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 […]

First Reconciliation Parent Session

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of facilitating the First Reconciliation Parent Meeting at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Evergreen Park, IL, where I served as a catechist for a number of years. I had been the presenter at this meeting several times in the past, however, I was not comfortable just delivering a […]

A Little Help? Creative Ideas for Parent Reconciliation “Meeting”

I’m looking for some creative ideas for Parent Sacramental Prep “Meetings” for First Reconciliation. My goal is to get away from the all-too-familiar 45-60 minute talk given by the pastor, associate pastor, DRE, or guest speaker, during which the parents sit passively and listen and then are given some logistics about First Reconciliation and sent […]

Sunday of Divine Mercy – Taking Delight in Others

Recently, during one of my many airport experiences, I observed a young girl, maybe 4 years old, doing a little dance and calling out to her mother: “Mommy! Look! Mommy! Look at me! Mommy! LOOK!” Like every child, this little girl desperately wanted, not only her mother’s attention, but her mother’s approval and admiration. It’s […]

Great New Liturgy Apps!

Here’s some information about some great new Apps on the Liturgy! The first is the My Picture Missal App from Loyola Press. This App, available in the iTunes store at this link: My Picture Missal App, was developed for children with special needs and  for young children. The intent of this interactive app is to help […]

Creative Activity on “Full, Active, Conscious” Participation in the Liturgy

Here is a wonderful idea from Rocio M. for an activity to teach about “full, active, and conscious” participation in the Liturgy (as per the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 14). Thanks for sharing Rocio! Hi Joe, First, I want to thank you for all the support and materials you have shared with us. I […]