Reconciliation – The Light is ON for You

Tonight, our 8th graders will be going to the church to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the season of Lent. I see that in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley has launched an effort titled “The Light is On for You” to encourage people to receive the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation. In essence, every parish and chapel in the Archdiocese of Boston will be open on Wednesdays during Lent from 6:30-8:00 pm for confessions. […]

Images of the Holy Spirit

Tonight, as we begin our first of five Confirmation Intensives (class will be for 2 hours instead of 75 minutes, comprised of 5 different mini-sessions), I will be teaching about images of the Holy Spirit: water, anointing, fire, and a dove. To introduce this concept, I am bringing in a blank red octagon that I cut out of construction paper and afixed to a stick. I plan to show it to the kids and to […]

Teaching About Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Here is an idea for teaching about Mary on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s from The Sunday Connection: Tell the young people that some people benefit from having connections in high places. Invite them to imagine to whom they wish they had a connection. Distribute index cards to the young people and have them complete the following sentence: I wish I knew someone who… (Example: I wish I knew someone who could get […]

Jesus, I Want to Get to Know You

Tonight, we will complete our unit on Jesus. I have completed the PowerPoint presentation that the young people began work on in class last week which covers the various aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry: the world of Jesus, the people of Jesus, the words and actions of Jesus, and the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. I’m happy to share the PDF of the presentation: Who is Jesus – complete presentation PDF As we view the PowerPoint, […]

And a Child Shall Lead Them…

This phrase, of course, is from Isaiah 11:6, and is used from time to time in catechesis with regards to children taking leadership roles. I experimented with this concept on Monday evening by having one of my students lead the guided reflection! This was a big risk for me and I have to admit that I have a very hard time of letting go of things like this because I know how it should be […]

Repetition – The Rosary

What do all of the following have in common? “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” Repetition, of course. We human beings tend to repeat ourselves whenever we feel strongly about something, are excited about something, or want to convince […]

Voices of the Saints Quiz: Which One are You?

Here’s a fun and engaging activity you can enjoy either by yourself or, if you have Internet capability in your classroom, with your students. It’s called the Voices of the Saints Quiz: Which One Are You? It’s a fun way to learn about the saints as described by Bert Ghezzi in his book, Voices of the Saints: A 365-Day Journey with Our Spiritual Companions. I turned out to be Saint Anthony of Padua, who, the […]

On Second Thought…

Last evening’s session went OK, however, as I look back over my attempt to walk the young people through the Bible in preparation for the unit on Jesus, I’m having second thoughts about my approach. Frankly, I think it was a bit beyond them to explore so many Scripture passages (as outlined in my handout)  in one swoop. As brief as most of those passages are and as easy as I thought it would be […]

Setting the Stage for Jesus

For tonight’s class, my plan is to continue walking the young people through the story of salvation history in the Bible, setting the stage for the unit on Jesus that we are beginning. You may recall that 2 weeks ago (we were off last week for Columbus Day), I began walking them through the story of salvation history in the Bible and, because of a few interruptions (fire drill, etc.) only got as far as […]

How to Pray a Living Rosary

October, of course, is the month of the Holy Rosary, a great opportunity to introduce young people to the devotion of praying the Rosary. Many parish schools and religious education programs have a “living Rosary” during October and the question often comes up, “How do you pray the living Rosary?” Here are sites that offer explanations and descriptions of praying a Living Rosary: The Living Rosary: Bring the Rosary to life for your Students Catholic […]

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