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.

Highlights (Thankfully, Very Few Lowlights!)

January 6, 2009 Joe Paprocki 2

Last night was our second Confirmation intensive (a 2-hour session made up of five 10-minute mini-sessions sandwiched in between an opening and closing session in their “homerooms.”) Thank God, things went pretty well once again. Here are the highlights: half of the kids forgot it was an intensive. When I clarified that they were staying till 9 o’clock, a half-dozen cell phones were promptly whipped out to call home to re-arrange pick-up times! the kids […]

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk

December 18, 2008 Joe Paprocki 2

We’re looking ahead to our next Confirmation intensive on January 5, after the Christmas break. The theme of this one is: Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk. As Confirmed Catholics, our young people will need to be able to talk about their faith. Of course, the Nicene Creed is the “alphabet” – the building blocks – of our language of faith. It is the first place to go to search for words to respond […]

First Confirmation Intensive

December 16, 2008 Joe Paprocki 4

Whenever he is told of good news, Fr. George Lane, S.J. (President of Loyola Press) immediately responds by saying, “Thank you, Jesus!” What a great example he sets! So, having been blessed with a successful evening for our first Confirmation intensive last night, my first response is just that: “Thank you, Jesus!” Attendance was almost perfect (the kids know by now that if they miss, there’s a make-up, and it’s usually not much fun!). The […]

Come, Holy Spirit!

December 15, 2008 Joe Paprocki 2

Tonight is our first Confirmation intensive for our 8th graders and everything is shaping up nicely (except for the weather…frigid temps and blustery winds!). My prayer is that our young people will recognize how significant this preparation for their Confirmation is and will see it as a time of a deepening encounter with the Lord. One of the fun parts of this evening is the fact that the kids will be rotating between 5 catechists. […]

Confirmation Learning Stations

December 8, 2008 Joe Paprocki 2

One of the pitfalls that I often succumb to when planning a lesson is focusing on what I am going to do without regard for what the kids are going to do (other than soak up my pearls of wisdom, of course). In the end, I find that I am putting a lot of pressure on myself as the catechist to “perform.” If Christian Initiation IS an apprenticeship (and I believe it is) then we must consider what […]

An Evening of Getting to Know Jesus

October 28, 2008 Joe Paprocki 2

Last night, we spent the evening getting to know Jesus better. Here are some highlights. First we had a fire drill..all went well. I began by playing our “song of the week” – Shania Twain’s “Wanna Get to Know You.” (see yesterday’s post for some of the lyrics) I talked about how 2 people in love want to get to know one another and explained that this is our theme for the evening: we want […]

Who Is This Man?

October 10, 2008 Joe Paprocki 0

At this past week’s session, I focused on the question of “Who Is Jesus?” – a theme we will carry throughout the unit we are on. I played a recording of the song “Superstar” from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar in which the very confused Judas asks the question: “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, who are you what have you sacrificed? Jesus Christ, Superstar, do you think you’re what they say you are?” I talked about how […]

The Nearness of God

September 30, 2008 Joe Paprocki 0

Overall, week 4 (last night’s session) went pretty well. It was one of those nights when I felt a bit scattered myself but I don’t think I got in the way too much! Here’s what we did: We briefly reviewed last week’s session and they recalled that the focus was on the Holy Spirit. We had a “breathing contest” – to see who could hold their breath the longest! I then told them about how […]

Holy Spirit as Advocate

September 23, 2008 Joe Paprocki 0

Overall, Week 3 (last night’s class) went very well. Along the way, however, I encountered a few things that I’m not satisfied with and hope to change. Here’s the run-down: We began with a brief prayer and I thought I would introduce the idea of the young people sharing petitions – very simply, thanking God for blessings and praying for the needs of others and/or our own needs. I gave a few examples and told them […]

Jesus, God’s Greatest Gift

September 16, 2008 Joe Paprocki 0

Week 2 went very nicely last evening. Here are some of the highlights: We met in church for an opening prayer service with the pastor. The kids were well-behaved and participated nicely. The pastor did a very nice job of encouraging the kids to put Jesus first in their lives. That took about a half-hour of the 75-minute class time. Two of the boys in my group asked if they could call me “Dr. Pepper” […]

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