What’s Up with this Exorcist Stuff?

You may have come across some stories this past weekend about the U.S. Bishops hosting a conference on exorcism. In particular, the conference was organized by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, IL…yes, my brother. How he ended up coordinating that event, I don’t know, other than maybe the bishops figured that growing up in a family of 9 children, he and his siblings had a little “devil” in us! 🙂 Seriously, though, I just […]

We Encounter Jesus through Signs

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday, November 15, 2010 Big Idea: We encounter Jesus through SIGNS (the Church and the Sacraments) Engage As the kids enter, hand them the Signs and Symbols worksheet and have them get busy with it. When all have gathered, do opening prayer ritual and then review correct answers for worksheet Explain that today we will be learning about signs and symbols of our faith Invite 3 volunteers to come forward for […]

Resources for Leading Guided Reflections/Meditations

One of my favorite topics to do presentations on is leading guided reflections (meditations). Inevitably, I get many questions about resources available for leading guided reflections. Permit me to share a few resources. I’m familiar with the first four. I have not yet personally had a chance to review the remaining resources so I invite anyone who has used these resources to offer their comments and critiques. Guided Reflections for Children Vol. I – Praying with Scripture (Loyola […]

A Gift from Jesus

At the end of my workshop In Hartford, CT, on Saturday (speaking on leading guided reflections), a priest came up to chat with me. I hesitate to call him an elderly priest because, although he was obviously up there in years, he had such a youthful attitude that it made him seem quite young. Anyway, the priest was telling me how he’s been doing guided reflections in catechesis for many years and that one thing […]

A Tour of the Church Student Worksheet

One activity that many catechists include in their repertoire is taking the students on a tour of the Church. This is an excellent way to provide a hands-on experience for kids, introducing them to the sacred spaces and objects that are a part of our Catholic worship and inviting them to develop their Catholic vocabulary. I’m a firm believer in always putting the responsibility on the students to show comprehension. I rarely show a video […]

“Can We Do That Again?”

To begin Monday’s session, we did an All Saints Day procession. I talked a little bit about what a procession is, comparing it to a parade and how parades usually celebrate victory and the hoisting of a trophy – such as the Stanley Cup here in Chicago! 🙂 We talked about how the Cross of Jesus is a symbol of victory: God’s victory over sin and death. I had my aide, Daneen, lead the procession, […]

Thinking of the Immaculate Conception on the Feast of All Saints

We catechists are always thinking and planning ahead, right? I recently received a comment from Joyce asking for ideas for a children’s liturgy for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I’m wondering if some of you have some suggestions! Hi Joe… do you have any ideas for celebrating a Mass with children on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Looking for something new… we’ve done the Gospel drama for years, but hoping for something new… […]

3-Minute Saints Retreats for Children

With All Saints Day just around the corner, now is a good opportunity to look at ideas for additional resources for teaching about the saints. Loyola Press has just put together four Saints Retreats for children, done in the style of the well-known and much loved 3-Minute Retreats. Each brief saints retreat is an opportunity to learn more about a particular saint, learn about that saint’s relationship with God, reflect on discussion questions about the […]

Great Resource for Daily Examen

On the Ignatian spirituality blog, dotMagis, my colleague Jim Manney, recently shared a link to a nice resource for praying the Daily Examen. It’s from a Jesuit high school in Houston where they pause at 2:05 pm each day to pray the Examen. This is a good resource not only for use in catechetical settings, but also for personal prayer.

Confirmation Survey – Let Your Voice Be Heard

How’s the Confirmation prep program at your school or parish? What do you love about the program? What would you change? Now’s your chance to share your expert opinion with someone who will listen! You are invited to share your opinion about Confirmation formation in a survey from SpiritedTalk.org. Let your voice be heard today and be entered to win one of the ten 3-book “Thank You” gifts to be selected at random from all […]

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