Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 2: Song and Praise

This is the second article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Catechists can encourage children and youth to participate in the Mass by helping them become comfortable with singing and sung prayer and praise. Age-appropriate music should be a regular element in every catechetical session. Most textbook series come […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 1: Silence and Reverence

This is the first article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Do your catechists complain that students don’t know how to behave in church? The sad truth is many families do not go to Mass. Catechesis without Mass, however, is not going to “make them Catholic.” One way to […]

A Great Video for Baptismal Prep: Ritual Matters

One area of adult faith formation that is always in need of more attention is baptismal preparation, especially when it comes to helping young parents recognize how they can help their family to grow in faith. A great resource to keep in mind is something that has been around for a few years: the “Ritual Matters” video that […]

Parent Confirmation Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

As children age into teens, they continue to look to their parents and guardians for cues on how to act and think in a mature way. Even if they don’t seek out advice or seem to actively dismiss it, young people are just as eager for parental guidance as they were when learning to tie […]

Let the Triduum Teach

Any liturgist will tell you that the best way to teach about liturgy is to celebrate richly and robustly. The Triduum, which is only weeks away, is without a doubt the most robust sacramental celebration in our life of worship and, as such, provides an extraordinary opportunity for quality adult faith formation simply by inviting people […]

Sacraments and Stories: Reasons to Celebrate

I really enjoy teaching my students about the sacraments. After all, the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Jesus Christ through the sacraments. How could I not enjoy teaching them? In fact, I like to teach my kids that they don’t “do” the sacraments, they celebrate them! This can be a challenge when teaching the […]

Encouraging Reconciliation

In a recent class, I asked who had made their First Reconciliation. All my third-grade students raised their hands. But when I asked how many have celebrated Reconciliation since then, the majority of their hands went down. Even though these children are only one year removed from preparing for their First Reconciliation, they still need to […]

Bringing Confirmandi and Sponsors Together for Meaningful Conversation

Too often, the role of the sponsor at Confirmation is treated as though it’s akin to being a bridesmaid or a groomsman at a wedding: just stand there and look good. And, oh yes, be sure to put your hand on your confirmandi’s shoulder. In short, it is a missed opportunity for quality adult faith […]

We’re Doing This Apprenticeship Thing All Wrong!

One of the most exciting and challenging ideas that the General Directory for Catechesis brought us is the concept of apprenticeship. This comprehensive formation includes more than instruction: it is an apprenticeship of the entire Christian life. (67) The whole idea, of course, is that those seeking to enter more fully into discipleship are to […]

A New Look at the Phrase “Church Militant”

I was impressed by the Mass for Veterans that was celebrated at St. Barnabas parish in Chicago this past Sunday. Military personnel, past and present, from all five branches of the military were invited to participate in a rousing entrance procession complete with flags representing each of their branches. The music, which was splendid, was focused […]