Five Tips for Working with Little Children

catechist working with young girl

Working with young children can be a challenge, but children can also be fun and even give you insights into our faith when you look through their eyes of innocence and imagination. With that in mind, here are five tips for working with little children in faith formation sessions. Know that logic doesn’t always work. […]

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Pope Francis’s Message of Simplicity

Blessed by Less book by Susan Vogt

Since the day he was elected pope, our Holy Father has been teaching us, in word and action, that to follow Jesus means to live a life of simplicity. He appeared on the papal balcony for the first time wearing only the white cassock and simple black shoes, eschewing the red cape with furry trim […]

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The Feast of the Assumption—A Blessing of the Body

My sister-in-law, Lorie, snuggling with my Mom

As we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, we are reminded of the importance of the body in our spirituality. Our belief that Mary was assumed body and soul is a reinforcement of our belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is a bodily Resurrection. We Catholics do not belief that death […]

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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 […]

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Jesus in My Office: A Guided Reflection

office chair

As you prepare to begin a new catechetical year, take a few moments in prayer, reflecting on how the first day of classes might begin. Imagine Jesus visiting you in your office. Pause for a few moments to be still. Relax and turn your focus inward. Recognize that God is with you as you continue […]

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Training and Retaining Volunteers

catechists meeting

Training and retaining volunteers is a major responsibility of a DRE. In my parish, we have about 200 volunteers assisting in various ways with faith formation, and my staff and I have the responsibility of ensuring that they are equipped to do their ministry. Preliminaries for Volunteers Long before we allow someone to volunteer, he […]

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Going Mobile for Adult Faith Formation

group of adults outside

When I talk about adult faith formation going “mobile,” I’m not talking about anything involving mobile phones! Rather, I’m talking about getting adult faith formation “off campus,” so to speak, and taking it on the road, namely to people’s homes. Pope Francis is encouraging us as a Church to “go forth from our own comfort […]

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Bringing the Year of Mercy to Fifth Graders and Their Parents

girl with donations box

As I’m sure you know by now, Pope Francis has declared an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will begin December 8, 2015, and last until November 20, 2016, the Feast of Christ the King. As I’ve described here before, mercy can be understood as treating people like they are one of the family. With that […]

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

thank you sign

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 […]

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The Reality of My Vocation

child reaching out

Most of us recall the saying, “I must hurry and catch up, for I am their leader.” Most days, this is reality. Most days, I think I am so far behind; I will need to live forever in order to complete the many tasks at hand. Many times I wonder why I hurry so much. […]

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