What’s Something New That You Tried This Year as a Catechist?

As we continue to review this past catechetical year, here’s my next question for you:

What’s something new that you tried this year as a catechist?

Every year, it helps to add some new things to your repertoire (or arsenal!) as a catechist. What new technique, strategy, approach, activity, mindset, etc. did you add this year?

Share your comments below under the “Leave a Reply” feature.

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 www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. In past years I’ve run color handouts of fine art to add some dimension to class discussion of the Resurrection, Annunciation, etc.

    This year I’ve been adding text to those handouts: something from the Missalette, the Bible, discussion questions the kids had to answer, etc. So when the kids get in the car after class, they have more than just a nice picture: they have a little evangelistic tool which the parents inevitably will have a look at.

    • I like that Christian! Thanks!

      On the Sunday program I have used the intercom system to say a decade of the rosary. Every child has rosarys in hand at their desks and I coordinate with the catechists the exact time I will be praying the rosary. Each week we say another decade until the specific mystery is completed and then onto another mystery.

      This year I have introduced music with aid of our Music director in church. I schedule a short prayer service between masses. and I am able to incorporate music within that prayer service. God is soooo Good!

  2. This year as Faith Formation Director, I invited the catechists to participate in the “Praying in Color” process. That was a wonderful addition to our 90 minute classes–in some classes it was used as a quieting process whereas in other classes as a summary of the lesson process. Most catechists used it once a month.

  3. As a new catechist (4th Grade), it’s all new — but one new thing that actually worked was having a bagful of puzzles (crosswords; find the word; fill in the blanks, etc.) to use when attention flagged. Our students immediately regained their focus, their competitive juices surged, and they rocked!

  4. I had a traveling Mary shrine. It was a shoe box with a statue of Mary,
    rosary beads, a book about Mary and a journal book with pen. Each a different student took home the shrine and wrote what it was like to
    have Mary in there home as guest. the kids enjoyed taking her home. I did
    this in the month of Octoeber.

  5. Because my mind is like a siv when it comes to remembering names. I gave all the children name tags on lanyards. We wore our name tags until January.

  6. We did Church history through “History in Hand” and had the students made sock puppets to tell the stories of the characters of the early church. We added to the scripts by writing stories about how religion was brought to the the United States and Chicago, and then how our church was established in the Archdiocese of Chicago by Cardinal Cody. The kids really got into both the craft, the stories, and the puppetry.

  7. We had 1st graders and the kids love to Move!
    especially after being in school all day so every 15 minutes we change activities group prayer, scripture based readings( with pictures visuals lamb puppets) etc, They love to play Jesus says we made up a game to simon says and we imitate all the animals and the creation story ie. jesus says be a tree be an elephant, be snake etc. ,then we have a circle and write a prayer of petition and thanksgiving we do a round robbin and the basket of prayers are place in the basket under the Eucharist at Eucharistic adoration. we have a secret saint of the week and learn about the saints. kids love structure and routine yet we keep it exciting with many good Lesson PLans filled with scripture based activities. the arts songs stories movement keep the kids excited about learning about Jesus!! the HOly Spirit keeps inspires us with great ideas!

  8. Great ideas from all. Any suggestions for a Family Night that would be held twice a year for our after school families on their regular class night but inviting both parents and children to attend. Perhaps a VBS type night with a specific topic OR a play the kids put on???? Anything you have tried and actually brings families in??

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