At Home with Jesus the Teacher

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 […]

10 Things Catechists Can Be Thankful For

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. […]

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

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, […]

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 […]

A Thanksgiving Lesson Plan: It Is Right and Just

A few years ago, I developed a lesson plan on the theme of thanksgiving titled “It Is Right and Just.” It is packed with ideas, so you will probably have to pick and choose how much of it you actually hope to/think you can accomplish in the time you have during your sessions between now […]

Loving the Mass

Have you ever heard the saying, “Good teachers borrow, but great teachers steal?” This saying comes to mind as I reflect on the different ways we can help the children in our classes understand the Mass. My DRE had recently invited a guest speaker to come to our parish and give a presentation on how […]

Jesse Trees Aren’t Just for Advent

The theme for a recent session was “Jesus fulfills the Revelation of God found in the history of the Chosen People.” I realized I could make the connection this week by adapting an activity typically reserved for Advent—the Jesse tree. As the young people entered the room, I invited them to work on a worksheet […]

When to Leave Your Textbook Behind

In our first six weeks of school, we only finished two chapters in our religion textbook. Earlier in my teaching career, I would have worried that this slow pace might be a problem. When I first began teaching I was told, “When you reach Christmas, you must be halfway through the textbook.” Now, as a seasoned […]

Say Yes to God

How can you convey a love of and devotion to Mary with all the necessary background knowledge in just one class period? The simple answer is that you can’t. You have to select the greatest message you want the class to absorb, focus on it for the class, and then add more about Mother Mary […]

First Experiences with Two Forms of Prayer

One of my favorite parts of teaching religious education is introducing young people to various forms of prayer. In addition to starting sessions with three traditional prayers—the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be to the Father—I’ve led them in lectio divina and guided reflection. When I mentioned to another catechist that I […]