My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #8

When I was a student teacher back in the day, my cooperating teacher taught me that the goal of an effective teacher is to turn the spotlight away from yourself and onto your students. He emphasized that they were here to perform for you, not you for them! I’ve tried to follow that advice as […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #3: Moral Formation, or Living Out Our Faith

The third of the Six Tasks of Catechesis is moral formation, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, living out our faith. Read what the bishops say: Jesus’ moral teaching is an integral part of his message. Catechesis must transmit both the content of Christ’s moral teachings as well as their implications for […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #7

As a catechist, I rarely met a prop I didn’t like! Teaching sixth grade with its focus on the Old Testament gave me a number of opportunities to bring in a variety of props with which to engage the young people. One of my favorites was a lesson on David, Shepherd and King (Chapter 9 of […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #2: Liturgical Education, or Expressing our Faith

The second of the Six Tasks of Catechesis is liturgical education, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, expressing our faith. Listen to our bishops: Since Christ is present in the sacraments, the believer comes to know Christ in the liturgical celebrations of the Church and is drawn into communion with him…Catechesis should […]

Faith Tweets and Bible Trivia to Teach Salvation History

Mary Dillman has served as a catechist for 13 years at St. Magdalen de Pazzi Church, in Flemington, NJ (Diocese of Metuchen). The parish is a large one with more than 3,000 families. Mary teaches sixth-grade religious education and has served as the lead instructional designer for the Salvation History curriculum the parish uses for […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #6

It’s no secret that I love music! Over the years in my books and here on my blog, I have advocated for integrating music into catechesis in a variety of ways. This brings me to one of my favorite lessons: The Psalms: We Can Talk to God Under ANY Circumstances. Research tells us that young […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #1: Promoting Knowledge of the Faith, or Holding on to the Faith

The Six Tasks of Catechesis begin with the task of promoting knowledge of the faith, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, holding on to the faith. When a relationship between two people deepens, they want to get to know each other. They spend hours talking, meeting friends and family. This getting to […]

Stealth Catechesis: Teaching without Teaching

One evening, my 10th-grade Confirmation class revolted. “We do not want to use the book anymore,” said their leader. “Why not?” I asked. “We’ve been in school all day, and we’re tired of sitting around listening and reading. This is supposed to be church, not school.” I could see her point. After all, I had […]

Mercy Passport: Don’t Leave Home Without It!

As we celebrate Independence Day, I am conscious of the fact that many people are taking advantage of the summer months to get away. And, if your destination includes traveling abroad, you need to have your passport with you. Well, here’s another kind of passport to take with you as you move about this summer: […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #5

One of the things that I enjoyed most about teaching sixth grade with a focus on the Old Testament, was using Old Testament themes to help the kids understand concepts of our Catholic faith. One particularly successful example was a lesson I did about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, drawing from the Old […]