Second Week of Advent (Year C): Pack Up Your Things, Come Out of Your Caves, and Light a Bonfire!

Welcome to our second installment of this series on the Scripture readings for Advent, Year C. I mentioned in the first installment that, as I reflected on the Advent Scripture readings, I thought of the image of castaways on a deserted island, feeling hopeless and abandoned. The readings for the First Week of Advent reassured us that “help is on the way!” The Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Advent tell us that, while […]

Advent in a Parish

This long-time Texas boy has recently moved north to Minnesota, and two of the joys I have felt as a result of this move are the experiences of watching the leaves change color in the fall (something I did not see much growing up) and the snowfall of winter. (Within just the last few days, I have witnessed more snow than I have in the past several years combined back home.) These changes remind me […]

First Week of Advent (Year C): Help Is On the Way!

Welcome to the first installment of our Advent series for the 2019 liturgical year (Year C), which begins on Sunday, December 2, 2018. Each week, I will draw a theme from the Sunday Scripture readings, offer some reflections for your enrichment, and provide some suggestions and resources for bringing this theme to life in your learning setting. As I reflected on the Scripture readings for the Sundays of Advent this year, I thought of the […]

How to Host a Parish Advent Wreath-Making Workshop

The Advent Wreath Workshop is an event I happily inherited from my predecessor at the Church of St. Clare in Staten Island, NY, where I serve as Pastoral Associate and Director of Religious Education. Every year, we invite parishioners on the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent to gather and make an Advent wreath for their home. This event is a popular activity in our parish. I have met parishioners who have been doing this for many years as […]

Preparing to Journey Together Through Advent

Believe it or not, we are once again preparing to enter into the season of Advent in just a few short weeks! As always, it is a privilege to walk that journey with you here at Catechist’s Journey. This year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 2, 2018, and we enter into Year C of the Lectionary cycle, which means that we will primarily be hearing the Good News according to St. Luke. Here are the […]

Teaching About the “End Times” at the End of Ordinary Time

In these last few weeks of Ordinary Time before Advent begins, we hear Scripture calling our attention to the “end times.” I’m sure you’ll agree that these Scripture passages are difficult to understand and challenging to teach. Permit me to offer a few insights. Jesus was not predicting the end of the world but the end of an “age”—a paradigm shift, if you will. Jesus’ speaking of the end times can best be understood in […]

Pentecost in the Classroom

Pentecost is often overlooked in my third-grade classroom. Because Pentecost falls on the seventh Sunday after Easter, the school year is usually over by the time we celebrate it. Still, I was determined to celebrate it with my third graders. After reading Kathleen Butler’s article on using art in the classroom, I decided to collect artwork related to Pentecost and show it to my students. I am fortunate to have a large interactive whiteboard in […]

Pentecost Activities

On Pentecost we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles; this event marks the beginning of the Church. Bring the celebration of Pentecost to your faith formation group with our Pentecost Activities Packet. The packet includes a prayer service, a Holy Spirit crossword puzzle, and a family handout inviting parents to share the message of Pentecost with their children. Combine using the packet with reading the story of Pentecost, found in the […]

Taking the Lessons of Lent into the Easter Season

Throughout Lent we took time to reflect on how we can grow closer to God through prayer, acts of service, and reflecting on the life of Christ. How do we apply the lessons learned and the experiences witnessed during Lent and Holy Week? While Lent and Holy Week help us be reflective and penitential, we can examine our consciences and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout the year. The more we celebrate the Sacrament of […]

Easter Completes the Narrative of the Three “R’s”—Rescue, Restoration, and Reassurance

Happy Easter! It is so appropriate that we take 50 days to celebrate this glorious feast, since it is the culmination of our narrative—the story that guides and gives form, shape, and direction to our lives. Easter is an “alternative ending” to a story that appears to be hopelessly and wildly progressing toward a tragic ending. The Christian narrative is the ultimate “director’s cut,” since it represents how God intends the story to “end.” In […]

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