Teaching to Generation Me (aka Gen Y; Millennials)

Recently I had the pleasure of reading Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever Before (Jean M Twenge, M.D., Free Press, 2006). In her book, Dr. Twenge, herself a member of “Generation Me” (aka, Millennials, Gen Y), those born in the 70s through the 90s, uses findings from a large intergenerational research study (1.3 million respondents over six decades) to reveal how profoundly different today’s […]

Why Do We Give Money on First Communions?

A few days ago, I posted about the Easter Season being a “festival of sacraments.” Well, today is one such day as we celebrate my nephew’s First Communion. It is a beautiful bright and sunny spring day…a “storybook” First Communion-type day. Of course the weather has nothing to do with the encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, but God IS revealed through the beauty and wonder of creation and the nice weather serves to reinforce […]

Help Catholic Children Grow Into Catholic Adults

If we want our young Catholics to grow into adult Catholics, then maybe we ought to start treating them like “equals.” As catechists, those we teach are typically baptized and in full communion. They may not yet be confirmed but they are no less a disciple of Christ than any of us adults. Perhaps that’s why Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the youth of Brazil in the following terms: “You are the youth of the […]

In Recognition of Catechists

Tonight I have the privilege of attending the Catechetical Ministries Awards Banquet sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry. The banquet is a wonderful way for parishes to show their appreciation to catechists, especially those who have served with longevity. In addition to several archdiocesan-wide awards, each parish is invited to recognize catechists (who meet archdiocesan criteria) as a Parish Recipient of the award. Usually, Cardinal George is present although […]

A Festival of Sacraments

I like to think of the 50 days of Easter as a “festival of sacraments.” We are still celebrating the Inititation of the newly baptized from the Easter Vigil. Infant baptisms abound. First Communions are being celebrated everywhere. Spring weddings are taking place. Confirmations are happening. Ordinations are being celebrated. What a wonderful time of the year – of the Church year – the Easter season is, when we encounter the Risen Christ in so […]

Jesus' "First" Words

A lot of attention is often given to peoples’ last words. In the Christian tradition, we focus on the 7 last words of Christ. During this Easter season, I think it is crucial that we pay attention to the Risen Christ’s “first” words – following the Resurrection. “PEACE BE WITH YOU.” These words are so important for us to hear, especially in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre. What this world needs is peace […]

Helping Children to Cope with Disaster

We all struggle to deal with tragic and terrible events such as the shooting spree at Virginia Tech on April 16. It is especially important to be aware of how children may be affected by such violent realities. As catechists, we can provide comfort, reassurance and stability. The shooting at Virginia Tech will be the “Columbine” for the children we are teaching. Witnessing television reports about such violent events can result in fear and confusion. […]

A Different Kind of Grail

Since the DaVinci Code came out, there has been much talk about the quest for the Holy Grail, normally thought of as the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Funny how there seems to be little interest in finding another receptacle used at the Last Supper: the bowl with which Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Perhaps this bowl is just too mundane for our tastes. Yet, in the same way that […]

What CAN Go Wrong, DID Go Wrong!

A few days ago, I wrote about ten things than can and will go wrong. Well, wouldn’t you know it, one of those things (#9 to be precise) DID go wrong last night! The catechist who was “on” for leading the class last night (I was scheduled to just sort of “co-pilot”) did not show up. I had nothing planned and a room full of 8th graders to keep occupied for 75 minutes! Luckily for me, […]

Pizza Party

With the end of the program year coming up soon, Patti and I are thinking of planning a pizza party for our class following our last session. We’ve received the DRE’s blessing as long as we have permission slips, etc. (the pizza place is right across the street from the church!) Several catechists have commented on this blog that they have done similar things to bring closure to their time together. The program has a […]

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