One Book, One Parish: Perfect for Adult Faith Formation

Here’s an idea for your parish Adult Faith Formation program: it’s called One Book, One Parish (affectionately referred to as OBOP here at Loyola Press). One Book, One Parish provides spiritual works that explain our Catholic culture and history; books that illuminate, inspire, provoke, and entertain; books that have a unique perspective and compelling authority.  We seek to help you establish communities of conversation around our faith and get people to re-engage with the parish […]

Dry Run for REP Kick Off Nite

Last evening, I got together with Deb, the DRE at St. Cajetan, to do a “dry run” in preparation for next Tuesday’s Kick-Off for the Religious Education program. We had many logistics to go over such as the sound system, the lighting, the video, the music and so on. In particular, I realized that I have to practice my timing with the songs/videos that I’ll be projecting throughout the prayer service…it’s as if I’m the […]

REP Kick-Off Event with Adult Focus

This year, in addition to my work in Adult Faith Formation at St. Barnabas Parish, I am also assisting the DRE at St. Cajetan, Deb Breakey, where I served as a 6th grade catechist last year. Together, we are focusing on changing the “drop-off” mentality of the parents of kids in the Religious Education program. To that end, the first night of RE (September 16) will have a totally different look than in years past. […]

Men’s Spirituality

Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting in on the Men’s Spirituality group at St. Barnabas parish. This initiative began as a follow up to the parish’s Men’s Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) and meets once per month under the direction of the Associate Pastor, Fr. John Hetland. From what I’m told, different guys come and go but in general about a dozen gather each month. There was an enthusiastic group of 9 on […]

Good Discussion Questions for Catechist Grade Level Breakout Sessions

As I mentioned in a previous post, I enjoyed a day in the Diocese of Peoria, in particular, participating in a grade-level breakout session for 5th and 6th grade catechists. Some of these grade level sessions can grow tedious if not facilitated well. I like the fact that for these breakouts, the Diocese provided questions to guide the discussions. Here they are: Bringing Prayer into the classroom. Are there any regular prayers you use and […]

Putting Parents First When You Kick-off the Catechetical Year

I mentioned in a recent post how I am working with the DRE of a parish to combat the “drop-off” mentality that many parents have when it comes to their child’s faith formation. Here are some ideas for resources from Loyola Press that can help you to put parents first when it is time to kick-off the new catechetical year. Resources (either free or low cost – under $10) to give Parents: Forty Ways to Foster […]

Survey Results In

Last evening, I surveyed my students (8 of 9 were present), asking them to indicate which activities we did this year were their most or least favorite. I compiled a list of 20 activities we did throughout the year and asked them to rate each one on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “least favorite” and 10 being “most favorite. First, I am happy to report that NOT ONE activity of the […]

This is MY Story!

I was delighted to discover last evening that my 6th graders had retained a great deal of what we covered during the year! In essence, I really emphasized 3 main topics this year: Old Testament stories, the Ten Commandments, and the Sacraments. Last night, we did a review of the Old Testament stories and it went very nicely. Here’s a pic that sets the stage: On the board is the theme/big idea for the session […]

Ash Wednesday and Lent: Holiness is a Habit

Welcome to Lent…a time to rid ourselves of habits that are doing little good or even causing harm to ourselves and others and to replace them with habits that are life-giving. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. And contrary to the popular notion that habits can be changed in 21 days, experts tell us that it can take up to a year to change old habits and develop new ones. Lent is 40 days for a reason: holiness is […]

The Psalms – We Can Talk to God Under ANY Circumstances!

Tonight’s session will focus on the Psalms and how they represent prayers for every occasion and emotion. I enjoy this session because it gives me the opportunity to incorporate contemporary music into the session. This year, for the first time, I am also having the young people bring in songs that they have selected (although with last week’s snow day, I wonder how many will remember!). Anyway, here’s the plan: Session 18 – The Psalms […]

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