Stories on the Journey: Kids (and Adults) Say and Do the Darndest Things

stories from the field

Catechists are some of the best storytellers in the world, and we don’t have to travel far to find good stories to share. So many of them happen right under our noses and involve those we teach. With that in mind, I thought we’d spend some time this summer sharing stories from our own experiences as catechists.

This week’s topic is, “Kids (and Adults) Say and Do the Darndest Things!” Let’s hear about those unforgettable moments when one of your students, whether a child or an adult, said or did something that cracked you up, made you smile, or simply blew your mind.

Share your story here on Catechist’s Journey by typing in the comments section at the end of this post.

  • Keep your story brief; one or two paragraphs is fine.
  • Return each day to read the stories that others are posting.
  • Feel free to comment on one another’s stories.
  • You need not share your full name; first names will do.

We did this activity a number of years ago and had so much fun. Take a look to get an idea of the kinds of stories to be shared.

I look forward to reading your stories. If they’re anything like the last time we did this, we’re in for a treat.

* All stories posted become property of Loyola Press and may be used in future publications. Read our full Site Comment Policy.

About Joe Paprocki 2746 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.

13 Comments on Stories on the Journey: Kids (and Adults) Say and Do the Darndest Things

  1. This happened at least 45 years ago (yes, I’ve been doing this for a long time). I was teaching a group of kindergarten kids about being “Christian”. As I went around the circle asking, “Bobby, are you a Christian?” He answered, “Yes, Mrs. Clapp.” Each answered in like until I got to Little Mary who answered, “No, Mrs. Clapp.” I asked her, “If you’re not a Christian, what are you?” She answered, “I’m Sagittarius.” I doubt a kindergartener these days are even aware of their zodiac sign but they’re pretty smart so maybe they do. LOL

    • First of all, Margaret Ann, thanks for your over 45 years of service as a catechist! Second, what a hilarious story!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ha! Great topic, Joe. Here’s a favorite personal moment with a child from a catechist who was a good friend.

    One day, one of his 6th Graders asked pointedly, “Mr. ___, why do you keep calling us Christians? We’re not Christians, we’re Catholics!” He said it took him a minute… LOL!

    • Hi Joyce! Ah yes, that’s a common one! I’ve heard that story from a number of catechists over the years! 😉

  3. During a 2nd Grade lesson on the Ten Commandments, we were discussing the commandment not to worship false gods. One little boy piped up, “Yeah, like Zeus!” I was impressed that this child had obviously had some exposure to Greek mythology AND that he knew that those gods are not real!

  4. For this story, we have to laugh to keep from crying! I once was observing a catechist in action and she was prompting her 2nd graders to identify the sacraments by doing a “fill-in-the-blank” type of exercise. So, for example, she said, “This is when the priest pours water on a baby…” and a child answered, “Baptism.” She eventually got to Matrimony and said, “This is when a man and a woman fall in love and they get…” a child blurted out, “Divorced.” The poor catechist was mortified but, I told her later, it’s a sign of the times we live in.

  5. I was teaching 4 year olds in a secular pre-school and we were saying words that had the “H” sound. All the kids piped up their answers and one child said, “Heaven.” Another child asked “What is heaven?” In reply I said, “What do you think heaven is?” One little girl said, “That’s where God lives with the angels in the clouds.” Another little boy looked confused, so I said to him, “You look confused.” He said in reply, ” I am. I thought that God lived in our hearts.” I replied back to him, “He does.” The boy went on to say, “If God lives in our hearts and in heaven, does that mean that we hold a piece of heaven in our hearts?” To which I said, “Yes, yes it does!” Truth out of the mouths of babes!

    • Wow, Fran, you couldn’t have scripted that any better! Indeed, “out of the mouths of babes” comes the Word of God…often in the least-expected place and at the least-expected time! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Now in my 27th year of teaching Religious Ed (CCD) to 2nd graders preparing for their 1st Communion, this story immediately popped into my head: We were discussing the Ten Commandments and after I had finished explaining each one briefly and in a way a 7/8 year old would understand, a hand went up. “Yes?” I asked. With a sad look on his face one of my little boys said, “I think my Mom broke a commandment.” A hush fell across the room. “Oh dear,” I thought to myself and silently prayed, “Lord, please help me with this one.” After a brief moment of complete silence in the room and before I could say a word, the little boy took a deep breathe and said, “She killed a fly.” After reassuring him that there were exceptions to “Thou shalt not kill,” I made sure to thank God for helping me once again.

    • Whew! Thanks goodness you were able to dodge that one, Karen! Kids are so literal aren’t they? Good thing they have people like you to grow in their understanding. Thanks for your 27+ years as a catechist!

  7. This is late but I had to reply. We were discussing going to heaven when we die, and one of my kindergarteners piped up with “ well that’s probably gonna be in like a thousand years.” Then he paused and looked right at me and said, “well….maybe not that long for you!” (I’m 70). It always tickles me when I think of it.

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