Catechetical Formation Series Now Available in Spanish

I am very excited to announce that our popular online formation and training experience for catechists, the Catechetical Formation Series, is now available in Spanish! Introducing Serie de formación catequética! The Catechetical Formation Series is a program I developed for Loyola Press to provide basic training and formation for catechists in the areas of being, knowing, and doing. As the program grew in popularity, along with that came requests for a Spanish version. To guide […]

St. Barnabas Family Faith Formation: Catholic Identity

For the month of March, our Finding God Family Catechesis gathering at St. Barnabas will focus on the unit on Church, with the theme of “Catholic Identity: Does My Faith Make a Difference?” I particularly love this topic, because we Catholics indeed have unique ways of thinking, speaking, and acting that can and should make us stand out from the crowd! In this session, we will explore five characteristics of Catholic identity as drawn from […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part II): Echoes of Love

This article is the second in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” Choosing a name for a child or yourself is one of the most important choices that we make in life. Behind a name might lie a family story or a connection to a person of influence. A person’s name might have been inspired by an experience or a specific place. We receive a name generally […]

St. Barnabas Family Catechesis: Getting Ready for Lent

This past Sunday, I facilitated the family catechesis session at St. Barnabas, as we prepared to enter the season of Lent in just a few short days. I have to say that this was one of the most fulfilling adult faith experiences of my long career, namely because of the high level of engagement and interest on the part of the parents and grandparents throughout this session! I felt inspired by the Holy Spirit the […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part I): Echoes of Hope

The word catechist comes from the Greek word “to echo.” As catechists, we echo the teachings of the Church. We also echo our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ through our words and deeds. This series of articles will look at the ministry of catechesis through the lens of the word echo. We will explore what it means to be a catechist who echoes hope, love, truth, and mercy. First, we begin with four characteristics […]

Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Preparing for Lent

Our next family catechesis session at St. Barnabas takes place on February 4, just ten days before Lent begins. (Ash Wednesday is February 14!) So it makes sense that our topic for that day will be Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. Here are a few thoughts about this upcoming session: This will be the first time I’m with the parents since December when we covered Advent. Our January session was a safe-environment session for the […]

Moving Toward a Family Catechesis Model

More and more parishes are moving toward a family catechesis model, much like the one at St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago that I’ve been blogging about over the past few months. Moving toward a family catechesis model takes some time and a lot of communication so that parents can embrace the change more fully without their heads spinning! Most importantly, parents need to be assured that they are indeed capable of teaching their children about […]

Poll Question: Trying New Things

Now that we are halfway through the catechetical year, it’s a good time to shake things up a little and try something new! It’s important to remember that today’s learners are accustomed to switching tasks frequently, so it never hurts to try some new methods that can break up monotony and lead to deeper engagement with learners. With that in mind, let’s see what kind of new activity you are most drawn to considering. Please […]

Engaging Second-Graders in Faith Formation with Hands-on Learning

Over the years, many catechists have commented to me that they admire those who teach junior high and high school and that they opted for the “easier” age group of pre-K and primary grades. I’ve always turned it right back around on them and expressed my admiration for anyone who can teach the youngest among us! It is a gift that I never felt I had, which is why I have always gravitated toward teaching […]

St. Barnabas Family Catechesis: Safe Environment Session

The January session for family catechesis at St. Barnabas will be a children-only session on safe environment. Since my role is to facilitate the parent sessions, I’ll actually have the day off! As part of the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Archdiocese of Chicago requires its parishes and schools to provide valuable training to children and youth annually. This important training is designed to educate children and […]

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