Beatitudes and the Catechist: Blessed Are They Who Mourn

This is the second article in a series exploring the Beatitudes as they relate to being a catechist. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) Happy are the catechists who can take time to be with God, for they will find the joy of knowing God’s love. A few weeks ago, I attended a catechist training at my parish. We went over safety procedures and were shown how to use […]

May I Speak to Vincent, Please?

This is an excerpt from Thrift Store Saints: Meeting Jesus 25¢ at a Time by Jane Knuth. September 27 is the feast day of St. Vincent de Paul and therefore, by association, it is also the feast day of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. There are still times when I get caught unprepared for a rush on a particular saint, but that’s not going to happen this September 27. I have ordered a box […]

Take Time to Celebrate

At the end of the religious education year, there’s often a flurry of activity—final preparations for First Communion and Confirmation, May Crowning, early start on registrations for next year, and catechist recruitment before summer break. But it’s important that we take time to celebrate the year completed and savor its graces. Our parish did that in a tangible way with a special dinner for catechists and others who make religious education possible: crossing guards, aides, […]

10 Memorable Moments in Catechesis

Editor’s note: Today we kick-off a celebration of our 10th anniversary here at Catechist’s Journey. Ten years ago, Joe Paprocki started writing about the joys and frustrations of his classroom catechetical experiences. Since that time, we’ve welcomed a group of regular contributors to this blog to share their wisdom and experiences in the field of religious education. In honor of our anniversary, we’ll have special posts all this week and next Monday (the actual anniversary […]

The Gift of a Less-Than-Perfect Year

Another year of faith formation classes has come to an end, and I’ve got a big smile on my face and a few tears in my eyes. This has been my sixth year of teaching third-grade religious education classes at my parish, and as I look back on the year, I know I will happily sign up to teach again next year. This wasn’t my best year. I missed classes due to illness; I didn’t […]

Hidden Gems the Holy Spirit Hides

When I think about how I teach my class, I tend to highlight those lesson plans that were spectacular or sessions when I left feeling confident that that my students truly understood the lesson. I tend to forget—or ignore—those times when I felt “off,” when I didn’t prepare as much as I would have liked, or when I lacked confidence in my own understanding of the material. However, I have found that those classes are […]

Will God Wipe Us Out?

In my third-grade faith formation class, the story of Noah’s Ark came up while we were discussing another topic. One of the girls asked, “If God punished the whole world with a flood and wiped everyone out because of sin, could he wipe us all out as well? We are all sinners.” My immediate thought was, “Wow, what an incredible question!” I loved that she remembered a previous lesson when we had talked about how […]

Not Every Year Will Be Like This One

Another catechetical year has ended, and I have to admit that I am glad this one is over. I had a challenging class this year, and many of my tried-and-true methods didn’t reach this group. There were good moments, but there were more frustrating ones. So today I am writing especially to the first-year catechists: Your year might have been a resounding success or not, but not every year will be like this one. Reflect […]

Assessing the Year of Faith Formation

Our year of faith formation has ended at my parish. It is both a happy and sad time for me as a catechist. I’m thrilled to see my class of third graders move on, but I’m also sad to see them go after our year together. Our DRE asks us catechists at the end of each year to commit to teaching again the following fall and allows us first choice on the grade level. Before […]

Faith Formation for Parents: Bruce’s Story

As he sat down, he leaned to the mom next to him and whispered, “Don’t ask any questions; I want to get out of here before eight!” This was Bruce*, a 40-something professional man whose daughter Denise was enrolled in our Confirmation program. The setting was a parent session offered before the children’s sacramental preparation began. Bruce rarely went to church, had little to no spiritual life, and no real knowledge of his Catholic faith […]

1 2 3 13