Four Ways to Teach About the Saints

I once had a student ask why we spent so much time talking about the saints; did he not attend faith formation classes to learn about Jesus? I told him that this is precisely why we learned about the saints: “our communion with the saints joins us to Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 957). […]

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Catholic Way

Having grown up in Ireland for the first 23 years of my life, I have a simple request: Stop the St. Patrick’s Day madness! For the love of St. Patrick, it is not Paddy’s Day (or Patty’s Day, which is even worse), but Saint Patrick’s Day. Some of the traditions that I see today associated […]

Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations—Free Lesson Plan

We encounter Jesus through the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. In this lesson, young people will complete activities at 12 different learning stations—each sacrament has four stations—that will deepen their understanding of the Sacraments of Initiation. The free lesson plan packet includes instructions for how to set up learning stations that get children out […]

A Celebration for All: First Holy Communion and the Parish

Last year was my first solo direction of the liturgy for children receiving First Holy Communion. At my parish, this Mass is not part of our regular weekend liturgies. This gave me the ability to ensure that every child had a role. Although we celebrated two beautiful liturgies, I felt that they were lacking a critical […]

Embracing the Change of the Sacraments in Restored Order

Parishes in our diocese were asked some years ago to take on the task of introducing our families to the Restored Order of the Sacraments. For those unfamiliar with the term, it is used in regards to a shift in the preparation and celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation from the order of Baptism followed by […]

Miracle Workshop: Talking about the Miracles of Jesus

I knew we had a lot of ground to cover when I asked for examples of miracles Jesus performed and one of the students said, “When he gave fish to two guys.” That didn’t sound too miraculous, so I asked the boy if he thought that sounded impressive, and he admitted it didn’t. One of […]

Starting Your Meeting with Prayer

This is the final article in a series about leading prayer. If you have read the previous installments of this series on leading prayer, you have prepared or practiced strategies for leading group prayer at a gathering or meeting: Setting the Stage: Creating the Space for Prayer (When we pray in a space other than […]

It’s All About Jesus: Children and the Mass

This week’s lesson for my third-grade faith formation class was about the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Most of my students celebrated their First Holy Communion less than a year ago, so the previous lessons on the Eucharist are relatively fresh in their minds. They seemed confident in knowing that the Eucharist is the Body and […]

Honesty and the Gift of Reconciliation

Among my group of seventh graders, I have several who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist this year. Because of this, I spent more time in a recent session on Reconciliation talking about the steps of receiving the sacrament than I otherwise would. And that led to a surprising […]