Using Prayer Intentions Notebooks

One idea/activity that I have highly encouraged catechists to use in their sessions is inviting young people to write down their prayer intentions as soon as they enter the room. This is a good way to get them on task immediately and to begin establishing a climate of prayer, which is key to an effective […]

Games for Learning about Eucharist and the Mass—Free Printables

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we join in communion with the family of the Church. Help children deepen their understanding of the Eucharist and the Mass with fun review games. Children will enjoy playing Mass Bingo, Eucharist Tic-Tac-Toe, and a […]

Countdown to Reconciliation

Our parish celebrates First Penance and Reconciliation in early December. As beautiful as it is to celebrate this sacrament in Advent and to be able to focus our efforts in the spring on First Holy Communion, the date always seems to creep up faster than I want it to. Since we have such limited time […]

A Pastoral Approach to Talking About Missing Mass

I recently received an e-mail from a diocesan catechetical minister who was contacted by a concerned DRE, struggling to address the following problem: A sixth-grade catechist, in teaching about mortal sin, told her students that if Mass is missed, then it is a mortal sin and the sinners will go to hell. Yes, she used […]

Make Your Group Prayer Meaningful

This is the third article in a series about leading prayer. In the previous two installments of this series, I wrote about setting the environment for prayer and best practices for structuring public prayer. But how do you choose the content of prayer so that it is meaningful for participants? Every group has different needs. […]

Say Yes to God

How can you convey a love of and devotion to Mary with all the necessary background knowledge in just one class period? The simple answer is that you can’t. You have to select the greatest message you want the class to absorb, focus on it for the class, and then add more about Mother Mary […]

Celebrating National Bible Week: November 15–21, 2015

Since the Second Vatican Council and the issuing of Dei Verbum (the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation) 50 years ago, there has been an explosion of renewed interest in Scripture among Catholics. Against that backdrop, it’s exciting to know that Catholics will observe National Bible Week in the United States, November 15–21, 2015. This is a […]

Parent Reconciliation Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like receiving an embrace from God, but too many Catholics fear the sacrament because they don’t understand it. When we invite parents to a meeting before their children receive First Reconciliation, we have an opportunity to help adults learn more about the sacrament. Use this opportunity to encourage parents and […]

First Experiences with Two Forms of Prayer

One of my favorite parts of teaching religious education is introducing young people to various forms of prayer. In addition to starting sessions with three traditional prayers—the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be to the Father—I’ve led them in lectio divina and guided reflection. When I mentioned to another catechist that I […]

All Saints/All Souls PowerPoint Presentations and More

Several years ago, I made available a PowerPoint presentation on the topic of All Saints and All Souls Day. Don’t forget to take advantage of this free download, which is also available in Spanish! This presentation includes a script (in Note Pages view) to assist you in effectively leading your students to a deeper understanding of […]