Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About!

April 29, 2016 Joe Paprocki 2

Catechists are always looking for ways to get parents talking with their kids about what they learned in faith formation. Here’s a simple idea I came up with that can help you to review the main points of your lesson and to provide parents with something they can ask their kids about when they pick them up. It’s a half sheet of paper that you can distribute to kids near the end of class. Have […]

Reviewing Your Catechetical Year, Examen-Style

April 28, 2016 Eric Gurash 0

The ending of the catechetical year is the perfect time to reflect on the highs and lows, rejoicing in the graced moments in our programs and seeking to improve the more challenging areas. The Examen prayer, as outlined by St. Ignatius Loyola, provides us with a perfect guide to making just this kind of review. As you get set to begin this time of prayerful review, be sure to set aside at least 15–20 minutes, […]

Four Tips for Making Connections Between the Mass and Class Discussions

April 26, 2016 Denise Gorss 2

One of the boys in my group asked, “Do you go to church?” We were discussing the Mass, and he seemed genuinely surprised when I told him that, yes, I do go to church for weekly Mass. He admits he only goes to church occasionally, and he, like many kids in our programs, is more the norm than the exception. I don’t have the secret formula for how we change this trend and encourage those […]

A Summer Reading List

April 25, 2016 Joe Paprocki 4

When it comes to adult faith formation at my parish, Christ the King in Chicago, I am often reminded that many folks go away for the summer. That doesn’t mean that we can’t plan adult faith formation opportunities during the summer months; it just means that we might need to adjust our expectations when it comes to attendance. Another option, however, is to find a way to “travel with” people as they scatter to the […]

A New Commandment and the Year of Mercy

April 22, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus gives his disciples and us the New Commandment. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35, NIV). So what is “new” about this commandment? The duty of loving neighbors is grounded in the Old Testament and had been at […]

Making Mother’s Day Memories: Parish Suggestions

April 21, 2016 Julianne Stanz 0

During Mother’s Day weekend there will be extra guests at our parishes: sons, daughters, and grandchildren all attending Mass with their mothers and grandmothers. There will be grandmothers, mothers with children of all ages, expectant mothers—whether for the first time or not—stepmothers, foster mothers, spiritual mothers, and substitute mothers. Mother’s Day presents us with an opportunity to connect the Scriptures, the Blessed Mother, and the dignity of all women. It is a time to celebrate […]

Hidden Gems the Holy Spirit Hides

April 20, 2016 Lisa Brown 0

When I think about how I teach my class, I tend to highlight those lesson plans that were spectacular or sessions when I left feeling confident that that my students truly understood the lesson. I tend to forget—or ignore—those times when I felt “off,” when I didn’t prepare as much as I would have liked, or when I lacked confidence in my own understanding of the material. However, I have found that those classes are […]

Who Should Serve as Catechists?

April 19, 2016 Joyce Donahue 0

In most parishes the process of finding catechists is pretty simple: we ask, even beg, for people to fill empty slots and some come forward. If that fails, we may tap former catechists or aides, or ask parents of children in the program to fill the needs. Failing that, we may even resort to guilt: “If no one volunteers, our children will have no one to teach them the faith.” Too often it seems we […]

What Exactly IS the Good News?

April 18, 2016 Joe Paprocki 2

In adult faith formation, all too often, we set out to provide a comprehensive curriculum of the Catholic faith before we have helped folks recognize what the core of our story is! Before we can delve deeply into the Six Tasks of Catechesis, the Four Pillars of the Catechism, the Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, and so on, we need to be sure that we have presented the core of our story of Salvation. […]

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