporary living. But, as with meaning, a creative, happy, faithfilled way of living is learned more from people than from books. Your students may best be drawn to a Catholic way of living by seeing in your life a Christlike way of dealing with people and experiences … As a catechist you will primarily be sharing with your students your love of Christ, so they may be drawn to know and love him more themselves. You will be sharing with them Someone who is your Friend as well as your Lord. As a banner we love puts it, 'You are the Christ others know best'" (Pfeifer & Manternach, 1989, p. 6).

While the relationship of the catechist with the child is significant to their catechetical concern, Manternach and Pfeifer do not diminish the role of the parents in the faith formation of the child. This series is authored immediately after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Citing paragraph three of the conciliar document, Declaration on Christian Education, in their Teacher's Manual, Carl and Janaan recognize parents as "the primary and principal educators" of faith. Not only does the child receive a book in the Life, Love, Joy series, but also the parents receive one titled Parents' Notes. The purpose of the parent notes was to explain the theme of the lesson, help parents reflect on that theme, and encourage them to continue the child's education within the context of family life. Engaging the life of the child to come to meet and know the person of Christ through the scriptures, prayer, liturgy, and the life witness of those who teach them does not exclude primary concern for religious education and witness in the home by parents.

From the beginning, this series was well-grounded both pedagogically and theologically. The key elements of Carl and Janaan's pedagogy and some reflection upon how it was transformed through their DMin studies can be found in A "No Frills" Guide to Catechesis. Their methodology was sometimes referred to as a personal discernment process whereby one engages in a dynamic process of relating the experience of daily living to the insights of Catholic Christian tradition that involved three basic strategies: reflection, dialogue, and prayer (Pfeifer & Manternach, 1977, pp. T11-T12; 1985, pp. 111-112). When they added action as a basic learning strategy to this method of discovering God's presence and meaning, it was something they were "always conscious of" (Pfeifer & Manternach, 1985, p. 112); it highlighted for them the responsibilities of faith that flow from the discernment process, and further informs the process of maturing faith and discovering meaning. This articulation of pedagogy was natural because over the years both had been shaped by experiences of poverty through family life, teaching, travel, and study that challenged their experience of life and faith. Carl and Janaan felt called to act upon their faith in charity and justice. For the couple faith always demands action in love, and the addition of this pedagogical strategy is vital.

Writing Faith Formation Resources for Catechists and Parents

Many people around the country recognize Carl and Janaan not only for their textbook series, but also for the prolific attention they have given to adult formation in their many tradebooks, feature columns, and articles supporting catechists and parents in sharing faith with their children. The extent of this work, forty years worth, is a testimony of their magnanimous contribution to the Roman Catholic catechetical community. These writing projects stand alone as witness of their contribution.

Carl and Janaan had a longstanding relationship with the National Catholic News Service, a news service division of the U.S. Catholic Conference that distributed articles to Catholic diocesan newspapers around the country. From 1970 to 1979, Carl wrote a weekly syndicated column, Know Your Faith, and from 1975 to 1980 he offered another weekly feature called Photomeditations. Janaan wrote a syndicated weekly from 1978 to 1995 titled Children's Story Hour. Both Carl and Janaan were invited to write special features for the National Catholic News Service at Christmas and Easter. Catholics receiving a diocesan newspaper in their home would likely have seen or read the couple's work as these columns were carried by many dioceses.

Faithful contributors to Religion Teacher's Journal, published by Twenty-Third Publications between 1976 and 1979, Carl and Janaan wrote a feature article each month as part of a course that trained master catechists. During those three years, each issue featured a column titled, "RTJ's Master Teacher Meeting." Carl and Janaan would offer suggestions that included learning experiences designed to explore the article's content in greater depth, offer additional readings on the subjects, suggest other media resources, and provide practical suggestions for catechist in-service and training for that month at the local parish level. These contributions are a prime example of Pfeifer and Manternach's pedagogical commitments to teacher training.

