Catechists as Echoes (Part IV): Echoes of Mercy

This is the final article in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (2015–16) was an opportunity for the Catholic Church—and for each one of us—to reflect on the merciful love of God the Father (Luke 6:36). Holy doors were opened in every diocese throughout the world as symbols of hope, healing, and love to announce the mercy of God, “the beating […]

St. Barnabas Family Catechesis: A Walk Through the Mass

This past Sunday was our penultimate parent session as far as delivering content. (Our May gathering will be a Pentecost celebration!) Our focus was on the Eucharist as that which sustains us, and we primarily did a “walk-through” of the parts of the Mass. Here’s a summary of how things went: Attendance remained steady, which was good to see; it has not fluctuated much from month to month since about November. I was “flying solo” […]

Family Catechesis: Reporting from Inside the Home

Recently, I had the privilege and pleasure of being invited into the home of a family to observe a mom working with her third-grade son on a Finding God faith formation lesson! I’m excited to share my observations of this wonderful experience. Mrs. K. is participating in the Finding God family catechesis program at St. Barnabas Parish. As regular readers know, I have been volunteering there this year to lead the monthly parent sessions. Mrs. […]

Bringing Children with Disabilities to the Sacraments

Most of us are familiar with the tool for cropping an image on our computer or smartphone. While we intentionally crop images to center attention on a specific focal point, sometimes we unintentionally crop out features that are critical to telling the whole story. For too long, people with disabilities have been “cropped out” of the total picture of our faith communities. When Loyola Press courageously decided to create faith formation resources for people with […]

St. Barnabas Family Catechesis: The Mass and the Eucharist

It’s hard to believe that we have only three more monthly sessions of family catechesis at St. Barnabas for this catechetical year! The time has flown, and we continue to learn about the most effective approaches to engaging the whole family in faith formation. Soon I will be posting about my experience of visiting the home of one of the families in the family catechesis program to observe the parents working together with their child […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part III): Echoes of Truth

This article is the third in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” “What is truth?” This is a question that we as a culture continually wrestle with; in the last few years, it seems that the truth has been put on trial and found guilty. It is a time when what is presented as true is actually false, and what is false is considered true. Truth seems […]

Poll Question: How Often Do You Use Technology?

While the young people we teach are “digital natives” (They were born and raised on the “digital continent.”), many of us catechists can be considered “digital immigrants” (Technology is like a second language for us.). With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick poll to see where catechists are when it comes to using technology in faith formation. More importantly, I look forward to reading your comments about your […]

St. Barnabas Family Catechesis: Learning About Catholic Identity

Yesterday, we had our March session of Finding God family catechesis, and our topic was Catholic identity (part of Finding God Unit 3, which focuses on the topic of Church). We had a very good session! Here are some highlights: We welcomed back Patrick McGowan, our catechetical leader, after a medical leave. Patrick remained with me to do the parent session since Deacon Andy was unavailable. One of the catechists stepped in to Patrick’s usual […]

Family Catechesis Catechists Teaching Once Per Month: What’s That Like?

In many family catechesis programs, such as the one I’m participating in at St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago, the parish catechists are limited to leading sessions with children once per month while parents complete the remaining sessions of a unit with their children at home. This, of course, is very different from the traditional practice of parish catechists leading sessions on a weekly basis. At the same time, it accomplishes what many catechists have been […]

Catechetical Formation Series Now Available in Spanish

I am very excited to announce that our popular online formation and training experience for catechists, the Catechetical Formation Series, is now available in Spanish! Introducing Serie de formación catequética! The Catechetical Formation Series is a program I developed for Loyola Press to provide basic training and formation for catechists in the areas of being, knowing, and doing. As the program grew in popularity, along with that came requests for a Spanish version. To guide […]

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