Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Our Last Monthly Session for the Year

Finding God Family Catechesis tools
We will have our last monthly session (not counting a celebration in May) for family catechesis at St. Barnabas on Sunday, April 28, as we explore the theme of Unit 5 of the Finding God series: “The Moral Life: Stop Trying to Fix Yourself!” Here’s a quick peek at the plan:

  • Our learning outcomes are:
    • Explain how we are all created in the image and likeness of God.
    • Describe how being in a relationship with Jesus makes us want to make good choices.
    • Discuss the terms actual grace, mortal sin, Original Sin, sanctifying grace, and venial sin.
  • After the opening prayer, we’ll do a brief family activity about family resemblances and liken those to the notion of our call to resemble God—to live in the imago Dei.
  • After sending the children and their catechists to their lessons, I will lead the parents through a deeper understanding of the realities of grace and sin and the role each of those realities plays in our efforts to reflect God’s image—since we are made in the image and likeness of God.
  • We’ll explore the meaning of actual grace and invite parents to share thoughts about times that they felt nudged by God—times when it felt like God was trying to get their attention.
  • We’ll then delve into a deeper understanding of sanctifying grace—the sustaining grace that comes from being in an ongoing relationship with God. We’ll talk about examples of relationships in their lives (friends, family, spouses, etc.) that sustain them.
  • Next, we’ll talk about how grace cannot be earned. Then we’ll watch a brief video introduction to Ignatian spirituality, which sees all of reality as infused with God’s grace, thus enabling us to find God in all things.
  • Next, we will talk about the concepts of Original Sin; the differences among accidents, mistakes, and sin; steps for making good moral choices; and mortal and venial sin.
  • We will then talk about how doing an examination of conscience is not about “beating ourselves up” but is about the desire to be a better person. We will watch a brief video clip from the movie, As Good as It Gets, in which the character played by Jack Nicholson says the famous line, “You make me want to be a better man.”
  • Finally, we will conclude with the notion that when it comes to sin, we are incapable of saving ourselves. We need a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ!
About Joe Paprocki 2739 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

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