God Provides! Small Faith Groups Update

As I reported a couple of weeks ago, I am assisting Christ the King Parish in Chicago in implementing small faith groups for the Lenten season. We did many preparations to get this initiative off the ground, including the following: recruiting small-group leaders displaying posters and signs on parish grounds training leaders advertising with bulletin […]

Expect the Unexpected

This week in third-grade faith formation class, we were to introduce the students to the seven Sacraments, focusing on two of the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism and Confirmation. Excited to share this lesson, I brought pictures of my own Baptism and Confirmation to show the children. We had barely started with class prayer and introducing the […]

A Magnificent Banquet

During the “Christmas honeymoon”—those few weeks of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Lent—I found that I had been lulled into a sense of complacency. My second-grade class had covered a lot of material during the fall, and I felt good about their grasp of the material. But then reality hit me—their First Reconciliation and First […]

How Do You Approach Lesson Planning?

How do you plan your lessons for faith formation sessions? The majority of us catechists don’t hold education degrees, so we likely don’t have much, if any, formal training in lesson planning. A good catechetical textbook with a teacher’s manual may outline ways to approach each lesson. This can be a great starting point, especially […]

Kicking Off Small Faith Groups at Christ the King Parish

This year, I have been dedicating my efforts to building up adult faith formation at Christ the King Parish in Chicago. Our first foray into this area is forming small faith groups for the season of Lent, and I am happy to say that they are getting off the ground as I write this! Over […]

Lenten AWE: Reaching Out to Young Adults

Research indicates that young adults are highly likely to be present at Ash Wednesday services and to engage in Lenten practices such as abstaining from meat on Fridays and fasting. When I worked in parish young adult ministry we were especially attentive to those young adults who would come to Ash Wednesday services but were […]

Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures Cycle C Video Options

Last year I offered handouts for Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures, to be used in parish small faith groups. Year C materials for 2016 are now available. This year, I selected some options for online videos for further reflection on each week’s theme. Always remember to preview videos before showing to your group, to determine […]

Bibles at Home

Every year part of our third-grade curriculum includes teaching children how to look up a verse in the Bible. In the past I’ve used fortune cookies with a verse from Scripture as the “fortune” to make the learning fun. We started out this class by handing out a Bible to each child and showing them […]

With You I Am Well-Pleased: The Art of Blessing

This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. In Luke’s Gospel, we are told that the heavens opened and a voice was heard saying, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22) In these words of blessing, we are being told beyond a shadow of a doubt that God […]

Four Reasons Movement Is Important for Catechists

I wear a pedometer to track the number of steps I take daily. It’s a fitness reminder, but I was surprised to notice that in one recent class period I had added almost 2,000 steps to my count! I knew I moved around a lot during class, but this was near one mile, which was […]