In my book, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, I emphasize the need for meaningful experiences of prayer and effective storytelling as crucial elements for a more evangelizing catechesis. As a Church, we have been praying and storytelling for more than 2,000 years, so these are nothing new. What is new, however, is the digital world of which we are all now citizens! The digital world has opened up new opportunities for us to do storytelling more effectively and to engage others in meaningful experiences of prayer.
I’d like to share a couple of examples, one for each of the topics of prayer and storytelling.
Guided reflections, a form of prayer popularized by St. Ignatius of Loyola, are an important part of the faith formation experience. While guided reflections are not new, today’s catechist can take advantage of downloadable audio to provide learners with guided reflection experiences. Here is a sample of a grade 2 guided reflection, “The Vine and the Branches,” from the Finding God 2021 edition.
Our catechetical storytelling usually covers three areas: Scripture stories, stories of the saints, and stories of our own experiences of grace. When it comes to Scripture stories, it can help for learners to listen to a downloadable audio version of the story in order for it to “come to life” and more effectively engage their imaginations. Here is a sample of a grade 5 recorded Scripture story, “Jesus Feeds the Crowd,” from the Finding God 2021 edition.
These downloadable audio files of Scripture stories and guided reflections can be found on the Spoken Word Digital Playlists (one playlist per grade level, K–8), each including five Scripture stories and five guided reflections for only $9.99. Find links to each grade level’s playlist beginning here in the Loyola Press Digital Catalog.
Prayer and storytelling are timeless treasures of our Catholic faith. However, in today’s digital world, we can use new methods for helping learners to encounter Jesus through prayer and storytelling with a digital twist!