Teaching to Generation Me: Part Four

On May 18, I began a 7-part series, offering some thougts about how to teach the Catholic faith to “Generation Me” (those born in the 70s through the 90s; Generation Me, Jean Twenge, M.D.). Click on the following to read: Part One: The Decline of Social Rules Part Two: Excessive Individualism Part Three: You Can Be Anything You Want Today, we address another unique characteristic of Generation Me: “the age of anxiety” The Age of […]

Teaching to Generation Me – Part 3

On May 18, I began a 7-part series, offering some thougts about how to teach the Catholic faith to “Generation Me” (those born in the 70s through the 90s; Generation Me, Jean Twenge, M.D.). Click on the following to read: Part One: The Decline of Social Rules Part Two: Excessive Individualism Today, we address another unique characteristic of Generation Me: the belief that “you can be anything you want to be” You Can Be Anything […]

Teaching to Generation Me – Part 2

On May 18, I began a 7-part series, offering some thougts about how to teach the Catholic faith to “Generation Me” (those born in the 70s through the 90s; Generation Me, Jean Twenge, M.D.). Click here to read the intro and part 1. Today, we address another unique characteristic of Generation Me: excessive individualism. Individualism – Since the time they were very young, Gen Me-ers have been bombarded with messages intended to boost self-esteem. It […]

Teaching to Generation Me (aka Gen Y; Millennials)

Recently I had the pleasure of reading Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable Than Ever Before (Jean M Twenge, M.D., Free Press, 2006). In her book, Dr. Twenge, herself a member of “Generation Me” (aka, Millennials, Gen Y), those born in the 70s through the 90s, uses findings from a large intergenerational research study (1.3 million respondents over six decades) to reveal how profoundly different today’s […]

Why Do We Give Money on First Communions?

A few days ago, I posted about the Easter Season being a “festival of sacraments.” Well, today is one such day as we celebrate my nephew’s First Communion. It is a beautiful bright and sunny spring day…a “storybook” First Communion-type day. Of course the weather has nothing to do with the encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, but God IS revealed through the beauty and wonder of creation and the nice weather serves to reinforce […]

Help Catholic Children Grow Into Catholic Adults

If we want our young Catholics to grow into adult Catholics, then maybe we ought to start treating them like “equals.” As catechists, those we teach are typically baptized and in full communion. They may not yet be confirmed but they are no less a disciple of Christ than any of us adults. Perhaps that’s why Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the youth of Brazil in the following terms: “You are the youth of the […]

Helping Children to Cope with Disaster

We all struggle to deal with tragic and terrible events such as the shooting spree at Virginia Tech on April 16. It is especially important to be aware of how children may be affected by such violent realities. As catechists, we can provide comfort, reassurance and stability. The shooting at Virginia Tech will be the “Columbine” for the children we are teaching. Witnessing television reports about such violent events can result in fear and confusion. […]

What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong

From my experience as a catechist, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten things that can go wrong when teaching a class. These are not in any order. Do these resonate with your experience? What else would you add? Your audiovisual equipment either didn’t show up or doesn’t work You find yourself short on the amount of books, handouts, or materials needed You are emotionally and/or physically run down and can’t find the energy […]

Taking the Bad with the Good

So 11 of my 14 students came back for class after Confirmation! I’m pretty happy with that because it is a typical weekly absentee rate. We had a good discussion about their Confirmation (once they got past saying “It was too long!”) and an especially good discussion about their service experiences. There are so many highs and lows during any given class. On the one hand, 11 students returned. On the other hand, only 4 […]

Will They Be Back?

My 8th graders were confirmed last weekend and then had Monday off (because of a state holiday in Illinois). This coming Monday will be the first post-Confirmation class and I’m curious to see who shows up. We’ve emphasized over and over that Confirmation is not graduation but is the beginning of a new chapter in their spiritual journey. I’m told that the return factor at the parish is pretty good but this is my first […]

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