My Crystal Ball

I began class last night by inviting the kids to join me in another room that I had set up with my “crystal ball!” I have a light fixture – a globe – that is tinted white and I placed a battery operated flickering candle inside of it and wrapped a purple cloth around the base of it. All of the lights in the room were turned off and I had a CD playing in […]

Las Posadas

In a very tiny way, I can relate to the journey of Joseph and Mary as they left Nazareth to travel to Bethlehem: it just so happens that I’m moving from one workspace to another! Although the distance of my journey will only be about 50 feet, it is a small reminder that we are all pilgrims on a much grander journey! I was thinking that I should add a dramatic flare to my move […]

An Advent Examination of Conscience

Tonight, our 8th graders will be celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the church. Advent is indeed an appropriate time to celebrate this sacrament, making straight the path to the Lord. I found the following examination of conscience which is based on the scripture passage of the Visitation and the Magnificat (Luke 1:39-56) which makes it quite appropriate as an Advent examination of conscience. Advent Examination of Conscience

An Advent Retreat!

Here’s another opportunity for you to find enrichment during this wonderful Advent season. Loyola Press is hosting an Advent retreat on the Days of Deepening Frienship Web site. The retreat features a new Advent article each week written by some pretty talented authors! November 30: James Martin, SJ, shares tips on going from the secular to the spiritual in our Christmas preparations and celebrations. December 7:  Liz Kelly will share some insight on Advent rituals […]

An Evening of HOPE

Last evening’s class went very nicely. I was especially grateful for the very relaxed rapport that the 8th graders seem to have developed with me. They are upbeat and pleasant, smiling and talking with one another and with me. They genuinely seem to enjoy being there and we seem to be very comfortable with each other. With Advent beginning, our focus was on the theme of HOPE. Because of the good vibes, we were able […]

A Light Shines in the Darkness

Happy Advent! I hope that your Thanksgiving weekend was an opportunity to enjoy family, friends, and some recreation and renewal! Well, it’s back to “work” for me tonight, wrapping up the short unit on Church history. Here’s my plan: As the kids enter, I’ll give them pages from daily newspapers and set them to work finding examples of “bad news.” Each of the kids will share their examples of bad news stories with the group and I’ll talk […]

Advent Webinar Recording is NOW AVAILABLE!

For those of you who missed it live, the recording of my Advent Webinar is now available for your convenience! You can watch this on your own or get together with a group of catechists/DREs for viewing. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1813DAB131E26FEE

Advent Webinar Coming Soon!

It’s hard to believe that we have only 3 Sundays left in the current Church year! Advent begins on November 29! With that in mind, don’t miss my (free) Advent Webinar on Wednesday, November 18. And if you do miss it, it will be recorded and made available the week following right here on my blog. Have a great weekend! Facilitator: Joe Paprocki, DMin Brought to you by Loyola Press, A Jesuit Ministry Wednesday, November […]

Advent: Who’s Coming?

As we began class on Monday, I pointed to the prayer center and asked, “Does anyone notice anything different?” After a short pause, one of the girls pointed to the purple cloth and said, “There’s purple for Advent.” I complimented her on being so observant and then asked, “So, what does the word Advent mean?” No one knew (or at least no one volunteered an answer!). Then, I gave an example. Our aide, Ben, had […]

Advent Hope

Tonight is an opportunity to spend some time with the young people focusing on the notion of HOPE as we proceed through this first week of Advent. I picked up a few copies of the daily newspapers and will distribute sections to each of the young people, asking them to find a “bad news” story and to tear it out and prepare to describe it to the group. We’ll collect these stories on the table […]

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