Weaving Prayer Throughout the School Day

It’s time to say goodbye to another class of third graders, and as I reflect on our time together, I have noticed that there was a beautiful pattern woven throughout each day. Our classes began and ended with prayer, and we took advantage of opportunities to pray as they popped up throughout the day. For example, our school is next to a main thoroughfare through our city. Hundreds of cars pass by our school every […]

Praying the Daily Examen

Becky Eldredge, author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, loves praying the Examen, a method of prayer that involves reflection on the past 24 hours of your life. She explains the steps of this defining Ignatian prayer in the below video. Pray this way with young people using Finding God Grades 7 and 8. The Examen is also a great prayer for families, as Eric Gurash explains in his article Where Have You Been, Lord? […]

Praying the Scriptures with Lectio Divina

Lectio divina is an ancient method of praying the Scriptures. The name means “sacred reading,” and the prayer invites slow reading and praying with a Scripture passage. In the video below, Becky Eldredge, a spiritual director and author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, explains lectio divina. Suggested Uses for the Video Use this video in your catechetical classroom with older students to introduce this prayer form. Then lead an experience of lectio divina with […]

Four Ways to Encourage Silence

The topic of silence has come up a few times in discussions with my seventh graders, and every time it does, the young people make it obvious by their facial expressions and comments that the idea of silence isn’t one they embrace. That’s not surprising, given the fact that they get so few opportunities to practice silence in our contemporary world. But I know that silence can lead to beautiful moments of prayer and can […]

Lent with the Saints, Part 1: Praying with St. Patrick

In the first of three articles on the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we learn from St. Patrick how to make Lent a special season of prayer. In the weeks leading up to Lent, I am reminded to tell the young people in my class about Lent. I have to tell them when Ash Wednesday services at my parish are. I am required to inform them of the Lenten regulations. I need to […]

Technology, Prayer, and Catechesis

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of Encontrando a Dios, a fully bilingual faith formation program for grades 1–8. When it comes to prayer, many of us think that it is a prerequisite to turn off all electronic devices that might distract us. Although we certainly need to cut down on distractions, the truth is, the world of cyberspace offers us numerous opportunities to deepen our prayer lives. With that in mind, […]

The Power of Prayer: Three Ways to Model Discipleship

Peter, a director of religious education at a parish, asked Susan if prayer was interwoven into her classroom. “But I don’t have time to pray with my students and still get all of the material covered!” Susan answered, exasperated. “The most important thing,” Peter assured her, “is to model a life of discipleship grounded in prayer.” “Why?” Susan asked. “Because without the deep breath of prayer,” Peter replied, “our students will never believe that we […]

Allow God’s Gaze to Rest on You

Recently I led a half-day retreat for Directors of Religious Education at a nearby parish. These are the men and women who work hard all year through, helping to care for the faith of others. They are nearly always “on duty,” organizing, running, and problem-solving within their parish faith formation programs. The weather had finally, finally come around to spring qualities. We were at an expansive retreat center with lawns and water and trees and […]

The 1% Prayer Challenge

What would happen if you gave 15 minutes of your day completely to God? That’s what Mike Lorenzo is asking the community at St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. John, Indiana. Mike is the Pastoral Associate for Evangelization at the parish. He works closely with the pastor and his colleagues to instill a desire to be closer to God and strengthen their prayer lives. Over the Lenten and Easter seasons they launched an initiative […]

Using Prayer Intentions Notebooks

One idea/activity that I have highly encouraged catechists to use in their sessions is inviting young people to write down their prayer intentions as soon as they enter the room. This is a good way to get them on task immediately and to begin establishing a climate of prayer, which is key to an effective catechetical experience. As I’ve been sharing this idea in my presentations recently, I’ve encountered a few catechists who shared a […]