From 1987 to 1998, Carl and Janaan responded to frequently asked questions by catechists in a column called "Catechists' Questions" in The Catechist's Connection, a monthly newsletter published by Celebration Publications, a National Catholic Reporter Company. This feature was popular among catechists because of the practical answers they offered. In 1989, selected feature columns were gathered and published as a tradebook by Sheed and Ward titled, How to Be a Better Catechist. Carl and Janaan contributed to the "Catechists' Questions" column for over ten years. During these same years Janaan also wrote two additional monthly features in The Catechist's Connection: "Saintly Catechists" (1994-1996) and "Story in Catechesis" (1996-1998). These core contributing catechetical themes re-emerge in other venues. In the late 1990s Liguori launched an Internet-based pastoral resource project called "PastoraLink." Between 1999 and 2002, Carl did a monthly article, "Questions and Answers for Catechists." Janaan also contributed to the project in 1999 with an article called "Saints and Heroes." In a similar monthly venue called FaithWorks, published by JMH Associates of Kansas City and Liguori, Carl wrote two regular columns, "Core Beliefs" and "Did You Know?" while Janaan wrote the column "Story and Catechesis" between the years 1998 to 2002.

After they left the United States Catholic Conference in 1975, the couple maintained good relationships with the staff there and frequently assisted the national office with projects that shaped parishes across the country. Carl and Janaan made a significant contribution from 1984 to 2003 when they authored The Family Piece, a quarterly newsletter written for families in parish religious education and Catholic school programs as a service of the Department of Religious Education of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). They were also asked to contribute to another special NCEA project helping parishes prepare for the Jubilee Year celebration of the Church. Beginning in 1997, they contributed the "Catechist/Religion Teacher Reflection Pieces" for three years.

Carl and Janaan were trusted catechists who tested all of their ideas in religious education programs and passed on to others the faith and expertise that other catechists shared with them (Pfeifer & Manternach, 1989, vii). Their field-tested cumulative experience made them a natural selection as content specialists for a unique catechist formation project sponsored by NCCL in the mid-1990s. Echoes of Faith is a video-assisted catechist formation program published by RCL for use in parishes, schools, and dioceses. It is a training tool that utilizes interaction of print and video. Along with Jack McBride, Carl and Janaan developed the video module "The Catechist: Part I - Getting Started as a Catechist." This module is one of thirteen that addresses major theological and catechetical themes recommended for catechist formation. As part of the module, they authored two articles in the complementary video companion booklet for use in group study: "Creative Activities" and "Tips for Effective Catechetical Planning." These articles are representative of their pragmatic interest in helping catechists understand and implement the catechetical process more effectively.

A unique commitment to adult formation and development is evident in their contribution to the efforts of Ed Bauman and his bible telecasts. From 1967 to 1992, Carl and Janaan were panelists on The Bauman Bible Telecasts, the first college course in religion offered on commercial television and the first educational program at the college level in the Washington DC area (Kinsman, 1975, p. 425). This weekly program was broadcast on WJLA-TV 7, the Washington ABC channel, and was used by affiliate television stations throughout the United States and abroad.

Engaging Creativity and Capturing the Story

Catechesis is a creative activity and can be fostered (Manternach & Pfeifer, 1983). Through the years Carl and Janaan have given exemplary witness to the possibilities of how creativity can enhance the process of reflecting on both life and faith. This commitment to foster creativity in the art of catechesis is significant theologically for them. God's creative activity is prolific and found in many places. As a minister of God's word, the catechist invites others to see how God's creative word is evident in signs of the bible, liturgy, doctrine, and witness of the community; they have helped many catechists understand how creativity is needed to break open these signs and explore the richness of the symbols of God's presence in them. Carl and Janaan take seriously how God's word is revealed in life experiences, events, questions, issues, culture, and in the witness of others. Here also creativity is needed to help people open the mystery of these natural signs of God's presence at work in the world and in life experience. Creativity is fostered through thoughtful use of stories, drama, music, drawing, writing, photos, questioning, and other media to help the learner become more aware of the signs of God's word presented to them. This creative role of the catechist in capturing the story of life experience and bringing that experience into reflective dialogue with the signs of faith is significant theologically when the catechist can see his or her role as partnering with the creative work and activity of God. In and through this creative ministry, the catechist becomes a sign and holy witness to the learner of God's creative work in the world.

