Running the Paschal Mystery

What if the Paschal Mystery isn’t something that Jesus went through a couple thousand years ago, but something that we’re all invited to live every day? Using the metaphor of a marathon and his prodigious skill as a storyteller, Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson (of Soul Play LLC) challenges us to run our own Paschal Mystery, teaching us to look at life through the lenses of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter.


Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson (of Soul Play LLC) describes himself as a street theologian. And as that name suggests, he has not spent much of his time writing long treatises. Rather Terry’s writing tends to be short-form story-driven theological reflections meant to hit us where we live, at street level.

Thus, when we began to work together to produce items people could take with them from a Soul Play presentation, much of the material Terry could immediately provide were these concise lovely essays written over the years for various original purposes.

Having preschoolers when I received these essays, I named them Soul Playdates, because playdates tend to be short, fun, and refreshing times (for both children and parent!) - which describes these reflections well. Each Soul Playdate can be read individually, a brief respite to recharge your inner battery.


Pop Goes Catholicism is dedicated to finding connections to Catholic truth within popular media. I provide the following disclaimer about that media:

  • much of what is presented in popular media contradicts Catholic morality or theology
  • this media is being consumed, which is why it’s called popular
  • there are other resources available to critique the many ways in which popular media fail in terms of Catholic morality or theology

Thus, Pop Goes Catholicism, on the other hand, does not engage in the negative critique of popular media but rather searches for the small moments or subtle symbolism that allow for positive connections to be made between media and faith. In other words, I seek out the sneaky ways that God can slip into that most questionable of incarnations: popular media. My hope, in doing so, is to help people recognize the good, however incomplete or fleeting that good, in the media they enjoy in the hope that more engagement with faith will lead to more discrimination between the good and the bad in everything.

Pop Goes Catholicism provides catechetical resources that help you to

  • Recognize Your Faith with Faith Connection Essay
  • Grow Your Faith with Related Scripture Quotes
  • Apply Your Faith with Reflection Questions

Packages of both single page Resource Sheets and video resources for use in classrooms are under development and should be available soon. Keep checking back to see when the first collections go on sale.



Curriculum Product

We are currently creating an interactive video-based curriculum to offer for sale to parents, schools, institutions, and anyone else interested in learning about this powerful positive vision of sexuality. Check back soon to find various packages of Sexuality: Celebrate the Gift and Become Makers of Love.

Live Presentation

A nationally-acclaimed speaker on adolescent sexuality, Dr. Terry Nelson-Johnson (of Soul Play LLC) has designed and conducted programming at hundreds of middle schools and high schools in the Chicago metropolitan area as well as Secondary Schools in Canada that help students to understand the critical distinction between sex and sexuality, including: Francis W. Parker School, New Trier Township High School, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, and the United States Air Force Young Adult Symposium.

Dr. Nelson Johnson has presented at the First Friday Club of Chicago, The Career Transitions Center, Crossroads Center, Mercyhurst College, Carroll College, Loyola University, Call To Action National Conference, Inner City Teaching Corps, and the Illinois Drug Education Alliance’s annual prevention conference. He is recipient the 2008 Bernadine Medal from Amate House, a young adult volunteer and leadership program in Chicago.

If you would like Dr. Nelson-Johnson to visit your organization with this presentation, contact Soul Play.