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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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 […]

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