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Attracting Adults By Telling Them They Are Needed

August 22, 2014

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A popular idea for engaging adults in faith formation is to invite parents of children in RE to some type of enrichment at the same time that their children are in class – another way to combat the “drop-off” mentality. These efforts are often met with mixed results. Some parishes have had success with this […]

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The Gospel is More Than “Chicken Soup”

August 18, 2014

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One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned in my experience as a catechetical minister is that the core message of the Gospel is not about simple character development (ala Chicken Soup for the Soul) but about radical realignment of our being. I was reminded of this notion by this Sunday’s Gospel about the Canaanite […]

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Inviting Zacchaeus to Come Down from the Tree

August 13, 2014

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A HUGE part of forming disciples is inviting people to take the next step (there is ALWAYS a next step!). Throughout Scripture, we see Jesus inviting people to take the next step in their faith journey. One such story is of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) and we see how this invitation was life-changing for him. Many […]

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Good Discussion Questions for Catechist Grade Level Breakout Sessions

August 5, 2014

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I enjoyed a day in the Diocese of Peoria, in particular, participating in a grade-level breakout session for 5th and 6th grade catechists. Some of these grade level sessions can grow tedious if not facilitated well. I like the fact that for these breakouts, the Diocese provided questions […]

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YouTube Videos as Supplemental Resources for Jr Hi and HS Faith Formation

June 11, 2014

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The General Directory for Catechesis states clearly that NO resource, no matter how well-tested or glitzy, “can dispense with the person of the catechist in every phase of the catechetical process.” (156) Some faith formation programs would have you believe that their resources, whether a textbook or a series of DVDs, will do all the […]

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Survey Results In: MERCY Trumps All!

April 30, 2014

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Last evening, I surveyed my students (8 of 9 were present), asking them to indicate which activities we did this year were their most or least favorite. I compiled a list of 20 activities we did throughout the year and asked them to rate each one on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 […]

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Starting the 2nd Half of the Year by Reviewing the 1st Half

January 6, 2014

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After 2 weeks off for the Christmas holidays, religious education sessions are scheduled to be back in session tomorrow evening. Of course, we’re keeping an eye on the weather here in Chicago. Schools are closed today with a foot of snow on the ground and temps at -10 degrees (for a high!). Tomorrow it’s supposed to […]

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Recommended Reading

December 20, 2013

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As I was cleaning off my desk in preparation for the holidays, I came across an issue of Catechetical Leader Magazine that I had saved because it contained one of the best articles I’ve read all year. It’s by Matt Halbach, director of the St. Joseph Educational Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s titled New Pope, New […]

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Simple Tips for Leading a Simple Prayer

October 18, 2013

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Often, I find myself at a gathering of Catholics (usually catechists and/or catechetical leaders) in which someone has been asked to prepare and lead an opening prayer. All TOO often, however, the prayer experience proceeds in the following manner: The leader stands up and says something like, “OK, so, I thought I would share this nice […]

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Contemporary Versions of Traditional Hymns

September 19, 2013

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When it comes to playing music in class, I am always torn between my desire for children to hear and learn hymns they will hear in church and songs that have more “pop” to them: a more contemporary sound. I like some Christian rock but I feel that if I rely only on that, the […]

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