Understanding Reconciliation: A Lesson from the Lost Sheep

January 18, 2017 Shannon Chisholm 0

My students are celebrating their First Reconciliation in February, and I have been trying to find engaging ways to introduce my students to Scripture stories that will help them to understand the sacrament (such as playing the Game of the Good Shepherd). I am hoping that they will come to a deeper understanding of the sacrament by experiencing the Parable of the Lost Sheep through the eyes of the different characters in the story. After […]

Focusing on Young Adult Ministry

January 17, 2017 Special Contributor 0

Does your parish focus on young adult ministry needs? If you need some inspiration for working with people in their 20s and 30s, we’ve collected some articles of interest from our archives. Moments of Return for Young Adults in the Catholic Church Writer and spiritual director Becky Eldredge knows that moments of return for young adults in the Church are key times to be present to and welcome young adults to our parishes. Be aware […]

Eight Ways to Review, Reevaluate, and Reenergize for the New Year

January 10, 2017 Denise Gorss 4

We catechists celebrate three new years with our classes: the start of the religious education year, the beginning of the liturgical year in Advent, and the new calendar year starting January 1. As we enter into the third of those new years, it’s a good time to review, reevaluate, and reenergize for the second half of the catechetical year. Reenergize with a reflective or imaginative activity. Take time to refresh your own outlook and look […]

Four Reconciliation Questions on the Mind of Every Third-Grader

January 4, 2017 Barb Gilman 4

Twice a year my students celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation with the other classes in the school—once during Advent and once during Lent. Since I teach third graders, I review the sacrament and the steps necessary to make a good confession. While every class is different, I have found some similarities over the years in their concerns, and they often have the same questions: What do I say at the beginning? What sins […]

How to Fill Extra Time at the End of Class

January 3, 2017 Lisa Jones 13

In a recent faith-formation class, we did something that I have never done in my many years of teaching: we finished 15 minutes early. While 15 minutes may not seem like a lot of time, for those of us in the classroom, 15 minutes can feel like an eternity if we are not prepared. My mind searched for something to do that didn’t require any setup or explanation. We decided to play hangman; I’m not […]

Adult Faith Formation and the Problem of “Church Groupies”

January 2, 2017 Joe Paprocki 10

When doing faith formation with young people, one of the problems is that no one wants to show that they enjoy being there; that would not be cool. I have found that, when doing faith formation with adults, there are some folks present who are at the opposite extreme. I call them “church groupies.” I’m not talking here of the same loyal folks who faithfully support everything and show up most of the time. I’m […]

Leading Others to Epiphany

December 29, 2016 Joe Paprocki 3

Soon we will celebrate the wonderful Feast of the Epiphany, when Jesus is revealed to all the nations as the Son of God. This feast contains so many messages and images that are apropos for catechists. Here are a few. The Magi do not travel alone. Although they are from different locations, the Magi come together to seek the king. We catechists recognize the wisdom in this. We do not travel alone. We are part of a […]

Reviewing the Mass Before Christmas

December 21, 2016 Shannon Chisholm 1

I love the excitement, expectation, and joy that is abundant in my class as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth. As we get ready for Christmas with crafts and cookies, I also prepare my students for Christmas Mass. Many of my students do not regularly go to Mass, and they aren’t familiar with the Order of the Mass. I find that everyone benefits from a review of what happens at Mass before attending with their […]

Why Do We Pray?

December 20, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

Have you ever asked kids why they pray? We spend a lot of time teaching children to say their prayers, teaching them about different ways to pray, and even spend time teaching them to write their own prayers, but we don’t often talk that much about why we pray. In class this week we began by reading 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of […]

Lifting Hearts and Eyes to Mary with a Living Rosary and Balloon Release

December 13, 2016 Special Contributor 1

There’s no doubt that St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in San Antonio, Texas has a passion for Mary and her discipleship. Lessons about the Rosary are incorporated in religious instruction at all grade levels and focus especially on Mary during the Month of the Rosary in October. Fifteen years ago, St. Gregory’s seventh-grade students started asking questions about Marian apparitions and how they connected to the Mysteries of the Rosary. The students were asked […]

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