North Woods Catechesis

I enjoyed the last couple of days in Northern Wisconsin with 100 catechetical leaders looking at how we proclaim the story of salvation through a Catholic lens. We had a wonderful time together and I hopefully set the stage for my long-time friend and colleague, Carole Eipers, to take over and carry the gathering through tomorrow. The event was organized by the Wisconsin Directors of Religious Education Federation (WDREF). I had the pleasure of seeing […]

Where Have You Gone, Thomas Groome? The Role of Experience in Catechesis

When I was a mere “babe” in the catechetical ministry (early 1980s), I was introduced to the notion of the catechetical process. At the time, those 2 words could not be spoken without also mentioning the name of Dr. Thomas Groome and his groundbreaking work, Christian Religious Education: Sharing Our Story and Vision . At the heart of Groome’s approach is an unmistakable connection between lived experience and the faith Tradition of the Catholic Church. […]

Opening Mass Tonight; Thinking Ahead to Next Week

Tonight, our religious education program celebrates our Opening Mass in the Church which means that I will primarily be supervising my 6th graders as they gather for Mass and then throughout the Mass. This afternoon, I plan to go over their names so that this evening I will be able to greet them and talk to them by name. As we wait for Mass to begin, I thought I would do some Q & A […]

Off to a Good Start!

I was very pleased with my first session of 6th grade religious education¬†last evening! ūüôā Here’s a rundown of highlights and lowlights: Since I teach in the later session and someone is in the room before me, I don’t have much time to set up (15 mins…if I’m lucky) so it is a real whirlwind trying to get things ready. I have this notion that the kids will walk into this very serene and prayerful […]

A Couple of Helpful Resources

As I prepare for my first religious education class (September 10), I’ve put together a couple of simple but helpful resources that I’m happy to share with catechists. The first is a Homework Notification Sheet. I’ve never had a whole lot of luck assigning homework in religious education and having kids complete it but part of it may be the fact that my assignments are probably never seen by parents. I thought it would be […]

Catechists in Action – Meet Len Astrowski!

In this segment of Catechists in Action, we meet 7th grade catechist Len Astrowski, the husband of the Director of Religious Education at Most Holy Redeemer parish in Evergreen Park, IL. After leaving Chris Brett’s class, we headed straight over to Len’s class and walked in during the middle of his session. Watch for the following: Len introduces me to his class (he had my name on the board and alerted the kids to the […]

More From Los Angeles Religious Education Conference 2012

I had a great experience delivering a presentation on Practice Makes Catholic yesterday to about 1000 people here at the L.A. Religious Education Conference! It was very exciting to speak to a crowd that big! Thanks to all who came out to make this such a wonderful experience. Here’s a pic of HALF the room before it filled up with folks. After my presentation, I had an encounter with¬†someone¬†who made the “soup nazi” (from Seinfeld)¬†¬†look […]

I Love L.A.!

I’m celebrating Catholicism California style at the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress which draws about 40,000 people over 4 days! It is always an exciting experience. I’m thrilled to be giving a talk this afternoon and I’ve met so many wonderful people in just the few hours I’ve been here. I’ll tell you more about it as the weekend goes along. Here are a couple of pics. Here I am enjoying dinner in Downtown […]

The Catechist as COACH

  I’m always amazed at how many men I see coaching their kids’ soccer, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and even lacrosse teams! And yet, so few men feel called to serve as a catechist when, in my mind,¬†it is another form of coaching. Perhaps too many men view being a catechist as a feminine/nurturing role that they are not comfortable with. Fortunately, a growing number of men are discovering how to serve as catechists in […]

Catechists in Action – An Evening with Nick

Last night, I attended 5th grade catechist Nick Yonto’s religious education session at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Cary, IL. This was the first installment of my new feature, Catechists in Action, in which I will be visiting and videotaping catechists in the Chicago area, and posting about the experience here on my blog. I thoroughly enjoyed Nick’s class last evening and am working with my colleagues here at Loyola Press to ready the […]

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