Shaped by her early teaching experiences of reading to children, Janaan challenged religious educators in the field to be more conscious of utilizing children's literature as a creative means to help children discover how God addresses us. Many stories in the world of children's literature contain basic catechetical themes and can be an excellent means to explore life experience and the faith tradition. Suggestions for the use of children's literature in catechesis were evident in the Life, Love, Joy series. Janaan also used stories of real Christian witnesses in People to Remember. Her commitment to these stories have inspired generations of catechists and parents to tell the story of the saints and other holy people in their lives.

Carl's penchant for enhanced use of audiovisual media, especially photographs, in catechesis also captured the story of God's word. He raised early awareness among educators about the role of the visual media as a creative tool for effective catechesis. The early Life, Love, Joy series is replete with photographs that invite the child to reflect on his or her own experience of life. A strong photograph can invite a child to reflect on and question his or her own experience of life or of faith.

For Pfeifer and Manternach catechesis is more than a channel for the transmission of doctrine. Catechesis, as a creative activity, discloses the mystery of how God has been and is presently at work in the world, helps people to recognize and reflect on that presence, and calls them into a more meaningful relationship with God in maturing faith through prayer and action.

The creativity that this couple called forth in catechesis is undoubtedly a reflection of who they are individually and uniquely by their vocation as a married couple. It is evident that their own credentials and experience as persons were creatively brought together to make a unique professional contribution as a married couple. By drawing upon each other's individual strengths and gifts and working together, they have improved the catechetical landscape in the United States and positively shaped instructional materials for religious education for generations to come.

Works Cited

Primary information for this article is from a series of short interviews with Dr. Carl J. Pfeifer and Dr. Janaan Manternach conducted in their home in Arlington, VA from August 12 -14, 2004, from subsequent telephone conversations for follow-up, and from the last resume that Carl and Janaan developed in 2003. Additional information to validate Silver Burdett references was obtained from Dave Galusha, Acquisitions Editor of Silver Burdett Ginn, in a personal communication on April 25, 2006. Information validating some conference dates was received from Tim Regan of TYME consultants in Baltimore and Alison Foley, Assistant Archivist for St. Mary's Seminary and University.

  • Bryce, M. C. (1983). Religious education in the pastoral letters and national meetings of the U.S. hierarchy. In M. Warren (Ed.), Source book for modern catechetics (pp. 218-231). Winona: MN: St. Mary's Press.
  • Callone, P. R., Manternach, J., Vasiloff, B. C., Kudlacek, C., & Brumback, R. A. (2005). Alzheimer's disease: The dignity within: A handbook for caregivers, family, and friends. New York: Demos Medical Publishing.
  • Celibate and loving it. (2002, June 6). The Washington Post, pp. C1-C2.
  • Clement, C. D. (2000). Excerpt from the article "Does catechetical Sunday have a future?" Retrieved April 24, 2006, from United States Catholic Conference Web site: http://www.usccb.org/education/catechetics/livlghtfall2000.shtml
  • Collins, J. B. (1983). Religious education and CCD in the United States: Early years (1902-1935). In M. Warren (Ed.), Source book for modern catechetics (pp. 158-175). Winona, MN: St. Mary's Press.
  • Kinsman, C. D. (Ed.). (1975). Contemporary authors: A bio-bibliographic guide to current authors and their works (Vol. 49-52). Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company.
  • May, H. (Ed.). (1986). Contemporary authors: A bio-bibliographic guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields (Vol. 116). Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1968). Life, love, joy: Grades 1-6. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1977). Silver Burdett religious education program: Grades 1-8. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1985). A program for the training of catechists and catechetical supervisors. Unpublished Doctor of Ministry, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1989). How to be a better catechist: Answers to questions catechists ask most. Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1993). [National Conference of Catechetical Leadership: Commemorative Booklet: April 20th 1993 57th Annual Conference with Award Page and Public Responses by Pfeifer and Manternach]. Unpublished.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (2003). A "no frills" guide to catechesis. Washington, DC: National Catholic Education Association.
  • Sloyan, G. S. (1968). Speaking of religious education. New York: Herder and Herder.

