Intergenerational Catechesis

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending an intergenerational catechetical event at St. Raphael parish in Naperville, Illinois. The DRE, Jane Ehrlich, does a fantastic job of catechizing the entire parish! I was amazed at the amount of planning and coordination that must go into such an event for about 700 people! The evening began with dinner (pizza and salad) in the gym followed by an opening experience in the church. This experience served […]

Examination of Conscience – A Meditation

Last night, I prepared the young people to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation by leading them in a meditative examination of conscience. First, we talked about the practical steps involved in going to confession. I was pleased to find that in general, they were very familiar with how to go to confession and very relaxed about it. This can be credited to the program offering the sacrament twice a year: Advent and Lent. For […]

If the Grinch Stole the Sacraments

Tonight, I’ll be preparing the young people for the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (next Monday). I like to take this opportunity to deal with the question that is foremost on their minds: “why do I have to tell my sins to the priest?” To answer this, it’s best to put this one sacrament in the context of our entire sacramental outlook as Catholics. To be sacramental is to see the presence of God reflected […]

Stewardship of Our Learning Spaces

Like many (most?) catechists, I share a learning space – a classroom – with a Catholic school teacher. I realize the tensions that can arise from one group using a room that “belongs” to another group. I was a Catholic school teacher for 9 years and recall my room being used by numerous groups for after-school activities, so I know this experience from both sides of the fence. I’d like to offer a few thoughts. […]

Making Reading More Engaging

Oops…I almost titled today’s post Making Reading More Fun but then I realized that I had previously ranted about the obsession we catechists often have with making sure everything is fun!!! The key is to make learning more engaging (which makes it more fun anyway!) All that to say that last night’s activity made the reading of the textbook much more engaging. We sat around a long table with the Church history timeline spread out […]

Church Timeline Activity

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was very nice…relaxing and enjoyable. Waking up early this morning to go back to work was not easy! Tonight is our 4th session on Church history. I came up with another activity that reinforces the Church history timeline powerpoint that I used the 1st two weeks of the unit. Here’s the scoop: I printed out the “slides” from the Powerpoint (37 in all) and fixed each […]

We Are at Our Best when Giving Thanks

As a Eucharistic people, giving thanks is what we do best! Of course, the word eucharist means thanksgiving. So, for us Catholics, thanksgiving is not a once-a-year holiday…it is what we do each and every time we gather for the Sacred Liturgy. We recognize that all good gifts come for our good and gracious God and that “it is right to give him thanks and praise!” And so, as we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, we […]

Our 25th Anniversary

Permit me a few days off from blogging as my wife and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this weekend! Thank you, Lord God, for the blessings of these past 25 years! Thank you for the blessing on my wife and children. May the Spirit guide us into the next 25 years and beyond!

H.E.L.P. with the 4 Pillars of the Catechism

I was thinking this morning about how to explain the Catholic faith to someone in such a way that it can be grasped in simple terms (no easy task for a faith that is actually quite complex). It occurred to me that the Church already provides a simple structure for talking about our faith through the “4 pillars” of The Catechism of the Catholic Church: Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer. Even so, I was looking […]

Team Work!

I look forward to a couple of opportunities to work as a team with the other 8th grade catechists. First, this Monday, we will show the Church History timeline Powerpoint to the other 3 classes that have not seen it. My class will be run by Kris, my aide, and the other 3 classes will gather together in one room for the presentation. We will divide up the periods of church history so that each […]

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