Technology, Prayer, and Catechesis

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of Encontrando a Dios, a fully bilingual faith formation program for grades 1–8. When it comes to prayer, many of us think that it is a prerequisite to turn off all electronic devices that might distract us. Although we certainly need to cut down on distractions, the truth is, the world of cyberspace offers us numerous opportunities to deepen our prayer lives. With that in mind, […]

Faith Tweets and Bible Trivia to Teach Salvation History

Mary Dillman has served as a catechist for 13 years at St. Magdalen de Pazzi Church, in Flemington, NJ (Diocese of Metuchen). The parish is a large one with more than 3,000 families. Mary teaches sixth-grade religious education and has served as the lead instructional designer for the Salvation History curriculum the parish uses for sixth-grade youth. Here she shares several activities that worked best in her faith-formation classes this past year, as part of […]

Using the Power of the Parish Website

Once upon a time, 15 or so years ago, when you wanted to learn about a church or business, you checked the phone book first. Today, you’re probably hard-pressed to locate a phone book. Websites are the phone books of the 21st century. If you want to know the phone number of a local church, you find its website. If you need Mass times, you check the website. Need a copy of the latest bulletin—website. […]

Reviewing the Year with Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication

At the end of the year I like to have my students reflect on all the activities and all that we have learned during our time together. Usually, I just set aside some time to write our reflections down on our whiteboard. This year, I found a new idea for my class that encourages my students’ creativity, collaboration, and communication. This activity is called a Paper Slide Video. This activity begins with students recalling all […]

Social Media Struggles: Three Common Parish Pitfalls

Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—different platforms that present a variety of ways to engage parishioners and draw potential new members. Using social media as a part of your overall communications strategy for your parish is a smart move with lots of potential benefits. Many parishes initially see a decent amount of engagement in the first couple of weeks after establishing a Facebook page, but months later the page is languishing and as time goes […]

Finding God and YouTube Videos

Today, more than ever, young people expect video to be one of the ways they are engaged in education. While no resource can ever replace the person of the catechist, it is indeed crucial to utilize all of the tools available to us to engage young people in catechesis. To that end, we are proud to announce that our Loyola Press Finding God curriculum now includes links to YouTube videos (one for every chapter of grades […]

Using E-mail in Your Religious Education Program

Whether using it to work, to keep in touch, to learn, or to conduct business, e-mail has become an integral part of how we communicate. Add to this our ability to access e-mail through mobile devices, and we can clearly see its benefit as a communication tool for religious education programs. A Few Things About E-mail E-mail is flexible. While Facebook and Twitter are great for reaching your entire parent community with broad-based messaging, e-mail […]

Using a Blog as a Catechetical Tool

You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. —Deuteronomy 11:18–20 In 2015, Moses […]

How to Use Twitter for Your Religious Education Program

What can be said in 140 characters or less? Enough to capture the attention of millions of people who are part of the fast-pasted, real-time information network known as Twitter. Twitter encourages people to design personalized news feeds by “following” what matters to them. No doubt the sources of that news are diverse. From international press to celebrities, from school systems to your neighbors, people are sharing and receiving information via Twitter. How might Twitter […]

“Friending” Facebook for Your Religious Education Program

Quick question . . . have you checked Facebook today? Chances are you have, and you’re not alone. Facebook reports more than 800 million mobile active users alone. For many, social media and social networking are synonymous with Facebook. Users range from pre-teens to senior citizens. Now imagine being able to harness even a fraction of that interest and activity level for your religious education program. Believe it or not, it isn’t as tough as […]

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