Traveling with the Shepherd This Christmas

For children, some of the most intriguing characters from the nativity stories are the shepherds, perhaps because at least some of the shepherds are imagined as being young. Catechists and parents can take advantage of the fascination that children have with shepherds and the nativity story by “traveling” with the shepherd from the wonderful book, The Shepherd’s Story, visiting local nativity scenes with a cutout shepherd boy. Invite children and families to take pictures of […]

Catechists as Proclaimers of a Promise Kept: Merry Christmas!

Hope is built on promises, and Christian hope does not disappoint. Why? Because our hope is based on a promise kept. The birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of a promise that God made to his people long ago, to send a Savior through whom God would always be present. On Christmas, we celebrate a promise kept! As catechists, we are proclaimers of a promise kept. We are proclaimers of hope! Those we teach are […]

Traveling on the Advent Train; Next Stop: Christmas!

Someone once asked me how we go about “switching gears” from Advent to Christmas. After I thought about it for a moment or two, I realized that we don’t switch gears, but rather, we allow ourselves to be transported by the liturgical calendar from one season to another. Liturgical seasons are defined not so much by what we do during each season, but rather by what that season does to us. We are formed by the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Lessons of the Magi at Epiphany

As we look forward to the Feast of the Epiphany, it’s important to realize that this is much more than a sentimental Christmas story for children, and its message isn’t limited to the notion that Jesus, the Savior, is revealed to the whole world, as critical as that point is. In this story, we also find a model for discipleship in the Magi (aka, the Three Wise Men or Three Kings). In this episode of Pop-Up […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Putting On Christ This Christmas

We often lament the fact that stores begin putting up Christmas decorations around the time of Halloween! Oddly enough, I find a link between Halloween and Christmas. On Halloween, children put on costumes and proceed to act like the characters they are portraying. My granddaughter, Livvy, two years of age, wore a kitty-cat costume and crawled about meowing and purring for a week. Well, on Christmas, we celebrate the person whose “costume” we have donned […]

The Shepherd’s Story Scripture Activities

From Psalm 23 to the Nativity story as told by Luke and more, shepherds appear in the Bible numerous times. Explore the role of shepherds in Scripture with activities inspired by the new children’s book, The Shepherd’s Story by Jimmy Dunne and illustrated by Ivan Kravets. “Shepherds in the Bible” invites young people to look up Scripture verses about shepherds and then express what they learn in creative ways. Younger children will enjoy the “Christmas […]

Poll: When Do You Celebrate Christmas with Your Faith Formation Group?

My wife taught for years at several different Catholic high schools, and she recalls how, in one school, the principal insisted that there be no Christmas decorations during Advent, while at another school, the principal wanted the school festooned with Christmas decorations so that visitors to open house could see them! As catechists, we want to celebrate Christmas with those in our faith formation groups; however, most often, we end up not seeing them for […]

Leading Others to Epiphany (Video)

The Feast of the Epiphany contains many messages and images relevant to catechists. Get an overview of the commonalities between the Magi and catechists by watching the below video. Read the post that inspired this video: Leading Others to Epiphany.

Christmas and Catholic Identity (Video)

Catholic identity is characterized by five traits that are integral to the Christmas story, and Christmas can help us to strengthen our Catholic identity. Learn more in the video below. Read the post that inspired this video: Christmas and Catholic Identity.

Catechists Have the Most Beautiful Feet!

The First Reading for Mass During the Day on Christmas proclaims: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion, “Your God is King!” (Isaiah 52:7) I’ve said this before here on Catechist’s Journey, but it bears repeating: catechists have the most beautiful feet! Why? Because catechists are the ones who, day in and day out, bring glad tidings, […]

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