Bibliography

Books

  • Austing, M. P., Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1991). This is our faith: Special needs catechist's guide. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett & Ginn.
  • Callone, P. R., Kudlacek, C., Vasiloff, B. C., Manternach, J., & Brumback, R. A. (Eds.). (2006). A caregiver's guide to alzheimer's disease: 300 tips for making life easier. New York: Demos Medical Publishing.
  • Callone, P. R., Manternach, J., Vasiloff, B. C., Kudlacek, C., & Brumback, R. A. (2005). Alzheimer's disease: The dignity within: A handbook for caregivers, family, and friends. New York: Demos Medical Publishing.
  • Manternach, J. (2007). Really good books for kids: A guide for catechists and parents. New York: Paulist.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1968a). A case for Christianity. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1968b). A case for faith. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1968c). A case for Jesus. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1977). A book for all seasons: Monthly helps and hints for catechists. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1983). Creative catechist: A comprehensive, illustrated guide for training religion teachers. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1984). Glad days: Vacation church school program: Summer 1. Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1985). Glory days: Vacation church school program: Summer 2. Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1987). People to remember: 30 stories and activities about saints and heroes for youth today. New York: Paulist Press.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1989). And the children pray: A practical book for prayerful catechists. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1991). Creative catechist: A comprehensive, illustrated guide for training religion teachers (Revised and expanded ed.). Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1995). Creative catechist: A comprehensive, illustrated guide for training religion teachers (Updated in light of the Catechism of the Catholic Church ed.). Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (2000). How creative catechists use stories. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications/Bayard.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1973). The living faith in a world of change. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1977). Photomeditations. Chicago: Thomas More Press.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1978). Teaching the church today. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1981). Teaching Jesus today. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1984). Presences of Jesus. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1968). Life, love, joy: Grades 1-6. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1974). A time for building bridges: Catechetical Sunday 1974. Washington, DC: National Center of Religious Education.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1977). Silver Burdett Religious Education Program: Grades 1-8. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1978a). Bread of life: First communion program. New York: Paulist Press.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1978b). Living water: Prayers of our heritage. New York: Paulist Press.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1982). Growing in faith: A catechetical program for parochial school and CCD: Grades 1-6. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Company.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1987). This is our faith: Grades 1-8. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett & Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1989). How to be a better catechist: Answers to questions catechists ask most. Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1991). Glad days vacation church school curriculum: Preschool through junior high (Revised ed.). Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett & Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1992a). Glory days vacation bible school curriculum: Preschool through junior high (Revised ed.). Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett & Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1992b). This is our faith curriculum: Grades 1-8 (Enhanced ed.). Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett & Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1993). Questions catechists ask and answers that really work. Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1994). This is our faith curriculum: Grades 1-6 (Revised ed.). Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1996a). Getting ready for Sunday, year 1: K-8 supplementary school and/or home curriculum to help children prepare to hear the Sunday scripture readings. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1996b). Saints and other holy people: K-8 resource. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1996c). Saints cards. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1997a). Getting ready for Sunday, year 2: K-8 supplementary school and/or home curriculum to help children prepare to hear the Sunday scripture readings. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1997b). This is our faith, school edition: Grades K-8 (Revised and approved by NCCB Office of the Catechism ed.). Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1998). This is our faith, parish edition: Grades K-8 (Revised and approved by NCCB Office of the Catechism ed.). Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (2003). A "no frills" guide to catechesis. Washington, DC: National Catholic Education Association.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (2005). Jump starts for catechists: Stories that teach. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Presences of Jesus. (1987). [Review of the book Presences of Jesus]. Furrow, 38 (May), 344.
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Chapters

  • Manternach, J. (1992). Moral catechesis and children: A retrospective. In J. A. Corr (Ed.), Living the vision: 20th anniversary, East Coast Conference for Religious Education. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1995). Foreword. In The joy of being a catechist: From watering to blossoming. New York: Resurrection Press.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1996). Creative activities. In The catechist part I: Getting started as a catechist (p. 18). Allen, TX: Tabor Publishing.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1966). Contemporary catechesis. In E. J. Weitzel (Ed.), Pastoral ministry in a time of change (pp. 126-136). Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1992). Today more than ever. In J. A. Corr (Ed.), Living the vision: 20th anniversary, East Coast Conference for Religious Education. Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett Ginn.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1996). Tips for effective catechetical planning. In The catechist part I: Getting started as a catechist (pp. 24-26). Allen, TX: Tabor Publishing.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1999). The processes of catechesis. In T. H. Groome & M. J. Corso (Eds.), Empowering catechetical leaders (pp. 55-80). Washington, DC: National Catholic Education Association.

