Sharing the Wisdom of Time Through Storytelling: Peggy Weber

As we continue our occasional series of video reflections on Sharing the Wisdom of Time—reflecting on the wisdom learned from our elders—I invite you to enjoy a brief reflection from Peggy Weber, author of Enough as You Are. Peggy is an award-winning journalist and author who has been working at her craft for almost 40 years, primarily with the Catholic press. Peggy reflects on the importance of celebrating the present and the wisdom we can learn […]

Catechists as Mystagogues: Exposing Unhealthy Paths and Narratives

A mystagogue is someone who not only teaches, but also leads and accompanies others into mystery (Directory for Catechesis 113). The mystagogue recognizes that our biblical understanding of mystery is not as something to be solved but as something to enter into, and as something that is revealed and yet remains hidden. One of the first ways that we as catechists do this is by helping those we teach to recognize unhealthy life paths or […]

Helping Children to Cope with Violence and Tragedy—Again

This year, we are marking the 15th anniversary of this blog, Catechist’s Journey. Sadly, within the first year of the blog’s creation, I found myself writing a post about helping children to cope with news about a mass shooting at Virginia Tech. A year later, I posted in the wake of a mass shooting at Northern Illinois University. Several years later, I posted again, as a result of the Newton mass shooting. Once again, within […]

Sharing the Wisdom of Time Through Storytelling: Jessica Hernandez

As we continue our series of video reflections on Sharing the Wisdom of Time—reflecting on the wisdom learned from our elders—I invite you to enjoy a brief reflection from Jessica Hernandez, Coordinator for Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Des Moines, IA. Born in Mexico City, Jessica came to the United States at the age of seven with her mother in search of a better life. She graduated from Iowa State […]

Sharing the Wisdom of Time Through Storytelling: Ann Menna

Over the years here at Catechist’s Journey, I have emphasized the importance of storytelling in the catechetical ministry. To that end, I am happy to share examples of people sharing their stories inspired by the book, Sharing the Wisdom of Time, which, in turn, inspired the Netflix series, Stories of a Generation with Pope Francis. In this video, Ann Menna, Deputy Secretary of Catechetical Formation for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, shares her reflections on the […]

Doing Arts and Crafts Projects in Short Class Times

Most catechists experience the crunch of time when teaching, knowing that they have a great deal of content to convey to their participants in a very short time. Sometimes, the notion of incorporating an arts and crafts project in a lesson just seems impossible given the time constraints! Thankfully, over the years, I’ve heard of a number of suggestions from catechists about how to accomplish this. Here are a few of their ideas: Provide children […]

Growing in Gratitude

In this series we will explore practices that can help us to develop a space for grace in our lives. As I explain in my book, Braving the Thin Places, the acronym GRACE can help us if we: G—Grow in gratitude R—Release regrets to rest and reset A—Authentic availability and acceptance C—Cultivate radical hospitality E—Embrace simplicity This article will focus on the first practice of GRACE, which is growing in gratitude. Encouraging our students to […]

Cultivating Peace in Our Classrooms in an Anxious World

We live in a fast-paced and increasingly anxious world that is clearly affecting the social, emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health of children. Studies published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics and based on data collected from the National Survey of Children’s Health indicate significantly increased rates of anxiety among children, youth, and young adults. Researchers found a 20 percent increase in diagnoses of anxiety for children ages 6–17 between 2007 and 2012. […]

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Adopts the Catechetical Formation Series for Basic Catechist Formation

For many years, the catechetical efforts of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been guided by the steady hand of Ann Menna, who just recently retired. (Congratulations, Ann!) I’m proud to say that one of Ann’s last actions as Director in Philly was to adopt the Loyola Press Catechetical Formation Series for basic catechist formation in the Archdiocese. I developed the Catechetical Formation Series as an online training and formation experience for catechists and others seeking to deepen […]

Gratitude Sticks

My students are a little different each year. Several years ago, my first graders all had something to say in our prayer circle. The next year’s class was much quieter (except for a fidgety few). When I saw a variation of a pick-up sticks game on social media in which players named things they were grateful for, my creative wheels started turning! I quickly had an idea to get my quieter-than-normal group to speak up […]

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