Great Resources for Sacramental Preparation

I’m very excited to tell you about some wonderful resources for sacramental preparation from Loyola Press! A new edition of the already popular God’s Gift program for First Eucharist and First Reconciliation, available in English and bilingual versions, includes some wonderful new features: God’s Gift Intermediate was developed to pass on the truth and beauty […]

A Magnificent Banquet

During the “Christmas honeymoon”—those few weeks of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Lent—I found that I had been lulled into a sense of complacency. My second-grade class had covered a lot of material during the fall, and I felt good about their grasp of the material. But then reality hit me—their First Reconciliation and First […]

Parent Eucharist Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

The celebration of First Eucharist is always a special event in the life of a parish. Make it more meaningful for everyone involved by hosting a parent gathering with the help of my latest free PowerPoint presentation. Jesus Christ is present with us all the time, but in the Eucharist, we have a real presence—something […]

Why Reconciliation?

I know there are many people who are downright terrified of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. They are scared for different reasons, but ultimately, I think, it comes down to the belief that they view themselves as unforgivable. How could God ever forgive me for doing this or that? Sadly, such thoughts keep people […]

Games for Learning about Eucharist and the Mass—Free Printables

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we join in communion with the family of the Church. Help children deepen their understanding of the Eucharist and the Mass with fun review games. Children will enjoy playing Mass Bingo, Eucharist Tic-Tac-Toe, and a […]

Countdown to Reconciliation

Our parish celebrates First Penance and Reconciliation in early December. As beautiful as it is to celebrate this sacrament in Advent and to be able to focus our efforts in the spring on First Holy Communion, the date always seems to creep up faster than I want it to. Since we have such limited time […]

A Pastoral Approach to Talking About Missing Mass

I recently received an e-mail from a diocesan catechetical minister who was contacted by a concerned DRE, struggling to address the following problem: A sixth-grade catechist, in teaching about mortal sin, told her students that if Mass is missed, then it is a mortal sin and the sinners will go to hell. Yes, she used […]

Parent Reconciliation Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like receiving an embrace from God, but too many Catholics fear the sacrament because they don’t understand it. When we invite parents to a meeting before their children receive First Reconciliation, we have an opportunity to help adults learn more about the sacrament. Use this opportunity to encourage parents and […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 8: Mission

This is the last article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. The word Mass comes from “missa est” (Latin for “it is sent”). The dismissal formula variations in the Roman Missal are meaningful. “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” “Go in peace.” “Go and announce the Gospel of the […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 7: Thankfulness

This is the seventh article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Eucharist means “thanksgiving.” How grateful are we for God’s gifts, especially his gift of Jesus? Do we sincerely give thanks and praise at Mass? How can catechists help children develop an attitude of gratitude to God that they […]