Helping Young People Write Intercessions

While many parts of the Mass are always the same (we use the same words for the Gloria; the Holy, Holy, Holy; the Lord’s Prayer; the Lamb of God; etc.), several parts are always different from one Mass to another: the Scripture readings, the homily, and the Prayer of the Faithful. This, of course, gives us an opportunity to invite young people to shape some of the words we use at Mass. In particular, inviting […]

Establishing a Climate of Trust: Growing with GOD

Many experts in leadership emphasize that one of the first priorities of an effective leader is to establish a climate of trust. In other words, people need to know that they are safe in this environment that they are being invited into. This is especially crucial in a faith formation/spiritual environment where people are being invited to entrust their entire being to the Person of Jesus Christ and his Church. Doing the work of establishing […]

Celebrating the Sunday of the Word of God, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

In recent years, I have been increasingly convinced of the notion that our lives are guided by a narrative that is shaped by many factors and influences from the day we were born. This narrative colors how we see ourselves, others, and all of reality, including God. This concept is very familiar to people participating in twelve-step groups, since the healing process involves eradicating unhealthy narratives (“stinking thinking”) and replacing them with a healthy narrative. As […]

Overcoming the False Dichotomy Between Faith and Science

As researchers dig deeper into discovering why young people become disengaged from practicing faith, one of the most startling revelations is that, for far too many, the decision to disengage occurs between the ages of 10–13. Most often, the reason given for this disengagement is a preference on the part of young people for science or that which “can be proven.” They are, unfortunately, perceiving (and we are unintentionally communicating) a dichotomy between faith and science, […]

Building Community with the Communion of Saints

A few weeks ago, I was excited after a session on the saints because the young people in my group were excited too. We enjoyed playing a game, listening to an upbeat saints song, and participating in learning stations to get to know some of the saints. The first activity of the evening was Saints Musical Chairs. I found this game online a few years ago, and the writer shared brief descriptions of some of […]

Share Prayer: Breaking the Culture of Silence

Pope Francis has spoken many times of the value and power of intercessory prayer in Christian life. “When evangelizers rise from prayer, their hearts are more open; freed of self-absorption, they are desirous of doing good and sharing their lives with others.” (The Joy of the Gospel #28) Have you ever run into someone who asked you to pray for him or her? Did you take the time at that moment to stop what you […]

Countdown to First Penance and Reconciliation

Assist families in preparing for First Reconciliation by sending home a calendar that counts down the last four weeks leading to the celebration of the sacrament. This tool guides parents in helping their children prepare at home, and it gives children a great visual as they count down to First Reconciliation. From praying the Act of Contrition to giving a compliment or reviewing the Ten Commandments, the countdown activities will help children grow in their […]

The Bible Blueprint 10th Anniversary Giveaway

I was thrilled to learn recently that Pope Francis has declared the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time as “Word of God Sunday,” with the first observation of this taking place on January 26, 2020. What a great way to highlight the role of Scripture in the faith lives of Catholics! It is through Scripture that God reveals himself to us as a God who seeks to rescue, restore, and reassure us. This is our story—our […]

All Saints Day Celebration

My favorite session of the year is our celebration of All Saints Day on the class preceding November 1. It combines storytelling (one of my favorite ways to catechize) and direct instruction with a dose of games that make for excitement on the part of the children. With this session I’m hoping to leave some knowledge about saints and also a positive association with the fun games. I also use this opportunity to get parents […]

Saints Coloring Sheets

Help even the youngest children get to know our friends, the saints. Download saints coloring sheets featuring St. Peter, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Francis of Assisi, and others. These blackline masters feature words and art from God Made the World, the Age 4 book in the God Made Everything early childhood faith formation program. Learn more about God Made Everything here. Ideas for using these coloring sheets: Use the pages as an introduction to a […]

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