Articles

  • Manternach, J. (1973). Exploring God's book. Religion Teacher's Journal, 7 (Nov-Dec), 10-16.
  • Manternach, J. (1975). Advent projects for children. New Catholic World, 218 (Nov-Dec), 278-282.
  • Manternach, J. (1976a). Doctrine and catechesis. Religion Teacher's Journal, 10 (Nov-Dec), 19-21.
  • Manternach, J. (1976b). Faith as the goal of catechesis. Religion Teacher's Journal, 10 (Sep), 19-21.
  • Manternach, J. (1976c). Life and catechesis. Religion Teacher's Journal, 10 (Oct), 19-21.
  • Manternach, J. (1977a). Bible and catechesis. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Feb), 19-21.
  • Manternach, J. (1977b). Catechesis and the future: Help students appreciate their own worth. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (May-Jun), 24-26.
  • Manternach, J. (1977c). Culture and catechesis: Discovering God in the world. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Mar), 19-21.
  • Manternach, J. (1977d). Liturgy and catechesis. Religion Teacher's Journal, 10 (Jan), 19-21.
  • Manternach, J. (1977e). A no-fail recipe for lesson planning. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Nov-Dec), 17-20.
  • Manternach, J. (1977f). Once upon a time: A key to the mystery of life. Modern Liturgy, 4 (Sep-Oct), 4-5.
  • Manternach, J. (1977g). Saints are part of our roots. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Oct), 24-26.
  • Manternach, J. (1977h). A teacher's guide to creative learning. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Sep), 17-19.
  • Manternach, J. (1978a). Celebrating the church year. Religion Teacher's Journal, 12 (Oct), 25-30.
  • Manternach, J. (1978b). For every catechist the best is possible: Volunteer teachers. Religion Teacher's Journal, 12 (May-Jun), 19-20.
  • Manternach, J. (1978c). Help children know themselves. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Jan), 36-38.
  • Manternach, J. (1979). Dance in the classroom. Religion Teacher's Journal, 13 (Oct), 20-22.
  • Manternach, J. (1980). Join the catechetical team. Religion Teacher's Journal, 14 (Sep), 46-47.
  • Manternach, J. (1981). What difference does this make? Religion Teacher's Journal, 15 (Apr-May), 52-53.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1977). She's not going to play the accordian again, is she? Pastoral Music, 1 (Aug-Sep), 18-21.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1979). First communion preparation - past and present. Today's Catholic Teacher, 12 (Jan), 69-70.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1981a). Catechesis in the 80's. New Catholic World, 224 (Jan-Feb), 41.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1981b). Creatively simple Advent rituals. National Catholic Reporter, 18 (Dec 18), 17.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1981c). Get the most from your textbook. Religion Teacher's Journal, 15 (Jul-Aug), 10-11.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1985). Pfeifer and Manternach: Tips for teams. Today's Parish, 17 (Apr-May), 8-10.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1986a). How to use pictures. Religion Teacher's Journal, 20 (Feb), 31-33.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1986b). How to use pictures. Religion Teacher's Journal, 20 (Mar), 34-35.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1991). Discipline do's and don'ts. Religion Teacher's Journal, 25 (Sep), 7-8.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1992a). The great value of story. Religion Teacher's Journal, 26 (Nov-Dec), 4-6.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1992b). How to plan great lessons. Religion Teacher's Journal, 26 (Oct), 4-6.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1992c). Know your learners. Religion Teacher's Journal, 26 (Sep), 4-5.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1993a). Dancing before the Lord. Religion Teacher's Journal, 26 (Jan), 4-6.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1993b). It's time for evaluation. Religion Teacher's Journal, 27 (Apr-May), 4-5.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1993c). Three ways to be creative. Religion Teacher's Journal, 27 (Feb), 4-7.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1993d). Ways to pray with children. Religion Teacher's Journal, 27 (Mar), 4-7.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1994). Forty ways to be a happier catechist. Religion Teacher's Journal, 28 (Sep), 8-9.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1997). Catechist/religion teacher reflection pieces. On Preparing for the jubilee, year one, 1997. Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1998). Catechist/religion teacher reflection pieces. On Preparing for the jubilee, year two, 1998. Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1999). Catechist/religion teacher reflection pieces. On Preparing for the jubilee, year three, 1999. Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1961). An evening service for Thanksgiving Day. Review for Religious, 20 (Nov), 397-407.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1963). Popular devotions: A new look. Homiletic and Pastoral Review, 63 (Fall), 408-412.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1967a). The elementary school and ecumenism. National Catholic Educational Association Bulletin, 64 (Aug), 155-161.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1967b). The elementary school and ecumenism. Religious Education, 62 (Nov-Dec), 467-472.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1968a). Education for change. Living Light, 5 (Summer), 52-61.