Loving the Mass

priest at Mass

Have you ever heard the saying, “Good teachers borrow, but great teachers steal?” This saying comes to mind as I reflect on the different ways we can help the children in our classes understand the Mass. My DRE had recently invited a guest speaker to come to our parish and give a presentation on how […]

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Jesse Trees Aren’t Just for Advent

Absolon Stumme, “Hamburg Altar (The Tree of Jesse),” 1499, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The theme for a recent session was “Jesus fulfills the Revelation of God found in the history of the Chosen People.” I realized I could make the connection this week by adapting an activity typically reserved for Advent—the Jesse tree. As the young people entered the room, I invited them to work on a worksheet […]

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Advent Is Just Around the Corner!

Advent Moments of Mercy

With Advent being just around the corner, I want to let you know about a number of great resources at your fingertips to enhance your faith community’s experience of this wonderful season! Advent Moments of Mercy This Advent coincides with the beginning of the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared. What greater act […]

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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 […]

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Make Your Group Prayer Meaningful

prayer or song leader

This is the third article in a series about leading prayer. In the previous two installments of this series, I wrote about setting the environment for prayer and best practices for structuring public prayer. But how do you choose the content of prayer so that it is meaningful for participants? Every group has different needs. […]

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When to Leave Your Textbook Behind


In our first six weeks of school, we only finished two chapters in our religion textbook. Earlier in my teaching career, I would have worried that this slow pace might be a problem. When I first began teaching I was told, “When you reach Christmas, you must be halfway through the textbook.” Now, as a seasoned […]

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Say Yes to God

How can you convey a love of and devotion to Mary with all the necessary background knowledge in just one class period? The simple answer is that you can’t. You have to select the greatest message you want the class to absorb, focus on it for the class, and then add more about Mother Mary […]

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Helping Adults Deal with Holiday Stress

neck massage

Advent is fast approaching and, along with it, the stress that comes with the secular holiday season. Often, the Church’s message for Advent is that we need to slow down and find some quiet time. Too often, that message is delivered as a scolding accompanied by a condemnation of the fast-paced and noisy secular celebration […]

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Celebrating National Bible Week: November 15–21, 2015

National Bible Week

Since the Second Vatican Council and the issuing of Dei Verbum (the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation) 50 years ago, there has been an explosion of renewed interest in Scripture among Catholics. Against that backdrop, it’s exciting to know that Catholics will observe National Bible Week in the United States, November 15–21, 2015. This is a […]

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Grace in My Role as a Catechetical Leader

teacher with students

Grace is such a packed topic for a blog post; I realized that I would have to narrow things a bit. So, I turned to the Catechism, and found my focus in Paragraph 2004: “Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the […]

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