Connecting with Middle Schoolers on Zoom

In the past few months, I learned that middle-school students know what is going on in the world and are deeply affected by it. I learned that they understand the power of prayer, especially in interceding for others. I learned that they turn to God when they are scared. I learned that they love their families intensely. How did I learn this? I learned it during our weekly Zoom calls, during which I offered them […]

Connecting Generations Choice Board

Encourage connections between generations with our new choice board that invites children to learn about and develop deeper relationships with their elders. Give children choices by asking them to select and complete a set number of activities from the board: three-in-a-row, any four, or whatever number you choose. Activities include options for children to interview their grandparents, write a song, make a chart, and more. Celebrate a loved elder’s birthday, honor Grandparents Day, or mix […]

Rediscovering the Value of Crafts in Faith Formation

As families find themselves spending more time together at home during the ongoing pandemic, parents and children alike are stretching their imaginative muscles to fill extra time on their hands due to canceled activities. Many parents are rediscovering the value of doing crafts, especially as a way to teach faith to their children. Too often dismissed as “fluff,” craft activities in religious education can serve as effective concrete expressions of the concepts being taught. They can […]

Creating an Online Presence in One Week: A Tale of One Chicago Parish

When stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March because of the pandemic, many parish religious education programs found themselves facing unimaginable challenges. The main challenge, of course, was how to reach families and children who still had another six weeks of faith formation sessions left in the catechetical year. Many catechetical leaders and catechists all over the country responded with heroic efforts to sustain their programs through virtual contact. One such parish is St. Sylvester, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis Season 2

Thanks so much for the great response to our Pop-Up Catechesis feature. We initiated the series at the beginning of the quarantine as a way of supporting parents with ideas for making faith come alive in the home. Due to the favorable feedback we’ve received, we are going to continue featuring Pop-Up Catechesis here on Catechist’s Journey, with some minor changes. We originally created three episodes per week of Pop-Up Catechesis to respond to the immediate need […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Sharing Family Stories

Some years before my mom, Veronica, passed away, I videotaped her sharing stories of her life so that we could preserve them. My siblings, children, nieces, and nephews now all have copies of a DVD we call Ronnie’s Story. Family stories are sacred, and they pass along memories, values, and identity. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the value of sharing family stories, especially from the elderly members of our families. For more information […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Singing/Listening to Hymns

I have long asserted that if some “Grinch” came along and stole all of our Catholic faith formation textbooks and copies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and left us with only a hymnal, we would still be able to teach the Catholic faith! Catholic hymns are catechetical; in other words, they teach us about our faith. One great way to teach children about their Catholic faith is to introduce them to Catholic hymns—the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Blessing Your Children and Other Family Rituals

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the practice of blessing your children and other family rituals. Ritual actions have a way of conveying the sacred that words alone are incapable of. Children especially love rituals, because they communicate a sense of comfort and security, which can be particularly important during uncertain times such as this COVID-19 crisis. For more information about the power of rituals and especially rituals in the home, see the […]

“Flat Catechist” Encourages Faith Activities at Home

Like many catechists, I found myself in a strange, new place this spring when the coronavirus closed our parish and required us to suspend all activities. I was determined to find ways to stay connected with my first-grade class. I knew the parents were already feeling overwhelmed, so I wanted to create easy and engaging activities that would make them want to participate with their children. I also wanted to create something that had a […]

Announcing a New Online Catechetical Formation Series! And It’s Free!

Recently on Catechist’s Journey, we invited readers to participate in a poll indicating their preferences for catechist formation formats (reading a book, watching a video, attending a workshop or class, or online). Thanks to the many who responded! It is interesting to note how 22% (as of 3/12/2020) of those responding indicated a preference for online learning. And with the coronavirus keeping many of us at home, the option of online learning is helpful. With […]

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