A Language of Mystery

Funny how a segue I had planned for my class this past Monday turned out to be one of the most significant moments of the entire session, thanks to one of my students and the Holy Spirit. I was seeking to introduce the concept of SIGNS and how we encounter Jesus through the signs we call the Sacraments. I invited 3 volunteers to come forward for a “contest.” I had 3 clear plastic cups on a […]

A Gift from Jesus

At the end of my workshop In Hartford, CT, on Saturday (speaking on leading guided reflections), a priest came up to chat with me. I hesitate to call him an elderly priest because, although he was obviously up there in years, he had such a youthful attitude that it made him seem quite young. Anyway, the priest was telling me how he’s been doing guided reflections in catechesis for many years and that one thing […]

Using Current Events – Rescue in Chile

A very effective way to begin any religious education class is to focus on some current event and use it as an opportunity to segue into your lesson. The current story of the amazing rescue of trapped miners in Chile is a perfect example. I had no class this week because of Columbus Day however I have no doubt that I will find a way to use this story in my class for this upcoming […]

Good Voices & Bad Voices

The most successful part of yesterday’s class was our discussion of which voices we should listen to in order to shape a good conscience and which voices we need to avoid or “erase” in order to avoid temptation. First, I brought in a mini-cassette recorder and passed it around so that each child could say something which they really enjoyed. I played it back and they all got a kick out of listening to themselves […]

Except for Bathroom Breaks…

Except for an excessive number of requests to go the the bathroom, last night’s class was extremely successful! 🙂 Although I had informed the kids on the first class that they needed to go to the bathroom before coming to class, last night at least 5 kids asked to go at separate times! It breaks up the momentum and takes my aide out of the classroom. Other than that, however, the class was extremely successful. […]

Trust Me!

In my ongoing efforts to teach according to a principle set forth by St. Ignatius of Loyola—”When teaching, enter through their door, but be sure to leave through your door”—I have found a couple of cute video clips that fourth graders should be able to relate to as a way of introducing the concept of trust and how God can be trusted because he kept his promise of salvation. The first is the Geico insurance […]

Blessed be the LORD, My Rock

For today’s class, we will be focusing on how we can trust in God, who is our “Rock” (drawing from Psalm 144:1). To reinforce the idea, I’m giving each of the students a rock with the words “Blessed be the LORD, my rock” Ps 144:1 Where did I get these from? It so happens that I live near some railroad tracks, so I went over there and picked out a number of gray rocks with […]

May Crowning – Revisiting a Popular Post from Last Year

Last year, I posted about May Crownings during the month of May and it was a very popular post with lots of feedback. I invite you to take a look and, if you have some new comments, insights, or thoughts to share on the topic of May Crownings, leave them here on this post. Likewise, here’s a link to a post from last year about May Crowning from a blogger named Mary G. in Virginia!

Passport to the Holy Land – Pics!

You may recall that during Lent, I passed along some info about a friend of mine, Victor Valdez (DRE at St. Athanasius, Mountain View, CA), who was organizing a special event for his religious education program titled Passport to the Holy Land, 2010. Recently, Victor sent me an email reporting that the event came off very nicely and he sent along the following description with some very nice pics of the event. Enjoy! Passport to […]

The Story of the Cross

Recently, I was asked by the folks at Loyola Press to share a “staff favorite” with regards to LP resources for families with young children. I chose to recommend The Story of the Cross. Here’s my little blurb about this excellent resource. Speaking of the Cross, last evening, the 8th graders put on the Living Stations and did a nice job. Three of my students had roles: the narrator, a Roman centurion, and crowd member. […]

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