About Darcy Osby
Darcy Osby is Director of Religious Education at St. Bernard Parish in Pittsburgh, PA. She has been involved in a variety of parish catechetical programs for over 12 years and loves working in ministry professionally. Darcy holds bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and theology from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, as well as a Master of Divinity from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She and her husband enjoy exploring God’s creation through hiking, canoeing, and kayaking.

Celebrating the Ascension

The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord often happens after our religious education sessions are over for the school year. However, it can be the perfect final lesson of the year as students depart for the summer. Include the Ascension in your lesson plan for the final session by encouraging students to be disciples over the summer. Just as Jesus left the Twelve with a mission, you can do the same. I Am with […]

Leading an Experience of Holy Week

The weeks leading up to Holy Week present us with a unique opportunity to deepen children’s relationships with Jesus Christ through his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Rather than teaching about the events of Holy Week, try leading your children through an experience of Holy Week. The liturgies of the Triduum are so rich; we can use elements from them in our classrooms to help prepare children for participating in these liturgies with their families. Create […]

Encouraging Family Mass Attendance One Family at a Time

Those of us who serve in the ministry of catechesis know the disconnect that exists between religious education and families who do not attend Sunday Mass. How do we get parents who drop off their kids at faith formation classes but do not attend Mass into church on Sunday? We can try gimmicks, requirements, scolding, and guilt, but the only thing that will get families into the pews is conversion. I’d like to share one […]

Explaining Ash Wednesday to Children

Ash Wednesday is popular with children because ashes are such a tangible symbol. People of all ages love when the spiritual is made physical, when they can touch and feel something real. The Church gives us sacramentals such as blessed ashes, palms, rosaries, and candles to help us open up to God’s grace. Explaining the meaning behind the ashes is important for children to understand why they are walking around with dirt on their foreheads. […]

Three Ways to Teach the Creed to Younger Children

I was teaching a class of second graders the Nicene Creed when I started reciting it phrase by phrase. I asked them to repeat the lines after me. A group of children who attended Mass regularly realized they knew what came next and excitedly continued on without waiting for my prompts. I let them go, curious to see how far they would get. They spoke the words very quickly; whenever they paused or thought about […]

Three Lessons for Catechists from St. Nicholas

On December 6, we celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas. On the night of December 5, children leave their shoes by the door, finding them filled with treats when they wake up the next morning. Catechists too can find “treats” from the life of St. Nicholas to help them in their ministry. Here are three lessons we can learn from the life of this fourth-century saint. 1. Be a gift-giver. St. Nicholas is best known […]

Creative Ways to Pray the Rosary

Teaching children to pray the Rosary does not have to be monotonous and painful. Since every child interacts with the world around him or her differently, Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences can help catechists make praying the Rosary a positive experience. Here are some creative ways to engage the eight “signs” of intelligence proposed by Gardner. Try praying the Rosary using a different technique each month, or offer several choices for the class as […]

Three Ways to Nurture a Catechist’s Prayer Life

Prayer is an essential component in the life of a catechist. Prayer helps us stay connected to Jesus Christ, the Master Catechist who works through us in our ministry, who strengthens us with the grace to do our ministry well, and who desires to be in relationship with us and with our students. How can we help our catechists maintain a life of prayer? Here are three ways. 1. Keep it simple. We often think […]

Confident Catechists: How to Prepare for the New Year

During Advent and Lent, the Church prepares for the feasts of Christmas and Easter. Similarly, summer is the season when catechists prepare for the upcoming catechetical year. The more time we take to prepare, the more comfortable and confident we will be echoing the Word of God in our classrooms. Prayer, Prayer, and More Prayer The most important thing we can do to prepare for the new catechetical year is to pray. Through prayer, the […]

Mary, Mother of Catechists

The Blessed Virgin Mary is so many things to us: she is our mother, our help, our comfort, and our joy. She is our model disciple; she is the “untier of knots.” She is also our model catechist. Here are three ways we can be more like Mary as catechists. 1. Say “Yes.” When I invite parishioners to prayerfully consider becoming a catechist, their first response is often “Who, me?” followed by expressions of doubt, […]

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