Marking Catechetical Sunday: Tell ’em Why You’re Here!

For the 2019–20 catechetical year, Catechetical Sunday is September 15, 2019. It’s a day to celebrate the catechetical ministry and our call to teach the Gospel. The theme of Catechetical Sunday this year is “Stay with Us.” This year, I offer the following invitation/challenge to all catechists and Catholic school teachers: at some point during the first few days of sessions, as you introduce yourself and your syllabus or schedule, explain to those you are […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Build My Lessons

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. Give your catechists this book or others in the Toolbox series for only $6 each when you buy 15 or more copies. See details here. For more resources on planning and preparation, start with some of these Catechist’s Journey articles: 11 Tips for Catechists Planning Your Adult Faith Formation […]

More Microshifts for Catechists

Earlier this summer, we explored microshifts we can make as catechists to improve our ministry, inspired by Gary Jansen’s MicroShifts: Transforming Your Life One Step at a Time. Now two of our readers share the small changes they plan for the new year of faith formation. One small change I am always trying to integrate into my ministry as a catechist is to be more prepared with a slew of effective, impactful, and meaningful icebreakers—which […]

Celebrating the Wisdom of Elders

Encourage the children, youth, and families in your parish or school to acknowledge, celebrate, and learn from the wisdom of the generations in your community. Download resources inspired by Sharing the Wisdom of Time by Pope Francis and Friends, including: An Intergenerational Event to gather families together to recognize and honor the gifts and wisdom of the generations. Family Prayer Box activity for any classroom. Family Stories and Family Faith, a handout perfect for parents […]

A Prayer for Catechists: Thank You for Inviting Me

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. Give your catechists this book or others in the Toolbox series for only $6 each when you buy 15 or more copies. See details here.

A More Evangelizing Catechesis: What It Means and How to Achieve It

We catechists are constantly bombarded with words and phrases (e.g. divine pedagogy, missionary discipleship, evangelizing catechesis) that are intended to inspire our ministry but often leave us scratching our heads with regards to what they mean in practical terms and how we are to translate these concepts into actual strategies in our faith formation settings. One such phrase, as mentioned above, is evangelizing catechesis. Personally, I am convinced that we desperately need a more evangelizing […]

Prayer for Class Preparation

This prayer originally appeared as part of the post The Power of Prayer: Three Ways to Model Discipleship. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. Take a moment and ask yourself: does every activity in my parish point more deeply to Jesus? Julianne Stanz wants to help you and your parish community make sure the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!” Preorder Julianne’s new book, Start with Jesus: How Everyday Disciples Will […]

How a Yearly Calendar Helps Me as a Catechist

When I start seeing back-to-school sales I know it’s time to put together my yearly calendar for planning my upcoming year as a catechist. When I first became a catechist, I just flowed through the year with no overall plan. I would read over the next lesson in my teacher guide several days before an upcoming class and then present it from the book. That was not my best effort, and I remember scrambling at […]

I Am a Catechist

Last spring, I checked something off my catechetical bucket list and attended the Los Angeles Religion Education Congress. I had my first “a-ha” moment within the first seven minutes, and more followed over the next several days. Jayne Ragasa Mondoy’s presentation on cultivating catechists was a lightning-bolt moment for me when she said, “We don’t do catechesis; we are catechists.” I often say to people, “I teach Sunday school.” Rarely do I say, “I am […]

Catholic Faith Formation on Facebook: Join the Group!

Like so many others, I get a lot of my news and information from social media these days. Navigating the terrain of social media requires no small amount of prudence, patience, and discernment in order to wade through the plethora of information and discover the various pearls of great value shared by reliable sources. One such “pearl” from a very reliable source (Loyola Press!) is the Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page that has been around […]

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