Racism: Are We Cultivating a Patch of Weeds in Our Garden?

Recently after Sunday Mass, my wife and I were chatting with our pastor outside of the church. He drew our attention to one of the gardens along the side of the church, pointed at a patch of green plants and said, “I’ve been meaning to ask someone, are these weeds? Should I be pulling them?” Joanne and I, with our limited knowledge of gardening, were not quite sure ourselves. Some weeds are easy to spot. […]

Parent Eucharist Gathering

The celebration of First Eucharist is always a special event in the life of a parish. Make it more meaningful for everyone involved by hosting a parent gathering with the help of my latest free PowerPoint presentation. Jesus Christ is present with us all the time, but in the Eucharist, we have a real presence—something substantial that we can touch, hold in our hands, taste, and consume. The Eucharist is truly the presence of Jesus—God—in […]

Games for Learning about Eucharist and the Mass—Free Printables

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we join in communion with the family of the Church. Help children deepen their understanding of the Eucharist and the Mass with fun review games. Children will enjoy playing Mass Bingo, Eucharist Tic-Tac-Toe, and a Matching Game to review People and Things at Mass. These downloadable games can be printed out and played in sacramental […]

Countdown to Reconciliation

Our parish celebrates First Penance and Reconciliation in early December. As beautiful as it is to celebrate this sacrament in Advent and to be able to focus our efforts in the spring on First Holy Communion, the date always seems to creep up faster than I want it to. Since we have such limited time together in faith formation classes, I rely on the parents to help prepare their children for the sacrament at home. […]

Advent Is Just Around the Corner!

With Advent being just around the corner, I want to let you know about a number of great resources at your fingertips to enhance your faith community’s experience of this wonderful season! Advent Moments of Mercy This Advent coincides with the beginning of the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared. What greater act of mercy is there beyond God sending his only Son Jesus to save us from sin? The Advent season provides […]

Celebrating National Bible Week: November 15–21, 2015

Since the Second Vatican Council and the issuing of Dei Verbum (the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation) 50 years ago, there has been an explosion of renewed interest in Scripture among Catholics. Against that backdrop, it’s exciting to know that Catholics will observe National Bible Week in the United States, November 15–21, 2015. This is a great opportunity for your parish to promote reading, studying, and praying with Scripture. The USCCB has put together a number of […]

Parent Reconciliation Gathering

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like receiving an embrace from God, but too many Catholics fear the sacrament because they don’t understand it. When we invite parents to a meeting before their children receive First Reconciliation, we have an opportunity to help adults learn more about the sacrament. Use this opportunity to encourage parents and invite them to come to confession when their children do and be embraced by God. To help you do this, […]

From Business Meetings to Worshipful Work

Everything we do in parish life has a catechetical aspect to it. In other words, the way we do things in the parish teaches and forms us in our faith. With that in mind, an important venue for adult faith formation is parish business meetings. How do we conduct business when we gather adults together for parish pastoral council, parish finance team, school board or religious education advisory board, etc.? From my experience, it’s safe […]

Rest in Peace Catechist Len Astrowski

For a number of years, I served as a catechist at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Evergreen Park under the direction of Arlene Astrowski, the Director of Religious Education (now retired). It is with great sadness that I pass along the news that her husband, Len, passed away recently. I had the pleasure and privilege of being a catechist alongside Len for several years and even enjoyed videotaping him for our Catechists in Action series. […]

An Oldie But Goodie: Resources to Make Your Religion Class More Catholic

A catechist recently asked me for a resource that I had forgotten about! A few years back, I offered a Webinar based on my book Practice Makes Catholic and I offered a PDF with links to a number of resources that can make your religion class “more Catholic.” In looking it up, I realized that there was some pretty good stuff here so I thought I’d make it available once again. A handful of links […]

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