Summary of My Session on 9/21/09

I had a very enjoyable session last night! Here are the highlights:

  • We began in church with an opening prayer service with the pastor. I met my group out in the parking lot and they were jovial and polite. I had a full class with the 2 absentees from last week being present.
  • The kids were very well behaved in church…I was quite pleased to see that. My aide Lucy was there as well and it was nice to have her present as well.
  • I eased out of church after the prayer service and before our class was dismissed to get upstairs, allowing Lucy to bring them up. This gave me a few minutes to get a few more things in place before they arrived. We had 45 minutes left at this point.
  • As they entered, I greeted them with a short “quiz” about what we covered last week. This got their attention immediately and then they realized that the questions were fun and we enjoyed going over the correct answers. It actually made for a nice review of last week.
  • We did our opening prayer: “This is the day the Lord has made…” followed by signing our foreheads, lips, and hearts, and then passing the candle to offer prayers of thanksgiving or petition. They are doing very nicely with that, thanking God for very simple things, not being silly, and just looking and sounding comfortable.
  • 2 of the students, both boys, brought personal symbols for the prayer center! One brought his 3rd grade Rosary and the other brought a small stone. I was very pleased with this and encouraged the others to follow suit.
  • We did an activity called “Revealing Moments” in which I covered a poster of a celebrity (Taylor Swift) with cards that we played a memory game with. One of the girls guessed pretty early and then I explained that we didn’t know who it was until we revealed various parts of her face. I said that today we were going to learn about how God has revealed himself to us in Jesus.
  • We read from the textbook about how Jesus reveals to us the face of God. We used the ball toss for taking turns reading and they continue to enjoy that and it keeps them engaged a bit more.
  • One of them asked me if we were doing sacred space! I said that’s up next.
  • The article in the text mentioned Jn 3:16 – “For God so loved the world…”  I sent them to their sacred space to reflect on this passage which I provided on small slips of paper, inviting them to memorize the words. I turned out the lights, put on some music, and they were very quiet. I did a sort of Lectio Divina on this passage, repeating it every 30-45 seconds or so for 2 or 3 minutes and then just leaving it silent for a few minutes.
  • I finished by telling them that their “assignment” was to spend some quality time with someone who needs love in the days ahead because God sent his only Son Jesus to spend quality time with us!
  • We gathered for a Glory Be and they blessed themselves with Holy Water as they left.

Thank you, Lord, for a good session.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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