Stories on the Journey: Not Bad, If I May Say So Myself

We’re spending time this summer sharing stories from our own experiences as catechists. This week’s topic is, “Not Bad, If I May Say So Myself.” Let’s hear your stories about a time when you felt that a session you led went particularly well. In all humility, sometimes you just gotta give yourself a pat on the back—and a word of thanks to the Holy Spirit! Share your story here on Catechist’s Journey by typing in the comments section […]

Stories on the Journey: Well, That Didn’t Go as Planned

We’re continuing to share stories from our experiences as catechists. This week’s topic is, “Well, That Didn’t Go as Planned.” Let’s hear your stories about a time when your lesson plan didn’t quite work out as you planned and what you learned from the experience. Share your story here on Catechist’s Journey by typing in the comments section at the end of this post. Keep your story brief; one or two paragraphs is fine. Return each day […]

Stories on the Journey: Kids (and Adults) Say and Do the Darndest Things

Catechists are some of the best storytellers in the world, and we don’t have to travel far to find good stories to share. So many of them happen right under our noses and involve those we teach. With that in mind, I thought we’d spend some time this summer sharing stories from our own experiences as catechists. This week’s topic is, “Kids (and Adults) Say and Do the Darndest Things!” Let’s hear about those unforgettable moments […]

A Message of Encouragement

Julianne Stanz shares a message of encouragement and thanks for those who minister in Catholic parishes. She says, “Never doubt that you have been called by God to minister at this time in the life of the world. He called you, because he knows that the world needs you and your gifts. Jesus is with you in everything that you do.” Stanz is the author of Start with Jesus: How Everyday Disciples Will Renew the […]

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 […]

Growing in Gratitude

In this series we will explore practices that can help us to develop a space for grace in our lives. As I explain in my book, Braving the Thin Places, the acronym GRACE can help us if we: G—Grow in gratitude R—Release regrets to rest and reset A—Authentic availability and acceptance C—Cultivate radical hospitality E—Embrace simplicity This article will focus on the first practice of GRACE, which is growing in gratitude. Encouraging our students to […]

Cultivating Peace in Our Classrooms in an Anxious World

We live in a fast-paced and increasingly anxious world that is clearly affecting the social, emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health of children. Studies published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics and based on data collected from the National Survey of Children’s Health indicate significantly increased rates of anxiety among children, youth, and young adults. Researchers found a 20 percent increase in diagnoses of anxiety for children ages 6–17 between 2007 and 2012. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Filling Your Home with Joy

The notion of a happy home can seem Pollyannish, given the complexities of family life in today’s very complicated world. Perhaps that’s because we tend to confuse the words happy and joyful. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that is influenced by exterior conditions, for instance sunshine makes me happy. But we all know that exterior conditions are not always favorable. Joy, on the other hand, is a deep-down gladness grounded in the love of Christ that […]

Like Learning a New Language, Faith Formation Requires Immersion

My New Year’s resolution this year was to learn Spanish. I was all set: I signed up for a 10-week course, purchased some resources, downloaded some apps, and began the journey. I made some good progress at first, especially as a result of the classes, and even spent extra time while on the train each day going over lessons and learning vocabulary. Then I hit the wall. My class didn’t meet for a couple of […]

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