Did you realize that the Bible begins with a craft activity? The Creation stories of Genesis chapters one and two tell us that, out of the Divine imagination, God crafted the heavens and the earth, animals and plant life, night and day, oceans and sky, and human beings. That’s quite a craft activity! For this reason, crafts have always played a part in faith formation and deservedly so: when we craft something, we are imitating […]
Here we are in January, 2021, halfway through a teaching year unlike any other! Because of the pandemic, many Catholic school teachers and catechists needed to jump into the world of eLearning and still face the possibility of several more months in the eLearning world. We here at Catechist’s Journey would like to help by offering the following: First, we’d like to host a conversation right here about what you have learned about eLearning and […]
With vaccinations arriving, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel as far as the pandemic goes. In the meantime, however, many of our in-person activities are still being limited. For many children, a First Reconciliation retreat is part of their preparation at the parish. Since the present crisis precludes such gatherings in many parishes, I offer some suggestions for doing a First Reconciliation retreat at home, in today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis. Here are some […]
This prayer originally appeared in my book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. See the related article: Promoting Catholic Identity: A Reverence for Scripture and Tradition.
Too often, we think of evangelization as something done by either professionals or fanatics. We can’t see ourselves going door-to-door or walking up to people and asking them if they’ve been saved or have encountered Christ. But there are other ways of evangelizing in our everyday lives. In my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, I talk about a evangelizing strategy that I refer to as “spiritual residue”—leaving traces […]
How does water change to ice or steam? Well, it doesn’t do it on its own. It requires a stimulus, namely a change in temperature. When water is cooled, the molecules slow down and are bonded together to form ice. When water is heated, the molecules speed up and break free from their bonds, thus creating steam. But none of that happens without the stimulus of temperature change. In a similar way, if we hope […]
Even before the pandemic hit, many catechetical ministers were reimagining their approaches to faith formation, with an eye toward a greater emphasis on evangelization. Of the many opportunities available to us to evangelize, one prominent one is parent sacramental preparation gatherings. Recently, I was asked by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to put together three videos on the topic of sacramental preparation as an opportunity for evangelization with an emphasis on First […]
Hope is built on promises, and Christian hope does not disappoint. Why? Because our hope is based on a promise kept. The birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of a promise that God made to his people long ago, to send a Savior through whom God would always be present. On Christmas, we celebrate a promise kept! As catechists, we are proclaimers of a promise kept. We are proclaimers of hope! Those we teach are […]
This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. See the related article: What Exactly Is Apprenticeship in Faith Formation?
Someone once asked me how we go about “switching gears” from Advent to Christmas. After I thought about it for a moment or two, I realized that we don’t switch gears, but rather, we allow ourselves to be transported by the liturgical calendar from one season to another. Liturgical seasons are defined not so much by what we do during each season, but rather by what that season does to us. We are formed by the […]