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

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 […]

Simple Tips for Leading a Simple Prayer

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 […]

Facebook Followers Share about Activities in the Classroom

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 […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #10

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 […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #9

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 […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #8

When I was a student teacher back in the day, my cooperating teacher taught me that the goal of an effective teacher is to turn the spotlight away from yourself and onto your students. He emphasized that they were here to perform for you, not you for them! I’ve tried to follow that advice as […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #7

As a catechist, I rarely met a prop I didn’t like! Teaching sixth grade with its focus on the Old Testament gave me a number of opportunities to bring in a variety of props with which to engage the young people. One of my favorites was a lesson on David, Shepherd and King (Chapter 9 of […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #6

It’s no secret that I love music! Over the years in my books and here on my blog, I have advocated for integrating music into catechesis in a variety of ways. This brings me to one of my favorite lessons: The Psalms: We Can Talk to God Under ANY Circumstances. Research tells us that young […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #5

One of the things that I enjoyed most about teaching sixth grade with a focus on the Old Testament, was using Old Testament themes to help the kids understand concepts of our Catholic faith. One particularly successful example was a lesson I did about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, drawing from the Old […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #4

As I look back on my favorite lessons, this one really stands out because I love the idea of magic. I think, deep down, I always wanted to be a magician, but I was never any good at it! In this lesson for sixth graders, we were looking at the story of Creation, in which […]