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.

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 […]

An Evening of Getting to Know Jesus

Last night, we spent the evening getting to know Jesus better. Here are some highlights. First we had a fire drill..all went well. I began by playing our “song of the week” – Shania Twain’s “Wanna Get to Know You.” (see yesterday’s post for some of the lyrics) I talked about how 2 people in love want to get to know one another and explained that this is our theme for the evening: we want […]

Who Is This Man?

At this past week’s session, I focused on the question of “Who Is Jesus?” – a theme we will carry throughout the unit we are on. I played a recording of the song “Superstar” from the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar in which the very confused Judas asks the question: “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, who are you what have you sacrificed? Jesus Christ, Superstar, do you think you’re what they say you are?” I talked about how […]

The Nearness of God

Overall, week 4 (last night’s session) went pretty well. It was one of those nights when I felt a bit scattered myself but I don’t think I got in the way too much! Here’s what we did: We briefly reviewed last week’s session and they recalled that the focus was on the Holy Spirit. We had a “breathing contest” – to see who could hold their breath the longest! I then told them about how […]

Holy Spirit as Advocate

Overall, Week 3 (last night’s class) went very well. Along the way, however, I encountered a few things that I’m not satisfied with and hope to change. Here’s the run-down: We began with a brief prayer and I thought I would introduce the idea of the young people sharing petitions – very simply, thanking God for blessings and praying for the needs of others and/or our own needs. I gave a few examples and told them […]

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