Do Teens Have a Spiritual Life?

The answer to the question, “Do teens have a spiritual life?” is, of course, YES! At times, however, it may seem to us as though teens do not have the capacity for spirituality. Nothing could be further from the truth. What they often do not have the capacity for is the ability to articulate their spirituality. Likewise, a spiritual life is not to be confused with a pious life. In his classic book, The Holy Longing, Fr. […]

Five Tips for Working with Little Children

Working with young children can be a challenge, but children can also be fun and even give you insights into our faith when you look through their eyes of innocence and imagination. With that in mind, here are five tips for working with little children in faith formation sessions. Know that logic doesn’t always work. While it is possible to reason with older elementary students, as well as middle and high schoolers, young children have […]

Meet Generation “Z”

Now that “Millennials” are coming of age, a lot of attention is turning to the next generation. Here is an interesting slide presentation about the generation of kids we are teaching today – in this presentation, referred to as “Generation Z” – those born from 1995 to the present. Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials Personally, I think the subtitle is a bit of hyperbole – I don’t think the next generation […]

Special Needs: Adaptive Kits for First Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Now CONFIRMATION!

One of the challenges we face in catechesis is reaching out to those with special needs to help them encounter Christ in a meaningful way. Loyola Press is proud to be contributing resources to this effort, namely, the Adaptive Kits for First Eucharist and Reconciliation. Now we have proudly added a kit for Confirmation! The Adaptive Confirmation Preparation Kit was designed to help individuals with autism and other special needs enter fully into the faith experience, […]

The Ignatian Key to Opening Doors of Faith – or – Going Contagious with Ignatius!

The theme for Catechetical Sunday (September 15, 2013) this year is…     It just so happens that St. Ignatius of Loyola holds the key to unlock and open the “Door of Faith!” St. Ignatius taught that the most effective way to persuade someone to your way of thinking is to “enter through their door but be sure to leave through your door.” What he means by this is that we need to make a connection between […]

Evangelization and Catechesis: Enough About Content, Let’s Talk Tactics!

Over the past couple of years, in an apparent effort to ensure orthodoxy of content, some Catholic dioceses in the United States have invested countless man hours and who knows how much money implementing lengthy and tedious processes to mandate a limited number of catechetical textbook series in their dioceses. This, despite the fact that dozens of textbook series have gone through rigorous scrutiny and have already been determined to be in conformity with the […]

Shootings at CT Elementary School: When Will it Stop?

In the wake of the horrendous shootings at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, I can only say that it sickens me to have to run this post again.  Just substitute “Newton, CT” for “Virginia Tech.”Please pray for the victims, the survivors, and their families. 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. The sudden […]

Why Go to Mass?

My friend and colleage Denise shared the following video (“Why Go to Mass?”) with me, from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, for youth ministry. I see it as a refreshing take on the “Catholics Come Home” campaign because it comes across as less “triumphal”  and more inviting to those who are hesitant, doubtful, and hurting. (Love the “girly-men” scene/comment). What do you think? httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saN4m3OZ3wE

Spiritual but not Religious – Love Jesus but Hate Religion

More and more today, we hear people saying that they are spiritual but not religious, meaning that they believe in God but choose not to encounter him within the context of the institutional church. One young man has chosen to post a video on YouTube in which he recites a poem about how he loves Jesus, but hates religion. I applaud him for taking the initiative to talk publicly about his faith. I couldn’t disagree more […]

A Sign of the Times

Here’s a good example of how times have changed and how catechists need to be aware of how kids will respond to something. As I was observing a second grade class last evening, the catechist was asking the kids to name the 7 Sacraments and giving them clues to help them recall each of them. When it came to the Sacrament of Matrimony, the catechist offered a clue inviting the kids to complete the sentence […]

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