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Stumbling Into Catechesis

September 8, 2014

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Here is a wonderful article by Jeffrey Essmann that appeared in America Magazine recently about how Jeffrey “stumbled” into the role of catechist. “Stumbling Onward” by Jeffrey Essmann Stumbling Onward I have come to trust my stumbles. Philosophically, I believe stumbling to be the natural human gait and that humanity’s steady march of progress has, […]

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Recruit and Reenergize Your Catechists!

August 28, 2014

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The Church of Mercy, Pope Francis’s first book detailing his vision for the Church, encourages each of us to ignite the flame within to help share the light of Christ and revitalize the Church. Ask any DRE and they’ll tell you that passionate catechists are the fuel to that flame. The Heart of a Catechist […]

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The Gospel is More Than “Chicken Soup”

August 18, 2014

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One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned in my experience as a catechetical minister is that the core message of the Gospel is not about simple character development (ala Chicken Soup for the Soul) but about radical realignment of our being. I was reminded of this notion by this Sunday’s Gospel about the Canaanite […]

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Meet Generation “Z”

June 27, 2014

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El norte vive!

Now that “Millennials” are coming of age, a lot of attention is turning to the next generation. Here is an interesting slide presentation about the generation of kids we are teaching today – in this presentation, referred to as “Generation Z” – those born from 1995 to the present. Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You […]

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What Grade Will Joe Teach Next Year? Drum Roll Please…

June 24, 2014

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At this time of the year, I get many questions from people asking what grade I will be teaching next year. The last couple of years, I taught 6th grade. Before that, I did a year of 4th grade and previous to that, I did several years of 8th grade Confirmation. So, just what WILL […]

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YouTube Videos as Supplemental Resources for Jr Hi and HS Faith Formation

June 11, 2014

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The General Directory for Catechesis states clearly that NO resource, no matter how well-tested or glitzy, “can dispense with the person of the catechist in every phase of the catechetical process.” (156) Some faith formation programs would have you believe that their resources, whether a textbook or a series of DVDs, will do all the […]

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Lawn Chair Catechism at CatholicMom.com Featuring A Well Built Faith!

May 27, 2014

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I’m excited and flattered that my book, A Well-Built Faith, has been chosen for CatholicMom.com’s Lawn Chair Catechism this summer! I’ve had fun working on the promotional materials with them for this endeavor (see left and below!). Here is how they describe the experience: Welcome to the second “Lawn Chair Catechism” at CatholicMom.com! This is […]

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A Catechist’s Self-Assessment

May 14, 2014

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With the end of most religious education program years occurring, this is a good time for catechists to do a little bit of self assessment. Feel free to use the following by yourself, with a peer or group of peers, or with your DRE. 1 = poor/I disagree 2 = fair/I somewhat disagree 3 = […]

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How to Lead Spontaneous Prayer – As Easy as Ber-a-khah!

January 28, 2014

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For many Catholics, the thought of being called upon to lead a spontaneous prayer can darn near bring on a panic attack! Never fear! Our Judeo-Christian heritage provides us with a simple formula to follow that will guide you in organizing your thoughts into a cohesive, intelligent, and heart-felt spontaneous prayer. First, take a look […]

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Catechizing Like Colbert

January 27, 2014

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For some years now, I have been a fan of Stephen Colbert, host of “The Colbert Report” (pronounced Col-behr Re-pohr) on Comedy Central. Colbert makes no secret of his Catholicism and uses his show, from time to time to do some unconventional catechizing. Below is one of my favorites Now, America Magazine has done a feature […]

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