Pop-Up Catechesis: Divine Mercy and Treating People Like One of the Family

One of the most compelling reasons for believing in the Resurrection of Jesus—for me, at least—is the fact that the Gospel writers record no acts of vengeance on the part of the Risen Christ. Think about it: if the Gospel writers were trying to protect or restore their own reputations for backing a failed messiah who was publicly executed in the most humiliating way, they would most likely fabricate a story about his return to […]

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. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Cleaning Out Closets and Drawers

One of the lessons we’re learning during the pandemic is how to “do without.” There are so many things that we would love to be doing that we are simply unable to do right now. And yet, doing without is a spiritual virtue. So why not turn it up a notch and find some more things you can do without? In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at cleaning out our closets and drawers […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Taking to Heart/Memorizing Doctrinal Formulas

In this digital age, memorization is becoming a lost art! Why memorize something when you can look it up online? When God gave Israel the Ten Commandments, he told them, “Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.” (Deuteronomy 6:6) Being able to recall doctrinal formulas such as the Ten Commandments is a way of internalizing our faith and making it more personal. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at […]

Third Graders and the Ten Commandments

As we move through the school year, my students become more comfortable sharing and asking questions during religion class. I welcome this opportunity to answer questions, and I’m grateful that they can do this in a safe environment that is free of judgment. I want them always to feel that God loves them. When I can’t answer a question, I admit that and promise to get back to them with an answer. If the question […]

“Alternative Facts” and the Eighth Commandment

Recently, we have been hearing references in the news to the phrase “alternative facts” when folks are debating the veracity of the reporting on an event. The truth is, while there can be different perspectives and different interpretations of the same event, there is an objective element to the story that demands accuracy. For catechists, this issue provides us with an opportunity to talk about the Eighth Commandment, which is ultimately about communicating truth. I’ve always […]

How About a Year of Truth?

Now that the Year of Mercy is over, some catechists have been asking what “year” we will be celebrating in 2017. The truth is, not every year has a theme such as 2016’s Year of Mercy. This was a special Jubilee Year proclaimed by Pope Francis. The notion of proclaiming a theme for each year was popularized by St. Pope John Paul II right before the celebration of the Millennium, when he declared three years […]

Ten Commandments Games

My second-grade students have very busy bodies. I have struggled to accomplish anything in class, and I have been growing frustrated—I waste too much time trying to get their attention. After a few weeks together, I am realizing that I should find ways to focus their excitement and energy rather than stifle it. I am going to try a new approach: we will play more learning games and do fewer crafts, and I will incorporate lots […]

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