Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations Used with Seventh Graders

In the next-to-last session for the year, I used the Sacraments of Initiation learning stations with my group of seventh graders. As the download page for the learning stations explains, the activity gets young people “out of their seats and moving around doing simple tasks to learn about the symbols and signs used in each […]

It’s That Time of the Year Again: Time to Evaluate!

As we reflect on and evaluate this past catechetical year, I thought it would be helpful to once again make available a Self-Evaluation tool that I put together a couple of years ago, based on seven “tools” drawn from my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox. I encourage you to share this evaluation with another catechist, a […]

Breakout Puzzles for the Religion Classroom

It’s getting to the end of the school year and the weather is beautiful. The students are restless, but I still have lessons to cover and I need to find a way to keep my students engaged. I decided that it was time to mix things up a bit and try something different: Breakout! Breakout […]

Love Never Fails

In the hubbub of teaching faith formation classes, living and working, trying to do the right thing, and discerning God’s will, there is the simple reality that pervades all things: “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8). This Scripture verse haunts me as a catechist. There are two reasons why our students will remember our lessons […]

The Greatest Commandment in Action

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 […]

Give Me One Good Reason I Should Consider Serving as a Catechist!

Now that the catechetical year is coming to a close, it’s time for you to do whatever you can as a catechist to assist your catechetical leader in recruiting new catechists for next year. The best encouragement comes from people who are in the trenches doing the work of catechesis and finding such great rewards […]

Social Media Struggles: Three Common Parish Pitfalls

Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—different platforms that present a variety of ways to engage parishioners and draw potential new members. Using social media as a part of your overall communications strategy for your parish is a smart move with lots of potential benefits. Many parishes initially see a decent amount of engagement in the […]

Finding God and YouTube Videos

Today, more than ever, young people expect video to be one of the ways they are engaged in education. While no resource can ever replace the person of the catechist, it is indeed crucial to utilize all of the tools available to us to engage young people in catechesis. To that end, we are proud […]

Three Tips for Working with the RCIA

Every DRE has his or her own approach to ministry. In my parish, our faith formation philosophy is to meet people where they are. I know it’s a pretty simple idea, but when we think about the variety of people from so many different backgrounds who come together in the Church, it is important to […]

Changing It Up with a Craft

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 […]