This is a timeline of the major projects I have worked on during my career as an author and entrepreneur. With each new project on this list, I have grown as a writer, speaker, teacher, and solopreneur. These are just the long-term projects and do not include the hundreds of blog posts, articles, workshops, and webinars I’ve done over the years. To see what I’m working on right now, visit my now page.
2020—I continued working towards a goal of writing one million words for kids with the publication of five Bible story collections in the Bible Breaks series: Take Up Your Cross, Do Not Be Afraid, Take and Eat, Pray without Ceasing, and Prepare the Way. I published 1-2 new videos to The Religion Teacher YouTube channel, which passed more than two million views. I also added 100 new worksheets and videos for members of The Religion Teacher focused on the saints and key figures in the Old Testament. I finished the year with a new daily email newsletter for Catholic families called Formation5. Read the full 2020 project report here.
2019—I published my first two books of fiction this year: Beatitales and Tales of the Ten Commandments. The Religion Teacher membership website continued to grow with my revisions of the Advent and Lenten Activity Packs. I also launched a collection of Parables Worksheet Pack and Saints Worksheet Collection for religious educators. Read a full report of my 2019 projects here.
2018—I wrote another book for religious educators, Christ in the Classroom, and created new collections of worksheets for them as well at The Religion Teacher: Catholic Mass Worksheets, Confirmation Worksheets, and an ongoing collection of Saint Worksheets. I also started writing fiction for the first time publishing a free eBook, Beatitales: Volume I, and a serialized short story about the true meaning of Christmas. At the start of the year, I launched an online course on evangelization that I called The Evangelization Stack.
2017—Praying the Angelus, my third paperback book, was published. I also transitioned into a part-time role at work to dedicate more time to my online business, books, speaking, and family. I finished the weekly Gospel worksheets and created three new activity packs for members of The Religion Teacher: Catholic Social Teaching Activity Pack, Book of Genesis Worksheets, and The Lord’s Prayer Worksheets. I also started recording frequent, live whiteboard lessons on Facebook.
2016—To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach, my book on evangelization, was finally published after two years of research and writing. It is a practical guide to anyone who feels compelled to spread the Christian faith, especially those working in ministry. The goal for the book: to help the Catholic Church transition away from over-emphasizing teaching when healing and proclaiming is needed most.
2015—I started a project that would take the next three years to complete: worksheets for every Sunday Gospel reading. Creating a worksheet is an art (believe it or not) and I got better with each new attempt. I blogged a lot less, but created a lot more. I also released another worksheet packet on the Works of Mercy. I spent a lot of time during this year working on my next book, too.
2014—The Religion Teacher membership website officially launched. I didn’t know what people would find to be valuable at first. It was a constant learning cycle and I never would have known what teachers really needed until I started working on this library of resources.
2013—31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator (my first book!!) was published. I wrote my second book that year, a digital-only study guide to Pope Francis’s first encyclical that served as an early experiment in digital publishing for Ave Maria Press. I also created two new packets of worksheets for The Religion Teacher on Lectio Divina and praying the Rosary. This was a productive year as a part-time author!
2012—After five years and many late nights and early mornings, I graduated from The University of Notre Dame with a M.A. in Theology. Instead of waking up at 5:00 a.m. to read books for my classes, I started writing them. I also published the two best-selling digital products at The Religion Teacher: activity packs for Lent and Advent.
2011—I created the first downloadable product for The Religion Teacher to help religious educators adapt their students to the new translation of the Mass. I got one email that objected to the idea that I would sell products for money, but dozens of emails expressing gratitude. It’s amazing how the one piece of negative feedback sticks with you.
2010—I moved The Religion Teacher from Blogger to TheReligionTeacher.com and relaunched the site with a free, downloadable ebook, The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning. At Ave Maria Press I edited a handful of high school textbooks and teacher’s manuals, plus a trade book. Editors and authors are very different people. I realized I wanted to be an author, not an editor. By the end of the year I started to transition into a new role focused on digital publishing in Ave’s marketing department.
2009—I started blogging on a blogspot blog called The Religion Teacher to share ideas and practical resources for religious education. I also secretly hoped that the blog would help me get my dream job some at a Catholic publishing company. That dream came true much earlier than I expected. Seven months later, I left a job I really loved at Play Like A Champion Today for my dream job at Ave Maria Press.
2004-2008—As a teacher I created hundreds of lesson plans, worksheets, and graphic organizers. The thousands of difficult hours I spent preparing lessons laid the groundwork for the creative projects I would work on later in my career. The experienced I gained earning my M.Ed. at the University of Notre Dame through the Alliance for Catholic Education program plus the community I joined there have been invaluable.
2004—My big accomplishment before graduating from Miami University (OH) was writing a senior thesis on an obscure group of Jewish-Christians that existed in the second century. While I enjoyed the process of research and writing, I realized I did not want a career as an academic. I did, however, want to write and teach.