Catechists in Action – Nick Teaches the Lesson

We’ve been watching 5th grade catechist Nick Yonto as he did preparations for his lesson and then gathered the children for prayer. Now, watch as Nick jumps into his lesson which is on the Eucharist as: memorial, meal, and sacrifice. Watch for how Nick…

  • begins with an engaging question, asking the kids to think of ways in their own lives that they try to remember things (setting the stage for talking about Eucharist as memorial). This is an example of what St. Ignatius calls “entering through their door but leaving through your door.”
  • uses the kids’ names when he calls on them.
  • offers personal examples and stories from his own experience.
  • asks the children a question as they are looking up the page in the book they will read from.
  • has the kids read “chunks” of the text, pausing often to expound, discuss, and ask questions.
  • has the kids write down the word EUCHARIST on a vocabulary sheet and copy a definition.
  • waits patiently when waiting for responses to his questions and often re-states the question to further prod/invite responses.
  • emphasizes his BIG IDEA: the Eucharist is memorial, meal, and sacrifice.



  • how do you attempt to “enter through their door” when beginning your sessions? i.e. how do you engage your students by inviting them to look at their own life experiences?
  • how willing are you to share personal stories and examples with your students?
  • how do you emphasize Catholic vocabulary and stress the BIG IDEA for your lesson?


About Joe Paprocki 2737 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

2 Comments on Catechists in Action – Nick Teaches the Lesson

  1. Joe – Thanks for going out amoungst the catechists to highlight teaching styles. Seeing someone in action really illustrates what we can do in our classes to help engage our students in the material.

    Nick – Your style of teaching helps to bring the lesson to life. The children in your class are fortunate to have you as a teacher.

    Thanks again to both of you,

  2. Hi Nick, I am a trainer with TCI, History Alive & was so excited to hear that you had those great lessons in your life! More exciting is how you are now applying those teaching strategies to your lessons. It certainly makes a difference with their interest level, understanding & retention! Outstanding. Thanks Joe for sharing.

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