My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #4

magician's hat

As I look back on my favorite lessons, this one really stands out because I love the idea of magic. I think, deep down, I always wanted to be a magician, but I was never any good at it! In this lesson for sixth graders, we were looking at the story of Creation, in which God creates all of creation out of nothing. The first thing I thought of was how magicians try to convince us that they possess the power to create something out of nothing. I found a great clip on YouTube of a magician to use to get their attention, and it worked beautifully, setting the stage for us to cover Chapter 2 of Finding God, Grade 6.

Another highlight of this lesson was inviting the young people to draw a picture of their favorite aspect of God’s creation. Some of their artwork was just so wonderful! Here is the lesson: God Creates Something Out of Nothing.

Why Become a Liturgical Catechist?

catechist explains things in church

This is the first article in a series about liturgical catechesis. I have a confession: I have an alter-ego. “The Liturgical Catechist” moniker was born when I realized that being both a catechist and a liturgist means I have something to offer the Church that doesn’t always come naturally to either liturgists or catechists. Too […]

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Chance Encounter Leads to St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Ten years ago, I really didn’t know anything about St. Ignatius of Loyola, nor of the Jesuit order, which he founded. A chance encounter with a Jesuit priest changed that for me, and since that dinner conversation, I’ve incorporated Ignatian spirituality into my daily life. I met Fr. George Lane, SJ, who was then the […]

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Parent-Teen Date Night

Parent-Teen Date Night shared by Megan Arteaga

Editor’s note: This summer, we will be highlighting success stories from the field. Let’s share our stories of what works to inspire each other to great things in faith formation ministries! Today, Megan Arteaga tells us about Parent-Teen Date Night in youth ministry. As youth ministers, we want more parental involvement. We want more parents […]

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Adult Faith Formation Does Not Take Off for the Summer


Summer provides us with the perfect time to forge ahead with plans for more robust adult faith formation in the year ahead. At Christ the King Parish, my home parish, we are taking advantage of the summer to lay the foundations for our best year ever in adult faith formation. Building on the success of […]

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My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #3

outline of Jesus

I hope you’re enjoying this little excursion down memory lane as I recall some of my favorite lessons that I’ve taught and posted about here on Catechist’s Journey. Today, we go back to my days of teaching eighth grade/Confirmation prep and a lesson—actually a series of lessons—on getting to know who Jesus is. We presume, […]

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Intergenerational Catechesis: An Apprenticeship of Christian Life

families in church

When it was time for my youngest to learn to tie her shoes, our family gathered together and knelt on the ground to take turns demonstrating and gently guiding her own attempts. Over the next few weeks Mom, Dad, or older brother would be sure to be at her side to coach and guide until, […]

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The Measure of Success

measurement yardstick

By what yardstick do we measure the success of teaching the faith to the children with whom we’ve been entrusted? I asked myself this question as I prepared my last two classes of the year. I may be tempted to use an objective measure, such as a minimum percent-correct score on the unit review. I may […]

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The Gift of a Less-Than-Perfect Year

girl at desk

Another year of faith formation classes has come to an end, and I’ve got a big smile on my face and a few tears in my eyes. This has been my sixth year of teaching third-grade religious education classes at my parish, and as I look back on the year, I know I will happily […]

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I Created My Playlist of “Go-To” Hymns!

sacred music

Not long ago, I posted about creating a playlist of “go-to-hymns” that you can rely on to invite people to sing at any and every parish gathering so that we can more truly and consistently express the joy that is ours in the Risen Christ. Since then, I have been presenting at a number of […]

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