Words of Encouragement

After a tough night last night with my 8th graders, just 5 days before their Confirmation, I felt very much in need of some words of encouragement this morning. Thankfully, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI offered the following words a few days ago speaking to parents, teachers, priests, and catechists about the importance of education: VATICAN CITY, FEB. 25, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Although it is difficult to educate the children and youth of today in goodness, […]

Ya Gotta Laugh

Last night, we took our classes to church for the Lenten Sacrament of Reconciliation. For the most part, they behaved very well and it was a very nice service (it includes individual confessions which means the kids need to behave for a long stretch of time). My aide, Kris, and I were talking afterwards about how funny the kids can be. While some of the behavior can be a bit maddening, most of it makes […]

Reluctance to Read

One of the most frustrating things that I experience as a catechist is young people who are fully capable of reading but are reluctant to read. I’m not talking about reading aloud…I understand that some people don’t like to read aloud in front of others. I’m just talking about following along in the book as someone else reads aloud. I especially notice this in the boys. As we read, some of them will just stare […]

What Color was Jesus?

Last night, as part of our meditation, I showed the young people a number of different images of Jesus from around the world and over many centuries. Included in the images were depictions of Jesus as an Oriental, as Native American, as Black, and other dark-skinned peoples. When we were finished, one young man came up to me and asked, “Not to be racist or anything, but how come some of those pictures showed Jesus […]

Update on Behavior Problem

I promised I would update on how things went this past week with one of my young people after needing to discipline him firmly the week before. That occurred toward the latter part of class and, at the time, he responded by being very quiet. I was curious as to how he would behave the following week. I’d have to say I saw progress tempered by the fact that this young person is who he […]

Church History

As I look forward to Monday’s session, I see that our next unit moves us into a look at Church history. The challenge is to make history relevant. Kids in general react to the notion of history as something that is boring. It’s already a challenge to make sure that they seen religion as relevant and not boring so I’m facing a double whammy! Personally, I love history and I look forward to helping the […]

Ups and Downs

Last night was a night of ups and downs. We began by reviewing how to pray the Rosary and then we moved into our reflective prayer and prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, connecting this to our last class when we learned about the Cross of Jesus. A couple of the young people were pretty hyper and couldn’t sit still. I even had to pause at one point to ask one of them to […]

Live Deep, Not Fast

A colleague of mine attended a workshop on adolescent ministry given by Dr. Robert McCarty, executive director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. She shared her notes with me and I was struck by one thing that Dr. McCarty emphasized over and over again: he said that we must teach our young people to live deep, not fast. I absolutly love that notion and I plan to share it with my young people […]

Passing on the Faith

I’m interested in picking up a new book titled Passing on the Faith: Transforming Traditions for the Next Generation of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (edited by James L. Heft, S.M., Fordham University Press). The book is reviewed by Thomas Groome in the October 15, 2007 issue of America magazine. it is a collection of essays from a symposium held at the University of Southern California that asked the question, “how do we pass on religious […]

Tough Crowd!

Remember how Rodney Dangerfield would always use the line, “tough crowd, I tell ya, tough crowd”? Kevin Dooley via Compfight Well that’s how I felt after last night’s class! The kids were pretty wired for some reason. I think it had to do with the fact that they had the day off from the school district and spent the day at the mall drinking slurpies (sugar) and Pepsi (caffiene)! Having a fire drill 15 minutes […]

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