Faith Formation for Parents: Bruce’s Story

April 30, 2015 Eric Gurash 7

As he sat down, he leaned to the mom next to him and whispered, “Don’t ask any questions; I want to get out of here before eight!” This was Bruce*, a 40-something professional man whose daughter Denise was enrolled in our Confirmation program. The setting was a parent session offered before the children’s sacramental preparation began. Bruce rarely went to church, had little to no spiritual life, and no real knowledge of his Catholic faith […]

Honoring Mary in the Classroom or Parish

April 29, 2015 Special Contributor 0

Each May, Catholics across the globe celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, holy mother to us all. Through parish and classroom celebrations, we can show our love and respect for Mary and share her importance with those we teach. There are a variety of traditional activities that parishes use to celebrate Mary, such as the May Crowning or a special Rosary, novena, or prayer service. These are all good, but if you are looking for some […]

Learning about the Apostles

April 28, 2015 Denise Gorss 4

During the Easter season, I like to spend some time talking with the young people about what happened to the disciples after the Resurrection. We cover the post-Resurrection appearances of Christ, but I also use the time to introduce the stories of the Apostles and where they went after the Ascension and Pentecost. Christ Our Life, Grade 7, Chapter 7 provides a section called “Portraits of the Apostles,” which details this activity, but the information […]

Singing as an Expression of Faith

April 27, 2015 Joe Paprocki 5

It’s fascinating to note just how integral music and singing are to the world of spectator sports. Whether it is baseball, football, hockey, or basketball, sports fans (especially at the collegiate level) often support their teams by singing and chanting. As long as music and singing are present, there’s hope for your team. When the singing stops, you know your team is in trouble. And that’s when the grumbling begins. “Why’d they leave him in […]

Need a Speaker for First Communion Parent Meeting? Try the Parents!

April 24, 2015 Joe Paprocki 6

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of facilitating a First Communion Parents Meeting at St. Cajetan Parish in Chicago. While I did do some presenting about a deeper understanding of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the primary speakers for the evening were—drum roll please—PARENTS! The Director of Religious Education, Deb Breakey, recruited four parents of children who recently received First Communion to comprise a panel, sharing their experiences of walking with their children through […]

Four Ways to Keep the Faith in Vacation Bible School

April 23, 2015 Special Contributor 1

This is the third article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. By this time, initial planning for this summer’s Vacation Bible School is underway, and the countdown has begun. We’ve selected a program, scheduled the date, and begun recruiting leaders for the many activities required for a successful program. An enthusiastic team of volunteers is busy brainstorming ideas for games, snacks, decorations, and skits. Whether […]

Ascension to Pentecost: The First Novena—Free Poster and Booklet

April 22, 2015 Joe Paprocki 4

During the Easter season, we look at the Gospel stories of Jesus Christ’s appearances after the Resurrection. At the end of 40 days, Jesus ascended into heaven, promising to send a helper to the disciples as they took on their mission of spreading the Good News. That helper—the Holy Spirit—came 10 days later on the day of Pentecost. Between the Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles and Mary waited in prayer […]

Make Teaching Fun

April 21, 2015 Lisa Jones 0

Did you ever have one of those days where teaching religious education made you smile? Today was one of those days. After weeks of difficult and sometimes rowdy classes, we spent this class reviewing the material before the end of the year. Because I like games and like to teach with games, I decided to make our review into a game. I kept it simple. The children chose teams, and I asked each team a […]

Digging for the Secret to Adult Faith Formation Success: Al Capone’s Vault

April 20, 2015 Joe Paprocki 5

As regular readers know, this past year, I dedicated my time and efforts to working in the area of adult faith formation, and I’ve discovered many ideas and strategies along the way, and we’ve had some marvelous discussions about some of these. One thing I had hoped for more success in was discovering the keys to getting adults to respond to/attend adult faith formation offerings. In that area, I must admit, I feel like Geraldo Rivera promising […]

May Crowning Marks a “New Spiritual Season”

April 17, 2015 Joe Paprocki 0

One of the most beautiful traditions in Catholicism is that of May Crowning. In her book, May Crowning, Mass, and Merton: 50 Reasons I Love Being Catholic, Liz Kelly recalls her childhood experience of May Crownings: I still remember the aroma of the flowers, the coolness of the spring air, the lightness of spirit that lingered. The promise of everything made new. May Crowning marked a new spiritual season. Our Mary, queen of heaven and […]

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