A School and Parish Pilgrimage

During the last week of school, I take my third graders on a pilgrimage around our school and parish campus. I started this practice during the Jubilee Year of 2000, when I led a pilgrimage for my school community. We didn’t go far: we just walked the grounds of our campus. I loved this opportunity […]

The ABCs of God’s Love

Jesus calls each of us to spread the Good News. One way we can do this as Catholic Christians is to show God’s love to those we encounter no matter if they are friend, family, or stranger. This concept can be tough for many adults to live out. How do we teach the children in […]

Corporal Works of Mercy Movie Trailers

Growing up my family made the corporal works of mercy a common practice. When my siblings and I participated in a food drive at school, my mom would remind us that we were feeding the hungry. When I would gather my too-small clothes to donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, I was clothing […]

Let’s Make a Deal…and Learn about Making Choices

Group games tend to be a hit with faith formation classes, but we cannot add a game to the lesson plan just to play a game—games should enhance the lesson in some way. That said, there are many great options for student games, many of which are inspired by television game shows. I recently decided […]

Simon Says Pray

It’s spring! We all look forward to this glorious time of year, especially after a long, dreary winter. But spring also makes it difficult for children to fight the wiggles and sit still during religious education class. They would much rather run and play and enjoy the sunshine like the rest of us. Rather than fight […]

A Culture of Service

Joking with my students one day I said, “Jesus didn’t gather his apostles around him and say, ‘Lets do a service project!’” Jesus gave us an example of how to serve one another, and I like to encourage a culture of service in my classroom. Teaching service as a way of life can be challenging […]

A Creative Way to Look Up Scripture Verses

Do you remember learning how to locate passages in the Bible? Those of us who teach religious education to children realize that we have to teach this every year. We must create opportunities in class for kids to find Scripture verses on their own. One day when I realized we would have a short class, […]

A Lenten Family Day

Cyndi from Louisville, KY, shares the following. Great job, Cyndi! Hi Joe Just wanted to share how our Sunday Religious Program has used one of your 40 ideas for Lent. We took the Declaration of Dependence you proposed for the class and expanded it to be for the entire program and all the families. At […]

More About Meekness

Back when the Beatles were in business, they occasionally wrote songs that they themselves thought of as “throwaways,” meaning that they didn’t really think much of the songs themselves and yet, often these songs turned out to be hits, resonating with their fans. I have to admit that occasionally, I consider some of my posts […]

Artistic Beauty Can Lead the Human Heart to God

In a general audience in August, 2011, Pope Benedict spoke of the importance of art in the life of faith, saying that artistic beauty can lead the human heart to God. “Art is capable of making visible our need to go beyond what we see and it reveals our thirst for infinite beauty, for God,” […]