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 […]

Lessons from My Friends, the Saints

I like to refer to the saints of the Catholic Church as my friends, and I reach out to them several times a day. Who are the saints I turn to during my teaching day? My teaching philosophy is, “Love the children first, then teach them.” This quote is attributed to St. Mother Théodore Guérin. What more can I say about this quote? Spending seven hours a day with a classroom of students that one […]

A Lesson from St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes: Experience First

Bernadette Soubirous was a young girl of 14 when Our Lady appeared to her, about the age of the young people in my class. She didn’t have much education, but still she was chosen to receive the visions of Lourdes. St. Bernadette helps me to remember that it’s about the experience first. While it’s important to know the facts of our faith and be able to articulate what we believe, first there must be an […]

A Little Lesson for Me as a Catechist from St. Peter

Perched as we are on the doorstep of All Saints Day (Nov. 1), I thought it would be a good opportunity for several of us catechists to share some little lessons we have learned from the saints, inspired by the book Little Lessons from the Saints by my friend and Loyola Press colleague Bob Burnham. I always remind catechists that we are never alone when we teach: the Communion of Saints has our back. I often […]

Teaching Children to Pray the Rosary

I love teaching the Rosary to my first graders. The Rosary helps them learn important prayers, highlights Scripture stories, and keeps their hands occupied when we are sitting together in a circle. In May I hand out rosaries to each student, usually a week after they learn the Hail Mary. I explain that they were blessed by a priest earlier in the day. (One year, I actually took a photo of our pastor with his […]

Catechists Hungry for Knowledge of Scripture: A Look Back at Our Poll

Recently, we conducted one of our informal polls to get a peek into the minds and hearts of catechists. In this particular poll, we asked: Which area of Catholic teaching do you most need to grow in understanding? With 51% of the vote (as of 9/6/19), Scripture, by far, is the area in which catechists most feel a need to grow in their understanding. This is not surprising. While we Catholics have made great advances […]

Sacraments: Grace for Christian Witness

Pope Francis has repeatedly urged the faithful not to remain closed-in on ourselves, focused only on the affairs of the Church, but rather to go out and give witness to Christ. This is the missionary spirit in which catechists share the Good News—not only in the classroom, but in our daily interactions with the greater community. This bold commission may seem daunting at times, but we receive grace, “the free and undeserved help . . […]

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