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1968b). Religious education and life in the sixties. Religious Education, 68 (Mar-Apr), 83-88.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1971). Getting it together: The International Catechetical Congress. America, 125 (Oct 16), 287-289.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1976a). Church: Context of faith. Religion Teacher's Journal, 10 (Sep), 13-15.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1976b). Church: Institution. Religion Teacher's Journal, 10 (Nov-Dec), 13-15.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1976c). Church: Pilgrim people. Religion Teacher's Journal, 10 (Oct), 13-15.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1977a). The church as a sign of hope. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (May-Jun), 17-19.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1977b). Church as multi-media. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Apr), 20-22.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1977c). Church: Herald: We are called to share the good news. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Feb), 13-15.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1977d). Church: Sacrament. Religion Teacher's Journal, 10 (Jan), 13-15.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1977e). How to eat a magazine. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Sep), 50-51.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1977f). The parish: School of moral discernment. Today's Parish, 9 (Sep), 45-46.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1977g). The servant church: Pope John as a model for teachers and the church. Religion Teacher's Journal, 11 (Mar), 13-15.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1978a). Jesus: Can we really see him? Religion Teacher's Journal, 12 (Sep), 18-21.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1978b). Life, life, new life: Understanding Jesus. Religion Teacher's Journal, 12 (Oct), 14-15.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1978c). Our light in the darkness. Religion Teacher's Journal, 12 (Nov-Dec), 19-21.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1978d). Teaching can enrich your spiritual life. Religion Teacher's Journal, 12 (Mar), 17-19.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1979a). The community dimension. Today's Parish, 11 (Sep), 48-49.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1979b). Jesus our strength. Religion Teacher's Journal, 13 (Feb), 26.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1979c). Jesus sets us free. Religion Teacher's Journal, 13 (Mar), 20-23.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1979d). Jesus: Teacher of life. Religion Teacher's Journal, 13 (May-Jun), 36-39.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1979e). Teach us to pray. Religion Teacher's Journal, 13 (Apr), 22-24.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1979f). Teacher: Show us the way: Understanding Jesus. Religion Teacher's Journal, 12 (Jan), 20-23.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1980a). God's amazing choices. Religion Teacher's Journal, 14 (Oct), 28-31.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1980b). Set my people free. Religion Teacher's Journal, 14 (Nov-Dec), 29-32.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1980c). Stepping stones through the Bible. Religion Teacher's Journal, 14 (Sep), 22-25.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1980d). Where is our liturgy going? Today's Parish, 12 (Mar), 18-22.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1981a). A breach of love. Religion Teacher's Journal, 15 (Apr-May), 20-23.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1981b). I shall be your God. Religion Teacher's Journal, 15 (Feb), 47-49.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1981c). Life-giving waters. Religion Teacher's Journal, 14 (Jan), 32-35.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1981d). We need a king: Understanding the Bible. Religion Teacher's Journal, 15 (Mar), 44-47.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1982). Faith grows through community. Religion Teacher's Journal, 16 (Mar), 12-13.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1983). Good news for the poor. Religion Teacher's Journal, 17 (Mar), 28-31.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1983a). Is compassion enough? Religion Teacher's Journal, 17 (Oct), 20-21.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1983b). Sadako's challenge: Work for peace. Religion Teacher's Journal, 17 (Nov-Dec), 32-34.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1983c). We can change the world. Religion Teacher's Journal, 17 (Sep), 48-49.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1984a). How prejudiced are you? Religion Teacher's Journal, 18 (Mar), 45-47.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1984b). Try these ten commandments. Religion Teacher's Journal, 18 (Apr-May), 25-27.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1984c). What do women want? Religion Teacher's Journal, 17 (Jan), 37-39.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1984d). Will you still need me? Religion Teacher's Journal, 18 (Feb), 45-46.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1996). Catechetical textbooks: What? why? how? Living Light, 33 (2), 21-26.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1998). Why religious education isn't what it used to be. On Carryout Catechesis [Bulletin service]. Washington, DC: National Conference of Catechetical Leadership.

