Condensed Easter Lesson

The downside of having a late Easter this year is that we only have one full session after returning from Easter break and before our May Crowning closes the year. This means that I have to condense my Easter Season lessons from two or three to one. Here’s my basic plan. I’ll start by playing a recording of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” While this song is more often played during Christmastime, the celebratory “Hallelujahs” make it […]

Knowing How the Story Ends, Changes How You Experience the Story

As we enter and proceed through Holy Week, it is important for us to remember that we know how the story “ends!” And, of course, the story of Jesus’ Passion does not end with his death but is followed by Resurrection. It’s like this. Recently, I had a chance to watch a DVD that re-tells the experience of the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup last June. Last Spring, experiencing the actual games was excruciatingly […]

The Most Holy Trinity – A Feast of Heaven and Earth and Close Encounters

There seems to be no shortage of movies about the lives of human beings AFTER the earth is destroyed (Wall-E, Oblivion, After Earth, just to name a few). We seem to be resigned to the notion that our penchant for disposability will result in the eventual destruction of this planet. Unfortunately, too much of Christianity does little to combat this notion since the false notion persists that our ultimate destiny is to escape this planet […]

From Lent to Easter—From Fasting to Feasting (Savoring)

We just finished 40 days of Lent in order to prepare to celebrate 50 days of Easter! During Lent, we practice specific disciplines: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. So how do we “practice” Easter? We certainly don’t give up on praying and almsgiving, although those are colored now more by joyful gratitude than penance. But what does it mean to move from fasting to feasting? Feasting is not to be associated with gluttony. Feasting, for Catholics, […]

Resurrection

Today we celebrate the great feast of the Resurrection. As catechists, we know that Easter is more than one day; it’s a full season. Let us rejoice! Enjoy this year’s Easter reflection from all of us at Loyola Press. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgMsWlyS__s

Catechists in Action – Len Astrowski Invites 7th Graders to Pray

In this segment of Catechists in Action, 7th grade catechist Len Astrowski prepares his 7th graders for a short prayer experience in the middle of his session on the Resurrection of Jesus. Watch for the following: Len invites the young people to turn to the page with the prayer Len assigns roles for the prayer…this is a crucial step for catechists. Catholics pray communally which means that everyone has a part and their are various […]

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 […]

Our Triumphant Holy Day!

As we celebrate this sacred Triduum and move into the Easter season, I extend my sincerest best wishes and prayers to all who enjoy the privilege of proclaiming the Resurrection of Jesus in the catechetical ministry. Together, on this Easter morning, we sing: Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia! Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia! Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia! Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia! Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia! […]

Telling the Greatest Story Ever Told

Yesterday was my last teaching class for this year! Next week, we’ll have a closing Mass and then a little time left in class for a small celebration and farewells. I was pleased as punch, then, to have had a wonderful class last night! Here’s the scoop. Seven of my students still needed to complete their final assessment so I had them go over to an empty classroom with my aide Daneen where they completed […]

“Catholic Artists Today Are Virtually Invisible”

Interesting post on Deacon Greg Kendra’s blog today about the dearth of Catholic influence in the arts today: Catholic Artists are Virtually Invisible. I would disagree with Dana Gioia’s conclusion, however, that American culture is to blame. While there may be some truth to that, I believe we have no one to blame but ourselves. I don’t think we encourage artistic expression in catechesis as much as we should. As a child, I remember drawing, […]

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