The Question of Doubt

In a recent class, one of the young people asked if it was OK to doubt aspects of religion. I was happy for this question, because I think others probably wonder the same thing but are afraid to ask. I told the young lady it was absolutely OK—and normal even—to doubt, but that she also had to consider why she was having doubts about a particular issue. For instance, was the doubt due to struggling […]

Hidden Heroes Helping Me in My Catechetical Vocation

I make it a daily practice to ask the Lord to bless the people I love, people I like, people I have no strong feelings for one way or another, and people I have strong negative feelings toward. I will imagine as much detail as I can about each person, hold that image in my heart, and pray, “Peace, Lord, give this person peace.” The biggest challenge for me in this practice is to think […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Using Technology

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. This year asks many of us to try new technologies in spreading the Word of God. What has been your experience with technology in faith formation?

Pop-Up Catechesis: The World Day of the Sick

Let’s face it: being sick is no fun. Serious illness is one of the most depressing things we can face in life. Not only does it make us feel powerless, it also makes us feel alone and isolated. For this reason, the Church encourages us to practice the corporal work of mercy of visiting the sick. Even if we can’t care in-person for those who are sick—especially during the pandemic—we can let others know that […]

An Icebreaker for Remote Learning Sessions: The One-Minute Challenge

Like many catechists, I have had the novel task this year of teaching faith formation remotely. My students are second graders preparing for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Late last summer, when we were told that we would be moving to remote learning, I spent hours watching webinars on remote catechesis, viewing videos from teachers on distance learning, and joining in teacher Facebook groups for online teaching. I was grateful to find the template […]

Adult Baptism Interests Children

An established syllabus and well-planned lessons can be key to effective catechesis. But what happens when we’re ready to move on to the next activity or lesson and our class isn’t? I’ve written before about how going with the conversational flow can lead to interesting places we hadn’t anticipated, but what happens when the conversation continues over a few weeks rather than a few minutes? It happened to me last year when I taught a […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Crafting Faith

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 […]

eLearning: What Have We Learned? What Do We Need to Learn?

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 […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Apprenticeship

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?

Make This Word Part of Your Catechetical Vocabulary: Mystagogy

When I worked for my Uncle Joe at his pharmacy back in the day, he once had me use his car to make some deliveries. With the sun shining in my eyes, I pulled down the visor, which resulted in a number of small slips of paper falling into my lap. I glanced at the slips of paper and saw a list of words with definitions. When I asked my uncle about those slips, he […]

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