At Home with Jesus the Teacher

Jesus the Teacher plush figure

It’s not a surprise that the “Jesus the Teacher” figure created by Loyola Press as part of the Adaptive Finding God program for children with special needs has been quite a hit! What’s so impressive are some of the creative ideas that our Loyola Press customers have come up with for using the Jesus the Teacher figure with children and families.

One customer shares that she has arranged for every child in her class to take the Jesus the Teacher figure home for a week and arrange a special place of prayer in their home in which the figure is placed. The family is encouraged to spend some time sharing how they find Jesus in their home, how they can share Jesus with others, how they spend time with Jesus, and how they can be like Jesus.

Another customer shares that she bought a Jesus the Teacher figure for each of her grandchildren and embroidered the children’s names on their figures as a way of telling the children that Jesus always keeps them in his heart and reminding them to keep Jesus in their hearts.

What other uses have you found or might suggest for families to make use of Jesus the Teacher in their homes?

10 Things Catechists Can Be Thankful For

Thank You image by woodleywonderworks under CC BY 2.0

With Thanksgiving upon us, I thought it would be a good time for us catechists to pause and give thanks for so many blessings that we have. Here are 10 things that I think catechists can be thankful for, and I invite you to add to the list. For those we are privileged to teach. […]

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A New Beginning This Advent

As Christmas approaches, life becomes hectic, overbooked, and our prayer time can shrink. But if we take intentional steps, Advent can become a period of deepening our relationship with our Savior. The word advent means “coming or arrival”—the coming of Christ into the world. Advent is a time of preparation. During this season, we direct […]

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When Young People Don’t Want to Be in the Skits

comedy and tragedy masks

I went into my session on the Beatitudes with a mixture of confidence and trepidation. Confidence, because after experimenting with ways to convey the Beatitudes over the past few years, I felt I had a solid lesson plan that would get the young people out of their seats and engaged. But I also felt trepidation, […]

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Prayer Blankets as a Component of Adult Faith Formation

sewing a blanket

As we continue to expand our notion of what adult faith formation is—taking it beyond the scholastic sphere—I’d like to talk about one idea that combines several aspects of the six tasks of catechesis. I’m referring to the practice of parishes creating a Prayer Blanket (or Prayer Shawl) Ministry. In this ministry, parishioners sew/create prayer […]

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Using Prayer Intentions Notebooks

One idea/activity that I have highly encouraged catechists to use in their sessions is inviting young people to write down their prayer intentions as soon as they enter the room. This is a good way to get them on task immediately and to begin establishing a climate of prayer, which is key to an effective […]

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Advent: Of Elves or Angels?

Advent: Of Elves or Angels? - angel pictured

Advent is a time of expectation and excitement as we prepare for the birth of Christ. Within Advent is the unfolding of beautiful readings that build from one week to another, along with complimentary music, colors, and the rituals surrounding this liminal time. The opening of Advent calendars or the many other creative ways of […]

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Games for Learning about Eucharist and the Mass—Free Printables

games for learning about Eucharist and the Mass

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we join in communion with the family of the Church. Help children deepen their understanding of the Eucharist and the Mass with fun review games. Children will enjoy playing Mass Bingo, Eucharist Tic-Tac-Toe, and a […]

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When the Craft Is a Challenge


Crafts are an important part of any elementary faith formation program, and there are a multitude of great crafts that are perfect for our faith formation programs. After spending just a few minutes on Pinterest, I’m sure you’ll feel overwhelmed by the number of options. How do we select which crafts to use for our […]

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Would It Hurt to Put Up a Sign and a Balloon?


As I drive through various neighborhoods, I typically see no small number of lawn signs announcing yard sales, garage sales, or real estate open houses. Often, attached to the signs are a few balloons. The message is clear: this is where the action is! Contrast that with an experience I had recently (and all too […]

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