Joseph Shows the Way for this Last Week of Advent

Sometimes, our head is telling us one thing but our heart and our gut are telling us something else. This past Sunday’s Gospel tells us that St. Joseph was experiencing this inner turmoil. His betrothed, Mary, is pregnant…and he’s not the father. According to Jewish Law, she should be stoned. At the very least, he decides to quietly divorce her…it would be the righteous thing to do. And yet, something within him continues to question […]

Show Me a Day When the World Wasn’t New

I received an email yesterday from a co-worker announcing that another co-worker had given birth to a healthy beautiful baby boy. The subject line of the email was “Show me a day when the world wasn’t new.” This really caught my attention. Apparently the quote is attributed to Sr. Barbara Hance (1928-1993) and I think it’s a wonderful Advent thought. In fact, this quote and the email about the newborn baby made me think of my pastor’s […]

Keeping it Simple

I plan on keeping things very simple for today’s class for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, we are experiencing brutally cold weather with wind chills of -20 so I have a feeling I’ll be missing a few students tonight. Secondly, we need time to process last weeks’ learning stations on the Sacraments of Initiation, so I intend to just gather with them on the floor and talk through each of the sacraments, asking […]

Advent Imagination: Wouldn’t That be Great?

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Breaking Away when Daniel Stern’s character, Cyril, daydreams out loud to his buddies: “You know what I’d like to be?  A cartoon of some kind.  You know, like when they get hit in the head with a frying pan or something, and their head looks like the frying pan, with the handle and everything?  They just go boi-ing—and their head comes back to normal?  Wouldn’t that be […]

New Roman Missal – What You Need to Know

As you probably already know, we will be preparing to implement the new Roman Missal one year from now, in Advent, 2011. This will be an issue of critical importance to catechists who will be on the front lines of teaching others about how to adapt to the changes in the texts of the prayers we say at Mass. The time between now and then is to be used for catechesis on the liturgy and […]

Advent: Love is Coming!

Back in the day, 1970 to be exact, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young released a song titled Carry On. In the refrain they sang, Carry on. Love is coming. Love is coming to us all. I thought of this song this past Sunday while at Mass for the First Sunday of Advent. No, my mind wasn t drifting! Actually, quite the reverse. The pastor was delivering a splendid homily about the Gospel’s call for us […]

4th Graders Understand the “Darkness”

Last evening, we did an Advent procession (to a recording of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel) in our classroom, carrying all of the objects and symbols needed to set up our prayer table/Advent wreath. With the lights dimmed and the first candle lit, I asked them what is happening this time of the year in terms of light and darkness. Of course they noted that darkness is increasing and the light decreasing each day. I mentioned that […]

Welcome Advent! A Prayer Service

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I did! 🙂 Here we are in the First Week of Advent! Hard to believe this great season of joyful anticipation is upon us already. Tonight, we’ll be celebrating an Advent Prayer service with the kids in church. I had the privilege of working with my DRE, Arlene, to put together the prayer service. Here it is: Advent 2010 Prayer Service After the prayer service, […]

Q & A from Yesterday’s Webinar

A number of people sent in some excellent questions during our Webinar last night. Here’s a sampling along with my responses. You’re most welcome to chime in on the discussion. _______________________________________________________________ ‑­Steven Q: ­What are the biggest differences between teaching religion in a five day school and as a catechist once a week.  For the first time in almost 30 years I am doing both at the same time.­ A: Steven, the most obvious of […]

My Crystal Ball

I began class last night by inviting the kids to join me in another room that I had set up with my “crystal ball!” I have a light fixture – a globe – that is tinted white and I placed a battery operated flickering candle inside of it and wrapped a purple cloth around the base of it. All of the lights in the room were turned off and I had a CD playing in […]

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