Getting Families Involved in the Classroom with Show-and-Tell

October 12, 2016 Kathy MacKenzie 8

One day last spring, I was hanging out in the lobby of our parish center, as I often do when classes end for the day. It was 5:00 P.M., and some of the parents had spent the entire hour waiting for their children by relaxing in one of our chairs, reading a book to pass the time. Others had just arrived, having run a quick errand since dropping off their children an hour earlier. This […]

What’s Inside My Catechist’s Bag

September 27, 2016 Denise Gorss 3

I teach in a classroom that is in a school that closed a few years ago. While this means I can leave some things at the school, the room is still shared space among two sessions of religious education and a few other groups that use the building during the week. I also like to have my textbook, worksheets, and other learning materials with me when I plan sessions, so aside from the prayer table […]

Does Your Faith Formation Space “Speak Catholic”?

September 15, 2016 Joyce Donahue 1 ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Christ Our Life faith formation program. When children walk into religious education sessions in your parish, what do they see: another classroom like they have been sitting in all day in school? Or is it an inviting space that makes it easy to form community, where matters of the heart and spirit can be shared? Does your faith formation space “speak Catholic” through sign, symbol, […]

Starting the Catechetical Year

August 30, 2016 Denise Gorss 0

In the next few weeks, many of us will be starting the new catechetical year. Before walking into the classroom to meet your group, find advice and inspiration with some of our favorite starting-the-year posts. Getting Started as a Catechist Webinars Our blog host Joe Paprocki helps new catechists get acclimated to the ministry in a series of recorded webinars. Select the group you’re working with for age-level specific advice. Five Tips for Working with […]

Sights, Sounds, and Movements: Connecting the Liturgy to the Classroom

August 25, 2016 Joyce Donahue 2

This is the second article in a series about liturgical catechesis. We know the importance of becoming a “liturgical catechist.” But how do you integrate liturgy and catechesis in practice? You can begin by observing the marks of the liturgy—the sights, sounds, and movements of the Mass—with an eye toward how they can be adapted to the classroom. Pay particular attention to how the Mass is celebrated throughout the liturgical year. What are the colors […]

Do Teens Have a Spiritual Life?

August 19, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

The answer to the question, “Do teens have a spiritual life?” is, of course, YES! At times, however, it may seem to us as though teens do not have the capacity for spirituality. Nothing could be further from the truth. What they often do not have the capacity for is the ability to articulate their spirituality. Likewise, a spiritual life is not to be confused with a pious life. In his classic book, The Holy Longing, Fr. […]

Simple Tips for Leading a Simple Prayer

August 17, 2016 Joe Paprocki 1

While it is true that we can pray simply and spontaneously, at more formal gatherings, our prayer is to resemble how we pray at Mass. In other words, the prayer is meant to be liturgical, which means that it should have a basic structure. This means including parts for the assembly, including Scripture, and including elements of sign, symbol, and ritual. Many of us have never been taught how to prepare and lead a simple […]

Facebook Followers Share about Activities in the Classroom

August 16, 2016 Special Contributor 0

What’s your most creative idea for the Catholic classroom? We asked this question on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page and received a list of creative responses. From a jumbo Rosary to hashtags about holiness, catechists shared about activities for multiple grade levels, parents, and families. Saint Strips Catechist Kathleen Horrigan Butler from Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., shared a first-grade activity that helps children pray with the saints, using art from Happy […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #10

August 5, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

It’s been a fun trip down memory lane this summer as I’ve recounted and shared ten of my favorite lessons from my experiences of teaching fourth, sixth, and eighth grade religious education over the last decade. Last but not least is a lesson I did several years in a row when teaching eighth grade; it is actually a string of lessons on Church history. This lesson was pretty labor-intensive, involving a PowerPoint presentation that I put […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #9

July 29, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

Faith formation is not just about giving intellectual assent to a set of principles and doctrines. It is about placing trust in a relationship. Many of the sessions I have done with young people over the years have focused on the notion of trust—an issue that young people are grappling with as they discern who it is in this world that they can rely on. Scripture, of course, tells us that God can be trusted, […]

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