Not Every Year Will Be Like This One

Another catechetical year has ended, and I have to admit that I am glad this one is over. I had a challenging class this year, and many of my tried-and-true methods didn’t reach this group. There were good moments, but there were more frustrating ones. So today I am writing especially to the first-year catechists: […]

Assessing the Year of Faith Formation

Our year of faith formation has ended at my parish. It is both a happy and sad time for me as a catechist. I’m thrilled to see my class of third graders move on, but I’m also sad to see them go after our year together. Our DRE asks us catechists at the end of […]

Faith Formation for Parents: Bruce’s Story

As he sat down, he leaned to the mom next to him and whispered, “Don’t ask any questions; I want to get out of here before eight!” This was Bruce*, a 40-something professional man whose daughter Denise was enrolled in our Confirmation program. The setting was a parent session offered before the children’s sacramental preparation […]

Make Teaching Fun

Did you ever have one of those days where teaching religious education made you smile? Today was one of those days. After weeks of difficult and sometimes rowdy classes, we spent this class reviewing the material before the end of the year. Because I like games and like to teach with games, I decided to […]

Sacramental Readiness: WWYD?

Here is an opportunity to help one of our colleagues (we’ll call her Monica) who is faced with a situation of determining sacramental readiness. Please offer your advice by leaving a reply below. Hi Joe — One of our RCIC students, 13 year old, missed lots of classes, has not done any home make up […]

Final Assessment Results

So last evening, I conducted a Jeopardy-like review with my 6th graders and then followed it up with a final assessment. Here’s a summary: As part of our opening prayer, we included prayers for all those affected by the bombings in Boston. It is lamentable that, in the course of several months, we catechists have […]

Well-Intentioned Memes – Bad Theology/Catechesis

If you inhabit Facebook, you know that memes are all the rage – these images with phrases or captions, often humorous, sarcastic, or inspirational, that spread like wildfire through social media. They can be great fun and they can also be a powerful tool for communication. There was a proliferation of these during the papal […]

Turning Heads…Literally – Use of Video at Reconciliation Prayer Service

Things turned out very nicely with the use of video at our Lenten Reconciliation Prayer Service last evening. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post (Tonight, I’m the Tech Guy!), I coordinated the use of video for 5 different moments of our Lenten Reconciliation Prayer Service last evening, including images of “Stories of Hope” from Operation Rice […]

How’s Your Year Going So Far?

I think it’s safe to say that most catechists are well into their new catechetical year, getting to know their students and their themes. How’s it going for you so far? Pick one of the following hymns (or another one of your choice) that best captures how you feel about this year so far and send […]

“People like that have poop for brains” – Pardon my “French”

Last evening’s class was a lot of fun and very productive. I told the kids that they were going to take a “final exam” and, of course, they all freaked out. I then proceeded to calm their fears and tell them that we were going to review first and that the test was just a […]