I read an article about researchers who analyzed data from hundreds of novels. They discovered that there are only six basic story types. I found this quite liberating; as a writer, I can have fun mixing the types of stories to create something new.
I sometimes take a similar approach to my catechetical ministry and mix some ideas that were shared here at Catechist’s Journey. This past spring, I did that while hosting a virtual session with young people preparing for Confirmation. I combined elements of the Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations with a scavenger hunt.
Since the session’s focus was specifically on the Sacrament of Confirmation, I only concerned myself with the signs and symbols of that sacrament. I used those signs and symbols, as explained in the learning stations activity, to come up with ideas for items the young people should find during their scavenger hunt.
First, I asked the young people to find something they do with or wear on their hands. One young person brought to the screen his video game controller. I brought out an alligator puppet, which elicited a few smiles. I then described the ritual action of the laying on of hands in Confirmation.
Next, I asked the kids to find something they wear on their head. I came back wearing my bike helmet. One of the young people came back wearing a Chicago Cubs ballcap. I explained that queens and kings wear crowns on their heads and that anointing with oil was a sign used in ancient times to confer royal authority. That led me to explain the sacrament’s action of anointing with oil.
To introduce the words, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit,” which they will hear at Confirmation, I asked the young people to find something that protects them. One participant shared her rosary with the group. I explained that the seal of the Holy Spirit marks and protects us.
Finally, I asked the young people to find something that leads or guides them. One young person brought his dad to the screen, while another showed us her journal. I then explained that our bishop leads, guides, and protects his diocese, and through his office, the Church leads us to Christ. I reminded the Confirmation candidates that the bishop will be the one to confirm them.
This ended up being a fun session that engaged the young people during our virtual gathering. I was pleased this activity allowed me to be creative in applying and combining wonderful resources and activities that I’ve read about on Catechist’s Journey.
How have you applied some of the ideas you’ve read about on this blog?