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, […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #8

July 22, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

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 much as possible as a catechist by creating activities that engage the young people in activities rather than having them […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #7

July 15, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

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 Finding God), in which I brought in a bevy of props to help the young people understand the concept of […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #6

July 8, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

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 people (junior high and high school) listen to an average of 3.5 hours of music each day. Music is certainly […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #5

July 1, 2016 Joe Paprocki 2

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 Testament example of the Jewish people recognizing the Temple as the locus of God’s presence in their midst. I began […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #4

June 24, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

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 God creates all of creation out of nothing. The first thing I thought of was how magicians try to convince […]

Why Become a Liturgical Catechist?

June 23, 2016 Joyce Donahue 1

This is the first article in a series about liturgical catechesis. I have a confession: I have an alter-ego. “The Liturgical Catechist” moniker was born when I realized that being both a catechist and a liturgist means I have something to offer the Church that doesn’t always come naturally to either liturgists or catechists. Too often, these ministries occupy separate “silos” in the average parish. However, the General Directory for Catechesis reminds us that “catechesis […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #3

June 17, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

I hope you’re enjoying this little excursion down memory lane as I recall some of my favorite lessons that I’ve taught and posted about here on Catechist’s Journey. Today, we go back to my days of teaching eighth grade/Confirmation prep and a lesson—actually a series of lessons—on getting to know who Jesus is. We presume, too often, that kids know the story of Jesus. We forget that we have absorbed the story of Jesus over […]

Intergenerational Catechesis: An Apprenticeship of Christian Life

June 16, 2016 Eric Gurash 1

When it was time for my youngest to learn to tie her shoes, our family gathered together and knelt on the ground to take turns demonstrating and gently guiding her own attempts. Over the next few weeks Mom, Dad, or older brother would be sure to be at her side to coach and guide until, in very short order, she was tying them up right along with us. Catechesis, at its heart “…is an apprenticeship […]

My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #2

June 10, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

We continue our series of looking at some of my favorite lessons from the archives here at Catechist’s Journey. Today, we re-visit one of my favorite lessons from my sixth-grade catechist days. Sixth grade typically teaches the Catholic faith through the lens of the Old Testament. As I prepared to teach Chapter 16 of Finding God Grade 6, “Prophets Challenge,” I tried to think of people in the lives of my sixth graders who challenge them […]

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