arms folded - gesture of ignoring or non-participation
Junior High

Patience with Quiet Students

Being a catechist requires patience. Some years it’s patience with behavior issues, and other years it’s patience with a class that’s too quiet. Let me explain. When discipline issues arise, there are a number of strategies for managing classroom behavior. But when young people are well-behaved yet non-participatory, we need different strategies, which we often don’t hear much about. The overreaching strategy to working with young people who don’t want to join in discussions or […]

preschool faith formation program - God Made Everything
Books

Populating the Imaginations of Preschool Children

When speaking about the roles of parents, godparents, grandparents, catechists, and teachers in forming the faith of children, my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath, often emphasizes the need to “populate the imaginations” of young children with stories, images, signs, and symbols of our Catholic faith. At a very young age, children develop a “worldview”—a way of seeing the world. Some develop a positive worldview that recognizes truth, beauty, and goodness as more potent than that which […]

Trinity - art © Loyola Press. All Rights Reserved.
Catechetical Issues & Topics

Making Our Faith Simple-Yet-Not-Simplistic: The Creed

I have often said that, if a non-Catholic asked you to explain the Catholic faith to him or her, and you responded by reciting the Creed, listing and describing the seven sacraments, listing and describing the Ten Commandments, and reciting the Our Father, you would deserve a passing grade! Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer are the four pillars of our Catholic faith. The goal of catechesis should always be to make those four pillars accessible, which […]

boy balancing
Spiritual Growth

Finding Balance as a Religion Teacher

Finding balance is a very important part of every catechist’s life. We are pulled in so many directions; giving of ourselves to our students requires that we keep our eyes on the Lord, our students, and ourselves too. How do I keep myself balanced and nourished? When I was a college student, I looked forward to the camaraderie and time spent away from the busyness of college at our semester retreats. These three-day retreats were […]

Catechist praying with children
Prayer/Guided Reflections

Praying with Little Ones

Last fall, Joe Paprocki provided 20 tips for catechists. The ninth tip stuck with me: as catechists, we are not teaching a subject, but we are facilitating an encounter with Jesus. All of us encounter Jesus in different ways on any given day, and our students are no different. Offering a variety of prayer experiences for children can open up new ways for Christ to work in their lives. When I’m praying with my first-grade […]

Primary

Intermediate

Junior High