Pop-Up Catechesis: Understanding Mystery

Whenever we recite the Nicene Creed, we say that we believe that God the Father is the creator “of all things visible and invisible,” which means that we believe in realities that exist beyond what the eye can see. Simply put, we believe, not only in the physical world, but also in the spiritual world. This means that we are called to be open to mystery. Unfortunately, our contemporary understanding of mystery does not do […]

Appreciating the Cultural Diversity of Families

Kathryn Bojczyk, Ph.D., suggests strategies to acknowledge the diverse cultures present in the classroom. Watch the below video for a preview of the strategies, and then read the full article that inspired the video: Recognizing and Appreciating the Cultural Diversity of Families.

Poll Question: What Is Your Class Size?

Every so often, a catechist will tell me about the challenges and difficulties he or she is having with the class one is teaching for faith formation. One of the first questions I ask is, “What’s your class size?” Too often, the reply is 20 or more participants! That may not sound like a lot; however, it is important to remember that most catechists are not professionally trained teachers, and handling a group of that […]

Strategies for Communicating with Parents

Kathryn Bojczyk, Ph.D., suggests strategies to improve communication about faith formation and to encourage more parent involvement. Watch the below video for a preview of the strategies, and then read the full article that inspired the video: Eight Strategies for Communicating with Parents.

Catechists as Mystagogues: Helping Others to Think, Speak, and Act Differently

As mystagogues, we catechists are called to invite and accompany others into the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. This transformative experience is essentially about embracing another way of being human: thinking, speaking, and acting as citizens of the Kingdom of God. In practical terms, this means that we must be about the work of helping others think, speak, and act differently! How do we do this? By encouraging and teaching Catholic practices. In many ways, […]

Equipping Parents to Share Eucharistic Adoration with Their Children

Several years ago, I was redesigning my First Communion retreat to make it more experiential, especially the portion where I have the parents by themselves for a few moments while the children are participating in another activity. I was contemplating how I could not only teach the parents about, but also allow them to experience the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, so that they could pass that gift on to their children. […]

Catechists as Mystagogues: Touching People’s Hearts

In his research about why some things go viral on social media, author Jonah Berger discovered that one of the main reasons is that the item provokes emotion, whether good or bad. Emotions play a key role in decisions that people make in all areas of their lives. Aware of this reality, marketers often tap into emotions in their advertising. One of the reasons that our faith formation efforts are struggling is because they too […]

Catholic Teachers’ Lounge Podcast

When I was a student at St. Ignatius College Prep, there was one room that I never explored: the teachers’ lounge. The teachers’ lounge was like a fortress or a sanctuary that no student was ever to enter (and rightly so). Several years later, when I returned to St. Ignatius to do my student teaching, I walked into the hallowed teachers’ lounge for the first time. There, to my astonishment, was my former Latin teacher, […]

Catechesis in the Urban Context: Using Urban Art to Reach Youth

My inner child is an inner-city kid. I grew up and lived the first 23 years of my life on the near West Side of Chicago, just a few blocks from Cook County Jail. It was and still is a wonderfully gritty, blue-collar, ethnic (80% Hispanic) neighborhood. While the area did and continues to face many challenges, I have mostly wonderful memories of growing up there. One of my fondest memories is of the mural, […]

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