Session 1: God Keeps No Secrets (9/17/13)

After being postponed for one week due to excessive heat in Chicago, our first session of religious education for the 2013-14 catechetical year takes place tomorrow evening! Thank goodness temps are back where they belong for September in Chicago!

19269221The focus of 6th grade religious education is primarily on the Old Testament so, with that in mind, this first session will serve as an introduction to the Bible as one of the most important ways that God reveals himself and his plan of salvation to us. Revelation is the opposite of keeping secrets! Thus, my theme: “God Keeps No Secrets!”

The essence of the session will be twofold:

  1. introducing the various components of our weekly sessions (ritual for setting the prayer table, opening prayer, “sacred space,” etc)
  2. introducing the Bible as a source of Revelation.

I’m happy to share my session plan with you but first I must add a disclaimer, especially for new catechists: don’t be intimidated by the detail of my lesson plan! For the sake of my blog, I include FAR more details than is really necessary – I want people to be able to see inside my head (scary!) and get an idea of the nuances of a catechetical session. In essence, I am voluntarily placing myself under the microscope in order to assist you in your “research.” Don’t feel that you need to produce session plans in such great detail. Likewise, I have FAR more time to spend on this task since it is my full-time job!

BTW, the form I’m using for my session planning this year is something I just developed recently and you are welcome to use it and to share it with others. It is simply a “protected” Word Document with fill-in fields: you can open the document and, when you’re done looking at my lesson, you can delete all of the sections in red font and save it as an empty document to use yourself!

First, here it is as a PDF (opens more quickly) followed by the Word format I mentioned above (be patient…it takes a little time to open)

Session 1 Plan – God Keeps No Secrets (9-17-13) (PDF)

Session 1 Plan – God Keeps No Secrets (9-17-13) (MS Word)

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


    • Hi Mimi….it’s a secret coded message that, when revealed, spells out: “Let all who thirst, come to the water” and it is coded by each letter being the previous letter of the alphabet. Thus, the code for LET is MFU and so on. If they can “crack” the code, the rest is easy.

  1. Hi Joe. Our inter-generational session here in Altoona, IA will use this activity for October. Our theme is “Does God Speak to Us?”, so we will have them break the code to earn their dessert. What a great way to introduce revelation! Granted cookies are not a necessity, like water, but the lesson will be clear.
    Thanks for your sharing. I read them every week!

    • Glad to be of help, Patsy! Let us know how things turn out! My best to the folks in Altoona, IA, one of my all time favorite stops on my Catechist’s Journey!

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