Sound/Video Recordings

  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1973a). Experimental catechesis: The family and the child [cassette recording]. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1973b). Family celebrations [cassette recording]. Kansas City, MO: National Catholic Reporter.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1988). Understanding the Mass for children [Video]. New York: Paulist.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1996). Start-up techniques for the beginning catechist. On Echoes of Faith: Overview Video on The Catechetical Process [Video]. Allen, TX: Tabor Publishing.
  • Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1997). This is our faith [Cassette Recording]. Southfield, MI: Readings for the Blind.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1974). Know your faith: Pastoral guidelines [Cassette Recording]. Kansas City: National Catholic Reporter.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1976a). Family celebrations [Filmstrip]. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1976b). Photomeditations [Slides]. Dayton, OH: Mark IV Presentations.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1978a). Prayer in the church [Filmstrip]. New York: Paulist Press.
  • Pfeifer, C. J. (1978b). Reconciliation and penance: For the middle grades [filmstrip]. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1970). Family celebrations [Cassette Recording]. Kansas City: National Catholic Reporter.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1976a). The last supper [filmstrip]. Washington, DC: Bauman Media Associates.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1976b). The resurrection [filmstrip]. Washington, DC: Bauman Media Associates.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1977a). The holy spirit [filmstrip]. Washington, DC: Bauman Media Associates.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1977b). Love in marriage [filmstrip]. Washington, DC: Bauman Media Associates.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., Manternach, J., & Bauman, E. W. (1975). The crucifixion [filmstrip]. Washington, DC: Bauman Media Associates.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., Manternach, J., & Bauman, E. W. (1977). Marriage and divorce [Filmstrip]. Arlington, VA: Bauman Media Associates.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., Manternach, J., & Ristow, K. (1987). This is our faith: Grades 1-8 [Cassette Recording]. New York, NY: Xavier Society for the Blind.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., Manternach, J., & Ristow, K. (1991). This is our faith: Grade 2 [Cassette Recording]. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah State Library Division for the Blind & Physically Handicapped.

Unpublished Works

  • Manternach, J. (1961). Grade school study guide on Africa.Unpublished manuscript, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Manternach, J. (1962). Grade school study guide on Latin America.Unpublished manuscript, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1985). A program for the training of catechists and catechetical supervisors. Unpublished Doctor of Ministry, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD.
  • Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1993). [National Conference of Catechetical Leadership: Commemorative Booklet: April 20th 1993 57th Annual Conference with Award Page and Public Responses by Pfeifer and Manternach]. Unpublished.

Secondary Sources

  • Borgia, F. (2001). How creative catechists use stories [Review of the book How creative catechists use stories]. Ministry and Liturgy, 28 (2), 44.
  • Gallagher, M. J. (1990). And the children pray [Review of the book And the children pray]. Modern Liturgy, 17 (Apr), 37.
  • Kavanagh, C. (1990). How to be a better catechist [Review of the book How to be a better catechist]. America, 8 (May), 186.
  • McCann, D. (1994). Questions catechists ask and answers that really work [Review of the book Questions catechists ask and answers that really work]. Religion Teacher's Journal, 28 (Apr-May), 16.
  • O'Brien, R. (1984). Creative catechist [Review of the book Creative catechist]. Living Light, 20 (Mar), 279.
  • Presences of Jesus. (1987). [Review of the book Presences of Jesus]. Furrow, 38 (May), 344.
  • Vollkommer, A. (1983). Creative catechist [Review of the book Creative catechist]. Sisters Today, 55 (Dec), 245.
  • Williams, J. (1991). And the children pray [Review of the book And the children pray]. Living Prayer, 24 (Mar-Apr), 33.

Excerpts from Publications

Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1998). Why religious education isn't what it used to be. On Carryout Catechesis [Bulletin service]. Washington, DC: National Conference of Catechetical Leadership.

