About Lisa Jones
Lisa Jones is a fourth-grade catechist at her parish, St. Angela Merici in Missouri City, TX. She also serves her parish as the director of their Vacation Bible School program and as chairperson of the Faith Formation Council. Lisa blogs with her sister about faith and family life at Of Sound Mind and Spirit. She and her husband are the proud parents of three amazing kids.

Ask for What You Need

October 18, 2016 Lisa Jones 4

Every new year presents its own challenges. Not only have I switched grades this year, but I also haven’t been assigned an aide, and I’ve been asked to move my class from a classroom into the open worship space to teach. My parish only has four actual classrooms. The remaining faith formation classes meet spread out in the open worship space. While I’ve taught in this space before, it’s not an ideal teaching environment. Until […]

A New Year, A New Grade

October 4, 2016 Lisa Jones 4

Faith formation classes are back! Yesterday I welcomed students into my parish classroom for my seventh year, but with one big change: I’m no longer teaching third grade. The fourth-grade teacher wasn’t able to teach at the last minute, and I was asked if I would move to fill that hole. (My third-grade aide from last year, who has a daughter who is now in third grade, would replace me.) It was a difficult decision—I’ve […]

Beyond Backpacks: Preparing for a New Year

September 13, 2016 Lisa Jones 2

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the God’s Gift sacramental preparation series. It’s back-to-school time for my children. We’ve spent weeks buying new clothes, backpacks, and school supplies. They went to school orientations, they met their teachers, and they even attended a pre-school pep rally. On the first day of school, our prep work paid off. They all knew where they were going and what to expect, and they were open […]

The Gift of a Less-Than-Perfect Year

June 14, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

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 sign up to teach again next year. This wasn’t my best year. I missed classes due to illness; I didn’t […]

The Greatest Commandment in Action

May 17, 2016 Lisa Jones 2

The Greatest Commandment sounds straightforward: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:34‒40). This sounds simple and easy for kids to understand, right? Yes and no. When I read the Greatest Commandment to my class, they all nodded and said yes, […]

Changing It Up with a Craft

May 3, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

It was the week when all the students in Texas had to take standardized tests. Even on a good day, my third-grade faith formation class is a squirmy bunch. After being at elementary school all day, doing nothing but taking standardized tests, I knew they would be extra squirmy. I needed to do something different to keep their attention this time. I wasn’t going to follow my regular class plan, so I needed a hands-on […]

Dear Pope Francis in the Classroom

April 12, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

As we were finishing up faith formation class the other day, I showed my class a new book: Dear Pope Francis. It is a hardcover, colorful book of letters and drawings from children around the world to Pope Francis. The best part of the book is that Pope Francis answered each of the letters. His answers are not one- or two-line answers, but thoughtful, multi-paragraph answers that an elementary-age student can understand. I fell in […]

Will God Wipe Us Out?

March 29, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

In my third-grade faith formation class, the story of Noah’s Ark came up while we were discussing another topic. One of the girls asked, “If God punished the whole world with a flood and wiped everyone out because of sin, could he wipe us all out as well? We are all sinners.” My immediate thought was, “Wow, what an incredible question!” I loved that she remembered a previous lesson when we had talked about how […]

A Simple Way to Choose Volunteer Readers

March 15, 2016 Lisa Jones 2

My third-grade class likes to read aloud during our faith formation classes. Fortunately, I have no shortage of volunteers: they all want to take turns reading. While this is a good problem for a teacher to have, it’s not without its drawbacks. I struggle with how to be fair in calling on students to read aloud. Whenever I ask for a volunteer to read, they all squirm and jump around, calling out, “Me! Me! Pick […]

It’s All About Jesus: Children and the Mass

March 1, 2016 Lisa Jones 1

This week’s lesson for my third-grade faith formation class was about the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Most of my students celebrated their First Holy Communion less than a year ago, so the previous lessons on the Eucharist are relatively fresh in their minds. They seemed confident in knowing that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and they all understood the mechanics of receiving communion. As we got deeper into the lesson, […]

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