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.

Ending on a Good Note – A Summary of Last Night's Class

Last evening was the last teaching session for this year with my 8th graders. Next week, we gather for Mass, some presentations, and then pizza. I enjoyed last night and overall, I feel it went very nicely, a fitting ending to a good year with a good group of kids. Here are the highlights: I met the young people at the door as they arrived. I was holding a tray with their little vigil candles […]

My "Last Lecture" (No, I’m Not Dying)

This coming Monday evening is the last session that I will be teaching this current 8th grade class (the following week is a closing Mass and awards ceremony). As part of my plan for this Monday, I’ve put together my own “last lecture.” By now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the YouTube phenomenon, Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” that he gave to his class as the Carnegie Mellon University after he had been diagnosed with pancreatic […]

A Summary of Last Evening's Class

I was very pleased with last evening’s class, for a variety of reasons. Here’s a summary of what transpired: A number of 8th grade students were in church rehearsing for the Living Stations of the Cross (next Monday). I was missing 4 of my students but picked up 4 from my colleague Jim’s class since he had taken the night off to do a college visit with his son. His other students went to another […]

For the Love of Neighbor

This is a follow-up to my March 19 post – For the Love of God – in which I shared a handout comprised of numerous examples of actions that either violate the first three commandments or represent virtuous acts done in the spirit of these commandments. Here is the student worksheet that I am using tonight which covers the 4th, 5th, and 6th commandments. Likewise, here is the answer key. One example that I feel […]

Their Little Wheels Were Turning

Last night’s class was very gratifying. We are looking at morality and focusing on the Ten Commandments. Last night we focused on the first 3 Commandments that call us to love of God. As the evening went on, it was interesting to see their “little wheels” begin turning as they grappled with some moral dilemmas. Here’s a summary: I began with a “song of the week” – this time playing a song by Shakira called RULES. […]

For the Love of God

I’m preparing for my next week’s class when we will be exploring the first 3 Commandments which focus on love of God. I’ve put together a worksheet that I’ll invite them to work on in small groups. The worksheet includes numerous examples of actions that “violate” these 3 Commandments as well as virtuous actions that are done in the spirit of these 3 Commandments. In their small groups, the young people will work together to […]

Update on My OWN Classes

I realize that, in the midst of providing my 40 Lenten activities in 40 days, I’ve not updated you on my own Monday evening classes. Actually, last night was the first time I saw my 8th graders in 3 weeks! Last week, I was doing a parish mission at another parish and needed a sub. The week before that was a day off (Pulaski Day in Illinois). So last night was an opportunity to get […]

The Rite of Confirmation – The General Intercessions

For our final Confirmation Intensive last evening, we focused on the Rite of Confirmation which includes the following: the Presentation of the Candidates the Bishop’s Homily the Renewal of Baptismal Promises the Laying on of Hands and the Anointing with Chrism the General Intercessions I’m currently sharing with you what I developed for each of these 5 elements of the Rite (the young people experienced five, 15-minute mini-sessions, one on each of the 5 elements). We conclude […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Declaration of DEpendence – Photos and Directions

Today’s idea is something that catechists of every grade level can take advantage of – I call it the Declaration of DEpendence. I originally came up with this idea when teaching about the Lord’s Prayer. It occurred to me that, with its seven petitions, the Our Father is clearly a prayer that expresses our complete dependence upon God. This is, of course, in stark contrast to the independence that we all strive for in our […]

"What If I Don't Pass the Exam?"

This is the question I have heard and will hear again on Monday evening when the young people take their Confirmation exam – I like to call it an assessment but to them it’s an exam! I explain it this way: This is not a matter of passing or failing to see if you’ll be allowed to be confirmed. If you don’t do well, that means that you and I have some work to do. […]

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