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 […]

Lent Resources for Small Faith Groups

As Lent approaches, many parishes and college campuses look to form small faith groups so that people can share the journey of Lent together. Here are some great resources for small faith groups from Loyola Press that I recommend: Online Lenten Opportunities for Small Groups Arts & Faith: Lent – A visual prayer experience for Lent. Each week provides a video commentary about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. The Ignatian Workout for Lent: […]

It Was the Quietest of Times, It Was the Noisiest of Times!

Our session this past Tuesday (Jan. 14, 2014) was very enjoyable and was a study in contrasts. I actually began the session (after preliminary chit-chat and our opening prayer ritual) with a guided reflection in which I invited the young people to talk with Jesus about what they have learned in the first half of the year. The kids were amazingly quiet! It was a very prayerful experience and, in all, lasted about 15 minutes. You […]

What’s Your New Year’s Catechetical Resolution?

Happy New Year everyone!!! I thought it would be fun for us to make some catechetical New Year’s resolutions as we begin 2014! Mine is to incorporate more Catholic Social Teaching into my lessons. What’s yours? Here are some suggestions: devote more attention to lesson planning improve at handling discipline deepen my own knowledge of the Catholic faith incorporate more prayer into my sessions learn how to lead guided reflections use more technology in the […]

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