Celebrating the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

I wish I could remember who told me this, years ago, but I have never forgotten it: “The closest we will ever come in this life to seeing the face of God is seeing the face of our grandparents.” And yes, I came across this statement long before I myself became a grandparent! Grandparents can play a significant role in the lives of children. In recognition of this very important place that grandparents have in […]

Five Ideas for Accompanying Catechists Back to the Classroom

“But, really, is there such a thing as a catechist who is not creative? Creativity is what sustains us as catechists.” (Pope Francis at the International Congress on Catechesis, September 27, 2013) Catechists and catechetical leaders have certainly proved themselves to be flexible and creative during this past year and a half of upheaval. Many catechists and catechetical leaders exercised great creativity and “stick-with-it-ness” in reaching out to their students and families with great enthusiasm and […]

Accompaniment Is Ongoing

Imagine attending a concert featuring a solo vocalist accompanied by a keyboard player and, after the first song, the accompanist gets up and exits the stage and does not reappear for the remainder of the concert. So much for accompaniment! Too often, in our faith formation efforts, our accompaniment is short-lived. A family shows up at the parish to have their baby baptized, and we accompany them at the baptismal prep meeting and the Baptism. And […]

Junior High and Something Different in Faith Formation

For as long as I’ve been in catechetical ministry (over 40 years!), I’ve heard catechetical ministers pleading for something different when it comes to doing faith formation with junior high kids—and rightly so! Young people in junior high (seventh and eighth grades) are at a critical stage in their faith development, as their “image of God received in childhood is refashioned.” (Directory for Catechesis, 247) The worst thing we can do is to continue to treat […]

How Do We Show Appreciation to Catechists During the Pandemic?

Recently I received the following e-mail from a Catechist’s Journey reader: Any ideas for catechist appreciation this year with such a variety of comfort levels with gathering? Usually we do a big dinner, but we are currently only allowed to serve prepackaged food at parish functions according to diocesan guidelines. —Diana G. Thanks for asking the question, Diana, which I’m now asking of the rest of you readers. Perhaps you are a catechetical leader asking the […]

Welcoming, Accompanying, and Evangelizing Young Families

In his book, Excellence in Ministry (part of The Effective Catechetical Leader series), my good friend Tom Quinlan makes a powerful plea for a significant shift in how we approach families when it comes to faith formation: I like to say that the “cement is wet” at Baptism and that by Confirmation (and even First Eucharist) the cement of family faith identity and practice has greatly or fully hardened. My strong exhortation for parishes today […]

Doing Confirmation Prep Digitally During the Pandemic

While you may be proceeding with plans for an in-person celebration of Confirmation at some point in 2021, chances are that your Confirmation prep is taking place this fall in the midst of the pandemic. Of course, this means that you are scrambling to figure out how to do Confirmation prep remotely! Never fear, Confirmed in the Spirit—the popular Confirmation preparation program from Loyola Press—is now available digitally! This includes the following: Young People’s Book My […]

Helping Parents with Faith Formation at Home

We ended the last catechetical year with many parishes asking parents to work with their children at home on faith formation because of the pandemic. Our hopes were, of course, that we would soon see a return to normalcy and that, come fall, young people and catechists could once again resume in-person sessions of faith formation at the parish. Alas, those hopes have been dashed in many parts of the country where the pandemic lingers […]

Re-Starting Religious Education This Fall: Loyola Press Digital Resources to Assist Parents and Parishes

As the pandemic continues and with fall right around the corner, parishes are making decisions about how to re-start religious education programs safely and wisely. Among the options being considered are: in-person sessions catechists teaching remote lessons parents teaching lessons at home a hybrid or combination of some of each of the above. The bottom line is parishes are looking for versatility and flexibility when it comes to using quality, approved catechetical resources with families […]

Introducing Springs of Faith: A Catechumenal Approach to Infant Baptism Preparation

For too long, infant Baptism preparation has been little more than a “hoop” to jump through in order for parents to have their baby baptized. That’s why I am so excited to share the news about a wonderful new program from Loyola Press: Springs of Faith. I’m proud to be associated with this program as I contributed to the writing of a number of its components and did catechetical reviews of most aspects of the […]

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