Whether you work with little children, teenagers, or adults, you are not alone in catechetical ministry. These posts highlight stories from catechists and faith formation leaders in the field, sharing the ups and downs of their work.

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 […]

10 Ways to Integrate Technology into the Classroom

December 7, 2016 Barb Gilman 0

Editor’s note: We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Catechist’s Journey this week by sharing catechetical top-10 lists each day and giving away Loyola Press prize packages. Enter for your chance to win the Bible Books Pack today; details below. We live in a technology-driven world. Our students are often more comfortable with technology than are many catechists; if we are going to meet students where they are, we need to enter the digital realm. But […]

10 Ways to Celebrate Advent with Your Class—Without Rushing to Christmas

December 6, 2016 Denise Gorss 2

Editor’s note: We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Catechist’s Journey this week by sharing catechetical top-10 lists each day and giving away Loyola Press prize packages. Enter for your chance to win the Dear Pope Francis Family Kit today; details below. With stores decorating for Christmas as early as Halloween, movie channels already showing holiday flicks, and restaurants playing Christmas music in November, it’s easy for the young people we serve to want to jump […]

Celebrating Advent by Making Wreaths with Your Families

November 30, 2016 Kathy MacKenzie 0

As our young families gathered on the first Sunday of Advent, the buzz of excitement was undeniable. Our parish hall was transformed into an Advent workshop where they created their very own Advent wreaths. Before me lay a sea of long tables at which the families worked, chatted, collaborated, and prayed. Christmas music harmonized with the hum of warm and friendly conversation; the atmosphere was most certainly alive with joy. Together, our families wove the […]

Drafting Prayers of Intercession

November 29, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

By the time my students hit my classroom in the fourth grade, most of them know basic prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be to the Father. Most have also learned that there are different types of prayers: blessing and adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise. This week I decided to delve a little deeper into prayers of intercession, because I felt it tied in nicely to our lesson […]

When and How to Introduce Advent

November 22, 2016 Denise Gorss 0

The first week of Advent begins on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. While that is usual, it forces me to make a choice in how to introduce Advent: Do I talk about the season early, before Thanksgiving? Or do I wait until after the holiday break, when the season has already started? I’ve alternated my approach through the years, but I usually like to at least introduce Advent before the holiday, inviting the young people to […]

Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures Cycle A Video Options

November 22, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

For the last two years I’ve offered handouts for Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures, to be used in parish small faith groups. Year A materials for 2017 are now available. As I did last year, I selected some options for online videos for further reflection on each week’s theme. Always remember to preview videos before showing to your group, to determine appropriateness for your setting and be sure things work as expected. First Sunday of […]

Sacrifice and Courage

November 15, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

During this week’s lesson on Christ’s Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension, I focused on his sacrifice and courage. We discussed how Jesus had the courage to allow God’s will to be done, especially knowing the plan involved sacrificing his life. To set the tone for this serious topic, I started the class a little differently. When the children entered the classroom, I had them stand in a circle around electric candles I had brought from […]

Game of the Good Shepherd

November 9, 2016 Shannon Chisholm 2

I attended the celebrations of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion at several different churches last year. While I was able to experience the joy of the sacraments in many different ways, I often heard the same Gospel reading: the parable of the Good Shepherd. This parable is a natural choice for these sacraments. It is a beautiful passage that depicts the intimate love and relationship between God and God’s people, and helps us to […]

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