Looking Ahead to Lent

We’ve got Lent coming up soon, so that means it’s a great time to revitalize both yourself and your approach to your catechetical program. Using the Lenten practices of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer, explore how you can keep up your energy and effort as we continue winter sessions. Almsgiving Any practicing Catholic has heard repeatedly about the importance of donating time, talent, and treasure to the Church. As you gear up for Lent, take a […]

Letting the Holy Spirit Lead When Your Lesson Falls Flat

We’ve all been there. You’ve planned the perfect lesson for the children or adults in your session. You’ve spent the week memorizing the material and making notes. You did the extra research to come with some great information not found in your regular curriculum. You’ve even prepared handouts or activities or songs. But once you got in the classroom, the lesson plan didn’t work at all. The group didn’t understand the material; your activities were […]

There’s a Saint for That

Remember when the iPhone started appearing all over TV with its catch phrase, “There’s an app for that?” No matter the question, the iPhone had an app to answer it. In a similar vein, we Catholics are lucky because, no matter what our need or failure, worry or struggle, there’s a saint for that. And we don’t need an expensive device to get in touch with a heavenly mentor and friend; we can visit a […]

Three Tips for Working with the RCIA

Every DRE has his or her own approach to ministry. In my parish, our faith formation philosophy is to meet people where they are. I know it’s a pretty simple idea, but when we think about the variety of people from so many different backgrounds who come together in the Church, it is important to remember that the same approach won’t work for everyone. This attitude can prove to be especially important when working with […]

Five Tips for Working with Little Children

Working with young children can be a challenge, but children can also be fun and even give you insights into our faith when you look through their eyes of innocence and imagination. With that in mind, here are five tips for working with little children in faith formation sessions. Know that logic doesn’t always work. While it is possible to reason with older elementary students, as well as middle and high schoolers, young children have […]

Using the Extra Daylight of Summer

At her blog Days of Deepening Friendship, Vinita Hampton Wright rejoices in the arrival of summer and all it bring with it. In one particular post, “The Correct Use of More Daylight,” Vinita writes that the “long days [of summer] are a gift,” and, “we would do well to consider how to approach the lengthened hours.” I don’t know how others in catechetical ministry view the summer, but for me, it is the most welcome […]

Vacation Bible School Week

It’s the most fun and physically demanding week of the year—Vacation Bible School. My first year of leading VBS, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I ordered the kit, borrowed liberally from other parishes using the same theme, and prayed it would all come together. That first year we had 20 children and 10 volunteers. For our rainforest theme, we created a set with green and flowered sheets hanging on the walls, […]

Four Tips on How to Survive Vacation Bible School and Still Have Fun

While Vacation Bible School is one of the most high-energy weeks of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful. Lots of volunteers you may or may not know well combine with dozens of children of all age groups bouncing around and being kids in organized chaos. Here are a few tips to help you keep your head when it seems like everyone else in the room is losing theirs. Remember that […]

Honoring Mary in the Classroom or Parish

Each May, Catholics across the globe celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, holy mother to us all. Through parish and classroom celebrations, we can show our love and respect for Mary and share her importance with those we teach. There are a variety of traditional activities that parishes use to celebrate Mary, such as the May Crowning or a special Rosary, novena, or prayer service. These are all good, but if you are looking for some […]

Five Tips for Celebrating the Easter Season in Your Classroom

The DreamWorks film, Rise of the Guardians, presents the legendary figures of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman as the protectors of the innocence, hopes, and dreams of children. In one important scene, the Easter Bunny explains to Jack Frost, the newest guardian, the meaning of Easter. “Easter is new beginnings, new life,” he says. “Easter’s about hope.” And really, it is. Our goal during the Easter season is to […]