Leading Guided Reflections with Second Graders

I’ve shared before how I introduce my second graders to a variety of prayer experiences. However, my favorite prayer experiences with them are guided reflections. In a guided reflection, I lead the children step-by-step to imagine meeting Jesus, talking with him, and listening to him. I’m thankful that my God’s Gift books include guided reflections paired to several of our lessons. Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts also includes guided reflections at every grade […]

You. Look. Great: A Marian Reflection for Catechists

Pregnant with twins and in her third trimester, Sarah—a catechist on maternity leave—settled into the chair next to me at the café. She let out a huge sigh and closed her eyes. “Yes, I’m quite pregnant,” she said. “Whenever I encounter another person there are just three words that I’m interested in hearing: You. Look. Great.” After sharing a good laugh, she continued, “Seriously, though, I’m not looking for compliments. ‘My soul proclaims the greatness […]

Prayer and Storytelling with a Digital Twist

In my book, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, I emphasize the need for meaningful experiences of prayer and effective storytelling as crucial elements for a more evangelizing catechesis. As a Church, we have been praying and storytelling for more than 2,000 years, so these are nothing new. What is new, however, is the digital world of which we are all now citizens! The digital world has opened up […]

Engaging Children Online

Like many others, my parish has turned to virtual faith formation classes. Last spring, we had a few virtual sessions to close out the year, so I got a sample of what was in store. The difference this year was that I had never met any of my students in person, and I wondered how I could engage them. I mailed each child a postcard to say welcome to the class. I e-mailed each family […]

Areas of New Emphasis and Adaptations in the New Directory for Catechesis

This is part four of a four-part series on the new Directory for Catechesis. Previously, I reviewed the emphasis the new Directory for Catechesis places on the term kerygmatic catechesis and the process of evangelization. In this article, let’s look at some of the areas of added emphasis, adaptations, and changes in the new directory. In the preface to the directory, the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization indicates that this document has “room for […]

Being, Knowing, and Doing

When we speak of someone being a well-rounded person, we are referring to the fact that that person is fully developed and possesses knowledge, capabilities, and skills in a wide range of areas. Catechists are most definitely called to be well-rounded! I was thrilled to see that the new Directory for Catechesis continues to use the language of the previous General Directory for Catechesis that insists that catechist formation be “three dimensional,” focusing on the areas of […]

The Process of Evangelization in the New Directory for Catechesis

This is part three of a four-part series on the new Directory for Catechesis. Understanding the process of evangelization is critical for all those engaged in ministry. But before we examine the process of evangelization (which is covered in paragraphs #31–#37 in the new Directory for Catechesis), let’s take a look at how evangelization is defined. What is evangelization? Evangelization is “making present and announcing Jesus Christ.” (#29) The ultimate aim of evangelization is nothing […]

Faith Formation Resources (Digital and Otherwise) for Those with Disabilities

In the midst of the pandemic and the surge in remote learning, one group deserves special attention: those with disabilities, whose needs are too often overlooked, even in normal circumstances. With this in mind, Loyola Press has made a number of adaptive resources available in digital format, since all children deserve an opportunity to discover our faith and build a relationship with God. Be sure to check out the following Adaptive Finding God resources that […]

Kerygmatic Catechesis in the New Directory for Catechesis

This is part two of a four-part series on the new Directory for Catechesis. In part one of this series, I provided an overview of the structure of the new Directory for Catechesis. In this post, we will explore one of the central themes at the heart of the new Directory for Catechesis, namely kerygmatic catechesis. What is at the heart of this new directory? The role of catechesis in the dynamic of evangelization is […]

Seven Activity Types That Require No Materials for Participants

For those returning to classroom settings this fall, sharing supplies or handing out materials may not be options due to safety regulations. To help catechists facing this challenge, here are some ideas for activities that don’t require any special materials for participants. Prayer—Every session, no matter the format, should include prayer time. Guided reflections, lectio divina, traditional prayers, and intercessory prayer are just a few options catechists can lead for fruitful time with the Lord. […]

1 2 3 4 134