Teaching About the Nearness of God Through Jesus’ Parables

Jesus’ words reveal to us that we have direct access to a God who is neither remote nor distant, but present. Jesus told parables that present an image of God as one who is relentlessly searching us out and as one who takes great joy in our return to his arms. Our God is accessible, not aloof, withdrawn, or reserved. God is in pursuit of us and will not be satisfied until he has drawn […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Speaking God’s Language Through Bible Stories

According to linguist Noam Chomsky, “Language embodies the world view of a culture and is unique to the culture that created it. It reflects values and concepts that are deemed to be the most important by a culture. A language describes the culture it comes from.” For this reason, it is imperative that Catholic parents speak God’s language at home, especially when children are preparing for a sacrament. What do we mean by the phrase, […]

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search

During the season of Lent, we reflect on the suffering and Death of Jesus. This is a good time to introduce or review the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. In addition to teaching children how to pray the Rosary, invite them to do a Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search. Download the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Scripture Search reproducible and answer key using the form below. Introduce the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary […]

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

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