Finding God Family Catechesis tools
Family Catechesis

St. Barnabas Family Faith Formation: Catholic Identity

For the month of March, our Finding God Family Catechesis gathering at St. Barnabas will focus on the unit on Church, with the theme of “Catholic Identity: Does My Faith Make a Difference?” I particularly love this topic, because we Catholics indeed have unique ways of thinking, speaking, and acting that can and should make us stand out from the crowd! In this session, we will explore five characteristics of Catholic identity as drawn from […]

wall of Lent information
Family Catechesis

St. Barnabas Family Catechesis: Getting Ready for Lent

This past Sunday, I facilitated the family catechesis session at St. Barnabas, as we prepared to enter the season of Lent in just a few short days. I have to say that this was one of the most fulfilling adult faith experiences of my long career, namely because of the high level of engagement and interest on the part of the parents and grandparents throughout this session! I felt inspired by the Holy Spirit the […]

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Family Catechesis

Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Preparing for Lent

Our next family catechesis session at St. Barnabas takes place on February 4, just ten days before Lent begins. (Ash Wednesday is February 14!) So it makes sense that our topic for that day will be Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. Here are a few thoughts about this upcoming session: This will be the first time I’m with the parents since December when we covered Advent. Our January session was a safe-environment session for the […]

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Family Catechesis

Moving Toward a Family Catechesis Model

More and more parishes are moving toward a family catechesis model, much like the one at St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago that I’ve been blogging about over the past few months. Moving toward a family catechesis model takes some time and a lot of communication so that parents can embrace the change more fully without their heads spinning! Most importantly, parents need to be assured that they are indeed capable of teaching their children about […]

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Primary Grades

Engaging Second-Graders in Faith Formation with Hands-on Learning

Over the years, many catechists have commented to me that they admire those who teach junior high and high school and that they opted for the “easier” age group of pre-K and primary grades. I’ve always turned it right back around on them and expressed my admiration for anyone who can teach the youngest among us! It is a gift that I never felt I had, which is why I have always gravitated toward teaching […]

Growing with GOD: Safe and Sacred™ - child safety and family life program
Family Catechesis

St. Barnabas Family Catechesis: Safe Environment Session

The January session for family catechesis at St. Barnabas will be a children-only session on safe environment. Since my role is to facilitate the parent sessions, I’ll actually have the day off! As part of the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Archdiocese of Chicago requires its parishes and schools to provide valuable training to children and youth annually. This important training is designed to educate children and […]

Advent wreath
Family Catechesis

Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Introducing Advent and Christmas

Recently, we held our monthly Finding God Family Catechesis gathering at St. Barnabas to introduce the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Here is a summary of how things went. Attendance was good once again. It appears that families are getting into a groove as the year progresses. The families, especially the children, arrive with good energy and enthusiasm, and the space where we gather is always prepared by Patrick, the catechetical leader, to be warm […]

Advent wreath
Family Catechesis

Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Welcoming the Seasons of Advent and Christmas

Our next monthly session for our Finding God Family Catechesis program at St. Barnabas will take place on Sunday, December 3, the First Sunday of Advent, which means that our focus for the adult session will be on the seasons of Advent and Christmas, with a particular emphasis on the theme of God’s Promise: The Covenant. Here is the plan for that session: Our opening prayer ritual will reflect the season of Advent as we […]

family catechesis pageant announcement being made
Family Catechesis

Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Parents Talk About How Home Sessions Are Going

Yesterday marked the first time that we gathered for family catechesis after the parents have had a month to do faith formation sessions at home with their children. It was also the day that we introduced the Finding God unit on Jesus. Here is a summary of the proceedings. Attendance was very good this month; we even picked up a few new families! After our opening prayer ritual (setting up the prayer center with sacred […]

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Stories from the Field

How Do Things Look from Your Vantage Point?

I kid my wife, on occasion, that the best weather report can be found by looking out the window and seeing for ourselves. While it can be helpful to get detailed satellite images and computer-generated forecasts from professional meteorologists, it’s hard to argue with what we see with our own eyes when we look out the window and gaze at the heavens! In a similar way, it can be helpful to read professional research about […]