Entering Through Their Door & Knowing the Age Group You Teach: Early Childhood

Welcome to the first installment in our series, Entering Through Their Door & Knowing the Age Group You Teach, in which we will look at developmental stages of our learners. St. Ignatius of Loyola said that, when teaching or speaking to a group, it is always best to “enter through their door, but be sure to leave through your door.” His advice is that we need to take learners where they are and move them to the […]

Teaching Math with the Saints

I love the saints. These holy men and women of God not only teach me about how I can live my life as a daughter of God, but they help me teach math as well. This year our principal asked all teachers to have their students work on word problems every day. Since my math book has so few word problems, I had to write my own that I tailor to different saints. For example, […]

New Approaches in the Classroom

I’ve had a nagging restlessness regarding my lesson plans. I’ve used them for some time, and they’re as comfortable as my favorite slippers, but I found myself wondering if I’m really bringing the same level of enthusiasm and preparation to my classes as I did when those lesson plans were fresh. I tried some new things last year, like hallway shepherds and prayer cubes, and they went over well. Those activities required extra preparation and […]

Marking Catechetical Sunday: Tell ’em Why You’re Here!

For the 2019–20 catechetical year, Catechetical Sunday is September 15, 2019. It’s a day to celebrate the catechetical ministry and our call to teach the Gospel. The theme of Catechetical Sunday this year is “Stay with Us.” This year, I offer the following invitation/challenge to all catechists and Catholic school teachers: at some point during the first few days of sessions, as you introduce yourself and your syllabus or schedule, explain to those you are […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Build My Lessons

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. Give your catechists this book or others in the Toolbox series for only $6 each when you buy 15 or more copies. See details here. For more resources on planning and preparation, start with some of these Catechist’s Journey articles: 11 Tips for Catechists Planning Your Adult Faith Formation […]

More Microshifts for Catechists

Earlier this summer, we explored microshifts we can make as catechists to improve our ministry, inspired by Gary Jansen’s MicroShifts: Transforming Your Life One Step at a Time. Now two of our readers share the small changes they plan for the new year of faith formation. One small change I am always trying to integrate into my ministry as a catechist is to be more prepared with a slew of effective, impactful, and meaningful icebreakers—which […]

Celebrating the Wisdom of Elders

Encourage the children, youth, and families in your parish or school to acknowledge, celebrate, and learn from the wisdom of the generations in your community. Download resources inspired by Sharing the Wisdom of Time by Pope Francis and Friends, including: An Intergenerational Event to gather families together to recognize and honor the gifts and wisdom of the generations. Family Prayer Box activity for any classroom. Family Stories and Family Faith, a handout perfect for parents […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Thank You for Inviting Me

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. Give your catechists this book or others in the Toolbox series for only $6 each when you buy 15 or more copies. See details here.

A More Evangelizing Catechesis: What It Means and How to Achieve It

We catechists are constantly bombarded with words and phrases (e.g. divine pedagogy, missionary discipleship, evangelizing catechesis) that are intended to inspire our ministry but often leave us scratching our heads with regards to what they mean in practical terms and how we are to translate these concepts into actual strategies in our faith formation settings. One such phrase, as mentioned above, is evangelizing catechesis. Personally, I am convinced that we desperately need a more evangelizing […]

Prayer for Class Preparation

This prayer originally appeared as part of the post The Power of Prayer: Three Ways to Model Discipleship. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. Take a moment and ask yourself: does every activity in my parish point more deeply to Jesus? Julianne Stanz wants to help you and your parish community make sure the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!” Preorder Julianne’s new book, Start with Jesus: How Everyday Disciples Will […]

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