Off to a Good Start?

Are you off to a good start this year as a catechist? Please share your comments with me and your fellow catechists about your first session (click on Comments below). My first session last night went very well, thank God! Today I’ll share some observations about the Engage step, which, being the first class, took about 35 minutes: My aide had a family issue to tend to and was unable to be there last night […]

Trust in the Goodness of God

Tonight’s the night! And I’m not referring to the great 1975 Neil Young song of the same title! Tonight is my first religious ed session for the 2009-10 catechetical year! May the “wind” of the Holy Spirit be at my sails! Here’s my plan: The theme (BIG idea) of this first session is: “We can trust in the goodness of God the Father” I plan to meet and greet the young people at the door […]

The Seven Deadly Sins – Lust

Always eager to share my vast knowledge of SIN 🙂 here is my latest article in a series on the Seven Deadly Sins, appearing in the Catholic New World, the archdiocesan Catholic paper in Chicago. Lust Attempts to Separate the Physical from the Spirit

A Sample Guided Reflection

In tonight’s Webinar presentation, I offered tips for leading guided reflections. I promised to post a sample on my blog for your convenience. This is taken from the Finding God program which includes scripts for guided reflections in each unit. Another good resource for guided reflections is Guided Reflections for Children, Volumes 1 and 2 (Loyola Press). Called to Holiness – (Time: approximately 10 minutes)   We all have imagination. Imagination allows us to go places […]

May Crowning

I just heard from a colleague of mine, a DRE who was a student at Quigley South High School when I taught there back in the 1980s! Patrick says, “Hello Joe! All is well at the parish. We finished a great year on May 3 with a May Crowning with all of the students.” Yes, May Crownings still happen! I remember with great fondness the May Crownings of my childhood…nothing said “spring is here” more […]

End-of-the Year Reflection

This evening is our end-of-the-year catechist meeting. I was asked by our DRE, Arlene, to lead the other catechists in a reflective prayer (meditation). I will be using a meditation that I wrote a couple of years ago for this very blog. You’re welcome to use this for your own reflection or with a group of catechists. We often tell our learners to use their imaginations. Now it’s your turn. Use your imagination to reflect […]

Ending on a Good Note – A Summary of Last Night's Class

Last evening was the last teaching session for this year with my 8th graders. Next week, we gather for Mass, some presentations, and then pizza. I enjoyed last night and overall, I feel it went very nicely, a fitting ending to a good year with a good group of kids. Here are the highlights: I met the young people at the door as they arrived. I was holding a tray with their little vigil candles […]

For the Love of Neighbor

This is a follow-up to my March 19 post – For the Love of God – in which I shared a handout comprised of numerous examples of actions that either violate the first three commandments or represent virtuous acts done in the spirit of these commandments. Here is the student worksheet that I am using tonight which covers the 4th, 5th, and 6th commandments. Likewise, here is the answer key. One example that I feel […]

For the Love of God

I’m preparing for my next week’s class when we will be exploring the first 3 Commandments which focus on love of God. I’ve put together a worksheet that I’ll invite them to work on in small groups. The worksheet includes numerous examples of actions that “violate” these 3 Commandments as well as virtuous actions that are done in the spirit of these 3 Commandments. In their small groups, the young people will work together to […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days—Lenten Activities: Silence Is Golden (In Honor of St. Joseph)

March 19 is the Feast of Saint Joseph, and he serves as the inspiration for our next Lenten activity. One aspect of St. Joseph’s life is especially fitting for Lent, and that is his quiet nature. The Gospels reveal Joseph as a man of few words and he is revered for his “silence”—his quiet dedication to his family and to hard work. Here’s what Pope Benedict XVI said about Joseph back in 2005: The silence of Saint Joseph […]

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