A Prayer for Catechists: Using Technology

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. This year asks many of us to try new technologies in spreading the Word of God. What has been your experience with technology in faith formation?

eLearning: What Have We Learned? What Do We Need to Learn?

Here we are in January, 2021, halfway through a teaching year unlike any other! Because of the pandemic, many Catholic school teachers and catechists needed to jump into the world of eLearning and still face the possibility of several more months in the eLearning world. We here at Catechist’s Journey would like to help by offering the following: First, we’d like to host a conversation right here about what you have learned about eLearning and […]

Prayer and Storytelling with a Digital Twist

In my book, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, I emphasize the need for meaningful experiences of prayer and effective storytelling as crucial elements for a more evangelizing catechesis. As a Church, we have been praying and storytelling for more than 2,000 years, so these are nothing new. What is new, however, is the digital world of which we are all now citizens! The digital world has opened up […]

Tips for Catechists Doing Faith Formation Remotely (Video)

As a catechist, it’s possible you’re being asked to teach faith formation lessons online this fall due to the ongoing pandemic or as a new approach to doing faith formation in your parish or diocese. Either way, if you’re new to this concept of facilitating remote lessons, I am pleased to share the following free video with you. It offers some basic tips to get you started proclaiming the Good News of Jesus in the […]

Finding God in the Digital World: Introducing Wanderlight!

St. Ignatius taught that a life of faith leads us to find God in all things, whether it be nature, experiences, relationships, or even technology. It is no surprise, then, that Ignatius did not hesitate to use cutting-edge technology—the printing press—to proclaim the Gospel to the world in the 16th century. In that same spirit, Loyola Press is proud and excited to introduce Wanderlight: A Pilgrim’s Adventure™ —an immersive digital game to help young people learn […]

Connecting with Middle Schoolers on Zoom

In the past few months, I learned that middle-school students know what is going on in the world and are deeply affected by it. I learned that they understand the power of prayer, especially in interceding for others. I learned that they turn to God when they are scared. I learned that they love their families intensely. How did I learn this? I learned it during our weekly Zoom calls, during which I offered them […]

Creating an Online Presence in One Week: A Tale of One Chicago Parish

When stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March because of the pandemic, many parish religious education programs found themselves facing unimaginable challenges. The main challenge, of course, was how to reach families and children who still had another six weeks of faith formation sessions left in the catechetical year. Many catechetical leaders and catechists all over the country responded with heroic efforts to sustain their programs through virtual contact. One such parish is St. Sylvester, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis Season 2

Thanks so much for the great response to our Pop-Up Catechesis feature. We initiated the series at the beginning of the quarantine as a way of supporting parents with ideas for making faith come alive in the home. Due to the favorable feedback we’ve received, we are going to continue featuring Pop-Up Catechesis here on Catechist’s Journey, with some minor changes. We originally created three episodes per week of Pop-Up Catechesis to respond to the immediate need […]

Connecting Catechists

Every fall, our parish hosts a catechists’ kickoff workshop. More than 100 catechists, substitutes, classroom helpers, and other catechetical volunteers get together for what is always a spirited day of swapping ideas, sharing knowledge, mentorship, and community prayer. Veteran catechists help new catechists, and we get to hear best-practices for each grade level and see how we can adapt them. On-the-spot conversations lead to new approaches for classroom management, teaching techniques, or creative lesson plans. […]

Catholic Faith Formation on Facebook: Join the Group!

Like so many others, I get a lot of my news and information from social media these days. Navigating the terrain of social media requires no small amount of prudence, patience, and discernment in order to wade through the plethora of information and discover the various pearls of great value shared by reliable sources. One such “pearl” from a very reliable source (Loyola Press!) is the Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page that has been around […]

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