The Harvest is Here!

What harvest am I speaking of? The harvest of new Catholics, that is! In the period following the Easter Vigil, many RCIA leaders introduce their new Catholics to various parish ministries, including catechesis. I know of many catechists who began participating in this ministry shortly after going through RCIA. Some of you veteran catechists may be invited to speak to the RCIA group about your vocation as a catechist. Some of you new Catholics may […]

This is a Job for Catechists!

In recent comments, Pope Benedict XVI urged all Catholics to accept the call to search for Christ and witness and spread the good news of his Resurrection to the world with zeal.  This sounds like a job for catechists!  Of course all Catholics are called to do this, but as catechists, we are at the forefront of this effort.  The Pope explained that, “we are called to be witnesses to the death and resurrection of […]

A Blessed Triduum to All!

In observance of the Triduum, I will not post over the next few days. I’ll meet you back here on the “other side” of the Paschal Mystery! Have a blessed Triduum and a Happy Easter!

Catholic Universities Should Accept Catholics!

My niece has gone to Catholic schools all her life (kindergarten through senior year high school). She is the number 1 student in her senior class at her Catholic high school. She is involved in student government and in a variety of other extra-curriculars. She is involved in her parish. She is selflessly involved in community service. Despite all of this, her number one choice, Notre Dame, has rejected her application. What sense does it […]

I Admit, I’m a Holy Week Snob

I absolutely love Holy Week, especially the Triduum. It’s what we are all about. It is also Catholicism at its best. Today, we celebrated Palm Sunday Mass at St. Julie Billiart in Tinley Park…what a beautiful liturgy and a splendid way to enter into Holy Week. When I say that Holy Week and the Triduum are Catholicism at its finest, I mean that the power of the liturgies…word and sign…touch us at our deepest core. Catholicism […]

"Teaching" the Trinity

My friend and colleague Sr. Julie Vieira sent this to me via her blog, A Nun’s Life: I just recently read an article about your website and decided you might be able to help me. I teach a Sunday class of 12-14 year olds.It is a basic doctrine class and these young people have been baptized and are preparing for the sacraments of Confession & Eucharist. They struggle with understanding the Holy Trinity and who […]

How Much Time is Enough?

Religious education classes at the parish where I serve as a catechist are 75 minutes. That’s not a bad amount of time although it really seems like 90 minutes would be more effective, especially to allow for more substantive prayer experiences. I think it would also be nice to have occasional “extended” sessions that last 2 to 3 hours, perhaps once a month or at least quarterly. Where is it written that classes must be […]

They Really DID Learn Something!

This past Monday, we gave an end-of-the-year assessment to our 8th graders that covers all of the basics of the Catholic faith: the Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, parts of the Mass, and so on. First, we spent the week before reviewing, especially the Ten Commandments, which far too many of the kids seemed fuzzy on. Then, we gave the assessment, and, I’m happy to report, they did very well on. There were a handful of […]

Road Trip

Tonight we will be giving our 8th graders a year-end assessment (test). I like the fact that this is done AFTER Confirmation so that it is not seen as a hoop to jump through to receive the sacrament. It will be interesting to see how they do. I’m going on a brief road trip with 3 of my brothers, visiting our sister in Columbus, Ohio. I won’t be posting for a few days. Talk to […]

Whose Name We Bear

I love the Opening Prayer for the 4th Sunday of Lent: “God our Father, your Word Jesus Christ, spoke peace to a sinful world and brought mankind the gift of reconciliation by the suffering and death he endured. TEACH US, THE PEOPLE WHO BEAR HIS NAME, TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE HE GAVE US: may our faith, hope, and charity turn hatred to love, conflict to peace, death to eternal life. We ask this through Christ our […]

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