Caring for the Catechist as a Spiritual Person

At this time of year when recruiting and training catechists is a top priority, it’s a good time to think about what we can realistically do to help nurture and form the spirituality of those who will have direct contact with the children in our communities. Much has been said about preparing catechists for their […]

Tips for Hosting a Book Club at Your Parish

Book clubs continue to be a popular vehicle for social interaction while encouraging and motivating people to read, to encounter ideas they might not otherwise consider, and to talk about their own ideas and thoughts about what they’re reading. Parishes and faith communities can use book clubs to build a sense of community, invite new people […]

Communicating Expectations to Catechists

My good friend Tom Quinlan, Director of the Catechetical Office in the Diocese of Joliet, IL, recently sent me a copy of something he shared with his catechetical leaders to help communicate expectations for catechists. I’ll let Tom do the explaining: As a former parish director of religious education, I found it important to provide catechists with […]

Pokémon GO: A Parish Primer

In my book, A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion, I propose that parishes need to continually help people find connections between the Catholic faith and daily living, including hobbies or activities that people engage in: “This approach can be a wonderful form of pre-evangelization, a way of […]

Confident Catechists: How to Prepare for the New Year

During Advent and Lent, the Church prepares for the feasts of Christmas and Easter. Similarly, summer is the season when catechists prepare for the upcoming catechetical year. The more time we take to prepare, the more comfortable and confident we will be echoing the Word of God in our classrooms. Prayer, Prayer, and More Prayer […]

Meet the “Worst” Catechist

I love this article that my friend and colleague Denise Gorss brought to my attention. It’s titled “Why I’m the Worst Catechist at My Parish, and Still Signing Up,” and it’s written by catechist Deirdre Mundy. What I love about it is her humility—something that is a great quality for every catechist to have. She […]

One Parish’s Initiative to Be More Welcoming

Just over a year ago, Steven Serafin and his pastor were the new people at St. Mary’s Parish in Dover, NJ. This gave them the opportunity to approach faith formation with fresh eyes. As Pastoral Associate and Director of Faith Formation, Steven shared about a parish initiative called the “theology of welcome” in an interview […]

Summer Planning for the DRE: Developing Goals and Objectives

“Do you work during the summer?” No matter how often I hear this question, I am surprised by its suggestion. Do others really believe there is nothing to do once the religious education programs wrap up for the school year? Although the pace may slow somewhat (aside from summer programs and Vacation Bible School), most […]

A Different Kind of Small Faith Group

Last summer, I posted about some ideas for adult faith formation that were less “churchy” sounding but still unabashedly spiritual. I’m working from the premise that we too often approach adult faith formation as attempting to get adults to come to our turf (the parish grounds) to join groups we are forming to study some aspect […]

Safety Programs in the Classroom

I began my position as the director of faith formation at my parish with dreams of renewing my students’ and their families’ relationships with Christ. I imagined how I was going to be the best catechist to my students. I would create engaging lesson plans, I would lead reflective retreats, and I would assist at […]