Webinar Follow-up

Q & A

During last week’s Webinar (which you can catch a recording of right here), a number of folks sent in some questions that I would like to respond to, now that I’m back at my desk!

  • I did the web seminar on Advent and I loved it, is there any way in which I can listen to the Lent web seminar? (Natalie)
    • Yes, you can catch a recording of the Lenten Webinar right here
  • I’m limited by using a school classroom on the weekend with very little time to access it in the morning before class.  Suggestions for easy, quick ways to prepare the room? (Teri)
  • Where can we get battery-operated candles? (Clara)
    • I use 2 kinds. First, tea-lights that the kids use when they go to their “sacred space” for guided meditations. These can be found at any major pharmacy such as Walgreens, CVS, etc. Then, I also have a pillar candle which you can find at places like Target, Walmart, or online at Amazon.com.
  • What sort of personal items did the kids bring in for the prayer center? (Henry)
    • I had a couple of Rosaries, an acorn, and a stone brought in by kids. Other catechists tell me that kids have brought in small pictures, holy cards, a small toy, a small trinket, a leaf, a twig, etc.
  • I guess my quess my question will have to be answered at the end of this seminar….what if all my good efforts fail? (Peggy)
    • First, don’t be too quick to conclude that you failed…God’s Word penetrates in mysterious ways. Second, you’re in good company…we all experience challenges as catechists, even St. Paul and Jesus himself (the rich young man who went away sad; the crowds that responding to his teaching by throwing him out of town bodily) I woud strongly encourage you to talk to someone (a fellow catechist; your DRE) about your experience. You’re welcome to email me personally and confidentially at paprocki@loyolapress.com.
  • Will Joe touch on the use of videos?  Some of my teachers have a tendancy to use them, alot. (Pat)
    • While I stronly encourage the use of videos in religions education, I must emphasize the following:
      • videos should be previewed ahead of time and approved by the catechetical leader
      • segments should always be introduced
      • segments should be kept short
      • students should be told what to look for
      • students should be given a viewing sheet that has descriptions of what they are watching and/or questions they are to answer
      • pausing videos to discuss is very effective and recommended
      • questions about the video should begin with identifying/clarifying  what was seen and then move toward connecting with the topic being taught.
  • I have teens.  They  just don’t DO pair work.  Any way to convince them? (Teri)
    • This surprises me since they usually like to interact. However, each group is unique. I rarely give them a chance to consider whether or not they like to be in pairs…I just quickly assign them their partner and a task and I always announce less time than is truly needed to complete the task so as to create a sense of urgency for them to complete their work.
  • Can Joe recommend some books about guided meditations? (Bonnie)
  • Is there a correlation between the number of students and the success of discipline strategies? (Janet)
    • Absolutely! I’m amazed at how often a catechist will begin telling me about their discipline problems only to reveal that they have 25, 30, even 40 students! A volunteer catechist without teacher training should NEVER be put in that situation. The ideal size is 15 max and even that can be a handful for many of us! Typically, the smaller the group, the more control a catechist has.
  • How can get the certification por attending the Webinar? (Gloria)


About Joe Paprocki 2748 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 www.catechistsjourney.com.

3 Comments on Webinar Follow-up

  1. Joe,

    Thanks for creating this wonderful tool for all catechists and catechetical leaders to use, and for bringing us into the 21st century!!!!!

    I face the challenge of helping catechists to understand the importance of formation. I would like to offer my catechists three possible formation tracks to choose from, one being your webinars. Is that okay by you to utilize your Catechist Journey webinars as a formation option?

    Thanks again for all you do for the advancement of our ministries.

    • Absolutely, Mary Ellen…I’m honored that you would choose to use my webinars as a formation track. We plan on offering more come August…stay tuned!

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