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.
Several years ago, I was redesigning my First Communion retreat to make it more experiential, especially the portion where I have the parents by themselves for a few moments while the children are participating in another activity. I was contemplating how I could not only teach the parents about, but also allow them to experience the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, so that they could pass that gift on to their children. […]
When I was a student at St. Ignatius College Prep, there was one room that I never explored: the teachers’ lounge. The teachers’ lounge was like a fortress or a sanctuary that no student was ever to enter (and rightly so). Several years later, when I returned to St. Ignatius to do my student teaching, I walked into the hallowed teachers’ lounge for the first time. There, to my astonishment, was my former Latin teacher, […]
We continue our summer series, Pop-Up Prayer—brief interviews on the topic of prayer with prominent people in pastoral ministry from all over the country! In this episode, Ana Barraza talks about strategies for leading prayer for those with disabilities. Ana currently serves in the Diocese of Sacramento, CA, and has been involved in ministry for over 25 years as a catechist, youth minister, parish catechetical leader, music minister, retreat director, and special education teacher. Be sure […]
There is a fine line between routine and ritual. A routine is something we do the same way habitually, with little or no thought. Every morning, we mindlessly follow a routine: turn off the alarm, turn on the coffee pot, eat a bowl of cereal, brush our teeth, and so on. A ritual is something we do the same way habitually, with deep, intentional thought. Blessing ourselves with holy water, genuflecting, anointing with oil, walking […]
I have long been an advocate of parishes forming small groups for adult faith formation and sharing, and I have blogged previously about the importance of small faith groups. I have also talked about the importance of training people to serve as small group facilitators. While it is helpful, it is not necessary for a small group facilitator to have formal theological training. What is needed are basic facilitating skills. With that in mind, I […]
Our Family Faith in Summer Choice Board can help families remember with gratitude to God all the fun and relaxation summer holds. Give children choices by asking them to select and complete a set number of activities from the board: three-in-a-row, any four, or whatever number you choose. Activities include options that will appeal to multiple learning styles. While the choice board can be used on its own, several activities can be expanded with these […]
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 […]
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.
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. […]
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 […]