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 […]

Using Audiovisual Resources Effectively in Faith Formation (Video)

You don’t need to be a techie in order to effectively integrate audiovisual resources into your faith formation sessions. Watch the following video overview of how to use audiovisual resources in the classroom. Read the post that inspired this video (with the six goals): The Effective Use of Audiovisual Resources in Faith Formation.

Videos Are Supplemental

I love showing videos when I teach. However, I have learned over the years that videos are to be a supplement to the lesson. This is especially true in faith formation since our faith is a living, incarnational faith transmitted by living people. Imagine if the Gospel of John said, “For God so loved the world that he sent a video of his only Son, Jesus…” No, Jesus came in the flesh and continues to share […]

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