Saint Anthony of Padua

I was sitting in a meeting at my parish, and in the corner of the room sat a life-size statue of Saint Anthony of Padua. Several years ago, the statue was moved up from a basement storage room, and there he now sits, with the baby Jesus in his arms. Our image of St. Anthony […]

Evaluating Your Catholic School/Religious Education Liturgies

Recently, I was invited by a pastor to observe his parish’s weekly Catholic school liturgy, which leads me to this post suggesting that it would be a good idea for every Catholic school and parish religious education program to evaluate the liturgical experiences they invite their young people to participate in. Before I go any […]

Introducing Catholics to the Bible: Free Parent-Child Session

Host a hands-on, engaging session to introduce children (fifth grade or higher) and their parents to how the Bible is arranged. The Bible is like a library—God’s Library—made up of 73 books, and the best way to get to know the layout of the Bible is to break it down into smaller pieces, eight sections […]

Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations Used with Seventh Graders

In the next-to-last session for the year, I used the Sacraments of Initiation learning stations with my group of seventh graders. As the download page for the learning stations explains, the activity gets young people “out of their seats and moving around doing simple tasks to learn about the symbols and signs used in each […]

Mary, Mother of Catechists

The Blessed Virgin Mary is so many things to us: she is our mother, our help, our comfort, and our joy. She is our model disciple; she is the “untier of knots.” She is also our model catechist. Here are three ways we can be more like Mary as catechists. 1. Say “Yes.” When I […]

Four Tips for Making Connections Between the Mass and Class Discussions

One of the boys in my group asked, “Do you go to church?” We were discussing the Mass, and he seemed genuinely surprised when I told him that, yes, I do go to church for weekly Mass. He admits he only goes to church occasionally, and he, like many kids in our programs, is more […]

What Exactly IS the Good News?

In adult faith formation, all too often, we set out to provide a comprehensive curriculum of the Catholic faith before we have helped folks recognize what the core of our story is! Before we can delve deeply into the Six Tasks of Catechesis, the Four Pillars of the Catechism, the Seven Principles of Catholic Social […]

Getting to Know God: Three Ways to Teach with Scripture

There is a difference between knowing about a person and knowing that person. I can think that I know all about a celebrity’s life from the media, but to really know that celebrity, not only do I need to meet him or her, we must also spend time with each other. Our relationship with God […]

Leading Others to an Experience of the Real Presence

Many years ago I was challenged by a high school student who accused me of telling her what to believe. We were discussing Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians regarding receiving the Eucharist unworthily (1 Corinthians 11) and whether or not Catholics must believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion in order […]