Session 1: God Keeps No Secrets (9/17/13)

After being postponed for one week due to excessive heat in Chicago, our first session of religious education for the 2013-14 catechetical year takes place tomorrow evening! Thank goodness temps are back where they belong for September in Chicago! The focus of 6th grade religious education is primarily on the Old Testament so, with that in mind, this first session will serve as an introduction to the Bible as one of the most important ways […]

Nik Wallenda, the Grand Canyon, and Faith in Jesus Christ

This is strictly an opinion piece and therefore open to debate which I invite, but as always, be charitable in your comments to me, to one another, and to Nik Wallenda! So last night, daredevil Nik Wallenda made his historic walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope with no tether and no safety net, gluing countless numbers of viewers like myself to the live broadcast. In addition to the drama of the stunt itself, […]

A Summer of Faith During the Year of Faith

The Year of Faith that we have been celebrating continues through November, 2013. The summer months present an excellent time for marking the Year of Faith, perhaps in a more leisurely manner such as over the course of several weeks. Here’s a resource that can help your parish do just that:                     Days of Faith conveniently provides everything you need to host a mini-retreat or faith-formation […]

Having Students Set Goals – Developing New Habits

I’ve been talking the last few posts about helping those we teach to develop new habits, inspired by a book titled The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. One of the things the author talks about is the importance of people taking ownership of the process of developing new habits, beginning with the notion of setting goals for themselves. By setting goals for yourself, you internalize motivation (as opposed to all of the motivation having […]

Thank You, Winnipeg!

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting Winnipeg, Manitoba, and enjoyed spending the day with over 100 folks (catechists, youth ministers, general audience) exploring The Bible Blueprint! It’s always a joy to visit Canada and I’m deeply appreciative for the warm welcome and hospitality. I was delighted that a good number of folks brought their “young uns” along to the day-long workshop…nice to see young folks eager to learn about Scripture! One young lady […]

“We’re Learning About Jesus in World History!”

Last evening’s session was very enjoyable on a number of levels. First and foremost, I had an opportunity to once again teach an entire class and I think the kids enjoyed getting back to a sense of normalcy after all of the special events they were a part of over the last six weeks. We spent the evening focusing one more time on the Bible. The activity with this Bible worksheet (Session 23 Bible Worksheet […]

Encountering God in the Bible

After what seemed like an endless string of interruptions (days off, practices for Seder Meal, Lenten and Holy Week prayer services, etc.) in our regular teaching schedule, I finally get to teach a lesson this coming Monday! With only 3 classes left for teaching, I am going to do one more session on the Bible this Monday before sending their Bibles home with them. Here’s my plan: Session 23 – Encountering God in the Bible  Session […]

How To Host a DAY OF FAITH During This YEAR OF FAITH

Many people have been asking about what they can do in their local parish to mark this Year of Faith. In response, I’ve put together a new resource that you can use called DAYS OF FAITH! This is a kit that contains everything you need to host a faith formation event in your own parish during Lent or some other time of this Year of Faith. In this kit, I share 4 PowerPoint® presentations – each 60-minutes […]

Prophets Rock!

We had a wonderful time last night learning about the Old Testament Prophets! Three of my most rambunctious students were absent last night and while I was disappointed they missed the experience, it certainly made for a very calm evening! After welcoming the young people back from the holidays, we did a little review about the Ark of the Covenant and I showed them how I placed many of their prayer symbols in our own […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: A Sense of Direction

Ask all of your students to stand up and, on the count of three, to point north. Inevitably, there is some confusion…not all have their bearings! Explain that we can rely on a compass to help us get a sense of direction. Make a simple home-made compass. You will need a magnet, a sewing needle, a shallow aluminum baking pan filled with water, and a small piece of Styrofoam (2 in. x 2 in.) Hold […]

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