Session Two – September 24, 2013: Mass and Bible Basics

Wow! I had to rush home from my VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy to get ready for my class tonight! Thankfully, cyberspace was pretty clear so I made good time! This evening will be my 2nd class with the 6th graders at St. Cajetan. One new feature that the parish is trying this year is to bring the young people to church once per month for Mass. This is a wonderful way to initiate young people […]

Reminder: VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy Begins Monday!

I hope you have your virtual bags packed and your virtual tickets in hand as we get ready to embark on a VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy, beginning Monday, September 23! As part of the Year of Faith, Pope Francis is hosting a Day for Catechists at the Vatican during the last week of September, 2013, culminating in the International Conference of Catechesis. A delegation of religious educators will be attending via a pilgrimage sponsored by […]

A Session Planning Form – For Your Convenience!

So, as it turns out, my first session of religious education for this evening was canceled due to the excessive heat here in Chicago! It is in the mid to upper 90s during this 2nd week of September! Well, that’ll give me more time to polish my own lesson which will now take place next Tuesday! In the meantime, I’ve put the finishing touches on a resource I think you’ll find helpful. It is a Session […]

Join Our Holy Father in Praying for Peace!

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has issued an urgent plea and invitation to fast and pray for peace in Syria this Saturday, September 7. This is a good opportunity to teach young people that some moments in life require more than a reliance on reason but call us to “drop to our knees.” WASHINGTON – U.S. Catholics are being encouraged to join a Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria, the Middle East […]

Special Needs: Adaptive Kits for First Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Now CONFIRMATION!

One of the challenges we face in catechesis is reaching out to those with special needs to help them encounter Christ in a meaningful way. Loyola Press is proud to be contributing resources to this effort, namely, the Adaptive Kits for First Eucharist and Reconciliation. Now we have proudly added a kit for Confirmation! The Adaptive Confirmation Preparation Kit was designed to help individuals with autism and other special needs enter fully into the faith experience, […]

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 […]

Evangelization and Catechesis: Enough About Content, Let’s Talk Tactics!

Over the past couple of years, in an apparent effort to ensure orthodoxy of content, some Catholic dioceses in the United States have invested countless man hours and who knows how much money implementing lengthy and tedious processes to mandate a limited number of catechetical textbook series in their dioceses. This, despite the fact that dozens of textbook series have gone through rigorous scrutiny and have already been determined to be in conformity with the […]

Faith that is CAUGHT, not TAUGHT – What Makes a Message “Contagious”

In ministerial circles, it is not uncommon to hear the phrase “Faith is caught, not taught.”The point of the phrase is that faith is something that involves more than just transmitting information. With that in mind, it might be helpful to know just what makes a message go “viral” – what makes a message “contagious.” Seeking answers, I recently read a very good book: Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger (Simon & Schuster) […]

Lenten Family Mission – Mary, Seat of Wisdom Parish, Park Ridge, IL

This week, I have had the privilege of preaching a Lenten Family Mission at Mary, Seat of Wisdom parish in Park Ridge, IL, on the theme of the Mass (drawing from my book, Living the Mass). It has been an extraordinary experience of grace and I thank the good people of the parish for their strong turnout each evening of the Mission. Last night, I focused on the Liturgy of the Word and how it […]

Meet Pope Francis – A Teachable Moment

Loyola Press has put together some great activities related to the election of Pope Francis that you can use in your catechetical setting. They are: Find Your Pope Name Welcome Letter to the New Pope Pray for the Pope, Pray for the World Here, There, God is Everywhere! Here’s an interesting resource from the world of secular education seeking to use the election of the new Pope as a teachable moment. Here’s how a Catholic […]

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