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.

Name That Song (aka Name That Sin/Virtue/Gift)

OK, here’s the scoop for this coming Monday’s Confirmation intensive. Now, before I share this, I want to make a disclaimer that I may have made before but bears repeating. The activity I’m about to describe to you took many hours – several days, actually – to plan. I want to make it clear that the average catechist is NOT expected to spend this much time planning sessions. Please remember that, for all intents and purposes, […]

Highlights (Thankfully, Very Few Lowlights!)

Last night was our second Confirmation intensive (a 2-hour session made up of five 10-minute mini-sessions sandwiched in between an opening and closing session in their “homerooms.”) Thank God, things went pretty well once again. Here are the highlights: half of the kids forgot it was an intensive. When I clarified that they were staying till 9 o’clock, a half-dozen cell phones were promptly whipped out to call home to re-arrange pick-up times! the kids […]

Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk

We’re looking ahead to our next Confirmation intensive on January 5, after the Christmas break. The theme of this one is: Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk. As Confirmed Catholics, our young people will need to be able to talk about their faith. Of course, the Nicene Creed is the “alphabet” – the building blocks – of our language of faith. It is the first place to go to search for words to respond […]

First Confirmation Intensive

Whenever he is told of good news, Fr. George Lane, S.J. (President of Loyola Press) immediately responds by saying, “Thank you, Jesus!” What a great example he sets! So, having been blessed with a successful evening for our first Confirmation intensive last night, my first response is just that: “Thank you, Jesus!” Attendance was almost perfect (the kids know by now that if they miss, there’s a make-up, and it’s usually not much fun!). The […]

Come, Holy Spirit!

Tonight is our first Confirmation intensive for our 8th graders and everything is shaping up nicely (except for the weather…frigid temps and blustery winds!). My prayer is that our young people will recognize how significant this preparation for their Confirmation is and will see it as a time of a deepening encounter with the Lord. One of the fun parts of this evening is the fact that the kids will be rotating between 5 catechists. […]

My (Our) Struggles – Not to Be Confused with Mein Kampf

What a shame that an idiot like Hitler ruined such a good phrase: “my struggle” (of course you know that is the translation of Mein Kampf, his notorious autobiography/statement of his twisted ideology). I bring this up because I am always amazed and also amused (and of course, touched) at the fact that I get more feedback on my blog posts in which I share my struggles or moments of weakness as a catechist than […]

Just a Little Off

You know how it is when you go bowling and you’re just a little off? I’m not talking about throwing lots of gutter balls. I’m talking about attempts that start off looking fine but before long you realize that it’s gonna miss the sweet spot and leave you with a split. That sums up my class last night! Just a little off. It was one of those nights when I just felt like the words […]

Confirmation Learning Stations

One of the pitfalls that I often succumb to when planning a lesson is focusing on what I am going to do without regard for what the kids are going to do (other than soak up my pearls of wisdom, of course). In the end, I find that I am putting a lot of pressure on myself as the catechist to “perform.” If Christian Initiation IS an apprenticeship (and I believe it is) then we must consider what […]

A Lot Can Happen in 75 Minutes! (part 4)

One last thing to share about Monday evening’s class. I was sharing some ideas with the young people about how they can share their faith in practical ways. (I posted about this earlier). One of the suggestions I offered was to wear a sacramental such as a medal, a cross, a pin, or a scapular. As I was saying this, I glanced over at my aide, Ben, who is a high school sophomore. He started […]

It's On to Church History

It’s hard to believe that we are already moving on to the 3rd unit of our text book this year – Church history. The challenge, of course, is making history relevant for kids. I’ve always been a bit of a history buff (In college, I double-majored in theology and history!) and I feel that history provides us with many lessons for life. Perhaps the best image that I can think of for approaching the concept […]

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