Christmas Project Day

We take the week of Christmas and the following week off from faith formation classes. That means we might have one or two classes during the Christmas season—and those after the world has already moved on past trees and tinsel. How do we teach children the importance of the Christian understanding of Christmas when the timing seems a bit awkward? I try to do so by using the last class before Christmas as a project […]

Thank God for the Textbook!

On pg. 40 of my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox, I mention that one of the top ten things that can go wrong for a catechist is “You’re done with your lesson and you still have 35 minutes to go!” Would you believe 50 minutes? That’s exactly what happened to me last night! We took our 6th graders to church for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and we were told to anticipate that it would take the […]

This Christmas, Light Up a Room as Mary Did

The Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Advent provides us with a key for how to enter into Christmas. We hear of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. Mary enters and Elizabeth is filled with joy. Why? Because Mary is carrying Jesus within her. She is bringing Good News into Elizabeth’s home. She is bringing the nearness of God to Elizabeth. Mary knows how to light up a room! As we gather with family and friends […]

Catechists in Action – Dan Ward Segment 6

In this segment of Catechists in Action, 7th grade catechist Dan Ward continues to work with his students to prepare them for Christmas. Watch as Dan… invites his students to take 3 minutes to think of what they need to do to prepare for Jesus’ coming invites volunteers to share their ideas shares an idea of how he and his family are going to prepare for Christmas httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2SlSHFTlvs

Catechists In Action #3 – Dan Talks About Advent/Christmas Preparations and the Sacrament of Reconciliation

In this segment of Catechists in Action, we watch as 7th grade catechist Dan Ward talks with his students about preparing for Christmas and the coming of Christ and about preparing to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation the following week. Watch for the following as Dan: multi-tasks: teaching while also distributing materials pauses and shushes students when they get innattentive gives the students a writing activity to do but creates a sense of urgency by […]

Catechists Have Beautiful Feet!

As we enter into the Christmas season, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the beautiful feet of catechists around the world! The 1st Reading for Mass During the Day on Christmas proclaims:   How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news, Announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, saying to Zion, “Your God is King!” (Is 52:7) May God bless you abundantly for your effortst to be […]

A Nativity Play According to Luke

Click here for a Nativity Play that was sent to me by Karen from Elizabeth, Illinois, who writes: Hi Joe, If anyone needs a “bomb proof” script for the Nativity Play, a children’s production, for this year, please pass along the attached file. It’s based on the Gospel of St. Luke, this year’s cycle. It also starts right at the Prologue, a unique tool used by Luke. We’ve taken selected readings from Chapter 1, then continue […]

The Church Never Tires of Singing the Glory of this Night

Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven’s glory was made manifest. The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night: The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal And the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible. The angels and shepherds praise him And the magi advance with the star, For you are born for […]

Christmas and Catholic Identity

I had the privilege of being on the Morning Air show hosted by Sean Herriott (Relevant Radio) this morning. BTW, I’ll post a link to a recording of it tomorrow when it becomes available. Anyway, I spent the time talking about how unabashedly Catholic the celebration of Christmas is! I describe Catholic identity as being characterized by the following 5 traits: a sense of sacramentality a commitment to community a deep respect for the dignity of human […]

A Christmas Message

The following message is from Cláudio Cardinal Hummes, Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo, and the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, which oversees the Church’s catechetical efforts. It is a heartfelt Christmas message to all of us catechists. I pass it along to you with wishes for a blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with abundant graces. I’ll “see” you back here on the other side of Christmas/New Years Day! Christmas Message 2008 […]

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