Pop-Up Catechesis: Sharing Family Stories

Some years before my mom, Veronica, passed away, I videotaped her sharing stories of her life so that we could preserve them. My siblings, children, nieces, and nephews now all have copies of a DVD we call Ronnie’s Story. Family stories are sacred, and they pass along memories, values, and identity. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the value of sharing family stories, especially from the elderly members of our families. For more information […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Singing/Listening to Hymns

I have long asserted that if some “Grinch” came along and stole all of our Catholic faith formation textbooks and copies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and left us with only a hymnal, we would still be able to teach the Catholic faith! Catholic hymns are catechetical; in other words, they teach us about our faith. One great way to teach children about their Catholic faith is to introduce them to Catholic hymns—the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Blessing Your Children and Other Family Rituals

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the practice of blessing your children and other family rituals. Ritual actions have a way of conveying the sacred that words alone are incapable of. Children especially love rituals, because they communicate a sense of comfort and security, which can be particularly important during uncertain times such as this COVID-19 crisis. For more information about the power of rituals and especially rituals in the home, see the […]

“Flat Catechist” Encourages Faith Activities at Home

Like many catechists, I found myself in a strange, new place this spring when the coronavirus closed our parish and required us to suspend all activities. I was determined to find ways to stay connected with my first-grade class. I knew the parents were already feeling overwhelmed, so I wanted to create easy and engaging activities that would make them want to participate with their children. I also wanted to create something that had a […]

Announcing a New Online Catechetical Formation Series! And It’s Free!

Recently on Catechist’s Journey, we invited readers to participate in a poll indicating their preferences for catechist formation formats (reading a book, watching a video, attending a workshop or class, or online). Thanks to the many who responded! It is interesting to note how 22% (as of 3/12/2020) of those responding indicated a preference for online learning. And with the coronavirus keeping many of us at home, the option of online learning is helpful. With […]

10 Tips for Teaching Religion Lessons to Your Children at Home

In the midst of this COVID-19 threat, many parents find themselves in the position of doing a certain amount of homeschooling with their children, including teaching religion lessons that would normally be taught in Catholic schools or parish religious education programs. Teaching religion lessons is different from teaching other subject areas, because in faith formation, we do not teach a subject, we facilitate an encounter with Jesus Christ! With that in mind, here are 10 […]

Empowering Catechists

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. (1 Peter 4:10) Empowerment incarnates the wisdom given to us in this Scripture passage. That is, when we empower others, we make space for them to use the gifts given to them by God in service to the community. Empowerment is intentional, communal, and an exercise in interdependence, which, when done well, develops a level […]

When an Activity Doesn’t Work So Well

Sometimes when I add an activity I made up to the session, it works out great, but a recent session proved a reminder that sometimes it doesn’t. The chapter called for introducing the idea of different literary forms found in the Bible, as part of a discussion on apocalyptic literature and ultimately, the struggle between good and evil. I thought it would be fun to play a game to begin our session, so I came […]

Bible Bell Work

I always have “bell work” for children to begin as soon as they arrive in the classroom. These are short activities that engage early arrivals as the rest of the class arrives during the first 10–15 minutes. While students are doing their bell work, I can take attendance, check homework, hand back completed work, and attend to other tasks, like notes from parents. One of the easiest forms of bell work I have is Bible […]

How Would You Like That “Cooked”? A Poll Question About Catechist Formation

When you go to a restaurant and order an entrée, depending on what you’re getting, the server may ask, “How would you like that cooked?” It’s nice to have options so that the meal will be prepared in a way that suits your tastes. When it comes to catechist formation, we also have many options. Catechist formation can be “served up” in a variety of formats, depending on your preferences and learning style. With that […]

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