A Prayer for Those Who Have Shared Their Faith—Free Prayer Card

While it’s true that there is a private dimension to our faith, faith comes to us through others first. Maybe you remember your parents teaching you mealtime or bedtime prayers or taking you to participate in a service opportunity. Maybe a favorite teacher or catechist showed you the power of imaginative prayer, invited you to a meaningful communal prayer service, or led an activity that made some aspect of the faith “click” for you. Maybe […]

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 […]

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, in English or in Spanish. Inspired by the letters of Pope Francis in the book Dear Pope Francis, the cards each […]

Holy Week Activities Pack

Holy Week is a time set aside to recall the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. During this week, we prepare ourselves for Easter by prayerfully reflecting upon the events of Jesus’ Passion and Death. Help children and families experience the full meaning of the final days before Easter with our Holy Week Activities Pack. The pack includes a scrambled words challenge, a crossword puzzle, a visual story strip, and an activity inviting prayerful reflection […]

Praying with the Stations of the Cross—With Free Station to Station Questions for Reflection and Discussion

This article is by Gary Jansen, author of Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross. On Good Friday, 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced an alternative way to pray the Stations of the Cross. Foregoing some of the traditional scenes that are not found in the Bible (e.g., Veronica wipes the face of Jesus), this new approach to the centuries-old devotion allowed believers to engage in the mysteries of Christ’s […]

Lenten Actions Cards

Encourage families to take practical steps toward practicing the traditional Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Print out our Lenten Actions Cards and give sets to the families you serve. Instruct parents to cut out the cards, fold them in half, and place them in a jar or small box. Place the jar or other container in a central location in the home, perhaps on the dining room table or the counter next to […]

Reigniting the Flame—A Mid-Year Activity for Catechists

The halfway point of the catechetical year can be a time when catechists find their energy and enthusiasm waning. In my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness, I warn about the danger of sloth, which is not to be confused with laziness. Rather, sloth is a lack of spiritual energy. The “antidote” that I recommend is unleashing your imagination in order to reignite hope, which in turn leads to joy, which is the heart of […]

J.O.Y. in the Classroom: How to Teach Children to Cultivate a Joyful Life

Cultivating and sustaining joy in the spiritual life has received quite a bit of attention in recent years. Pope Francis has made joy a central part of his message, as we see in the encyclical Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel. The Holy Father reminds us over and over again that the Christian life is characterized first and foremost by joy: Joy is a pilgrim virtue. It is a gift that walks, walks on […]

The Jesse Tree—Free PowerPoint Presentation

One popular Advent tradition is making a Jesse tree, which helps us to connect the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the events leading to Jesus’ birth. We adorn a Jesse tree with illustrated ornaments that represent people, prophesies, and events that recall God’s promise and its fulfillment. With a focus on Old Testament figures, the Jesse tree is a particularly good activity for sixth graders studying salvation history. It’s also great for any junior […]

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