Poll: What Age Level Do You Work With?

One of the best things about a blog such as Catechist’s Journey is that it is not a one-way street where I do all the talking! I love to read and respond to your comments and e-mails and especially enjoy taking unscientific surveys to learn more about the visitors to Catechist’s Journey. We had fun and learned a great deal from our last poll question, which asked you to share how long you have been serving as […]

The Good Shepherd and Hallway Shepherds

When I pray with my first-grade students, I often tell them they have to listen for Jesus’ voice not with their ears but with their hearts. Granted, it’s an abstract concept for young ones to understand. This year, when I taught a lesson on the Good Shepherd, I decided to try something new. Before class, I slyly arranged for two of the fathers to wait in the hall and asked them not to tell their […]

Introducing Children to the Blessed Mother

Throughout the faith formation year, I devote part of my lessons to introducing the children to the Blessed Mother. Whenever I teach about Mary, my goal is for the children to know that: Mary is our mother; Mary is our best model of faith; and Mary said yes to God, and we can say yes to God too. My lessons on Mary are based on the liturgical year. I begin in October, which is dedicated […]

Mary, a Model for the Ministry of Catechesis (Video)

Mary, as the first and best catechist, provides a model for the ministry of catechesis. Julianne Stanz, author of Developing Disciples of Christ, says that three aspects of the life of Mary, drawn from Evangelii Gaudium, serve as a guide for our ministries. Read the complete post that inspired this video: Three Lessons from Mary, the First and Best Catechist. Find Marian resources here to help you honor Mary during May or throughout the year.

My, How Long You’ve Been a Catechist! (Poll Results)

Thanks to so many of you for taking the time to answer our little poll about how long you have served as a catechist. An extra thank-you to those who shared such wonderful stories! More about those in a second. Of the 150+ respondents, nearly half (43%) indicated that they have served as a catechist for more than 25 years, while nearly a fifth (18%) have served for 16–25 years! This resonates with what I […]

Teaching About the Resurrection

Not long ago during class, a student said, “But Jesus was just a ghost.” I immediately explained that Jesus wasn’t a ghost, but that he had truly risen from the dead. This experience reminded me that we can’t assume our students understand what the Resurrection really means. I want them to understand that Jesus was truly dead and rose to life again. I begin by using a picture book that combines the Gospel accounts of […]

Not Done with Prayer Yet

We had just finished a silence challenge, and I called the young people to our regular opening prayer when I was disheartened to hear one boy mumble, “What, we’re not done with prayer yet?” Prayer time is usually not met with such resistance in my classroom. In fact, I think many of the young people enjoy the quiet and reflective experiences built in to our time together, whether they are able to vocalize it or […]

How Long Have You Been a Catechist? Let’s Hear Your Story!

Often, when I do presentations for catechists around the country, I ask my crowd, by show of hands, how long they have been a catechist: newbies? 1–5 years? 5–10 years? and so on. I’ll never forget how one woman, at a presentation in Texas, had her arm up through 40, 45, 50, and 55! I finally just asked her how long she had been a catechist, and she proudly announced, “60 years!” as the crowd […]

Sometimes the Young People Surprise Me

Sometimes the young people surprise me. Such was the case at the beginning of Lent, when I led a session on the season that focused on Christ’s temptation in the desert. I asked the young people what they already knew about Lent. An informal assessment of their previous knowledge, the question gave the students an opportunity to tell me things such as the season was 40 days and that they got ashes on Ash Wednesday. […]

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