preschool-aged boy in prayer
Prayer/Guided Reflections

Teaching the Daily Examen to 4- to 6-Year-Olds

One of the hallmarks of Ignatian prayer and spirituality is, of course, the Daily Examen—a prayerful way to review your day to recognize God’s presence and movement in your everyday life. We tend to think of this prayer as an adult exercise; however, many catechists and school teachers have found that this prayer is easily adaptable to children and can serve as a great tool for introducing young people to the contemplative aspect of our […]

Quote from "Sacred Space: A Little Book of Encouragement": "Jesus, your choosing me gives me a sense of my place in the world, a sense of purpose. You are not waiting until I become a better person; you choose me here and now. What do you want me to do with my life today?"
Being a Catechist

Chosen to Be a Catechist

Jesus, your choosing me gives me a sense of my place in the world, a sense of purpose. You are not waiting until I become a better person; you choose me here and now. What do you want me to do with my life today? —Sacred Space: A Little Book of Encouragement This might sound over the top, but for me, this quote truly characterizes my life. It certainly didn’t describe me 30 years ago […]

woman planning at computer
Junior High

Planning the Year’s Calendar

Some years are easier to plan out than others when it comes to the sequence of lessons in faith formation. This year, however, proved to be more difficult than usual. In my parish, the catechists have the flexibility to teach lessons in the order that works best for them. The DRE advises us to make sure our sequence of lessons coincide with the high points of the liturgical calendar. So I sat down with my […]

young woman and church and candle
Newsworthy

Synod on Young People—Learning from Tony Bennett

As the Synod on Young People is taking place in Rome this month, my mind turns to 92-year-old singer Tony Bennett. Why? Over the past several years, this ageless crooner has taken to doing duets with young talent, most notably Lady Gaga (and currently, Dianna Krall, who, though not as young as Lady Gaga, is still nearly 40 years Bennett’s junior!). I’ve used the Tony Bennett-Lady Gaga example on numerous occasions to encourage those of […]

Baptism - water and cross
Leading a Parish Program

Baptismal Crosses and Baptism Reunions

In his book, Excellence in Ministry: Best Practices for Successful Catechetical Leadership (part of the Effective Catechetical Leader series from Loyola Press and NCCL), my friend Tom Quinlan wisely suggests the following: My strong exhortation for parishes today is to front-load their efforts at impacting family systems. There is much more proverbial bang for the buck in doing front-loaded, early family evangelization ministry than anything later down the road! From my experience, baptismal ministry gets next-to-nothing […]

Primary

Intermediate

Junior High