Feedback on Welcome to God's Library DVD

Not too long ago, I offered information about my “new” DVD, Welcome to God’s Library. Read the details here: I wanted to pass along some very nice feedback I received from a catechist by the name of Vera: Dear Joe, A few days ago I watched the Welcome to God’s Library DVD and was impressed with how you un-complicated the Bible. I’ve always thought that I had to memorize where certain stories were in […]

Living Stations of the Cross

Last night, the 8th graders did the Living Stations of the Cross and they did a beautiful job. They showed a reverence that was very refreshing. 4 of my students had prominent roles: narrator, Simon of Cyrene, Veronica, and one of the women of Jerusalem. I was very proud of them and of all the 8th graders, including the rest of my group that behaved well as part of the assembly. Kudos to our DRE, Arlene, […]

Internet and Kids

Here are some interesting facts about how the Internet has influenced kids’ traditional viewing habits: 64% of kids report going online while watching TV, with 49% of Teens doing the same from three times a week to several times a day. 73% of kids are actively multitasking, which is up by +33% since 2002. 50% of 9 to 17-year-olds visit websites they see on TV even as they continue to watch 45% of teens have […]

It’s Boring!

How often do we hear kids say, either about Mass or about religious education class, “It’s boring”? Too often, I’m sure. Kids (and most of us in general) are engaged when there is drama involved.  That’s why sports is so big…we don’t know how the game is going to turn out and so we are engaged. Movies and video games are big because we don’t know how they will end. One of the challenges we […]

Words of Encouragement

After a tough night last night with my 8th graders, just 5 days before their Confirmation, I felt very much in need of some words of encouragement this morning. Thankfully, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI offered the following words a few days ago speaking to parents, teachers, priests, and catechists about the importance of education: VATICAN CITY, FEB. 25, 2008 ( Although it is difficult to educate the children and youth of today in goodness, […]

NIU – Where's the Monster?

There’s a popular children’s book featuring Grover from Sesame Street titled There’s a Monster at the End of This Book! I remember reading this book to my daughter when she was little. Throughout the book, loveable furry Grover begs the reader not to turn the page for fear that there is a monster at the end of the book. At the end, Grover says, “oops, I am so embarrassed” because the monster at the end of […]

Tragic Deja Vu

It is with great sadness that I provide a link to my 4/16/07 post that followed the Virginia Tech shootings. In that post, I offered some strategies for helping children to cope with disaster. In light of the shootings at Northern Illinois University yesterday, I’m aware of the fact that some of us catechists may find ourselves in a situation where it would be prudent for us to speak about the incident. My thoughts and prayers […]

Ya Gotta Laugh

Last night, we took our classes to church for the Lenten Sacrament of Reconciliation. For the most part, they behaved very well and it was a very nice service (it includes individual confessions which means the kids need to behave for a long stretch of time). My aide, Kris, and I were talking afterwards about how funny the kids can be. While some of the behavior can be a bit maddening, most of it makes […]

Getting Parents of Older Kids to Attend

Here are some great thoughts from a contributor named Maura about how they get parents of older kids to attend a few RE events at their parish: Our solution to getting parents of older students to attend has been to build their participation into an opening and closing session for the Jr. High schedule. Parents are asked to attend the first and last class of the year with their child during which we do a […]

Parents Were No-Shows

Last night, our religious education Open House attracted a number of parents of children in the lower grades, however, for the upper grades, the parents were nowhere to be found. I asked the young people at the start of class if any of their parents would be attending and they all said no, one of them saying, “My mom says it’s the same thing every year, so why bother?” That’s disappointing. I would have loved […]

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