Becoming a Catechist: Sharing Our Stories

One of the most compelling means of persuasion is storytelling—especially stories from one’s own experience. For that reason, storytelling has a significant role to play in evangelization and catechesis. Often, however, when I speak to catechists about sharing their stories, their initial response is, “But I don’t have a story!” The truth is, however, that all of us have a story to tell; in fact, we have many stories! All we need is a little […]

Forming Catechists, Part One: Being

Early autumn, which coincides with the beginning of many religious education programs, is a good time to pay attention to forming catechists—especially those who are new to the ministry and are eager to learn the knowledge and skills needed to proclaim the Good News effectively! With that in mind, we’re going to take a closer look at the three dimensions of catechist formation: Being, Knowing, and Doing. These will ensure that your catechists are fully […]

Helping Young People See a Path by Setting Goals

I have long-argued that one of the problems with how we form people in faith is that we don’t present Catholicism as a “spiritual path.” Too often, we present it as a set of doctrines to adhere to or simply a way of belonging to a group of like-minded people. This explains why so many young people end up being attracted by New Age movements or Eastern religions that present themselves as a spiritual path […]

Resources for Putting Parents First During the Catechetical Year

Whenever we fly somewhere and listen to the instructions from the flight attendants, we are reminded that, if there is a sudden drop in pressure and the oxygen masks come down, adults should put their own masks on first and then assist their children in doing so. The logic is simple: adults will be needed to assist young people throughout the crisis and beyond. We need to take the same approach to our faith formation. […]

Finding God in Beauty: Visio Divina

Over the Church’s history, it was known—long before anyone had heard of multiple intelligences—that some people learned better through visuals. This was especially true during times when average folks were illiterate. Today, even though most people are literate, many people (including yours truly) consider themselves visual learners. For some people, visuals are also helpful for prayer experiences. For this reason, the Church has a tradition that parallels lectio divina (“divine reading” or reflection on the […]

Catechetical Sunday 2021: Say the Word and My Soul Shall Be Healed​

Every year, on the third Sunday of September, the Church celebrates Catechetical Sunday, an opportunity to highlight the ministry of catechesis and to call forth and affirm the many people called to serve in this ministry. This year, Catechetical Sunday takes place on September 19, 2021, with the theme of “Say the Word and My Soul Shall Be Healed”—words drawn from the prayer we say just before coming forward to receive the Eucharist that are, […]

Five Hints to Setting Up a Good Classroom

Deacon Larry Sutton, author of Teaching Students with Autism in a Catholic Setting, shares five of his tips for setting up a good classroom. Watch the below video for a preview of the hints, and then read the full article that inspired the video: Hints to Setting Up a Good Classroom. Looking to build your classroom library? Enter to win the Harwood Mysteries trilogy from Loyola Press. Three winners will be selected at the end […]

Accompanying Children Back to the Classroom

“In his proclamation of the Kingdom, Jesus seeks, encounters, and welcomes people in their concrete life situations.” Directory for Catechesis #198 While the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, many states have seen the easing of restrictions around larger gatherings, and there has been an increasing sense that life is returning to some sense of normalcy. This fall, parishes and schools will find themselves welcoming students back to class after a much-needed summer of rest and […]

Saints and S’mores

This past year inspired many catechetical leaders to use their creativity to reach out in new ways to parishioners. One success story is Laura Soldner’s summer event, Saints and S’mores. Laura is the Coordinator of Family Formation (K–6) at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Parish in Monona, WI. She shares about the program in the following interview. Denise Gorss for Catechist’s Journey: What is Saints and S’mores? Laura Soldner: Saints and S’mores is a drop-in […]

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