I’m Out of Breath! Summary of 10/8/13 Session

Wow! Did we accomplish a lot last night! I’m still out of breath just thinking about how the evening went because we really packed in a lot and finished just under the wire! Here’s a summary of the highlights and lowlights:

  • HomeworkThe kids are doing a nice job on their homework assignments. Last night, 7 of 9 returned with their parents’ signature. 6 completed the assignment in its entirety (including one child with no parent signature), 2 partially completed, and 1 did not complete it at all (the other with no parent signature). Here’s my favorite…I love the “illuminated manuscript” at the bottom!
  • As we waited for everyone to arrive, we chatted about good things that happened in the past week as well as “lousy” things! That was fun.
  • After our opening procession and prayer, I had the kids complete a short multiple choice quiz on the Mysteries of the Rosary to see what they remembered from the previous week (I let them use their notes) and 3 of them got a perfect score (that’s not to say they can name all of the Mysteries…they just answered questions about the Mysteries correctly).
  • I invited one of the young ladies to share her knowledge of how to say the Rosary since she said she had learned from her parents and grandparents. She was happy to share but a little timid and unsure of herself at a couple of points but I was there to clarify. After she finished, I asked another volunteer to take us through the Rosary and one young lady did quite well identifying what prayer we pray on which bead, etc.
  • We then prayed the Rosary (Sorrowful Mysteries) and the kids participated nicely and with reverence. It took about 15-20 mins and afterward we talked about how it “felt” and I pointed out how much calmer they all were. My wife added some nice thoughts about when and why we might pray the Rosary, especially when we are experiencing fear and anxiety. She also explained how to dedicate each decade to someone for whom you wish to pray.
  • We then shifted to our Bible Boot Camp and used my Bible Bookmarks from The Bible Blueprint to go through the 8 sections of the Bible and to locate the following 8 stories/passages:
    • Pentateuch – any Moses story
    • History – any David story
    • Wisdom – Psalm 100
    • Prophets – the prophet Jeremiah
    • Gospels – the crucifixion
    • Acts of the Apostles – the coming of the Holy Spirit
    • Letters – a letter to the people of Galatia
    • Revelation – the phrase “Yes, I am coming soon” near the end of the Bible
  • This went very nicely and really kept their attention…they were totally engaged, however, with time running out, we really had to rush to get through all 8 sections. Somehow, we DID!
  • I sent them home with their Bibles and an accompanying Homework Sheet that explained to their parents what the kids learned and invited them to have their kids demonstrate how quickly they could find the above 8 stories/passages. I told the kids this would be their chance to “show off!”

My wife and I were exhausted when all was said and done and we couldn’t believe we accomplished as much as we did. Of course, next week, we’ll have to check back to see how much they REALLY learned! Finishing a lesson on time is not a guarantee of a successful lesson…but it’s a start!


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.

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