Lent: Promises Made, Promises Kept

There are many ways to enter into Lent and to draw from the riches of the season and its Scripture readings. One very effective way is to focus on the Old Testament readings for each Sunday of Lent (this year, Cycle B). During Lent, the Old Testament readings stand by themselves in many ways, which means that we shouldn’t try too hard to bend and shape them to connect with the second reading or the Gospel, […]

Laying the Foundations for Bible Literacy

Talk about the impact a book can have on a child: my wife and I (who were a grade-level apart from one another) both recall a set of Bible storybooks that the grade school we attended used over 50 years ago! It was a two-volume set—Old Testament and New Testament—with the story on one side of the spread and a color picture on the opposite side of the spread. Unfortunately, neither of us saved a […]

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 […]

Prayer and Storytelling with a Digital Twist

In my book, Preparing Hearts and Minds: 9 Simple Ways for Catechists to Cultivate a Living Faith, I emphasize the need for meaningful experiences of prayer and effective storytelling as crucial elements for a more evangelizing catechesis. As a Church, we have been praying and storytelling for more than 2,000 years, so these are nothing new. What is new, however, is the digital world of which we are all now citizens! The digital world has opened up […]

Old Testament Timeline Activity

Explore some of the Old Testament stories we hear during Ordinary Time with the help of our Old Testament Timeline Activity. This one-page sheet for children pairs the engaging art of Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories with an activity to engage logical/mathematical learners. Pull out the glue and scissors, and look at stories from Isaac, Jacob, and Esau to the wise King Solomon. Use your Bible or the Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Getting to Know Your Bible Better

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore how to become more familiar with the Bible and how to teach children to get to know the Bible better.  For more information related to getting to know the Bible better, check out the following: Introducing Catholics to the Bible: Free Parent-Child Session The Bible Blueprint: A Catholic’s Guide to Understanding and Embracing God’s Word Seek and Find Bible Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories

Pop-Up Catechesis: Reading the Bible as a Family

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at how to read the Bible together as a family with a focus on the Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday, using the Sunday Connection. For more on reading the Bible as a family, check out the following: Using the Bible in Family Prayer: Praying with Young Children Leading Young Children in Prayer with the Bible Exploring the Good Word This Week as a Family

A Prayer for Catechists: Stories of Scripture

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. For more resources on Scripture in faith formation, see: Putting Scripture Front and Center in Faith Formation Are You Biblically Animated? Introducing Catholics to the Bible: Free Parent-Child Session “What’s Your Story?” Inviting Children into a Healthy Narrative Bible Bell Work Biblical Literacy for Catechists

Bible Bell Work

I always have “bell work” for children to begin as soon as they arrive in the classroom. These are short activities that engage early arrivals as the rest of the class arrives during the first 10–15 minutes. While students are doing their bell work, I can take attendance, check homework, hand back completed work, and attend to other tasks, like notes from parents. One of the easiest forms of bell work I have is Bible […]

Celebrating the Sunday of the Word of God, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

In recent years, I have been increasingly convinced of the notion that our lives are guided by a narrative that is shaped by many factors and influences from the day we were born. This narrative colors how we see ourselves, others, and all of reality, including God. This concept is very familiar to people participating in twelve-step groups, since the healing process involves eradicating unhealthy narratives (“stinking thinking”) and replacing them with a healthy narrative. As […]

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