Whether you work with little children, teenagers, or adults, you are not alone in catechetical ministry. These posts highlight stories from catechists and faith formation leaders in the field, sharing the ups and downs of their work.

Five Tips for Teaching Children with Autism

Deacon Larry Sutton, author of Teaching Students with Autism in a Catholic Setting, shares five of his tips for making the academic year enjoyable and productive for teachers and students. Watch the below video for a preview of the hints, and then read the full article that inspired the video: Five Tips for Teaching Children with Autism.

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. […]

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 […]

Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness

“Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness” is the theme Pope Francis chose for the World Meeting of Families that will be held in Rome in 2022. This theme was inspired by the Pope’s exhortations Amoris Laetitia (2016) and Gaudete et Exsultate (2018). It reminds us that family love is a vocation and a way to holiness. We cannot overlook the importance of understanding and sharing the profound and redeeming significance of family […]

Bringing the World Meeting of Families to the Local Parish

On March 19, 2021, upon the fifth anniversary of Amoris Laetitia, the Apostolic Exhortation on the joy and beauty of familial love, Pope Francis declared the start of a Year of the Family, which will conclude on June 26, 2022, with the World Meeting of Families in Rome. One of the goals of this is to help families discover the joy of having a gift to share with the Church and society. Many would love to […]

Confirmation Scavenger Hunt

I read an article about researchers who analyzed data from hundreds of novels. They discovered that there are only six basic story types. I found this quite liberating; as a writer, I can have fun mixing the types of stories to create something new. I sometimes take a similar approach to my catechetical ministry and mix some ideas that were shared here at Catechist’s Journey. This past spring, I did that while hosting a virtual […]

The Question of Doubt

In a recent class, one of the young people asked if it was OK to doubt aspects of religion. I was happy for this question, because I think others probably wonder the same thing but are afraid to ask. I told the young lady it was absolutely OK—and normal even—to doubt, but that she also had to consider why she was having doubts about a particular issue. For instance, was the doubt due to struggling […]

An Icebreaker for Remote Learning Sessions: The One-Minute Challenge

Like many catechists, I have had the novel task this year of teaching faith formation remotely. My students are second graders preparing for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Late last summer, when we were told that we would be moving to remote learning, I spent hours watching webinars on remote catechesis, viewing videos from teachers on distance learning, and joining in teacher Facebook groups for online teaching. I was grateful to find the template […]

Adult Baptism Interests Children

An established syllabus and well-planned lessons can be key to effective catechesis. But what happens when we’re ready to move on to the next activity or lesson and our class isn’t? I’ve written before about how going with the conversational flow can lead to interesting places we hadn’t anticipated, but what happens when the conversation continues over a few weeks rather than a few minutes? It happened to me last year when I taught a […]

Leading Guided Reflections with Second Graders

I’ve shared before how I introduce my second graders to a variety of prayer experiences. However, my favorite prayer experiences with them are guided reflections. In a guided reflection, I lead the children step-by-step to imagine meeting Jesus, talking with him, and listening to him. I’m thankful that my God’s Gift books include guided reflections paired to several of our lessons. Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts also includes guided reflections at every grade […]

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