How Many Contact Hours?

I received this email from Lisa about how many contact hours a religious education program should have per year: Joe, I see at times you post emails you receive from individuals and ask for feedback/information from “the group.” Could you possibly help me?  I’m wondering how many classes per year other parishes hold for the RE classes and the length of them.  I’m told by our Archdiocese that 30 contact hours with students is the […]

Catechist Meeting Tonight!

Our new catechetical year gets off to a start tonight with our first catechist meeting! This will be an opportunity for me to meet the other 4th grade catechists that I’ll be working with as well as my aide. There’s always a sense of excitement at this meeting, as we all look forward to the challenges and opportunities of the coming year. I’m honored to have been asked by Arlene, our DRE, to speak to […]

What the DREs Are Saying

I spent a very enjoyable and productive day today with about 45 DREs in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, talking about caring for our catechists. We looked specifically at how we can offer them formation in the areas of being, knowing, and doing, as outlined in the General Directory for Catechesis. In the course of our day, the folks offered lots of thoughts and comments. Here is a summary of just a few thoughts […]

Teaching Church Behavior

Last night, we had our end-of-the-year grade level meeting with Arlene, our DRE, and we talked about how things went this year and what we can do better next year. One of the main issues that came up was our concern over the kids’ behavior in Church when we go over for prayer services or Mass. Each year, we go to the Church probably 5 or 6 times: opening prayer for the year, Advent Reconciliation, […]

Thanks for Helping Nancy!

A couple of days ago, I put up a post asking if folks could help Nancy in Puerto Rico who was asking about fees/tuition charged for parish religious education programs. Your response has been very generous! Here are more comments that came in by way of websupport: Hi Joe – I am a DRE in two parishes at the East End of Long Island which is part of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and I […]

A Little Help?

This comment came from Nancy in Puerto Rico and she is looking for some help…I thought that y’all could pitch in with your thoughts/advice: Hi, Joe! I always look forward to reading your e-mails – you are a blessing for all of us!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you do!!!! We just finished our classes at our Church and we already had our big end-of the- year meeting with our priest and […]

Being, Knowing, and Doing

Several people have asked me about a presentation that I’m giving in a number of places called Being, Knowing, and Doing (BKD). The Being, Knowing, and Doing workshop guides catechetical leaders through six mini-inservices that can be easily replicated for use in training parish catechists. In these mini-inservices, I demonstrate how to creatively engage catechists and help them discover, embrace, and proclaim their faith more effectively. Each of the inservices demonstrates how to form catechists in […]

RCIA Catechists: Getting the Newly Initiated to “Come Back” for Mystagogia

I had a nice discussion last evening with some RCIA coordinators, catechists, and sponsors, who were lamenting how difficult it is to get the newly initiated to return for sessions following the Easter Vigil. (Sounds very similar to the struggle we have getting kids to come back after Confirmation, eh?) The Easter season is to be a period of “mystagogia” (miss-tuh-GO-jyah) – an opportunity to reflect upon the mysteries of our faith (which basically describes […]

Congratulations Kevin Cody!

Congratulations to my friend Kevin Cody, DRE at St. Alphonsus in Lemont, IL, on his installation as president of the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors (NPCD) which is part of the NCEA (National Catholic Education Association). Here’s the story as reported in the current issue of The Sower, the newsletter of the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago. New President of NPCD Kevin Cody – Catechetical Leader at St. […]

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