Pop-Up Catechesis: Finding Hidden Heroes in Our Everyday Lives

We usually think of a hero as someone who has done something very dramatic, such as running into a fiery building to save someone who is trapped or rescuing someone who is drowning in a lake, river, or pond. Certainly, such acts are heroic. However, a hero is simply someone who puts personal needs aside and goes above and beyond the call of duty to make a profound and positive impact on the life of another. […]

Saint Joseph Activities Pack

We don’t know many details about St. Joseph, but he was a model of trust in God. Celebrate the life and example of St. Joseph with our fun activities pack. Perfect for this Year of St. Joseph, the pack includes: a cute puzzle for children to color a word search to spark discussion on Joseph’s hidden life a family game idea inspired by Luke 2:41–52 a sheet inviting exploration of lessons Jesus might have learned […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Doing a First Reconciliation Retreat at Home

With vaccinations arriving, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel as far as the pandemic goes. In the meantime, however, many of our in-person activities are still being limited. For many children, a First Reconciliation retreat is part of their preparation at the parish. Since the present crisis precludes such gatherings in many parishes, I offer some suggestions for doing a First Reconciliation retreat at home, in today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis. Here are some […]

Leading Guided Reflections with Second Graders

I’ve shared before how I introduce my second graders to a variety of prayer experiences. However, my favorite prayer experiences with them are guided reflections. In a guided reflection, I lead the children step-by-step to imagine meeting Jesus, talking with him, and listening to him. I’m thankful that my God’s Gift books include guided reflections paired to several of our lessons. Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts also includes guided reflections at every grade […]

Laying the Foundations for Bible Literacy

Talk about the impact a book can have on a child: my wife and I (who were a grade-level apart from one another) both recall a set of Bible storybooks that the grade school we attended used over 50 years ago! It was a two-volume set—Old Testament and New Testament—with the story on one side of the spread and a color picture on the opposite side of the spread. Unfortunately, neither of us saved a […]

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 […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Christ the King and Noble Leadership

Recently, Americans went to the polls to elect leadership that they hope will serve the country well. Before democracy came on the scene, most nations were headed by royalty, dating back thousands of years. While we tend to think of leaders like kings and queens as rulers, in truth, leaders are called to serve, and this service is called to be noble (virtuous, dignified, distinguished, extraordinary). In short, it is a call to be heroic, which means […]

Prayer: You Called Me to Proclaim Your Name

Lord, thank you for all the people who have proclaimed your name throughout the past two thousand years. Many have given their lives so that today I can encounter you. I feel happy and fulfilled by my faith, knowing that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one awaited through the ages. You are the beginning and the end. You are the Lord of Life. Help me make our encounters increasingly frequent and […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: St. Martin de Porres

When an orchestra prepares to perform together, they spend a few minutes before the performance ensuring that they are all in tune with one another. Without this effort, the audience would no doubt hear the disharmony and cringe at the discordant sound. In our human relationships, we are called to live in harmony with one another. In the area of race relations, however, we continue to experience far too much disharmony. On November 3, we […]

Printable Saints Figures

Celebrate the saints with our printable saints figures. Featuring art and saints from Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gift Kindergarten, these figures are a fun and simple project to color, cut, and fold. Here are a few ideas for how to use these saints figures: Display the finished figures on a classroom shelf or prayer table, or in the background for an online catechetical session. Fold the finished picture around a toilet paper tube […]

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