Growing as a Catechist: A Self-Evaluation

Take the opportunity to evaluate yourself as a catechist over the course of this past year with the help of Growing as a Catechist: A Self-Evaluation Based on Seven Critical Tools from The Catechist’s Toolbox. This short evaluation asks you to evaluate yourself using a five-point scale on the seven critical tools and then invites deeper reflection with several open-ended questions. Share your evaluation with your catechetical leader, or discuss it with a group of […]

Take Time to Celebrate

At the end of the religious education year, there’s often a flurry of activity—final preparations for First Communion and Confirmation, May Crowning, early start on registrations for next year, and catechist recruitment before summer break. But it’s important that we take time to celebrate the year completed and savor its graces. Our parish did that in a tangible way with a special dinner for catechists and others who make religious education possible: crossing guards, aides, […]

Celebrating the Ascension

The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord often happens after our religious education sessions are over for the school year. However, it can be the perfect final lesson of the year as students depart for the summer. Include the Ascension in your lesson plan for the final session by encouraging students to be disciples over the summer. Just as Jesus left the Twelve with a mission, you can do the same. I Am with […]

Reuse and Review at the End of the Faith Formation Year

As I approached the last faith formation class of the year, I was looking for ways to review the material we had covered during our time together. In the past I’ve used some kind of game or competition as a review activity. But with this being my first year teaching fourth grade, I wasn’t sure if these activities would work well with this older group of students. When I was preparing for our final class, […]

Free Prayer Cards Inspired by the Letters of Pope Francis

As we near the end of the catechetical year, you might be thinking how you might mark the occasion with a special keepsake for your students. Encourage children to keep up a practice of prayer throughout the summer break by giving them a prayer card (or three!), free for you to download this month. Inspired by the letters of Pope Francis in the book Dear Pope Francis, the cards each display artwork drawn by children […]

Ending the Year on a Good Note

When we approach the end of faith formation classes for the year, we can be overwhelmed by a flurry of activity. During this period, our highest priorities are the celebration of the sacraments, planning for the final classes, end-of-year meetings, and looking forward to the next year. Amidst all these priorities—as well as tying up any loose ends—we can easily forget to take a step back and reflect on some of the gifts that are […]

Reviewing Your Catechetical Year, Examen-Style

The ending of the catechetical year is the perfect time to reflect on the highs and lows, rejoicing in the graced moments in our programs and seeking to improve the more challenging areas. The Examen prayer, as outlined by St. Ignatius Loyola, provides us with a perfect guide to making just this kind of review. As you get set to begin this time of prayerful review, be sure to set aside at least 15–20 minutes, […]

A School and Parish Pilgrimage

During the last week of school, I take my third graders on a pilgrimage around our school and parish campus. I started this practice during the Jubilee Year of 2000, when I led a pilgrimage for my school community. We didn’t go far: we just walked the grounds of our campus. I loved this opportunity to experience my faith in a new way. What is a pilgrimage and why do people make them? A pilgrimage […]

Assessing the Year of Faith Formation

Our year of faith formation has ended at my parish. It is both a happy and sad time for me as a catechist. I’m thrilled to see my class of third graders move on, but I’m also sad to see them go after our year together. Our DRE asks us catechists at the end of each year to commit to teaching again the following fall and allows us first choice on the grade level. Before […]

End of the Catechetical Year Resources

With April here, many catechetical programs are beginning to wind down for the year. This is a perfect time to do some evaluation and reflection on your year as a catechist. Over the past few years, I’ve developed some end-of-the-year resources that catechists and catechetical leaders can use for this very purpose. I offer them to you once again so that you can continue to grow in your vocation as a catechist. You might consider […]

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