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Understanding Kids

Engaging in Dialogue with Your Students

“I know why many religious education programs at parishes are struggling and yet why youth ministry is growing in some of those same parishes,” my friend Sarah said to me one day at a coffee shop. “I’m sure that some of these parishes have various factors involved,” she continued, “but I have found a common issue in my 12 years of being a youth minister. It’s pretty simple too.” I urged her to tell me […]

illustrated image of teacher next to board that reads "Presentation Skills for Catechists"
Approaches/Techniques

Three Essential Presentation Skills for Catechists

Communication and presentation skills may not be the first skills that come to mind when thinking about the qualities of a good catechist, but they are key elements for catechists to consider as they approach their classes. Here are three presentation factors to reflect on as we prepare for a new year of faith formation. Emphasis in Reading the Word Have you ever been to a Mass when the lector wasn’t well prepared and the […]

index cards
Approaches/Techniques

Creative Approaches to Reading from a Textbook: Clue Cards

I occasionally encounter catechetical presenters who claim that faith formation should be done with no books because they consider reading from a book to be boring. I, on the other hand, have always been an advocate of teaching “beyond the book,” which means that we use the book as a critical resource but not as the be-all-and-end-all of a faith formation session. The fact is, we have important content in our faith tradition, and it […]

Jump Start Your Spiritual Life - words on blue setting
Spiritual Growth

Spiritual but not Religious? Here’s What it Means to Be Spiritual

Many of those we minister to these days will use the description, “I’m spiritual but not religious,” to describe themselves. This typically means that they seek a relationship with God but are wary, disillusioned, or just not attracted by institutional religion or denominations. One of the problems that folks in this situation encounter, however, is that being “spiritual” can be a very nebulous notion. We can help those interested in a deeper spiritual life by […]

40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home
Prayer/Guided Reflections

40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home

Our lives offer many opportunities to pray, and we can share those opportunities with the children in our care. Find inspiration for different ways to pray in the home by downloading Tom McGrath’s suggestions for 40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home—in English or in Spanish. Share the booklet with families in your school or parish. These suggestions are excerpted from Tom’s book Raising Faith-Filled Kids: Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home. Fill […]

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