As American culture continued to change in the 1950s, religious educators became convinced that the content of the Baltimore Catechism did not reflect the fullness of Catholic tradition. It did not draw enough on the bible or the rich symbols and prayers of the Church's worship. Nor did it center on Jesus Christ, as does the New Testament and Catholic liturgy. It too easily left that impression that faith is primarily belief in Catholic teachings rather than first and foremost a loving, trusting relationship with Jesus Christ. New religion texts presented the "Good News" of God's love, calling youth, as well as children to commitment to Christ. The content of catechesis now began to include the bible, the Church's liturgy, and the example of saintly Christians, along with Catholic doctrines.

Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1983). Creative catechist: A comprehensive, illustrated guide for training religion teachers. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications. (pp. 93-94)

St. Ignatius Loyola urged his followers to learn "to see Christ in all things." In that directive Loyola sums up centuries of Christian spirituality. Underlying that contemplative stance of Christianity is the faith-conviction articulated by St. Paul: "Since the creation of the world in visible realities, God's power and divinity have become visible, recognized through the things he has made"(Romans 1:20) … The use of pictures in catechesis has then as its primary purpose the fostering of the kind of seeing, or discerning, that opens one's mind and heart to the presence of the divine in human experience and in our religious tradition. Pictures are particularly valuable for fostering the discernment process that is at the heart of catechesis.

Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (1989). How to be a better catechist: Answers to questions catechists ask most. Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward. (pp. 17-18)

Q: How Can We Deal with Human Experience?

"I don't like the newer religion books because they spend so much time on ordinary, daily experiences. To be honest I get through the life experience part quickly so I have more time to spend on the real content. But I do feel a little guilty doing that. Should I?"

A: You touch on one of the most exciting, yet sometimes disconcerting aspects of the last twenty-five years of catechetical development … (Why include ordinary experience?) The reason for doing that is that God communicates through daily life as well as through the Church. Pope John XXIII insisted on the need to read the "signs of the times" to discern God's Word … Individuals' experiences, natural phenomena, social and political events, fundamental questions, basic values, contemporary issues – all are part of what the National Catechetical Directory calls "natural signs" of God's Word, and therefore as much a part of the content of catechesis as the "biblical," "liturgical," and "ecclesial" signs of God's Word. To skip, or rush through, the experiential part of catechesis is to short-circuit the catechetical process of relating Catholic tradition and daily living.


Recommended Readings

Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1989). And the children pray: A practical book for prayerful catechists. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press. I recommend this book for two reasons. First as a selection from the many books Carl and Janaan have written, this text draws together a fundamental catechetical concern of teaching prayer and helping others to grow in a love relationship with Christ. These considerations of drawing youth into a vibrant relationship with Christ shaped their earliest texts of Life, Love, Joy in the 1960s. Second, this is a practical resource of timeless value for catechists and parents alike as new generations of catechists and parents yearn to teach their children how to pray.
Manternach, J., & Pfeifer, C. J. (1995). Creative catechist: A comprehensive, illustrated guide for training religion teachers (Updated in light of the Catechism of the Catholic Church ed.). Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications. Originally written in 1983, this book was revised and expanded with developments shaping catechesis in the United States. It was already in its 5th printing by 1999! Some version of this text is likely on nearly every parish resource shelf around the country. It is the penultimate resource book for catechists because it breaks down practical aspects and questions related to catechesis, roots them in a theological and pedagogical framework, and provides straightforward, practical, and creative resources to explore and understand them.
Pfeifer, C. J., & Manternach, J. (2003). A "no frills" guide to catechesis. Washington, DC: National Catholic Education Association. This text was written at the request of the National Catholic Education Association and comes near the end of Carl and Janaan's joint professional career. It helps the reader appreciate the fundamentals of catechesis and consider the importance of new pedagogical developments and ecclesial documents shaping the field of religious education. Typical of their work, it is a user-friendly text for the parish catechist.

Author Information

Dean P. Manternach

Dean P. Manternach (Ph.D., Boston College) serves as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. This CE20 biography selection highlighting the contribution of Carl J. Pfeifer and Janaan Manternach has been of special interest to Dean because Janaan is a family relative.

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